Picking Jadeja backfired on India: Manjrekar on WTC final loss - The Daily Guardian
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Picking Jadeja backfired on India: Manjrekar on WTC final loss

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Having Ravindra Jadeja in the playing XI for the World Test Championship (WTC) final backfired on India, said former Indian cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar, who also added that fielding Hanuma Vihari instead could have helped them put on a few more runs to challenge New Zealand.

“If you have to look at how India went about before the game started, picking two spinners was always a debatable selection especially when the conditions were overcast and the toss was delayed by a day. They picked one player for his batting, which was Jadeja, and his left-arm spin wasn’t the reason he was picked. He was picked for his batting and that is something that I am always against,” Manjrekar said on ESPNCricinfo.

India lost the match by 8 wickets to New Zealand in Southampton, suffering middle and lower order capitulations in both innings.

According to Manjrekar, having a specialist batsman instead of Jadeja could have helped India post a target in excess of 200 for New Zealand.

“You have got to pick specialist players in the team and if they felt that the pitch was dry and turning, they would have picked Jadeja for his left-arm spin, along with Ashwin, that would have made sense. But they picked him for his batting and I think that backfired as mostly it does,” Manjrekar said.

On the upcoming Test series against England, Manjrekar said: “I hope India don’t do what England have historically done, pick somebody because there is another strength that they have and that strength might just come to good use, but very rarely it does when it’s a pressure game.”

Meanwhile former India captain Dilip Vengsarkar is “amazed” after knowing that Virat Kohli and his men will be on a “three-week holiday” before the start of England Test series after “poor preparation” cost them the World Test Championship final against New Zealand.

Vengsarkar, also a former chief selector, feels India played well over the two-year WTC cycle but their preparation for the final was far from ideal.

Quarantine restrictions allowed India to play only one intra-squad game before the marquee clash against a well prepared New Zealand.

“I enjoyed watching Test cricket over this cycle. India did extremely well over this cycle but what cost them in the final was their poor preparation. They went into such a game without any practice games.

“New Zealand on the other hand were match fit having already played two games (against England),” he told PTI on Friday.

The players have a three-week break before they reassemble in the UK on July 14 for the five Tests against England beginning in Nottingham from August 4. The scheduling has left Vengsarkar amazed.

It must be mentioned that the six-week break between WTC final and first England Test is due to travel restrictions and COVID-19 protocols for any Indian traveller going to the UK.

“I don’t know how we approach this kind of an itinerary. Where you go for a holiday in between and then come back to play Test matches. One week break was enough post the WTC final. The thing is you need to play continuously. I am amazed this itinerary was approved.”

Skipper Kohli had spoken about the need for the batsmen to show more intent for scoring runs when conditions are tough for batting like they were in Southampton.

Vengsarkar said the Kohli and Co should have also shown intent in their preparation.

“If he is talking about intent, then why didn’t the team prepare properly for this match? Where was the intent then? They should have played at least two four-day games.

“You want to know whether the players are match fit or not by playing those games. The fast bowers will know what lengths to hit straightway only in those practice games.”

Vengsarkar said India announced the best available playing eleven two days before the game despite having the option to play an extra seamer when play began in the rain hit game.

“You see, we had beaten Australia with a similar combination more or less. It was the best team they picked under the circumstances. Whether you announce it on the day of the game or day before it doesn’t make much difference. You have an idea about the conditions anyway.”

India missed a fast bowling all-rounder in the eleven and played two specialist spinners, R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, also because of their batting abilities.

With Hardik Pandya not fit enough to bowl regularly in the format, the selectors ignored him for the UK tour. ”

“If he is not available then you think about somebody who is available. In cricket, nobody is indispensable.

Unfortunately, BCCI doesn’t have a proper talent spotting team. They should pick someone from the U-19 level and groom him,” said Vengsarkar, who was the chairman of BCCI’s Talent Research & Development Organization (TRDO).

India are yet to win an ICC title under Kohli’s leadership and that remains a mystery for Vengsarkar.

“To be honest, beating Australia earlier this year was a great achievement. I give lot of importance to such wins. This WTC they just started, I don’t know how long they would continue with it.

“I feel if you play in countries like England, you should play best of three games to know where the team stands. Because after this Test, if we have had two more games, the outcome of the final could have been different with India having already played a game.

“I don’t know why they are not able to (win an ICC title). They have the combination and the players do it.”For the moment, Vengsarkar also doesn’t see any merit in the split captaincy debate.

“If Virat is good enough to play in all formats which he very much is, than he should continue leading the side. He should only be replaced if he doesn’t merit a place in the side.

“ODI captain playing under Test captain and vice versa, I dont believe in that. If Joe Root is playing under Morgan in ODIs, I don’t agree with that because he is also good enough to lead that side,” the 65-year-old added.

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Olympics: Deepika Kumari bows out after losing to top-seed An San

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Star Indian archer Deepika Kumari bowed out of the ongoing Tokyo Olympics after losing to South Korea’s An San in the women’s individual quarter-finals here at Yumenoshima Park on Friday.

Top seed San defeated world number one Deepika in an absolutely dominating fashion 6-0 to march into the semi-finals of the individual event. 20-year-old San is aiming for her third gold medal at Tokyo after finishing top of the podium in the mixed team event and the women’s recurve team event. Korean An San had a brilliant start to the first round as she aimed at three 10s while Deepika shot 7-10-10. San carried that momentum in the second round and clinically shot 9-10-7 to which Indian responded with 10-7-7.

The dominance of the South Korean continued in the third set as she gathered 26 as opposed to 24 of Deepika. Match ended in less than six minutes. With this San will either face USA’s Mackenzie Brown or Mexico’s Alejandra Valencia in the last four.

Earlier in the day, Deepika defeated Russian Olympic Committee’s (ROC) Ksenia Perova to progress into the quarter-finals (6-5) in the 1/8 Eliminations round in the ongoing Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

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YUZVENDRA CHAHAL AND GOWTHAM TEST POSITIVE IN SRI LANKA

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Three days after Krunal Pandya tested positive for COVID-19, it has come to light that spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and K. Gowtham have also tested positive for the virus in Sri Lanka.

Sources in the know of developments confirmed that the duo have tested positive for COVID-19. “Unfortunately, they have tested positive. They were close contacts of Krunal and were already away from the rest of the squad in the team hotel,” the source said. Krunal Pandya tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday and eight Indian players — Prithvi Shaw, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Yuzvendra Chahal, Deepak Chahar, Manish Pandey, Ishan Kishan, and K Gowtham were identified as close contacts.

Being close contacts of Krunal, they were staying away from the rest of the team and didn’t participate in the last two T20Is after Krunal’s test came positive.

Meanwhile, Wanindu Hasaranga’s four-wicket haul and Dhananjaya de Silva’s unbeaten 23-run knock helped Sri Lanka defeat India by seven wickets in the third and final T20I. With this win, Sri Lanka won the series 2-1.Sri Lanka won the T20I series while India had earlier won the ODI series.

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TOKYO OLYMPICS: NUMBER ONE SEED DJOKOVIC BOWS OUT, LOSES TO ZVEREV

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Number one seed Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic on Friday was knocked out of the men’s singles event in the ongoing Tokyo Olympics after losing the semi-final clash. Germany’s Alexander Zverev defeated Djokovic 1-6, 6-3, 6-1 in the men’s singles event.

As a result of this loss, Djokovic would not be able to achieve the Golden Slam (all four Grand Slams and Olympic gold) in the same year. Djokovic had brought out his A-game to the court in the first set, and he ended up winning it 6-1. However, disappointment followed for the Serbian as he lost two back-to-back sets and as a result, he bowed out of the tournament.

Djokovic had won the Australian Open, French Open and Wimbledon this year and now he would look to win the US Open, beginning August this year. Earlier, top seeds Ashleigh Barty and Naomi Osaka were also knocked out of the Olympics.

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INDIA WOMEN’S HOCKEY TEAM BEAT IRELAND 1-0, KEEP QF HOPES ALIVE

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The Indian women’s hockey team defeated Ireland 1-0 here at the Oi Hockey Stadium North Pitch on Friday. As a result, India’s hopes of making it to the quarter-finals of the women’s hockey event remain intact.

Earlier, the Rani Rampal-led side had suffered defeats in its first three group-stage games. The first quarter between India and Ireland saw no goals and after the end of the first 15 minutes, the scoreline remained 0-0.

A similar story was on the offer in the second quarter and at the halftime mark, the scoreline remained the same and it was Rani Rampal’s side that was feeling the pressure going into the third quarter. The third quarter also saw no goals, however, Navneet Kaur finally broke the deadlock in the fourth quarter and she gave India a lead with three minutes left to play. In the end, India managed to hang on to the advantage to score a 1-0 victory.

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INDIA MEN’S HOCKEY TEAM FIRE ALL CYLINDERS, DEFEAT JAPAN 5-3

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A resilient Indian hockey team came firing on all cylinders to thrash Japan 5-3 in the ongoing Tokyo Olympics on Friday. This was India’s fourth win of the ongoing quadrennial event. The Men In Blue will next be in action in the quarter-finals of the mega event. Japan might have scored three goals but the Indian boys made sure the Men in Blue were in the lead throughout the game and dominated proceedings.

Just two minutes before the end of the third quarter, India earned their second Penalty Corner only to miss the net. But the Indians were in the lead (3-2) with one quarter to go. Both teams got off to a cautious start but the Manpreet Singh-led side broke the shackles and netted the first goal in the 13th minute.

Gurjant Singh then scored early in the second quarter as India doubled the lead over Japan. However, Japan came back with a goal as Tanaka opened the team’s account.

In the third quarter, Kota Watanabe scored an equaliser but Shamsher Singh again put India on top as he scored a goal in the 34th minute. At the end of the third essay, India led 3-2 with a thrilling final quarter on cards. In the final quarter, Nilakanta Sharma doubled India’s lead after a desperate attempt from both sides to find the net.

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TOKYO OLYMPICS: SINDHU DEFEATS YAMAGUCHI, GETS INTO SEMIS

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India shuttler P.V. Sindhu stormed into the semi-finals of the women’s singles event after defeating Japan’s number four seed Akane Yamaguchi in the quarterfinals here at the Musashino Forest Plaza Court 1 on Friday. Sindhu defeated Yamaguchi 21-13, 22-20. The quarterfinal clash between Sindhu and Yamaguchi lasted for 56 minutes.

The first game was more close than the scoreline suggested and Sindhu had to bring out the best in her to win it 21-13. The scoreline in the first game might not indicate how closely it was fought, but Yamaguchi made her fight for every point. The star Indian shuttler was just one more game away from progressing to the semi-finals.

Yamaguchi made Sindhu toil hard in the second game, and for every point, the Indian shuttler had to be at her best. In the end, the number six seed Sindhu ended up winning the match in straight games.

In the second game of the quarter-final, there was a 54-shot rally between Sindhu and Yamaguchi and it lasted for one minute and two seconds. On Thursday, Sindhu had defeated Denmark’s Mia Blichfeldt in the Round of 16 match of women’s individual event in the Tokyo Olympics here at the Musashino Forest Plaza Court 3. Sindhu defeated Blichfeldt 21-15, 21-13 in just 41 minutes to cruise into the quarter-finals.

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