Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], February 16 (ANI): Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin on Tuesday said that the country should embrace how good Rishabh Pant actually is rather than seeing negatives in his game.
Ashwin’s remarks came as India achieved an emphatic 317-run win against England in the second Test of the ongoing four-match series. As a result, the series stands levelled at 1-1 and Virat Kohli-led side has also reached the second spot in World Test Championship (WTC) standings.
Pant scored an unbeaten 58 in the first innings of the second Test, however, he impressed many with his wicket-keeping skills. The youngster kept really well to the spinners and he even took amazing catches along with a few remarkable stumpings. Ashwin also highlighted how Cameron Green was built up during the Australia series even though his returns in the series weren’t that great.
“Okay, I did not think that I would say this but let me say this now. About two months back, there was a cricketer called Cameron Green, who made his debut for Australia. Even before he made his debut, everybody said that he was the “next big thing”. I think he got 150 runs in the entire series against us and didn’t get a wicket, but how much he was built up in Australia made me reflect on how we as a community treat our cricketers. It gave me a massive perspective. They play for the country and at times, it feels you know that we are searching as to what’s wrong with them,” Ashwin said during a virtual press conference on Tuesday.
“Rishabh Pant is an excellent cricketer and there are many excellent cricketers in the country. Pant was always going to be a good cricketer and he was always going to improve. Only if we back them in such a way that we want them to improve, they will improve faster. If we are going to find loopholes and faults, the cricketers are going to take that much longer. I think it’s more of a mindset issue for us and we should embrace how good a cricketer he is. We tend to see a lot of negatives. If we see a lot more positives, we will see a lot more champion cricketers,” he added.
The pitch used in the second Test has been a subject of severe criticism and greats like Michael Vaughan and Mark Waugh have stated as to how it was not a “Test standard” wicket. However, Ashwin said that everyone is entitled to their opinion and it is not a big deal.
“Look, it is us who are getting bothered by all this. I mean everybody is entitled to an opinion, whoever is giving their opinion are totally well within their rights to give their opinion. It is us who are reading into it and seeing if it is working or not so we as a cricketing fraternity or as a country, dealing with such sort of accusations, need to get a little better,” said Ashwin.
“We must just hold pride in saying how we are playing good cricket. Test matches are played over time. I am completely fine with how the English cricket experts have their opinions, because we will also have our opinions reserved when we tour abroad but we don’t complain or crib, we just get on with it. I have never seen any of our greats be it our coach Ravi Shastri or Sunil Gavaskar, they have been on lots of tours, but I have never seen them talk about pitches having a lot of grass or all those things,” he added.
Further elaborating on his point, Ashwin said: “I think it’s more of mentality, when people come out with such opinions we should respect them but I think we should be able to magnanimously deflect then away from what they are saying.”
Ashwin took an eight-wicket haul in the second Test, along with his 106-run knock in the second innings as India registered an emphatic 317-run win here at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on Tuesday. In the second innings, the visitors were bowled out for 164 as debutant Axar Patel took his first five-wicket haul in Test cricket.
India remains in contention to make the final of the ICC World Test Championship after completing an impressive victory over England in the second Test to draw level in the four-match series.
The victory in Chennai on Tuesday has lifted India to the second position with 69.7 percentage points on the points table but they cannot afford to lose another match as they need to win 2-1 or 3-1 to qualify for the final of the maiden edition of the championship.
England, who led the table after winning the opening Test, has slipped to the fourth spot with 67.0 percentage points. They can still qualify, but for that, they must win both remaining matches of the series against India. (ANI)
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England to tour Bangladesh in March 2023, confirms ECB
England’s Men’s planned tour of Bangladesh, which was due to take place in September and October, will now take place in March 2023, it has been confirmed. The England and Wales Cricket Board and the Bangladesh Cricket Board have mutually decided to reschedule the tour, which includes three One Day Internationals and three T20 internationals.
The tour is planned to take place in the first two weeks of March 2023, with three ODIs and three T20Is due to take place at the SBNCS, Dhaka, and the ZACS, in Chattogram, the ECB said in a release.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has confirmed that the English players will now be available for the resumption of the 2021 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in the UAE from September 19.
The postponement of the England-Bangladesh series has opened the doors for the English players to use the IPL as preparatory ground for the T20 World Cup which gets underway just after the IPL.
Speaking to ANI, sources in the know of developments said the BCCI has received the green signal from the England and Wales Cricket Board on the participation of the English players and is the perfect example of the brilliant working relation BCCI Secretary Jay Shah has with the English and Bangladesh cricket board.
“The English players will be available for the resumption of the IPL in the UAE. The BCCI has the green signal. This shows the brilliant working relationship that the secretary has with not just the ECB, but also the BCB,” the source said.
Last month, the BCCI announced the schedule for the remainder of the IPL 2021 which will be held in the UAE. A total of 31 matches will be played in the duration of 27 days.
The 14th season, which was postponed in May this year in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, will resume on September 19 in Dubai with a blockbuster clash between Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians.
Kohli remains tight lipped on opening partner of Rohit for the first Test
India skipper Virat Kohli on Tuesday said the team will cope up with injuries to Shubman Gill and Mayank Agarwal as the squad has enough depth heading into the Test series against England.
India and England will be locking horns in five Tests, with the first starting on Wednesday. This series marks the start of the second World Test Championship (WTC) cycle. Shubman Gill is ruled out of the series due to an injury and on Monday, Mayank Agarwal was ruled out of the first Test due to a concussion. “We will announce the XI tomorrow before we go for the toss, so you can know who is opening with Rohit. We are absolutely fine and happy with where we are placed,” said Kohli while replying to an ANI query during a virtual press conference.
Talking about how India can overcome those bad 2-2.5 hours which have ended up costing them the games, Kohli said: “Of course, as a team, we look to improve the things we have not done well. And that is one aspect of the game we need to get better at, and that is understanding how to control the damage when things are not going well. That’s what Test cricket is all about, you cannot have all sessions go your way. We know exactly what we need to do and it all boils down to execution.”
When asked whether Shardul Thakur can be groomed as a proper all-rounder in the longest format, Kohli said: “He already is a multi-dimensional cricketer and it is all about him getting more and more confidence. Someone like him brings balance to the side, Hardik Pandya has done for us in the past, right now he is getting on track to bowling regularly. These kinds of cricketers help the team in a massive way. Shardul is a huge prospect for us, he will be important to us not just in this series, but going ahead as well.”
India is in the UK since June as they played against New Zealand in the WTC finals from June 18-22. The Indian skipper believes that his side would be prepared well for the upcoming series against England having spent time in the country for almost two months.
India had last won a Test series in England in 2007 under the leadership of Rahul Dravid and after that, the Men in Blue have struggled to get past the Three Lions on their own backyard.
Day 12: Women’s hockey team, Lovlina eye Olympic medals
Indian boxer Lovlina Borgohain will compete in the semi-finals in the Tokyo Olympics today. Borgohain has assured India a bronze after storming into the semi-finals.
Javelin throwers Neeraj Chopra and Shivpal Singh will be in action on day twelve while boxer Lovlina Borgohain will compete in the semifinals in the Olympics on Wednesday.
Lovlina (69kg) has assured India a bronze after storming into the semifinals. Meanwhile, Neeraj said he is happy that he is finally getting to represent the country at the Olympics.
“I am looking forward to what will be my first experience at the Olympics. I have had a fair share of highs and lows over the past few years, and I’m happy that I am finally going to be able to represent my nation at the biggest sporting stage of them all,” said Neeraj in an official release in July.
“I feel the junior athletes having access to the institute are extremely lucky and thank brands like Bridgestone for supporting IIS in this effort,” he added.
The Indian women’s hockey team put up a fantastic display of skill and tenacity during their 1-0 victory over Australia in the quarterfinal match of the Tokyo Olympics on Monday.
High on confidence and self-belief after the momentous victory, the Indian women’s hockey team has now firmly set its sights on the all-important semifinal encounter against Argentina on Wednesday.
Golfers Aditi Ashok and Diksha Dagar will compete in women’s round 1 and Anshu Malik, Ravi Dahiya, and Deepak Punia will headline wrestling action for India.
If the trio qualifies for the next round, Anshu Malik, Ravi Dahiya, and Deepak Punia would play the semifinal matches on the same day.
In the afternoon, the Indian women’s Hockey team; led by Rani, will count on their recent experience of playing against the Argentinians during their extensive tour of Argentina in January 2021.
Much like the Indian team, Argentina has also gone from strength to strength in the competition, securing the semifinal berth after a convincing 3-0 victory against Germany in the quarterfinal on Monday.
Meanwhile, India’s hopes to play in an Olympic Final was dashed on day eleven of the ongoing Tokyo Games as a formidable Belgium squad came back from a 1-2 deficit to beat the Manpreet Singh-led side 5-2 on Tuesday.
It was a hat-trick by Alexander Hendrickx (19’, 49’, 53’), and goals by Loick Luyaert (2’) and John-John Dohmen (60’) that helped Belgium book a place in the final. For India, Harmanpreet Singh (7’) and Mandeep Singh (9’) scored the two goals. India’s hunt for a medal, however, will continue when they play the Bronze medal play-off match on Thursday.
The day started with Javelin thrower Annu Rani failing to qualify for the women’s final after an underwhelming show.
In her first attempt, Rani registered a throw of 50.35m. After the first attempt, Rani was placed at the ninth spot.
In the second attempt, the 28-year-old registered a throw of 53.19m and by the time everyone was done with their second attempt, Rani slipped to the 14th spot.
Annu registered a throw of 54.04m in her third and final throw and she was placed at the 14th spot when the Qualification Group A ended.
Grappler Sonam Malik also bowed out of the ongoing Tokyo Olympics after losing to Mongolia’s Bolortuya Khurelkhuu in the women’s freestyle 62kg event.
In the afternoon, shot putter Tajinderpal Singh Toor finished 13th at the end of his three attempts in the qualifications of the men’s Shot Put (Group A) of the Tokyo Olympics.
Tajinder started with a throw of 19.99m but had two disqualifications in the next two attempts to see his hopes of qualifying for the finals dashed as India ended the day without a win on Tuesday.
TEAM INDIA SHOULD NOT PLAY DEFENSIVE HOCKEY
It is unfortunate that after winning the gold in the 1980 Moscow Olympics, the tradition of having a defensive coach in Indian hockey started. Due to this our hockey could not rise up as far as performance is concerned. And hence, as a result, our forward line kept getting weaker. It is arguably true that defense matters a lot, but this approach is not good.
If you look at the forwards of Indian team, then you will find that all the hype that was created about them could not stand the test. It was even said about Mandeep that it is very difficult to stop this player. I have seen him score goals only in the semi-finals. If it was really difficult to stop him, his stick should have scored many goals. Lalit Upadhyay is also completely disappointing. The rest of the forward players also did not have that game that we would have expected from them that would allow them to clinch a gold medal. Nevertheless, the overall performance of the team is commendable in itself.
At this point in time, Indian hockey needs to work within 23 yards, and the 23 yards of the opposition. Earning as many penalty corners as possible when the opponent forward line enters 23 yards in your area is important, as today’s hockey has largely been limited to penalty corners and 23 yards of play on either side. At the same time, the defense should try not to let the opposition forward succeed in its 23 yards. The secret of Belgium’s success in international hockey is scoring on penalty corners. Alexandre Hendriks made a big contribution to Belgium by making his team the champions by scoring seven goals in the World Cup. He also scored three goals against India and has scored 14 goals in this tournament so far. Harmanpreet also scored five goals from the penalty corners. The Australian hockey team, however, is an exception, as they are very good at field goals.
The Indian team has given up in the fourth quarter against Belgium. Belgium’s excessive possession of the ball and their aggression ruined it. Their thinking proved decisive. However, our team did a great game against Argentina. I still stand by my point that we should have relied on experienced players in the forward line. Ramandeep, SV Sunil and Akashdeep had experience.
I also believe that after an age the player starts playing hockey with their mind which proves to be very useful for the team. Our defensive coach should have been trained to score as many goals as possible. As a result of his defensive approach, we became very defensive in the last quarter against Britain also. It was our luck that we won, and this weakness of ours was hidden.
The author is a former Olympian and has played in four World Cups. Views expressed are personal.
DISCUS THROWER KAMALPREET KAUR PUTS UP SPIRITED SHOW, FINISHES 6TH IN FINAL
India discus thrower Kamalpreet Kaur put up a spirited display on her debut Olympic campaign, but couldn’t win a medal as she finished at the sixth spot in the final with a best throw of 63.70m at the Tokyo Games on Monday.
Kamalpreet had made it into the top eight with the throw of 63.70m. This was her third attempt, but the athlete failed to make the top three as two of her remaining three attempts were flagged (disqualified). Kamalpreet Kaur started off with a throw of 61.62m and was in sixth place before dropping to seventh.
Kamalpreet’s second attempt was a foul which saw her moving down after a good start. The event then came to a halt due to rain. American discus thrower Valarie Allman started off after the resumption of the event but ended up with a foul throw.
In her 3rd attempt, Kamalpreet registered a throw of 63.70m which kept her in the contest and helped her move again to the sixth spot. In her fourth attempt, she again recorded a foul throw. Kamalpreet fired a throw of 61.37m in the fifth attempt before again registering a foul throw with her last attempt.
She might have missed out on a medal, but she clearly showed she belongs to the big stage and if she keeps progressing like she has, Kamalpreet could be a sureshot contender for a medal in the next Games.
Olympics: Indian equestrian Fouaad Mirza finishes 23rd in individual final
Indian equestrian Fouaad Mirza and his horse Seigneur Medicott finished 23rd in the individual eventing jumping and missed out on a medal in the ongoing Tokyo Olympics on Monday.
Mirza came 23rd out of 25 with a final score of 59.60. “The #Equestrian Individual Eventing Jumping final comes to an end @FouaadMirza and #SeigneurMedicott finish 23rd. No medal here, but an inspirational performance from the duo this #Olympics. Great future ahead for them!” SAIMedia tweeted. Meanwhile, Germany’s Julia Krajewski became the first individual female athlete to win Olympic gold in individual eventing with a near-flawless final jump with her Amande de B’Neville.
While individual eventing became a mixed event in Tokyo 1964, no woman had ever won gold in this event – until now, reported Olympics.com After competing in the dressage and cross country over the past three days, it all came down to the jumping section of the eventing competition.
Great Britain’s Tom McEwen and Toledo de Kerser won silver while Australia’s Andrew Hoy and Vassily de Lassos had a flawless jump in the final to clinch bronze in his eighth Olympic Games.
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