Team's hard work was inspiring: PM Modi hails India's historic win over Australia - The Daily Guardian
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Team’s hard work was inspiring: PM Modi hails India’s historic win over Australia

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New Delhi [India], January 31 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday hailed the Indian cricket team for their Test series win against Australia, saying that the team’s hard work and teamwork were inspiring.
“This month, we got good news from the cricket pitch. After initial hiccups, the Indian team bounced back gloriously and won the series in Australia. Our team’s hard work and teamwork was inspiring,” PM Modi said during ‘Mann Ki Baat’.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) thanked PM Modi for his appreciation and tweeted: “Thank you Shri @narendramodi ji for your appreciation and words of encouragement. #TeamIndia will do everything possible to keep the tricolour flying high. @imVkohli @ajinkyarahane88 @RaviShastriOfc @RishabhPant17 @Jaspritbumrah93 @ImRo45 @JayShah @SGanguly99 @ThakurArunS.”
On January 19, Australia’s fortress — The Gabba — was finally breached. It took 32 years and two months, but the unthinkable was achieved after an injury-ravaged young Indian team defeated Australia by three wickets against all odds in the fourth Test to win the series 2-1.
The last time a visiting team came out triumphant from the Brisbane Cricket Ground was back in November 1988 when the mighty West Indian outfit under the leadership of Viv Richards thrashed Allan Border’s team by 9 wickets.
India’s memorable win had also ensured that they topple Australia in the ICC Test Team Rankings to claim the second spot.
Now, all the focus has been shifted to the upcoming series against England. India and England are set to lock horns in four Tests, three ODIs, and five T20Is.
The first two games of the 4-game series will be played in Chennai before the cricketers move to Ahmedabad for the third and fourth Test.
England’s touring contingent arrived in Chennai on Wednesday and all the members are undergoing quarantine. Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer, and Rory Burns arrived earlier as the trio did not play the Test series against Sri Lanka. The first Test between England and India will begin on February 5 at Chennai. (ANI)

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Chris Gayle, Fidel Edwards recalled to West Indies’ T20I squad for Sri Lanka series

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St John’s [Antigua], February 27 (ANI): Star batsman Chris Gayle will return to play for West Indies for the first time in two years while pacer Fidel Edwards has been included in the squad after nine years.
Edwards, who last played an international game in 2012, and Gayle were named in the West Indies squad for the three-match T20I series against Sri Lanka.
Off-spinner Kevin Sinclair earned his first West Indies selection and left-arm spinner Akeal Hosein gets his first T20I call-up after being named in the squad.
“As we build towards the defence of the T20 World Cup, the opportunity is being taken to determine our best team and squad as we go forward,” Cricket West Indies (CWI) lead selector Roger Harper said in an official statement.
“Chris Gayle has performed very well in recent tournaments and the selection panel thinks that he can still add great value to our team. Fidel Edwards has been selected to give the bowling the potent firepower needed,” he added.
West Indies also named the ODI squad for the Sri Lanka series and Test skipper Jason Holder has been included in both white-ball segments. The three T20I matches will be played on March 3, 5 and 7 at the Coolidge Cricket Ground, Antigua, while the ODI series will be played at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium, Antigua on March 10, 12, and 14.
“Jason Holder has shown his all-round value in this format in recent times and after missing a few series he will add depth and experience to the squad. Akeal Hosein performed very well in Bangladesh [ODI Series] and had excellent stats in the CPL so this is an opportunity to see how he equips himself in this format,” said Harper.
“Kevin Sinclair grabbed our attention in the Super50 Cup back in 2019 and has been consistently economical in the last CPL and the current CG Insurance Super50. He will provide an off-spinning option for the team,” he added.
All-rounder Andre Russell is still recovering from contracting COVID-19 earlier this month, and despite testing negative over a week ago was ruled out of the T20Is by the CWI Medical Panel whilst he completes his “return to play” protocols.
Fast bowlers Sheldon Cottrell and Oshane Thomas, along with batsman Shimron Hetmyer, and all-rounder Roston Chase all failed to reach the minimum fitness standard in time for selection consideration. They will all remain in Antigua after the CGI Insurance Super50 Cup to work on their fitness and conditioning. (ANI)

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PSL 6: Sherfane Rutherford, Wahab Riaz shine as Peshawar Zalmi beat Quetta Gladiators by 3 wickets

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Karachi [Pakistan], February 27 (ANI): Late onslaught from Sherfane Rutherford and Wahab Riaz guided Peshawar Zalmi to a thrilling three-wicket win over Quetta Gladiators in the PSL 6 on Friday.
Chasing a huge 199 to win, Zalmi found themselves struggling at 145 for five in 15.5 overs and required 54 from 25 balls when Wahab joined Rutherford.
Both batsmen took bowlers to the cleaners and collected 44 runs in the next three overs to bring down the equation to only six required off the last over.
Mohammad Hasnain got Wahab (20 off 8) on the first ball of the last over but bowled a wide full toss away from the keeper which cost the team five runs, and eventually, Rutherford played the winning shot hand Zalmi their second win of the season with three balls spare.
Rutherford remained unbeaten on 36 off 18 balls, which included one four and four towering sixes.
Zalmi’s run chase got off to a wobbly start as they lost experienced Kamran Akmal (3 off 8) and Tom Kohler-Cadmore (4 off 4) in the first four overs for 27.
It was Haider Ali’s sizzling half-century that helped Zalmi stage a comeback and set the platform for his team to surmount the mammoth total. The 20-year-old smashed 50 off 29.
Undeterred by the fall of wickets, Haider timed his first ball for a four behind point and smashed his third for a gigantic six down the ground off Hasnain’s full-toss.
He accumulated 17 runs off Usman Shinwari in the 13th over, dispatching the left-arm pacer for a boundary through cover and a six over deep long-on before an inside edge of his bat went for four.
The youngsters spanked as many as five fours and two sixes and received the desired support from opener Imam-ul-Haq from the other end as the pair knitted a crucial 51-run partnership.
Imam was bowled by leg-spinner Zahid Mahmood for 41 off 30 balls. His innings included four fours and a six.
Haider, then, was joined by experienced Shoaib Malik with the side still required another 120 runs from 64 balls.
Haider brought up his second half century of his HBL PSL career off 28 balls and was caught off Dale Steyn on the next. Steyn, playing his first match of the season, took two wickets for 44 in four overs.
Following Zalmi captain Wahab’s decision to field, the crowd at the National Stadium was treated with sumptuous stroke play by Gladiators’ captain Sarfaraz Ahmed, who scored his fourth HBL PSL half-century, and young hard-hitting batsman Azam Khan after they accumulated runs at seven an over in the batting powerplay.
Openers Cameron Delport (2 off 5) and Saim Ayub (21 off 19) were back in the pavilion in the seventh over with 48 runs on the board.
Faf du Plessis, who has come in as a partial replacement for Chris Gayle, was joined by Sarfaraz, who smashed 12 fours and a six in his impressive 40-ball 81, and the pair contributed 40 runs for the third wicket, before du Plessis fell to his former teammate Wahab for 37. The former South Africa captain struck four fours and a six in his 26-ball innings.
Azam Khan, coming to bat at number five, smashed bowlers all around the dial and struck a 105-run stand for the fourth wicket with his captain. Azam scored 47 off 26 balls, hitting six fours and two sixes – one of them landing on the roof of the stadium.
Saqib Mahmood was the pick of the bowlers for Peshawar Zalmi, taking three for 34. Gladiators have played three matches in the ongoing season and are yet to open their account.
Brief Scores: Quetta Gladiators 198/7 (Sarfaraz Ahmed 81, Azam Khan 47; Saqib Mahmood 3-34); Peshawar Zalmi 202/7 (Haider Ali 50, Imam-ul-Haq 41; Dale Steyn 2-44) (ANI)

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Karnataka State Cricket Association reached its pinnacle under Vinay Kumar’s leadership: Jaffer

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New Delhi [India], February 27 (ANI): Former India Test batsman Wasim Jaffer hailed pacer Vinay Kumar for taking Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) to new heights under his leadership.
Vinay on Friday announced his retirement from all forms of cricket. Jaffer congratulated the fast bowler on a “wonderful career”. The former Indian cricketer also highlighted Vinay’s ability to challenge the technique of the batsmen.
“KSCA reached its pinnacle under your leadership, winning the ‘treble’ twice! A determined cricketer and a bowler who always challenged the technique of batsmen. And your energy on the field was infectious. Congratulations on a wonderful career and best wishes for future Vinay!” Jaffer tweeted.
While announcing his retirement, Vinay Kumar had tweeted: “Today “Davangere Express” after running for 25 years and passing so many stations of cricketing life, has finally arrived at a station called “retirement”.
“With a lot of mixed emotions, I Vinay Kumar R hereby announce my retirement from international and first-class cricket. It is not an easy decision to make, however, there comes a time in every sportsperson’s life where one has to call it a day.”
Vinay Kumar played for India in all three formats of the game. In his career, he played 1 Test, 31 ODIs, and 9 T20Is for the country, managing to take 49 wickets across all formats of the game.
His best figures in his international career came in the ODI format where he returned with the figures of 4/30 against England in Delhi in 2011.
Vinay Kumar played for Kolkata Knight Riders, Kochi Tuskers Kerela in the Indian Premier League. He also led Karnataka to two consecutive Ranji Trophy titles in 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons.
In November 2018, he had played his 100th match in the Ranji Trophy. In 2019, he had moved from Karnataka to Puducherry, ahead of the Ranji Trophy season. (ANI)

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I accidentally became a cricketer, living my dream, says Ashwin

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India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has revealed that his planning before a game goes to a “different level” and he watches a lot of footage before a match to leave no stone unturned with regard to his preparations.

Ashwin also revealed that during the Australia tour, before the Adelaide Test, he watched footage for eight straight hours and watching all these videos have helped him have a better understanding of the game and even before bowling the ball, he kind of understands what shot the batsman is going to play. “In Australia, before the Adelaide Test, I watched footage for eight straight hours. Planning for me goes to a different level. I do not know why I started doing it but it’s just that I do not want to leave any stone unturned. I used to watch a lot of footage even before but I think the understanding of the game has gone one notch higher,” Ashwin told India fielding coach R Sridhar in a video posted on BCCI’s website.

“What happened during the lockdown was that I was watching a lot of cricket from the past, like Sachin’s (Tendulkar) hundred at Chepauk and all kinds of stuff on Youtube. And I started picking up fine queues and think why haven’t I picked all these things and figured all these things and it just struck me. After that, I started watching footage differently and once I started watching, it became fun because I am able to pick batsmen like what they are doing and even before I bowl the ball, I kind of understand what kind of shot they are going to play,” he added.

Riding on brilliant spells of spin bowling from Axar and Ashwin, India registered a comprehensive 10-wicket win over England in the pink-ball Test here at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Thursday to go 2-1 up in the four-match series.

During the match, Ashwin reached a major milestone of 400 Test wickets. Reflecting on the same, he said: “Initial feeling? It was quite empty to be honest because we were under immense pressure today. We only got a 30-run lead and the game was in the balance. I was in the moment, and only after we took the DRS, I realised the 400-wicket feat. After they flashed the 400 wickets on the board, the entire stadium was up and everyone was clapping. I cannot put my finger and say (exactly) how I feel.”

Ashwin said he is a cricket lover who actually went on to become a cricketer. “I accidentally became a cricketer. I am a cricket lover who actually went on to become a cricketer. I am living my dream here. I never imagined I will wear the Indian jersey and play.,” he said.

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Aaron Finch is a blazing gun: Kane Richardson

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Australian fast bowler Kane Richardson has voiced his support to skipper Aaron Finch, who has witnessed a slump in form during the recent outings in the shortest format of the game.

Finch scored a paltry 12 during Australia’s chase of a mammoth total on Thursday in the second T20I against New Zealand. The visiting skipper has been going through a lean patch and had scored one in the first T20I on Monday. The Australian skipper has just scored 495 runs at an average of 17.06 in his last 29 T20 outings across the Indian Premier League (IPL), Big Bash League (BBL), and international cricket.

But Richardson is optimistic of Finch returning to form as he feels the Australian skipper is just one game away from unleashing his true potential.

“What he’s done before, he’s come out of these things. Everyone goes through this at some point. He’ll work it out. He’s a gun. I’m sure his mental strength will get him through this,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Richardson as saying.aron

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Pressure is what brings the best out of Kohli

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Virat Kohli

I am not a firm believer of team motivation, nevertheless, I believe in getting the team ready! When I say this I mean confidence of a team to play great cricket in the field.

Whether you are focused on your individual goals, or responsible for keeping your team on tracks, you have plenty of inspiration to be gained from sporting greats.

When you are a recipient of numerous accolades like Padmashri, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, Arjuna award, etc. I’m sure that one would be burdened by the anxiety to enrich the performance every passing day.

Virat Kohli is one such young player who has all these burdens on his shoulders, when he or his team performs. The pressure flows from myriad sources— both indoor (from the team and the board) and outdoors (from fans, media, family, and friends).

It’s said pressure brings out the best out of Virat Kohli, but what about his own blood pressure? Virat ended 2020 without a single century across all the formats, his last ton coming from Edens in 2019.

When he fell in love to Anushka Sharma and decided to tie the knot in 2017, he knew their married life will be closely followed and observed by many over-enthusiastic, self-styled custodians of society masquerading as fans. That is an innate source of a pressure in itself.

I remember Anil Kumble once played against West Indies with a broken Jaw, Sachin played against Pakistan with a back injury, Gilchrist was given not out and yet he walked back to the stands in 2003 WC, and Virat congratulated Mohammad Amir for his wonderful spell in the Asian cup — looking at these incidents, I still believe that it’s a gentleman’s game.

One of the biggest disadvantages of the Indian cricket is the name and fame that comes across with it. It’s easy for someone to get carried away with so much of an attention at an early age.Thats why we see so many cricketers loosing out even after a promising start. If cricketers in India can keep all this aside and concentrate on the game of cricket, the media attention and continuous scrutiny of the game and players won’t matter much. Virat has withstood all the test of time and has proved his mettle for India.

Right from 2008 U-19 Kuala Lumpur to the fastest run maker in ODI till date, his journey has been wonderful. I guess, we need to give him a break, and all the credit he deserves, so that he can once again outshine his contemporaries. Empathy is a much needed emotion in sports. I should congratulate him for being one of the biggest performers in cricket, and also being a father.

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