Tendulkar’s 98 against Pakistan in 2003 WC one of his best: Inzamam - The Daily Guardian
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Tendulkar’s 98 against Pakistan in 2003 WC one of his best: Inzamam

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Former Pakistan skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq believes Sachin Tendulkar’s 98-run knock against Pakistan in the 2003 World Cup was one of the “best innings” played by the former Indian batsman during his stellar career.

In the group-stage match played on March 1, 2003 at Centurion in South Africa, the Pakistan team failed to defend a target of 274. India rode on Tendulkar’s 98 to chase down the target with more than four overs to spare.

“I have seen Sachin play a lot but the way he batted in that match; I have never seen him play like that before. The way he played against our fast bowlers in those conditions was superb. I think he scored 98 before getting out to Shoaib Akhtar,” Inzamam told India off spinner Ravichandran Ashwin on his YouTube show ‘DRS with Ash’.

“I feel that innings of Sachin was one of his best. He broke all the pressure that existed. He played a top-quality innings against genuine quality fast bowlers like ours. The way he hit those boundaries, the pressure got released on the batsmen who came after him. If someone were to ask Sachin, he too would absolutely love that innings of his,” he added.

Inzamam also said Pakistan were confident about winning that game after scoring 273 as they had a very good bowling line-up consisting of Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Akhtar.

“Our bowling line-up consisted of Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, and Shoaib Akhtar and the conditions were favouring the fast bowlers. The match was being played at Centurion in South Africa. So, we felt that we had put up a pretty good score,” said Inzamam.

Earlier, Akhtar had said that the 2003 World Cup loss against India was the “most disappointing match” of his entire career. “The most disappointing match for me in my entire career was the 2003 World Cup match against India at Centurion. We had failed to defend a target of 274 despite having a very good bowling line-up,” Akhtar had said.

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‘Priceless possession’: Sundar shares pic with dad and debut Test cap

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Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], January 23 (ANI): Basking in the glory of Border-Gavaskar Trophy win, all-rounder Washington Sundar on Saturday shared a picture with his father and Test debut cap.
Sundar had made his Test debut against Australia in the fourth Test at Gabba, Brisbane and as a result, he became the 301st cricketer to play for India in the longest format.
The all-rounder shared a picture on Twitter, in which he is seen standing alongside his father. Sundar’s father was seen flaunting the ‘301’ number Test cap.
Sundar interestingly shares his Test cap number with the telephone area code of Maryland, a portion of the Greater Washington DC.
Sundar’s father M Sundar, a former Ranji probable, had a godfather named PD Washington, who lived just two streets away from his home. He was an avid follower of cricket and had developed a fondness for M Sundar’s game. Realising that he was not financially secure, the retired army officer used to buy him uniforms, pay his school fees, and often used to drop him to the ground in his cycle.
In an unfortunate turn of events, PD passed away in 1999. Shortly thereafter, Sundar’s first son was born. In memory of his late godfather PD Washington, M Sundar decided to name his son after him.

In his debut Test, Sundar had registered scores of 62 and 22. He also went on to take four wickets in the match, including a three-wicket haul in the first innings.
On Tuesday, Australia’s fortress — The Gabba — was finally breached. It took 32 years and two months, but the unthinkable was achieved as an injury-ravaged young Indian team beat Australia by three wickets against all odds in the final Test to take 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.
Virat Kohli had also returned home after the first Test as he along with his wife Anushka Sharma were expecting the birth of their first child. Kohli announced that they had been blessed with a baby girl on the very day when the Indian team played out of its skin to draw the third Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
In the first Test against Australia, India was bundled out for 36 and there were many pundits who said the visiting team will face a 4-0 drubbing. But proving every critic wrong, the Ajinkya Rahane-led side registered famous victories in Melbourne and Brisbane. The side also recorded an epic draw in Sydney and at every step, the line-up overcame adversity. (ANI)

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Ind vs Eng: Vaughan criticises visitors’ squad selection for first two Tests

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New Delhi [India], January 23 (ANI): Former England captain Michael Vaughan on Saturday criticised England’s team selection for the first two Tests against India.
According to Vaughan, the best batsman in the English top-order was left out of the first half of the four-match Test series in India.
Referring to Jonny Bairstow, Vaughan took to Twitter and wrote, “The only player in England’s Top 3 that’s playing the sub continent conditions with any control or calmness is resting for the first 2 Tests against the best Team in world at home #India !!! The world is officially mad … #SLvENG.”

England is currently playing a two-match Test series in Sri Lanka and Bairstow has looked promising in the series so far while openers Zak Crawley and Dom Sibley struggled to score runs in sub-continent conditions.
Bairstow was left out of the 16-man squad for the first two Tests in India while Crawley and Sibley are part of that squad. The national selectors have rested Bairstow, Sam Curran, and Mark Wood for the first and second Tests in India.

Under the leadership of Joe Root, England will be looking to show a spirited performance to bolster their chances of making it to the finals of the World Test Championship in June.
England’ squad: Joe Root (Yorkshire) (captain), Jofra Archer (Sussex), Moeen Ali (Worcestershire), James Anderson (Lancashire), Dom Bess (Yorkshire), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Rory Burns (Surrey), Jos Buttler (Lancashire), Zak Crawley (Kent), Ben Foakes (Surrey), Dan Lawrence (Essex), Jack Leach (Somerset), Dom Sibley (Warwickshire), Ben Stokes (Durham), Olly Stone (Warwickshire), Chris Woakes (Warwickshire).
Reserves: James Bracey (Gloucestershire), Mason Crane (Hampshire), Saqib Mahmood (Lancashire), Matthew Parkinson (Lancashire), Ollie Robinson (Sussex), Amar Virdi (Surrey).
India and England are set to lock horns in four Tests, five T20Is, and three ODIs. The first Test is set to begin on February 5 in Chennai. (ANI)

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Liverpool isn’t playing poorly, they just ain’t winning: Bruno Fernandes

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Manchester [UK], January 23 (ANI): Manchester United midfielder Bruno Fernandes has played down Liverpool’s slump in form, saying that every team can have moments where they are not able to spring together favourable results.
Manchester United and Liverpool are set to lock horns against each other on Sunday in the FA Cup. Fernandes has asked his team to bring their A-game to the table in order to defeat the Reds.
Liverpool has not picked up a victory since a 7-0 demolition of Crystal Palace on December 19. The side has also managed to score just once in their last five games.
“I think teams have moments. I don’t think Liverpool are playing poorly. I think they don’t win and this is the point. When teams don’t win, everyone talks about that. When players don’t score, everyone talks about that. I feel that on me because I know the standard is high, because I arrived and I scored a lot of goals and make a lot of assists, and everyone is wanting goals and assists from me,” the official website of United quoted Fernandes as saying.
“It is the same — everyone expects goals from Salah, from Firmino and from Mane. They are not scoring in the last games and it starts feeling like ‘oh, they are not playing well’. They create, they play, but the other teams are playing better and, as I said before, they have more qualities to play. Every team goes there to play maybe without the pressure of the fans,” he added.
United and Liverpool had played out a goalless draw at Anfield in the Premier League last weekend. United is currently at the top of the Premier League standings, while Liverpool finds itself at the fourth spot.
“Teams play a little bit more comfortably and, as I say, I think it is a moment. We don’t have to look at that moment because big teams and big players can show in every moment. In the past already, I have seen Manchester United playing for a long time and I know what that game means for the fans. Everyone knows and of course, for us, it means a lot because it is a cup game and it is a chance to put one of the strongest teams who are in the cup with us out,” said Fernandes.
“So we have to take that. Of course, we have so many teams in the cup in this moment that maybe you can have an easier game than this, but if you want to win the cup then you have to beat the biggest teams, so we have a chance now to beat one of the best that is left in the FA Cup,” he added. (ANI)

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Pakistan women’s cricket team to tour Zimbabwe for five games

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Durban [South Africa], January 23 (ANI): Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Saturday announced that their women’s cricket team’s tour of Africa was extended after it was agreed that they will play three 50-over matches and two T20Is in Zimbabwe after their tour of South Africa.
As a result, this will be Zimbabwe women cricket team’s first series since May 2019.
The women’s side will play their last match against South Africa in Durban on February 3, and then they will travel to Harare for five additional matches, which will be played from February 11-20.
The 50-over matches will not be classified as official ODIs as Zimbabwe does not have an ODI status, but the 20-over games will be internationals.
These additional matches have been scheduled to help both Pakistan and Zimbabwe to prepare for the ICC Women’s World Cup 2021 Qualifier, which is expected to be staged in July.
Pakistan women cricket team’s head coach David Hemp said: “This is an excellent news for our team as we need sufficient competitive matches so that we go into the World Cup qualifiers as best prepared as practically possible in these difficult times.”
Earlier, in the first ODI between Pakistan and South Africa women, the hosts emerged triumphant by three runs. (ANI)

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Thailand Open: Mixed doubles pair of Satwiksairaj, Ashwini lose in semi-final

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Bangkok [Thailand], January 23 (ANI): Indian mixed doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa have been ousted from the Thailand Open after losing in the semifinal on Saturday.
Thailand’s Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai cruised to the final after beating Rankireddy and Ponnappa 22-20, 18-21, 21-12 in the encounter that lasted about an hour.
After losing the hard-fought first game, the Indian pair came out all guns blazing to claim the second game despite the strong challenge from the opponents.
In the final game of the encounter, both the teams gave their all in an effort to march to the summit clash, but the Indian duo failed to outclass the local pair. The Thai pair went to the mid-game break with a two-point advantage and continued their dominance in the rest of the match and won the game 21-12.
Rankireddy and Ponnappa were the only Indian players left in the competition after others failed to win their respective matches in the competition.
Earlier in the day, Satwiksairaj and his men’s doubles partner Chirag Shetty lost in the semi-final.
Malaysia’s Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik defused the Indian attack in two straight sets 21-18, 21-18 to sail into the finals of the showpiece event. Satwiksairaj and Chirag were defeated by eight-seeded Malaysian pair despite their valiant effort in the semi-final clash. (ANI)

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SAI modifies SOPs partially to ensure athletes returning from competitions can continue training

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New Delhi [Delhi], January 23 (ANI): The Sports Authority of India (SAI) is coming up with various proactive measures in order to ensure that there is no drop in intensity of Olympic-bound athletes.
As a part of these measures, SAI has proactively amended the quarantine regulations for those returning to its centres from various competitions. In partial modification of the Standard Operating Procedures (SoPs) issued on September 11 and December 3, the SAI has ensured that athletes returning to national camps and other training centres are able to continue training without compromising safety.
In a statement, SAI said that “the measure has been introduced to ensure that athletes are able to maintain continuity in their training programme. The athlete will be able to resume his or her training routine, except that he or she will be kept away from athletes who remained in the bio-bubble for the first seven days and until he or she returns a negative RT-PCR test.”
With six months left for the Tokyo Olympic Games and with domestic and international competition resuming, athletes have or will begin competing in various disciplines to either gain qualification for the Olympic Games or secure competitive exposure.
Asking them to quarantine themselves for seven days each time they return to base from competition would adversely affect their training as they seek to maintain their periodisation cycle. SAI has also told the heads of all its training facilities that athletes returning from various competitions should be housed in a separate hostel or block of hostels till their RT-PCR test is negative at the end of seven days so that athletes do not come into contact with those who remained in the bio-bubble.
The heads of all SAI centres and the coaches have been instructed to draw up a proper schedule so that athletes returning from the competition can use the field of play, gym and sports science facilities to ensure continuity of training, but without compromising the safety of those athletes who remained in the respective centres.
Similarly, all centres have been advised to make separate dining arrangements for athletes returning from competition till their RT-PCR test report becomes available. In places where it is not possible to create a separate dining area, they will make a detailed schedule to prevent the mingling of such persons with those who stayed back in the camp. (ANI)

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