Cricket-Unorthodox Bumrah gives Dhoni welcome option at the death

Published on: Sunday, 31 January 2016 //
NEW DELHI, Feb 1 (Reuters) - By capitalising on his chance selection in Australia, India paceman Jasprit Bumrah has afforded his captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni a rare pleasant feeling -- of having a settled bowling unit at his disposal.

John Terry to leave Chelsea at end of season

Published on: //
John Terry, John Terry Chelsea, Chelsea John Terry, Terry leaves Chelsea, Terry Chelsea, English premier League, Football News, Football John Terry has made almost 700 appearances for Chelsea. (Source: AP)

Chelsea captain John Terry will leave the Premier League champions when his contract expires at the end of the season, he told British media on Sunday.

“It’s not going to be a fairytale ending, I’m not going to retire at Chelsea,” Terry was quoted as saying after his side’s 5-1 win over Milton Keynes Dons in the FA Cup fourth round.

“I was in last week before the Arsenal game and it (Chelsea contract) is not going to be extended. It’s a no at the minute.

“I needed to know now like I have done every January and sometimes it takes a couple of months to get done. Unfortunately it was a no. It took me a couple of days to get over.

“But I knew before the Arsenal game and my performance isn’t going to change – the way I train, what I give for the club.

“I want to give everything and finish on a high. I couldn’t play for another Premiuer League club, it will be elsewhere for sure,” he was quoted as saying on British media websites.

Chelsea were not immediately available for comment.

The 35-year-old Terry, who has spent his entire career at Chelsea making almost 700 appearances, apart from a brief loan spell at Nottingham Forest when he was a teenager, has been the most successful skipper in the club’s history.

Terry, who made his debut as a substitute in a League Cup tie versus Aston Villa in October 1998, has led them to victory in the Champions League, won four Premier League titles, five FA Cups and three League Cups as well as the Europa League.

He also played 78 times for England, scoring six goals.


Last season when Chelsea won the title, he played every minute of every league match. That run ended when he was substituted at halftime in the second game of this season by then-manager Jose Mourinho in a 3-0 loss at Manchester City.

He was then sent off in his next game against West Bromwich Albion as Chelsea’s early season woes continued, culminating in Mourinho’s departure in December.

Terry’s form may have dipped this term but a glimpse of what he means to the fans came when he equalised late in stoppage time to force a 3-3 draw with Everton on Jan. 16, to preserve Chelsea’s unbeaten run under interim coach Guus Hiddink.

Jumping on to the hoardings surrounding the pitch to celebrate, he was almost engulfed by the adoring supporters.
However, Terry has not been universally popular in England with a series of controversies during his long playing career.

In November 2011 he was investigated by the police and later the Football Association for alleged racist abuse against Anton Ferdinand of Queens Park Rangers. Although Terry was later acquitted in court, he was banned by the FA for four matches.

He was twice stripped of the England captaincy and also fell out with former Chelsea team mate Wayne Bridge, who refused to shake his hand before a match following media allegations that Terry had an affair with one of Bridge’s former girlfriends.

FA Cup: Chelsea, Everton crush minnows’ dreams

Published on: //
FA Cup, FA Cup Football, Football FA Cup, Chelsea FA Cup, FA Cup Chelsea, Everton, Football News, Football Oscar’s hat-trick put Chelsea in command by halftime. (Source: Reuters)

Chelsea banished any fears of a repeat of last season’s shock FA Cup fourth-round exit to Bradford City when they crushed Championship (second-tier) side Milton Keynes Dons 5-1 to reach the fifth round on Sunday.

Everton comfortably won 3-0 at League Two Carlisle United in the early kickoff, with the fourth-tier club playing at home for only the second time after floods damaged their Brunton Park home in December.

A first half hat-trick by Brazilian Oscar put Chelsea in command by halftime at Milton Keynes thanks to a tap-in after 15 minutes and two superb strikes after 32 and 44 minutes. Chelsea dominated the game with 15 shots on goal in the first 45 minutes.

Eden Hazard, who had not scored for 30 matches, made it 4-1 from the penalty spot after 55 minutes before substitute Bertrand Traore, who had been on the pitch five minutes, scored his first goal for Chelsea to make it 5-1 in the 62nd.

MK Dons, who defended poorly in an entertaining match, got a brief glimmer of hope after 22 minutes when former Liverpool midfielder Darren Potter scored with a long-range shot that looped over Chelsea keeper Thibaut Courtois after taking a deflection off Nemanja Matic.

Chelsea are unbeaten in nine games under interim boss Guus Hiddink, who led the club to victory in the 2009 final during his first spell in charge.

“These games are always difficult. When you play Arsenal, Man U, Man City…, the concentration is automatically high but for these games you have to be well prepared mentally.”

Chelsea missed at least five clearcut chances in the first half, but MK Dons never looked like emulating the achievement of League One Bradford, who won 4-2 at Chelsea at this stage of the competition last year after trailing 2-0.

“I thought they were scary. They were on it, and they were unplayable,” said MK Dons manager Karl Robinson.

Carlisle’s hopes of an upset were doused within two minutes of kickoff as Arouna Kone tapped home the simplest of goals after Aaron Lennon swept down the right and sent in a low cross.

When the rampant Lennon cut past a static defender to fire in a second goal after 14 minutes, a long afternoon looked in store for Carlisle but they held out until a brilliant 65th minute Ross Barkley strike from the edge of the area made it 3-0.

Police afterwards said they were investigating allegations of racist chanting from a section of the home fans following Everton’s first goal scored by Ivory Coast forward Kone.

Cricket-Australia's Finch avoids surgery on injured hamstring

Published on: //
SYDNEY, Feb 1 (Reuters) - Australia's Aaron Finch will not require surgery on his injured hamstring, the country's cricket board said on Monday, raising hopes that the captain will be fit for next month's World Twenty20 in India.

Cricket-New Zealand prime triple-spin threat for World T20

Published on: //
WELLINGTON, Feb 1 (Reuters) - New Zealand will be hoping to stifle their opponents by taking pace off the ball with the inclusion of three frontline spinners in their 15-man squad for next month's World Twenty20 in India.

Ind vs Aus: Series sealed, MS Dhoni to Team India: ‘Don’t slip from here’

Published on: //
India vs Australia, Ind vs Aus, India cricket, India cricket match, india cricket score, ind vs aus 3rd t20, ms dhoni, dhoni, mahendra singh dhoni, yuvraj singh, yuvraj, virat kohli kohli, india cricket schedule 2016, cricket news, cricket MS Dhoni stressed on building momentum from the 3-0 series win. (Source: AP)

MINUTES AFTER India blanked Australia for the first time in their backyard and topped the world T20 rankings, skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni delivered a “great speech” in the dressing room, urging the team to “carry the same momentum” in the games leading to the T20 World Cup next month. (REPORT: India win thriller)

Also Read: ‘Yuvraj can express himself freely’

“Post match, he gave a great speech, a motivational speech which lasted for more than 20 minutes,” a source told The Indian Express.

PHOTOS: India complete whitewash

“He stressed on the importance of this series win and that India has never played cricket like this against Australia at their home. He said the batsmen have been on a great run and that everybody should know the importance of a whitewash. It was the first time many of them have seen such success and Dhoni wanted them to understand the significance of this series win,” said the source.

STATS: Kohli breaks record

Dhoni stressed on building momentum from the 3-0 series win. “He told everyone that India should now take the advantage of the form into the coming series ? three T20s against Sri Lanka at home and the Asia Cup in Bangladesh. He doesn’t want the team to slip from here. He stressed that players should retain the same confidence in the next series. He wants to carry the same momentum,” said the source.

Also Read: ‘India WT20 favourites’

The T20 series was significant for Dhoni and the team after the 4-1 loss in the ODI series earlier, where his bowlers let him down and his form came under scrutiny. But the reversal of fortunes after the fourth ODI appears to have silenced Dhoni’s critics for the time being.

Also Read: ‘Yuvraj must for WT20’

Team director Ravi Shastri, too, chipped in with a small speech, where he complimented the ‘tigerish’ spirit of the players.

Also Read: Who said what

“He told them that none of the past players, not even the greats of Indian cricket, could achieve what they have. He said that India played a hard brand of cricket against Australia and the team gave back in the language Australians understood. Shastri said that India has never played such cricket before and it will leave a great mark on world cricket. He said India was always looked upon as a team that did well in the sub-continent, but this team will change the mindset,” the source said.

Elizabeth Susan Koshy’s Rio Olympic hopes: A case of so near yet so far

Published on: //
Shooting, Shooting sports, Olympics, Rio Olympics, 2016 Rio Olympics, Rio 2016, Elizabeth Susan Koshy, Elizabeth Koshy, Olympics qualifiers, Shooting qualifiers, shooting news, shooting Three Olympic quotas were up for grabs in the 50m three position events but Elizabeth Koshy only finished fourth in the final.

First there’s the ungainly penguin walk – some stifle a giggle calling it an astronaut’s amble, it’s painful no matter what you call it — as finalists troop into the air rifle shooting range. It’s the lowers and the stiffened jackets that the shooters wear. Then there are the hundred gun-parts, some of which get strewn around even in the tray of the most meticulous of operators on a range. Multiply the complexity of managing that three times over, for each of the kneeling, prone and standing positions in 50m 3P. Elizabeth Susan Koshy, 21, and the youngest of the finalists at the Asia Olympic Qualifying Competition clearly had a lot on her mind on Sunday.

You can practice and rehearse for all of that, and Koshy would well have, though she looked as harried as any other finalist in the 7 min transition time between kneeling and prone and just a touch more hassled during the 9 min changeover between prone and standing. What she was acutely aware of but couldn’t help was how her long(er) neck would force an extra adjustment of the clicks on the sighting-stand, and play havoc with her scores, costing her the Olympic quota.

You can train for these things, but it can all unravel on final’s day and make you kick the floor, even as you file away the nightmare as a lesson learnt.

Moving from prone (shooters down on their bellies and gun close to the ground) to standing has an assortment of things to take care of – putting away the mat, dragging in the stand, zipping up the jacket, hemming tight the sleeves, before you even get down to adjusting the gun. Because of her body-type, Koshy needs more than one click of adjustment to the sight riser to settle into a comfortable shooting stance. A sighting shot can hence drop to 5 before it jumps back to 10. Koshy struggled at this juncture – though she was going in a close-third (306.3) behind Iran’s Mahalagha Jambozorg (306.6) and Korean Kyerim Lee (309).

The standing’s where Koshy, considered a good finalist, was expected to make up and shoot up on the table – it’s traditionally her best, though she had been facing a few troubles lately in transitioning. But after the furious nine minutes (imagine a F-1 pitstop where the driver has to refuel and switch tyres and basically do it all), Koshy’s sighting shots were scattered on far right (three 8s), though a stray 10.6 gave her a false assurance that the sight riser had settled and she was ready to go into the standing face-offs.

However, she’d been far from steady in the preps. On her first shot, she’d hit 9.3 and drop to fourth and disaster would strike in the same series as her third shot was a lung-puncturing 7.9 that drew the gasps.

Three quotas were up for grabs, but Koshy would’ve needed solid luck to bounce back from that 7.9. In its stead, she got an equally dispiriting 8.9. Her next would be a mocking 10.7, a shot that showed cruel hopes of how well she could shoot, but with the others shooting steady 10s and Singaporean Xiang Wei Jasmine hammering a 10.8 to go with her consistent scores, Koshy would fall back. Her last three shots of 9.4, 9.6 and 9.4 were underwhelming, and the standing scores – on a suddenly windy day with the red flags fluttering and the temperatures dropping that makes the click-adjustments all the more crucial – would prove to be her undoing.

“I guess I wasn’t naturally aligned going into the standing. I need to practice transitioning more. There was so much pressure inside me and here even a very slight change in muscles can hurt. I need to settle down somehow in limited time,” she rued, even as India went a second straight day without a quota.

A pity since Elizabeth Susan Koshy is one of the stronger survivors of the marathon-rifle three position event. On Sunday however, it was the transitioning like in triathlons that killed her hopes of heading to Rio.

India’s junior Chris Gayle fast making his mark

Published on: //

“Rahul, wo hi jo TV pe aata hai?” Mahipal Lomror’s mother reacted when he told them that the former India captain was now their coach. It was only then that the Nagaur lad’s parents were convinced that their son’s cricketing career was on the right track.

“When I started playing as a kid, my parents never stopped me. There was no pressure, that what will happen to studies. They said if you want to play, play, but then give your all. Don’t do time pass,” says Mahipal. “Then when Rahul sir became our coach, everyone was happy. It was then that they realised I was not just passing time.”

On Friday, the all-rounder who bowls left-arm spin and bats in the lower middle order gave further proof to his parents when he made 45 and took five wickets in India’s 120-run win over New Zealand.

He came in at a time when India were in spot of bother, having lost five wickets for 165 in the 37th over. He added 55 runs with Armaan Jaffer at more than run a ball, before batting with the tail to take the score past 250. A stocky, aggressive left-handed batsman, he has penchant for hitting big shots. But that’s not his sole strength.

‘Need to be clever’

“You can’t just keep doing power-hitting. You need to be clever. The ground here is big, there are so many single and double opportunities. Then if you can sneak in one odd four or a six, it’s good,” he says.

It was with his bowling, though, that Mahipal left a bigger mark. After the pacer Avesh Khan had blown away the top order, Mahipal feasted upon the shell-shocked Kiwi batsmen. However, he insists there is plenty of room for improvement in his bowling. And he had had a long session in the nets on Sunday.

“My assessment is that we didn’t bowl even 30 per cent of our ability and calibre. So that was what we were trying to address. We were working on our lengths. They were either too short or too full in the last match. So we were focusing on getting the right lengths,” he said.

As a batsman, Mahipal is an admirer of Adam Gilchrist, in bowling is role model is Ravindra Jadeja. “Gilchrist is a big match player. You can see his record. Whenever there was a big occasion, he would perform. In bowling, I like Jadeja’s accuracy.”

However, the epithet that he has got is that of Junior Chris Gayle.

“Chandrakant Pandit sir said it when he had come to Rajasthan in 2011 as RCA’s director. At that time we had gone to play the Under-14 Varroc Shield in Mumbai. There I scored 250 in the final. It was then that he said, jokingly, that I was junior Chris Gayle. After that, sab log chaloo ho gaye,” he says.

Like Gayle, people back in his hometown want to see him playing in the IPL. “When I go to my village, people ask IPL kab kheloge. ‘TV pe kab aaoge’?”

He is one of the 341 guys who will undergo the hammer during the 2016 IPL auction on February 6. And, by the way, he is already on TV. You can catch him here: India vs. Nepal – Live on Star Sports 1: 8:30 am onwards.

Cricket-De Lange added to South Africa ODI squad

Published on: //
CAPE TOWN, Jan 31 (Reuters) - South Africa have added paceman Marchant de Lange to their squad for five one-day internationals against England, Cricket South Africa said.

Shubham Mavi: Seedling emerges from bowling nursery

Published on: //
u-19 cricket world cup, cricket world cup, u-19 cricket, u-19 world cup, india u-19, india u-19 cricket, cricket india, india cricket, cricket news, cricket Shubham Mavi is yet to play for India in the U-19 World Cup.

The batsmen have packed up and left the nets. Shubham Mavi and a shoe remain. It’s planted a yard and a half in front the stumps, just about where a batter would stand, and Mavi is having a hard go at it. A fast bowler running in to bowl without the batsman at the other end has an air of absurdity about it, for the setting is incomplete. It appears that all that physical effort is going into nothing. Or is it? Because where we see a shoe, Mavi sees an opportunity. With Rahul Dravid watching closely, he knocks it over again and again.

With the India Under-19 team having won both their matches and made the quarterfinals, there is some room for experimentation in the spare fixture. The team management may be tempted to try the untested in the final Group D match against Nepal – though they will need to win it to avoid hosts Bangladesh in the quarterfinals.

The reserve players have had a busy day, including Mavi. He wants impress his coach. This potential chance has come after a long and frustrating wait.

His run-up is full of intent, leap good and the action high-arm. And if you observe closely, you would spot a faint flick of the wrist at the point of release. Many pacers have it, some discernible and others subtle. But here you are almost expecting to find it in him.

The thing is, Mavi comes from Meerut. From the same Victoria Park academy that has produced such swing bowling exponents as Praveen Kumar and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Like PK and Bhuvi, Mavi too has been coached by Sanjay Rastogi. As if these similarities weren’t enough, his father, again like those of Praveen and Bhuvneshwar, works in Uttar Pradesh Police. Chandrahaas Mavi is a sub-inspector in the neighbouring Baghpat district.You can explain a lot of other common things, how do you explain this cop connection?

Rastogi laughs a hearty laugh when you ask him this question. “There is no mystery here. The thing is that the academy is situated right next to Meerut’s Police Lines’ residential complex. Families of lots of policemen live there. So a number of kids from there come to the academy,” he says.

But the similarities with the two Kumars end here. Mavi, Rastogi says, doesn’t swing the ball like them. “I am not saying that he doesn’t swing it. No. He has a very good and effective in-swinger. It’s just that his ball doesn’t move as prodigiously as PK and Bhuvi’s do,” says Rastogi.

But he has other strengths. He bowls at a good pace. “Mere hisaab se 135-plus phenkta hai,” says Rastogi. Even if you take out five kilometers – which most coaches would be inclined to add to talk their wards up – that is not bad for an Under-19 player. “Also his ball rises. And he bowls very accurate yorkers and has a clever slower one. Lately, he has started swinging the ball away from the (right-handed) batsmen as well. He is a hard working fellow and he puts in a lot of effort. Bada joshila bowler hai,” says Rastogi.

Mavi was 12 when he joined the academy. “At that age you can’t say if someone is going to be a good bowler or not, but he was quite a hard working lad. Always used to say mujhe fast bowler hi ban-na hai,” the coach says. “When he was barely 14, there was a triangular U19 tournament that was played in Meerut. The academy had fielded two teams. A senior team which had slightly older boys, and a junior team which had Shubham. There was a third team from a very good club from Meerut. And it was the junior team that won the tournament because of Shubham’s bowling. That gave him confidence. After that, he was selected for the the UP Under-16 team and also went to the NCA,” informs Rastogi.

He insists that Mavi could have played the last Junior World Cup if not for a back injury that put him out of cricket for nearly a year. Having helped Uttar Pradesh to the Vijay Merchant title after nine years, Mavi was dreaming of making the state and India Under-19 teams when the injury struck. It was a period full of teenage and cricketing uncertainties, and it is evident from his Facebook timeline:

May 31, 2013: “Waiting for true love…..agar is duniya mein h.”

July 28, 2013: “Suffering from injury…..facing worst time of my life.”

August 7, 2013: “Patani ye injury kab jayegi….kahin ye 19 ka season bi na chala jaye….?”

August 8, 2013: “Waiting for true love….if it is present in this world…”

Rastogi recalls that the youngster, despite the injury, would come to the ground. To just watch others play. “He had gotten depressed. Then I told him not to lose hope. Even when he couldn’t bowl, he would come and sit here at the academy and watch others practice. When PK or Bhuvi used to drop by, he would pick their brains,” the coach says.

Eventually, he became fit and made the UP Under-19 team in 2014. Strong performances at the Cooch Behar Trophy and the Vinoo Mankad trophy led to his selection in the Challenger Trophy this year and then in the Indian team.

This Under-19 Indian side has some impressive pace bowlers in Avesh Khan, Khaleel Ahmed and Rahul Batham. In the two tri-series in Kolkata and Colombo, Mavi, whenever he got a chance, put up a good show. To get his foot in the door for the quarterfinals, though, what Mavi – should he get a chance – would need is more than just a good show.

He would need a defining performance. “If he gets even a slightly helpful wicket, you will see that he is a good bowler,” Rastogi says.

In his friends’ circle, they call him Ferrari, for perhaps his pace – for he is certainly not high maintenance. It will be interesting to see, then, if India place their bets on the Prancing Horse for the match against Nepal on Monday.

I have had confrontations in Australia but it has led to mutual respect: Virat Kohli

Published on: //
India vs Australia, Ind vs Aus, India cricket schedule 2016, Virat Kohli, Kohli, India cricket match, India cricket score, Kohli records, Yuvraj singh, yuvraj, cricket news, cricket Virat Kohli was adjudged Player of the T20I series, which India swept 3-0 in Sydney on Sunday. (Source: AP)

It wasn’t easy to start with but star Indian batsman Virat Kohli on Sunday said he is now in love with Australia for not just being a happy hunting ground for him but also for the respect and admiration he is getting from both the rival players and the initially hostile fans. (REPORT: India win thriller)

Kohli was adjudged Player of the Twenty20 series, which India swept 3-0 in Sydney on Sunday.

PHOTOS: India complete whitewash

The flamboyant batsman, who scored 199 runs in the three games, remaining unbeaten all through, said being in Australia gives him sense of normalcy which is often hard to come given his star status in India.

Also Read: ‘Yuvraj can express him freely’

“I love coming to this country, it has a really positive vibe. Most importantly, I can be myself here. I can be normal, I can walk around on the streets. That’s something that I really love to do to discover myself rather than staying in a world which is sometimes full of highs and sometimes full of lows,” Kohli told ‘Star Sports’ in a post-match interaction after India’s seven-wicket win.

STATS: Kohli breaks another

“Sometimes you need to get away from the game and realise who you are, know yourself and understand your mood. I get to do that in Australia, people appreciate the cricket that we have played,” he added.

Also Read: Yuvraj has to be part of XI during WT20: Gavaskar

Kohli conceded his love affair with the country did not exactly start on a positive note. He had infamously shown his middle finger to a hostile crowd during the 2011-12 tour but things seem to have changed with the fans cheering him vociferously during the just-concluded series.

Also Read: After series win, Dhoni looks at the bigger picture

“They give you respect but they don’t intrude in your private space. That’s something that I adore about this country. It was tough early on when I came here. I have had confrontations but it has led to mutual respect,” said the dashing right-hander.

Talking about his game, Kohli stated that he is focused on ensuring that his dot ball count remains as low as possible.

“I have been hitting the ball decently on this tour. In T20 cricket, one ball is an event and it is very important to capitalise on that. So, if you have a bunch of dot balls, it can turn the game around so I try and avoid those pressure situations. I make a conscious effort to keep the strike rotating,” he said.

“I keep thinking about putting the bowler under pressure before he can get on top of me. After that, I can play to my strengths. I stick to the basics and improvise according to the situation,” he said.

Kohli was all praise for comeback-man Yuvraj Singh, who played a crucial cameo today to get India over the line in a 198-run chase.

“Yuvi got very few balls but when it mattered he made it count. That’s how we need him, we need him confident because then we are in safe hands,” he said.

Ind vs Aus 3rd T20: Shane Watson picks India as World T20 favourites

Published on: //
Ind vs Aus T20, Ind vs Aus 2016, India Australia, India win, Shane Watson, Shane Watson hundred, cricket news, Cricket Shane Watson hit a century as Australia posted 197/8 against India. (Source: AP)

Watson has said that there are no doubts about hosts India being the favourites for the 2016 World T20, besides adding that his side has its work cut out in the build-up to the March-April tournament.

The hosts surrendered the Sydney T20I by 7 wickets, thus losing the series 0-3.

“I think, no matter what, they would have always been the favourites,” said Watson after the loss on Sunday.

“Obviously conditions are different in India and they have so many world class players, especially in the batting and spin-bowling point of view, which is very important in India. I think no matter how things panned out here, they were always going to be favourites. And the way they handled the pressure in the 2011 World Cup as well, they know how to play well at home in big tournaments. There’s no surprise with them going in as favourites.”

Riding on his maiden T20I hundred, Australia scored 197/5, but then the Indian batting came up trumps once again, even in face of a tall score.

“Look, I knew we had a very good score but I was certainly never ever over-confident because I knew how good the Indian batting is. They’re world class players taking on our bowlers, who are a bit inexperienced. It’s a really good learning curve for them to be able to play against such world class players. I knew all along that it was going to be tight,” said Watson.

When asked if the fluffed stumping of Suresh Raina was the turning point, the skipper replied, “It probably worked out that way, but that’s the way the game goes, there are so many turning points all around. It was just unfortunate. That was a challenging ball for the keeper as well. Suresh Raina, as I’ve seen plenty of times whether for India or in IPL, he certainly knows how to bat well and get his team home.”

The series loss raises a lot of questions about Australia’s preparations for the World T20 with less than six weeks to go. Most of their senior players were sent ahead with preparation for the New Zealand tour, with the series still in play, forcing the management to make as many as 11 changes in the last two games.

“I don’t think there’s a hell of a lot to worry about, and it’s more just about solidifying our roles. About who’s going to play bowling wise, and who’s going to bowl power plays and in the middle overs. I think once they’re able to get that right, which no doubt will happen before the South African tour, that’ll go a long way in helping us execute our roles. The more some of these guys play against world class players, someone like Andrew Tye, he’s only going to get better. He’s got great skills. We’ve got a lot to learn out of the last 3 games, but the important thing is to get the team sorted out,” said a defiant Watson.

“The simple fact is that there’s a one-day tournament starting on Wednesday in New Zealand, and that provides a lot of challenges to be able to manage guys’ workloads. They’ve had a big summer, and they’ve come off just about non-stop cricket as well. It’s also one of the reasons why I retired from Test cricket because it is non-stop. There’s no doubt that it’s unfortunate that because the series is so close, that guys have come in and out that what would have normally happened. The way the schedules work nowadays, it’s nearly impossible to get your best team out every time you play. Until it’s in the lead up to the T20 World Cup like the games in South Africa and the warm-up games,” he added.

Last but not the least, the experienced all-rounder was asked about his preference to bat up the order, given his scintillating performance on the day, replicating his many IPL performances in the past.

“I certainly do enjoy opening the batting, there’s no doubt about that. It has always suited my game and my mentality as well. But I have batted in all different slots in all different formats, and any chance that I get to play for cricket in Australia and in any format, I’m happy to bat anywhere. I’m absolutely loving being out there and at this point I’m very happy to bat anywhere. But I certainly do enjoy opening the batting. Probably because I’m most experienced batting there, probably the most success as well,” he said.

When asked if the upcoming IPL auctions had any role in motivating him for the big innings, Watson replied jokingly,

“There’s an auction, is there?”

“It was good timing, no doubt. Knowing that the Rajasthan Royals unfortunately isn’t playing for the next two years, which is extremely sad and disappointing. But it’s worked out nicely in that regard,” he signed off.

WATCH: India cricket team’s lap of honour at SCG after winning T20I series

Published on: //
Indi vs Aus 2016, Ind vs Aus T20I, India Australia, India win, India clean sweep, Australia loss, cricket news, Cricket Virat Kohli obliges a fan with an autograph after series win. (Source: AP)

After completing a 3-0 clean-sweep in the T20I series against Australia at the SCG on Sunday, Team India thanked the crowd by taking a lap of honour. (PHOTOS: India complete whitewash)

Also Read: ‘Yuvraj can express himself freely’

Indi vs Aus 2016, Ind vs Aus T20I, India Australia, India win, India clean sweep, Australia loss, cricket news, Cricket Team India takes a victory lap after series win against Australia. (Source: AP)

India the third and final T20I, India beat Australia by seven wickets in a thrilling run chase that saw fifties from Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma. Suresh Raina scored a 25-ball 49 and with Yuvraj Singh sealed the game for India. The win also helped India reach the top spot in T20I rankings.

Also Read: Who said what


[facebook url="" /]


Winning three Grand Slams in a row is an unreal feeling: Sania Mirza

Published on: //
Sania Mirza win, Sania Mirza Aus open win, sania Mirza, Sania Pada Bhushan, Australian Open, Australian Open win, Aus Open 2016, Aus Open, Australian Open news, tennis news, Tennis Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis defeated Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka in straight sets to win Australian Open women’s doubles title. (Source: Reuters)

Following her Australian Open triumph, Indian tennis ace Sania Mirza on Sunday said it was an unreal feeling to win three Grand Slam titles in a row and she would try to maintain the winning streak with her swiss partner Martina Hingis.

“It’s an unreal feeling. We haven’t lost a match in a long time but also to win three grand slams in a row…it’s what really dreams are made of and I am really excited. It was a perfect way to start the year. We feel really happy. Three slams in a row who would have thought. I am taking a couple of days off before going to Fed Cup in Thailand,” said Sania after her arrival in Hyderabad.

Share This Article
Related Article
jQuery(document).ready(function(){ jQuery('.rel-article').bxSlider({ maxSlides: 6, slideMargin: 3 }); });

Reacting to another query, she said “Nothing is certain. We still have to go out there and give our best and try and play the best that we can. Fortunately we have been able to do this for so many months and the whole year has been incredible. But the last six months especially. So we are going to keep trying to do that. I think we all know, in sports everyone loses and at some point we are going to lose and until we lose we are going to try and enjoy this streak. I will leave for Delhi and then for Thailand for Fed Cup and then go to St Petersburg,” she said.

Sania Mirza and Martina Hingis were on Friday crowned the Australian Open women’s doubles champions after they tamed the spirited Czech duo of Andrea Hlavackova and Lucie Hradecka in straight sets for their 36th win in a row.

It was their third consecutive Grand Slam title for Sania and Martina, having won the Wimbledon and US Open in 2015.

In an incredible feat, Sania and Martina have now extended their unbeaten run to 36 matches, winning eight titles in a row.

They won five straight titles in 2015, starting from the US Open and before the Australian Open now.

Asked on her Padma Bhushan recognition, Sania said “I am very honoured and I hope I can be here in the country (to receive the award) and it would be amazing. I was here for the Khel Ratna and hopefully I can be here. It’s a great honour for me and I feel privileged.”

Ind vs Aus 3rd T20, Stats: Virat Kohli breaks another record; Suresh Raina a chase hero

Published on: //
Virat Kohli received his third Player of the Series award in T20Is. (Source:AP) Virat Kohli received his third Player of the Series award in T20Is. (Source: AP)

The statistical highlights of the third and final T20 International between India and Australia in Sydney on Sunday:

# Suresh Raina (49 not out off 25 balls) has recorded his highest score vs Australia in T20Is, surpassing the 41 at Adelaide on January 26, 2016. (REPORT: India win thriller)

# Raina’s match-winning innings is his third highest in a winning cause in T20Is, the highest is 101 vs South Africa at Gros Islet on May 2, 2010.

Also Read: ‘Yuvraj can express himself freely’

# Rohit Sharma became the third Indian player to complete 1000 runs in Twenty20 – his aggregate being 1010 runs at an average of 34.82 in 47 matches, joining Virat Kohli (1215) and Suresh Raina (1073).

PHOTOS: India complete whitewash

# Sharma’s ninth fifty in T20Is is his third vs Australia.

# Sharma is averaging 48.28 in a winning cause in T20Is – his aggregate being 676 in 28 matches, including eight fifties.

Also Read: Gavaskar bats for Yuvraj

# Shane Watson has received his ninth Man of the Match award in T20Is – his second vs India.

# Watson has posted his first century in T20Is.

Also Read: Who said what

# His unbeaten 124 is the highest individual innings by any batsman on captaincy debut in this format, eclipsing RickyPonting’s unbeaten 98 for Australia vs New Zealand at Auckland on February 17, 2005.

# Watson is the second Australian player to post a century in T20Is. Aaron Finch was the first to accomplish the distinction  – 156 vs England at Southampton on August 29, 2013. These two knocks are the highest individual innings in T20Is.

# Watson is the first batsman to post a hundred in T20Is in Australia, eclipsing Damien Martyn’s 96 vs South Africa at Brisbane on January 9, 2006.

# Watson’s fantastic innings is the highest in a losing cause in T20Is.

Only three other batsmen have hit hundreds in a losing cause – Faf du Plessis, Chris Gayle and Rohit Sharma.

# Virat Kohli’s brilliant 50 is his third fifty vs Australia – his 12th in T20Is. He became the first batsman to record three consecutive fifties in a bilateral series in T20Is – 90 not out at Adelaide, 59 not out at Melbourne and 50 at Sydney.

# Kohli became the first batsman to notch three half centuries in a bilateral series. His tally of 199 (ave.199.00) is a record for a three-match bilateral series in T20Is.

# Kohli’s tally of 12 fifty-plus innings is exceeded only by Brendon McCullum (15) and Chris Gayle (14).

# India have won eight and lost four matches out of 12 T2OIs contested vs Australia – success % 66.66.

# India (200 for three) have recorded their second highest total vs Australia in T20Is behind the 202 for four at Rajkot on 10-10-2013
# India’s above total is their third highest successful chase in T20I behind the 211/4 vs S. Lanka at Mohali on 12-12-2009 and 202 for four vs Australia at Rajkot on 10-10-2013,

# Australia (197 for five) have registered their second highest total vs India in T20Is next only to the 201 for 7 at Rajkot on October 10, 2013.

# A team has won all three matches in a bilateral series for the fifth time in T20Is – the first four instances being Ireland vs Kenya in 2011-12; Bangladesh vs Ireland in 2012;

# Australia vs England in 2013-14 and England vs Pakistan in 2015-16. England had won the first two games vs Pakistan at Dubai (DSC) before winning the Sharjah T20I in one-over eliminator after the same got tied.

# For the first time, India have won five consecutive matches vs Australia in T20Is – by 6 wickets at Rajkot on October 10, 2013; by 73 runs at Dhaka on March 30, 2014; by 37 runs at Adelaide on January 26, 2016, by 27 runs at Melbourne on January 29, 2016 and by 7 wickets at Sydney on January 31, 2016.

# India have registered their first last-ball win while batting second in T20Is – the 15th instance overall.

# Shaun Tait (4-0-46-0) has recorded his worst bowling performance in T20Is, eclipsing the 4-0-45-0 vs India at Adelaide on January 26, 2016. In all, he has finished wicketless six times out of 21 matches.

# Virat Kohli has received his third Player of the Series award in T20Is – vs Sri Lanka in 2012; World Twenty20 in 2013-14 and vs Australia in 2015-16.

# Kohli (5046 at an average of 36.56 in 178 matches) is now the third Indian player after Suresh Raina (5797) and Rohit Sharma (5366) to complete 5,000 runs in Twenty20.

# Andrew Tye (4-0-51-0) is the first Australian bowler to concede 50 runs without taking a single wicket in T20Is.

Yuvraj Singh has to be part of playing XI during World T20: Sunil Gavaskar

Published on: //
Ind vs Aus 2016, Sunil Gavaskar, Gavaskar, Yuvraj SIngh, India win, India clean sweep, cricket news, Cricket Yuvraj Singh (R) and Virat Kohli were instrumental in India’s win over Australia. (Source: AP)

Batting legend Sunil Gavaskar feels India should retain the same playing eleven in the upcoming ICC World Twenty20 that whitewashed Australia 3-0 on Sunday in the three-match series of the game’s shortest format. (REPORT: India win thriller)

“This is the playing eleven that I would like to see in the World Twenty20,” said Gavaskar when asked about his take on India’s World T20 squad.

(PHOTOS: India complete whitewash)

India on Sunday produced an inspired performance to record their highest run-chase ever on Australian soil as they pulled off a dramatic last ball seven wicket victory in the third and final Twenty20 International to achieve a rare 3-0 clean sweep against Australia in Sydney.

Also Read: ‘Yuvraj can express himself freely’

The win also promoted Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s boys to the top of the ICC T20 rankings and they now lead the table in the shortest and the longest format.

Also Read: Bumrah the find of the series: Dhoni

Suresh Raina (49 not out) and comeback man Yuvraj Singh (15 not out) kept their cool as they blasted the required 17 runs off the final over to chase down a mammoth target of 198 set by Australia.

And Gavaskar said Yuvraj should be an integral part of India’s World T20 team.

“Yuvraj gets wickets in Australia. On the sub-continent, he has to be part of the eleven,” the former India skipper told NDTV.

“Yuvraj has not lost his power. He is a plus. India must be patient with him”

“When Yuvraj got going, he delivered. We have done a bit of Swachh Australia,” he added.

Gavaskar was also full of praise for Raina, who according to him is the one of the best readers of T20 format.

“In Twenty20s, there are no better readers of the format than Suresh Raina,” he said.

“The way Suresh Raina and Yuvraj Singh held their nerve is commendable. The balance of the team is good. The Sydney win was big. Chasing 200 is never easy.”

Novak Djokovic: Records he broke after winning Australian Open 2016

Published on: //
Novak Djokovic, Djokovic, Djokovic news, Australian Open, Aus Open, Australian Open 2016, Djokovic vs Murray, Murray vs Djokovic, Djokovic records, tennis news, tennis Novak Djokovic now owns 46 hard court titles, level with Andre Agassi and only behind Roger Federer. (Source: AP)

Novak Djokovic claimed his sixth Australian Open title on Sunday as the 28-year-old continues to dominate men’s Tennis.

Here are some of the key statistics for the all-conquering Serb.

– Djokovic (2008, 2011-13, 2015-16) has now won six Australian Opens, matching the record of Roy Emerson (1961, 1963-67).

– Djokovic now owns 46 hardcourt titles, level with American Andre Agassi and only behind Roger Federer (60).

– He has 11 grand slam titles, drawing level on the all-time list with Australian Rod laver and Swede Bjorn Borg. Ahead of him are Emerson (12), Pete Sampras and Rafael Nadal (14) and Roger Federer (17).

– Djokovic has won seven consecutive tournaments.

– Since losing to Federer at last year’s Cincinnati final in August, Djokovic has won 38 of his next 39 matches.

– He has beaten world number two Murray 11 times from 12 clashes since losing to him in the 2013 Wimbledon final.

– Djokovic is on a 21-match winning streak in grand slams. He has not lost a grand slam match since he was defeated by Stan Wawrinka in the 2015 Roland Garros final.

– He has held the ATP number one ranking since July, 2014.

Ind vs Aus: After series win, MS Dhoni looks at the bigger picture

Published on: //
India vs Australia, Ind vs Aus, India Australia, India cricket, india cricket match, india cricket score, india vs australia t20, ind vs aus score, ms dhoni, dhoni, cricket news, cricket India completed a 3-0 whitewash over Australia in the T20I series under MS Dhoni’s captaincy. (Source: AP)

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni is highly impressed with young Gujarat pacer Jasprit Bumrah, who has given the Australian batsmen hard time during the limited overs series in Australia that concluded on Sunday.

“At the end of the day, we have won and I am happy it’s a comprehensive victory. Winning 3-0 against Australia in Australia is always a big one. But it is more about how the team is looking rather than just from a captain’s view.

“We have won the series over here but it is important to look at the bigger picture. Jasprit Bumrah has potential and is looking very good indeed. Even today he bowled the yorkers really well.”

Veteran Ashish Nehra also came in for some praise from the skipper.

“The formats are different but it was the bowlers that we were really looking for and I feel when it comes to fast bowlers, Bumrah and Ashish Nehra have done a good job in the three games they have played. Hardik Pandya as a package is very good. He is a good fielder and at the same time if he gives me those couple overs, and the reputation he has with his batting lower down, he looks like a good one to have in the side,” he said.

Dhoni in a roundabout manner also made it clear that likes of Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav might find it difficult to break into the limited overs side considering their inconsistent performances over the past few years.

“We came here with a slightly inexperienced bowling attack but at the same time we wanted to try different people. Because we had been trying the same few individuals and we have been getting the same results. So it was high time that we gave chances to a few individuals in the domestic circuit and see what really they have to offer.

“As far as only talent is concerned, there were a few people who looked good but they will have to improve further. But the find of the tour for me was Bumrah. The way he has bowled in the last three games he has been really good,” he added.

Dew became a factor in this match also and that was the reason that a big target like 198 seemed gettable.

“Dew had set in which meant that it was a big score but the way we were batting in the series so far it was definitely a target we could chase down. And the kind of start provided by the openers was what was needed ideally, and it was well capitalized by Virat Kohli coming in at No 3.

“After that the game got close when we lost him but overall we never thought that it is something that is beyond a par-score. And I feel that we have closed the series really well because we are always lacking that one extra step from the side. In the last 3-4 games, we can definitely say that we have done it as a team, but I would still give that extra credit to the bowlers,” said Dhoni.

“From the Sydney ODI onwards, the bowlers have turned it around to some extent and the batsmen were still doing the job of scoring the runs. This must be the only series where every time people have scored 300 runs and we have done that without too many batsmen getting a chance to bat except in Canberra.

“I think the batsmen were doing a really good job. Then the bowlers started chipping in more, maybe it was the extra fielder outside the circle they get in the T20s as compared to ODIs. But the bowlers knew they will have to give us that extra 5-10 percent and that’s what they did,” he added.

Powered by Blogger.

Blog Archive



RSS Feed!
RSS Feed!
RSS Feed!