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Sunday,20-September-2020

International

AIFF chief Praful Patel selected for FIFA council

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All India Football Federation (AIFF) President Praful Patel was on Saturday elected to the FIFA council during the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Congress. He is the first Indian to be elected to the highest decision making body of world football.

According to sources, Patel received 38 out of possible 46 votes to emerge a thumping winner.

Describing Patel’s victory as “landmark for Indian football”, a senior AIFF official said: “Congratulations to Patel. His leadership has taken Indian football to greater heights. Asian football will now immensely benefit from Patel’s presence in the FIFA council.”

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International

I really admire KKR coach McCullum, says pacer Pat Cummins

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Pat-Cummins

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) pacer Pat Cummins has said he is happy to have head coach Brendon McCullum by his side as the team aims to win a third title.

Australian fast bowler Cummins, after serving his room-quarantine, will be joining the rest of his teammates at KKR in just a few days’ time. KKR take on Mumbai Indians here on Wednesday.

“The first thing that I am really excited about is that I don’t have to bowl to him (McCullum) anymore,” Cummins told kkr.in.

“He was one of the best and most feared hitters I have come up against in my career. It can be the first ball of the match and he might be hitting over your head for a six.”

Cummins said he admires former New Zealand skipper McCullum for his aggression.

“So, I am happy that he is in my team as a coach and that I don’t have to bowl to him. He is someone I really admire for his fire.

“Whether it was his stint as the captain of the New Zealand team or his approach in the IPL clashes, I just love the way he goes about it. He really wants to put on the show and take the game on.”

Bowling coach Kyle Mills said that Cummins is currently the best bowler in the world. Asked to react, Cummins said: “I feel the same about him as I do about Baz; again, an ex-player, an absolute master of his craft. He has got an incredible record for New Zealand. You don’t get too many opportunities to work with totally different coaches.

“Now in Australia, we have got the same. We have coaches for different formats and then state teams. So, you might have two or three different coaches. But the opportunity to go and work with Kyle, who has played around the world, will definitely bring to me different things that I never thought about bowling before. So, yeah I am really excited to work with him.”

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Virat Kohli’s RCB to face Warner’s SunRisers

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Virat-Kohli

After finishing fourth in the 2019 Indian Premier League (IPL), SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) will start their present campaign with a game against the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), who are looking for their maiden title, at the iconic Dubai International Cricket stadium here on Monday.

While SRH have clinched the trophy once in 2016, besides the 2009 triumph in their earlier avatar as Deccan Chargers, the Virat Kohli-led RCB are yet to lay their hands on the coveted trophy.

For this year’s edition of the lucrative league, the David Warner-led SRH have made a few changes in their squad. The ‘Orange Army’ will miss the services of ace all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan, who was released by the franchise after being banned by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for failing to report the approach of bookies elsewhere.

With skipper Warner and Jonny Bairstow, the SRH are considered to have one of the best opening pairs and if the duo gets going, the Hyderabad franchise will pose a big threat for their opponents.

Warner is also the leading run scorer for SRH after accumulating 3,271 runs from 71 games, averaging 55.44. Bairstow, who joined SRH last year, also impressed everyone after gathering 445 runs from 10 games at a decent average of 55.62.

The pace attack will be led by Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who hasn’t played any professional game since December 2019. The 30-year-old has 109 wickets from 86 games and is the leading wicket-taker for SRH. Bhuvneshwar, however, will need support from Khaleel Ahmed, Sandeep Sharma, Basil Thampi and Siddarth Kaul.

If SRH want to replicate their 2016 show, a lot will depend on how their spinners perform in the low and slow tracks in the UAE.

The spin attack will be led by Afghanistan leggie Rashid Khan and will be supported by his compatriot Mohammad Nabi, who had a decent outing in he just concluded Caribbean Premier League. Nabi picked 12 wickets from as many games with an economy rate of 5.10.

Other than these two, SRH also have left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem in their ranks and the Jharkhand spinner is known to be very accurate with his line and length.

Warner’s side also has spin-bowling all-rounders in Fabian Allen, Sanjay Yadav, Abdul Samad, and Abhishek Sharma.

On the other hand, RCB is one of the three teams in the league who are yet to win the trophy.

Kohli-led RCB’s biggest strength has been their batting and the skipper is undoubtedly, one of the best in business when it comes to white-ball cricket. The team management along with Kohli will hope that he replicates the form he had shown in the 2016 edition where he had scored four centuries.

Alongside Kohli, the RCB also have one of the best explosive T20 batsmen in AB de Villiers. The RCB’s batting mostly revolves around Kohli and de Villiers and if the duo fires, things will be easier for the team. Moreover, they both have also shown over the past how to be a livewire in the ground when it comes to fielding.

Also with the inclusion of Aaron Finch, the RCB’s top-order looks quite effective.

Youngster Devdutt Padikkal is likely to open the innings with Finch while Joshua Phillipe is the other opening option for the RCB.

Also, all-rounder Chris Morris has been a great addition to the side and will play the role of the explosive finisher that the RCB always looked for.

The RCB franchise has acquired the services of Morris and Isuru Udana to overcome their weaknesses at ‘death’ bowling.

In the middle-order, the RCB has some quality with the likes of Moeen Ali, Shivam Dube and Morris, who all have the ability to demolish any bowling attack.

Experienced South African pacer Dale Steyn will lead the charge of the pace bowling attack while Navdeep Saini, Isuru Udana, Mohammed Siraj and Umesh Yadav will look to hand equal support to the lethal pacer.

Meanwhile, Yuzvendra Chahal, , Pawan Negi, Adam Zampa and Washington Sundar whosoever gets a chance in the playing XI, are the spin bowling options for skipper Kohli and looking at the nature of wicket in the UAE, they all need to step up if the RCB wantsto march ahead in the league.

Overall, SRH looks slightly better than their opponents for the Monday game but with the change in venues and conditions, it could be anybody’s game in Dubai

Squads:

Sunrisers Hyderabad: David Warner (Captain), Abhishek Sharma, Basil Thampi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Billy Stanlake, Jonny Bairstow, Kane Williamson, Manish Pandey, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Sandeep Sharma, Shahbaz Nadeem, Shreevats Goswami, Siddarth Kaul, Khaleel Ahmed, T Natarajan, Vijay Shankar, Wriddhiman Saha, Virat Singh, Priyam Garg, Mitchell Marsh, Sandeep Bavanaka, Fabian Allen, Abdul Samad, Sanjay Yadav

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli (Captain), Parthiv Patel, AB de Villiers, Chris Morris, Yuzvendra Chahal, Shivam Dubey, Aaron Finch, Umesh Yadav, Adam Zampa, Washington Sundar, Navdeep Saini, Mohammed Siraj, Dale Steyn, Moeen Ali, Pawan Negi, Gurkeerat Mann Singh, Isuru Udana, Devdutt Padikkal, Shahbaz Ahamad, Joshua Philippe, Pavan Deshpande

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Bubble life is very challenging: David Warner

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David-Warner

Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) captain David Warner is one of the players who traded one bio-bubble for another when he came to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Warner as part of the Australian team that toured England for three ODIs and three T20Is between September 4 and 16.

“Bubble life is very challenging,” Warner said at his pre-IPL press conference. “It is the hardest thing not to have family with us due to restrictions. But these are unprecedented times due to Covid-19. The BCCI and the organisers have done a fantastic job by putting this up.

“Obviously the next few months will be challenging. In Australia, we can go out, play golf and drive a car. Hopefully, we can do some recreational stuff [here too]. But first and foremost is that the tournament gets going. It makes a difference.”

SRH are expected to bank on Warner and Jonny Bairstow at the top of the order once again to provide the runs. “It’s good to play alongside him,” said Warner.

“We know each other’s game well. We have a good understanding like I have with Finchy [Aaron Finch] for Australia. Looking forward to good opening partnerships with him.”

SRH start their campaign this season against Royal Challengers Bangalore on Monday at the Dubai International Stadium.

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