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Friday,25-September-2020

National

Am ready to unleash special deliveries in IPL T20: Kuldeep Yadav

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India's-Kuldeep-Yadav

Unfazed by pressure of expectations after an underwhelming IPL show last season, Kolkata Knight Riders’ Chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav says he is ready to unleash a few new tricks with the ball tailored for the T20 format when the Indian Premier League (IPL) starting on September 19.

Statistically, IPL 2019 was the spinner’s worst IPL season, when he picked just four wickets in nine games at a poor economy rate of 8.66. This led to him getting dropped by KKR for the business-end of the competition. The team finished fifth and failed to qualify for the playoffs for the first time since 2015.

Kuldeep last played a T20 game for India in January against Sri Lanka in Indore. The 25-year old bowler from Uttar Pradesh was part of India’s ODI side which played New Zealand in Hamilton on February 5, before the COVID-19 pandemic brought the world to a standstill.

“I have worked on a few deliveries especially for the T20 format. It will be there for all to see during the IPL,” Kuldeep revealed to IANS in an exclusive interview from Abu Dhabi.

Kuldeep said that his chances of success would be enhanced by helpful conditions in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) coupled with his seamless acclimatisation to the sultry conditions in India.

“These conditions suit me. It is very hot here. When I was at home, it was the same… hot and humid. So, I did not feel the heat that much here,” he said. “From that point of view, I am happy. If you talk about the wicket, I am happy as we expect spin friendly wickets. So, I can get a lot of advantage here.”

Asked about the takeaways from a forgettable IPL season, Kuldeep said he does not rush things anymore and is more willing to accept failure which in the long run helps in becoming a better player.

“You need to plan every time. The experience is very important. At the same time, you always get time to do a certain thing. You should not rush it. There are chances of mistakes if you rush things. Cricket is such a game where you cannot do well all the time. You have to face failure. Only then you become a good player,” he said.

“This experience is something I will learn from, what happened to me last time in the IPL. It happens to everybody. Struggle is a part of the game. It should not be hyped in such a manner which affects performance. People will talk. A player should not be judged on that basis. You rarely get to see the effort put in. It works sometimes and doesn’t at certain times,” said Kuldeep, who burst onto the limelight with a four-for against Australia in Dharamsala on debut in 2017.

As an established regular India player, Kuldeep is looked up to in the KKR ranks to deliver the goods.

Is there pressure of expectation? “I don’t take it as a pressure. Yes there are expectations from the fans, family and team. You always want to live up to that. I don’t have pressure but I do want to meet the expectations and take the team forward,” said Kuldeep who by now has played six Tests, 60 ODIs and 21 T20s.

“As a senior player, you always want to perform and fans also expect the same. So, you do feel nervous maybe, but I don’t take it as pressure,” he emphasised.

National

KXIP vs RCB: We have our plans for Kohli & Co, says Anil Kumble

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Anil-Kumble

Kings XI Punjab had lost their opening Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 encounter against Delhi Capitals by the slimmest of margins.

Against DC, Kings XI rode on Mayank Agarwal’s blistering 60-ball 89 to approach the 158-run target on Sunday. While other batsmen failed to leave an impact, it was Mayank who single-handedly propelled Kings XI and very nearly sealed a win. However, just when the KL Rahul-led side was on the brink of a win, needing just one off three deliveries, they ended up losing two wickets and eventually the contest slipped into the Super Over. Later, in the Super Over, Kagiso Rabada ensured the night belonged to the Delhi side.

Kings XI head coach Anil Kumble, however, feels there were a lot of positives to take from the defeat and all the team needs to do is make sure they rectify the mistakes committed against Delhi Capitals when they take on Royal Challengers Bangalore on Thursday evening.

“RCB has a very strong batting lineup with Virat (Kohli), AB (de Villiers) and Aaron Finch, (all) very experienced as well. Young (Devdutt) Padikkal batted really well for them in the last game. But we have our plans,” Kumble said in a video posted on the official Twitter handle of Kings XI.

“I think we have the ability to put it across, so it all depends on the day who plays well. Our preparations over the last one month has been really good and we are very positive after the Delhi Capitals game as to what we need to do and what are the corrections that we need to make,” he added.

Kings XI and RCB have faced each other 24 times in the IPL so far and both sides have won 12 games each. However, the Kohli-led side would enter the game – to be played at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium – a lot more confident considering they won their previous game against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH).

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National

Team India fitness levels behind others, Virat Kohli tells PM

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Modi with Kohli.

Virat Kohli, captain of the Indian cricket team, on Thursday admitted that while the fitness standards of the side has improved, they are still behind when compared with other teams in the world.

While interacting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the Fit India Dialogue, Kohli spoke about the importance of fitness and proper diet to deal with the fast-paced nature of the world.

During the online session, PM Modi, among other things, inquired Kohli about the Yo-Yo test and whether the Indian skipper is also required to be part of the exercise.

“Sir, the test (Yo-yo) is very important considering the fitness point of view. When you’re looking at the global fitness levels and standards, our team’s level is still below that of the other teams. However, we are looking to take that higher, it’s a basic requirement,” Kohli said.

“T20Is and ODIs get over in a day. However, when you’re talking about a Test match, we have to play five days, play one full day, get back and return refreshed for the next day’s play. Considering this, the fitness benchmark is very important,” he added.

The Indian skipper further said he always takes the initiative and runs first for the test. “There is a condition, if I fail the test, I will also not be available for selection. I think this system and culture need to be set.

“Overall, the fitness level of the team is important. Our fast bowlers, who are the best in the world right now, are now able to give their full effort even on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th days. We always had the skill, but in crucial moments, our performances used to dip. The opposition team used to win.

“These days, due to our fitness, we are able to capitalise on the crucial moments of the game. The results are coming because of this. This benchmark is very important for elite sportsmen,” he added.

In a candid moment during their conversation, the prime minister also questioned the India captain whether Delhi’s Chhole Bhature business is suffering, considering Kohli – who has now turned into a vegan — has been staying away from his favourite street food.

In response, Kohli broke into laughter and said during his growing days, he was eating bad and trying out a lot of street food but the demands of the sport helped him understand the importance of staying fit.

“We were discussing a few minutes back, our native diet, the food from our region, I have noticed we have not had any health issues with it. From my own experience, I have seen my grandmother, she is very healthy. She eats simple home-cooked food. When I was growing up, I used to eat a lot of street food. Whenever I used to go play, I used to eat outside a lot. From a health point of view, I realised it wasn’t good,” the 31-year-old said

“Physical fitness and diet, focusing on these things brought about the changes in me. Just like our sport, our lives have also gotten faster and demanding. If we are not keeping up with it then we will be left behind,” he added.

Kohli is currently leading Royal Challengers Bangalore in the United Arab Emirates in their quest for their maiden title in the Indian Premier League.

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National

Honoured to be part of PM Modi’s Fit India Dialogue: Virat Kohli

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Virat-Kohli

Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli has stated that he is honoured to be part of the Fit India Dialogue — being organised to celebrate the first anniversary of the Fit India Movement — where he will be interacting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with other renowned fitness influencers on Thursday.

“I am honoured to be a part of our Honourable Prime Minister’s Fit India Dialogue where you can watch me talk about fitness and more,” said Kohli on his official Twitter handle.

The influencers who will share their thoughts on fitness and health include Kohli, Milind Soman, Paralympian gold medalist Devendra Jhajharia, nutrition expert Rujuta Diwekar, Afshan Ashiq – a woman footballer from Jammu and Kashmir who now trains other girls in football, Swami Shivadhyanam Saraswati – an alumni of IIT and MIT who will be representing the Bihar School of Yoga and Bharatiya Shikshan Mandal’s Mukul Kanitkar, who is renowned for his research for National Resurgence and is a educationist, among others. Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju will also be present at the event.

Soman, who is one of the biggest fitness influencers and a winner of the Ironman competition, said that he’s keen to share his fitness mantra with the whole country through the Fit India Dialogue. “I have been a proponent of doing simple things and therefore, in the presence of our Prime Minister, I will speak on simple ways to be healthy and fit at any age,” he said.

There will be plenty of anecdotes and tips shared by the participants on their own fitness journey during the online event.

The Fit India Movement envisioned by the prime minister and launched by him on August 29, 2019, has seen a collective participation of more than 3.5 crore Indians in various events, with more than 2.5 crore participants in the Fit India Freedom Run that was launched on August 15, 2019, with a digital footprint of 30 crore people.

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