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Tuesday,20-October-2020

National

Andre Russell’s weakness against short delivery letting KKR down

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Andre-Russell

Andre Russell’s poor run with the bat in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 season invited criticism from fellow West Indian and batting legend Brian Lara, who felt Russell’s inability to cope with short deliveries is being exploited by opposition teams.

The Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) all-rounder was dismissed for just 12 during the match against Mumbai Indians (MI) on Friday night.

Russell, who has over 5,600 runs in his T20 career, has aggregated just 83 in eight matches and is averaging only 11.85 in the league this season.

On Friday night, Jasprit Bumrah also used a short delivery that he couldn’t duck under. Wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock took an easy catch to send him back.

MI skipper Rohit later said that he had planned to target Russell with Bumrah, who had also got him in the first duel of the season between the two teams.

“I believe a lot in match-ups, we have got success as a team (doing it) – understanding the match-ups is important but we need to be instinctive at times. Krunal and Rahul also bowled to Russell, I took a chance with the ball gripping and turning, but I knew Bumrah was the go-to guy against him,” Rohit said after the match.

Lara, who is a TV expert, said that Russell has been found out. “I think he has been found out. Wherever he goes around the world, they tend to bounce him out,” said Lara during the mid-match show.

Against Chennai Super Kings, in an earlier game, Russell was dismissed by Shardul Thakur’s short delivery with MS Dhoni taking the catch. In the match against Delhi Capitals, Rabada got him with a short and fast delivery.

In other games too, bowlers have looked to attack him with short-pitched deliveries, the pressure forcing him to back away and give catches to fielders.

National

Judo is a priority sport, will enhance capacity: Kiren Rijiju

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Kiren-Rijiju

Indian Judo team will be participating in the Budapest Grand Slam — which contributes to the Olympic qualification — between October 23 and October 25. This will be the first tournament that the Indian judokas will be playing since the nationwide lockdown was imposed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ahead of the departure for Hungary, Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju on Monday met the contingent which comprises five judokas — Tulika Mann, Avtar Singh, Vijay Yadav, Jasleen Singh Saini and Sushila Devi — and coach Jiwan Sharma.

The Sports Minister wished the contingent luck for the tournament and said preparations are in place to ensure that a strong talent pool emerges for the 2024 and 2028 Olympics.

“The team is leaving for Hungary today and I am hopeful that some of the athletes will qualify. Judo is a priority sport for us and we will enhance capacity both in terms of training facilities and coaches,” said Rijiju.

“The idea is to extend full support to the elite athletes while building up a talent pool of young athletes who can compete in the Olympics of 2024 and 2028. We will discuss a more exhaustive roadmap with the federation and plan ahead,” he added.

Jasleen, world number 56 and a good prospect to qualify for next year’s Olympics, said, “This will be the first tournament we will be played after the Covid-19 lockdown.”

“We used to play every month earlier, so it is really good to be playing again. From the entire Judo fraternity, would like to thank the Sports Ministry, Sports Authority of India and the Judo Federation of India for organising this for us,” he added.

Around 645 competitors from around 81 countries will be participating in this tournament and the contingent is enthusiastic to be back in action in competitive sport after such a long break.

Sushila, the highest ranked women’s judoka in the contingent — ranked 41 in the world and an Olympic hopeful — said, “This is the first time we have met the Sports Minister and he is really doing a lot for sports in India so with his encouragement, we are feeling very motivated. It is good to play once again after the lockdown and would like to thank SAI for the support in getting this international exposure organised for us. We will try to give our best.”

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What spark did you see in Jadhav, Chawla: Kris Srikkanth asks Dhoni

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Kris-Srikkanth

Former Indian cricketer Kris Srikkanth slammed ace skipper MS Dhoni’s mantra on selection following Chennai Super Kings’ seventh defeat in 10 matches in the ongoing IPL and termed the latter’s selections throughout the season as “ridiculous”.

“What is Dhoni’s deal? He says N. Jagadeesan doesn’t have spark, but does ‘scooter’ (Kedar) Jadhav have that spark? This is ridiculous. I will not accept this answer today. All this talk of process and Chennai’s tournament itself is over,” Srikkanth told Star Sports Tamil.

“I will never accept what Dhoni is saying about this process,” said Srikkanth. “This process he keeps talking about is meaningless. You keep talking about process, process… but the process of selection itself is wrong.”

Srikkanth’s outburst came after CSK suffered a seven-wicket loss against Rajasthan Royals on Monday evening. After the game, Dhoni told official broadcaster Star Sports that the youngsters in the team had not showed him the kind of “spark” that would have warranted their inclusion in the side.

Jagadeesan’s case was singled out as he featured in just one game in the CSK XI against RCB when he scored 33.

“Dhoni now says that since the pressure is off, he’ll give the youngsters a chance. Come on yaar. I don’t understand this rubbish about the process at all. What spark didn’t he see in Jagadeesan? What spark did he see in Jadhav and Piyush Chawla?

“Karn Sharma at least took wickets. Chawla simply goes through the motions of bowling, coming on when the game is already lost. Dhoni may be a pistha (big shot) and there is no doubt he is great, but I cannot agree with him or accept this,” said the former Indian opener.

The three-time champions have six points from 10 games and are currently placed at the bottom of the points table. They next play Mumbai Indians on Friday.

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National

MS Dhoni becomes first to play 200 IPL matches

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MS-Dhoni

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) skipper MS Dhoni became the first cricketer to play 200 Indian Premier League (IPL) matches when his side took the field against Rajasthan Royals here on Monday.

Asked about the feat at the toss, Dhoni said that he was unaware until the commentator pointed it out.

“You spoke about it and that’s how I got to know. It feels good but at the same time it’s just a number. I feel fortunate to play for such a long time without many injuries,” he said.

The former India captain, who has led the Chennai franchise to three IPL titles and eight appearances in finals and had also played a few games for Rising Pune Supergiant, has been struggling to revive his team this season.

Ahead of the Chennai Super Kings’ game against Rajasthan Royals, Dhoni had 4568 runs in the league, which put him at No. 7 in the top run-getters’ list and he leads the wicketkeepers’ list with 145 dismissals, including 106 catches and 39 matches.

Despite losing the majority of the matches this season, Dhoni still remains the only captain with over 100 IPL wins.

Sanjay Bangar, the former India batting coach, praised Dhoni’s leadership in a TV show ahead of Monday’s match.

“He is always there to help the youngsters. His door is open to everyone. He doesn’t force anything on anyone. He knows how to handle the youngsters,” said Bangar.

Dhoni though averages just 27.2 this season with the bat, which is the lowest except in 2017. He is yet to score a half-century.

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