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Saturday,26-September-2020

National

‘Back at it’: Cheteshwar Pujara returns to training following long break

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Cheteshwar Pujara

India middle-order batsman Cheteshwar Pujara on Monday returned to training following a long break which was put forward by the coronavirus pandemic. He uploaded couple of pictures on his social media handle, wearing pads and with the bat in hand.A

His Instagram post read: “Back at it. Felt like a long time away but just as I took the stance felt as it was yesterday.”

Pujara will once again look to play an important role when India travel to Australia later this year for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. The four Tests of the series is currently scheduled to be played at Gabba, Adelaide Oval (Day-night Test), MCG and the SCG respectively, starting December 3.

Pujara recently spoke about the prospect of playing Day-night Test in Australia and stated that Indian fast-bowlers will be eager to have a go at the pink ball in overseas conditions.

“(Jasprit) Bumrah, (Mohammed) Shami and Ishant (Sharma) already have experience of playing with the pink ball. I’m sure all of them are eager to play with it, they must have enjoyed a lot in the Eden Gardens Test. Bowling with the pink ball in Australian conditions I am sure will be a great feeling for all our fast bowlers,” Pujara said on Sony Ten Pit Stop which was aired on the network’s Facebook page.A

India played their first ever Day-night Test last year against Bangladesh at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata. Pujara said that playing with the pink ball will be a challenge for a newcomer who is used to playing with the red SG ball in the Indian domestic circuit.A

“It’s different from what we are used to with red ball. The format is the same but the pace of the ball and visibility is quite different. As a batsman you need to get used to it. You need to have net sessions and in domestic cricket it’s not easy,” Pujara said.

“Players who are given a chance to play for India are used to the red SG balls so they are ready for a red ball Test match. But then they will not have too much experience with the pink ball so I think it will be a challenge for a youngster to come in and play a pink ball Test.A

“But yes, those who have already played with it in a domestic tournament and those that have played the pink ball Test, they may get more used to it but it’s a different challenge altogether for a batsman.”

National

Anil Kumble imprint in KXIP win: Two leg-spinners in XI

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Anil-Kumble

Kings XI Punjab’s landslide win over the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) on Thursday had the Kumble imprint all over it. A former world-class leg-spinner, Anil Kumble, the head coach, picked two leggies in the XI — Murugan Ashwin and Ravi Bishnoi – and they did not disappoint as they equally shared six of the 10 RCB wickets to fall.

Ashwin bagged 2/13 in three overs and Bisnoi 3/23 in four overs as the RCB, seeking their first IPL title, capitulated and collapsed for 109 in 17 overs while chasing 206. For that matter, K.L. Rahul’s KXIP are also in search of their maiden IPL crown.

The choice of two leg-spinner is believed to be the brainchild of Kumble. This decision came after the reverse KXIP suffered against Delhi Capitals in their opening game that went into the Super Over decider after the scores were tied. In that game, the second spinner in the XI was an off-spinner, Krishnappa Gowtham, who conceded 39 runs in four overs and failed to take a wicket.

It’s a myth that leg-spinners are not fit to T20 cricket. Amit Mishra, for example, has bagged three hat-tricks in the IPL and has been a pretty successful bowler for the Delhi (97 wickets in 92 matches), Deccan Chargers (32 in 28), and SunRisers Hyderabad (28 in 27).

Interestingly, Kumble and captain Rahul come from the same city, Bangalore, speak the same mother tongue, Kannada, and this familiarity and bonding has clearly helped the team. Actually, the members of the Punjab team speak four languages for communication – English, Hindi, Kannada, and Punjabi – and that could have also contributed its bit.

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I am not being sexist or blaming Anushka: Sunil Gavaskar

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Anushka-Sharma

My comments on Anushka Sharma, Bollywood actor and wife of Royal Challengers Bangalore and India captain Virat Kohli, has been misinterpreted, former India captain and commentator Sunil Gavaskar clarified on Friday.

Gavaskar faced the ire on social media for a remark he made on Anushka helping Kohli with his practice during the lockdown, with the actress herself demanding an explanation from the legendary former India captain in a post on her social media handle.

“As you hear from the commentary, Aakash [Chopra] and I were doing commentary for an Hindi channel. And Aakash was talking abot the fact that there has been very little chance for proper practice for everybody. That has actually shown in the rustiness of some of the players in their first matches,” Gavaskar told India Today.

“Rohit [Sharma] didn’t strike the ball well in his first match, MSD [Mahendra Singh Dhoni] didn’t strike the ball well, Virat [Kohli] also didn’t strike the ball. Most of the batsmen have because of the lack of practice,” he said.

Gavaskar further explained. “That was the point that was being made. Virat also had no practice and the only practice that they had when they were seen them playing in their building compund and Anushka was bowling to him. That’s what I said,” he said.

“She was bowling to him, that’s all. Where am I blaming her? Where am I being sexist in this? I am just stating what was seen in the video which was maybe recorded by somebody in the neighbouring buildings and then put up. That’s the only thing I am doing.”

Gavaskar said that the point he was trying to make was that there was “no practice for anybody, including Virat in the lockdown”.

“I am not being sexist. If somebody, has interpreted it, what can I do?” he said. “I would like to say it again: Where am I blaming her? I am not blaming her. I am only saying that the video said that she was bowling to Virat. Virat has played only that bowling during the lockdown period. It’s a tennis ball, a fun game that people have to pass time [with] during the lockdown. That’s all. Where am I blaming her for Virat’s failures?”

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CSK win toss and elect to bowl against DC, Mishra replaces Ravichandran Ashwin

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Shreyas-Iyer

Chennai Super Kings on Friday elected to bowl after winning the toss ahead of their match against Delhi Capitals at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium. DC captain Shreyas Iyer confirmed that spinner Ravichandran Ashwin is out for the next “two-three matches” after dislocating his shoulder in their dramatic opening game against Kings XI Punjab.

CSK captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said that Lungi Ngidi makes way for Josh Hazlewood and DC skipper Shreyas Iyer said that Amit Mishra replaces Ashwin in the team. Avesh Khan will also be playing for the Delhi-based side, replacing Mohit Sharma.

Delhi Capitals (Playing XI): Prithvi Shaw, Shikhar Dhawan, Shimron Hetmyer, Shreyas Iyer (captain), Rishabh Pant(wicketkeeper), Marcus Stoinis, Axar Patel, Kagiso Rabada, Amit Mishra, Anrich Nortje, Avesh Khan

Chennai Super Kings (Playing XI): Murali Vijay, Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (wicketkeeper,captain), Sam Curran, Ravindra Jadeja, Josh Hazlewood, Deepak Chahar, Piyush Chawla

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