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Sunday,20-June-2021

National

Bengaluru FC to forget past, look ahead with hope: Sunil Chhetri

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Sunil Chhetri and his boys will look to forget the disappointments of the last season and make a fresh start when the Indian Super League (ISL) club Bengaluru FC takes on Nepalese side Tribhuvan Army FC in the AFC Cup Preliminary Round 2 clash in Bambolim, Goa on Wednesday.

Bengaluru FC, who won the ISL in 2018-19, finished seventh in the previous season — their worst showing since becoming a part of the ISL in 2017-18. Under new German coach Marco Pezzaiuoli, the side would want to script a new chapter in the prestigious continental competition.

On his team’s chances, Bengaluru FC skipper Chhetri said that despite being very ambitious and positive about the upcoming outings, the team would take “one game at a time and not take the opposition lightly”.

“We are taking it one game at a time. Generally, when I say this, we are the dominant side and it is meant to make us stay humble. But this time, I’m saying it and I mean it. We watched Tribhuvan in their last game, and they play quite well. You could see their unity in training. They must have stayed together for a long time,” Chhetri, who is now fully recovered from a bout of Covid-19, said on Monday.

The striker, who missed India’s two international friendlies, against Oman and UAE late last month due to Covid-19, added, “We are not thinking about the group stages or who we are going to play next. It’s about one game. And right now, it’s more about what the coach wants from us than about what the other team is doing.”

Regarding the preparations against the Nepalese side, which is made up of only domestic players, the India team striker said, “Ideally, we would have liked more time. We had to stop training after ISL 2020-21 and start again. Then stop and travel to Goa and quarantine and train again. But it’s exciting to have the fresh ideas the coach (Marco Pezzaiuoli) has brought in.”

Chhetri, who emerged as the highest-scoring Indian in the recently concluded ISL season with eight goals, said the side could benefit immensely from the ideas of the German coach.

“It is a very positive change at the club. The youngsters are enjoying it. You can see all the nervousness and the jitters go and a stable confident outlook coming about. A new manager has no prejudice. There is no previous baggage of what one can do and one cannot.”

National

Andhra Pradesh CM condoles Milkha Singh’s demise

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Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy on Saturday expressed his grief over the demise of Milkha Singh, former Indian track and field sprinter.

“Milkha Singh has been an inspiration to many young athletes and will continue to remain so,” said Reddy about Singh, who was popularly known as the ‘Flying Sikh’.

The Chief Minister recalled that Singh took India to Olympic glory with his achievements as a track and field star.

Reddy conveyed his condolences to the bereaved family members.

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Bollywood

Farhan Akhtar mourns Milkha Singh’s death: You represented a dream

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Actor Farhan Akhtar, who played Milkha Singh in the film “Bhaag Milkha Bhaag”, has mourned the death of the legendary Indian athlete, who passed away aged 91 after a long battle with Covid-19.

Farhan posted a picture on Instagram posing with Milkha, who was popularly known as the ‘Flying Sikh’.

The actor penned a note saying that he refuses to accept that Milkha Singh is no more.

Farhan wrote: “Dearest Milkha ji, A part of me is still refusing to accept that you are no more. Maybe it’s the stubborn side I inherited from you.. the side that when it sets it’s mind on something, just never gives up.

“And the truth is that you will always be alive. Because you were more than a large hearted, loving, warm, down to earth man. You represented an idea. You represented a dream. You represented (to use your own words) how hard work, honesty and determination can lift a person off his knees and get him to touch the sky. “

Farhan said that the legendary athlete touched everyone’s lives.

“For those who knew you as a father and a friend, it was a blessing. For those who didn’t, your story was a constant source of inspiration and a reminder of humility in success. I love you with all my heart,” he concluded.

Directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, “Bhaag Milkha Bhaag”, biographical sports drama is based on the life of Milkha Singh.

Milkha Singh passed away in a local hospital in Chandigarh at 11.30 p.m. on Friday, read a statement from the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education & Research (PGIMER), where he was being treated for Covid-related complications.

He is survived by a son, ace golfer Jeev Milkha Singh, and three daughters.

Six days ago, on June 13, Milkha’s wife Nirmal passed away.

A former India volleyball captain, she was 85, and she, too, was affected by Covid and related complications.

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National

India should have had a fast-bowling all-rounder in playing XI: Amit Mishra

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Veteran leg-spinner and a member of the Indian Premier League (IPL) side Delhi Capitals, Amit Mishra feels that while the India playing XI for the World Test Championship (WTC) final against New Zealand “looks great”, a fast-bowling all-rounder could have further strengthened the side.

The first day of the WTC final at Ageas Bowl in Southampton on Friday was washed out because of rain and players would be hoping to get back to action later on Saturday.

“The playing XI looks great. We have Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin, two excellent spinners who can also contribute with the bat. Ashwin and Jadeja’s batting skills will help India a lot. I think India could have named a fast-bowling all-rounder in the playing XI, someone who could have bowled six-seven overs when the regular pacers are tired and the ball is swinging,” Mishra told JK 24×7 news.

Noting that the Kane Williamson-led New Zealand had an advantage in this department, Mishra, who has played 22 Tests and taken 76 wickets, said, “I think it would have been better if India included a fast-bowling all-rounder. New Zealand have a fast-bowling all-rounder in their squad, so this is the one advantage that the Blackcaps have.”

Indian are fielding two spinners — Ashwin and Jadeja — and the pace trio of Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah in the WTC final.

Mishra also said that India’s batting was stronger than its bowling.

“I think India’s batting line-up is stronger than the bowling unit. If you consider the all-rounders, we bat very deep. Only the three fast bowlers do not bat. So, I feel the batting is stronger.”

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