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Friday,24-September-2021

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Crowd gave me a hero’s feeling every time I bowled: Ravichandran Ashwin

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Ravichandran-Ashwin

Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin on Tuesday dedicated his Man-of-the-Match-winning all-round performance in the second Test against England to the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium ‘Chepauk’ crowd in his home city. He captured eight wickets in the match and scored a century to propel India to a 317-run win.

“I watched cricket from these very stands here in ‘Chepauk’ when I was eight or nine years old. My father would bring me here for any Test match and I would dream about getting a chance to walk on this ground or at least play one game,” said Ashwin in Tamil in the post-match presentation ceremony.

“I have played four Test matches here and easily this is the most special. What can I say…I get a hero’s feeling every time I bowled. In Covid times there was no cricket, so a knowledgable Chennai crowd came in numbers. This match I dedicate to the Chennai crowd. We were 1-0 down without crowd and with the crowd we made it 1-1. There will be crowd in Ahmedabad, so hopefully we can take it forward,” he said in Tamil.

Besides his five wickets in the first innings, Ashwin took three more in the scored. In the first innings, he scored his fifth Test century.

While the pitch for the second Test drawing polarised reactions from former players and commentators for the amount of turn it offered for spinners from the first day, Ashwin said that it takes skill to take wickets in such conditions.

“Those balls that were doing so much weren’t getting the wickets; it was the mind getting the wickets. It’s not easy as it looks. I have been bowling for years and it takes a certain amount of pace and guile to do it,” he said.

Ashwin said that batsmen Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane and batting coach Vikram Rathour spoke to him while he was batting on the third day.

“I think keeping the intent was very, very important. I was having a chat with Rohit and the batting coach about the options to put pressure on the bowler than waiting for the loose balls. The first couple of sweeps I connected, I got a hang of the wicket,” he said.

“I’m someone who tries hard, and when it doesn’t go my way, I try harder. It’s not just Vikram alone; it was more about hands and getting through the ball, think tactically and not technically. Anjinkya told me I was overthinking, and that innings in Sydney set the tone for me.”

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KKR skipper Morgan fined Rs 24 lakh; others fined Rs 6 lakh each

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Eoin-Morgan

 Indian Premier League (IPL) side Kolkata Knight Riders have been fined after they maintained a slow over rate during their match against Mumbai Indians at the Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi on September 23 (Thursday).

“As it was the team’s second offence of the season under the IPL’s Code of Conduct relating to minimum over rate offences, Kolkata Knight Riders captain Eoin Morgan was fined Rs 24 lakhs,” an IPL statement said.

“The rest of the members of the playing XI were each fined lesser of either Rs 6 lakhs or 25 per cent of their individual match fee,” the statement added.

In the match against the Rohit Sharma-led Mumbai Indians, Rahul Tripathi and Venkatesh Iyer dazzled with the bat as the Kolkata franchise won by seven wickets.

While Iyer scored his maiden IPL fifty, Tripathi slammed an unbeaten 74 off 42 balls as KKR chased down the target with 4.5 overs to spare.

Needing 156 runs to win, KKR made a scintillating start, courtesy Shubman Gill and Iyer, and moved to 40 in 17 balls. However, the partnership was broken as Jasprit Bumrah disturbed the timber to send Gill packing.

Tripathi, who joined Iyer in the middle, made sure that KKR did not lose the momentum. The right-hander and Iyer added 23 runs in the final three overs of the powerplay as KKR moved to 63/1.

The big-hitting did not stop as Iyer and Tripathi continued to go after the MI bowlers, scoring 48 runs in the next four overs to take KKR to 111/1 after 10 overs. In the next over, the left-hander notched up a fine fifty – his first in the IPL – in 25 balls.

Tripathi then completed his half-century – seventh in the IPL – in the 12th over as KKR continued to make merry with the bat.

Morgan said later during the post-match press conference that, “It’s been a long time since we’ve played like this. Baz (coach Brendon McCullum) has taken over for almost two seasons, so the way we are playing is now getting into his style. To hold such a strong Mumbai team, and chase it down in the manner we did gives us confidence. We were trying to fit Iyer into the XI with a lot of talented guys, and its fantastic with the manner he has scored runs. We never put a number on him, on how many games he will get.”

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Coach Shastri hints that he might step down after T20 World Cup

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Ravi-Shastri

 Indian cricket team coach Ravi Shastri has given a big hint that he is likely to step down from the hot seat after the ICC T20 World Cup in the UAE and Oman when he said that “I believe one thing — never overstay your welcome.”

Shastri, who was squarely criticised for launching his new book in London and spreading the Covid-19 virus among the support staff two days before the fourth Test at The Oval, said on Saturday, “I believe so because I’ve achieved all I wanted,” when asked whether the ICC T20 World Cup would be his last outing with Team India as chief coach.

“Five years as No 1 (in Test cricket), to win in Australia twice, to win in England. I spoke to Michael Atherton earlier this summer and said: ‘For me, this is the ultimate — to beat Australia in Australia and win in England in Covid times.’ We lead England 2-1 and the way we played at Lord’s and the Oval was special,” Shastri told The Guardian.

“We’ve also beaten every country in the world in their own backyard in white-ball cricket. If we win the (T20) World Cup that will be the icing on the cake. There is nothing more. I believe one thing –never overstay your welcome. And I would say that, in terms of what I wanted to get out of the side, I’ve over-achieved. To beat Australia away and to lead the series in England in a Covid year? It is the most satisfying moment of my four decades in cricket,” said Shastri.

Within days of the book-launch function, where no masks were worn, Shastri had tested Covid-positive and went into isolation along with four members of his support staff. And when assistant physio Yogesh Parmar too tested positive, the players became anxious and finally the fifth and final Test in Manchester had to be called off.

“It was funny because in my 10 days I didn’t have a single symptom barring a little sore throat. I never had any temperature and my oxygen level was 99% all the time. I didn’t take any medication through 10 days of my isolation, not a single paracetamol. I tell the guys: ‘Once you’re double jabbed, it’s a bloody 10-day flu. That’s it,'” said Shastri.

On whether he discussed the emerging situation with players, Shastri replied, “No. I didn’t know who had got it (Covid-19). I didn’t know (the physio) got it suddenly and tested positive. He physically treated five or six players. I think that’s where the issue started. We were aware that the incubation period meant that someone might get it in the middle (of the Test). A lot of players had their families there. So it became a situation where you don’t know what that player is thinking. He’s got a young kid, you know, he’s got to think of them. It was a little, I would say, touchy.”

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Coach Shastri hints that he might step down after T20 World Cup

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Indian cricket team coach Ravi Shastri has given a big hint that he is likely to step down from the hot seat after the ICC T20 World Cup in the UAE and Oman when he said that “I believe one thing — never overstay your welcome.”

Shastri, who was squarely criticised for launching his new book in London and spreading the Covid-19 virus among the support staff two days before the fourth Test at The Oval, said on Saturday, “I believe so because I’ve achieved all I wanted,” when asked whether the ICC T20 World Cup would be his last outing with Team India as chief coach.

“Five years as No 1 (in Test cricket), to win in Australia twice, to win in England. I spoke to Michael Atherton earlier this summer and said: ‘For me, this is the ultimate — to beat Australia in Australia and win in England in Covid times.’ We lead England 2-1 and the way we played at Lord’s and the Oval was special,” Shastri told The Guardian.

“We’ve also beaten every country in the world in their own backyard in white-ball cricket. If we win the (T20) World Cup that will be the icing on the cake. There is nothing more. I believe one thing –never overstay your welcome. And I would say that, in terms of what I wanted to get out of the side, I’ve over-achieved. To beat Australia away and to lead the series in England in a Covid year? It is the most satisfying moment of my four decades in cricket,” said Shastri.

Within days of the book-launch function, where no masks were worn, Shastri had tested Covid-positive and went into isolation along with four members of his support staff. And when assistant physio Yogesh Parmar too tested positive, the players became anxious and finally the fifth and final Test in Manchester had to be called off.

“It was funny because in my 10 days I didn’t have a single symptom barring a little sore throat. I never had any temperature and my oxygen level was 99% all the time. I didn’t take any medication through 10 days of my isolation, not a single paracetamol. I tell the guys: ‘Once you’re double jabbed, it’s a bloody 10-day flu. That’s it,'” said Shastri.

On whether he discussed the emerging situation with players, Shastri replied, “No. I didn’t know who had got it (Covid-19). I didn’t know (the physio) got it suddenly and tested positive. He physically treated five or six players. I think that’s where the issue started. We were aware that the incubation period meant that someone might get it in the middle (of the Test). A lot of players had their families there. So it became a situation where you don’t know what that player is thinking. He’s got a young kid, you know, he’s got to think of them. It was a little, I would say, touchy.”

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