Four-time IPL champions Chennai Super Kings will take on five-time winners Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium on Thursday hoping to salvage some pride in an otherwise dismal season, which has seen the two giants of the league dish out their worst performance in the tournament’s 15 years of existence.
While the Rohit Sharma-led Mumbai Indians are out of contention, the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led CSK only have a mathematical possibility of making the last-four as they languish in ninth place with just eight points from 11 outings.
The Super Kings will enter the match after beating the Delhi Capitals by 91 runs in their previous encounter.
Their charismatic batter from New Zealand Devon Conway has been in good form and has scored three consecutive half-centuries. Dwayne Bravo leads the charts with the ball and has scalped 16 wickets thus far.
When these two sides met each other last time, a Dhoni special helped the Super Kings beat Mumbai Indians by three wickets. Dhoni scored 16 runs off the final four deliveries to help his side past the finish line.
In the 15 matches that have taken place in this stadium, the team chasing has emerged triumphant on eight occasions, with the average first innings score at this venue this season being 173.
Chennai Super Kings: MS Dhoni (capt and WK), Ravindra Jadeja, Robin Uthappa, Moeen Ali, Ambati Rayudu, Chris Jordan, Subhranshu Senapati, Dwaine Pretorius, Mukesh Choudhary, Tushar Deshpande, Shivam Dube, Dwayne Bravo, Devon Conway, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Mitchell Santner, Hari Nishaanth, N Jagadeesan, Prashant Solanki, KM Asif, Simarjeet Singh, Rajvardhan Hangargekar, Maheesh Theekshana, Bhagath Varma, Matheesha Pathirana.
Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (C), Ishan Kishan (Wk), Kieron Pollard, Jasprit Bumrah, Tim David, Jaydev Unadkat, Riley Meredith, Daniel Sams, Fabian Allen, Mayank Markande, Murugan Ashwin, Basil Thampi, Anmolpreet Singh, Dewald Brevis, Tilak Varma, Aryan Juyal (Wk), Arjun Tendulkar, Ramandeep Singh, Rahul Buddhi, Hrithik Shokeen, Sanjay Yadav, Arshad Khan, Tristan Stubbs.
Chennaiyin FC sign Ghanaian footballer Kwame Karikari for upcoming ISL season
Indian Super League (ISL) side Chennaiyin FC have bolstered their attack by signing forward Kwame Karikari ahead of the upcoming season.
The Ghanaian footballer will be joining the club following an impressive outing in the Thai League for Nakhonratchasima Mazda. He scored 13 goals in 29 league matches for the Thai club last season.
Karikari was also the joint second-highest goal scorer for Mazda in the Thai FA cup with four strikes in six games.
Karikari brings in valuable experience to Chennaiyin’s attack, having played 261 games in his 11-year long professional career with 84 goals and 13 assists to his name.
The striker has plied his trade for 12 clubs in eight top-tier leagues across the world.
He also has two Europa League goals to his name, which came against CSKA Moscow and PSV Eindhoven in 2012.
Talking about the club’s third foreign signing this summer, Chennaiyin FC co-owner Vita Dani said, “I would like to welcome Kwame Karikari to the Chennaiyin family. I think he’s got the technical ability and the physicality to succeed in India. We have had many great forwards at this club and I believe Kwame should be able to match those standards.”
Karikari has spent most of his time in the Swedish league, featuring for AIK Solna, with whom he made his professional debut at 19 in 2011. He played 58 matches, including seven Europa League games, for them and scored 10 goals across competitions in five seasons.
Halmstads and Degerfors were the other Swedish clubs Karikari turned out for.
“I am very happy to join Chennaiyin FC. I cannot wait to get started with the new team and I am really looking forward to this new and exciting challenge,” said Karikari, who also represented Ghana at the U-20 Africa Cup.
It was in 2015 when Karikari made a permanent move out of Sweden and joined Turkish side, Balikesirspor. He played 40 matches for them in two seasons, registering 12 goals and five assists. Later he turned out for clubs in countries like Norway, Qatar, Georgia and Uzbekistan.
He was part of Dinamo Tabilisi’s title-winning campaign in the 2018-19 Georgian league.
Nadal says he is optimistic about competing at Wimbledon
Spanish tennis stalwart Rafael Nadal has raised hopes that he will compete at this year’s Wimbledon, saying his left-foot injury is showing signs of improvement, and that he will head to the United Kingdom soon.
“I’m happy. I haven’t limped for a week and the evolution of training is progressing,” said the winner of 22 Grand Slams here.
“From day to day the pain has been different and that’s progress. I have to wait a little. My intention is to try and play Wimbledon and this week has told me there is a chance,” added the 36-year-old, who clinched his 14th title at Roland Garros recently.
Nadal plans to travel to London on Monday to prepare for the third Grand Slam of the year.
“I’ve had two treatment sessions, as was planned. At the moment the progress, as I see it, is satisfactory,” Nadal was quoted as saying by atptour.com
Nadal had spoken about the foot troubles after winning the French Open, saying he had to periodically take injections to soothe the nerves of his injured foot.
Nadal has been nursing a foot injury for a long time, which flares up occasionally and has caused him to miss several tournaments in the last couple of years.
Speaking about the condition of his foot post the French Open title triumph, Nadal had said, “I was able to play during these two weeks with extreme conditions. I have been playing with injections on the nerves to sleep the foot, and that’s why I was able to play during these two weeks. Because I have no feelings on my foot, because my doctor was able to put anaesthetic injections on the nerves. That takes out the feeling on my foot. But at the same time, it’s a big risk in terms of less feelings, a little bit bigger risk of turning your ankle.”
Soon there was speculation the Nadal might not compete at Wimbledon, but he expressed cautious optimism on Friday eveing, saying, “I’m prudent because I know that things change. At the moment, I’ve been able to train over these five days. That’s progress and it allows me to return to Wimbledon after three years. I’m excited about it. It’s a question of taking it day by day, but giving myself a chance to compete.”
The Spaniard has not graced the lawns of Wimbledon since 2019, when he reached the semifinals losing to Roger Federer. “I haven’t played on grass for three years, you have to be patient with the progress. Every day I’ve improved and there is one week left of training in London before starting the tournament. I hope I can use it to get competitive.
“It’s true that playing well at Roland Garros gives you confidence, but grass is a very difficult surface. Any round is complicated. The start of the tournament will be vital for me because, if you manage to progress, later the opponents are more difficult, but then you have more confidence because you’ve found your rhythm on grass,” he added.
IPL 2022: Umran Malik is a great find, can bowl even quicker with some technical improvements, believes Brett Lee
Former Australian fast bowler Brett Lee on Monday heaped huge praise on Umran Malik, saying that the youngster is a great find and can bowl even more quicker if he works on the few technical areas of his bowling in the future.
Many young Indian bowlers impressed the experts and fans with their sheer pace in the recently concluded IPL 2022 but Malik was the standout performer. The Sunrisers Hyderabad pacer had a breakout season as he picked 22 wickets in 14 matches and often clocked speeds in excess of 150 kmph. For his impressive performance in IPL 2022, Malik got the Emerging Player award.
“There have been many, who have been bowling some decent balls but I have been really impressed with Umran Mailk. I think he is a great find, a youngster hitting over 150 kph, so he has been very very impressive. And, I still believe he can go quicker, which is exciting not only for people like me but for many former cricketers who want to watch guys bowl fast, certainly for Indian cricket,” Lee told IANS at the sidelines of the Phoenix Business Advisory event in the national capital.
The Jammu and Kashmir pacer is still very young, raw and can improve a lot going further. The 45-year old Lee suggested a few key areas, where Malik can improve to become faster.
“There is something in his run-up that he can improve on, action, pulling down harder different parts of the wrist positions. But, the great thing is that one’s actions will never be perfect. My action was never perfect but I always tried to be the best version of me so up until the last ball I bowled before being retired, I was working on my action. So, one can keep improving every single day,” he said.
The Australian feels batters have taken their game to different levels in the last one decade or so and the bowlers are lagging behind. However, he is pleased to see guys hitting the 150 kmph mark in the IPL 2022.
“Over the last sort of fifteen years, I have noticed that batsmen are getting and hitting bigger shots, hitting bigger sixes more often and different kinds of shots have been developed and we have also seen pace being dropped and now we think that 140 kmph is fast. Now, what we have seen through this IPL, a few guys have hit the 150 kmph barrier, which is exciting and so I am up for it,” said Lee.
Asked about the advice for budding fast bowlers, the Australian said, “What makes a good fast bowler is a good sprinter. So, my advice to any young bowler, who wants to bowl on his bowling and become faster to become a good sprinter.”
Lee, who was recognised as one of the fastest bowlers in the world, also praised Hardik Pandya’s captaincy in the IPL, saying that the all-rounder led from the front. Skipper Hardik registered an impressive bowling figure of 3/17 with the ball and also played a crucial knock of 34 runs to guide Gujarat Titans to the IPL trophy in their debut season.
“I think he (Hardik) has been outstanding. His level of commitment to the team, I think with both bat and ball, has been brilliant and to see him take a couple of wickets last night to lead from the front was great,” the former Australian cricketer said.
“You know what you want from a great captain is leadership of course, respect, that someone that stands up and actually delivers, scores runs, takes wickets that’s what you want and Hardik has done. So, congratulations to him,” he added.
Lee, who is also the brand ambassador of Phoenix Business Advisory — a business visa immigration consultancy, also spoke about the company’s role in helping Indians increase their businesses in Australia.
“Phoenix Business Advisory is creating opportunities for high-net-worth individuals based here in India, to come out to Australia to further their business. I’ve been really lucky that every time I come to beautiful shows in India, I have been welcomed with open arms and we’re saying now, the opportunity to trade is open and a free trade agreement has been passed in Australia,” he said.
“There is a massive opportunity to invest and Phoenix just makes things so easy. It’s seamless, right from the time that you apply for that one visa to the end,” he concluded.
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