India batting coach Vikram Rathour acknowledged that all-rounders Shardul Thakur and Deepak Chahar have been working very hard on their batting skills. He added that the advantage with enhanced batting credentials of Chahar and Thakur helps the team management in flexibility of structuring the playing eleven.
In the absence of Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja in the white-ball side, Chahar and Thakur have stepped up with the bat, scoring half-centuries as part of lower-order in different times during ODIs against South Africa and West Indies.
“Both of them are batting well. The reason for that is both of them work really hard on their batting. It’s not now but in the past few years, they have been working and practising hard on their batting. Now, you can see the result. So, really good to have two all-rounders. That gives us a lot of flexibility in what kind of team you want to play with. It’s good to see the competition happening in the team as well. They will be competing and are batting well,” said Rathour in the virtual press conference.
In the recent ODI series against the West Indies, India had players like Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant get runs in the middle order. Rathour was pleased that different batters in the middle-order stepped up after the top-order fell early.
“It was good, the ODI series we played in Ahmedabad. The wicket was a little challenging and was little tricky. It was good to see people stepping up after losing early wickets. We still manged to put up decent scores and won the series 3-0. It’s good to see people like Surya, Shreyas, Pant doing well in the middle-order. It was good.”
“It’s always beneficial when batters are in form. The more are in form, the better it is for the team. I have never been really concerned for our middle-order batting. Lately, we had been doing well in ODIs and T20Is with our middle order. That never has been a concern.”
Rathour felt that Pant, who had surprisingly opened in the second ODI at Ahmedabad, can be used well in the middle order. “We have options in many players. Rishabh is a fantastic player. He can play good cricket at the top of the order but it really depends on what the team needs, what we are looking at and where the team wants Pant to bat.”
“I have no doubt that he will be in team post-2023 and will be a very important factor too but we can utilize him more precisely in the middle or lower order, which can be very challenging. Left-hander in the middle order, we don’t have much options. Whether he will be useful there or at the top, we cannot really comment on that.”
Rathour insisted that the world is yet to see the full capabilities of all-rounder Venkatesh Iyer with the bat. Iyer, dropped from the ODIs against the West Indies after debuting in South Africa, is a part of the upcoming T20I series, starting from February 16.
“We are yet to see full (abilities) of him. He’s a young kid who has come into the team. He’s newly arrived. So, coming to the selection, it is the job of selectors to pick the squad. Opportunities have started to come for him. He’s a very good player and we all hope that he will do well and establish himself in the team in any format. We haven’t taken a call yet where he can’t play. He can come in any format.”
Rathour signed off by saying that their main focus will be to win the T20I series first. “We haven’t been to the ground yet. We are yet to look at the conditions and once we assess it, we need to have a look at the balance of the team. I understand experimenting but we still have a series to win.”
“I am pretty sure that West Indies will be a very competitive team in this format. We need to see the balance and then see what we can do. We want to give opportunity to youngsters but the first thing is to start well and win the series.”
PM Narendra Modi Lays Foundation Stone For Rs.451 Crore International Cricket Stadium In Varanasi
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for the new International Cricket Stadium in Varanasi on September 23rd (Saturday). The likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Ravi Shastri, Dilip Vengsarkar, and Sunil Gavaskar were also present for the ceremony. The Prime Minister also went on to present an Indian team jersey to Tendulkar.
The state government, led by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, has remitted a whopping ₹121 crore for the purpose of land acquisition, while the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) shall put in ₹330 crore from their side for the iconic stadium’s construction. Some of the notable features that the stadium would have are trishul-shaped floodlights, drum-shaped media center, and crescent moon-shaped roof.
Meanwhile, the stone-laying ceremony witnessed some of the most top figures from the BCCI, including President Roger Binny, Vice-President Rajiv Shukla, and Secretary Jay Shah. This will also be the third international stadium in Uttar Pradesh, with Kanpur and Lucknow already having one.
“The sportspersons here will benefit from the construction of an international stadium” – Narendra Modi
Speaking at the ceremony, Modi stated that sports are no longer prohibited by the elders, unlike before, as it acts as an incentive in several ways. He said, as quoted by The Indian Express:
“This stadium in the city of ‘Mahadev’ will be dedicated to ‘Mahadev’ himself. The sportspersons here will benefit from the construction of an international stadium in Kashi. There was a time when parents used to scold their children for playing sports, but that is no longer true. When sports infrastructure is built in an area, it acts as an incentive not just for young sporting talent but also spurs the local economy.”
The stadium has a seating capacity of approximately 30000 and the construction of the same is likely to finish by December 2025.
Legends Including Sachin Tendulkar And Ravi Shastri Leave For Varanasi For Foundation Stone Laying Ceremony For New International Stadium In UP
Legendary Indian cricketers Sachin Tendulkar, Ravi Shastri, Sunil Gavaskar, and Dilip Vengsarkar on Saturday headed for Varanasi for the foundation stone laying ceremony of the international cricket stadium in Uttar Pradesh.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to lay the foundation stone of the International Cricket Stadium in Uttar Pradesh’s Varanasi on Saturday afternoon.
The Uttar Pradesh government led by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has spent Rs 121 crores on land acquisition for the construction of the International Cricket Stadium in Varanasi. Moreover, the BCCI will spend Rs 330 crores on the stadium’s construction.
The former India head coach Shashti on Saturday took to social media ‘X’, formerly known as Twitter, and wrote in a post, “Varanasi bound. Great to be amongst Greats and colleagues for Mumbai and India. Just a few international runs and wickets there. Pic of a lifetime. Gr8 memories.”
The thematic architecture of this stadium draws inspiration from Lord Shiva, with designs developed for crescent-shaped roof covers, trident-shaped floodlights, ghat steps-based seating, and Bilvipatra-shaped metallic sheets on the facade. The stadium will have a capacity of 30,000 spectators.
Veteran players like Tendulkar, Gavaskar, Shastri, Vengsarkar will be present at the foundation stone laying ceremony.
Uttar Pradesh to have its 3rd international stadium:
The event will also have the presence of key figures from the BCCI, including President Roger Binny, Vice President Rajiv Shukla, and Secretary Jay Shah, the release stated. Furthermore, many veteran players are expected to attend the foundation stone laying ceremony. After Kanpur and Lucknow, this will be Uttar Pradesh’s third international cricket stadium.
IND vs AUS: ‘Always Well Looked After And Well Protected’ As David Warner Feeling ‘Great’ To Be Back In India
The Australian cricket team has landed in India ahead of what will be their final dress rehearsal for the 2023 World Cup. Veteran Australian opener David Warner took to his official Instagram handle and expressed their gratefulness at landing in India. He also thanked GMR Aerocity for making their transit easy.
Warner will be one of the few players most in focus ahead of the ODI series, especially due to his inconsistency in the preceding rubber against South Africa. The left-hander made only two fifty-plus scores in five innings and threw away starts consistently.
The five-time World Champions will be keen to get back in the groove after missing an opportunity to win the series in South Africa despite a 2-0 lead. The middle-order batters, including Alex Carey and Marcus Stoinis will be under pressure for consistently failing against the Proteas. With Steve Smith back in the side and Australia set to field a full-strength attack, they should be in a good stead.
The 36-year-old took to his Instagram handle and wrote:
“Always great to be welcomed back to india. We are always well looked after and well protected. Thanks so much. @gmraerocity always makes our transits so easy.”
Australia won the three-game ODI series in India earlier this year:
Pat Cummins and co. should draw confidence from their success against the Men in Blue in their backyard earlier this year under the captaincy of Steve Smith. Nevertheless, India are an in-form team, having won the Asia Cup 2023.
However, the men’s team’s chief selector Chief selector Ajit Agarkar has announced resting Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli for the first two ODIs. KL Rahul will captain India in Mohali and Indore,
The opposition criticized the government after the death of 31 people, including 12 children, in Nanded hospital.
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