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Monday,02-August-2021

National

Dhoni’s leadership makes the difference for CSK in IPL: Sanjay Manjrekar

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CSK Skipper MS Dhoni

Cricketer-turned-commentator Sanjay Manjrekar believes M.S. Dhoni’s leadership is one of the greatest assets for Chennai Super Kings, adding that if the wicketkeeper-batsman can replicate last season’s performance, it would augur well for the team in next edition of the Indian Premier League.

In last edition of the IPL, where CSK finished as runners-up, Dhoni scored 416 runs at an average of 83.20 in the 15 matches he played.

CSK boasts of having experience in their side with the likes of Faf du Plessis, Shane Watson and Suresh Raina being there in the team. The Chennai-based franchise has won the title three times in 2010, 2011 and 2018 and would be looking for the fourth in next year’s season.

“CSK have always had senior players in their squad, they have Faf Du Plessis and Shane Watson at the top, they have got players like Ambati Rayudu and Suresh Raina at the middle, so a backup middle order batsman would be a good idea for them,” Manjrekar said while speaking at Star Sports show Game plan.

“Dhoni loves to take these chances with ageing players, his leadership eventually makes a difference and if he can replicate last season’s performance, it would be great for the team,” he added.

The auctions for next year’s IPL are slated to be held on December 19 in Kolkata and one of the lads who will be watched out will be Virat Singh. The middle-order batsman from Jharkhand was one of the standout performers in the just concluded Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. In 10 matches, Virat scored 343 runs at an average of 57.17.

Even in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, he finished with a strike rate above 100. The 21-year-old also showed glimpses of his talent in the Deodhar Trophy too, playing a game-changing 76 while batting alongside Axar Patel for India C against India B.

“If you look at his Deodhar trophy numbers, he (Virat Singh) is averaging at 80 and still striking at 101 and if he is able to do that in a 50-over format, you know he has got the fire power to play the 20-over match,” said former India opener Aakash Chopra.

“Most of the IPL teams want an Indian batsman who can bat at the position of 5, 6 or 7 which is a tough place to bat as youngsters tend to struggle at that position,” he added.

According to Aakash, Virat could be bought for a hefty amount by any of the franchises when they meet at the auction in Kolkata later this month.

Bollywood

What A Shot! Farah Khan on what’s it like directing M.S. Dhoni

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Farah-Khan

Choreographer-filmmaker Farah Khan recently directed Indian cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni for a commercial.

Sharing her experience, Farah told IANS: “This is the first time I was meeting him. I can’t tell you how wonderful he is! He is an extremely down to earth person. We had to change his clothes five times during the shoot and he did not complain.”

Recalling Dhoni’s behaviour on the set, she further said: “Within five minutes we were chatting like we know each other for a long time! He also came to my van to have food. It was a pleasure working with him. What a lovely human being he is!”

Just a few days ago, Farah had taken to social media to shower praises on Dhoni after having directed him for the advertisement. Taking to Instagram, she wrote: “Directed @mahi7781 for an ad today .. What an amazing guy.. so punctual, so down to earth, took pics with everyone frm clients to spotboys with a smile..im a fan.”

On the work front, Farah is all set to apper as the judge on the new television programme ‘Zee Comedy Show’, which will air from July 31 on Zee TV.

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National

They have to keep improving and getting better: Rahul Dravid

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Rahul-Dravid

Indian head coach Rahul Dravid has said that he was not disappointed by the performance of the young batsmen in the T20I series against Sri Lanka. He believed that the youngsters have to keep getting better in future.

In Thursday’s decider at the R Premadasa Stadium, India managed to get just 81 in the first innings. Sri Lanka chased 82 with seven wickets in hand.

“I’m not disappointed. They are young batters; they have to keep improving and getting better. The Sri Lankan team’s bowling attack is their international bowling attack. They’re missing a few batsmen because of various reasons, but this is a top-quality attack. So, it’s a great opportunity to reflect on these performances, reflect on these conditions, and maybe come up with some slightly better strategies,” said Dravid in the post-match press conference.

Apart from skipper Shikhar Dhawan, India had just four batsmen for the last two T20Is in Ruturaj Gaikwad, Devdutt Padikkal, Sanju Samson and Nitish Rana. Among the four, Samson had the most experience with just seven T20Is.

“Let’s be fair, you don’t get these sorts of conditions very often in T20 cricket. But when you do, I think you need to have a response. You need to be able to play slightly better. They’re all youngsters, we just need to have patience with them, give them more opportunities so that they can develop and grow,” felt Dravid.

He added, “This was a really young team. All of us have had our struggles playing quality bowling, whether it’s spin or pace. Early on in our careers, we’ve all had those struggles and we’ve all had to fight our way through that. None of us have been perfect when we started, whether it’s my generation or any generation for that matter. It needs experience.”

He also pointed out the conditions which are different for the youngsters than him in the playing years, saying that there is a lot to learn about playing on challenging pitches.

“Maybe the one thing that’s slightly different is that when I was starting or was growing up, the pitches in domestic cricket tended to turn a little bit more and spun a bit more. To be honest, some of them were under-prepared. But I don’t think the talent is missing, either in spin bowling or in the batting. We just need a little bit more experience in being able to figure out a few more different kinds of shots when we’re challenged with these kinds of pitches. We just need to figure out a couple of more options. It was tough batting for them (Sri Lankans) as well.”

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National

Focus on Prithvi Shaw and Suryakumar Yadav’s departure to England

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Prithvi-Shaw-and-Suryakumar-Yadav

Prithvi Shaw and Suryakumar Yadav’s departure from Sri Lanka to join the Indian Test squad in England may be delayed after they were sent into isolation for being in close contact with Krunal Pandya, who has tested positive for Covid-19 in the island nation.

The two were expected to leave immediately after the culmination of the white ball series in Sri Lanka. The series ends after Thursday night’s third T20I.

“They will travel to England when the formalities are completed,” an official told IANS.

The Indian Test squad in England has already seen three of the players being ruled out. While opener Subman Gill withdrew due to leg injury and has since returned home, off-spin bowling all-rounder Washington Sundar has hurt his finger, and pace bowler Avesh Khan, who was among the standby players, has suffered fracture his left thumb.

As a result, the selectors have pushed Abhimanyu Easwaran into the main squad and have also called up Shaw and Yadav.

The Test series begins on August 4 in Nottingham.

The second Test will be played on August 12-16 at Lord’s, London, the third Test on August 25-29 in Leeds, the fourth Test between September 2 and 6 at the Oval, London, and the fifth and final Test in Manchester from September 10 to 14.

The Indian team had lost the World Test Championship final to New Zealand last month.

After a three-week break, the Indian players moved to Durham for a warm-up match and training.

The team will travel to Nottingham on August 1.

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