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Thursday,24-September-2020

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Fitness & mental clarity will be key in this year’s IPL, feels Suresh Raina

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Veteran India and Chennai Super Kings (CSK) batsman Suresh Raina feels fitness and clarity of thought will be the key when players take the field to participate in the 13th edition of of the Indian Premier League (IPL) which will be played in the UAE.

The BCCI will be organising the league at three venues — Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah — from September 19 to November 10 after it was postponed from March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This IPL, it would be very interesting to see how players are thinking, you are playing in different circumstances, you have a lot of protocols from ICC and at the same time, you are going through tests every two-three weeks, so I would say coming out from all those tests, you need to be clear with your head on what you are going to do on the field because at the end of the day when you are playing a sport, you need to enjoy your game,” Raina said on Wednesday during a webinar interaction on the sidelines of the launch of WTF fantasy gaming app.

“Then you can come out of the ground as a happy soul. So I believe, all tests will be done before the IPL and we will be in a good frame of mind because we all are sitting at home from last five months. I’m looking forward to this,” added the 33-year old who along with India women’s team T20 captain Harmanpreet Kaur are the brand ambassadors for WTF fantasy gaming app.

Raina, the second highest run-getter in IPL history, also opined the wickets in Dubai would be like the ones in Chennai.

“There (wickets in Dubai) could be Chennai wickets. In this pandemic, a lot of challenges have happened (for the players) and fitness is the key,” he said.

“Luckily, we are going early in the UAE, so I think, right now there is humidity in Dubai, the weather is 40 degrees Celsius, sandstorm is there, but the best thing in Dubai is that you don’t have logistical problems, it is 45 minutes from Dubai to Abu Dhabi, you go from there to Sharjah, it’s 40 minutes,” said Raina who was part of the 2011 World Cup-winning team.

The left-handed batsman also said during this long break due to the pandemic, he got time to reflect on the time he spent on the field and analyse his performances over the years.

“We have not had such a long break. You look back at your old innings. You reflect on what you were thinking at that time and try to analyse. So when I hit the greens now, I feel we will enjoy a lot this time,” Raina said.

National

Honoured to be part of PM Modi’s Fit India Dialogue: Virat Kohli

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Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli has stated that he is honoured to be part of the Fit India Dialogue — being organised to celebrate the first anniversary of the Fit India Movement — where he will be interacting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with other renowned fitness influencers on Thursday.

“I am honoured to be a part of our Honourable Prime Minister’s Fit India Dialogue where you can watch me talk about fitness and more,” said Kohli on his official Twitter handle.

The influencers who will share their thoughts on fitness and health include Kohli, Milind Soman, Paralympian gold medalist Devendra Jhajharia, nutrition expert Rujuta Diwekar, Afshan Ashiq – a woman footballer from Jammu and Kashmir who now trains other girls in football, Swami Shivadhyanam Saraswati – an alumni of IIT and MIT who will be representing the Bihar School of Yoga and Bharatiya Shikshan Mandal’s Mukul Kanitkar, who is renowned for his research for National Resurgence and is a educationist, among others. Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju will also be present at the event.

Soman, who is one of the biggest fitness influencers and a winner of the Ironman competition, said that he’s keen to share his fitness mantra with the whole country through the Fit India Dialogue. “I have been a proponent of doing simple things and therefore, in the presence of our Prime Minister, I will speak on simple ways to be healthy and fit at any age,” he said.

There will be plenty of anecdotes and tips shared by the participants on their own fitness journey during the online event.

The Fit India Movement envisioned by the prime minister and launched by him on August 29, 2019, has seen a collective participation of more than 3.5 crore Indians in various events, with more than 2.5 crore participants in the Fit India Freedom Run that was launched on August 15, 2019, with a digital footprint of 30 crore people.

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National

Absence of Malinga an opportunity for others to step up: Rohit Sharma

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The absence of veteran pacer Lasith Malinga is an opportunity for others to step up, according to Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma. The 37-year-old Malinga has been ruled out for the season and in his absence, MI relied upon James Pattinson and Jasprit Bumrah to deliver in the death overs in the IPL season opener against Chennai Super Kings.

It didn’t quite work out for them and they ended up losing the match by five wickets. “What happened in the past is in the past,” said Rohit after the toss on Wednesday ahead of MI’s match against Kolkata Knight Riders. “There are some areas where we need to rectify. Hopefully we don’t make those mistakes.”

The match marks the 150th game for West Indies limited overs captain Kieron Pollard in an MI shirt. “Having someone like Pollard in the squad is always nice. He is a massive player for us, hopefully he’ll come out and enjoy his game, like he always does,” said Rohit.

“Malinga is like Pollard, has been a massive player for us. It was unfortunate that he couldn’t make it due to personal reasons. That gives an opportunity to others. We need to enjoy our cricket as a squad.”

KKR captain Dinesh Karthik chose to field first, despite teams batting first winning three of the four games that have been played in the season thus far. “We will bowl first. We saw the first game, there was some dew, so we want to make use of it. Really proud to start the tournament today. We got (Eoin) Morgan, (Pat) Cummins, (Andre) Russell and (Sunil) Narine. I think they’re really looking forward to this. We are also looking forward to it for the young guys,” said Karthik.

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National

IPL 13: Kolkata Knight Riders put MI into bat

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Kolkata Knight Riders won the toss and chose to field against Mumbai Indians at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium here on Wednesday.

This is KKR’s first game of the season while MI are looking to bounce back from the five-wicket loss they suffered against Chennai Super Kings in the season opener on Saturday.

KKR captain Dinesh Karthik said that Eoin Morgan, Pat Cummins, Andre Russell and Sunil Narine are the four foreign players in their playing XI, while his MI counterpart Rohit Sharma said they will be fielding an unchanged side.

Kolkata Knight Riders: Shubman Gill, Sunil Narine, Nitish Rana, Eoin Morgan, Dinesh Karthik (captain & wicketkeeper), Andre Russell, Nikhil Naik, Pat Cummins, Kuldeep Yadav, Sandeep Warrier, Shivam Mavi

Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (captain), Quinton de Kock (wicketkeeper), Suryakumar Yadav, Saurabh Tiwary, Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, James Pattinson, Rahul Chahar, Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah

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