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Tuesday,02-March-2021

National

IPL 2021 player auction on February 18 in Chennai

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The player auction ahead of the 2021 Indian Premier League (IPL) edition will take place on February 18 in Chennai.

IPL confirmed the news on their official Twitter handle: “IPL 2021 Player Auction on 18th February. Venue: Chennai.”

As many as 139 players have been retained by the eight IPL franchises whereas 57 players have been released from their existing squads. Sunrisers Hyderabad have retained the most number of players — 22 — while Royal Challengers Bangalore have only 12 players in the squad.

Kings XI Punjab will enter the auction with the biggest possible purse of Rs 53.20 crore, followed by RCB (Rs 35.90 crore). Kolkata Knight Riders and SRH have the least amount of purse remaining – Rs 10.75 crore.

Rajasthan Royals, who have appointed Sanju Samson as they captain after releasing Steve Smith, will look to fill their three overseas slot sand have a purse remaining of Rs 34.85 crore.

Chennai Super Kings have Rs 22.90 crore, Delhi Capitals Rs 12.90 crore and Mumbai Indians Rs 15.35 crore in their purse.

The 2020 IPL edition was held in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in a bio-secure environment from September 19 to November 10 due to Covid-19 pandemic.

Mumbai Indians had defeated Delhi Capitals in the summit clash in Dubai to win the title for a record fifth time.

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Jadeja now wondering what happened to his thumb: Sunil Gavaskar

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All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja may not be able to just walk into the Indian Test squad considering how his replacement Axar Patel has performed in his first two games, said former captain Sunil Gavaskar.

Gavaskar joked that Jadeja might be wondering why it is taking so long for his dislocated thumb to heal.

“Jadeja is now wondering what happened to his thumb. He is asking the doctor why his dislocated thumb has taken so long to recover. He got hit on the 10th of January and it is now end of February, for a dislocated thumb to take that long,” Gavaskar said on Star Sports.

Jadeja was ruled out of the Indian squad for the Test series against England due to the broken thumb that he sustained during India’s third Test against Australia in Sydney in January.

He was also not named in the squad for the upcoming five-match T20I series against England which will be played from March 12.

In his absence, Axar Patel made his debut in the longest format of the game in the second Test in Chennai and ended up taking seven wickets. He then took 11 wickets in the second Test that was played at the Narendra Modi Stadium, his home ground in domestic cricket, in Ahmedabad.

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Ravi Shastri receives first dose of Covid vaccine

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India head coach Ravi Shastri on Tuesday said that he received his first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. Shastri, 58, got vaccinated in here, where he is with the Indian team for the Test series against England.

“Got the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Thank you to the amazing medical professionals & scientists for empowering India Flag of India against the pandemic Extremely impressed with the professionalism shown by Kantaben & her team at Apollo, Ahmedabad in dealing with COVID-19 vaccination,” Shastri tweeted on Tuesday along with an image of him getting the jab.

India’s vaccination drive entered its third phase on Monday in which coverage was expanded to include individuals aged above 60 and those over 45 with comorbidities.

It is yet to be confirmed if the rest of the Indian team got vaccinated as well.

India faces England in the fourth and final Test of the series at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Motera from March 4. The hosts lead the series 2-1 after their 10-wicket win over England in Motera in the third Test which concluded in just two days.

The result ended England’s chances of qualifying for the World Test Championship final which is slated to be held at the Lord’s Cricket Ground in London from June 18. India, meanwhile, need to avoid defeat in the fourth Test to qualify for the final for which New Zealand have already qualified.

The Test series will be followed by a five-match T20I series that will be held at the same venue from March 12.

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Ravichandran Ashwin wants to be the best, compete against the best: V.V.S. Laxman

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Ravichandran Ashwin works out the weaknesses of batsmen and plans his deliveries accordingly which is why he is so difficult to face, said former India batsman V.V.S. Laxman.

“I think he’s a very intelligent person. When you’re playing at the highest level, then it’s not only about your skill, it’s about your preparation, your planning and execution is so critical,” Laxman said on Star Sports.

“He works out what are the weaknesses of the batsman. He plans those dismissals and that’s why I think he is reinventing himself. We saw recently in the Australia series how he troubled, someone as great as Steve Smith and that’s another thing that makes Ashwin or any champion player special, that he wants to be the best and compete against the best,” he further said.

Ashwin, 34, has been in stellar form since India’s Test calendar restarted with their tour of Australia. He played a crucial role with both bat and ball as India won the series 2-1, which included them becoming the first team since 1988 to beat Australia in a Test match at the Gabba in Brisbane.

In the series against England, Ashwin took eight wickets in the second Test and scored a century and then went on to take seven wickets in the third which India won by 10 wickets inside two days. In the process, Ashwin also became the fastest Indian, and only the fourth overall from the country, to take 400 wickets in Test cricket.

“78 Test matches for 400 Test wickets. Let the naysayers be, he’s been absolute phenomenal with the craft that he has displayed over a period of time and as he’s growing as a bowler he’s picking a lot of wickets,” said former batsman Akash Chopra.

“I feel that he’s an absolute rockstar. He’s one of the biggest match winners India has ever produced, of course Anil Kumble will still remain at no. 1,” he further said.

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