Former Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir said that off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin’s selection in the squad for the men’s T20 World Cup gives the Indian team a completely new dimension. He added that Ashwin is a quality cricketer who should have played much more white-ball cricket.
Ashwin last played a T20I in July 2017 against West Indies and had been overlooked in the format since. With Washington Sundar unavailable due to finger injury, it opened doors for Ashwin to secure a place in the 15-man squad.
“Very happy for Ashwin. Probably, he shouldn’t have been out of the white-ball cricket anyways, and now he’s back. You will have to give it to the selectors and they’ve bought him back. It just gives you a completely new dimension,” said Gambhir in a special T20 World Cup squad episode on Follow The Blues show on Star Sports on Thursday.
“He is someone, who can bowl with the new ball, he is someone who can bowl in the middle overs, he is someone who can bowl in the death as well – depending on the condition if he gets the game. For me, he is a quality cricketer, who should’ve played much more whit-ball cricket, as compared to what he has played,” added Gambhir.
The 39-year-old was in full praise of batsman Suryakumar Yadav making it to the squad for the T20 World Cup and explained how Yadav is better than Shreyas Iyer, who was named in the reserves.
“Surya is a completely different class, as compared to Shreyas Iyer. He is much more versatile; he is much more unorthodox as well. In T20 cricket, you need people that are unorthodox; you want people who can hit that ball in different areas, and that is what T20 cricket is all about. He can lap you, he can late cut you, he can hit you over extra cover; he’s got all the shots, especially at No.4, because sometimes No.4 is the most tricky position to bat in T20 cricket, probably the easiest is the top three, but No.4, because you might be in when you have lost two early wickets and you still want to continue the momentum.”
“Sometimes you come into the middle, when you have got what 130 for 2, and you have got to continue with the momentum. So, Surya’s got both kind of change, which probably Shreyas Iyer doesn’t have. And again, you gotta be mindful that he is coming after a serious injury and you never know what kind of a form he would be in the second leg of IPL as well. So, they’ve gone with someone, who has done really well, since he has gone into international cricket,” signed off Gambhir.
India will start their T20 World Cup campaign against Group 2 rivals Pakistan in Dubai on October 24.
PKL 8: Patna Pirates beat Puneri Paltan 38-26
Raider Sachin scored 10 points as three-time champions Patna Pirates defeated Puneri Paltan 38-26 in Match 17 of Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) Season 8 at The Sheraton Grand, Whitefield, on Tuesday. Sachin scored a Super 10 (10 points) and was ably supported by Patna’s defensive trio of Sunil (4 points), Mohammadreza Chiyaneh (3 points), and Sajin C (3 points). The lack of a quality raider despite promising performances from youngsters will be a cause of concern for the Puneri Paltan who succumbed to their second loss in three matches.
All eyes were once again on Pune’s Rahul Chaudhari but the showman, despite starting the match, was substituted for young Mohit Goyat by coach Anup Kumar in the first half. The trio of raiders including Aslam Inamdar and Pankaj Mohite caused problems for the Patna defence while at the other end Prashant Kumar Rai and Sachin were equally effective.
Patna were facing the risk of an all-out with six minutes left to half-time, but their defender Sajin C completed a Super Tackle to turn the momentum. The three-time champions got lucky later when Monu Goyat entered the lobby without contact, in a do-or-die raid only to be followed by three Pune defenders who had been deceived by his actions. The first half ended 14-14 with Pune having just two men on the mat.
Pune coach Anup Kumar clearly expected from his set of raiders and brought in Shubham Shelke for Pankaj Mohite in the second half. But Patna kept fighting back, thanks to the largely confident tackles from the likes of Mohammadreza Chiyaneh and Sajin. With 10 minutes remaining, Patna had a four-point lead and that was extended a’ Pune’s plan to play on the Do-or-Die raid backfired. Sachin scored two points in the crucial raid for Patna to inspire another ALL OUT in the 13th minute and open a 10-point lead.
Patna maintained the momentum and though Sunil and Vishal Bharadwaj picked up yellow cards in the final minutes as the match became intense the three-time champions ensured there was no late comeback by Pune and clinched an important win.
PKL 8: Bengal Warriors beat Gujarat Giants
Bengal Warriors defeated Gujarat Giants 31-28 on Day 3 of the Pro Kabaddi League Season 8 held at The Sheraton Grand, Whitefield, here on Friday. This was Bengal Warriors’ second win in as many matches while Gujarat Gaints have one win and one loss. The Warriors have 10 points the same as Dabang Delhi but are placed second on a lower points-difference while Gujarat have six points.
Bengal Warriors started well and established a slender lead (16-11) against Gujarat Giants at half-time. They maintained their advantage despite the valiant efforts of the Gujarat Giants, managed to register a narrow victory.
Maninder Singh was the top scorer for Bengal Warriors with eight points while Esmaeil Nabibakhsh contributed four points.
Bengal Warriors won 18 raid points as against 19 by Gujarat Giants. But it was in defence that they scored, claiming 10 points as against eight by their rivals. They bagged two all-outs as against none by the Giants.
Rakesh Narwal was the top scorer for Gujarat Giants with 12 points while Rakesh Sungroya contributed four points.
Rishabh Pant appointed as Uttarakhand’s brand ambassador
Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami on Sunday announced that Indian wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant has been appointed as the brand ambassador of the state.
Taking to Twitter, the Chief Minister said that Pant will encourage the youngsters to take up sports.
“One of the best cricket players of India, the idol of youth and son of Uttarakhand, Rishabh Pant has been appointed as “State Brand Ambassador” by our government with the aim of encouraging the youth of the state towards sports and public health,” tweeted Dhami in Hindi, along with the video.
In the video, CM Dhami can be seen interacting with Rishabh and asking about his well-being.
The attacking batter also thanked the Chief Minister for the opportunity, saying that he will try his best to motivate people towards fitness.
“Thank you @pushkardhami sir for giving me the opportunity to be the Brand Ambassador of promoting Sports and General Health among the people of Uttarakhand. I’ll do my best to spread this message and feeling happy that you are taking these steps towards a fitter India,” tweeted Pant.
“Coming from a small town of Roorkee, I am confident that the people here have the ability to make the country proud in various fields of life,” he added.
The 24-year Pant, who was rested for the New Zealand Tests, is currently in Johannesburg, South Africa as the Indian Team is all set to face Proteas in the three-match Test series, starting December 26.
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