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Jacques Kallis says India be silly not to pick Karthik for World Cup




The Indian national selectors are set to meet in Mumbai on Monday to pick the squad for the 2019 World Cup and the topic high on everyone’s list is whether M.S.K. Prasad and team will go with Dinesh Karthik or Rishabh Pant as the second wicket-keeper and batsman for the showpiece event.

Speaking to IANS, Kolkata Knight Riders coach Jacques Kallis said that if he was the selector, he would pick Karthik. While many would think the former South Africa all-rounder would be biased about the KKR captain, Kallis explained his choice.

“I would pick DK for his experience, in the World Cup you need experience. He knows how to play situations and he can control the middle-order and bat at a good rate. Not too many dot balls and India would be silly if they didn’t pick him,” he said.

Coming to KKR, one man who has dominated the show this season is all-rounder Andre Russell and Kallis feels that the player has learnt the art of playing situations and that has made him all the more dangerous this year. In fact, he even added that the West Indian is a bigger hitter than the legendary Viv Richards.

“He has been really good. He has come up leaps and bounds in the last year. He has learnt a lot about his own game and the nice thing is that he can now play different situations a lot better. He wants to do well and is hungry to do well and that is an asset for the coach. Other guys want to emulate him.

“It is difficult to compare eras. Obviously Viv at his time was way ahead of the rest, but probably not as good as Andre Russell. But like I said, it is not fair to compare eras as conditions change, the way the game gets coached changes.

“However, in terms of hitting I think Andre is the best I have seen. Certainly hits the ball powerfully and got a great technique for that, and has worked hard on it. On his day he is a difficult batsman to bowl to as he can hit you no matter who you are,” he pointed.

Despite having quality performers like Russell and DK among others, Kallis makes it clear that there is no place for ego in this outfit. “We choose guys for a specific role and then want them to go out and perform well.

“We don’t want any egos here and that has worked pretty well for us. The guys get on well with each other and that is very important. No matter how good cricketers they are, a bigger role is how they fit in and that has worked well. Each guy knows his role,” he said.

There have been a lot of talk about the kind of wickets that have been prepared in Chennai and the way the bowlers have dominated, but Kallis believes that it is not about whether bowlers get to dominate or batsmen. For him, it is about keeping a good balance between bat and ball.

“Does the game of 220 or 240 help the game of cricket? I don’t think so. A game where it is 160-170 is good. You have to give the bowlers chance as well because it is a contest between bat and ball not bat or ball. As much as you get Chennai type of wickets, I don’t think 230-240 helps either,” he pointed.

The Knights have been strangely inconsistent this season and will need to tighten the screws if they are to qualify for the playoffs comfortably, but Kallis doesn’t wish to think too much about the points table.

“We are not worried about how many games we need to win. We will take one game at a time and try and win every game. We are not a side which worries too much about the table. We let the field stuff to take care of itself,” he said.


Mumbai Indians win toss, opt to bowl vs RCB




Reigning champions Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma won the toss and opted to bowl against Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore in the 10th match of the IPL at Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Monday.

Mumbai have made one change, bringing in Ishan Kishan place of Saurabh Tiwary who is not fit.

On the other hand, Bangalore have effected three changes in the XI. Adam Zampa, Isuru Udana, and Gurkeerat Singh Mann replace Josh Philippe, Dale Steyn, Umesh Yadav. Zampa and Udana are making their debut for RCB.

As of now, both teams have two points each.

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

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Aaron Finch, Devdutt Padikkal, Virat Kohli (captain), AB de Villiers (w-k), Gurkeerat Singh, Shivam Dube, Washington Sundar, Isuru Udana, Yuzvendra Chahal, Adam Zampa, Navdeep Saini

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What we saw from Tewatia in nets is what we saw in Cottrell’s over: Steve Smith




Rajasthan Royals skipper Steve Smith was all smiles after his team pulled off a record chase to beat Kings XI Punjab by four wickets on Sunday in Sharjah. Rahul Tewatia turned it around for himself and his team when he hit give sixes off the 18th over bowled by Sheldon Cottrell and Smith said that this exactly what the team sees the 27-year-old do in the nets all the time.

“What we have seen from Tewatia in the nets is what we saw in that Cottrell’s over,” said Smith in the post-match presentation ceremony. “I told someone as along as he gets one, floodgates will open. He showed heart. He told me during the timeout we still believe.”

Tewatia was hardly able to get ball on bat before he went after Cottrell and RR were banking on Sanju Samson yet again. Samson scored his second consecutive half century and was dismissed on 85 off 42 balls.

“Sanju is striking the ball cleanly all over the ground. Taking pressure off everyone. We will have to adapt to the bigger grounds, but these shots would clear everywhere,” said Smith.

Smith had chosen to bowl first despite winning the first match played at the same ground after batting first. His decision seamed to have backfired when Kings XI Punjab creamed 223/2 but Rajasthan’s fireworks allowed them to get to 226/6 with three balls to spare.

“That was something else, wasn’t it? Generally it gets wetter so I thought we were in with a chance at the halfway mark. A lot of sixes hit here. We gave ourselves the chance. Yeah, good to get over the line,” he said.

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Hamilton greatest F1 driver of our generation, says Serena Williams




Twenty three-time tennis Grand Slam champion Serena Williams has heaped praise on Lewis Hamilton, saying the reigning Formula 1 world champion is the “greatest drive of our generation” and that he would break German legend Michael Schumacher’s record.

“Lewis Hamilton and I have been super close, we have known each other for years, I love that guy, he has such a champion mindset, I look at what he does in training,” said Serena in a video posted on the official handle of F1.

“He is for me, the greatest driver our generation has seen and I am confident that he will break the record of Michael Schumacher. He lives his life on his sleeve, he says what he says, and this is the one thing I really appreciate about him,” she added.

Mercedes’ Hamilton on Saturday took his 96th pole position ahead of the Russian Grand Prix and would be looking to equal Schumacher’s record of 91 race wins on Sunday.

Hamilton had clinched the 90th win of his Formula One career when he bagged the crash-strewn Tuscan Grand Prix earlier this month.

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