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Jadeja’s absence will hurt, he builds pressure on batsmen: Cheteshwar Pujara




Ravindra Jadeja’s ability to bowl dot balls that can put pressure on the opposition will be missed, said India No. 3 batsman Cheteshwar Pujara after the left-arm spinner could not take field in Australia’s second innings due to injury to his left thumb.

Jadeja took a blow to his left thumb off a Mitchell Starc delivery. The all-rounder had picked four wickets in Australia’s first innings and effected a run-out from the deep to send back centurion Steve Smith. He followed it up with a fighting 28 not out in India’s first innings.

“It is never easy when you lose a bowler especially someone like Ravindra Jadeja who got four wickets in the first innings and who can keep bowling from one end and can land the ball at one spot all the time. He is someone who puts lot of pressure on the batters as he bowls a lot of dot balls. He is very valuable on the field, not just as a bowler but as fielder also. Losing him is a blow,” said Pujara.

The India batsman, who scored 50 off 176 deliveries on Saturday, said that the Indian bowling without Jadeja is a bit weak especially with the presence of youngsters. India are already missing Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav and Ishant Sharma.

While Ishant didn’t travel to Australia as he was not match-fit, Shami and Umesh got injured during the first two Tests.

Mohammed Siraj, who replaced Shami in the eleven, is playing his second Test while Navdeep Saini, who replaced Umesh, is playing only his first Test.

“If you look at our bowling line-up, we have some guys who are playing their first and second Test. They are learning, they are getting better at bowling. Our fast bowling line-up, they are slightly inexperienced. It is a good opportunity for them to learn and get better at what they are doing,” said Pujara

“The management and (captain) Ajinkya (Rahane) have spoken to the bowlers. You can’t put a lot of pressure on them. It is Saini’s first game and Siraj’s second. Yes, they are bound to make mistakes at times. You just have to allow them little more time to settle in and especially if you are bowling in Sydney… it is not easy. So I wouldn’t put too much pressure on them… They have to learn a few more things and I am very confident that they will learn,” added Pujara.

He, however, said that the Indian bowling needs to show discipline especially in Jadeja’s absence.

“To be honest, it (Jadeja’s absence) does affect at some point because we are left with only four bowlers and that puts little extra pressure… we need to show a little discipline in our bowling… but overall we are doing the best we can,” he said. “The first session will be crucial for us, we will definitely put up a better show tomorrow morning”.

The 32-year-old right handed batsman said that the Aussies were very difficult to score off as they maintained a good line and length.

“I thought they bowled good line and lengths, they had a fair idea of this pitch. So I think you should give credit to the way they bowled because I felt they didn’t give too many loose balls,” he said.


Andhra Pradesh CM condoles Milkha Singh’s demise




Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy on Saturday expressed his grief over the demise of Milkha Singh, former Indian track and field sprinter.

“Milkha Singh has been an inspiration to many young athletes and will continue to remain so,” said Reddy about Singh, who was popularly known as the ‘Flying Sikh’.

The Chief Minister recalled that Singh took India to Olympic glory with his achievements as a track and field star.

Reddy conveyed his condolences to the bereaved family members.

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Farhan Akhtar mourns Milkha Singh’s death: You represented a dream




Actor Farhan Akhtar, who played Milkha Singh in the film “Bhaag Milkha Bhaag”, has mourned the death of the legendary Indian athlete, who passed away aged 91 after a long battle with Covid-19.

Farhan posted a picture on Instagram posing with Milkha, who was popularly known as the ‘Flying Sikh’.

The actor penned a note saying that he refuses to accept that Milkha Singh is no more.

Farhan wrote: “Dearest Milkha ji, A part of me is still refusing to accept that you are no more. Maybe it’s the stubborn side I inherited from you.. the side that when it sets it’s mind on something, just never gives up.

“And the truth is that you will always be alive. Because you were more than a large hearted, loving, warm, down to earth man. You represented an idea. You represented a dream. You represented (to use your own words) how hard work, honesty and determination can lift a person off his knees and get him to touch the sky. “

Farhan said that the legendary athlete touched everyone’s lives.

“For those who knew you as a father and a friend, it was a blessing. For those who didn’t, your story was a constant source of inspiration and a reminder of humility in success. I love you with all my heart,” he concluded.

Directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, “Bhaag Milkha Bhaag”, biographical sports drama is based on the life of Milkha Singh.

Milkha Singh passed away in a local hospital in Chandigarh at 11.30 p.m. on Friday, read a statement from the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education & Research (PGIMER), where he was being treated for Covid-related complications.

He is survived by a son, ace golfer Jeev Milkha Singh, and three daughters.

Six days ago, on June 13, Milkha’s wife Nirmal passed away.

A former India volleyball captain, she was 85, and she, too, was affected by Covid and related complications.

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India should have had a fast-bowling all-rounder in playing XI: Amit Mishra




Veteran leg-spinner and a member of the Indian Premier League (IPL) side Delhi Capitals, Amit Mishra feels that while the India playing XI for the World Test Championship (WTC) final against New Zealand “looks great”, a fast-bowling all-rounder could have further strengthened the side.

The first day of the WTC final at Ageas Bowl in Southampton on Friday was washed out because of rain and players would be hoping to get back to action later on Saturday.

“The playing XI looks great. We have Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin, two excellent spinners who can also contribute with the bat. Ashwin and Jadeja’s batting skills will help India a lot. I think India could have named a fast-bowling all-rounder in the playing XI, someone who could have bowled six-seven overs when the regular pacers are tired and the ball is swinging,” Mishra told JK 24×7 news.

Noting that the Kane Williamson-led New Zealand had an advantage in this department, Mishra, who has played 22 Tests and taken 76 wickets, said, “I think it would have been better if India included a fast-bowling all-rounder. New Zealand have a fast-bowling all-rounder in their squad, so this is the one advantage that the Blackcaps have.”

Indian are fielding two spinners — Ashwin and Jadeja — and the pace trio of Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah in the WTC final.

Mishra also said that India’s batting was stronger than its bowling.

“I think India’s batting line-up is stronger than the bowling unit. If you consider the all-rounders, we bat very deep. Only the three fast bowlers do not bat. So, I feel the batting is stronger.”

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