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Wednesday,28-September-2022

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Kohli ‘practicing well’ ahead of rescheduled fifth Test against England

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Former India skipper Virat Kohli is leaving no stone unturned to prepare for the upcoming rescheduled fifth Test against England at Old Trafford starting on July 1.

India will face England for the rescheduled fifth Test next month but before that the visitors have started training upon arrival.

Kohli on Tuesday shared pictures from his training session as he looked all geared up for the upcoming match.

“Practice well. Stay happy,” Kohli captioned the post on the Koo app.

Kohli was the skipper of Team India when the five-match Test series against England was originally played in 2021.

India currently leads the Test series 2-1. The fifth Test match, which was supposed to be held in Old Trafford, Manchester last year, was cancelled due to COVID-19.

Meanwhile, Team India will also play a four-day warm-up match against Leicestershire from June 24 to June 27 to be in the groove for the fifth Test.

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Virat Kohli one of the best chase masters in the world; his consistency is amazing: Ajay Jadeja

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Former India cricketer Ajay Jadeja has called Virat Kohli as one of the best chase masters in the world of cricket, adding that the solidity the former skipper provides to the team is just unrivalled.

Virat played a pivotal role in helping India win the three-match T20I series against Australia in the last game at Hyderabad, scoring a 48-ball 63 that helped the hosts chase down the Kangaroos’ competitive target of 187 to seal the series 2-1.

With his 104-run stand with charismatic batter Suryakumar Yadav (69), it was a treat to watch the two batters go about their task of punishing the visitors’ bowling that had the likes of Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Cameron Green among others.

Ever during the Asia Cup in the UAE recently, Kohli, returning to the side after taking a month-long break from the game to recharge his batteries, was in peak batting form.

“I mean that’s the key to Indian cricket. I mean it’s been that for a while, for a long time. I mean there was a period where Virat Kohli would score runs and if there was anything, MS Dhoni would finish it off at the end,” said Jadeja on Cricbuzz.

“But now with the personnel changing around Virat Kohli, it’s made it easier for him and it’s made it easier for everyone else around him to play at a whole different ball game and the solidity that Virat Kohli provides and for me it’s always been the solidity of Virat Kohli, not the striking ability. That’s why he was a chase master. He is a chase master. He understands the pace of the game.”

Jadeja conceded Kohli might not be the best in terms of striking ability and hitting massive sixes, but his consistency is priceless.

“He may not have the striking ability that a lot of players have around the world and in that Indian team but there is no one else that I know who has the consistency of Virat Kohli,” added Jadeja.

The former Indian batter also highlighted why Kohli is such a fearsome name in any cricketing echelons, pointing out, “So if consistency is what you want, this is your man and he’s not shown it today, he’s been showing it to you for 10, 12, 15 years. It’s just that when you expect him to do what the others do, that’s when the trouble begins.”

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2nd T20I: Rain threat looms large over India v Australia clash in Nagpur

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Friday’s second T20I match between India and Australia at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Ground in Jamtha is likely to be impacted with rains that lashed the city overnight and early morning.

With Nagpur under a wet spell for the last few days, the bosses at the Vidarbha Cricket Association are spending their days in trepidation as rain is predicted for the match day too. The match tickets at the 45,000-capacity stadium is already sold out and they will have to refund the buyers in case the match does not go ahead.

Both the teams landed in Orange City on Wednesday afternoon and were greeted by heavy rain in the evening and the intervening night. There were showers early on Thursday morning and though the rain has abated around 10 am, heavy cloud cover over the city means, there is always a threat of more rain.

In such conditions, the sun did not bother to even take a peek at the City, thus further reducing the chances of the ground getting dry on Thursday itself.

The morning spell of rain forced both Australia and India to cancel their scheduled practice session in the afternoon and evening. The players did not travel to the stadium, engaging in a light gym session at the team hotel.

The groundsmen removed the covers around noon to check but with the threat of a drizzle looming, put them back soon. According to VCA officials, they are running the super sopper and ensuring there no leakage, hoping that there is no further rain on Thursday and Friday.

Nagpur is hosting its first international match in three years and there is lot of enthusiasm among fans, who purchased the tickets online within a few minutes. Even then the telephone at the VCA’s oid stadium in the City is ringing off the hook with people still enquiring whether tickets were available offline.

The stadium is more than 20km far from the City and the VCA is facing some lots of issues regarding providing parking spaces for the spectators that take their own vehicles.

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Focusing on situational awareness for better ball control: Hockey forward Navneet

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Indian women’s hockey team forward Navneet Kaur is looking to improve her “situational awareness” in order to control the ball better ahead of a busy season, which also includes the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China next year.

Navneet said the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games was a historical campaign for her side as they clinched bronze after a 16-year drought. The 26-year-old, who was instrumental in the attack during the memorable campaign, added she is keen to see herself playing a bigger role in the squad moving forward.

“I need to improve my situational awareness, so that I get better at controlling the ball and in turn get better at controlling the tempo of the game, because then I can play at my pace and choose moments in the game to either slow the tempo down or raise it according to the situation,” said Navneet on Monday.

Speaking about the CWG campaign, she said, “The medal brought us great joy, even though our team was feeling a little down after the loss in the semifinal. It was special to see everyone in the squad motivating each other to concentrate on the bronze-medal game and you could feel the togetherness of the squad as we got laser focused for the bronze-medal tie. That moment was really surreal, especially for me.”

Navneet also said the squad is looking at better team coordination as major events beckon.

“We are working on improving our team coordination. We are also working on our finishing as a squad so that we are extremely clinical when the chances come our way which was the only area, we lacked in at the World Cup and CWG 2022. As a squad we have identified these areas and have already started working on improving them so that we are ready before the next tournament comes around.”

Speaking about the upcoming tournaments and new faces in the side, she said, “The team’s performances have been great recently. Now we are fully focused on the upcoming competitions and I am sure we will perform in the same unrelenting manner. The young players have settled into the team really well and their integration in the squad is going smoothly, the best part of which is that young players are getting so many opportunities in international competitions which will help them improve drastically in very little time, which I feel we should continue doing because it it future proofs helps our young players in the team settle and gain much needed competitive experience at the highest level.

“As a senior player now, I look to help the youngsters with everything and anything on and off the field. We talk freely off the field and encourage open discussions and there is no such obligation of ‘senior’ and ‘junior’ players,” Navneet added.

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