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Tuesday,18-January-2022

National

Mayank Agarwal should be included if Gill is injured: Wasim Jaffer

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Former India cricketer Wasim Jaffer has said that if Shubman Gill misses the five-match Test series against England in August-September due to a leg injury, Mayank Agarwal will be his choice to replace the young opener.

A Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) official had told IANS recently that, “Gill might miss the first Test due to injury in lower part of his leg. But whether he will be available for the remainder of the series cannot be said right now.”

The 43-year-old Jaffer, who has played 31 Tests and scored nearly 2000 runs, said on Thursday that, “It will be a very big opportunity for Mayank Agarwal and KL Rahul with Mayank being my first preference. He has had an excellent career so far. He was dropped after two poor outings in Australia but I am sure he will be looking forward to this opportunity.

Agarwal scored two double centuries, against South Africa and Bangladesh, in 2019 on way to surpassing Sir Don Bradman on the list of fastest to score two double Test tons.

“It is a very big series of five Test matches which can make or break a cricketer’s career. I feel KL Rahul can also fit somewhere in the middle-order if not as an opener,” Jaffer said on his YouTube video.

Gill, who failed in the World Test Championship final, having scored 28 and eight, has played only eight Test matches and averages 31.84. He has scored three half-centuries, including two in the India’s victorious Test campaign in Australia.

However, his failure in the WTC final has raised a few eyebrows, prompting the likes of former selector Gagan Khoda as saying that he should be pushed down to the middle-order instead of being allowed to open. A leg injury has further compounded the opener’s problems.

“It will be a big blow for India as well as Shubman Gill because as a youngster, you look forward to this kind of series to make a name for yourself. Considering that we judge a player by their overseas performance, it will be a setback for him to miss the first couple of games,” Jaffer added.

“It will be a very important series for India because we haven’t won any series in England since 2007-08 though we have come close. Although Shubman Gill’s injury will be a big blow, the players will look to step up and deliver.”

National

PKL 8: Patna Pirates beat Puneri Paltan 38-26

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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.

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National

PKL 8: Bengal Warriors beat Gujarat Giants

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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.

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Rishabh Pant appointed as Uttarakhand’s brand ambassador

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 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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