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Tuesday,20-October-2020

National

Rajasthan Royals win toss, elect to bat against RCB

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Steve-Smith

Rajasthan Royals (RR) won the toss and elected to bat in their Indian Premier League match against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium here on Saturday.

Royals, who are languishing at the seventh position on the points table with six points, need a win to move up. Royal Challengers Bangalore are third on the table with 10 points.

Both the teams lost their previous matches, RCB to Kings XI Punjab while RR went down to Delhi Capitals.

“This pitch looks a lot better than what we had in Sharjah. We would have batted first as well,” said RCB captain Virat Kohli.

RCB have made two changes, bringing in batsman Gurkeerat Singh Mann to replace pace bowler Mohammed Siraj. Bengal left-arm spinner Shahbaz Ahmed replaces all-rounder Shivam Dube.

Teams

Rajasthan Royals: Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler (WK), Steven Smith (Capt), Sanju Samson, Robin Uthappa, Riyan Parag, Rahul Tewatia, Jofra Archer, Shreyas Gopal, Jaydev Unadkat, Kartik Tyagi.

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Aaron Finch, Devdutt Padikkal, Virat Kohli (Capt), AB de Villiers (WK), Gurkeerat Singh Mann, Washington Sundar, Chris Morris, Shahbaz Ahmed, Isuru Udana, Navdeep Saini, Yuzvendra Chahal.

National

Judo is a priority sport, will enhance capacity: Kiren Rijiju

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Kiren-Rijiju

Indian Judo team will be participating in the Budapest Grand Slam — which contributes to the Olympic qualification — between October 23 and October 25. This will be the first tournament that the Indian judokas will be playing since the nationwide lockdown was imposed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ahead of the departure for Hungary, Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju on Monday met the contingent which comprises five judokas — Tulika Mann, Avtar Singh, Vijay Yadav, Jasleen Singh Saini and Sushila Devi — and coach Jiwan Sharma.

The Sports Minister wished the contingent luck for the tournament and said preparations are in place to ensure that a strong talent pool emerges for the 2024 and 2028 Olympics.

“The team is leaving for Hungary today and I am hopeful that some of the athletes will qualify. Judo is a priority sport for us and we will enhance capacity both in terms of training facilities and coaches,” said Rijiju.

“The idea is to extend full support to the elite athletes while building up a talent pool of young athletes who can compete in the Olympics of 2024 and 2028. We will discuss a more exhaustive roadmap with the federation and plan ahead,” he added.

Jasleen, world number 56 and a good prospect to qualify for next year’s Olympics, said, “This will be the first tournament we will be played after the Covid-19 lockdown.”

“We used to play every month earlier, so it is really good to be playing again. From the entire Judo fraternity, would like to thank the Sports Ministry, Sports Authority of India and the Judo Federation of India for organising this for us,” he added.

Around 645 competitors from around 81 countries will be participating in this tournament and the contingent is enthusiastic to be back in action in competitive sport after such a long break.

Sushila, the highest ranked women’s judoka in the contingent — ranked 41 in the world and an Olympic hopeful — said, “This is the first time we have met the Sports Minister and he is really doing a lot for sports in India so with his encouragement, we are feeling very motivated. It is good to play once again after the lockdown and would like to thank SAI for the support in getting this international exposure organised for us. We will try to give our best.”

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National

What spark did you see in Jadhav, Chawla: Kris Srikkanth asks Dhoni

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Kris-Srikkanth

Former Indian cricketer Kris Srikkanth slammed ace skipper MS Dhoni’s mantra on selection following Chennai Super Kings’ seventh defeat in 10 matches in the ongoing IPL and termed the latter’s selections throughout the season as “ridiculous”.

“What is Dhoni’s deal? He says N. Jagadeesan doesn’t have spark, but does ‘scooter’ (Kedar) Jadhav have that spark? This is ridiculous. I will not accept this answer today. All this talk of process and Chennai’s tournament itself is over,” Srikkanth told Star Sports Tamil.

“I will never accept what Dhoni is saying about this process,” said Srikkanth. “This process he keeps talking about is meaningless. You keep talking about process, process… but the process of selection itself is wrong.”

Srikkanth’s outburst came after CSK suffered a seven-wicket loss against Rajasthan Royals on Monday evening. After the game, Dhoni told official broadcaster Star Sports that the youngsters in the team had not showed him the kind of “spark” that would have warranted their inclusion in the side.

Jagadeesan’s case was singled out as he featured in just one game in the CSK XI against RCB when he scored 33.

“Dhoni now says that since the pressure is off, he’ll give the youngsters a chance. Come on yaar. I don’t understand this rubbish about the process at all. What spark didn’t he see in Jagadeesan? What spark did he see in Jadhav and Piyush Chawla?

“Karn Sharma at least took wickets. Chawla simply goes through the motions of bowling, coming on when the game is already lost. Dhoni may be a pistha (big shot) and there is no doubt he is great, but I cannot agree with him or accept this,” said the former Indian opener.

The three-time champions have six points from 10 games and are currently placed at the bottom of the points table. They next play Mumbai Indians on Friday.

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National

MS Dhoni becomes first to play 200 IPL matches

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MS-Dhoni

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) skipper MS Dhoni became the first cricketer to play 200 Indian Premier League (IPL) matches when his side took the field against Rajasthan Royals here on Monday.

Asked about the feat at the toss, Dhoni said that he was unaware until the commentator pointed it out.

“You spoke about it and that’s how I got to know. It feels good but at the same time it’s just a number. I feel fortunate to play for such a long time without many injuries,” he said.

The former India captain, who has led the Chennai franchise to three IPL titles and eight appearances in finals and had also played a few games for Rising Pune Supergiant, has been struggling to revive his team this season.

Ahead of the Chennai Super Kings’ game against Rajasthan Royals, Dhoni had 4568 runs in the league, which put him at No. 7 in the top run-getters’ list and he leads the wicketkeepers’ list with 145 dismissals, including 106 catches and 39 matches.

Despite losing the majority of the matches this season, Dhoni still remains the only captain with over 100 IPL wins.

Sanjay Bangar, the former India batting coach, praised Dhoni’s leadership in a TV show ahead of Monday’s match.

“He is always there to help the youngsters. His door is open to everyone. He doesn’t force anything on anyone. He knows how to handle the youngsters,” said Bangar.

Dhoni though averages just 27.2 this season with the bat, which is the lowest except in 2017. He is yet to score a half-century.

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