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Friday,30-September-2022

International

SA v IND: Supporting Kohli is something I am looking forward to, says Dravid

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India head coach Rahul Dravid has praised Test captain Virat Kohli, saying that he has had great success wherever he has played.

He added that Kohli is one of those cricketers who is keen on evolving and keeps pushing himself. On his third tour of South Africa, Kohli will be itching to lead the Indian team to their maiden series win in the country when the three-match Test series begins from Sunday at SuperSport Park in Centurion.

“I was there when Virat Kohli made his debut. I was there when he played his first Test match and I batted with him in that particular game. It is actually phenomenal, 10 years later, to see how he has grown as a cricketer and as a person, just the kind of performances he has had for India in the last 10 years.

“The match-winning performances he has given with the bat and the way he has led the team, the successes he had and it has been terrific,” said Dravid in a video uploaded by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on their website.

“In a lot of ways, he has driven a culture of fitness and energy and ambition among the team, which has been fascinating to watch from the outside. Now just coming into the environment and being a part of it and supporting him is something I am looking forward to. He has always improved, constantly got better and is one of those players who just keeps evolving and keeps pushing himself.

“He has had great success wherever he has played,” added Dravid.

Dravid believes that having a lot of options in the Test squad is great for the growth of Indian cricket.

“With the kind of options that we have, in spite of players getting injured, we seem to have quite a few options for people who can come in, step in and perform at the international level. It is a great sign for Indian cricket and great position to be in. Sometimes, there are challenging decisions to make and difficult ones as well.

“But it is a good position to be in and it’s great to have that depth, especially in the amount of cricket that we are playing. The more we build and grow on that depth, it gives us an opportunity to be competitive irrespective of the eleven we play in a match. It is also a little bit about good communication and being clear with people about why they are playing and why they have been left out in a particular situation.”

The 48-year-old, who took over from Ravi Shastri in November this year, has described his time at the helm as ‘hectic and exciting’. “It was about getting to know the boys and studying them as early part of my coaching job has to be observing about how things are going and see what they are doing. Not necessarily trying to come in and trying to change too much straightaway. But just doing things in my own way and also getting to know rest of the support staff as it is quite new.

“Getting them to understand that how the boys function in this environment. I have had quite a lot of personal relationships with lot of them. So, that hasn’t been difficult and have felt very welcomed. Really enjoyed my time so far. It’s been good, it’s been hectic. We have played a lot of games in the two months I have been here and travelled a bit as well. So, it’s been bit hectic but exciting all the same.”

International

Hayley Matthews to lead West Indies women in white-ball series against New Zealand

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Newly-appointed captain Hayley Matthews will lead the West Indies side to take on New Zealand Women in three ODIs from September 16-22 at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium here.

The side sees the return of the experienced wicketkeeper-batter Natasha McLean. The squad was selected based on the performances in the recently concluded 6ixty and the Women’s Caribbean Premier League (WCPL) tournaments.

The 17-member provisional squad will be pruned down to 13 a day before the start of the series.

The five T20 Internationals are scheduled for September 25 to October 6.

For the ODI series, West Indies will be looking to build on the progress after reaching the semifinals of the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup in New Zealand earlier this year. The team will then look to the five T20I matches as part of their preparations for the 2023 ICC Women’s T20 World Cup in South Africa in January.

Mandy Mangru and Kaysia Schultz have also joined the players in Antigua for a 10-day training camp led by head coach Courtney Walsh.

“The New Zealand series is very important on the women’s cricket landscape not only because it starts a new cycle, but also because it is part of the preparation leading towards the T20 World Cup in South Africa,” CWI’s lead selector for women’s cricket, Ann Browne-John, said.

“With a few senior players unavailable at this time, for different reasons, like the experienced Anisa Mohammed, Kycia Knight and recently retired Deandra Dottin, the selectors were still able to get a blend of senior and developing players including Under-19 player Jannillea Glasgow and returning players Natasha McLean and Sheneta Grimmond. Ultimately, we believe that captain Hayley Matthews, in her first series, will have a promising squad of players to start building with,” added Browne-John

Full squad: Hayley Matthews (C), Aaliyah Alleyne, Shemaine Campbelle, Shamilia Connell, Afy Fletcher, Cherry Ann Fraser, Shabika Gajnabi, Jannillea Glasgow, Sheneta Grimmond, Chinelle Henry, Kyshona Knight, Natasha McLean, Chedean Nation, Karishma Ramharack, Shakera Selman, Stafanie Taylor, Rashada Williams.

Schedule: ODI Series – September 16, 18 and 22. T20I Series – September 25, 28, Oct 1, 4 and 6.

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India drawn in an interesting pool for 2023 Hockey World Cup, feels Sreejesh

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Veteran India hockey goalkeeper PR Sreejesh feels his side has been drawn in an “interesting pool” for the FIH Odisha World Cup 2023 Bhubaneswar-Rourkela, scheduled to be played from January 13-29, with the likes of England and Wales adding to the excitement.

The Indian team has been drawn in Pool D with England, Spain and Wales in the showpiece event.

“It is an interesting pool. England, Spain and Wales all three are really good teams. Having played England and Wales at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games recently, I feel it will be a tough competition. But, we don’t need to think about it right now. At present, it’s all about us. We are going step-by-step and working on our game at the national camp. We are very excited and looking forward to playing the World Cup at home for the second consecutive time,” said 34-year-old Sreejesh, who played a big role in India returning from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics with a bronze medal after four decades.

About the team’s prospects in the Pro League 2022-23 matches, Sreejesh said the matches in Odisha will be like a mock test for the 2023 World Cup.

“The Pro League is the best platform for us because we get to play against some of the top teams. The upcoming matches at home will be like a mock test for us, it will help us for the real challenge which we will face in January 2023. It will also help us in providing young players the experience of playing high-level hockey. So, it’s a great opportunity for us as it will sort of help us set the tempo for the World Cup,” said Sreejesh a veteran of 266 international matches.

Sreejesh, who has been nominated for the FIH Men’s Goalkeeper of the Year Award 2021-22, credited team effort for his nomination for the award which he won last year.

“It is an honour for me to be nominated for the FIH Goalkeeper of the Year award category. Even though I have been nominated as an individual, it wouldn’t have been possible without my teammates, who have been giving their best each and every day for the team. I am privileged to have such amazing teammates and coaching staff which has helped me bring out the best of my game and helped me to take it to another level.”

The experienced goalkeeper added, “Every time I get nominated for the awards, I feel I am raising the bar for myself and for the youngsters who aspire to become goalkeepers. If you want to reach this level, you have to keep working hard and strive to be better every day.”

Apart from Sreejesh, Harmanpreet Singh (FIH Player of the Year Men), Savita (FIH Goalkeeper of the Year Women), Sanjay (FIH Rising Star of the Year Men), Mumtaz Khan (FIH Rising Star of the Year Women), Graham Reid (FIH Men’s Team Coach of the Year Men) and Janneke Schopman (FIH Women’s Team Coach of the Year Women) have also been nominated for FIH Hockey Star Awards 2021-22.

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Indian cricketer Veda Krishnamurthy to get engaged, proposal photos go viral

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 Indian women’s cricket team batter Veda Krishnamurthy is set to enter a new phase of life. Her family sources confirmed that her engagement ceremony will be held in Bengaluru on September 18.

Veda Krishnamurthy will get engaged to upcoming cricketer Arjun Hoysala. Both Arjun and Veda have shared the photos of their special moments on social media and the images have gone viral.

Veda Krishnamurthy has been going through a rough patch after losing her mother and sister to Covid-19. She is presently not in the Indian team and working her ways to get back into the side.

The photo of Arjun kneeling before Veda Krishnamurthy and proposing to her has gone viral. Arjun has captioned the photo “And she said ‘yes'”. The couple has also shared photos of them at a picturesque location in Karnataka.

Arjun, a left-handed batter, has played for Karnataka in Ranji Trophy. He had also played for various franchises in the Karnataka Premier League.

Veda Krishnamurthy, an all-rounder who is a member of the Karnataka women’s cricket team, has played 48 ODIs and 76 T20Is. She was part of the Indian team in the ODI World Cup in 2017 and the T20 World Cup in 2020.

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