Connect with us
Sunday,28-February-2021

National

Saina going through toughest phase of her career: U Vimal Kumar

Published

on

Saina-Nehwal

Former world No.1 Saina Nehwal is going through the toughest phase of her career and needs to take care of herself so as to avoid any more defeats, says former national champion and coach U. Vimal Kumar.

Saina, currently ranked 20th in the world, was knocked out of the first round of the ongoing second Thailand Open. She had earlier fallen in the second round of the first Thailand Open, which was also her first tournament since the All England Championships in March 2020.

Kumar said that Saina looked “out of shape” in Thailand. “It is not going to be easy for her to bounce back. I have always said that if she has no pain, she will play well. More than the pain though she didn’t look very fit to me. Maybe after the Covid issue and all she is still recovering from it,” Kumar told IANS.

A two-time national champion, Kumar felt Saina is going through the toughest phase of her career.

“I think so. Things have not been going well for her for the past couple of years. She needs confidence to get going and the last she had a good result was in 2019 at the Indonesia Masters,” said the man who won the national title in 1988 and 1989.

“The workouts, physical training and other things have to be really specific. She has to plan all this a lot better and that is the only way she can come out of this. Losing more matches like this will affect her confidence. It is not only just physical, there is a lot of mental aspects [at play] as well. She is a strong girl but these results can affect her,” he said.

Saina had worked with Kumar in her formative years and later between 2014 and 2017 when she became the first Indian badminton player to achieve a No.1 ranking and won silver at the badminton World Championships.

The Hyderabad-based Saina’s best finishes in 2020 came when she reached the quarter-finals in the Malaysia Masters in January and the Barcelona Masters in February. The last time she won a title was the 2019 Indonesia Masters held in January.

Saina is currently 15th in the rankings for the Tokyo Olympics. With Sindhu already ranked seventh, Saina needs to break into the top eight to qualify for the Games. The tournaments in Thailand are not part of the Olympic qualifying period, which is scheduled to start with the Swiss Open on March 2.

“The next one or one-and-a-half months will determine her chances. The next five-six weeks will be key and give us an idea,” said Kumar.

Kumar, however, also said that the fact remains that while Saina and most of the Indian players are playing their first tournaments since March, when the national lockdown began, many of their opponents have had prior match practice with domestic championships being held in many countries.

“They are all awfully short of match practice. All of them are playing after more than 10 months which is not good. [PV] Sindhu also needs more matches; it’s the only way she can get back. We have to see how things go in March when things open up,” said Kumar.

National

SunRisers Hyderabad’s David Warner looking ahead to IPL 2021

Published

on

SunRisers-Hyderabad

SunRisers Hyderabad’s David Warner is already looking forward to the next edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and leading the franchise again, even though the dates of the T20 tournament are yet to be announced.

“One of my things to do is lead this unbelievable franchise @sunrisershyd the entire team from fans, Owners, staff, players and ground staff. We have always had an amazing bunch of people be apart [sic] of the franchise and I am looking forward to the coming season. #orangearmy #cricket #india,” he wrote on Instagram.

Warner, 34, captained SunRisers to the IPL title in 2016, when his team defeated Royal Challengers Bangalore by eight runs in the final played in Bengaluru.

A hard-hitting Australian opening batsman, Warner was laid low by a groin injury during the recent series against India in Australia. He is planning to return to action on March 4 in a domestic match.

“Just to clarify a comment I made on commentary last night, that “My Groin”will need on going treatment and will have an annoying pain for at least 6-9 months. I am returning to play for NSW on the 4th March 2021 [sic],” Warner tweeted on February 23.

Warner has played 86 Tests, 128 ODIs, and 81 T20 Internationals.

Continue Reading

National

Jasprit Bumrah released from Indian Test squad on his request: BCCI

Published

on

Jasprit-Bumrah

Fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah has been released from the Indian team on his request, the Indian cricket board announced on Saturday.

“Bumrah made a request to BCCI [Board of Control for Cricket in India] to be released from India’s squad ahead of the fourth Test owing to personal reasons. Accordingly, the fast bowler has been released and he will not be available for selection for the fourth Test [against England],” said a BCCI statement.

The fourth Test begins here on March 4.

“There will be no addition to India’s squad for the final Test,” the BCCI said.

The BCCI, however, did not mention the reason for Bumrah’s release.

On a Motera pitch that assisted spinners, Bumrah was asked to bowl only six overs in the first innings of third Test and he didn’t take any wicket. In the second innings, neither he nor Ishant Sharma, the other fast bowler, bowled a single over.

India won the match by 10 wickets, and now lead the four-Test match series 2-1.

Squad for 4th Test: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), KL Rahul, Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant and Wriddhiman Saha (wicket-keepers), R Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav

Continue Reading

National

Surprisingly, Ravi Shastri indulges in ‘banter’ on social media

Published

on

Ravi-Shastri

The Indian cricket team’s landslide win over England in the third Test match seems to have allowed coach Ravi Shastri to indulge in humour on social media. In a rare reply to a tweet, Shastri on Saturday wrote “love the banter” on his handle.

The tweet has a reference to India’s 10-wicket win over England in the third Test in Ahmedabad, Gujarat – a ‘dry’ state where liquor is prohibited. The win was registered inside two days of the five-day match, allowing players three days to practice and indulge in other activities.

It all started with a meme on social media. It carried a smiling photo of Shastri with these words attributed to the former India captain: “you thought I’d stay in a dry state for 5 days?” The reference was to the prohibition in Gujarat.

But whoever made the meme probably forgot that the next Test match will also be played in Ahmedabad, starting on March 4, so Shastri would have to stay put in the bio bubble in the city.

Well-known writer and author Shobhaa De, 73, tweeted the meme, along with the word “smart!” and tagged former India captain Shastri.

Surprisingly, Shastri, 58, reacted. “Love the banter ! Feels good to bring some smiles in these tough times,” he tweeted in reply.

Shastri, a successful all-rounder, played 80 Tests and scored 3,830 runs and captured 151 wickets. In 150 One-day Internationals, the left-arm spinner bagged 129 wickets and scored 3,108 runs.

After retirement, Shastri switched to television commentary and has had a few stints as coach of the Indian team.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending