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Thursday,09-July-2020

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Shikhar Dhawan: Team goal more important than first T20 ton

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 He may have missed out on his maiden T20 century by three runs, but the sportsman that he is Shikhar Dhawan was all smiles when Colin Ingram hit a six to take Delhi Capitals home against Kolkata Knight Riders at the Eden Gardens. While team advisor Sourav Ganguly called him a class act, the opener said that the team always comes before personal goals.

“I knew it could be my first T20 hundred but the team goal is more important, hence I took that single rather than taking a huge risk,” he smiled.

Comparing the wicket at the Eden Gardens to the one back home at the Feroze Shah Kotla, Dhawan said: “It’s totally opposite here compared to Delhi. I was telling Dinesh (Karthik) the same thing. It’s a good wicket to bat on. Good for the bowlers as well as the batsmen, makes it interesting. In Delhi we have to adapt ourselves, hence we got to have that skill.”

While Dhawan generally looks to settle down into the innings, he started aggressively from the word go at the Eden Gardens and the opener said that he enjoyed batting on the wicket which suited stroke play.

“I really enjoyed in the first six overs but I knew I had to stay till the last. I was getting the right thoughts and I had to take the game deep,” he said.

While he shared a match-winning partnership with Rishabh Pant, the latter once again lost his wicket at the end as he looked to finish the game with sixes. But Dhawan backed the youngster. “Rishabh is such a big hitter he can always hit it out of the park,” he said.

National

Ball tampering was rampant during 1989 India-Pakistan Test series, says Kiran More

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Kiran More. (File Photo: IANS)

Former India wicketkeeper Kiran More has said ball tampering was almost a norm during the team’s 1989 Test tour of Pakistan. More, however, said that neither side reported the other for it and everyone learnt how to scratch the ball and then generate reverse swing.

“In those days, scratching the ball was allowed, so you used to get reverse swing, big time,” More said on The Greatest Rivalry podcast. “It was like, nobody used to complain from both sides. Everybody used to scratch the ball and reverse swing the ball. It was difficult to bat, it was not easy to bat. Even Manoj Prabhakar learned on our team how to scratch that ball and reverse swing that ball and Pakistan found it challenging.”

More said that the umpires were pretty much powerless to deal with it. While the officials had a word with captains Krishnamachari Srikkanth and Imran Khan about it, there wasn’t too much of a difference because of it.

The series marked the international debut of Sachin Tendulkar and Waqar Younis. All four Tests were drawn affairs. Sanjay Manjrekar was the highest run-scorer in the series with 218 runs while Shoaib Mohammad was the top-scorer for Pakistan with 203 runs. Wasim Akram was the highest wicket-taker with 18 scalps while Prabhakar was the top wicket-taker for India with 16 wickets. Pakistan won the subsequent four-match ODI series 2-0.

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National

Mohammed Kaif takes hilarious dig at Yuvraj on workout video

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Former India batsman Mohammed Kaif recently took a hilarious dig at his former team mate Yuvraj Singh on the latter’s workout video. Yuvraj could be seen performing various workout routines in the gym in the video that he uploaded on Wednesday.

“Bhai ab tum fitness challenge bhejo mere liye (Brother, now you send me a fitness challenge),” said Kaif in reply to the Instagram post of the video.

The pair, who are both retired, are known to be good friends off the field. Kaif and Yuvraj were known for their athleticism while fielding apart from their ability with the bat. They had famously stitched a 121-run partnership in the 2002 NatWest series final against England at Lord’s. India were reeling at 146/5, chasing a target of 326 with captain Sourav Ganguly, Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar all back in the hut.

Yuvraj scored 69 off 63 balls as he and Kaif went about rebuilding the chase. Yuvraj was finally dismissed by Paul Collingwood but Kaif stuck around and saw India through to an incredible series-win with two wickets and three balls to spare. He was unbeaten on 87 off 75 balls.

While Kaif’s international career only lasted till 2006, Yuvraj however went on to be recognised as one of India’s greatest ever limited-overs batsmen. He played talismanic roles in India’s wins at the 2007 T20 World Cup win and 2011 World Cup. The left-handed batsman finally retired from international cricket last year.

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Yuvraj Singh pays tribute to ‘eternal captain’ Ganguly on 48th Birthday

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Former India all-rounder Yuvraj Singh referred to former captain and current Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President Sourav Ganguly as his eternal captain after the latter turned 48 on Wednesday.

The cricket fraternity took to social media to wish Ganguly on his special day and Yuvraj went a step further as he uploaded a video of them spending time together with the Indian team.

Yuvraj’s tweet read: “Happy Birthday to the undisputed Dada of Indian cricket. You have always led from the front, showing us what it means to be a true leader. I have learnt a lot from you and hope to become to others what you are to me. You are our eternal captain. @SGanguly99 #HappyBirthdayDada.”

In the short clip, Yuvraj also revealed a funny anecdote when a prank caused Ganguly to chase him and his former teammate Harbjahan Singh around the dressing room.

“I think when we got very familiar with you — me, Viru (Virender Sehwag), Bhajji (Harbjahan Singh), Zak (Zaheer Khan), (Ashish) Nehra — I think we played a lot of pranks on you,” Yuvraj said in the video uploaded on his Twitter handle.

“When we were playing against Pakistan, me and Harbjahan created a fake newspaper on April Fool’s Day and we wrote quotes for every player and attributed them to you.

“I remember you saying ‘I will resign the next day if I have said these things about you guys’. I remember your face going red till Rahul Dravid told you the truth.

“I think you knew who could have done such a thing and that is why you chased me and Bhajji around. Sorry for that but love you for that,” Yuvraj said.

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