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Monday,17-May-2021

National

Smith’s run out stands out, ahead of my wickets: Ravindra Jadeja

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Despite returning with four wickets for 62, a haul that included the wicket of Marnus Labuschagne for 91, India all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja termed the run out of Steve Smith his best performance in Australia’s first innings of the ongoing third Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Smith, who got his 27th Test century on Friday on return to form, was scoring quick runs with the last batsman Josh Hazlewood. The right-haned batsman clipped one to the square leg and tried to take a double. But Jadeja swooped on the ball and hit the stumps straight from outside the 30-yard circle to catch the batsmen short on his second run as Australian innings came to an end at 338 in the post-lunch session on Day Two.

“For me the run out is one that I can just rewind and play. It is one of my best. Getting a direct hit from outside the 30-yard circle — I would call this my best, my favourite. As far as wickets are concerned, four or five wickets outside India are also very good but this moment stands out,” said Jadeja while speaking to reporters in a virtual interaction at the end of the day’s play.

Australia had ended Day One of the Test in a commanding position, having scored 166/2. The hosts began the second day in similar fashion with Smith and Labuschagne scoring runs at a healthy rate. However, they lost their last eight wickets for 122 runs with Jadeja picking four of those.

“We had talked about the need to be patient because the wicket is not the kind where you can go out and take a wicket or two straightaway. We decided we have to make them play dot balls…The plan was to not give them easy boundaries, so that we could create pressure and get wickets,” Jadeja said.

Matthew Wade succumbed to pressure as he tried to hit Jadeja out but exposed Cameron Green and the tail to the new ball.

“The wicket was a bit slow and it was not easy to bowl on because there was not much turn in it. It was important to bowl at one spot,” said the left-arm spinner who picked the wickets of Labuschagne, Wade, Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon.

“My thinking was to not leak runs and try create pressure from one side as much I could. This wicket isn’t such that you will get a chance in every over,” he added.

The 32-year-old further revealed he varied his speed in order to be more effective.

“You couldn’t bowl at one speed because on this wicket, which wasn’t helping. So you had to mix it up — slow with fast and also create angles,” said Jadeja.

“My idea was to bowl into the stumps and try and not give him (Steve Smith) easy runs. All other fast bowlers were bowling in the right areas and putting pressure on the batsmen,” he added.

India ended the day at 96/2 and still trail by 242 runs.

National

Rishabh Pant gets first jab of Covid-19 vaccine

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Wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant said that he has got his first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine on Thursday. Pant urged people to get the vaccine whenever they are eligible.

“Got my first jab today. When you are eligible, please step up and get the vaccine. The sooner we do it, the sooner we can beat this Virus,” Pant tweeted with a photo of him getting the vaccine.

Earlier Indian captain Virat Kohli and fast bowlers Deepak Chahar and Siddharth Kaul also said that they had got their first jabs.

Pant was captain of Delhi Capitals for the 2021 season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) following an impressive season with the Indian team in which he played integral roles in their Test series wins away from home against Australia and at home against England.

He was announced as DC’s captain prior to the season after regular skipper Shreyas Iyer was ruled out due to injury.

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National

Sometimes miss Dhoni’s guidance: Kuldeep Yadav

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Kuldeep Yadav

Spinner Kuldeep Yadav has admitted that he misses the guidance he used to get from MS Dhoni when the latter kept wickets. Kuldeep has seen his international appearances nosedive since the end of 2019, which was also the year that Dhoni played his last match for India.

“Sometimes I miss that guidance because he (Mahi) has great experience. He used to guide us behind the wicket, kept screaming. We miss his experience. Rishabh is there now, the more he plays, the more input he will give in the future. I always felt every bowler needs a partner who can respond from the other end,” Yadav told The Indian Express.

Yadav has played seven ODIs in 2020 and 2021, as compared to 23 in 2019 alone. Dhoni played his last game for India in their semi-final defeat to New Zealand in the 2019 World Cup on July 10 before eventually retiring from international cricket on August 15, 2020.

“When Mahibhai was there, I and (Yuzvendra) Chahal were playing. Ever since Mahi bhai left, Chahal and I haven’t played together. I played only a handful of games after Mahibhai left. I must have played ten-odd games. I had even taken a hat-trick. If you look at the performance as a whole, it will look pretty decent but if one breaks it up then my performance sometimes can look not up to the mark. One has to also look at the opposition we are playing against,” said Yadav.

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India should play both Jadeja and Ashwin in WTC final: Pragyan Ojha

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Pragyan-Ojha

Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin should both be playing in the World Test Championship (WTC) final against New Zealand for their prowess with the bat as much as their ability to take wickets, said Pragyan Ojha.

Ojha said that with India having no fast-bowling all-rounder in the squad, Jadeja in particular gives them an extra option in the batting order.

“They should play, both of them. Because both can bat, both have the experience of bowling on any track. The biggest plus point is Jadeja can bat up the order. The way he is performing. Mind you if you look at his domestic record, he’s got three triple hundreds.

I think he can bat long and Ashwin has got international hundreds also. I feel if there’s a little chance where you can play both the spinners, you should play. They have enough experience to win you games on any wicket,” Ojha told Sports Today.

“Overall, it’s a fantastic team. Even I was following Hanuma Vihari. Very thoughtful of him to go and play some county cricket. You know you get acclimatised to the conditions. That’s very important,” he added.

Jadeja will be making his comeback to the Test team after being sidelined in the second Test against Australia due to a finger injury. The injury forced him to miss the four-Test series at home against England but he hit the ground running for Chennai Super Kings in the 2021 Indian Premier League.

Ashwin, on the other hand, has experienced a resurgence with the bat in recent matches, helping India to a draw in the third Test against Australia by fending off 128 balls and finishing unbeaten on 39. He then scored 106 against England in the second Test in Chennai in February.

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