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Monday,02-August-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.

Bollywood

What A Shot! Farah Khan on what’s it like directing M.S. Dhoni

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Choreographer-filmmaker Farah Khan recently directed Indian cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni for a commercial.

Sharing her experience, Farah told IANS: “This is the first time I was meeting him. I can’t tell you how wonderful he is! He is an extremely down to earth person. We had to change his clothes five times during the shoot and he did not complain.”

Recalling Dhoni’s behaviour on the set, she further said: “Within five minutes we were chatting like we know each other for a long time! He also came to my van to have food. It was a pleasure working with him. What a lovely human being he is!”

Just a few days ago, Farah had taken to social media to shower praises on Dhoni after having directed him for the advertisement. Taking to Instagram, she wrote: “Directed @mahi7781 for an ad today .. What an amazing guy.. so punctual, so down to earth, took pics with everyone frm clients to spotboys with a smile..im a fan.”

On the work front, Farah is all set to apper as the judge on the new television programme ‘Zee Comedy Show’, which will air from July 31 on Zee TV.

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National

They have to keep improving and getting better: Rahul Dravid

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Rahul-Dravid

Indian head coach Rahul Dravid has said that he was not disappointed by the performance of the young batsmen in the T20I series against Sri Lanka. He believed that the youngsters have to keep getting better in future.

In Thursday’s decider at the R Premadasa Stadium, India managed to get just 81 in the first innings. Sri Lanka chased 82 with seven wickets in hand.

“I’m not disappointed. They are young batters; they have to keep improving and getting better. The Sri Lankan team’s bowling attack is their international bowling attack. They’re missing a few batsmen because of various reasons, but this is a top-quality attack. So, it’s a great opportunity to reflect on these performances, reflect on these conditions, and maybe come up with some slightly better strategies,” said Dravid in the post-match press conference.

Apart from skipper Shikhar Dhawan, India had just four batsmen for the last two T20Is in Ruturaj Gaikwad, Devdutt Padikkal, Sanju Samson and Nitish Rana. Among the four, Samson had the most experience with just seven T20Is.

“Let’s be fair, you don’t get these sorts of conditions very often in T20 cricket. But when you do, I think you need to have a response. You need to be able to play slightly better. They’re all youngsters, we just need to have patience with them, give them more opportunities so that they can develop and grow,” felt Dravid.

He added, “This was a really young team. All of us have had our struggles playing quality bowling, whether it’s spin or pace. Early on in our careers, we’ve all had those struggles and we’ve all had to fight our way through that. None of us have been perfect when we started, whether it’s my generation or any generation for that matter. It needs experience.”

He also pointed out the conditions which are different for the youngsters than him in the playing years, saying that there is a lot to learn about playing on challenging pitches.

“Maybe the one thing that’s slightly different is that when I was starting or was growing up, the pitches in domestic cricket tended to turn a little bit more and spun a bit more. To be honest, some of them were under-prepared. But I don’t think the talent is missing, either in spin bowling or in the batting. We just need a little bit more experience in being able to figure out a few more different kinds of shots when we’re challenged with these kinds of pitches. We just need to figure out a couple of more options. It was tough batting for them (Sri Lankans) as well.”

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National

Focus on Prithvi Shaw and Suryakumar Yadav’s departure to England

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Prithvi Shaw and Suryakumar Yadav’s departure from Sri Lanka to join the Indian Test squad in England may be delayed after they were sent into isolation for being in close contact with Krunal Pandya, who has tested positive for Covid-19 in the island nation.

The two were expected to leave immediately after the culmination of the white ball series in Sri Lanka. The series ends after Thursday night’s third T20I.

“They will travel to England when the formalities are completed,” an official told IANS.

The Indian Test squad in England has already seen three of the players being ruled out. While opener Subman Gill withdrew due to leg injury and has since returned home, off-spin bowling all-rounder Washington Sundar has hurt his finger, and pace bowler Avesh Khan, who was among the standby players, has suffered fracture his left thumb.

As a result, the selectors have pushed Abhimanyu Easwaran into the main squad and have also called up Shaw and Yadav.

The Test series begins on August 4 in Nottingham.

The second Test will be played on August 12-16 at Lord’s, London, the third Test on August 25-29 in Leeds, the fourth Test between September 2 and 6 at the Oval, London, and the fifth and final Test in Manchester from September 10 to 14.

The Indian team had lost the World Test Championship final to New Zealand last month.

After a three-week break, the Indian players moved to Durham for a warm-up match and training.

The team will travel to Nottingham on August 1.

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