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Friday,24-September-2021

International

Snubbed Hanuma Vihari flies to England for County cricket

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Even as the entire India cricket team players, including Test specialist Cheteshwar Pujara, gear up for this season’s Indian Premier League, middle-order batsman Hanuma Vihari flew to England on Sunday to join County team Warwickshire.

A source confirmed that the batsman will play at least three games for the County before joining the Indian team for the World Test Championship final against New Zealand that will be played from June 18-22.

The Hyderabad batsman, who was ignored at this year’s IPL auction has been upset after none of the franchises picked him for the base price of Rs 1 crore even though he has been a regular part of the Test team.

Vihari helped India draw the third Test against Australia in Sydney after a gritty show that saw him score unbeaten 23 off 161 balls in close to four hours on the fifth and final day.

Vihari, like Pujara in the past, has been given the cold shoulder by franchises and not picked by them since he is considered a Test specialist. Pujara too would fly to England in the past to play County cricket in the absence of IPL contract in the past. This year though, the India Test No. 3 got a contract for Rs 50 lakh with Chennai Super Kings and has decided to stay back and not fly to England.

Vihari has played IPL for the Hyderabad and Delhi franchises in the past. The last time he featured in IPL was in 2019, when he played just two matches.

The right-handed batsman who missed the fourth and final Test against Australia due to torn hamstring returned home and underwent treatment.

He represented Andhra as captain in the Vijay Hazare one-dayers and endured a string a disappointing performances.

He scored 65 in the first match but followed it with scores of 2, 2, 1, 4 and 0.

International

KKR skipper Morgan fined Rs 24 lakh; others fined Rs 6 lakh each

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Eoin-Morgan

 Indian Premier League (IPL) side Kolkata Knight Riders have been fined after they maintained a slow over rate during their match against Mumbai Indians at the Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi on September 23 (Thursday).

“As it was the team’s second offence of the season under the IPL’s Code of Conduct relating to minimum over rate offences, Kolkata Knight Riders captain Eoin Morgan was fined Rs 24 lakhs,” an IPL statement said.

“The rest of the members of the playing XI were each fined lesser of either Rs 6 lakhs or 25 per cent of their individual match fee,” the statement added.

In the match against the Rohit Sharma-led Mumbai Indians, Rahul Tripathi and Venkatesh Iyer dazzled with the bat as the Kolkata franchise won by seven wickets.

While Iyer scored his maiden IPL fifty, Tripathi slammed an unbeaten 74 off 42 balls as KKR chased down the target with 4.5 overs to spare.

Needing 156 runs to win, KKR made a scintillating start, courtesy Shubman Gill and Iyer, and moved to 40 in 17 balls. However, the partnership was broken as Jasprit Bumrah disturbed the timber to send Gill packing.

Tripathi, who joined Iyer in the middle, made sure that KKR did not lose the momentum. The right-hander and Iyer added 23 runs in the final three overs of the powerplay as KKR moved to 63/1.

The big-hitting did not stop as Iyer and Tripathi continued to go after the MI bowlers, scoring 48 runs in the next four overs to take KKR to 111/1 after 10 overs. In the next over, the left-hander notched up a fine fifty – his first in the IPL – in 25 balls.

Tripathi then completed his half-century – seventh in the IPL – in the 12th over as KKR continued to make merry with the bat.

Morgan said later during the post-match press conference that, “It’s been a long time since we’ve played like this. Baz (coach Brendon McCullum) has taken over for almost two seasons, so the way we are playing is now getting into his style. To hold such a strong Mumbai team, and chase it down in the manner we did gives us confidence. We were trying to fit Iyer into the XI with a lot of talented guys, and its fantastic with the manner he has scored runs. We never put a number on him, on how many games he will get.”

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Coach Shastri hints that he might step down after T20 World Cup

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Ravi-Shastri

 Indian cricket team coach Ravi Shastri has given a big hint that he is likely to step down from the hot seat after the ICC T20 World Cup in the UAE and Oman when he said that “I believe one thing — never overstay your welcome.”

Shastri, who was squarely criticised for launching his new book in London and spreading the Covid-19 virus among the support staff two days before the fourth Test at The Oval, said on Saturday, “I believe so because I’ve achieved all I wanted,” when asked whether the ICC T20 World Cup would be his last outing with Team India as chief coach.

“Five years as No 1 (in Test cricket), to win in Australia twice, to win in England. I spoke to Michael Atherton earlier this summer and said: ‘For me, this is the ultimate — to beat Australia in Australia and win in England in Covid times.’ We lead England 2-1 and the way we played at Lord’s and the Oval was special,” Shastri told The Guardian.

“We’ve also beaten every country in the world in their own backyard in white-ball cricket. If we win the (T20) World Cup that will be the icing on the cake. There is nothing more. I believe one thing –never overstay your welcome. And I would say that, in terms of what I wanted to get out of the side, I’ve over-achieved. To beat Australia away and to lead the series in England in a Covid year? It is the most satisfying moment of my four decades in cricket,” said Shastri.

Within days of the book-launch function, where no masks were worn, Shastri had tested Covid-positive and went into isolation along with four members of his support staff. And when assistant physio Yogesh Parmar too tested positive, the players became anxious and finally the fifth and final Test in Manchester had to be called off.

“It was funny because in my 10 days I didn’t have a single symptom barring a little sore throat. I never had any temperature and my oxygen level was 99% all the time. I didn’t take any medication through 10 days of my isolation, not a single paracetamol. I tell the guys: ‘Once you’re double jabbed, it’s a bloody 10-day flu. That’s it,'” said Shastri.

On whether he discussed the emerging situation with players, Shastri replied, “No. I didn’t know who had got it (Covid-19). I didn’t know (the physio) got it suddenly and tested positive. He physically treated five or six players. I think that’s where the issue started. We were aware that the incubation period meant that someone might get it in the middle (of the Test). A lot of players had their families there. So it became a situation where you don’t know what that player is thinking. He’s got a young kid, you know, he’s got to think of them. It was a little, I would say, touchy.”

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International

Coach Shastri hints that he might step down after T20 World Cup

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Indian cricket team coach Ravi Shastri has given a big hint that he is likely to step down from the hot seat after the ICC T20 World Cup in the UAE and Oman when he said that “I believe one thing — never overstay your welcome.”

Shastri, who was squarely criticised for launching his new book in London and spreading the Covid-19 virus among the support staff two days before the fourth Test at The Oval, said on Saturday, “I believe so because I’ve achieved all I wanted,” when asked whether the ICC T20 World Cup would be his last outing with Team India as chief coach.

“Five years as No 1 (in Test cricket), to win in Australia twice, to win in England. I spoke to Michael Atherton earlier this summer and said: ‘For me, this is the ultimate — to beat Australia in Australia and win in England in Covid times.’ We lead England 2-1 and the way we played at Lord’s and the Oval was special,” Shastri told The Guardian.

“We’ve also beaten every country in the world in their own backyard in white-ball cricket. If we win the (T20) World Cup that will be the icing on the cake. There is nothing more. I believe one thing –never overstay your welcome. And I would say that, in terms of what I wanted to get out of the side, I’ve over-achieved. To beat Australia away and to lead the series in England in a Covid year? It is the most satisfying moment of my four decades in cricket,” said Shastri.

Within days of the book-launch function, where no masks were worn, Shastri had tested Covid-positive and went into isolation along with four members of his support staff. And when assistant physio Yogesh Parmar too tested positive, the players became anxious and finally the fifth and final Test in Manchester had to be called off.

“It was funny because in my 10 days I didn’t have a single symptom barring a little sore throat. I never had any temperature and my oxygen level was 99% all the time. I didn’t take any medication through 10 days of my isolation, not a single paracetamol. I tell the guys: ‘Once you’re double jabbed, it’s a bloody 10-day flu. That’s it,'” said Shastri.

On whether he discussed the emerging situation with players, Shastri replied, “No. I didn’t know who had got it (Covid-19). I didn’t know (the physio) got it suddenly and tested positive. He physically treated five or six players. I think that’s where the issue started. We were aware that the incubation period meant that someone might get it in the middle (of the Test). A lot of players had their families there. So it became a situation where you don’t know what that player is thinking. He’s got a young kid, you know, he’s got to think of them. It was a little, I would say, touchy.”

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