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Thought he must be joking: Rahul Tewatia when Chahal broke news of India call-up




Rahul Tewatia was told that he had been selected for the Indian team by his Haryana teammate Yuzvendra Chahal and the all-rounder wondered whether to take the news seriously at first. Tewatia, Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav all received call-ups to the Indian T20I team that will face England in five matches starting on March 12.

“When Yuzi bhai (Chahal) informed me, my first reaction was that he must be joking. I never thought I would get picked now. Mohit bhaiya (Sharma) also came to my room to inform me,” Tewatia told The Indian Express.

Tewatia said that he knew he had to make most of his chances whenever he got them as Haryana has three spinners who have played for India.

“Life has always thrown challenges. Haryana has three spinners who have already played for India; Amit Mishra, Chahal and Jayant Yadav. I always knew that if I get an opportunity, I must make it count. People had noticed me after the IPL. I thought if I continue to do well, I could get picked for the Indian team,” he added.

The five-match T20I series will be played entirely at the Sardar Patel stadium in Motera and ends on March 20. This will be followed by an ODI series of three matches in Pune from March 23 to 28.


Ace sprinter Dutee Chand hopes to qualify for Tokyo Olympics




Ace sprinter Dutee Chand said on Wednesday that she was well on track to qualify for the Tokyo Olympic Games because of her world ranking, currently 42nd.

“My world ranking is 42 which is within the stipulated number of 56 sprinters eligible to compete in the women’s 100m dash at the Tokyo Olympics. There are two ways to qualify for the Olympics. One is through the world ranking system and the other to achieve qualification time set by the World Athletics,” the 25-year-old said during a virtual media interaction.

For the Tokyo Olympic Games, World Athletics has set stricter qualification standards in track and field events and June 29 is the deadline to achieve a qualification mark in the respective events.

The Olympic qualification standard in women’s 100m is 11.15 seconds while Dutee’s personal best is 11.22 seconds.

“I will try to achieve the time of 11.15 seconds in the upcoming Indian Grand Prix IV in Patiala on June 25. In case I miss then I’ve another chance to achieve the mark at the National Inter-State Athletics Championships in Patiala starting on June 25,” said Dutee, the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games silver medallist in 100m and 200m.

The 100m national record holder is also one of the key members of the women’s 4x100m relay squad.

It is hoped that the women’s 4x100m relay team will make the cut for the Olympics Games before the deadline of June 29.

The Olympics Games start on July 23.

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No Ravindra Jadeja, Ishant in Manjrekar’s India XI for WTC final




Former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar has picked only one specialist spinner in Ravichandra Ashwin and dropped pace spearhead Ishant Sharma in his India XI for the World Test Championship (WTC) final against New Zealand starting on June 18.

“I’m assuming you have typical English conditions. I’m assuming there will be a mixture of sun and cloudy cover throughout the five days of the Test match if it goes the distance. So, I’m picking the team accordingly,” Manjrekar said on

Between Ravindra Jadeja and Ashwin, Manjrekar has went with the latter even as there is a heated debate on whether both should be in the XI.

The cricketer-turned-commentator has also left out Ishant, and instead opted for Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and young Mohammed Siraj for a three-pronged pace attack.

“Want Siraj, the swing bowler to be brought into the equation, and the last time Siraj bowled overseas in Australia, got a five-wicket haul. Hard to leave a bowler like him out,” said Manjrekar.

“You will be tempted to think of Siraj because when you look at Shami, Bumrah and Ishant, they are more seam bowlers, hit-the-deck kind of bowler. Siraj might offer something different. I would go with Siraj, but India might play Ishant for obvious reasons.”

Middle-order batsman Hanuma Vihari too finds a place in Manjrekar’s team. The 27-year-old, who is currently playing for county side Warwickshire, had battled through pain to save the third Test against Australia in Sydney this year.

“Going to have Hanuma Vihari to reward him for his brilliant innings before he got injured [in Sydney]. India will need somebody with more compact defensive technique because the guys at the top of the order, barring [Cheteshwar] Pujara, aren’t those kinds,” he said.

“So, I will have Hanuma Vihari at number 6. [Rishabh] Pant at 7, considering India have hardly had any practice game. I just want to make sure the batting runs deep.”

Manjrekar’s India XI: Shubman Gill, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Siraj

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NZ have advantage but we are mentally prepared: Ajinkya Rahane




India vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane on Wednesday admitted New Zealand would go into the World Test Championship (WTC) final with the advantage of having played two Tests in England, but said his teammates are prepared to face the challenge of playing a one-off Test without a competitive game.

“They are a quality team. We are not going to take them lightly. Yes they played two Test matches against England before the final, so they have this advantage. But as I said this final is all about whoever is going to give their best for the next five days — in each and every session,” said Rahane. He pointed out that the Kiwis have all the bases covered.

India will head into the WTC final with a few practice sessions that Rahane described as being good. A poor start may not give them the chance to come back as it did in Australia where they played four Test matches and could bounce back from 36 all out and the crushing loss in the first Test by winning two of the next three Tests under Rahane.

“I feel it is a mental thing, if you can switch mentally and adapt to it quickly. That is really important. Yes, it is a one-off game but as I said we want to take it as another game, not to think of it as a final. We don’t to put too pressure on ourselves,” he added. “What is important for us is to start well. We have been playing well and consistent cricket.”

The 33-year-old Rahane said the team management is backing the India youngsters to play fearless cricket and perform with freedom.

“I am not telling them anything. They know their game-plans, they know they have played their best cricket for one, one-and-a-half years. They are backing themselves and have the confidence. We believe in their ability, and are allowing them to play their game,” he said.

“We don’t want to create any confusion. As long as we are playing as a unit and playing to our potential, we are not telling them anything. Want them to play with freedom and play fearless cricket.”

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