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What spark did you see in Jadhav, Chawla: Kris Srikkanth asks Dhoni

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Former Indian cricketer Kris Srikkanth slammed ace skipper MS Dhoni’s mantra on selection following Chennai Super Kings’ seventh defeat in 10 matches in the ongoing IPL and termed the latter’s selections throughout the season as “ridiculous”.

“What is Dhoni’s deal? He says N. Jagadeesan doesn’t have spark, but does ‘scooter’ (Kedar) Jadhav have that spark? This is ridiculous. I will not accept this answer today. All this talk of process and Chennai’s tournament itself is over,” Srikkanth told Star Sports Tamil.

“I will never accept what Dhoni is saying about this process,” said Srikkanth. “This process he keeps talking about is meaningless. You keep talking about process, process… but the process of selection itself is wrong.”

Srikkanth’s outburst came after CSK suffered a seven-wicket loss against Rajasthan Royals on Monday evening. After the game, Dhoni told official broadcaster Star Sports that the youngsters in the team had not showed him the kind of “spark” that would have warranted their inclusion in the side.

Jagadeesan’s case was singled out as he featured in just one game in the CSK XI against RCB when he scored 33.

“Dhoni now says that since the pressure is off, he’ll give the youngsters a chance. Come on yaar. I don’t understand this rubbish about the process at all. What spark didn’t he see in Jagadeesan? What spark did he see in Jadhav and Piyush Chawla?

“Karn Sharma at least took wickets. Chawla simply goes through the motions of bowling, coming on when the game is already lost. Dhoni may be a pistha (big shot) and there is no doubt he is great, but I cannot agree with him or accept this,” said the former Indian opener.

The three-time champions have six points from 10 games and are currently placed at the bottom of the points table. They next play Mumbai Indians on Friday.

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Working hard to get into senior Indian hockey team, says Manpreet Kaur

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Defender Manpreet Kaur, who is currently a part of the senior core probables group of the Indian women’s hockey team, is focussing on doing the basic rights in order to find a place in the national side.

Over the past few years, there has been no dearth of talent when it comes to the Indian eves. The world number nine side has a huge pool of players who are yet to play for the senior team, but have already gained useful experience and exposure representing the junior team around the world.

“I am so happy and proud to be a part of the senior core probables group, and to have this opportunity to play and work with the best players from India. My ambition has always been to represent my country at the highest level, and having done so at the junior level, my next milestone is to represent the senior team soon,” said Kaur.

“It is obviously something that is not in my hands, but I want to focus on everything that is in my hands. I want to put my 100 per cent effort and hard work into getting myself ready for the time when I get the chance. I am really happy that we’ve had such great support and planning from Hockey India and SAI with regards to the exposure that I’ve been able to get at the junior level, even without having played for the senior team yet,” the talented defender from Haryana added.

Winner of the bronze medal at the 4th Girls U18 Asia Cup 2016 held in Bangkok, Thailand, the 22-year-old recalled it as her most memorable tournament.

“I was really young back then, only 17 and it was such a big occasion for us to be representing the country at the continent’s most important tournament at the junior level. I remember how amazingly everyone in the team performed and I thought we were unfortunate to not make it to the final, but the 3-0 victory in the bronze medal match against Republic of Korea made it worth it,” said Kaur.

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Varney Kallon looks forward to a ‘fresh’ start in I-League 2020-21

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Neroca FC captain Varney Kallon is looking forward to a fresh start in I-League 2020-21 leaving the hiccups from the last season behind.

“It’s true that we had a tough season in I-League (2018-19). Some results went against us although we tried to give everything on the field. But, this is going to be a fresh start and we’ll leave no stone unturned to put Neroca where they used to be,” Kallon told www.i-league.org.

Neroca caught everyone’s imagination in their debut season (2017-18) itself when they had a shot at the silverware till the final day of the league until Minerva Punjab clinched it at Ludhiana.

The Orange outfit, thanks to their nine wins and five draws, finished the campaign with 32 points, 3 shy of the champions.

But, I-League 2019-20 turned to be a roller-coaster ride for the Manipuri team as they had to swallow a hard-fought loss to cross-city debutants TRAU FC in the first-ever Imphal Derby in I-League. They were tottering in the eleventh spot with 18 points from 16 outings before the league got suspended owing to Covid-19 pandemic.

“It’s (Neroca) like my second home away from home. That’s the reason I wanted to stay here for a longer period and take Neroca to greater heights,” the Liberian central defender continued. “I love the people and their passion for football. They chant for you, and they sing for you when you perform. They will even cry with you when the team is going through a tough phase.”

The 27-year-old mentioned another strong connection of himself which makes him stay closer to Neroca – head coach Gift Raikhan, who is nothing short of an “elder brother” to the seasoned defender.

“Working with Gift (Raikhan) is indeed a gift for me. He is that sort of a coach who knows how to bring out the best in a player. He’s one of the prime reasons why I love to play in India. He’s nothing less than my elder brother to me. I owe him everything,” Kallon said.

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Shooter Divyansh Singh Panwar tests positive for Covid-19

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Shooter Divyansh Singh Panwar, who is ranked world number one in men’s 10m air rifle, has tested positive for novel coronavirus and is currently under home isolation.

In a statement, the Sports Authority of India (SAI) has stated that Panwar, who has already secured a quota for Tokyo Olympics, is asymptomatic.

He is part of the national camp which is going on at the Karni Singh Shooting Range in the national capital.

“The shooters and support staff were on a one week Diwali break and reported to the camp on November 18. All campers were on a seven-day quarantine upon joining the camp, as per the Standard Operating Procedures set up by the Sports Authority of India,” the SAI statement read.

“Upon all athletes being tested on the sixth day of quarantine, Panwar tested positive. His condition is being monitored and all requisite support is being extended by SAI and NSF,” it added.

Earlier, a shooter training at the Karni Singh Shooting Range, had also tested positive for Covid-19. However, SAI had maintained that it will not hamper the ongoing camp.

The two-month training camp began from October 15 and is scheduled to run until December 14. The camp comprises of 32 shooters (18 men and 14 women), 8 coaches, 3 foreign coaches and two support staff.

India have won a record 15 quotas in shooting for the Tokyo Olympics and can still obtain quotas on the basis of world rankings.

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