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Working hard to be part of team for Olympics, says Dilpreet Singh




Indian hockey forward Dilpreet Singh, who has been training at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) centre here as part of the men’s senior core probable group, is eyeing to make the cut in the final 16 who will represent the country at the Tokyo Olympics, slated to begin in July.

The 21-year-old striker has said that due to lack of major competitions in the Covid-19 pandemic-affected 2020, he’s taking each training session as an opportunity to make a strong case for a spot in the Olympics squad.

“We don’t want to be worrying about factors that are not in our control. I don’t want to wait until I get an opportunity to play a match for India to make a strong case for myself but make the most of the opportunity I am getting here at the camp to showcase my skills and prove my worth. We are giving 100 per cent in each and every training session,” said Dilpreet.

“I have been working on my technical game. I have improved on my finishing. Watching senior players play and spending time with them, helps younger players gain confidence and of course, improve our game. We ask senior players for tips and guidance, and they have been helpful to us throughout,” he added.

Dilpreet, who was a part of the silver medal winning and bronze medal winning teams at the Champions Trophy 2018 and the Asian Games 2018 respectively, returned to the junior core group after the 2018 World Cup.

Speaking about the omission, the Amritsar lad said, “I was quite upset with myself because I have been a part of almost all the major tournaments, and I was eager to feature in the Olympics as well. But, omission from the senior core group hit me hard and made me realise I had thrown away the golden opportunity and had to work harder.”

However a year later after performing well in the junior core probables, Dilpreet was called back for the Pro League tie against World Champions Belgium.

“I started from scratch. I trained really hard in the junior camp to at least make a place in the senior team. I used to shadow each, and every drill done by the senior team. I was in constant touch with senior players for that, I asked them for guidance, and finally in 2020, I was back in the core group for the FIH Hockey Pro League,” he said.

“Postponement of the Olympics gave players like myself an opportunity to improve and make the most out of the situation. Team selection is not in my hands, I am focused on giving my 100 per cent on the field and improve day-by-day,” he added.


‘There must be a formula to pick WTC final winner in case of a draw’




Former India skipper Sunil Gavaskar is clearly not happy with the way things are panning out in the World Test Championship (WTC) final between India and New Zealand here after two days were lost to rain.

The cricketer-turned-commentator wants the International Cricket Council (ICC) to come up with a formula to determine the winner if the final ends in a draw.

The first and fourth days of the Test here were a washout. In reply to India’s first-innings total of 217, New Zealand are 101/2 in 49 overs.

The ICC, while announcing the playing conditions of the WTC final, had said that in the event of a draw or a tie, the trophy would be shared.

“There must be a formula to pick a winner in case of a drawn World Test Championship final. ICC’s cricket committee should think and then take a decision,” Gavaskar told a news channel.

A total of 141.1 overs have been possible in the WTC final so far and with just two days remaining, including the reserved day, it would be impossible to bowl the remaining 308.5 overs.

“It seems that the WTC final will end up as a draw and the trophy will be shared. This will be the first time that the trophy will be shared in a final. To complete three innings in two days would be really difficult. Yes, if both teams bat really badly, the three innings could be completed,” Gavaskar added.

He asked ICC to look at other sport, such as football or tennis, to find a way to decide the winner.

“In football, they have a penalty shootout or they have some other method to decide a winner. In tennis, there are five sets and there is a tie-breaker,” he said.

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Noida shooting range to be named after ‘Shooter Dadi’




The Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh has decided to name the shooting range in Noida after the international shooter Chandro Tomar, popularly known as ‘Shooter Dadi’.

Chief minister Yogi Adityanath gave instructions in this regard on Tuesday.

Chandro Tomar died at the age of 89 in April due to Covid.

Shooter Dadi had started professional shooting at the age of 60 and went on to win many national competitions. She is considered the oldest shooter in the world. Her sister-in-law, Prakashi Tomar, is also a shooter.

In 2019, a film based on her life, ‘Saand Ki Aankh’ was released.

Chandro Tomar lived with her family in Baghpat, Uttar Pradesh.

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VVS Laxman advises Ajinkya Rahane to curb his instinct to play pull shot




Former India cricketer VVS Laxman is not impressed with Ajinkya Rahane’s obsession with the pull shot that led to the vice-captain being dismissed one short of a half-century on Day 3 of the World Test Championship final against New Zealand here.

Just when Rahane had started to look threatening, he was dismissed for 49 by Neil Wagner. He didn’t commit fully to the pull and ended up playing a short-arm jab, and spooned the catch to Tom Latham at square-leg, leaving India tottering on 182/6.

“I thought that Ajinkya Rahane was getting his eye in. He was batting much better. He looked more assured on the crease as compared to yesterday [Saturday]. But this is something that has become a pattern with Rahane’s batting. It was the same game plan that New Zealand used against him in Christchurch. This is something he requires to understand,” said Laxman.

“You talked about the planning between Neil Wagner and Kane Williamson. There was no fielder there on the fifth delivery, the one before he got out. And then a fielder was placed there and also near the backward short-leg. It forced Rahane to play the half-hearted pull short. There was no conviction in that pull short and this would be something Rahane will be disappointed with,” Laxman told STAR Sports.

Praising the “perfect execution” of the field by captain Williamson for Rahane, Laxman added that, sooner or later, the opposition understands the batsman’s favourite shot and works to negate it.

“[It’s] because if the opposition comes to know that you are a compulsive pull shot or hook shot player, they will bowl a barrage of bouncers at you and have the field set to make you play that shot. And it is always going to be a low percentage shot,” he added.

Laxman advised Rahane to be cautious when the ball is pitched in the “corridor of uncertainty”.

“Number one is you know where your off stump is, you know how to play the ball when it is pitched in the corridor of uncertainty. And you also should know how to leave or defend the bouncers.”

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