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Will target India’s inexperienced bowlers: Domingo

Nagpur: Bangladesh head coach Russell Domingo addresses a press conference ahead of the third T20I match against India, at Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Nagpur, Maharashtra on Nov 9, 2019. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

Nagpur: Bangladesh coach Russell Domingo said that his side stands a chance to upset India in the third T20I if they can target the hosts’ inexperienced bowling attack effectively. The series is level at 1-1 going into the final game with Bangladesh recording their first ever win over India in T20Is in the first match.

“It’s no secret that they got reasonably an inexperienced bowling attack. If we bat well, stick to our strategies we can put their bowling attack under pressure,” said Domingo on the eve of the game. “So look, they are a good side but we do think that if we bat to potential, we can put their bowling attack under pressure.”

India were pegged back by a difficult batting pitch on which they had to bat first in the first T20I. Mushfiqur Rahim then took apart the opposition attack in the death overs and led Bangladesh to victory.

In the second match, it was India who batted second and Rohit Sharma’s 85 off 43 balls powered their run to victory. Domingo felt that Bangladesh would have stood a chance in that match had they managed to set a higher total.

“I think dew has affected (the games). Toss has played a role, both teams batting second have come around top but look if we had got 180-190 in the last game, we would have given ourselves a better chance. That was really no excuse in terms of not playing well,” he said.

Domingo was also confident that fast bowler Mustafizur Rahman would come good in the final game. The 24-year-old is coming back from a brief spell on the sidelines due to injury and is yet to have a major impact in the series. “He is a quality bowler. He is a match winner, and our most experienced bowler. We know that a big performance is just around the corner,” Domingo said.

“Bowlers are under pressure in this format, particularly with a wet ball against top quality batters on a good wicket.”

Domingo however gave credit to his team for being in a position to possibly secure an unlikely series win going into the last match. They came into the series on the back of a players’ strike that threatened the tour, followed by the banning of talismanic captain Shakib Al Hasan for at least a year by the International Cricket Council. They are also without star batsman Tamim Iqbal.

“It has been a tough couple of weeks before this tour, but the players deserve a lot of credit. The energy and desire they have shown in the last 10 days has been fantastic. They were willing to try new things. They are playing against a quality side away from home,” he said.

“If someone said to us two weeks ago that we will be one-all coming into Nagpur, no one would have believed it. So we are pretty happy where we are, and it is a great opportunity tomorrow.”

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BCCI to hold AGM on December 1 in Mumbai

Sourav Ganguly. (File Photo: IANS)

New Delhi: The Sourav Ganguly-led office bearers of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) have informed the state associations that the Annual General Meeting of the board will take place on December 1 at its Mumbai headquarters.

Speaking to IANS, a BCCI official confirmed the same. “Yes, it is on December 1,” he said.

Ganguly had earlier told reporters in Kolkata on October 31 that the AGM could be held anytime around the third week of November. “It will be held in the third week of November. The final date is yet to be confirmed,” he had said.

While announcing the date of the BCCI elections, Committee of Administrators (CoA) chief Vinod Rai had announced that the general body meeting of the BCCI will be held on October 23 and then President-elect Ganguly will call the AGM.

Rai had informed that Ganguly and his team will have the responsibility to call the AGM and it will be done with a 21-day notice period as mentioned in BCCI’s constitution.

“Of course they will call for an AGM. Look at the agenda of this meeting, only two items. Obviously they will have to call for an AGM because they have a lot of appointments to make and committees to form. It is the prerogative of the President (Ganguly) and the Secretary (Jay Shah) to do that.

“They will need a 21-day notice period and (Ganguly) he couldn’t have done that earlier because he will officially be the President only after he is declared elected by the Electoral Officer on Wednesday (October 23),” Rai had told IANS.

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Pant must understand his role looking at World T20: Sangakkara

Ahmedabad: Sri Lankan batsman Kumar Sangakkara in action during second ODI match between India and Sri Lanka at Sardar Patel Cricket Stadium in Ahmedabad, on Nov 5, 2014. (Photo: IANS)

Rajkot: Former Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara believes Rishabh Pant needs to improve his wicket-keeping skills and understand the weakness when it comes to his batting as India prepare for next year’s World T20.

“If you are looking at the World Cup it’s important for him (Pant) to understand what his role is in terms of helping his captain with the right information,” Sangakkara said speaking at the Nerolac Cricket Live show on Star Sports.

“However, at the same time as a wicketkeeper, it’s important to be neat and tidy behind the stumps which will give him confidence and put him in a better position to help his captain in calling for reviews,” he added.

Ever since Pant replaced M.S. Dhoni in the limited-overs circuit, he has been criticised by many, be it for his batting, wicket-keeping skills or be his role when it comes to reviews.

In the first T20I of the ongoing series against Bangladesh, the 21-year-old was criticised for his slow batting and poor decision-making when it came to helping skipper Rohit Sharma regarding the DRS calls.

In the second T20I as well, the Delhi lad once again came with a below par performance with the gloves. On one of the occasions in the match which India won by eight wickets, Pant collected the ball in front of the stumps and thereby let go of an easy stumping opportunity, thereby inviting further criticism.

According to the former Sri Lanka wicketkeeper, what Pant needs to do is to keep things simple and not take any pressure.

“It’s important for him to keep things simple and understand his weakness. Once he is able to work on these areas he needs to strategize and plan, because for him right now he needs to keep things simple and not be under pressure,” said Sangakkara.

“It’s also important for someone to talk to him on his batting and keep him off the pressure and let him be free with his game,” he added.

Former Australia cricketer Adam Gilchrist has also advised Pant not to emulate Dhoni but to work on improving his own game and being the best version of himself.

“I’m not big on comparisons, like I have said before. I think Indians fans shouldn’t be trying to compare him to Dhoni. Dhoni has set such a high benchmark. One day someone might match it but it is probably unlikely,” Gilchrist said.

“Rishabh looks like a very talented young player. Just don’t put too much pressure on him too early and expect that he’s going to produce Dhoni-like performances every day.

“My advice to Rishabh Pant will be: learn everything you can from Dhoni. Don’t try to be Dhoni. Just try to be the best Rishabh Pant you can,” the 47-year-old added.

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Sehwag in awe of Rohit’s scoring rate, says even Kohli hasn’t matched it

Rajkot: India’s Rohit Sharma celebrates his half century during the 2nd T20I match between India and Bangladesh at Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot on Nov 7, 2019. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

New Delhi: Rohit Sharma has been on a roll in recent times and if his Man of the Match-winning effort against the visitors in the second T20I in Rajkot wasn’t enough, former India opener Virender Sehwag has said that Rohit’s scoring rate is unmatchable and even regular skipper Virat Kohli can’t show such consistency when it comes to scoring at the pace at which Rohit scores.

“Hitting 3-4 sixes in an over or scoring 80-90 runs off 45 balls is an art that I haven’t even seen (Virat) Kohli pull off as regularly as Rohit (Sharma),” Sehwag told Cricbuzz.

“Sachin used to tell others if I can do something on the field, why can’t you? But he never understood that there’s only one God and the sort of things God can do, no one else can.”

Chasing 154, Rohit — who was playing his 100th T20I — smashed 85 runs and helped the team cross the line with more than four overs to spare at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium.

During his 43-ball knock, the 32-year-hit 6 fours and 6 monster sixes and brought the Rajkot crowd to its feet.

Rohit appeared on Chahal TV, hosted by leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal, after the game and revealed the mantra for hitting sixes.

“When I hit three consecutive sixes, I tried to go for six maximums. But when I missed the fourth one, I decided I will take singles,” said Rohit while speaking about his three consecutive sixes which he hit against off-spinner Mosaddek Hossain.

“You don’t need huge body and muscles to hit big sixes. Even you (Chahal) can hit sixes. Power is not the only thing you need to hit sixes, you need timing as well. The ball should hit the middle of the bat and your head should be still. So, there are a number of things you need in order to hit a six,” he added.

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You don’t need big muscles to hit maximums: ‘6’s king’ Rohit

New Delhi: Indian skipper Rohit Sharma in action during the 1st T20I match between India and Bangladesh at Arun Jaitley Stadium, in New Delhi on Nov 3, 2019. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

Rajkot: Stand-in skipper Rohit Sharma was at his menacing best during the second T20I against Bangladesh which India won comfortably by eight-wickets to level the three-match series.

Chasing 154, Rohit — who was playing his 100th T20I — smashed 85 runs and helped the team get across the line with more than four overs to spare at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium on Thursday evening.

During his 43-ball knock, the 32-year-hit 6 fours and 6 monstrous sixes and brought the Rajkot crowd to its feet.

After his Man of the Match performance, Rohit appeared on the Chahal TV, hosted by leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal, and revealed the mantra for hitting sixes.

“When I hit three consecutive sixes, I tried to go for six maximums. But when I missed the fourth one, I decided I will take singles,” said Rohit while speaking about his three consecutive sixes which he hit against off-spinner Mosaddek Hossain.

“You don’t need huge body and muscles to hit big sixes. Even you (Chahal) can hit sixes. Power is not the only thing you need to hit sixes, you need timing as well. The ball should hit the middle of the bat and your head should be still. So, there are a number of things you need in order to hit a six,” he added.

During the six-hitting spree in Rajkot, the Indian skipper went on to break and set a few records.

He now holds the record for most sixes by an India captain in T20I cricket. With 37 sixes in just 17 innings, the Mumbai batsman went past M.S. Dhoni’s tally of 34 (62 innings). Virat Kohli is third on the list with 26 sixes (26 innings).

Talking about his innings, the star Indian opener said: “It was very important from us to give a good start to the team as it is often seen that a set batsman wins the match for the team. I was a little unhappy that I got out at the wrong time. But nevertheless, I am happy with my performance as well as that of the team because we were under a lit bit of pressure.”

“We had lost the first match in Delhi and it was important to win here in Rajkot,” he added.

Rohit also now holds the record for the most number of sixes in international cricket in 2019 across formats. He tops the charts with 66 and counting. He had held the record in 2017 and 2018 as well wherein he had hit 65 and 74, respectively.

The two teams will now face each other in the series finale in Nagpur on Sunday.

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100th T20I game for India a moment of pride: Rohit

Rajkot: Indian captain Rohit Sharma addresses a press conference ahead of the second T20I between India and Bangladesh at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Gujarat’s Rajkot on Nov 6, 2019. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

Rajkot: Stand-in India skipper Rohit Sharma will achieve a rare feat on Thursday when he takes the field in the second T20I of the three-match series against Bangladesh here on Thursday. Rohit will become the only Indian player and second globally to feature in 100 T20I games.

Pakistan’s Shoaib Malik (111 T20Is) is the only player to have played more than 100 games in the shortest format of the game at the international level.

Speaking on achieving the milestone, Rohit said: “Firstly, I never thought I would play so many games. I am grateful for the opportunity I got in the past and till date as well. It has been a long journey since I made my debut as there had been many ups and downs. I have now understood my game. Yes, I am very happy where I stand right now,” the skipper was quoted as saying by the bcci.tv.

He also admitted playing the 100th T20I game for India was a moment of pride for him.

Termed as ‘Hitman’, Rohit has slammed four centuries in the shortest format of the game however, he said he is not very keen to term any particular knock as a ‘special’ one and whatever innings results in winning cause makes him happy.

“I can’t rate any of the knock as special. I have never been fond of rating any particular knock as I love all my knocks,” he expressed. “I look forward to many more memorable knocks as well,” Rohit added.

Rohit has been prolific in T20Is, scoring 2452 runs with four hundreds to his name and 17 fifties. on Sunday, the Mumbai batsman reclaimed the top spot in the list of highest run-scorer in T20Is during the first game against the Bangla Tigers at the Arun Jaitley Stadium.

Rohit has been trading the top spot with regular skipper Virat Kohli for some time now and it was the latter who was leading the chart with 2,450 runs to his name. Rohit was eight runs behind Kohli going into the first T20I against Bangladesh, and he had closed the gap in the first over of the game.

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Mandhana, Rodrigues help India win ODI series against WI

Indian cricketer Smriti Mandhana.

Antigua: Twin half centuries from openers Smriti Mandhana and Jemimah Rodrigues helped India women register an easy six-wicket win over West Indies in the third ODI, thereby sealing the three-match series 2-1.

On Wednesday evening, India rode on a brilliant 141-run opening stand between Mandhana (74) and Rodrigues (69) to chase down the 195-run target with 47 balls to spare at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.

Earlier, West Indies women had a poor start after electing to bat as the opening batters found it difficult to get the scoring started. No runs were scored in the first two overs as Jhulan Goswami and Shikha Pandey had Hayley Matthews and Natasha McLean pegged back with pace.

Natasha was the first to go, trying to play across the line and the ball popped up from the edge of the bat for an easy catch. Hayley playing in her first game this series, eventually took a liking to the pace from Goswami and Pandey, belting them for three fours and a six on her way to 26. However, her got run-out slowed down the pace of the Windies inning and they were reduced to 50/4 inside 20 overs.

Chedean Nation’s stay in the middle did not last long as she fell for 6. Kyshona Knight and skipper Stafanie Taylor looked set to rebuild the shaking innings, as they converted their chances for quick singles. After building a steady partnership of 34 runs, Kyshona got out after scoring 16 runs.

Then came the partnership that took the host to a defendable total. Stacy-Ann King and Stafanie added 96 runs to drag the total close to 200 before Stafanie was caught and bowled by Poonam Yadav for 79.

Stacy-Ann soldiered on to 38 before she was bowled by Goswami. The rest of the West Indies batters fell for single digits as they finished their allotted quota of 50 overs on 194 all out.

India started their run-chase confidently with Mandhana playing for the first time in the series. Together with Rodrigues, the pair took a liking to the West Indies bowlers.

They posted 141 runs before Hayley Matthews had Rodrigues stumped for 69. Mandhana continued her scoring but became Matthews’ second scalp for 74. Poonam Raut was Hayley’s third wicket. India had a slight wobble with four wickets falling in a short space of overs but they were comfortable winners by six wickets in 42.1 overs, finishing on 195/6.

The two teams will now face each other in a five-match T20I series, with the first two being played at the Daren Sammy Stadium on November 9 and 10.

Brief scores: India women 195/4 (Smriti Mandhana 74, Jemimah Rodgrigues 69; Hayley Matthews 3/27) beat West Indies women 194 all out (Stafanie Taylor 79, Stacy-Ann King 39; Jhulan Goswami 2/30)

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Couple watch Aus-Pak T20I soon after wedding, image goes viral

Cricket is considered a religion not just in the Asian sub-continent, but also among people from countries like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. And that was once again evident from a picture where a newly married Pakistani couple was busy following the second T20I game between Australia and Pakistan on their television set in the US on Tuesday. With the image going viral on social media, ICC also took note of it and shared the picture on its official twitter handle. “Here’s a message we got from a fan in the US. #CoupleGoals You know it’s love when …,” the ICC captioned the image with a letter from the groom.

Dubai: Cricket is considered a religion not just in the Asian sub-continent and that was once again evident from a picture where a newly married Pakistani couple was busy following the second T20I game between Australia and Pakistan on their television set in the US on Tuesday.

With the image going viral on social media, ICC also took note of it and shared the picture on its official twitter handle. “Here’s a message we got from a fan in the US. #CoupleGoals You know it’s love when …,” the ICC captioned the image with a letter from the groom.

The groom’s message read: “As a die-hard cricket fan, I want to submit a photo from my wedding this past weekend. As per tradition, after the completion of wedding, the bride is bought home for a little traditional ceremony amongst the close family. As we came home (around midnight in Detroit, Michigan, USA) the Pakistan vs Australia T20 game was getting underway. Over the years residing in North America I’ve stayed up at all sorts of odd hours in night to catch team Pakistan play. Even though it was my wedding night, I wasn’t going to miss this game.”

The Green Brigade is currently touring Australia where they lost the second match of the three-match T20I series by seven wickets, thanks to Steven Smith’s unbeaten 51-ball 80 run knock. The two sides will now face off in the third and final affair on Friday.

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Ashwin’s cricket institute ties up with Gaudium Sportopia

New Delhi: Kings XI Punjab captain Ravichandran Ashwin addresses during a program organised to unveil the official jersey of the team, in New Delhi on March 13, 2018. (Photo: IANS)

Hyderabad: Indias first residential, fully integrated, world class high-performance sports school Gaudium Sportopia launched its own cricket academy on Wednesday in collaboration with Gen-Next Cricket Institute that is mentored by Ravichandran Ashwin.

With the ace spinner present on the day of the launch, it was a dream come true for the students at the academy to play with one of the finest cricketers in the world. Ashwin bowled in an exhibition match with the kids that gave them an early taste of playing against the world’s best.

“We have already activated five academies so far including the badminton academy. All of these have received a huge response after such great champions have come on board to guide the young sporting minds. I am equally confident that this latest collaboration with Ravichandran Ashwin and Gen-Next Cricket Institute will create a new roadmap for producing champions for the future,” said Kirthi Reddy, Director & Founder of The Gaudium School and Gaudium Sportopia.

Being possibly the only active cricketer to have an academy, Ashwin’s acumen to understand the game has been praiseworthy, something that is reflected in his plethora of records. In his 66-match Test career, the 33-year-old is the fastest Indian to scalp 50, 100, 150, 200, 250, 300, and 350 wickets.

Ashwin’s passion for coaching and his determination to strengthen India’s future has led to GenNext being one of the finest cricket academies in India with multiple branches in Chennai, inspiring school partnerships in Dubai as well. Gaudium Sportopia will look to emulate GenNext’s well-designed three signature programmes — Weekend, Vision 20 and High-Performance Centre.

“GenNext Institute and I are very delighted to be associated with Gaudium Sportopia. I always believe that excellent infrastructure and innovative techniques from a young age makes a lot of difference and Gaudium Sportopia is one such place who is truly out to change the entire sporting ecosystem of the country by exposing the kids to some of the finest facilities. I am looking forward to seeing some of these promising youngsters take India to even greater heights in the future,” said Ravichandran Ashwin.

“Ashwin’s discipline is unparalleled. He is a great student of the game and his understanding of the sport is phenomenal. Ashwin being active at the international level, can bring in the latest training methods being employed by other teams. He is adept at both the versions of the game and there could not have been a better guide to help the students to pick up the nuances of both formats. His handy contribution with the willow too makes him the best choice to mould the budding talents at Gaudium Sportopia into champions,” said Prasad Mangipudi, Mentor, Gaudium Sportopia.

Gaudium Sportopia is looking at a total investment of Rs 180 cr to build 25 + specialized sports academies by 2020. They have already announced their association with Pullela Gopichand’s Badminton Gurukul Centre of Excellence in August and also brought table tennis coach S. Raman and top chess coach RB Ramesh on board last month.

Gaudium Sportopia is targeting to be fully operational by 2020. With 600 student capacity hostels, a high-performance centre and a high-end gym, it will look to encourage kids to pursue the sport of their choice as well as education under a single roof through its Professional Sports Career Program — a first for India.

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Shivam Dube should make his own name, has talent: Yuvraj

Kolkata: Former Indian Cricketer Yuvraj Singh addresses at the 91st Annual General Meeting of the Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in Kolkata, on July 9, 2019. (Photo: Kuntal Chakrabarty/IANS)

Mumbai: As soon as Mumbai cricketer Shivam Dube made his debut for India in the first T20I against Bangladesh in Delhi on Sunday, he has been compared with former star all-rounder Yuvraj Singh as he has the ability to clear the ball out of the park on any wicket. Dube’s debut game, however, didnt go well as he managed just a run in the contest and was given just three deliveries to bowl.

As Dube’s and Yuvraj’s technique look quite similar, fans have started to compare the youngster with the World Cup winning star. However, Yuvraj said this is not the right time to make such comparisons as Dube is just starting out on his career.

“Let the guy start his career first, and after a while when he reaches a certain level, then you start comparing him with someone. I don’t think he should be compared to me. He should make his own name. He has the talent,” Yuvraj told reporters on the sidelines of an event in Mumbai.

Dube made headlines after he hit five consecutive sixes for Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy.

On Saturday, BCCI uploaded the latest segment of ‘Chahal TV’ in which Dube spoke about his thoughts on international cricket and said: “I just want to continue performing well. I am playing for the country now so it is a very proud moment.”

“There will be more eyes on me and so I need to work hard and continue the good work,” he added.