Category Archives: Sports

Can beat anyone if I am fit, says Mary Kom

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New Delhi, Nov 9 (IANS) Having won gold at the Asian Championships after returning to her favourite 48 kilogram category, star Indian boxer M.C Mary Kom asserted that she can defeat any opponent as long as she is fit.

“If I am fit, nobody can touch me. Nobody can beat me easily. As long as I am training hard and my body is fit, I can beat anyone, bring it on,” the five-time world champion told the media here on Thursday.

BCCI appoints Ravi Shastri as new head coach

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New Delhi, July 12 (IANS) After much drama and controversy, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)confirmed on Tuesday that Ravi Shastri has been selected as the new coach of the Indian cricket team.

The other members of the coaching staff were also announced with former India fast bowler Zaheer Khan appointed bowling coach and former star batsman Rahul Dravid appointed as overseas batting consultant.

The three will guide the Indian team till the 2019 ODI World Cup.

CSK, RR make re-entry in IPL

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Mumbai, July 14 (IANS) Chennai Super Kings (CSK), the most successful franchise in the Indian Premier League (IPL), and inaugural champions Rajasthan Royals (RR) have made a re-entry into the cash-rich Twenty20 cricket league after serving a two-year ban imposed on them for betting.

“The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Friday welcomed the IPL franchises Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals back into the League.

“The two franchises have completed the two-year suspension imposed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court appointed Justice R.M. Lodha Committee and will now participate in the IPL,” the BCCI said in a statement.

India coach to be selected on July 10: Ganguly

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Kolkata, July 1 (IANS) The interview to select the next India coach will be held on July 10 in Mumbai, former India captain Sourav Ganguly who is also part of the three-member Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) said here on Saturday.

“The interview will be held on the 10th of this month in Mumbai,” Ganguly told reporters on the sidelines of a Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) meeting.

Besides Ganguly, the committee also has Indian batting legends Sachin Tendulkar and V.V.S Laxman.

Ex-cricketer Sidhu takes charge as Punjab minister

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Chandigarh, March 17 (IANS) Cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu on Friday took charge as Cabinet Minister for Local Government, Tourism and Cultural Affairs in the new Congress government in Punjab.

He said he will continue to be part of the very popular ‘The Kapil Sharma Show’.

Sidhu was accompanied by his wife and former Chief Parliamentary Secretary Navjot Kaur, Jalandhar Cantt. Congress legislator and former hockey Olympian Pargat Singh, Minister Rana Gurjit Singh and other leaders when he assumed office at the Punjab Civil Secretariat here.

Sidhu, elected from Amritsar East assembly seat, said he will try to balance his television engagements with his work as a minister.

Dhoni, cricketers evacuated after fire at hotel

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New Delhi, March 17 (IANS) A fire broke out in a Delhi hotel on Friday, leading to the evacuation of former India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and players from Jharkhand, Bengal and Tamil Nadu. No one was hurt.

After a fire call was received at 6.30 a.m., 30 fire tenders reached WelcomHotel in Dwarka, the Delhi Fire Service told IANS.

According to informed sources, the players and officials only came to know about the fire after their rooms were filled with dense smoke.

“It took around an hour to douse the flames,” a fire service officer said. “No casualties were reported.”

Deputy Commissioner of Police Surendra Kumar said that all players including Dhoni, who is leading the Jharkhand team, were safely evacuated.

“The incident took place just before the Jharkhand team was to leave for net practice,” Kumar added.

The Jharkhand and Bengal squads, which was also put up at the hotel, were scheduled to take on each other in the second semi-final of the Vijay Hazare Trophy on Friday. The match was postponed.

The Tamil Nadu team, which has reached the final, was also staying at the same hotel.

Clarke cautions Aussies ahead of Bengaluru Test

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New Delhi, March 2 (IANS) Ahead of the second cricket Test against India in Bengaluru from Saturday, former Australia skipper Michael Clarke on Thursday cautioned the visitors that the home side will bounce back harder, especially after the humiliating loss in the opening Test in Pune.

Australia ended the Virat Kohli-led side’s 19-match unbeaten streak after inflicting a massive 333-run defeat in the opening game to take a 1-0 lead in the four-Test series.

But Clarke, who led the team during the Kangaroos’ 0-4 whitewash in 2013, said it will be a tough task for the Aussies to beat the hosts in the second game.

“Kohli is focused and ready for the next Test match. India will be tougher for Australia to beat in Bengaluru than in Pune. If India would’ve won toss and batted in Pune, I don’t know if result would’ve been the same,” Clarke was quoted as saying by India Today TV.

Clarke, who made his Test debut against India in Bengaluru, said getting a good first innings total is the key to success in subcontinental conditions.

“In India, the first innings total is critical. If you get a good first innings score of 450 or more, it doesn’t matter who wins the toss. How you bat in the first innings, that dictates the game. So getting more runs in the first innings should be the focus for both teams,” he said.

“We have seen that in Pune, Australia made 265 which is a very good score on a tough wicket, India went on to make 105, so mainly the Test match was over after the first innings. Australia had a lead of 150 or more, it was always a tough task for India to chase in the second innings of a Test match.”

“Bengaluru will be no different, the wicket will deteriorate over the five days, so the first two and a half days will be important. In subcontinent, it feels like the game is moving quite slowly over the first three days, so then the final two days when the wicket does deteriorate, the ball starts spinning more with inconsistent bounce and pace, then it starts troubling the batsmen,” he added.

Hailing Kohli as a “tough character”, Clarke feels that the Indians will have to be at their best to beat the Australians from here on.

“Kohli is a tough character, very confident in his own ability. For me he’s the best in all formats. India need to combat four big players in the Australian team — (Steve) Smith, (David) Warner, (Mitchell) Starc and (Josh) Hazlewood. India now know they have to be at their best to beat Australia,” he said.

“Hang on to your catches otherwise Smith will make a hundred,” was his advice to the hosts after the Aussie skipper was dropped four times in Pune.

Clarke, however defended pacer Ishant Sharma and middle-order batsman Ajinkya Rahane’s place in the playing XI for the Bengaluru Test.

Smith, O’Keefe power Australia to victory

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Pune, Feb 25 (IANS) Inspired by an all-round effort, Australia ended India’s 19-match record unbeaten streak after thrashing the hosts by a mammoth 333 runs within three days of the opening Test at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium here on Saturday.

Playing his first Test in the sub-continent, left-arm spinner Steve O’Keefe turned out to be the dark horse, taking six wickets in each innings to break the backbone of the Indian batting as Virat Kohli tasted his first defeat as skipper of all three formats.

Chasing a mammoth 441, the home side once again succumbed to the visiting spin duo of O’Keefe and Nathan Lyon to be dismissed for a paltry 107 in their second essay.

The visitors have now taken a 1-0 lead in the four-match Test series.

O’Keefe returned figures of 6/35 — the best of his nascent four-Test career while Lyon took 4/53.

O’Keefe ended up with match figures of 12/70. Earlier, in the first innings, the 32-year-old left-armer had also registered figures of 6/35 to skittle the hosts out for 105 in response to Australia’s first innings score of 260.

O’Keefe’s figures are the second best by a visiting bowler in India, behind Ian Botham’s 13/108 in Bombay 37 years ago. It is the fifth-cheapest 12-wicket haul in Test cricket.

Before coming into this match, the left-hander had 14 wickets from four Test matches after making his debut against Pakistan in Dubai two years ago.

The visitors thus put an end to India’s 20-Test unbeaten streak. The last time India lost a Test match at home was in in 2012 when England registered a seven-wicket victory in Kolkata. Since then, they have won 17 Test matches and drawn three.

Saturday’s victory also saw Australia avenge their 171-run loss to India in the second Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy of 2001 which ended their 16-match world record winning streak.

The men from Down Under had lost nine consecutive Test matches in Asia before this match. Four of those were in India during their last vist in 2013, two against Pakistan in the UNited Arab Emirates (UAE) and three in Sri Lanka.

This is also India’s second biggest in a home Test and fourth largest overall. Their biggest loss have also been against Australia, by 342 runs in Nagpur in 2004-05.

Coming in to bat in the post-lunch session after dismissing Australia for 285, the hosts ran into trouble early in their second essay with Murali Vijay, Lokesh Rahul and Kohli returning to the pavilion even before the Indian total had reached the 50-run mark.

Cheteshwar Pujara — the highest scorer in India’s second innings with 31 — and Ajinkya Rahane could add only 30 runs between them before the latter mistimed a delivery from O’Keefe only to find Lyon at cover.

Ravichandran Ashwin, who has been in excellent batting form in recent times, lasted all of eight deliveries before being trapped leg before by O’Keefe. The umpire had initially adjudged Ashwin as not out, but a review by the visitors prompted a change in the decision.

The hosts were reeling at 99/6 at the tea break and the Australians needed only six overs after the restart to complete the win.

Pujara was dismmissed by O’Keefe in only the second delivery after tea as a delivery that skidded off after pitching hit his pad plumb in front of the wicket.

Ravindra Jadeja was the next to go while attempting a cut off Lyon. But the left-hander misread the turn only to inside edge the ball onto the stumps.

Lyon then cleaned up remaining Indian tailenders in the form of Ishant Sharma and Jayant Yadav to hand the visitors a memorable win.

Earlier, Steven Smith led from the front with a century as Australia were dismissed for 285 in their second innings at the stroke of lunch to move to a commanding position.

Dropped by Ajinkya Rahane off Ravichandran Ashwin’s bowling, the Australian skipper went on to make the most of the reprieve to post 109, his first century in India.

He hit 11 boundaries during his 202-ball stay in the middle before being trapped leg before by Ravindra Jadeja.

Smith has now scoreed centuries in five consecutive Tests against India. Before this match, he had also scored centuries in each of the four matches of the 2014-15 Border-Gavaskar Trophy in Australia. He became the eighth Australian captain to score a century in India.

Ashwin dismissed O’Keefe to put an end to Australia’s second innings at the stroke of lunch.

Ashwin was the most successful among the Indian bowlers with figures of 4/119. Jadeja and fast bowler Umesh Yadav clinched three and two wickets respectively, while rookie off-spinner Jayant Yadav had one scalp to his name

India started the day on a positive note with overnight batsman Mitchell Marsh offering a thick outside edge to wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha off Jadeja’s bowling.

But Smith and Matthew Wade got together to carry the visitors’ second innings past the 200-run mark.