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India A clobber Sri Lanka by 88 runs

Written By kom nampultig on Jumat, 31 Oktober 2014 | 21.24

MUMBAI: For a cricket purist, it was a delightful display of batsmanship. Put in to bat after Sri Lanka won the toss, India 'A' batsmen Rohit Sharma and Manish Pandey dished out an eye-pleasing brand of batting. The duo added 214 runs for the second wicket, riding on which the hosts piled up a mammoth total of 382/6 in the one day warm-up game at Brabourne Stadium on Thursday. The Lankans found the target too steep and fell short by 88 runs, managing only 294/9 in reply.

Sri Lanka skipper Angelo Mathews called right but perhaps made the wrong decision to bowl first. India 'A' openers Sharma and Unmukt Chand putting on 96 for the first wicket. But, after Chand's departure (54; 64b, 8x4, 1x6), in walked Pandey. Sharma, who had by then got his eye in, chimed in with Pandey looking composed right from the first ball. The duo played some beautiful cricketing strokes, and at one point it was difficult to fathom who among the two was timing the ball better.

Sharma, who has not played in more than two months, never really looked in any trouble against an average Sri Lankan attack. For his part, Pandey, who has been doing the bulk of the scoring for Karnataka in Ranji Trophy and his franchise Kolkata Knight Riders in T20 competitions, looked in supreme form.

Just when it looked like they would breach the 400-run barrier, Sharma was run out to a direct throw from the deep by Lahiru Gamage. By then he had made a 111-ball 142. His knock included 18 boundaries and one six. Pandey remained un beaten with a 113-ball 135. He hit 15 boundaries and a six.

India 'A' coach Sanjay Bangar was satisfied with the team's performance, especially with the way the duo batted. "Rohit is a quality player. He didn't get a game because of the injury. His match fitness had to be assessed and that was the reason the selectors had dropped him. He gave a fantastic account of himself. He has been practicing really hard over the last 10 days at BKC. And he showed that he has completely recovered from the injury. He fielded throughout the 50 overs and these are good signs for the Indian team," Bangar said of Sharma Bangar had a word of praise for Pandey too. "Manish has been batting pretty consistently. Karnataka have won the Irani, the Ranji Trophy. And he has played an important hand in those victories. He had a fantastic IPL too, win ning the title for KKR.

He is always on the fringes and today's knock will do his con fidence a world of good because he came at a time when the wicket was expected to aid bowlers. So, from that per spective, it must have been very satisfying knock for Manish."

Chasing a mammoth total, Sri Lanka lost wickets as consistently as Sharma and Pandey were hitting the boundaries. Other than Upul Tharanga, who made a 75-ball 76, none of the Sri Lankan could do much.

For India 'A', Karn Sharma was the pick of the bowlers. He claimed the big wickets of Tharanga, Tillakaratne Dilshan (14), Mahela Jayawardene (33) and Angelo Mathews (3). The Lankans eventually ran out of overs and finished their innings on 294/9.

Brief Scores

India A 382 for 6 (Rohit 142, Pandey 135*, Chand 54) beat Sri Lanka 294 for 9 (Tharanga 76, Karn 4-47) by 88 runs.

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'Evolved' Robin Uthappa eyes new role

NEW DELHI: For Robin Uthappa, every domestic match is an opportunity to bang on the doors of national selection. With consistent performances with the bat for over a year now, many would have expected him to have got an India callup already.

On Monday at the Ferozeshah Kotla ahead of the Duleep Trophy final, Uthappa had his wicketkeeping gloves on too, and was busy honing his skills behind the stumps. He believes doubling up as a wicketkeeper-opening batsman will better his chances of making it to the World Cup squad early next year.

"Wicketkeeping and opening the batting makes a good combination for me in One-dayers. I have been doing it for Kolkata Knight Riders and I thought I should keep training. My aim is to do both successfully. I love wicketkeeping and take it very seriously," Uthappa said on the sidelines of the South Zone training session.

The runs have started coming in a heap and the 29-year-old says he has taken a cue from Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina, who have grown in stature as international batsmen.

"It's about staying true to your skills and fitting into the role your team wants. I saw what Virat and Suresh have done and even MS (Dhoni) for that matter. Today I understand when I am going out of my zone. I try to fulfill my role as an opener now," said the batsman, who is high on confidence after a century in the Duleep Trophy semifinal on a seaming Lahli pitch.

"Evolved" is the word that he likes to use while describing his batting. The 'gaps' - as Uthappa likes to call them - in his batting have been addressed. He claims the premeditation in his strokeplay is under check and power-hitting isn't necessary for his style of batting.

"Earlier, I didn't understand the value of my wicket as much I do now. I realized that if I could sustain my wicket then I can make a bigger impact. I have checked my problems with premeditation.I can say my batting has evolved." Seeking out the help of Praveen Amre has also helped his batting.

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Rohit has more to prove than just fitness

MUMBAI: Tour openers, warm-up matches, practice matches...these are fancy names for a cricket game. Visiting teams play these matches to get acclimatized to alien conditions.

Statistically, these matches have no relevance. But for some players, even seasoned and talented professionals like Rohit Sharma, these matches can be of utmost importance. After all, he is staging a comeback after a two-month layoff due to injury.

In August, Sharma was sidelined with a finger injury and has been out of action since. But, when India 'A' take on the visiting Sri Lankan team at the Brabourne Stadium on Thursday, Sharma will have more than his fitness to prove.

With 2015 being the year of the World Cup and India scheduled to tour Australia later this year, the practice game against Sri Lanka means a lot for the 27-year-old who was left swallowing a bitter pill after being overlooked for the 2011 World Cup.

Sharma is not part of the squad for the first three ODIs against Sri Lanka. Clearly, the selectors want the man to prove his form and fitness before thinking of taking him on board for the remaining two ODIs and the subsequent tour of Australia.

A good outing against the Sri Lankans on Thursday will be the key for the stylish batsman to return to the national fold.

On the eve of the game, Sharma sounded confident. "The mindset is the same. The only difference is that I will be playing after more than two months. It is a good testing time. I am looking forward to it. It's a great challenge playing after a while. I want to stay positive and keep that feeling that I'm back on the field. I've to keep that in my head and go forward," Sharma said.

Sharma hit the nets barely ten days ago. But most importantly, he did not rush into it headlong. He waited till he was absolutely certain about his fitness.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/followceleb.cms?alias=Rohit Sharma,India vs Sri Lanka,2015 World Cup

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Classy Rahul leads South Zone's charge

NEW DELHI: The idea of scheduling the Duleep Trophy upfront in the domestic season was to give fringe players a chance to prove themselves for the higher level early in the season. Yet, the final between South Zone and Central Zone looked like turning competitive only on the second morning when South skipper Vinay Kumar gobbled up Central's tale.

And the momentum was carried forward by the talk of the day, KL Rahul and Robin Uthappa. The two in-form Karanataka batsmen came out with a clear intent of dominating the Central bowling led by medium-pacers Pankaj Singh and Ishwar Pandey.

While Uthappa would be rueing missing out on a big one after playing Jalaj Saxena's off-spinner across the line and getting trapped in front for 80, Rahul showed no mercy to the bowlers.

With national selectors watching the action, Rahul struck a classy, unbeaten 168 (205b, 18x4s, 2x6s), taking South into a position of strength. South ended the day with a 32-run lead with six wickets remaining.

Rahul summed up the significance of the knock nicely. "After batting on a difficult track in Lahli (in the semis), I realised that you need to score big once you are in on an easy pitch."

Rahul stayed true to his words and Central now have a mountain to climb in the game. While Rahul claimed he wasn't aware that the selectors were around, the big, lumbering frame of Pankaj Singh woke up rather late in the day. Trying to fight the 'unlucky' ghosts of England away, Pankaj triggered a mini middle-order collapse with a fine spell of reverse swing. Unfortunately for Central Zone, Pankaj got his rhythm going when the scoreboard was reading 2311. He found the edge of Baba Aparajith's bat before getting Dinesh Karthik (0) leg-before with an indipper. R Prasanna fell soon at 233.

"There wasn't much help from the pitch. Once the ball was old, I had to bend my back a lot more and put more pace so that it aides reverse swing," Pankaj said.

Brief scores: South Zone 308 for 4 (Rahul 168 n.o., Uthappa 80; Pankaj 3-55) lead Central Zone 276 (Bist 79) by 32 runs

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Babar, Shah star in Pak win over Aus

Written By kom nampultig on Kamis, 30 Oktober 2014 | 21.25

DUBAI: ZulfiqarBabar took a maiden five-wicket haul and fellow leg-spinner Yasir Shah took four as Pakistan humiliated Australia by 221 runs in the first Test here today.

Babar finished with 5-74 in only his third Test, while debutant Shah took 4-50 to dismiss a resolute Australia for 216 in their second innings and give Pakistan a 1-0 lead in the two-Test series.

Pakistan, who set Australia a 438-run target, were left frustrated as Mitchell Johnson (61) and Steven Smith (55) fought hard before they succumbed in a tantalising finish with just 21.5 overs left in the day.

Pakistan will now hope they either win or avoid defeat in the second Test in Abu Dhabi, starting October 30, to clinch their first series win over Australia since 1994.

This was Australia's ninth defeat in Asia in the last 14 Tests, having lost eight to India since 2008. Their only win came in Sri Lanka in 2011 with four draws as they fell to south Asia's specialist spinners.

Babar dismissed number ten Peter Siddle, caught bat-pad in the 92nd over, to seal the victory as Pakistani fielders removed the stumps even before the Australian review was turned down.

The defeat looked inevitable with Australia reeling at 117-7 at lunch but Smith and Johnson defied the spinners during their 65-run stand for the eighth wicket.

Babar threatened to dismiss Smith twice but Sarfarza missed a stumping with the batsman on 37 and Misbah-ul Haq failed to pick a difficult chance at 44.

Babar also saw Ahmed Shehzad drop Johnson at deep square leg on 23 and two runs later by Yasir Shah as both the batsmen frustrated the Pakistani attack.

Smith hit Shah for his third four to reach his seventh half-century but fell five runs later, caught at short-leg.

Smith resisted for 175 balls. It was Babar who struck twice before lunch to bring Pakistan closer to victory.

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Break comes at the right time for MSD

NEW DELHI: Indian skipper MS Dhoni opted out of the first three One-dayers against Sri Lanka because he feared aggravating a finger injury , according to sources.The Lanka ODIs are followed by a long tour to Australia ahead of the 2015 World Cup.

"Dhoni doesn't have a serious injury . If you are a wicketkeeper, your fingers are bound to get stiff. If you don't give them time to heal, there can be a problem collecting the ball," a senior BCCI official said, adding: "Also, he was playing non-stop and there was a need to give him some rest before the Australia tour. The captain himself was keen on a break."

Dhoni, who wanted to opt out of two Tests during the aborted West Indies series, is unlikely to return for the last two ODIs against Lanka.However, he will do so if the need arises. "It is not going to be easy for Dhoni or the team during the four-month-long Australia tour. So, this is a welcome period of rest," sources said.

It is not yet decided whether the team will return to India after the Australia series."Some believe if the team is in good shape, there is no point in coming back all the way from Australia. Others say if the team members feel homesick, they can be back in India for a few days. It's too early to decide."

In a similar situation in 1991-92, when the Indian team played Australia in Australia before the World Cup Down Under, only Kapil Dev was allowed to return for a short break.

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21.25 | 0 komentar | Read More

'Evolved' Robin Uthappa eyes new role

NEW DELHI: For Robin Uthappa, every domestic match is an opportunity to bang on the doors of national selection. With consistent performances with the bat for over a year now, many would have expected him to have got an India callup already.

On Monday at the Ferozeshah Kotla ahead of the Duleep Trophy final, Uthappa had his wicketkeeping gloves on too, and was busy honing his skills behind the stumps. He believes doubling up as a wicketkeeper-opening batsman will better his chances of making it to the World Cup squad early next year.

"Wicketkeeping and opening the batting makes a good combination for me in One-dayers. I have been doing it for Kolkata Knight Riders and I thought I should keep training. My aim is to do both successfully. I love wicketkeeping and take it very seriously," Uthappa said on the sidelines of the South Zone training session.

The runs have started coming in a heap and the 29-year-old says he has taken a cue from Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina, who have grown in stature as international batsmen.

"It's about staying true to your skills and fitting into the role your team wants. I saw what Virat and Suresh have done and even MS (Dhoni) for that matter. Today I understand when I am going out of my zone. I try to fulfill my role as an opener now," said the batsman, who is high on confidence after a century in the Duleep Trophy semifinal on a seaming Lahli pitch.

"Evolved" is the word that he likes to use while describing his batting. The 'gaps' - as Uthappa likes to call them - in his batting have been addressed. He claims the premeditation in his strokeplay is under check and power-hitting isn't necessary for his style of batting.

"Earlier, I didn't understand the value of my wicket as much I do now. I realized that if I could sustain my wicket then I can make a bigger impact. I have checked my problems with premeditation.I can say my batting has evolved." Seeking out the help of Praveen Amre has also helped his batting.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/followceleb.cms?alias=Virat Kohli,Suresh Raina,Robin Uthappa,Praveen Amre,Kolkata Knight Riders

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21.25 | 0 komentar | Read More

Rohit has more to prove than just fitness

MUMBAI: Tour openers, warm-up matches, practice matches...these are fancy names for a cricket game. Visiting teams play these matches to get acclimatized to alien conditions.

Statistically, these matches have no relevance. But for some players, even seasoned and talented professionals like Rohit Sharma, these matches can be of utmost importance. After all, he is staging a comeback after a two-month layoff due to injury.

In August, Sharma was sidelined with a finger injury and has been out of action since. But, when India 'A' take on the visiting Sri Lankan team at the Brabourne Stadium on Thursday, Sharma will have more than his fitness to prove.

With 2015 being the year of the World Cup and India scheduled to tour Australia later this year, the practice game against Sri Lanka means a lot for the 27-year-old who was left swallowing a bitter pill after being overlooked for the 2011 World Cup.

Sharma is not part of the squad for the first three ODIs against Sri Lanka. Clearly, the selectors want the man to prove his form and fitness before thinking of taking him on board for the remaining two ODIs and the subsequent tour of Australia.

A good outing against the Sri Lankans on Thursday will be the key for the stylish batsman to return to the national fold.

On the eve of the game, Sharma sounded confident. "The mindset is the same. The only difference is that I will be playing after more than two months. It is a good testing time. I am looking forward to it. It's a great challenge playing after a while. I want to stay positive and keep that feeling that I'm back on the field. I've to keep that in my head and go forward," Sharma said.

Sharma hit the nets barely ten days ago. But most importantly, he did not rush into it headlong. He waited till he was absolutely certain about his fitness.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/followceleb.cms?alias=Rohit Sharma,India vs Sri Lanka,2015 World Cup

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No cricket with West Indies: BCCI

Written By kom nampultig on Rabu, 29 Oktober 2014 | 21.24

HYDERABAD: West Indies cricket plunged into further uncertainty and was left staring at financial ruin after an incensed Board of Cricket in India (BCCI) unanimously decided at its working committee meeting on Tuesday to suspend all bilateral ties with the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB).

West Indies abruptly pulled out in the middle of an India series last week to sort out a payment dispute involving players, the players' association and the board.

Left staring at heavy losses after the pullout, the powerful BCCI on Tuesday took a "unanimous" decision, in just under an hour, to suspend bilateral ties. West Indies players, however, will still be allowed to play in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

A BCCI statement did not clarify the quantum of damages it would seek but mentioned initiating legal proceedings. India were expected to play five series against West Indies in the next eight years, including four visits to the Caribbean, all potentially huge money-making exercises for the WICB, which has emerged as the biggest loser in the entire episode.

After having hastily arranged a five-match ODI series with Sri Lanka in November instead, sources said BCCI officials were still calculating losses. "The figures are being worked out and it will take some time before we get an accurate picture. But it could be over Rs 200 crore," a BCCI source said.

"All bilateral tours between BCCI and WICB stand suspended," said a terse note from BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel. "BCCI will initiate legal proceedings against WICB due to the abrupt cancellation of this tour." Board sources said effort was being made to minimize losses to those associations which missed out on hosting a game because of the pullout. Cuttack, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Ahmedabad, which were to host the West Indies, will now host ODIs against Sri Lanka instead.

Bangalore, which was to host the second Test, missed out as Ranchi got the nod.

"There seems to be some understanding and that's why Ranchi was given the ODI instead of Bangalore," sources said, adding: "Members were concerned about the loss of t revenue to hosting associations. They wanted to look at ways of minimizing losses. Lanka's offer was appreciated.

"Members were also concerned about the spectators who were looking forward to the series. They felt that the board cannot let down the fans. Asking Sri Lanka to play an ODI series was the best way to handle the crisis."

On whether the decision to snap bilateral ties would lead to changes in the Future Tours Programme (FTP), sources said the matter was for the International Cricket Council (ICC) to decide. The working committee also gave its nod for the Indian team to tour Sri Lanka in July-August 2015 as a reciprocal gesture.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/followceleb.cms?alias=West Indies Cricket Board,IPL,BCCI

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Break comes at the right time for MSD

NEW DELHI: Indian skipper MS Dhoni opted out of the first three One-dayers against Sri Lanka because he feared aggravating a finger injury , according to sources.The Lanka ODIs are followed by a long tour to Australia ahead of the 2015 World Cup.

"Dhoni doesn't have a serious injury . If you are a wicketkeeper, your fingers are bound to get stiff. If you don't give them time to heal, there can be a problem collecting the ball," a senior BCCI official said, adding: "Also, he was playing non-stop and there was a need to give him some rest before the Australia tour. The captain himself was keen on a break."

Dhoni, who wanted to opt out of two Tests during the aborted West Indies series, is unlikely to return for the last two ODIs against Lanka.However, he will do so if the need arises. "It is not going to be easy for Dhoni or the team during the four-month-long Australia tour. So, this is a welcome period of rest," sources said.

It is not yet decided whether the team will return to India after the Australia series."Some believe if the team is in good shape, there is no point in coming back all the way from Australia. Others say if the team members feel homesick, they can be back in India for a few days. It's too early to decide."

In a similar situation in 1991-92, when the Indian team played Australia in Australia before the World Cup Down Under, only Kapil Dev was allowed to return for a short break.

Stay updated on the go with The Times of India's mobile apps. Click here to download it for your device.


21.24 | 0 komentar | Read More
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