‘Satisfying to do well overseas’
Jeev shoots one-under 71, tied 28th
IPL could have been held in India: PC
Proteas clinch 25-run win, go 2-1 up
Azlan Shah Cup
New Delhi, April 10
The 27-year-old Delhi batsman said he was still working on his flaws and it was a constant process to evolve.
"You can never be stagnant. You have to keep moving. There is so much more to achieve. You have to keep working on your game for your progress and move ahead," he told PTI in an interview here today.
"I don't know if I have really come of age as far as my game is concerned but it's been really satisfying to do well overseas," he said.
"It was a very satisfying tour because it was my first overseas tour and I always wanted to do well abroad, I am very happy that I could do that," he said.
Gambhir top-scored with 445 runs in three-Test series to average a whopping 89 as India won the series 1-0 after 41 years on New Zealand soil.
Reacting to his Delhi teammate and fellow opener Virender Sehwag's compliment that he was the best opener after legendary Sunil Gavaskar, Gambhir said he was indeed happy to know that.
"I don't believe in comparisons. But having come from my favourite player it means a lot to me. Sehwag is such a big player and that he feels so makes me really happy. He is one player I have always looked up to. If ever I would like to sacrifice my wicket for anyone I would do it for Sehwag," Gambhir said.
Gambhir rated his century innings at Napier as one of his best efforts on the 45-day long cricket tour.
"My 137 runs in the Napier Test was my best innings. It is really very special to me," said Gambhir, who was described as the 'second wall of Indian cricket' by stand-in captain Sehwag after that knock.
Gambhir, however, said he had no personal goals to achieve.
"I don't set any individual targets. For me, its only team goals. I want to do whatever will make my team win. It is always a team effort and a team goal which matters to me. I don't play for individual achievements, don't plan for any personal milestones," he said.
Gambhir, who exhibited a fine blend of patience and aggression in his batting to adjust to the team's needs, revealed that pacing up his innings came naturally to him.
"It comes very naturally to me. As a professional player, I should be able to adjust myself to any situation as per the need of the game. There is no excuse for not performing for the team. I have to play as per the need of the team," Gambhir said.
He, however, refused to give credit to anyone for his outstanding success.
"I don't know how big a role anyone has played in my success but in a team everyone plays a collective role for the success and that translates into a win," he said.
Gambhir also supported Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni's decision of declaring late in the third and final Test which drew a lot of criticism.
"I think it was absolutely fine and fantastic. It was a collective decision by the team and I fully back Dhoni in his decision about the timing of declaration," he said.
Gambhir dismissed suggestions that Dhoni was more lucky than skillful. "It's all bull****. Dhoni has very good cricketing brain and there is no question about it. There is nothing like its only luck which plays the role," he said.
Asked if he idolised any cricketer, Gambhir said "Sehwag is my favourite player but I don't have any cricketer as my idol. If you ask I idolise Shahid Bhagat Singh'," he said.
Gambhir, who is performing outstandingly well since last two years, said "there is no difference in my successes last year and this year because my sole aim is to score runs". — PTI
Augusta (Georgia), April 10
On a day when the Augusta National was kind and generous with inviting pin positions, Jeev hoped to finish better than the tied 28th, but said he would take it and try to improve on it in the second round.
"I'm pretty happy with the way I played except for the last which left a bad taste in my mouth. But overall, I played pretty good. I made a few mistakes on the back nine but it's just the first day and we'll take it from there," said Jeev, who is playing his third straight Masters and is hoping to improve his best finish of tied 25th last year.
Asian Tour No. 1 Jeev looked set for a 70, but a last hole bogey just like Woods left him dissatisfied at the end.
Earlier Jeev gave the crowds a lot to cheer with a perfect second shot with a 3-iron to set up an eagle, which he duly nailed on the par-5 13th.
Asian Tour's best for the day was the 43-year-old Thai Prayad Marksaeng who overcame a triple bogey early in his round by shooting six birdies for his solid start.
Jeev, who had opened with a similar 71 last year, admitted to nervousness as a huge crowd followed the marque group with Woods and Stewart Cink, who once beat Jeev in a matchplay encounter. Woods was playing his first Major since the US Open last year.
But once the butterflies settled with five straight pars, Jeev showed some solid play.
"It was tough when I was starting out and you're a little nervous. But after that it was fine. Tiger was very nice and made me comfortable. I'll try to better the score tomorrow and see what comes my way," said Jeev.
Jeev's first birdie came on the sixth hole from five feet and he stayed at one-under through the first stretch. On the 10th he gave the shot back after landing in the greenside trap.
He again recovered and then a brilliant 3-iron approach set him up for eagle on the par five 13th hole. However, he failed to cash in further as he dropped a bogey which he later admitted was a mistake. He had a 9-iron second shot to the pin from the middle of the fairway, but still dropped a shot.
He made up with a second birdie on 17th, but immediately gave it back with wayward drive to the left amongst the pine trees on the 18th and failed to save par from the greenside. — IANS
Campbell establishes one-shot lead
Chad Campbell ran off five straight birdies, the best start ever in the Masters. Jim Furyk charged up the crowd with four straight birdies late in his round. Even that notoriously slow starter, Tiger Woods, got in on the action. Anyone worried that Augusta National had lost its excitement only had to listen to the sweetest of sounds yesterday. The roars returned to the Masters. Campbell led an assault on the record book with nine birdies in 15 holes before two late mistakes made him settle for a 7-under 65 and a one-shot lead over Furyk and Hunter Mahan. "It is nice to hear some noises again," Sandy Lyle said. Augusta National cooked up the perfect formula for record scoring - warm sunshine and only a gentle breeze, along with inviting hole locations and greens that were soft and smooth. The cheers came from all corners for 11 hours of golf that produced six eagles and 354 birdies. There were 19 rounds in the 60s, the most ever for the first round, and only four fewer than the entire tournament last year. It was so easy that Woods nearly broke 70 in the opening round for the first time in his career.
Chad Campbell ran off five straight birdies, the best start ever in the Masters. Jim Furyk charged up the crowd with four straight birdies late in his round. Even that notoriously slow starter, Tiger Woods, got in on the action.
Anyone worried that Augusta National had lost its excitement only had to listen to the sweetest of sounds yesterday.
The roars returned to the Masters.
Campbell led an assault on the record book with nine birdies in 15 holes before two late mistakes made him settle for a 7-under 65 and a one-shot lead over Furyk and Hunter Mahan.
"It is nice to hear some noises again," Sandy Lyle said.
Augusta National cooked up the perfect formula for record scoring - warm sunshine and only a gentle breeze, along with inviting hole locations and greens that were soft and smooth.
The cheers came from all corners for 11 hours of golf that produced six eagles and 354 birdies. There were 19 rounds in the 60s, the most ever for the first round, and only four fewer than the entire tournament last year.
It was so easy that Woods nearly broke 70 in the opening round for the first time in his career. — AP
New Delhi, April 10
"I am not letting out any secret by that. If they had only listened to the concerns of the police, this tournament could have been played in two parts. First the league part and then give a break for the critical three or four week period and then the knock-out part," he told CNN-IBN news channel.
IPL, which coincided with the general elections in the country, was shifted to South Africa after the government expressed reservations on providing security for the tournament. BCCI President Shashank Manohar had cited "the attitude of government" as the reason for shifting the IPL to South Africa.
"But they (IPL organisers) were trying to be too clever by putting the pressure on chief ministers and ultimately the police told the chief ministers that 'sorry, we cannot provide security'," he said.Chidambaram said the IPL organisers refused to understand the difficulties and compulsions of police forces and denied that there was any ego clash with tournament Commissioner Lalit Modi.
"Where is the ego? I am too small a person compared to Mr Modi. The point is they did not try to understand the compulsions and concerns of the police force. "Ultimately the political buck will stop at the chief minister but the burden will have to be taken by the police. They should have understood the concerns of the police," he said.
Asked if he had any regrets of being forced to watch the IPL on television, Chidambaram said: "I will watch it on television and will be amongst the 98 per cent of the viewers who watch the IPL on television. Only two per cent of the viewers watch the IPL matches on the ground." — PTI
Cape Town, April 9
Earlier, Jacques Kallis and AB de Villiers led South Africa to 289 for six with classy half-centuries.
The pair came together with the hosts struggling on 50 for two in the 15th over on a slow pitch but took control with a stand of 114 off 131 balls.
Kallis scored 70 off 86 deliveries with five fours and immediately took the run-rate forward with a series of commanding front-foot drives.
South Africa's leading run-scorer fell to a soft dismissal, pulling a Brett Geeves long-hop straight to wide mid-on at the end of the 36th over.
De Villiers went on to hit 80 in 87 balls and was out in the 41st over when paceman Mitchell Johnson had him caught off a leading edge, playing too early to the leg-side.
Busy innings in the last five overs by Albie Morkel (29) and Mark Boucher (28 not out) then capitalised on the fine work of the middle order. — Reuters
Azlan Shah Cup
Ipoh (Malaysia), April 10
India has conceded late equalisers in two of the three matches they have played so far in the tournament and Sandeep Singh's men, who were runners-up here last year, cannot afford such a lapse tomorrow against Pakistan.
Pakistan, who lost two of their three league games, have suddenly jumped back into contention after beating minnows Egypt in their third match.
Pakistan thrashed the tournament-debutants 4-0 after suffering losses at the hands of Malaysia and New Zealand.
A win tomorrow might just be enough to get them a berth in the finals. India have five points from their three games, while Pakistan have three. Malaysia are at the top with six points and their opponents tomorrow, New Zealand, have five points.
India could have already made the finals had it not been for the defensive errors in the dying minutes, the first of which was against the Egyptians. Just 40 seconds before the final hooter, India ended up conceding a goal after leading 2-1 all through the match.
After a thumping 3-0 win over hosts and table-toppers Malaysia, India looked on course to a win over New Zealand as well, leading 2-1 but yet again, a late equaliser (63rd minute) denied them full points. — PTI
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