Home away from home for England
No. 3 slot is best suited to my game: Kohli
We can turn things around: Tredwell
Affection of fans played huge role in my career: Tendulkar
Home away from home for England
Mohali, January 22
After coming back to India from a freezing Christmas in England to the relative heat of Rajkot, Kochi and Ranchi, the team finds home-like weather conditions here. With temperatures hardly touching 15° C and the sun shining on brightly since their arrival in Chandigarh, this is the closest they would get anywhere near an English summer in India.
England, a young and a tad inexperienced side, still have many things to sort out. The top three have to make runs. In fact, the major worry of the side in last two matches has been to put up a decent total on the board. There might be some changes in team combination also — it seems very likely that Craig Kieswetter will make way for Joe Buttler and Stuart Meaker will be replaced by Jade Dernbach.
Spinner James Tredwell cannot commit on the specifics but admitted that this is indeed the time for a turnaround, if there is any. “Obviously the two defeats are in the back of our minds but I think if you look forward to the result too quickly, then you take your eye off the process,” Tredwell said on Tuesday. “I guess we are just going into the game trying to execute our skills as best as we can and if we do that and perform like we did in the first game, there is every chance we can turn them over.”
The pitch, as anybody would know, would be to England’s liking, though it may not be the case with Tredwell personally — fast and bouncy and emerald green as of this evening. But he is the one English spinner who has done reasonably well in the series so far and he said it has been a good learning experience.
“It’s coming out nicely at the moment. Obviously, it is nice to be out there, first and foremost. And getting a few games under my belt. Thankfully it has gone OK so far but if you rest on that, then you are not looking forward to better things ahead,” he pointed out.
For England all the extraneous factors are on their side, all they need is to pull their socks up and reach the level they have been trying to ever since they came back after Christmas. It does not help the visiting side when two rookie pacers can create problems of all sorts just by holding on to their line and length. More than the Indian seamers, it has been England’s undoing all this while.
All India have needed to do is to keep them under pressure consistently and force them to make errors. And Dhoni has marshalled his resources well and adapted to the new rules in time in last two matches.
“But if you consistently put pressure on the batsmen and if the wicket is a bit slow and it turns and you have to play shots, it gets a bit difficult,” Virat Kohli said at the pre-match press conference.
“It’s been a combination of our bowlers bogging them down and the English batsmen playing a few bad shots,” Kohli added, laying out India’s plan in last two games.
For the match ahead and the one after this, Kohli said: “This game is really important, we have to step up and treat it like that (as the decider). We have to gear ourselves up. This game becomes all the more important. We have to treat every game like that. (like it is the last game). When you lose the first game, you’ve got to go out there and play your best cricket.”
India, on the other hand, are now atop the world rankings, and their weak bowling department has done well in the previous two matches. All rounder Ravindra Jadeja has turned in influential performances in both victories, and Bhuvneshwar Kumar has compensated for his lack of pace with movement to trouble the top order. Virat Kohli, the ICC’s ODI Player of the Year, shrugged aside indifferent form to pocket his first Man-of-the-Match award.
Squads: 4th odi
India: MS Dhoni (captain), Ajinkya Rahane, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Shami Ahmed, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara Amit Mishra and Ashok Dinda.
England: Alastair Cook (captain), Ian Bell, Kevin Pietersen, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan, Craig Kieswetter (wk), Samit Patel, Chris Woakes, James Tredwell, Steven Finn, Jade Dernbach, Tim Bresnan, Danny Briggs, Jos Buttler, Stuart Meaker
Fast-n-furious: Mohali offers a wicket that has pace, bounce and a touch of green. But once the early movements dies down the ball comes on nicely to the bat and scoring becomes easy. No doubt, it’s a typical ODI wicket, as pitch curator Daljeet Singh loves to repeat time and again. Recently two Ranji trophy matches were played on this wicket and the curator promises it to a good batting track. India 1, England 0: India and England have played only one ODI in Mohali, on October 20, 2011. India won by 5 wickets with 4 balls remaining. Details: England: 298/4 (Trott 98, Pietersen 64, Patel 70) India: 300/5 in 49.2 overs (Rahane 91, Gambhir 58, Kohli 35, Dhoni 35)
Fast-n-furious: Mohali offers a wicket that has pace, bounce and a touch of green. But once the early movements dies down the ball comes on nicely to the bat and scoring becomes easy. No doubt, it’s a typical ODI wicket, as pitch curator Daljeet Singh loves to repeat time and again. Recently two Ranji trophy matches were played on this wicket and the curator promises it to a good batting track.
India 1, England 0: India and England have played only one ODI in Mohali, on October 20, 2011. India won by 5 wickets with 4 balls remaining. Details:
England: 298/4 (Trott 98, Pietersen 64, Patel 70)
India: 300/5 in 49.2 overs (Rahane 91, Gambhir 58, Kohli 35, Dhoni 35)
The seven-wicket win against England in Ranchi One day Internationalhas catpulted the Indian team to the top position in ICC ODI rankings. The team tops the chart with 119 points followed by the England (118). The South African team is placed third with 166 rating points. India will be able to retain the top position if it wins at least one of the remaining two matches in the ongoing ODI series.
Gaurav Kanthwal/ tns
Mohali, January 22
Hardly had the throwdowns from the fielding coach completed, MS Dhoni moved to the extreme left end of the nets. After a fair bit of batting, the captain was hit by a rising ball from Punjab pacer MS Gony on his right hand, leaving him in excruciating pain. A couple of balls later the skipper took off his batting gloves and left the arena with the physiotherapist in tow. There’s nothing to worry about, though. Sources say that there is nothing serious about the injury and Dhoni will be fit and fine for the match.
Yuvraj Singh’s fans and local net bowlers were disappointed when the team bus ferrying the men in blue emptied and the local hero was not anywhere in sight. Yuvraj was conspicuous by his absence in the nets a day ahead of the match, setting the rumour mills in motion.
For Gambhir and Rahane, though, it was a hard day in the nets as both openers slogged in the nets. This practice was interspersed with brief sessions with coach Duncan Fletcher and fielding coach Trevor Penny. Fletcher discussed drives with Gambhir for a short while, while Penny discussed his foot movement and stance in between the prolonged spell of throwdowns.
Earlier, the Delhi batsman was also under his skipper’s watch as both Dhoni and Fletcher stood sideways near Gambhir, with Dhoni instructing Gony to bowl different kinds of deliveries at the opener. Gambhir also spent some time with national selector Vikram Rathour before resuming the session with renewed vigour.
All this while Rahane was a man possessed, facing throwdowns of varied line and length, dotted with bouncers. With just two stumps, the Mumbai batsman was made to size up the deliveries, leave them, defend and attack according to the demand.
It could be the need of the hour due to the change in rules, or the anxiety of facing two new balls from both ends, but one thing was clear: Team India wants their two openers on top of their game. So much so that No 3 Virat Kohli partially gave up his time on nets after advising Rahane and then following it up with throwdowns.
Apart from that, the Indian duo of Shami Ahmed, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and five top performing bowlers of Ranji Trophy this season also had a go against the top men of the Indian batting at the nets.
Mohali, January 22
Kohli marked his return to form with an unbeaten 77 in the last one-dayer in Ranchi against England after a string of low scores which had become a matter of concern for the team.
“I wasn’t feeling the same as others might have about my form, to be honest. No one can keep scoring consistently for a period of 16 months. It’s always a balance in international cricket. There will be a phase when you don’t score in four-five games,” Kohli said at the pre-match press conference ahead of the fourth ODI here tomorrow.
“It was a bit annoying for me as I was not getting out making too many mistakes. I got a few good balls in the last series and made a few mistakes in this series. But, I was pretty calm at that point of time. You just got to be composed. You just know that it is going to happen at some point or the other (return to form),” he said.
India are leading the five-match ODI series against England 2-1 and will look to settle the issue by taking an unassailable lead at the PCA stadium here tomorrow. The right-hander pointed out that working hard regularly in the nets and staying calm and patient was the only mantra which had helped him tide over the lean phase.
“When you get frustrated, you tend to increase that lean phase which you are going through. You’ve got to be positive, which I am glad that I was and was able to come out with that knock in the last game,” he said.
India may be on the brink of a series win, but Kohli felt that they cannot afford to be complacent as England have got good players who can “change the game anytime”.
“They have got good players in the side who can change the game at any time. Even the guys coming in have been impressive,” he said.
Kohli felt that the Indians had played better cricket in the last two one-dayers enabling them to take the lead in the series, but at the same time he knew that they will have to play well to beat the visitors.
“There are two more games to go, we will have to play consistently to beat them,” he said.
He said that while the bowlers had done well in the one-dayers, the batting unit has done well only in the previous two matches.
“Hopefully, we will try to maintain that and do it consistently. It is essential that batting unit fires consistently as bowlers have done well in all the three matches and effort will be that batting complements that,” he said.
The Delhi dasher felt that batting at number three slot suited him.
“I think batting at number three has been working fine for me. I wouldn’t know too much about lower order because I played a few games when I was new. This position (No 3) I like the pressure situation and I like to finish things as well, it gives me sort of right platform to do the job for the team. It suits me well. I think No 3 is the position that works best for me,” he said.
Asked about a few of the top English players back home, Kohli felt that it was a personal choice for them.
“We were ready to play the full Test team that played here. It was upto the English team to rest the players,” he said. Kohli was full of praise for young England batsman Joe Root and said he has a bright future ahead of him.
“From what I have seen him bat in Nagpur in the first game he played, he seems to be a guy who has got the temperament to absorb the pressure and sort of work it out and get through that situation.” “He (Root) has a bright future ahead of him. That really counts in international game. It is not mere technique or the sort of foot movement you have. 70 per cent, it is about temperament. I think he has got it in him and I wish all the best for him in his career,” said Kohli.
“From what we all have observed ... James Tredwell (spinner) is another guy who has done well in the bowling department.” On why England had failed to put up a good performance in the one-dayers so far after winning the Test series, Kohli felt that Indian bowlers were able to create good pressure on their batsmen and forced them to make errors.
“But if you consistently put pressure on the batsmen and if the wicket is a bit slow and it turns and you have to play shots, it gets a bit difficult. It’s been a combination of our bowlers bogging them down and English batsmen playing a few bad shots,” he said.
On the Mohali track, he said the pitch always offered something for the bowlers.
“It’s always been a lively wicket. It’s always been a wicket with hard surface and a bit of grass in it. Always helps the bowler a bit and with two new balls coming it’s going to be a bit challenging for the top order. It is that sort of wicket where you need to get your eye in and then you can play shots at will. It’s going to help the bowler early on and first 10 overs are going to be crucial.” — PTI
Mohali, January 22
“We have a point to prove, absolutely. We spoke about it. It can be quite easy in this part of the world that if you get on a bad trot, you can let your heads drop and we can’t allow that to creep in,” he said.
Tredwell said the team played well in the first game in Rajkot and will draw positives from that match rather than think about the poor performances.
“We played really well in the first game. We will try to draw on that performance and try and reach those heights as opposed to dwelling on the poor performances of the last two. We have had a couple of days of good practice and we are going into this one pretty confident,” he said.
Asked whether the experience of playing in domestic matches back home helped him in this series, he said: “Absolutely. Having played a fair amount of games domestically sort of helps you come across different conditions, different players, different plans. One can bring that into play in these sort of games.” Tredwell said he would look to force his way back into England’s Test squad by performing consistently in the opportunities he gets.
“That’s all I can do, really (knock on the doors for Test selection). Obviously Swanny is a fine performer. He is the man in possession and Monty did really well in the tour over here just before Christmas. So I guess they are the guys in the possession in the Test arena but obviously if I can keep knocking on the door, then that’s all I can do.” “Obviously, to play the ODIs I have played in the last few months has given me great confidence having done so well. That gives me great belief that I can do it at all levels, T20 or Test cricket. Again, we shall see,” he said.
“Been around the set-up for a few years now, in and out, and I feel very much a part of it. Hopefully I have shown over the past few games what I can do. Who knows it may be opportunities around the corner in all forms of the game,” he said.
On whether there should be a rotation policy for spinners in Tests, he said, “Again, the two guys here before Christmas did fantastically well. It will be tough to leave them out at the moment. So it’s like anything in sport, you have to try and take your chance when it comes. Hopefully I will get my chance and hopefully I can grab it. — PTI
Mumbai, January 22
"Something that played a huge role in my career was the warmth and affection that I have received all across the world, whoever support Indian cricket," Tendulkar said at the music launch of 'Mai' where legendary playback singer Asha Bhosle is making her acting debut.
Champions draw inspiration from various sources and for India's longest serving Test cricketer, his father late Ramesh Tendulkar has been the source.
"I can definitely say that my father is a source of inspiration. And then my brothers had a huge impact and after that my wife and her parents. They also play an important role. It's a family thing where it starts. At every stage there were certain goals to achieve and there are certain things which inspires you," the veteran of 194 Tests said.
The 39-year-old also took the opportunity to take a trip down memory lane as he paid rich tributes to Asha Bhosle. "Everyone knows about the impact that Asha ji has had on the Indian music. I have grown up listening to her music. — PTI
Melbourne, January 22
Showing no signs of fatigue from the grinding five-hour duel with Stanislas Wawrinka that ended in the early hours of Monday morning, Djokovic defused the big Czech’s big serve 6-1 4-6 6-1 6-4 to progress comfortably to his 11th successive grand slam semifinal.
Maria Sharapova was as impressive as she savaged Ekaterina Makarova 6-2 6-2, while Li Na ended Agnieszka Radwanska’s winning streak. Ferrer staged what he described as a miraculous comeback from two sets down to beat fellow Spaniard Nicolas Almagro 4-6 4-6 7-5 7-6 6-2.
Living up to his reputation as the fittest player on the tour, world number one Djokovic returned with his usual deftness and moved his 6ft 5in opponent around the court.
The 25-year-old whipped through the first set against fifth seed Berdych quicksmart, stalled only a little as he lost the second before racing to victory in two and a half hours, sealing the win with his 10th ace.
“It was a great performance,” Djokovic said. “I was hoping to have a shorter match and not go over five hours like the last match.”
Sharapova crushed fellow Russian Makarova in just 66 minutes to set up a last four appointment with Li at a cost of just nine games conceded in the tournament, a record low for the Australian Open.
Li reached her third semifinal in four years at the Australian Open with a 7-5 6-3 victory over Radwanska in the opening match of the day.
Radwanska had come into the contest bursting with confidence on a run of 13 successive wins but looked underpowered as she was bludgeoned into submission by Li in the 102-minute contest.
Bhupathi-Petrova in quarterfinals
Mahesh Bhupathi entered the mixed doubles quarterfinals with partner Nadia Petrova of Russia, registering a 3-6 6-2 10-5 win over Katarina Srebotnik of Slovakia and Nenad Zimonjic of Serbia. But second seeds Leander Paes and Elena Vesnina made a shock second round exit. The pair was outplayed by the unseeded local pair of Matthew Ebden and Jarmila Gajdosova 3-6 2-6. Bhupathi and Petrova hit 34 winners as compared to only 16 by their rivals. Besides, they also managed to convert three out of six break points they faced, while saved three off five to pocket the match. Rohan Bopanna and Sania Mirza had already moved into the last eight stage of the mixed doubles event with their partners. — Agencies
Mahesh Bhupathi entered the mixed doubles quarterfinals with partner Nadia Petrova of Russia, registering a 3-6 6-2 10-5 win over Katarina Srebotnik of Slovakia and Nenad Zimonjic of Serbia.
But second seeds Leander Paes and Elena Vesnina made a shock second round exit. The pair was outplayed by the unseeded local pair of Matthew Ebden and Jarmila Gajdosova 3-6 2-6.
Bhupathi and Petrova hit 34 winners as compared to only 16 by their rivals. Besides, they also managed to convert three out of six break points they faced, while saved three off five to pocket the match.
Rohan Bopanna and Sania Mirza had already moved into the last eight stage of the mixed doubles event with their partners. — Agencies
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