Oz got me back in rhythm: Ishant
Rahul hat-tricks, Punjab to play Gujarat in national T20 final
Experienced players being pushed out of Australian team too soon, says Tait
Captain or not, my game has never got affected: Sehwag
Muralitharan joins RCB training camp
Ryder out of coma, doesn’t recollect attack
Issue over Lankans unfortunate: Dravid
Punjabi teen is great Oz bowling hope
United lead by 18 points after win at Sunderland
Bolt to push limits in 150m dash on beach
Barua named women’s soccer coach
Bhullar fires day’s best of 65, Digvijay slips to T4th
Murray to face Ferrer in
Oz got me back in rhythm: Ishant
New Delhi, March 30
“I think I am slowly getting back into my rhythm. I am pretty happy with my performance against Australia. Although, I couldn't do much in the first couple of Tests, I did well in the last two matches. Overall, I am satisfied with my performance,” said the lanky fast bowler, who finished with only seven wickets from the four-Test series.
He has received a lot of flak having got only 144 wickets from 51 Tests but the 24-year-old is reasonably happy about how his international career has panned out so far.
“I think I have done reasonably well in my career so far.
I hope to continue to do well. In India, the wickets are not too conducive for pace bowling,” Ishant stated after a session with young trainees at a cricket clinic 'You vs Ishant' at the Vasant Kunj Sports Complex. Ishant said he and his pace bowling partner Bhuvneshwar Kumar complemented each other in the team.
“I concentrated in getting the reverse swing with the old ball (against Australia). Bhuvneshwar swings the new ball and he has done well. For me, it was more about containment with the new ball and wait for old ball,” he said. Ishant's tips for young fast bowling aspirants is simple: try to bowl as fast as you can at the beginning and not worry unduly about the line and length. “According to me, when you are young, you should think of raw pace only. Line and length can be learnt later on in a match situation. If you think of bowling line and length from a young age, you won't have pace." Ishant feels that talented pacers should be nurtured with a lot of care and qualified support staff (physios and trainers) should take good care of them.
"It is important to have physios and trainers. They play an important part in the career of fast bowlers," he said. The Delhi lad didn't play too many ODIs in the last three years but his hopeful of breaking into the India squad for the ICC Champions Trophy in June and a limited overs away series in Zimbabwe.
"I am hoping that I can be in the squad for the Champions Trophy and then the Zimbabwe ODI tour. Then there is the Test series in South Africa which would be one but that is some time away and I am not thinking about that,” he said. Ishant will be playing for Hyderabad Sunrisers in the upcoming sixth edition of IPL and is hopeful that the franchise will do well.
"We have a good mix of experienced players and youngsters. Most of the players have been in the team (Deccan Chargers) before it was taken over by another owner and named Hyderabad Sunrisers,” he said.
Asked about the prospect of bowling again against former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting, who is captaining Mumbai Indians and with whom he had a fascinating contest in his debut season in 2007-08, Ishant said.
“In IPL, I am going to bowl just four overs and it's difficult to say who would win a contest between a batsman and a bowler. It can go either way.” — PTI
New Delhi, March 23
Punjab now face Gujarat in the summit clash on Sunday.
The chief architect of Punjab's win was Rahul Sharma who bagged four wickets, three in a hattrick,by giving away 34 runs in 3.4 overs. Gurkeerat Singh earlier pitched in 93 runs in 58 balls with the help of eight boundaries and six sixes.
Batting first, Punjab made 161/5 in 20 overs. Apart from Gurkeerat, none of the batsmen could make much contribution as the team scored eight runs an over. Skipper Mandeep Singh could play only two balls and was out for duck. Ravi Inder Singh made 15 runs, while all rounder Amitoze Singh made 16.
In reply, Uttar Pradesh were all out for 110 in 16.4 overs. Mohammed Kaif was the topscorer with 46 runs in 41 balls. He scored three boundaries and two sixes. Leggie Piyush Chawla scored 29 runsin 19 balls.Piyush though could not do much in the bowling as he reutrned with just one wicket by giving away 31 runs in four overs.His economy rate being 7.75.
Meanwhile, left-hander Manprit Juneja smashed an unbeaten 108 as Gujarat thrashed Kerala by 90 runs to set up title date with Punjab. Juneja produced a sensational exhibition of strokeplay as he struck 16 fours and three sixes in his 50-ball knock to help Gujarat score 233 for three after they were put into bat in the Group A match at Emerald High School Ground. Chasing the huge target, Kerala were bundled out for 143 in 19.1 overs.
With four points from today's match, Gujarat topped Group A. Kerala captain Sachin Baby must have rued his decision to put the opposition in though it seemed that his gamble would pay dividends as Gujarat were struggling at 31 for three in the fifth over.
But Juneja and Abdulahad Malik (84 not out)turned the match on its head with an unbroken partnership of 202 runs from 15.4 overs for the fourth wicket. Malik was no less aggressive than Juneja as his unbeaten 84 came from just 46 balls with the help of nine fours and three sixes.
The duo batted as if they were competing against each other in a contest of clearing the fence as the Kerala bowlers were sent for a leather hunt.
Chasing the huge target, Kerala lost early wickets but were still in the match till the 11th over when they were 97 for three. But the dismissal of their captain Sachin Baby (14) in that over triggered a batting collapse and they were bundled out for 143 in 19.1 overs. For Gujarat, pacer Mehul Patel and off-spinner Jesal Karia took three wickets each. — PTI
R Inder Singh b Rajpoot 15
Mandeep c Singh b Imtiaz 0
Gurkeerat not out 93
Mayank b Amit 14
Madan b Chawla 10
Amitoze c Sharma b Rajpoot 16
Gurinder not out 1
Total: (5wkts; 20 ovs) 161
Fall of wickets: 1-3, 2-38,3-91, 4-124, 5-158
RP Singh 4-0-35-0
PSK Gupta 1-0-14-0
Gupta c Amitoze b Sandeep 9
Tomar c Sidhana b Sandeep 0
Kaif c Kaul b Rajwinder 46
Nath c Sharma b Amitoze 0
Srivastava c Gurinder b Amitoze 5
Chawla c Gurinder b Sharma 29
Sharma c Sandeep b Sharma 2
Mishra c Mandeep b Sharma 0
Imtiaz c Rajwinder b Sharma 17
RP Singh b Rajwinder 0
Rajpoot not out 0
Total (all out; 16.4 ov) 110
Fall of wickets: 1-1, 2-14, 3-32, 4-45, 5-91, 6-93, 7-93,8-93, 9-100, 10-110
Jaipur, March 30
“I feel the likes of Jason Gillespie, Shane Warne, Michael Kasprowicz and Mathew Hayden were the players from whom the younger lot could learn and I feel they should have hung for more time," Tait said during an interaction with the media.
“I am not sure but there have been some changes in Australian cricket and at the domestic level too. The youngsters, when inducted into the team learn from their seasoned teammates," he said. When asked whether the IPL was losing its global character in wake of the decision of pulling out Sri Lankan players out of Chennai and the few England players being barred by their respective counties, Shaun Tait called it a “shame”.
“It is not in the hands of players. They have to abide with what the authorities say. The IPL would not lose its global character but it is a shame that players have to face such situation. It is the decision taken by others. At the end of the day, IPL is an Indian tournament but a very good one,” he said.
Questioned on where the Royals' campaign went haywire last year, he replied,"We were not up to the mark in the death overs in the previous season. I enjoy bowling at the death but your plans work out at times and some times, they don't. I would again enjoy bowling at death.” Tait has often been labelled as someone who has pace but is evry erratic. The bowler assured that he is working on that aspect of his game. “I know I was erratic at times but have worked on this. My foot was popping out of the bowling crease but recently I had improved in the Big Bash and Bangladesh Premier league.
It's ok as of now. I plan to bowl a lot straighter and keep things simple.” Despite his international career being curtailed by injuries, Tair doesn't want to compromise on pace.
“I have been plagued with injuries in my career but still don't want to cut down on my pace. I have not played one dayers for quite some time to reduce workload and concentrate on T20 only. To avoid more injuries, I work out a lot. But still I want to bowl around 150 kmph as cutting down on pace would be too difficult," said the Aussie quick.
Asked about the previous season, Tait said,"The previous season for Rajasthan Royals was not that bad. We had fought hard till the end but had lost a couple of matches which we should have won. We hope for a top-4 finish this time. We have worked on a few grey areas like death bowling and have few more options in attack. The likes of James Faulkner would lend us more bowling strength. We have good relationship and we mix up well and help each other," said Tait. — Agencies
New Delhi, March 30
"I don't think it matters whether I am captaining the side or not. Captaincy has never affected my game. I have never ever felt the pressure on my batting while leading the side," Sehwag told PTI in an interview here today.
"I have never felt any pressure as captain, my approach to batting has always remained the same", he said when asked whether Sri Lankan Mahela Jayawardene donning the mantle of captain will lessen the burden on him.
For Sehwag, captaincy and performance are two separate entities which should not be mixed with each other.
"I have always maintained that captaincy and performance are two separate issues altogether. If you talk about pressures of captaincy, then I had scored five consecutive half centuries during the last edition of IPL and the highest number of runs for Delhi Daredevils," he said.
Sehwag's five half-centuries in a row (he scored 495 runs last season) is an IPL record but he reckons that it might be surpassed this year. "Someone can break it this year," he answered with a smile after his interaction with kids during NDTV's 'Marks for Sports' Campaign at Modern School (Barakhamba Road) ground.
Sehwag admitted that Kevin Pietersen, who is out with knee injury will be missed a lot as his contribution was immense in helping the team reach last four stage in the fifth edition of the cash rich league. "KP is a big occasion player and he will certainly be missed but we have other players who can put their hands up and be counted. We have 10 quality foreign players and whoever replaces him in the XI will get an opportunity to make a name for himself on the big stage. If they can grab their chance and prove their worth, we can win the trophy."
Asked about how he is shaping up going into the first game, the 34-year-old opener said, "Very well and I feel 100 percent fit." This edition will be doubly important for Sehwag as he tries to make a comeback into the Indian team and he feels that any player on his day can win the championship for his team.
"If one guy can play particularly well on a given day, he can very well win the trophy for his team. Take Manvinder Bisla as an example. He played a superb knock in the IPL final and Kolkata Knight Riders won the trophy. I am hopeful that someone will do it for the Delhi Daredevils this year," Sehwag added.
However, the veteran of 104 Tests and 251 ODIs felt that it will not be fair to earmark certain teams as favourites.
"Look at the IPL history and you know that any team can win the tournament. It is difficult to pinpoint any one team.
Every team has the capability to pose equal challenge and it will depend on how a particular team fares on the day." The 'Nawab of Najafgarh' wants everyone to keep guessing when asked about whether one would find him wearing spectacles during the league. "You will see that," he answered. Being the 'fitness ambassador of Delhi, Sehwag lauded the initiative. — PTI
Bangalore, March 30
The 40-year-old off-spinner, who retired from international cricket in 2011, bowled in tandem with left-arm spinner Murali Karthik in the nets.
Muralitharan looked unfazed by the controversy and gave some tips to Tamil Nadu lad Karthik during the net session. Muralitharan did not try anything unusual and concentrated on line and length. He surprised some RCB batsmen with his famous doosara.
Muralitharan appeared friendly and jovial, making younger team-mates feel comfortable.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni look-alike Saurabh Tiwary also joined the training camp, first loosening his muscles and then going in for fielding and catching drills. Later, he sweat it out with his bat in the nets. RCB spearhead Zaheer Khan, who took part in some sprinting yesterday, did not attend the session today.
Zaheer had sustained a calf injury during Mumbai's Ranji Trophy game against Gujarat last December and was then dropped from the Indian Test squad against England.
RCB think-tank has decided to take rest tomorrow and resume the camp on April one, expectedly in the presence of big stars Chris Gayle, A B de Villiers and Tilakratne Dilshan at the nets. — PTI
Christchurch, March 30
Ryder was put in a state of induced coma after a bar brawl here threatens to end his cricketing career.
However, by Friday he had given a “thumbs up” to his neurosurgeon after his sedation levels were lowered.
“It (seeing him emerge from the coma) was emotional for us that were there to see that. It happens quite quickly once they start changing the level of drugs,” Ryder's manager Aaron Klee was quoted as saying in the local media Saturday. "Just to see him wake up and acknowledge that you were there and then start asking for people I guess then you know that he's there," he said. “We're all pretty exhausted, it's been a pretty difficult few days, but having some wins over the last 24 hours has been a huge relief."
“He had a knock to the head and so they were assessing what sort of damage that may have done, but at the moment it very much looks like a very bad concussion. “He's got a bit of damage to his lungs and that's been the toughest part and that's what they've been most concerned about.” “Naturally we are absolutely thrilled with the progress.”
Police confirmed two menwould appear in court 4 April after being charged with assault. — PTI
Jaipur, March 30
He said that although the Royals have only one Lankan player, some other teams have more Sri Lankan players and they will have to change their strategies for the matches in Chennai. Dravid also termed the assault on Jesse Ryder a ‘sad’. — PTI
Punjabi teen is great Oz bowling hope
Chandigarh, March 30
The hope became brighter when 19-year-old made an imprssive first-class debut for New South Wales earlier this month, taking 5/31. The strapping lad is set to script a fascinating story of success. On Thursday, the 19 year-old rookie won the prestigious Steve Waugh medal for best New South Wales cricketer for 2012-13. Having played just a handful of matches in the Sheffield Shield, he is moving with pace toward his goal of wearing the Green and Gold. Sandhu capped a brilliant season by winning the New South Wales Rising Stars Award and also pipping Steven Smith for the Ryobi Cup Player of the Year award.
Sandhu shared his future course of action in a telephonic interview from Blacktown, New South Wales. Excerpts:
What did the man in whose honour the award is instituted, Steve Waugh, say to you?
I did not get to talk much with him during the presentation ceremony. He said, “Keep going” and wished me luck in the future. Hopefully, next time I get to meet him, I’ll get more of his time.
When do you see yourself playing for Australia?
I can’t say when. If I keep doing well I will get a chance. My aim is to keep doing better and make it to the team.
Which format of the sport attracts you the most?
I haven’t thought of it. My aim is to get into the team, be it T20, ODI or Tests. I want to play all formats.
As a bowler what are your strengths?
I bowl tight, can swing both ways with more of a side-on action. I bowl in the range of 130-135 kmph, though I don’t know the exact speed. If I can bowl consistently at 135, it would be good for me.
Who has been a major influence in your bowling?
Our coach Craig McDermott helps me a lot. Basically he is the one who guides me how to bring in changes and improve my skills. He guides me on how to exploit the conditions. If the conditions are hot and the wicket dry, then he will advise to hit the deck hard and extract bounce. With new ball, his focus is on seam and swing movement both ways.
That makes Glenn McGrath your role model?
Yeah, I like him… Andrew Flintoff too, I would say. Among the Indians, Zaheer Khan is amazing.
What if you get a chance to play in the IPL?
I have just played three Big Bash games. I want to do well here first and then maybe, at some point later in my career, play IPL too.
Have you ever played in India? How often do you visit your ancestral home?
I’ve been to Hardialeana five-six times but haven’t played in India. I have played against India in the U-19 World Cup. I would love to play in India and do well.
Name: Gurinder Singh Sandhu
Born: June 14, 1993
Home: Blacktown, New South Wales
Ancestral Home: Hardialeana, Faridkot, Punjab
Age: 19 yrs, 289 days
Teams: Australia Under-19s, New South Wales, New South Wales Under-23s, PM’s XI, Sydney Thunder
Bowls: Right-arm fast-medium
London, March 30
United, closing in on their 20th title and their fifth in the last seven seasons, went ahead after 27 minutes when Robin van Persie ended a jinking run on the left with a shot that took a deflection off Bramble’s thigh leaving Black Cats keeper Simon Mignolet stranded.
Van Persie, who has scored 19 league goals this season but not found the net since a 2-0 win over Everton on February10, told Sky Sports he would be claiming the strike.
“Of course, no question about it. It’s been a while so it’s nice to score again and it was an important goal,” the Dutchman said.
United midfielder Michael Carrick, named man of the match, added: “I thought we played some really good football and controlled the game without creating all the scoring opportunities we would have liked. They are fighting for their lives but we defended well.”
It was United’s seventh successive league win, their sixth league game without conceding and their 25th win from their 30 league matches — a record number of victories in the top flight at this stage of the season since league football began in 1888. — Reuters
Rio de Janeiro, March 30
The 26-year-old surprised passers-by Friday when he trained on the famed stretch of sand and conversed with local fans, reports Xinhua.
“I don’t run 150m often but I am going to give my all,” Bolt said of the race, which will be staged on a temporary track that has been custom-built on the beach. “I hope everything goes well and that I am able to perform as planned. It’s all about keeping my focus and staying calm.”
Bolt’s opponent’s will include Ecuador’s Alex Quinonez and Antigua’s Daniel Bailey. — Agencies
Barua named women’s soccer coach
New Delhi, March 30 Barua, presently working as the technical director of the Ashoka Football Training Centre at the Noida stadium, will be the first player/coach from Delhi or the NCR region to be appointed as the coach of a national team, either men or women. He is also one of the selectors in the AIF F panel for juniors and the senior national championship for the Santosh Trophy. The women will assemble in Pune tomorrow for a coaching camp, before visiting Nepal and Bahrain on way to Palestine for the women’s Asia Cup. AIFF vice-president Subhash Chopra, who is also the president of the Delhi Soccer Association, hailed the appointment of Barua as the women’s coach, which he said was in recognition of DSA’s determined efforts to promote women’s soccer in the Capital, by introducing a women’s league, and the formation of many quality women’s soccer teams, which is perhaps a first in the country.
New Delhi, March 30
Barua, presently working as the technical director of the Ashoka Football Training Centre at the Noida stadium, will be the first player/coach from Delhi or the NCR region to be appointed as the coach of a national team, either men or women. He is also one of the selectors in the AIF F panel for juniors and the senior national championship for the Santosh Trophy.
The women will assemble in Pune tomorrow for a coaching camp, before visiting Nepal and Bahrain on way to Palestine for the women’s Asia Cup. AIFF vice-president Subhash Chopra, who is also the president of the Delhi Soccer Association, hailed the appointment of Barua as the women’s coach, which he said was in recognition of DSA’s determined efforts to promote women’s soccer in the Capital, by introducing a women’s league, and the formation of many quality women’s soccer teams, which is perhaps a first in the country.
Chiangmai (Thailand), March 30
Bhullar’s 65 took him to 11-under 205, while Digvijay Singh, lying tied second overnight slipped to tied fourth after a battling round of two-under 70, that put him at 12-under after a finishing bogey on par-5 18th. Digvijay, however, is still the best placed Indian among the five left after the cut.
Shiv Kapur (68), Anirban Lahiri (68) and Himmat Rai (70) were all tied 26th at eight-under in the low-scoring event.
Adding to the drama was Thongchai Jaidee, who needs a win to qualify for the Masters next month.
Thongchai fired a 69 to move to 13-under, alongside Australia’s Matthew Stieger, but they are five shots behind Prayad.
Digvijay is tied fourth with Marcus Both (65), Anton Haig (66), Kiradech Aphinabarnrat (66), Scott Hend (67) and Y E Yang (67).
“I didn’t have the best start. I hit it close on the second and fourth holes but I wasn’t reading the greens correctly today. I just didn’t get the speed of the greens right. Then I hit it really good. Hit it to about six feet on the 10th hole and it was a ‘given’ birdie on 11,” Digvijay said.
“I made a great par on 17 when I hit it over the green and into thick rough but managed to get it out to about two feet. Overall it was a good experience playing with Thongchai Jaidee. The last time I played with him was as an amateur at the 1995 Nomura Cup in New Zealand.
“My goal remains the same. My plan of action remains the same. I’m really enjoying myself this week. This is a really beautiful golf course I think it is one of the best that I’ve played in Asia. If the win comes along then it will be an icing on the cake,” Digvijay added.
Bhullar, who plays attacking golf, said, “I played well. I hit the ball really good and close. I had many opportunities. Anyway it was a moving day. There are still another 18 holes. I’m very excited to play tomorrow, especially with the way my game is shaping up.
“I can definitely expect another low one coming. I’ve been striking the ball well but today was one of those days where I felt better on the greens. As a result the score was better than the last two days. I want to take this tempo into the last two days.”
The 47-year-old Prayad, who led by two overnight, went out with a flawless 31 at the Alpine Golf Resort-Chiangmai before shooting three more birdies against two bogeys to put some daylight between him and the chasing pack with a 18-under-par 198 total.
Thongchai, a three-time Asian Tour number one, battled to a 69 for tied second place but conceded he needed a miracle to topple the runaway leader for a win, which he needs to break into the world’s top-50 and earn a place at the Masters Tournament in two weeks’ time.
Four-time Major champion Ernie Els of South Africa fired his lowest round of the season with a 66 to move up to tied 15th place, eight shots behind the leader. — PTI
Miami, March 30
Gasquet had been playing some inspired tennis but he was outplayed in the second set and the Scotsman never looked in danger in the third. “The first set was a tough one to lose, because I served for the set and then at the end of the set you kind of look up at the stats and I had hit over 20 winners and lost the set,” the Scotsman said. — Reuters