We’ve got impact men: Dhoni
Kingfisher employees protest before match
Sunrisers set for second ‘debut’
Kolkata fans more loyal than Delhi’s: Gambhir
IOA tells IOC autonomy of sports bodies in ‘grave danger’ in India
Chennai, April 4
Dhoni said that the core of the team was intact and he would expect a strong show by his side in this edition also.
“We have done pretty well in the all the five editions so far. Our batsmen have contributed to the success of the team. We have got cricketers who cover-up all the aspects so there is a good bunch of players to look up to. And you have someone like S Badrinath who has been so consistent with the bat. So it’s a settled line-up,” he said.
CSK have won the title twice and finished runners-up once in the five editions so far and they opened their campaign this season with a match against Mumbai Indians at home on April 6.
Dhoni said it was an added advantage of his side that they have some India players who have recently won a Test series against Australia.
“We have a quite a few players in the squad who have been part of the set up for some time now. Some of the players are coming into the tournament fresh from the series against Australia. So it is good to have players in form,” said the India captain. “You got to keep in mind that Test cricket is different from IPL. But the form of the players would be a big boost.”
Asked if he considers his India teammates as impact players, Dhoni said, “It’s not we don’t rely on foreigners that much. We think Albie (Morkel) can provide the team with some big hits in the middle. At the same time the local players have also done well.
“We have (Ravindra) Jadeja who is a talented cricketer. Plus most of the players do play their role to perfection. Whether it’s openers or spinners they do the work properly. Players like Bravo, Hilfenhaus, Du Plessis have all played a crucial role. And most of the players in the team can create an impact so that is a good sign,” Dhoni said.
It’s barely 10 days the Australia Test series was over, but Dhoni said that the India players in his team were not tired.
“Actually we were not that tired. We had good practice session to begin with. (Stephen) Fleming (coach) and Co. have been here for the last five days and I had a good session on Wednesday. But certainly we are slowly getting into the groove and would work plenty and take it forward,” he said.
Asked is he could bat higher up the order in the IPL, Dhoni said, “Look, we have very good top-order batsmen who have played some fantastic cricket with us. They have been doing their job and helping the team with crucial contributions.”
“Starting from (Murali) Vijay, (Michael) Hussey, (Suresh) Raina, Badrinath all have contributed, so there is no need for me to come up the order. Albie Morkel comes after me and we both are aggressive cricketers so it helps our balance,” he said. — PTI
Bangalore, April 4
About 70 protesters including the pilots, engineers, ground staff and the cabin crew stood in front of the Mahatma Gandhi statue and held placards, before the match between RCB and Mumbai Indians began at the Chinnaswamy Stadium.
An employee said the salary had not been paid for the last eight months. Grounded since October 1 last, Kingfisher, whose flying licence expired last December, has not paid to most of its staff since last June.
RCB survive late scare
In the match itself, RCB survived a late onslaught by Dinesh Karthik (60 off 37) to win by two runs. Chris Gayle, with 92 (11 fours, five sixers), had helped RCB to 156/5 after the team had been reduced to 31/3 and then 80/5. Despite Karthik’s late fireworks, Mumbai Indians fell three runs short. —Agencies Brief scores RCB 156/5 (Gayle 92, Bumrah 3/32) MI 154/4 (Karthik 60, Vinay 3/27)
In the match itself, RCB survived a late onslaught by Dinesh Karthik (60 off 37) to win by two runs. Chris Gayle, with 92 (11 fours, five sixers), had helped RCB to 156/5 after the team had been reduced to 31/3 and then 80/5. Despite Karthik’s late fireworks, Mumbai Indians fell three runs short. —Agencies
RCB 156/5 (Gayle 92, Bumrah 3/32)
MI 154/4 (Karthik 60, Vinay 3/27)
Hyderabad, April 4
Missing from the line-up of the Sunrisers Hyderabad, as they are called now, would be star batsman Shikhar Dhawan, who knocked up the fastest Test century on debut against Australia last month.
But the Sunrisers would be quite a handful for the Warriors. The team, which retained Kumar Sangakkara as captain despite having a different owner after Deccan Chronicle Group pulled out due to its financial woes.
In the batting department, Sangakkara, South Africa’s JP Duminy, Sri Lanka’s Thisara Perera and Australian Twenty20 specialist Cameron White along with India’s Parthiv Patel make the team highly competitive.
They have an ace up their sleeves when it comes to bowling as South African tearaway pacer Dale Steyn would lead the attack for them. Steyn is currently ranked number one in the ICC rankings.
Ishant Sharma and experienced spinners like Amit Mishra and Nathan McCullum are the other proven bowlers in the line-up. — PTI
Sunrisers Hyderabad (Likely 12): K Sangakkara (Captain), Akshat Reddy, Amit Mishra, Ankit Sharrma, Cameron White, Dale Steyn, Darren Sammy, DB Ravi Teja, Ishant Sharma, Parthiv Patel, Sudeep Tyagi, Thalaivan Sargunam
Pune Warriors (Likely 12): Angelo Mathews (Captain), Abhishek Nayar, Ajantha Mendis, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kane Richardson, Luke Wright, Manish Pandey, Marlon Samuels, Mithun Manhas, Rahul Sharma, Robin Uthappa, Ross Taylor
Kolkata, April 4
“I’ve played for three years in Delhi but I think they were not as loyal as Kolkata is for KKR,” Gambhir, whose hometown is Delhi, said after the win. The 67,000 capacity Eden Gardens was bathed in purple — KKR jersey’s colour — and was packed to the rafters for the first match of IPL 6. The home side did not disappoint, taming Delhi by six wickets with eight balls to spare.
“The crowd is one advantage and can be heartbreaking for the opponents. It’s always a great feeling when you walk on to the field with 70,000 crowd backing you,” Gambhir said. “For me there’s no home advantage. It’s about playing good cricket. We don’t discuss about the wicket in the dressing room,” he added.
Gambhir was KKR’s top-scorer with a 29-ball 41 in the 129-run chase and he said he always preferred to play aggressive. “My instincts have always been attacking whatever the format may be. I don’t want to be in a mode when I’m looking to survive. When you’re looking to attack, you’re looking to score runs and then you’ve a better footwork to score runs,” he said. — PTI
New Delhi, April 4
IOA acting Vijay Kumar Malhotra, in a letter to the IOC president Jacques Rogge today, has sought directions from the IOC chief to end the present logjam between the IOA and the Ministry.
“We appreciate your concern for an early solution to the problem but we are rather constrained to say that the Ministry of Sports is bent upon destroying the autonomy of the IOA and the NSFs. The same is not acceptable to us,” Malhotra informed Rogge. He asked the IOC chief to suggest further steps to be taken by the IOA in view of the Government’s decision to constitute a panel to redraft the Sports Code without consulting the IOA.
IOA sources told The Tribune that the IOC was expected to harden its stand against India because of the unilateral action of the Government, which will only indefinitely delay the country’s reentry into the Olympic family. — TNS
Madrid, April 4
The other game, also played in Spain, ended in a goalless stalemate between debutants Malaga and Borussia Dortmund, but both sides created plenty of chances in an end-to-end match.
With Bayern Munich beating Juventus 2-0 at home and Paris St Germain drawing 2-2 with favourites Barcelona on Tuesday, the likely semifinalists appear to be Real, Bayern, Barcelona and Dortmund.
All four ties are next week and whoever comes through, a thrilling final is in prospect when Wembley Stadium stages the final for the second time in three seasons in May.
Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho, bidding to become the first man to win the European Cup with three different clubs following his successes with Porto in 2004 and Inter Milan in 2010, appeared confident of his team’s last four chances. “If we score one more goal, they have to score five,” Mourinho said. “The football I saw was very good, I saw a lot of incredible things — but Istanbul is a difficult place to play and they have players with a lot of experience, with great character and personality. We will take it very seriously, its the only way to get through.”
Real went ahead when Cristiano Ronaldo scored his 45th goal of the season after nine minutes and Karim Benzema added the second with a shot in off the post in the 29th.
Substitute Gonzalo Higuain sealed the win with a 73rd-minute header.
That left Galatasaray needing to achieve the most unlikely of turnarounds to rescue the tie, but although they were largely outplayed, the Turkish team did create chances with Mourinho’s former Chelsea player Didier Drogba guilty of some wayward shooting.
Ronaldo opened the scoring with a superb lofted shot over goalkeeper Fernando Muslera following a perfect pass from Mesut Ozil to settle the home side’s nerves.
Galatasaray came back into the game and dominated possession for a spell, but fell further behind when Michael Essien crossed for Benzema who controlled the ball at the far post before planting it low into the net. The third arrived 17 minutes from time when Higuain met Xabi Alonso’s free kick to head in his first goal of the competition.
There were no goals in the other match played in Spain, leaving Dortmund, the outgoing German champions, as slight favourites to advance to the last four in next week’s second leg.
The Costa del Sol club made it into the last eight of despite doubts over the commitment of their Qatari owner and cashflow problems that prompted a ban from UEFA competition from next season.
But despite those worries, it was another magical night for the home fans getting a first taste of life among Europe’s elite and their most famous supporter, Hollywood actor and local native Antonio Banderas, was an enthusiastic spectator alongside former Malaga player and Netherlands striker Ruud van Nistelrooy. — Reuters
Bangalore, April 4
India should have ensured its place in group I early this year when it clashed with South Korea but for an inexperienced team due to a player’s revolt, the country lost that tie 1-4 and found itself in the first round of the relegation play-offs.
All revolting players — Somdev, Yuki Bhambri, Sanam Singh — are back in the side and it should not be a problem for the extremely talented lot to let captain
It will be the last time Misra would wear the captain’s cap. He joined the side as non-playing captain, following a revolt against Leander Paes in 2008, and led the side to many a memorable wins.
The only competition India are likely to face is from Indonesian number one Christopher Rungkat, who is ranked 250.
He’s a good player but in the recent past Sanam Singh, whom India has chosen for the doubles rubbers, had beaten him on the circuit.
Interestingly, Indonesia are not fielding their second-highest ranked player Elbert Sie (888) on day one.
Instead, they chose the less-experienced Wisnu Adi Nugroho (1774) to clash with Yuki (279).
Somdev, who has moved up to 208 in rankings, and Yuki, are in good touch and it would be a surprise if India do not go 2-0 up on Friday.
India have never lost to Indonesia in the Davis Cup, having an impeccable 5-0 head-to-head record. The last tine the two sides clashed was in 1992 in Jakarta.
Although Misra and Somdev have asserted that there was no bad blood in the team, it will be interesting to see how things go since it was these very players, who forced AITA to remove Misra from the captain’s chair.
Somdev, along with 10 other players, had asked AITA to replace Misra with a young candidate. — PTI
New Delhi, April 4
There was a three-way tie for the lead as two Australians — Kieran Pratt and Wade Ormsby — and Singaporean Lam Chih Bing shared the top spot with rounds of five-under 67 each at the demanding and windy Delhi Golf Club.
Behind them was Chowrasia, a two-time winner of co-sanctioned events, at three-under 69. Seven players were at two-under 70 and another 17 at one-under 71.
While Ormsby and Pratt came back with bogey-free rounds, Lam had one bogey on the 12th. Pratt also had an eagle, one of the six, including two by debutant Indian S Chikkarangappa that landed on the day, besides a stunning hole-in-one by rank outside Nabin Mandal, who did little else of note in his round of 77.
Three other Indians — young Angad Cheema, playing his first Asian Tour event, Chiragh Kumar and seasoned Sanjay Kumar — shot 70 each to be tied fifth on a difficult day with windy conditions.
Defending champion Digvijay Singh played a very steady one-under 71 with two birdies and just one bogey to be tied 12th in a bunch of 17 players that included seven Indians.
Shiv Kapur playing on his home course battled with two birdies in last five holes to come into red figures at one-under 71. Also tied at 71 was Anirban Lahiri with three birdies and two bogeys, Amardip Malik, Ajeetesh Sandhu, Vinod Kumar and Gulfam (Pappan).
Jeev Milkha Singh, the most successful Indian golfer, had back-to-back-bogeys on 15th and 16th, but still managed an even par start to be tied 29th, along with S Chikkarangappa, who like Cheema was playing his first Asian Tour event.
Gaganjeet Bhullar struggled to 76 with one birdie against five bogeys, four of them on the back nine of the course, which was his first nine.
“I am happy with the way things are, though I could have had a better score today. I played quite well and had some long putts, like the 25-footer on the fourth,” said Chowrasia. — PTI