Rohit strikes third double ton in ODIs as India post 392/4

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A News by PTI
Published by ptinews.com
14.12.2017

Mohali, Dec 13 (PTI) Rohit Sharma smashed his third double hundred in one-day internationals to fire India to a mammoth 392 for four in a must-win second game against Sri Lanka here today.

Such was the pace of Rohit’s unbeaten 153-ball 208-run innings that after completing his 100 off 115 balls, he blasted his next 100 off just 36 balls.

A host of records were broken on the day that saw Rohit reach his 16th ODI hundred en route to a double hundred. His last double hundred also came against Sri Lanka while the first one was recorded against Australia.

His breathtaking knock included a dozen sixes and 13 boundaries as he literally toyed with the opposition bowlers.

Opening the innings, Rohit took his time initially as Shikhar Dhawan (68 off 69) attacked the opposition bowlers.

The dangerous opening duo completed their 12th century stand to lay the foundation for a big total.

With yet another special effort, the stylish right-hander crossed the 100-run mark in ODIs for the sixth time this year and first ever as captain.

Shreyas Iyer (88 off 70), playing his second ODI, batted well alongside Rohit and came up with the big shots just when his team needed to step on the accelerator.

India thus managed to post the highest total at this ground, bettering 351 for five made by South Africa against Netherlands in 2011.

Another record shattered was of the highest individual score here with Rohit surpassing Virat Kohli’s 154 vs New Zealand last year.

It was cold and overcast over the past two days but the sun came out just before the start of the game, sucking the moisture out of the pitch to make batting easier.

Sri Lanka had no hesitation in bowling first, just like they did in Dharamsala, but the conditions changed quickly to favour the hosts.

Unlike the first ODI, there was not enough swing early on to trouble the Indian batsmen who exploited the conditions to good effect.

Rohit and Dhawan got the measure of the pitch in the first Powerplay, where they made just 33, and started playing their strokes thereafter to take India to 108 for no loss in 20 overs.

Dhawan showed sublime touch ever since he drove Suranga Lakmal through the off-side on the first ball of his innings.

However, he missed out on a hundred after hitting one to the right of midwicket off left-arm spinner Sachith Pathirana.

Delhi on course for fine win in Ranji quarterfinal

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A News by PTI
Published by ptinews.com
11.12.2017

Vijaywada, Dec 10 (PTI) Bowlers put Delhi on course for a memorable win by bowling out Madhya Pradesh for 283 in their second innings, giving their team a 217-run target to chase on day five of the Ranji Trophy quarterfinal here .

Pacer Vikas Tokas (3/64) and left-arm spinner Vikas Mishra (4/59) did the bulk of the damage on day four to put their team in a strong position.

Delhi were eight for no loss at stumps with Kunal Chandela and Tokas in the middle.

MP, resuming the day 37 for two, were on the backfoot straightaway on day four with the fall of Shubham Sharma and Naman Ojha.

Puneet Datey (60) and Devendra Bundela (33) then shared a 100-run stand, providing their team some much needed momentum before getting out in a space of four balls to make it 153 for six.

First innings centurion Harpreet Singh came to MP’s rescue

once again with a fighting 78 off 126 balls. He also got good support from Mihir Hirwani (22) and Ankit Sharma (18) in taking his team past the 250-run mark.

Brief scores:

MP: 338 all out and 283 all out in 105.5 overs (Harpreet 78; Mishra 4/59).

Delhi: 405 all out and 8/0 in 3 overs.

For team management Rahane is opening batsman: Rohit

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Published by ptinews.com
11.12.2017

Dharamsala, Dec 10 (PTI) His technique against pacers was solely missed on a seaming track here and India stand-in- skipper Rohit Sharma admitted that accommodating Ajinkya Rahane was tough as he is considered a specialist opening batsman in the 50-over format by the team management.

Rahane, who scored four successive half-centuries against Australia, was today left out of the playing XI in the first ODI against Sri Lanka, while Shreyas Iyer was handed a maiden cap at No. 3 and Manish Pandey was picked for the No. 5 slot.

“I think we made it clear in Sri Lanka that he is an opening batsman and we don’t want to keep changing his batting slot. It plays on anyone’s mind not just his, if one’s batting order is kept on changing.

“We have identified him as an opening batsman and that’s the only reason he had to sit out. Having said that we understand the runs he scored in the past few series. But we wanted to give these guys Pandey, (Kedar) Jadhav, Iyer fair amount of game before we start touring abroad. It’s important that they take the opportunity,” said Rohit at the post match press conference after India went down by seven wickets.

After India were bundled out for 112 in 38.2 overs, the islanders crossed the target in 20.4 overs.

While none of the Indian batsman could put up a fight, Mahendra Singh Dhoni stood amid the ruins with a gritty 65 and Rohit heaped praise on the former skipper.

“He has been at that situation so many times and has proved himself again and again. First of all, I never understood why there was a talk of he being in our plans or not. Once he gets runs the whole conversation changes.

“He showed us again. I wish one of our top order was batting, so that we could have got more runs. But we learn from it and move forward,” said Rohit.

Asked if India’s batting collapse is a cause of concern considering that India would be touring South Africa for a Test series under same kind of conditions, Rohit said: “This is a one-day side, I don’t think there is any comparison.

“With the Test team we struggled in Kolkata as well but any team in those type of conditions will struggle. I have seen enough cricket and we recently saw Ashes as well, what was happening there as well.”

Defending India’s inexplicable batting collapse, Rohit said Sri Lankan bowlers used the tough conditions to their advantage.

“In conditions like these, only one or two batsmen will score, not all batsmen will score runs. I don’t think we played any rash shots, but they bowled at the right channel, kept us guessing all the time and batsmen were made to play all the time.

“We knew conditions were going to be tough but sometimes when you are put in such situations, you have to bat the situation, which means we got to respect the bowlers. This experience will teach us a lot of things as a team. We take it in our stride and move forward. Again if we are put in that situation we will respond better,” said the captain.

Rohit applauded Lankan pace troika of Suranga Lakmal (4/13), Nuwan Pradeep (2/37) and Angelo Mathews (1/8), who rattled the hosts with a fine display of swing bowling.

“Credit should go to the Sri Lankan bowlers, they made full use of the conditions. But as a team, as a batting unit, days like these will teach us a lot of things, not always we will play on flat conditions and we as a team want to thrive in such conditions and come out on top,” he said.

Tendulkar launches gaming platform featuring him

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A News by PTI
Published by ptinews.com
08.12.2017

Bengaluru, Dec 7 (PTI) Cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar today unveiled a digital game featuring him, developed by JetSyntheys, a leading digital entertainment and gaming firm.

The aim of the gaming platform–Sachin Saga Cricket Champions–is to bring cricket fans together and enable each one of them to “experience my journey”, Tendulkar said.

Tendulkar said in his heydays, he used to play video games in parlours.

“During my stint with Yorkshire in 1992 and during 2003 World Cup in South Africa, I used to visit video parlours along with team-mates. Even at home, I do these stuff and my son joins in too. I love doing it,” he said.

Tendulkar said the company worked on this project for two years and shot his batting in a high-tech studio in London where a James Bond movie had been filmed.

He said he had to wear a special suit with 26 to 27 receptors on his body, which captured the body movements and footwork while he displayed his batting skills.

Thirtysix cameras were used for the shooting.

More than anything else, the gaming platform speaks of his important innings than the 100 centuries he scored, Tendulkar said.

“I must give one example – my first Ranji Trophy match was the most important for me at that point of time in my career because there were question marks whether a 15-year-old could perform, and if he doesn’t, his career is destroyed,” he said.

Those were the kind of thoughts running in his mind, but he got a hundred and changed his career, Tendulkar said.

Speaking to PTI on the sidelines of the event, JetSynthesys Non-Executive Chairman Kris Gopalakrishnan said the company expects to get five million downloads in next 60 to 90 days.

“The one million pre-registrations clearly indicates great interest shown by people on this platform, and we would like to build and improvise it based on the feedback, we get,” he said.

Job satisfaction is most in Test cricket: Kohli

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Published by ptinews.com
04.12.2017

New Delhi, Dec 4 (PTI) For a man with an insatiable hunger for runs, Virat Kohli says he derives utmost job satisfaction when he shines in Test cricket, a format he has mastered “watching” teammate Cheteshwar Pujara bat for long hours.

Only 29, Kohli has already established himself as one of the game’s greats, yesterday overtaking Brian Lara as the skipper with most Test double hundreds (6).

“My favourite obviously is Test cricket, we are making sure from every angle that this should be the most important format because as batsman or as bowlers also we know how pleasing it is to score in Test matches, especially when conditions are tough,” Kohli said.

The captain was speaking to Pujara on ‘bcci.tv’.

He added, “You have to counter conditions in South Africa, England, Australia. Job satisfaction is the most in this format. ODI and T20 also from an emotional point of view.

When there is a full stadium and you win a close game that gives you a high.”

Kohli said that it is his teammate Pujara who has inspired him to score big hundreds and that he has learnt to bat longer watching him do that.

“It feels wonderful. It was always my mindset to score big hundreds, something that I have watched you do a lot in your career early on and learnt also, how to concentrate for longer periods.

“We have all learnt from his (Pujara) long innings, his concentration levels and his will to keep batting. So I also got inspired by that to keep batting for the team for as long as possible.

“Now I only think of how I can play more for the team and then you know, you don’t feel the tiredness and anything else and keep carrying on looking at the situation,” Kohli said.

The Indian captain has scored all his six double hundreds in the last 17 months and has also scored 52 international centuries across formats.

Kohli said he strives to remain in peak physical fitness in order to make the most of it in the time he has.

“We know as professional cricketers, we don’t have many years. So, we have to make the most of it and I try to stay as fit as possible, take care of my diet, take care of my training and it’s paid off well till now.

“In the later half of my career, as we all know it’s going to get more difficult. So, I’m trying to put in as much as possible in training now and later on, I can still manage to keep the same kind of intensity.

“But I think we all are training so hard now and it’s showing on the field and I am just trying to do the same.”

While it is well documented by now, Kohli was again asked how and when his transformation kicked in, and he was forthright in his reply.

“The change started in the 2012 IPL when I had a very bad season and I was expecting a lot from that season because I had scored a Test hundred in Australia and I scored 180 against Pakistan in Asia Cup.

“I could not come out of that, my mental state was very bad, I was eating very bad, my habits were not good at all. So I went home afterwards and I saw myself in the mirror after coming out of the shower and I though I can’t look like this if I want to be an international cricketer.

“So, from the next day onwards, I changed everything about my diet, training and everything. I was in the gym everyday for an hour and half to two hours and I just completely changed my diet.”

Asked if he is on the lookout to score a double ton in ODIs, Kohli said, “Double hundred is not something I can plan.

Kohli & Co’s request to COA for pay hike will need GB approval

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Published by ptinews.com
29.11.2017

Nagpur, Nov 28 (PTI) India captain Virat Kohli and former skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni are set to request COA chief Vinod Rai for a substantial hike in the central contracts but it may be easier said than done as it is going to require the approval of the general body of BCCI.

The Indian cricketers’ central contracts saw a two-fold rise with top players in group A earning Rs 2 crore annually.

Earlier, they were drawing Rs 1 crore.

Despite the cent percent hike in annual contracts, the players were apparently still not happy and erstwhile coach Anil Kumble had given a presentation to the the Committee of Administrators about raising it to Rs 5 crore for Grade A cricketers.

The COA, in its third Status Report submitted to the Supreme Court on April 6, had stated about the proposed recommendations on restructuring of central contracts.

“Unlike reports that players want share from the IPL broadcast revenue, they have never ever said anything like that. Yes, they have spoken about a respectable rise. The COA also understands that their payment structure needs revision,” a senior BCCI office bearer, who has been in touch with skipper Kohli, told PTI today.

Currently the Indian players earn less than 8 percent (7.8 percent) of BCCI revenues and that is something that Rai wants to change.

However, unless the general body of the BCCI approves the revised pay structure, the players won’t be getting what they demand at this point of time.

“Now let’s consider a situation wherein Virat or MS requests Mr Rai to consider a pay hike. He can easily tell them that he had already given his recommendations to the Supreme Court in COA’s third Status Report. Now any fund disbursement of the BCCI would require approval of the General Body.

“A Special General Meeting needs to be summoned where all the members will be taking a call. This is as per constitution of BCCI,” the official said.

FIFA boss vows racism crackdown at Russia’s World Cup

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A News by PTI
Published by ptinews.com
28.11.2017

Moscow, Nov 27 (AFP) FIFA President Gianno Infantino vowed today to crack down hard on racist incidents when Russia hosts the World Cup next year.

“This is a very high priority and we will make sure no incidents will happen,” Infantino said in a video statement.

“It is absolutely not tolerable and we will be very, very firm on that, so we can expect fair play in Russia.”

Racism became especially pronounced in Russian football with the influx of foreign players that occurred after the Iron Curtain fell and the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991.

Brazilian striker Hulk said he heard monkey chants at “almost every match” when he led Zenit Saint Petersburg to a title and two second-place finishes between 2012 and 2016.

Infantino said the 2018 World Cup will be the first at which referees will be allowed to halt or even abandon matches should anything similar happen during matches.

“We expect fair play in Russia,” he said.

Russia’s preparations for the tournament have also been marred by doping allegations that might see the country banned from the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in South Korea’s Pyeongchang.

Infantino did not address British media reports of Russian national football team players also allegedly being involved in the scandal, a charge Moscow firmly denies.

But he stressed that all players on every team knew in advance that they would be tested “in competition and out of competition” in Russia.

Infantino also pushed ahead with his campaign to employ virtual assistance refereeing technology at the World Cup for the first time.

“I think that it is absolutely normal that in 2018, we can explore and see how can help the referee and the team to take the right decision.”

He said FIFA will decide the issue in March, adding: “The experience so far has been extremely positive.

Kohli rested from ODIs, to play 3rd Test

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Published by ptinews.com
28.11.2017

Nagpur, Nov 27 (PTI) Indian captain Virat Kohli was today rested from the upcoming ODI series against Sri Lanka but will play the third and final Test in Delhi.

Rohit Sharma will be assuming the leadership charge for India in the one-day leg of the ongoing home series next month.

“Current India captain Mr. Virat Kohli has been rested for the ODI series,” the BCCI said in a statement.

India and Sri Lanka are currently engaged in a three- match Test series, which will be followed by three one-dayers starting December 10 in Dharamsala.

The third and final Test of the series will be played from December 2 in the national capital.

The Squads:

India squad for the third Test: Virat Kohli (Captain), M Vijay, KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (Vice-Captain), Rohit Sharma, Wriddhiman Saha, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Vijay Shankar

India squad for the ODI series: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni (WK), Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Siddarth Kaul.

Difficult for others to score at Virat’s strike rate: Pujara

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Published by ptinews.com
27.11.2017

Nagpur, Nov 26 (PTI) Indian captain Virat Kohli not only piles on Test hundreds but also scores them at a brisk pace making it difficult for most of his peers to match, concedes Cheteshwar Pujara, who himself is an epitome of consistency.

Four Indian batsmen has scored four hundreds in the second Test against Sri Lanka here but it was no-brainer that Kohli stood head and shoulders above the rest.

Opener Murali Vijay’s 128 off 221 balls was made a strike rate of 57.91. Pujara’s 14th Test hundred — 143 off 362 balls — had a strike rate of less than 40 (39.50). Rohit Sharma’s 102 off 160 balls was scored at a rate 63.75 while Kohli’s 213 off 267 balls came at an impressive rate of 79.77.

Asked why other players could not score at Kohli’s pace, Pujara admitted that matching his captain can be extremely difficult.

“See, he (Kohli) is a kind of player who performs well in all the formats of the game and the way he started off, if there was some other batsmen, I don’t think they could have started in the same way. I think it’s his confidence and way he is batting, in last two to three years, it would have been difficult for any other batsman to score at such a strike rate,” Pujara said in a glowing tribute to his captain’s capabilities.

Pujara said that it was a “difficult pitch” not from batting perspective but certainly when it came to scoring runs.

“Kolkata was different wicket altogether with a lot of assistance for fast bowlers especially in the first innings.

Coming to this particular wicket, I think, it was difficult to score runs as this wicket was on the slower side. It was not easy to get boundaries and we had to rotate the strike,” he said.

“Whenever we got some opportunities, we tried playing some shots. But overall, it was a tough pitch, where you might not get out but it was also difficult to score runs,” Pujara said, assessing the conditions.

The hallmark of Pujara’s game has been batting for long hours and he attributed it to better recovery and improved fitness.

“I think for the last one and a half to two years, I have been working hard on my fitness and luckily there has not been any sort of injury. I am fully fit and that’s the reason I am able to take quick singles and doubles. Even my recoveries are much better now when it comes to fitness,” said Pujara.

“So while batting, I have not changed anything but in terms of fitness, I have improved a lot. If you want to be on the field on all five days, you need a lot of stamina and your fitness has to be on top.”

India 97 for 1 at lunch on day 2

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Published by ptinews.com
25.11.2017

11:37 HRS IST
Nagpur, Nov 25 (PTI) India were 97 for one at lunch on day two of the second cricket Test against Sri Lanka here today.

Murali Vijay (56) and Cheteshwar Pujara (33) were at the crease at the break.

Brief Scores:

Sri Lanka first innings: 205

India first innings: 97 for one in 39 overs (M Vijay 56 batting; Lahiru Gamage 1/17).