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Pujara and Pacers stood out:Tendulkar

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Mumbai: Man of the series in India’s maiden Test series triumph in Australia, Cheteshwar Pujara has won many fans including Sachin Tendulkar. The ‘Master Blaster’ praised Pujara for defying the Aussie bowlers and setting the platform for the middle-order batsmen.

Pujara was dropped for the first Test in England earlier this year and there were questions about his future. But the No. 3 batsman put behind some disappointments to amass 521 runs against Australia.

“Pujara has been really outstanding. The number of statements made on Pujara, which ideally weren’t in his favour, kind of undermined his contribution. The bowlers have also done exceedingly well,” Tendulkar said.

 

“I think somewhere Pujara has been instrumental in laying that solid foundation on which there were a number of guys who went out and got runs. But if I have to pin-point one guy then Pujara stands out along with the fast bowlers,” he added.

Tendulkar was also impressed with the brand of cricket produced by Virat Kohli & Co. in the four-Test series. “It was Fantastic. The brand of cricket that India has been able to produce Down Under has been magnificent,” added Tendulkar

Indian pacers led by Jasprit Bumrah bowled with aggression to unsettle the Aussies. Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma also bowled exceedingly well. Umesh Yadav got just one game and Bhuvneshwar Kumar warmed the bench. The pace attack had done well in South Africa and England also and Tendulkar felt the Indian bowling attack has proved that it is capable of delivering in all conditions across the world.

“I can comfortably say that we are a competitive attack in any part of the world, on any surface. We are ready to go and play anywhere in the world and be extremely competitive. Spinners also chipped in at various occasions. What you want is also your fast bowlers to bowl those hostile spells in patches and that has happened more frequently, it was not just about the new ball game, it was also to do with the old ball and how consistently one can bowl in 140 plus and that is something, which is pleasing to the eye,” he said.

Sachin believed the emergence of current crop of fast bowlers is due to their talent besides easy accessibility to any information. “I feel, we have got quality fast bowlers, at the same time, it is not just to do with your diet and accessibility to various information, but also the guys are talented, they are really (talented),” he said. He also hoped that the 2-1 result in Australia would inspire the younger generation.

“Hopefully, there are many journeys which have started already. You need these kinds of results to inspire them,” he said.


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Chahal registers best ODI bowling figures by a spinner Down Under

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Mumbai :Indian leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal on Friday recorded the best bowling figures by a spinner in an ODI clash in Australia, during the series-decider against the Aussies in Melbourne.

Chahal picked six wickets while conceding just 42 runs at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), registering a dominant performance against the hosts, in a crucial clash. He also became the first spinner to pick six wickets in an ODI in Australia.

The bowler’s excellent performance certainly played a key role in India restricting Australia to a total of just 230.

 

The 28-year-old cricketer further equalled the best-ever ODI figures registered by any bowler in an ODI clash in Australia, alongside former Indian fast-bowler Ajit Agarkar.

Agarkar had accumulated the same tally as recorded by Chahal, against the hosts at the same venue, back in 2004.

Australian paceman Mitchell Starc enjoys a bowling tally, which trails the figures registered by the duo by a single run, having picked six wickets for 43 runs against India at the MCG, back in 2015.

English fast-bowler Chris Woakes is the fourth name on the list, after accumulating figures of 6/45 against Australia in Brisbane, 2011.

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Phogat becomes first Indian nominated for Laureus Awards

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Mumbai: Ace Indian wrestler Vinesh Phogat has become the first Indian to receive a nomination in the prestigious Laureus World Sports Awards to be held in Monica on 18 February.

The 24-year-old Indian, who made a sensational comeback after battling a long injury lay-off to win a gold medal at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and Jakarta Asian Games in 2018, has been nominated for the Laureus World Comeback of the Year.

The Haryana wrestler, who was stretchered off after dislocating her knee during the quarterfinals of 50kg freestyle event at the 2016 Olympic Games, has been nominated alongside US Tour Championship winner Tiger Woods, who won his first tournament in five years.

 

Also nominated are four inspirational Winter Olympic athletes; Japanese figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu, Canadian snowboarder Mark McMorris, US ski racing legend Lindsey Vonn and Dutch Paralympic champion Bibian Mentel-Spee.

The last time an Indian sporting feat made its way to the Laureus World Sports Awards was in 2004 when the Indian cricket team and Pakistan cricket team shared the Laureus Sport for Good Award for playing an International match despite political tensions between the two countries.

Most recently, Magic Bus from India won the Laureus Sport for Good award in 2014. However, Vinesh makes history as the first Indian athlete to be nominated in one of the seven main categories at the Laureus World Sports Awards.

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All foreign stars will play PSL ties in Pakistan, says Mani

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LAHORE: All star cricketers will come to Pakistan to play in the eight matches of the fourth Pakistan Super League (PSL) scheduled for Karachi and Lahore, chairman of Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Ehsan Mani said.

The PSL matches will be staged from Feb 14 to March 17 at three venues — Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi — in the United Arab Emirates before the remaining fixtures move to Pakistan with Karachi staging five games, including the final, and Lahore three.

Talking to media on sidelines of a friendly cricket match between the Sports Journalists Association of Lahore (SJAL) and the UK-based Pakistani journalists at the Gaddafi Stadium, Mani said a good number of star cricketers had signed up in the six PSL franchises.

 

However, because of security concerns, prominent overseas players have been reluctant to travel to Pakistan. But with the passage of time, the number of prominent cricketers willing to visit Pakistan has risen. In the recent development the ex-South Africa captain A.B. de Villiers has already pledged to play two matches of Lahore Qalandars in Lahore on March 9 and 10.

To a query, Mani said the talks with Cricket Australia are still on to convince them to send their national side to Pakistan for two games of the five-match One-day International series in the UAE in March despite reports of Australia’s expressing their reluctance regarding playing here.

The PCB chief declared that he has persuaded CA to send a security delegation to assess the current situation in Pakistan before taking a final decision, which is expected to be taken before the PSL begins in the second week of February.

Mani further said that talks were on with the cricket boards of South Africa and England to send different age-group teams to Pakistan.

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