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There is a bit of Tendulkar, Sehwag and Lara in him : Shastri on Shaw

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Hyderabad: India coach Ravi Shastri saw in Prithvi Shaw’s batting, glimpses of two of the greatest batsmen of modern era and a non-conformist who redefined batsmanship.
An overwhelmed Shastri , in one breath, mentioned the names of three legends — Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara and Virender Sehwag — while trying to describe the 18-year-old Shaw who accumulated big runs in his first brush with top-flight international cricket.
“He is born to play cricket. He has been playing since the age of eight in the maidans of Mumbai. You can see all that hardwork showing. He is a spectator’s delight. There is a bit of Sachin there, a bit of Viru in him and when he walks – there is a bit of Lara as well,” Shastri said.
“If he can keep his head on his shoulders and keep the work ethic, he has a bright future.”
Shastri was speaking after India completed a 2-0 series sweep over the West Indies with a 10-wicket victory in the second and final Test in Hyderabad.
Opener Shaw flayed the Caribbean attack during his 52-ball 70 on Day 2 of the second Test to give India a flying start, days after hitting a century on debut.
Even captain Virat Kohli gushed about the 18-year-old Mumbai batsman.
“The guy grabbed his chance beautifully. He looks like someone who can get you off to a kind of start you require. Making a mark in the first series that you play, from that point of view, it is great to have a guy who is so fearless. And he is not reckless, he is very confident about his game,” he said.
“You might feel that he will nick one now and then but he hardly nicks the ball. That we saw in England as well. He was batting in the nets, really attacking but was in control. But that kind of rare control against new ball is a great thing to have. Any of us weren’t even 10 percent of what when he is at 18 or 19,” added the captain.
Shastri lauded the efforts of Umesh Yadav, who returned a match haul of 10 wickets to become only the third Indian pacer to achieve the feat after Kapil Dev and Javagal Srinath.
“It can be a frustrating profession when you sit on the bench like Umesh for four Tests, only 11 can play. He got his opportunity here and I am very happy for him. It’s been done only four times (10 wickets in a Test match by an Indian fast bowler).
“What this will do is make him believe that he belongs. He can say now that he wants his place. He has given us a (selection) headache and it’s a very good headache.,” Shastri said of the pacer.
The coach was also fulsome in his praise for 20-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant, while backing K L Rahul to regain his touch.
“I think he (Rahul) will be fine. He is a world-class player. Sometimes he tries too hard. He works really hard on his game.
“Pant is another name. He got his opportunity, he grabbed it, now he has consolidated it.
About Wriddhiman Saha returning and challenging Pant, he said, “You have got to go on current form.”
Last but not the least, on the triumph, Shastri said, “Lot of positives for us. When we are playing at home it’s easy to get complacent and carried away.”
“When you lose one fast bowler (Shardul Thakur went off with injury on Day 1 after bowling just 10 deliveries), you have another one who stands up and takes 10 wickets.”
Meanwhile, Shaw — aged 18 years and 339 days — became the second youngest to hit the winning runs in a Test after Pat Cummins (18 years and 198 days) against South Africa in Johannesburg in 2011.


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Focus on short formats alone will lead to problems: Virat

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Adelaide: Virat Kohli is peerless in ODI cricket but he has a priceless message for youngsters — focus on limited-overs formats shouldn’t be an “excuse” for not being able to cope with the challenges of Test cricket. The world’s No. 1 batsman with 25 Test hundreds warned that youngsters will have mental problems if they don’t embrace the pristine form of five-day cricket. “If we focus too much on shorter formats — yes, they’re important — but if we solely focus and look at them as an escape or an excuse to not be in the kind of situations that Test cricket presents, then I think there will a mental problem with upcoming cricketers,” said Kohli.

The Indian skipper, who has played defining knocks against world class bowlers like Jimmy Anderson, Stuart Broad, Mitchell Starc and Kagiso Rabada during the past year, spoke about the hard work that goes into the making of a quality Test player.

“As long as you’re willing to wake up every morning for five days and do the hard yards and go do the dirty work — if you’re willing to bat for two hours and not score a run for the team — I think that is what people should prepare (youngsters for),” he said.

 

Kohli said the current batch of Indian Test cricketers was trying to set an example for the younger generation. “That (vision) will require the team to lay out certain things that needs to be done and for the next lot to keep following. So (when) the next lot comes in, they have to maintain that vision and then the people coming in will follow.”

Kohli has reaffirmed his commitment towards Test cricket, saying he wants India to become a superpower in the game’s longest format. “I wouldn’t say a goal but I would rather speak of a vision, which is for India to be a superpower in Test cricket or a very, very strong side in Test cricket in the years to come,” he said.

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Ganguly backs Pandya and Rahul, says ‘humans make mistakes’

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Mumbai:Former Indian cricket team skipper Sourav Ganguly has defended cricketers Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul, following a controversy over their appearance on a television chat show. The former skipper and legendary cricketer defended the players, saying, “people make mistakes but everyone should move on and ensure it doesn`t happen again”.

Asked if modern day cricketers should be responsible while giving statements on a public platform as a whole lot of youngsters look up to them, Ganguly said “I haven’t watched that episode. I feel that you can’t generalise that only modern day cricketers should behave responsibly. People make mistakes. Let’s not get too far into that. I am sure whoever has done it will realise that and come out as a better person. We are all human beings. We are not machines that everything you put in comes out perfect. You have just got to live life and let others live. They are responsible people. They may be role models but they are under pressure all the time to perform. Certain things happen in life and as everyone, we should move on and make sure that it doesn`t happen again.”

When asked if he feels modern day cricketers of India aren’t responsible in their behaviour as compared to the past generation of cricketers, Ganguly said “I feel modern day cricketers are also responsible, disciplined and obedient. In life, certain things happen and you make some mistakes so, let`s not get too far into that.

 

Look at Virat Kohli, he is such a fantastic role model. India is a fortunate country. Every generation produces players who all of us cherish.”

He said India has produced great cricketers like Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli over the years.

“There was Sunil Gavaskar and when he retired, people thought who is next, then Sachin Tendulkar came and when Tendulkar retired, people again asked who is next then people saw Virat Kohli. So, we are a very fortunate country in terms of sports and a lot of these cricketers are fantastic human beings because they come from very middle class backgrounds and fight their way up.”

Ganguly made the remark while speaking at the trailer launch of the Hindi film “22 Yards”, with the cast members Barun Sobti, Geetika Tyagi, Chaiti Ghoshal and director Mitali Ghoshal on Wednesday.

On questioned, about who he would like to see playing his role, if a biopic is made on his life, Ganguly replied “It is difficult for me to answer that question because I haven`t thought about a biopic on my life. People should first make a biopic of other sports personalities and if people have an interest in my biopic, then we will see.”

He added, “I really liked the biopic of Milkha Singh and Mahendra Singh Dhoni. The film on Sachin Tendulkar was a bit different. Now, I have heard that the film on India`s 1983 World Cup win is being made. I feel that was a great time for Indian cricket, so I am looking forward to see that film. As far as my biopic is concerned, we will wait and see as at the moment I haven`t thought about it.”

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Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech to retire at end of season

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London: Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech announced that he will retire at the end of the season.

The 36-year-old, who won four Premier League titles with Chelsea, revealed his decision on Twitter.

He wrote: “This is my 20th season as a professional player and it is 20 years since I signed my first professional contract, so it feels like the right time to announce that I will retire at the end of this season.”

 

The Czech, who arrived in the Premier League with Chelsea in 2004 and moved to Arsenal in 2015, added: “Having played 15 years in the Premier League and won every single trophy possible, I feel like I have achieved everything I set out to achieve.

“I will continue to work hard at Arsenal to hopefully win one more trophy this season, then I am looking forward to seeing what life holds for me off the pitch.”

Cech joined Arsenal in 2015 and has made 129 appearances for the Gunners after winning multiple trophies at rivals Chelsea.

Signed from Rennes by Claudio Ranieri in 2004, Cech won four Premier League titles, four FA Cups, the Champions League, the Europa League and three League Cups with the Blues.

Cech suffered a serious head injury in 2006 following a collision with Reading’s Stephen Hunt.

Hunt’s knee crashed into Cech’s head, leaving him with a fractured skull, but he returned to action four months later wearing what became his trademark protective headgear.

Cech became the first goalkeeper to keep 200 Premier League clean sheets in Arsenal’s 3-0 win over Watford last season, during which he saved a penalty from Troy Deeney.

He is also the Czech Republic’s most capped player, making 124 appearances.

Cech is no longer first choice at Arsenal, with Bernd Leno preferred for most of this season so far, but the club were quick to pay their own tribute.

Arsenal tweeted: “For your consummate professionalism, for being the perfect role model, for the 50 clean sheets, for your honesty, your integrity and for your inspiring work with @AFC_Foundation, we want to say … Thank you, @PetrCech!”

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