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.
Would be sitting at home if I think like people from outside: Kohli
Mumbai: Virat Kohli said he would be “sitting at home if he thinks like people from outside”, responding, in his trademark combative style, to Gautam Gambhir’s recent jibe at him, but without taking the former opener’s name.
Gambhir, who led Kolkata Knight Riders to two IPL trophies in 2012 and 2014, recently said that in a result-oriented franchise environment, Kohli has been “lucky” to have survived despite Royal Challengers Bangalore never winning the coveted title in his eight years as skipper.
Asked about it, the batting maestro said, “Obviously, you want to win the IPL. I am doing what I am supposed to do. I don’t care whether I am going to be judged on this (not winning IPL) or not. There is no real, sort of, parameters you set. I try to perform wherever I can. I try to win all the possible titles, but sometimes it just doesn’t happen.
“We have to be practical about why we haven’t won one. That boils down to bad decision making in pressure situations. If I think like people from outside, I can’t even sustain five games. I would be sitting at home,” Kohli said.
According to Gambhir, one can’t say Kohli and Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the same breath, as India’s current captain has not won the IPL even once in comparison to his predecessor’s three. Gambhir also compared Kohli with his national team deputy Rohit Sharma, who too have three IPL titles to his credit.
“I know people talk about it a lot and they like to grab opportunities to talk about these things. But I have a responsibility here and given a chance, as a captain, I would love to win the IPL for my team.
“We all are motivated to do so. It has not happened and that’s the reality. No excuses for that. Only acceptance of the faults that we made in the past. The fact that we played six semi-finals means that we have been a side who are always in contention. If we make better decisions, we can go further than that. That’s how I see things,” Kohli added.
The Indian captain was speaking on the eve of the IPL 12 opener between his team and Chennai Super Kings.
To a question if he felt RCB were the underdogs against CSK at home, he said every team that comes here has to be considered so, with the home team being led by Dhoni.
“MS knows exactly what he wants from his team in these conditions. We all have seen that and are aware of it. We are going to be backing our skills and then find ways to come out on top.
“It’s very easy to be overawed by the support that CSK are going to get. In the IPL, people can get carried away by the support that a team like CSK gets at home but we have to focus on our basics.”Kohli also said RCB’s focus this year would be on being consistent and scratching their way to wins.
“It again boils down to how much composure you have in crunch situations. If you see all the teams that have won, they have had players who have stood up and done the job.
“In the past, when we have been close to winning the title, we have just expected things to go our way instead of standing up. That is something we want to correct this season. If we look ugly, we look ugly. It doesn’t matter. We don’t want to be a side just playing flamboyant cricket. We want to be a consistent side,” Kohli said.
AIFF deny I-League clubs’ request to reschedule qualifiers
Mumbai: The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has denied the I-League clubs’ request to restart the 2019 Super Cup, Goal can confirm.
Nine I-League clubs had earlier informed the Indian FA that they are willing to take part in the Super Cup 2019 after AIFF president Praful Patel reached out to the clubs on Thursday and assured them that he will hold a meeting with them in mid-April.
After initially deciding to withdraw from the competition citing AIFF’s unfair treatment towards the clubs, the I-League clubs’ unison expressed their willingness to take part in the knock-out competition if all the clubs are allowed to take part.
However, as Goal reported earlier, matches given as walkovers cannot be replayed according to the regulations of the national cup competition. The AIFF has made it clear to the clubs that the regulations must be adhered to and that it would be unfair towards the opposing teams – Delhi Dynamos, FC Pune City and Chennaiyin FC – that took the field for the matches which did not take place.
Minerva Punjab, Gokulam Kerala FC and Aizawl FC failed to turn up for their Super Cup qualifiers on March 15 and March 16.
Due to the I-League clubs’ absence on the match days, the AIFF awarded Delhi Dynamos, FC Pune City and Chennaiyin FC wins by virtue of walkovers.
Neymar charged for ‘insulting’ referee in Man United defeat
London: Paris St Germain forward Neymar has been charged for “insulting and/or molesting” the referee following his post-game rant after the French side were knocked out of the Champions League last 16 by Manchester United, UEFA said.
Neymar, who was sidelined by injury, was investigated for lashing out and labelling the video assistant referee (VAR) system a “disgrace” after United won a controversial penalty in the dying stages to advance on away goals.
“Disciplinary proceedings have been opened following the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 second leg match between Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United FC (1-3), played on 6 March in France,” UEFA said in a statement.
“Player Neymar Junior – insulting / molesting acts against match official (statements made by the player following the above-mentioned match) – Art. 15 (1) (d) of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations.”
If the Brazilian is found guilty, he could be suspended for three matches in the competition for insulting match officials.
UEFA’s Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body will look into the case and a date for the hearing is yet to be confirmed.
PSG coach Thomas Tuchel had said after the game that he understood Neymar’s anger and defended his comments, saying they were made in the heat of the moment.