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4th Test, Day 4: India beats Australia by 8 wickets, clinch series

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Dharamshala, March 18, 2017: India defeated Australia by eight wickets in the final Test at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) Stadium on Tuesday.

Thus, India have clinched the series 2-1 to regain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

Lokesh Rahul hit a half-century and guided the hosts to victory along with stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane after the early departure of Murali Vijay and Cheteshwar Pujara.

Rahul remained undefeated on 52 while Rahane was not out on 38.

Fittingly, it was Rahul who hit the winning runs, guiding a Steve O’Keefe delivery to the on-side.

Needing 106 runs for the win, the Indians reached the target around 90 minutes and 17.5 overs into the first session of the fourth day.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qkp79QzC2vw

Fast bowler Pat Cummins claimed Vijay’s wicket while Pujara was run out thanks to an excellent piece of fielding by Glenn Maxwell.

India’s left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja was declared the man of the match as well as the man of the series. Jadeja clinched 25 wickets and scored two half-centuries over the four Tests against the team from Down Under.

India captain Virat Kohli, who had to miss the fourth Test due to a shoulder injury, praised his teammates for their performance throughout the series. He also commended Rahane’s leadership in the final Test.

“Unbelievable. This is our best series win so far. I thought England was intense, but the way Australia gave us a fight it was amazing on their part. But our guys kept bouncing back. Shows the character and maturity,” Kohli said after the match.

“Ajinkya led the team really well. The changes we made in our fitness regime have paid off. Guys have been able to sustain the performance throughout the season. In the past we have had sessions where we have given away the game easily. Not this season. Been a team season.

“Not one or two individuals who have stood out. Unbelievable, the kind of fitness and desire the fast bowlers have shown, it has been game-changing,” Kohli added.

Tuesday’s victory also enabled the Indian team to retain the top spot in the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Test rankings.

The hosts had entered the series against Australia needing to win at least one Test to retain the pole position in the Test rankings which they had reclaimed following the Indore Test against New Zealand in October last year.

“Really enjoyed it. Credit to all the boys. Not only this series, but to whoever has played this season. Really happy as a captain,” Rahane said.

“I thought our bowlers, batsmen and fielders, they all did well.”

India’s star off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin also received the Garfield Sobers Trophy for the ICC Cricketer of the Year 2016 as well as the ICC Test Cricketer of the Year 2016.

The hosts resumed at the overnight score of 19/0 and Vijay survived a scare in the very first over of the day when Australian pacer Josh Hazlewood came up with a couple of lbw appeals off consecutive balls.

The Indians got their first runs of the day in the next over when an O’Keefe delivery to Rahul turned sharply, evaded the bat and outfoxed Australian wicketkeeper Matthew Wade before reaching the boundary.

Rahul was in excellent form, taking the battle to the Australian bowlers although Vijay continued to struggle at the other end.

Rahul got a lucky boundary when he tried to go after a Hazlewood delivery outside the line of his off-stump but only managed to offer an outside edge. The ball however, went between the slips and the gully to give Rahul his first boundary of the day.

The Karnataka batsman however, calmed the nerves with two boundaries off O’Keefe in the next over. He produced another superb shot off the backfoot to hit Hazlewood to the midwicket boundary a couple of overs later.

The visitors hit back by taking two wickets in the next over.

Cummins, who replaced O’Keefe in the attack, dismissed Vijay with the first ball of the over when the Tamil Nadu right-hander went after a delivery which was slightly outside the off-stump only to offer an easy edge to Wade.

Pujara came in and played just five balls before some poor running between the wickets and an excellent direct hit from Maxwell from point which knocked out the middle stump forced him to return to the pavilion.

But that was the only bit of success the Australians would manage to celebrate as Rahul and Rahane batted aggressively to guide India to victory.

IANS

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Our style of play is non-negotiable: Mumbai City boss Lobera

It also means that Jahouh will now miss Mumbai’s next match against the reigning ISL Shield winners FC Goa.

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Sergio Lobera

Panaji: After Sergio Lobera’s reign at Mumbai City got off on the wrong foot on Saturday with a 1-0 loss to NorthEast United, the Spaniard said that his attack oriented possession-based game was non-negotiable.

“Our style of play is non-negotiable. I used some players in different positions from what they are used, for example Adam in right wing but I believe he has the experience to adjust. We have to improve a lot of course,” Lobera told media after the match.

Mumbai went in with two strikers up front with Adam Le Fondre playing as a make shift right winger along with Bartholomew Ogbeche. The Englishman created some good chances in the first half but a red card to midfield mainstay Ahmed Jahouh and Rowllin Borges conceding a penalty in the second meant at Mumbai ended up losing the match 1-0.

It also means that Jahouh will now miss Mumbai’s next match against the reigning ISL Shield winners FC Goa.

“Today (the red card) was a big problem for us. It changed the game, we were playing with 10 men and missing a very important player. But for the next game, I have 28 players, I am very happy with my squad. Just one player is not an excuse for losing the next game,” said Lobera.

“We need to improve, we had a short pre-season and have a short time between games. But it is my job to improve the level of the team and I am very positive that it is possible for the next game.”

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ATP Finals: Thiem beats Djokovic to reach 2nd successive final

He will now face either Daniil Medvedev or Nadal in the final which is scheduled to be played on Sunday.

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Dominic Thiem

London: Dominic Thiem outlasted world no.1 Novak Djokovic in a gripping last-four clash to reach his second successive final at the ATP Finals in the O2 Arena in London. Thiem, ranked third behind Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, won the match 7-5, 6-7(10), 7-6(5).

Thiem broke serve at 5-5 in the first set and sealed it with an ace. Djokovic, however, grinded his way to victory in the second set, denying Thiem the win despite the Austrian getting four chances to seal the game.

The third game was also pushed to a tiebreaker, which was started by Thiem but he went on to lose the next three points. He however roared back to win the next six points and while Djokovic saved a fifth match point, Thiem got the job done at the next opportunity.

He will now face either Daniil Medvedev or Nadal in the final which is scheduled to be played on Sunday.

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Even our reserves are quick, you don’t see this kind of attack: Shami

The biggest advantage is that I can now prepare for the upcoming series without any pressure. There is no burden on me. I am very comfortable at the moment.

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mohammed-shami

New Delhi, Nov 21: The depth in the fast bowling department and the camaraderie that the players share between them are among the biggest reasons why India’s pace battery is rated as one of the best in the world, according to leading pacer Mohammed Shami.

Shami and Jasprit Bumrah are considered the core of a plethora of fast bowlers who have been integral to India’s success in Test cricket in recent years.

“Our fast bowling group can bowl at 140 kmph plus and you need that kind of pace in Australia,” Shami said in an interview on the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s (BCCI) official website.

“Even our reserves are quick, you don’t get to see that kind of an attack. We thrive on challenges. We have the experience. We have variety in our spin bowling attack too. We can bowl fast but we are all different, our skills are different. India have quality batsmen and we bowl at them in the nets. We don’t look at names, we focus on our skills. You can be a world-class batsman, but one good ball will still get you out,” Shami said.

India will be banking on Shami and Co. during their upcoming tour of Australia. The 30-year-old pacer comes into the series after a successfull Indian Premier League in which he took 20 wickets in 14 matches.

“My performances for Kings XI Punjab in IPL has given me a lot of confidence and put me in the right zone. The biggest advantage is that I can now prepare for the upcoming series without any pressure. There is no burden on me. I am very comfortable at the moment. I had worked hard on my bowling and my fitness in the lockdown. I knew that IPL would take place sooner or later and I was preparing myself for it,” he said.

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