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BCCI postpones announcement of new coach

Kumble had hinted at differences with Kohli in his resignation letter to the BCCI. There have also been reports that several players were unhappy with Kumble’s strict disciplinarian approach.

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Mumbai, July 10 : The Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Monday decided to postpone the selection of a new coach for the national team by a few days.

Lalchand Rajput, Virender Sehwag, Richard Pybus, Ravi Shastri and Tom Moody were the candidates who were interviewed on Monday by the three-member CAC which includes former India captain Sourav Ganguly, former India batsman V.V.S. Laxman and the legendary Sachin Tendulkar — who took part in the proceedings via skype as he is currently in London.

Former West Indies all-rounder Phil Simmons is also a candidate but is yet to be interviewed.

“What we have decided is we will hold on for the time being for the announcement of the coach. We need a few more days and talk to a few more people, especially the captain and then make an announcement because we feel that there is no hurry at the moment,” Ganguly told the media after the interviews.

The CAC members also said that India team captain Virat Kohli will be consulted before a new coach — who will stay till the 2019 ODI World Cup — is appointed.

“We have a Sri Lanka tour coming in a week’s time and the board will continue with the same set (of people) for the time being. We want to speak to Kohli when he returns from America. We will explain to him that the coaches want to function in a certain way and make sure that everybody is on the same page before we make the announcement,” Ganguly said.

“Once we make the announcement, the new coach will stay till the World Cup. To be honest, what we heard from the coaches today is not different from last year.

“They were outstanding, specially some of the names we discussed. We were pleasantly surprised and happy when we heard how they want to go about the job,” the former India captain added.

Shastri is considered to be one of the favourites for the job since he enjoys good relations with Kohli. The former India all-rounder had delivered results during his previous stint with the Indian team, a factor which may also work in his favour.

The Indian team, especially skipper Virat Kohli, has been at the centre of a controversy after Anil Kumble resigned as coach following a humiliating 180-run loss to Pakistan in the Champions Trophy final on June 18.

Kumble had hinted at differences with Kohli in his resignation letter to the BCCI. There have also been reports that several players were unhappy with Kumble’s strict disciplinarian approach.

Some players were also reportedly unhappy after Kumble handed a harsh dressing down to the team following the defeat in the Champions Trophy final.

Ganguly, however, made it clear that the CAC is aiming to appoint a coach who will be able to guide the team over a long period of time and will gel well with Kohli and other members of the Indian team.

“We are in no hurry. We are not looking at only the Sri Lanka tour because that will be a long affair. What is important for us is we are not going to play. It is the coach, the players and the captain. We are a part of that.

“I thought the presentations were outstanding. Exactly what coaches would want to do in the system because we have played the game and we have played under different coaches. They have all their different ways of operation but the crux of the matter does not change,” Ganguly said.

“That is why we feel Virat, who we respect so much, is an important cog of the system. I was captain, Laxman was probably the best in the world. So we understand where it goes. We will take a call which is the best way forward for the team and the boys because ultimately they are going to play and they going to give results,” he added.

“That is what is most important for us.”

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IND vs SA: India aim bright start against S.Africa in 1st T20I

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Johannesburg, Feb 18: Following a historic One-Day International (ODI) series victory, ruthless India will aim to continue their form in the cricket’s shortest format when they face South Africa in the first Twenty20 International (T20I) at the New Wanderers Stadium here on Sunday.

With a short interval for preparation after the ODI series that ended on Friday, the Virat Kohli-led India will aim to repeat similar performance as they did in the 2006 one-off T20I series here against South Africa.

The last time both the teams met here for a bilateral series, India clinched a six-wicket victory over South Africa under Virender Sehwag.

Bolstered by terrific all-round performances led by skipper Kohli, who was adjudged the Man of the Series in the recently concluded ODI series, India will hope to thrash the hosts in the three-match series.

Alongside the skipper, batsmen Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhwawan, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Hardik Pandya will look to make the most of their capabilities in the shortest format.

Batsman Suresh Raina, who has made a comeback in the T20Is will act as an vital cog in the middle-order and will look to prove his mettle.

The bowling department, which looked lethal with wrist-spinning duo Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav will try to make a mark in the shortest format.

Pacers Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar will only add depth to the formidable Indian bowling line-up.

However, the Proteas led by Jean-Pau Duminy in the absence of Faf du Plessis, will look to hit back at India in the shortest format of the game, under the likes of hard-hitting batsmen consisting the skipper himself, AB de Villiers, David Miller and Chris Morris, who can score some vital runs in the lower order.

The bowling department, led by Andile Phehlukwayo, Morris along with chinaman Tabraiz Shamsi will have to come out with something special in order to get rid of the flamboyant Indian batsmen.

Meanwhile, the three new faces inculded for the shortest format — batsman Christiaan Jonker, pacer Junior Dala and wicketkeeper-batsman Heinrich Klaasen will be aiming to put up a show for the home team,

Squads: 

India squad: Virat Kohli (captain) Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Lokesh Rahul, Suresh Raina, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wk), Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya, Manish Pandey, Axar Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Jaydev Unadkat, Shardul Thakur.

South Africa: Jean-Paul Duminy (captain), Farhaan Behardien, Junior Dala, AB de Villiers, Reeza Hendricks, Christiaan Jonker, Heinrich Klaasen (wk), David Miller, Chris Morris, Dane Paterson, Aaron Phangiso, Andile Phehlukwayo, Tabraiz Shamsi, Jon-Jon Smuts.

IANS

 

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Roger Federer, 36, becomes oldest World No. 1 in ATP rankings history

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Roger Federer celebrates after victory over Robin Haase in Rotterdam. (PC- Reuters)

Rotterdam, Feb 17: Roger Federer added another highlight to his age-defying career resurgence by returning to the top of the world rankings on Friday after more than five years and becoming the oldest No. 1 at 36.

On Friday a 4-6, 6-1, 6-1 victory over Dutchman Robin Haase in the quarter-finals of the ABN AMRO tournament in Rotterdam guaranteed the Swiss would rise to number one for the fourth time in his career.

With return to World No 1, Federer sets multiple records. At 36 years and 195 days, he overtakes Andre Agassi as the oldest number 1 by three years. Agassi was 33 years and 4 months when he held the top spot in September, 2003. Federer would be back as World No 1 after a gap of over five years – the longest gap between stints as World No 1. During this period, Federer won three Grand Slams (two Australian Opens in 2017 and recently in January and Wimbledon last year) and was forced into skipping Grand Slams in 2016 due to injury for the first time since 1999.

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IND vs SA, 6th ODI : Unstoppable Virat Kohli leads India To 5-1 series win over S.Africa

Captain Virat Kohli slammed his 35th century as India crushed South Africa by eight wickets in the sixth One-Day International in Centurion to clinch the six-match series 5-1.

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Centurion, Feb 16: Captain Virat Kohli slammed his 35th century as India crushed South Africa by eight wickets in the sixth One-Day International in Centurion to clinch the six-match series 5-1.

This is the first ever bilateral series win by India on South African soil. Put into bat by India, South Africa were bowled out for a meagre 204 in the dead rubber. Chasing the target, India romped home in just 32.1 overs. Kohli remained unbeaten on 129, an innings studded with 19 boundaries and two sixes.

Kohli was in a punishing mood as he personally anchored Proteas’ biggest humiliation in a bilateral series at home in last 17 years. The last time South Africa lost 1-5 was back in 2001-02 season against a champion Australian side.

Kohli also became the fastest to 9500 ODI runs completing the feat in only 200 innings — 17 less than AB de Villiers.

Such has been Kohli’s dominance in the series, that after his aggregate of 558 runs, the next best is Shikhar Dhawan (323), who is more than 200 runs behind his skipper.

Earlier, playing his first match of the series, young pacer Shardul Thakur claimed four wickets to skittle South Africa for 204. For South Africa, all-rounder Khaya Zondo top-scored with a 74-ball 54, laced with three boundaries and two sixes on a good batting track, where most of the other batsmen failed against a disciplined Indian bowling.

Apart from Thakur, the wrist spin duo of Yuzvendra Chahal (2/38) and Kuldeep Yadav (1/51) shared three wickets between them. Jasprit Bumrah also gave good support by taking two wickets.

For his brilliant form in the series, captain Kohli was adjudged Man of the Match and Man of the Series.

Kohli took 82 balls to reach his 35th century with the help of 17 boundaries that saw him break a plethora of records.

Sachin Tendulkar, who is on top of the list with 49 centuries, had taken 309 innings to reach 35 centuries. Kohli got there in his 200th innings.

Kohli also became the first Indian batsman to score three centuries in a bilateral series.

Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman have scored three centuries but not in a bilateral series. Ganguly scored three centuries during the 2003 World Cup in South Africa, while Laxman slammed three tons during the 2004 VB Series in Australia.

Not just that, he also became the first man to score 500 runs or more in a bilateral ODI series.

The record was previously held by his team-mate Rohit Sharma, who scored 491 runs in the six-match series against Australia.

The record of most runs as captain in a bilateral series now also belong to Kohli. Australia’s George Bailey is second in the list with 478 runs against India in 2013-14. The Australian is followed by South Africa’s AB de Villiers, who achieved the feat twice – 367 runs vs Pakistan in 2012-13 and 358 runs vs India in 2015-16.

In the process, Kohli has now most runs in a bilateral ODI series against South Africa in South Africa, a record previously held by England’s Kevin Pietersen. Pietersen had scored 454 runs in a six-match series in 2005.

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