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Dhoni trades bat for tennis racquet in Ranchi

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New Delhi: Former India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was recently spotted participating in a tennis tournament at the Jharkhand State Cricket Association complex in his hometown Ranchi.

The veteran wicketkeeper-batsman, who has taken a break from cricket after the ODI World Cup in July, was pictured during the tournament and the image has been doing the rounds on social media on Sunday.

The image was initially tweeted by a fan following which Dhoni’s Indian Premier League team Chennai Super Kings (CSK) have also tweeted the image.

“The King, at your service,” CSK captioned the image.

Dhoni’s future with the Indian team has been the subject of considerable speculation in the months since the World Cup. The 38-year-old had initially taken a two-month sabatical from cricket after India’s defeat to New Zealand in the semifinal of the tournament.

However, he has since extended that break and chief selector M.S.K. Prasad has said that the management will be looking to move on to younger talents in the run up to the 2020 World T20.

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‘Special’ knock a gift for Anushka on 2nd anniversary: Kohli

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Indian Captain Virat Kohli

Mumbai, Dec 11 : India captain Virat Kohli on Wednesday dedicated his blitzkrieg unbeaten knock of 70 off 29 balls to wife Anushka Sharma on their second marriage anniversary, saying that it felt special to script an innings like that on this day as India thrashed West Indies by 67 runs in the series-deciding third T20 International to win the rubber 2-1, here on Wednesday.

“It was a pretty special innings and also being our second wedding anniversary, it was a special gift,” Kohli said at the post-match presentation ceremony after being adjudged Man of the Series.

“It was a special night and one of the best innings I have played. That we won batting first feels really good,” he said.

At a venue where the chasing team generally wins, India put into bat by Windies skipper Kieron Pollard, but Kohli’s unbeaten 70, along with K.L. Rahul (91) and Rohit Sharma’s (71) 135-run opening wicket stand, helped India to a mammoth 240/3 in the allotted 20 overs.

In reply, the West Indies could manage 173/8 at the end of 20 overs despite Pollard’s 39-ball 68.

“I know I can contribute in all three formats. It is about putting your mind into it. Now with the T20 World Cup coming up, there is motivation. My part becomes crucial as I have to play two roles. When you are not playing T20s for a while and come back and play like this, it feels good. It is all about executing the plans on the field,” Kohli said.

The skipper said the team has been too hesitant batting first and on Wednesday they showed their intent from ball one as they went after the bowlers.

“The way Rahul and Rohit played today was the key. Batting first, we have been too tight and hesitant, but this pitch allowed us to play freely. It was a good lesson for us and now we need to remember it.

“It depends on what kind of pitch and ground you are playing on (whether scoring more boundaries is a must). You don’t really feel the pressure when you have 20-25 runs on the board. Playing the T20 World Cup in Australia, we will have to figure out how big the boundaries are,” the skipper said.

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Happy we did well batting first in a T20 game: KL Rahul

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K Lokesh Rahul

Mumbai, Dec 12 : A scintillating display batting first will help the Indian team gain a lot of confidence leading up to the World T20 next year, feels in-form India opener K.L. Rahul.

Rahul top-scored with a devastating 56-ball 91 and shared a 135-run opening stand with Rohit Sharma (71) as India cruised to a 67-run victory against the West Indies in the series deciding third T20I, riding on their imposing total of 240/3. Skipper Virat Kohli too joined the party with an unbeaten 70 that came off just 29 balls.

In reply, the West Indies could manage 173/8 in the end of 20 overs despite skipper Pollard’s 39-ball 68.

“It’s obvious that our record batting first hasn’t been that great. Today was a great opportunity and I’m very happy that it came off. This will give us a lot of confidence as now we know what to do batting first,” said Rahul at the post-match presentation ceremony.

The World T20 is scheduled in October next year in Australia and Rahul said each game from here on will be important.

“Each game will be important and a learning lesson for us before the World Cup. Like any other format, once you are set, you want to carry on and know what shots to play. T20 has been kind and I try to do my best and give results for the team,” Rahul said.

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We are a work in progress: West Indies skipper Kieron Pollard

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India Vs West Indies

Mumbai, Dec 12 : West Indies skipper Kieron Pollard conceded that the team is a work in progress and the three-match T20 series against India was a learning curve for them leading up to the World T20 in Australia next year.

“We will look to take the positives from this game. At the end of the day, we knew where we faltered and it’s work in progress for us now,” Pollard said at the post-match presentation ceremony after the West Indies lost the series deciding third T20I here by 67 runs.

Rahul top-scored for India with a devastating 56-ball 91 and shared a 135-run stand with fellow opener Rohit Sharma (71) as India cruised to victory riding their first innings score of 240/3. Skipper Virat Kohli smashed an unbeaten 29-ball 70.

In reply, the West Indies could manage 173/8 in the end of 20 overs despite Pollard’s 39-ball 68. Windies had won the second T20I after losing the first one.

“It (the target) was gettable, we have chased a big total here in 2016. When you look at the way Rahul and Rohit went about at the start, they took their time and then exploded,” Pollard said when asked if the huge score was gettable.

“Yes, we are disappointed but we look to move on from here. There are a lot of emerging players coming through the ranks. Success is something you need to strive for day in and day out. All is not lost, we still have three ODIs to play. We will look to stay positive,” he concluded.

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