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Favourites India to start World Cup preparation with WI series



India vs west indies
India vs West Indies (File Photo)

Guwahati, Oct 20: Hot favourites India will look to start their preparation for next year’s 50-over World Cup in style and iron out the weaknesses in the side when they take on lowly West Indies in the five-match ODI series starting here on Sunday.

India will play 18-odd One-Day Internationals (ODI) before the World Cup in England.

Among the issues they would want to address, India’s middle order is a problem especially a number four position where many have been tried but with little success.

Explosive wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant is expected to make his ODI debut, following his exploits in tests.

The 21-year-old Pant, who cracked a ton at the Oval in his debut series against England, continued his rich form with consecutive scores of 92 against the West Indies in the two-match Test series.

This series will also see skipper Virat Kohli making the return to the fold after taking a break during the Asia Cup which India won.

Former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni will once again be under the pump as he has time and again struggled to replicate his old form.

Dhoni was far from his best in the Asia Cup, scoring 77 runs in four innings with an average of 19.25 and a strike rate of 62.09.

With Pant now also making the team regularly, Dhoni will be under more pressure to perform.

India have struggled to find a proper No.4 batsman and this will also present an opportunity to Ambati Rayudu, who is expected to bat at the position, to stake a claim in the side more regularly.

Rayudu and will look to carry forward his fine form of Asia Cup where he scored 175 runs, averaging 43.75 from six innings.

India will also have the services of all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja in the lower-order and in the absence of injured Hardik Pandya, he will have to step-up.

Left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal will once again be expected to wreak havoc with their spin while fast bowlers Mohammad Shami and an in-form Umesh Yadav will share the workload in the absence of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah, who have been rested for the first two ODIs.

The tourists are expected to put up a better show in white ball cricket unlike the Tests.

But the withdrawal of big-hitting opener Evin Lewis from the ODI series citing personal reasons is a body for the side which is already missing Chris Gayle and Andre Russell.

To make matters worse, coach Stuart Law, who is into his penultimate assignment with the team, will not be allowed in the dressing room in the first two ODIs due to a breach of ICC’s code of conduct.

West Indies will bank on veteran Marlon Samuels, captain and all-rounder Jason Holder and pacer Kemar Roach.

The squad features three uncapped players — opener Chandrapaul Hemraj, all-rounder Fabian Allen and pacer Oshane Thomas.


India: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, Manish Pandey, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Rishabh Pant, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Khaleel Ahmed, Lokesh Rahul, Umesh Yadav.

West Indies: Jason Holder (captain), Fabian Allen, Sunil Ambris, Devendra Bishoo, Chanderpaul Hemraj, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Kieran Powell, Ashley Nurse, Keemo Paul, Rovman Powell, Kemar Roach, Marlon Samuels, Oshane Thomas and Obed McCoy.



Ahead of Schumacher’s 50th birthday, his family releases unseen 2013 video

The video was recorded on October 30, 2013 before Schumacher had a skiing accident on December 29, 2013, which resulted in a brain injury; an injury that has caused Schumacher to be bedridden and unable to speak for the past five years.



F1 2013 Game - Michael Schumacher

Berlin, Nov 22 : A previously recorded video of the legendary Formula 1 (F1) driver Michael Schumacher answering his fans’ questions was released by his family in the lead up to the 50th birthday of the racing great.

The video, which Schumacher’s family put on the official Michael Schumacher website on Wednesday night, was recorded on October 30, 2013 before Schumacher had a skiing accident on December 29, 2013, which resulted in a brain injury; an injury that has caused Schumacher to be bedridden and unable to speak for the past five years.

“The most emotional one definitely is Suzuka 2000 with Ferrari,” Schumacher said in the 2013 video’s answer to the question what was his most emotional world title, reports Efe news.

Schumacher explained why the 2000 Japanese Grand Prix was special to him, “(It was) 21 years no championship for Ferrari, four years for myself fighting to achieve it.”

The German speedster explained that the secret behind his historic records was that he has found new ways to improve.

Regarding his most respected opposing driver in his 20-year career, Schumacher stated that was Mika Hakkinen because both Hakkinen and he had “great fights but stable private relationship.”

Schumacher praised the managing talents of his technical director Ross Brawn who was with Schumacher when the driver won with Benneton, Ferrari and Mercedes.

The most decorated racer of all time stated that his sports hero growing up was Harald “Toni” Schumacher, Germany national team net-minder from 1979-1986, formative teenage years for Schumacher.

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BCCI CEO Rahul Johri cleared of sexual harassment charges



Rahul Johri (File Photo)

New Delhi, Nov 21: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Wednesday dismissed the sexual harassment allegations against the cricketing body’s Chief Executive Officer, Rahul Johri.

Chairman of Supreme Court appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) stated Rahul Johri should continue as the CEO of Board of Control for Cricket in India and resume his duties.

The decision taken is as a natural consequence, since there is no consensus between two members of CoA regarding what action should be taken against Rahul Johri.

The independent probe committee had submitted its report to the Committee of Administrators (COA) earlier in the day.

The panel that probed allegations against Johri comprised former Allahabad High Court judge Justice Rakesh Sharma, former Delhi Commission for Women chairperson Barkha Singh and lawyer Veena Gowda.

Johri was accused of sexual harassment in an anonymous social media post, which has since been deleted. He has denied the allegation in response to the show cause notice issued by the COA.


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Australia beat India by 4 runs to win first T20I



ind vs aus t20

Brisbane, Nov 21: Australia defeated India by 4 runs in the rain-affected first T20 International at the Gabba here on Wednesday.

Earlier Australia rode on a collective top order effort to post 158/4 in 17 overs before the target was readjusted to 174 according to the Duckworth-Lewis method.

India now have to chase a challenging 174 from 17 overs after a spell of rain almost wasted an hour of play in the first session.

Australia were going hammer and tongs in the last few overs as Glenn Maxwell smashed 46 runs off just 26 deliveries and received equal support from Marcus Stoinis, who took 19 deliveries to clobber 33 runs.

Chinaman Kuldeep Yadav bagged a couple of wickets for 24 runs, however, Krunal Pandya, who remained wicketless, was hammered for 55 runs in his four overs.

Also, pacer Khaleel Ahmed was expensive, leaking 42 runs in his three overs but took one wicket.

Put in to bat, Australia started cautiously before losing opener D Arcy Short (7 off 12) on 24 runs in 4.1 overs.

Opener Aaron Finch (27) and Chris Lynn (37) then added 40 runs for the second wicket before Kuldeep struck to send back the Aussie skipper, leaving the hosts at 64/2 in 8.3 overs.

Australia were just able to add 11 runs to their overall score when the chinaman struck again to dismiss Lynn in the 11th over.

Maxwell and Stoinis then hammered every Indian bowler to all corners of the park as the duo added a crucial 78 runs for the fourth wicket.

The partnership took the hosts past the 150-run mark in just 16 overs before rain played spoilsport with Australia being in a commanding position with 153/3 from 16.1 overs.

After the rain break, the home side could only manage five runs from as many deliveries even as Jasprit Bumrah managed to send back Maxwell.

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