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I want to become India coach one day: Sourav Ganguly

Ganguly, besides being the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) president is with the Delhi Capitals in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and also does regular commentary.

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Sourav Ganguly

Kolkata, Aug 2 (IANS) Former India captain Sourav Ganguly on Friday said he harbours ambitions of becoming the India head coach at some point if not right now.

“Definitely, I’m interested but not at this point of time. Let one more phase go then I will throw my name into the fray,” Ganguly said at the unveiling of a new range of men’s collections by Senco Gold & Diamonds.

Ganguly, besides being the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) president is with the Delhi Capitals in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and also does regular commentary. Ganguly helped Delhi qualify for the play offs for the first time since 2012 last season.

“Currently, I’m associated with too many things — IPL, CAB, TV commentary. Let me complete this. But I will definitely put my hat at some stage. Provided I get selected. But definitely I’m interested. Not now, but in the future,” Ganguly said.

Talking about the Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) led by Kapil Dev selecting the next India coach, Ganguly revealed that there are not many big names in the fray who have applied for the job, hinting at Ravi Shastri getting an extension.

India captain Virat Kohli has backed Shastri to continue in the role.

“Going by the applicants, I don’t see any heavyweight names. I heard Mahela (Jayawardene) would apply but ultimately he didn’t… There are not many big names who have applied for the coach’s job. Ultimately I don’t know what the panel will decide. They have been around for a while. We will see how big the term they will give. Not many names who have applied. Whoever they feel is good they should do it,” he said.

Ganguly, however, refused to comment on Shastri’s tenure as India coach. “I will hold my opinion on that. I don’t think it’s right for me to say about that. I’m too far from the system that decides the coach,” Ganguly said.

On the upcoming West Indies tour, he said: “West Indies in West Indies will be a lot stronger. T20 is their preferred format. They enjoy playing T20s and they are the current World T20 Champions. The two matches in Florida will be tough games.

“Test matches will also be tough as they played very well against England. It won’t be an easy West Indies tour as it was five years ago. India will be challenged. There are a lot of young players in the team.

“As I’ve said before you want to see these young players get consistent opportunities. You keep saying horses for courses but I feel don’t judge a horse if you want to keep them on the course. Consistency is important for rhythm and confidence.”

India will play a full series comprising three T20s, three ODIs and two tests starting Saturday.

Ganguly also lavished praise on former Australia skipper Steve Smith who scored a brilliant century in his first test since returning from a one year ban for his role in the ball tampering scandal. “Class is permanent and you could see it. These sort of hundreds will remain in everybody’s memories. Now they are in a big chance of winning the match. First innings scores are very important. From that point of view, it’s a fantastic hundred,” he said.

“To be away for a year and play the World Cup… He has had a quiet World Cup. And then to start the Ashes with a century, especially when the team was down was a remarkable effort. Ashes is the biggest England-Australia battle.”

Ganguly also said he is enjoying his time with Delhi IPL side. “The team had struggled for a number of times and we were joint number one after 14 matches. It’s been a great season for Delhi, hope we will go further.

“Looking after the Delhi Capitals team and being with the team right through the season… which I will be in the future as well. It helped me to work with the players, stay fit. That’s also one of the reasons for me to be in shape.

“I work hard to stay young, stay fit. The hardest thing is when you stop playing and still you have to stay fit. When you stand for six hours in a Test match, you automatically stay in shape.

“But when you stop playing, I train very hard. That’s the way I’ve been. I’ve been involved with sports in a different way,” he added.

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Sania scripts dream return, clinches doubles title in Hobart

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Hobart: Indian tennis star Sania Mirza along with Nadiia Kichenok came out with yet another brilliant performance as they defeated the China’s Peng Shuai and Zhang Shuai in straight sets to win the women’s doubles title at Hobart International on Saturday.

Former doubles No.1 Mirza and Kichenok defeated the second-seeded Chinese duo 6-4, 6-4 in a rather one-sided contest which lasted one hour and 21 minutes.

The Indo-Ukrainian pair were the first to break in each set, but ultimately needed to wrap up the match by delivering the deciding breaks late. The unseeded duo won the last three games of the opener, and eight of the last 10 points to seal victory, having nearly seen a double-break advantage slip away.

Though the duo won six straight games from 3-4 in the opener to lead 6-4, 3-0, the 33-year-old Indian was the one who saw her serve broken twice as the Chinese eventually restored parity at 4-4.

Nonetheless, Mirza and Kichenok finished the match off in style with their fifth break of the match, before the Ukrainian served out the match and the victory for the team.

It is Mirza’s first WTA title in just over two years and 42nd of her storied doubles career, while Kichenok won her fifth, and first since partnering her twin sister, Lyudmyla, to win the WTA Elite Trophy Zhuhai in 2018.

The Indian star last won a trophy alongside Bethanie Mattek-Sands at the Brisbane International in the first week of the 2017 season, one of three doubles finals she reached that year before announcing her pregnancy in April of 2018.

Three-time doubles Grand Slam winner Mirza was making a return to competition after a two-year hiatus away from tennis, initially due to injuries and then welcoming a son in October 2018.

The former world No.1 won the Australian Open doubles title in 2016 following a successful 2015 season in which she claimed the Wimbledon and US Open doubles titles, all paired with Martina Hingis.

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Rajkot ODI: India level series with 36-run win

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Rajkot, Jan 17 : India beat South Africa by 36 runs in the second ODI at the SCA stadium in Rajkot to level the three-match series between the two sides 1-1. Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul and Virat Kohli helped India post a total of 341 to chase. In response, Australia were all out for 304 despite Steve Smith scoring 98.

Openers David Warner and Aaron Finch, who posted a record 258-run stand to help Australia stroll to a win in the first ODI, could not do a repeat of their heroics with the former being dismissed in the fourth over. Smith came in at number three and put up 62 with Finch before the Australian captain fell to Ravindra Jadeja on account of a close stumping call in the 16th over.

Finch had attempted to hit Jadeja over extra cover but missed the delivery due to the turn. Finch dragged his backfoot marginally outside the crease and wicketkeeper Rahul whipped the bails off immediately. Replays made it a tough call for the umpire to make but the decision went India’s way in the end.

However, Marnus Labuschagne, playing his first ODI innings, stuck on with Smith and the pair gave Australia the upper hand in the middle overs. They put up 96 for the third wicket before Labuschagne holed out at mid-off off Jadeja on 46. Smith however looked settled and was cruising to his ninth ODI ton when a loose shot cost him his wicket.

Kuldeep Yadav, who was wicketless in the first eight overs, bowled the 38th over and got Carey when the latter sent the ball straight to Kohli at extra cover. It was Kuldeep’s 100th ODI wicket and two balls later, Smith played on and had to walk back two runs shy of his hundred.

Ashton Turner and Pat Cummins were dismissed off consecutive deliveries by Mohammed Shami in the 44th over. Both players were done in by pinpoint yorkers directed at the middle stump. Shami sent in a leg stump yorker for his hat-trick ball and hit Mitchell Starc on his pads but the umpire didn’t raise his finger with the ball clearly going down the leg side.

Navdeep Saini then got India closer in the 47th with the wickets of Ashton Agar and Starc off the first and third balls of the over. Kane Richardson then delayed the inevitable by smashing Mohammed Shami for three fours and a six in the penultimate over. Jasprit Bumrah ended the match by dismissing Adam Zampa off the first ball of the last over.

Earlier, Shikhar Dhawan scored his third straight fifty with a sublime 96 from 90 balls, his innings laced with 13 fours and a six as skipper Kohli smashed a 76-ball 78 (6×4). But it was Rahul, batting at No.5 who gave India the much-needed push in the last ten overs with his aggressive batting and range of shots. Rahul was run out in the final over for 80 off just 52 balls, his quickfire knock studded with six fours and three sixes.

For the Aussies, leg-spinner Adam Zampa was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 3/50.

The decisive third ODI will be played on Sunday at the Chinnaswamy stadium in Bengaluru.

Brief scores: India: 340/6 in 50 overs (Shikhar Dhawan 96, KL Rahul 80, Virat Kohli 78; Adam Zampa 3/50) vs Australia 304 (Steve Smith 98, Marnus Labuschagne 46; Mohammed Shami 3/77)

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Anand gets past Xiong for first win in Tata Steel Masters

It was a French Defence Winawer variation where none of the players castled throughout the game.

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Viswanathan Anand

Eindhoven (The Netherlands), Jan 17 : Five-time world champion Viswanathan Anand beat Jeffery Xiong of the United States to notch up his first victory in the Tata Steel Masters chess tournament here on Friday.

Anand was struggling for form but roared back to notch a win after one loss and three draws.

The Indian was very good in the round four match, playing some brilliant chess.

It was a French Defence Winawer variation where none of the players castled throughout the game.

Anand fired a king side attack early with his white pieces and enjoyed spatial advantage in the middle game.

Xiong tried to keep him at bay but in the end Anand found a crucial central breakthrough after which the resulting rook and pawns endgame was a walk in the park.

Anand moved to joint sixth spot with 2.5 points on a day.

Firouzja Alireza also scored a victory over Anish Giri of Holland.

Anish Giri dropped to 11th spot along with Nikita Vituigov of Russia on two points, Yu Yangyi of China is in 13th spot on 1.5 points and Kovalev stands last with just one point in his bag. Eight rounds still remain in the marathon event among 14 players.

Magnus Carlsen’s form was not too good even though he played his 112th game without a defeat.

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