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India eye maiden T20I win against New Zealand

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New Delhi, Oct 31: After a brilliant performance in the One-Day Internationals (ODIs), India will aim for a maiden win against the New Zealand when they take on the visitors in the first Twenty20 International (T20I) match here on Wednesday.

The three-match T20I series will also witness some promising players taking the field and veteran pacer Ashish Nehra signing off with the first match at his home ground.

Seeing the recent performances, many cricket pundits may have put their money on the Indian team, but World No.1 New Zealand could also turn the tables with their cent percent record against the hosts.

The two teams faced off twice in New Zealand, twice in India and once in South Africa and New Zealand won all the five matches.

There are several match winning players in the New Zealand squad. Apart from skipper Kane Williamson, Martin Guptill, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls have the ability to change the game at any time.

Experienced batsman Ross Taylor was also recalled to the New Zealand set-up in place of injured legs-pinner Todd Astle, which will give a boost to their batting department.

The bowlers have also shown their class in the ODI series. Experienced pacer Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme will be the key in the shortest format.

Spinners Ish Sodhi, Adam Milne could add much more to their bowling line-up on the slow Ferozshah Kotla pitch here if they bowl on the right areas.

India, on the other hand, have ticked many boxes in the ODI series. But they would like to improve the performance in both the departments.

Youngsters like Shreyas Iyer, Lokesh Rahul and pacer Mohammed Siraj would want to make their their mark and other batsmen like Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Hardik Pandya, Dinesh Karthik would like to continue their momentum in order to register their maiden T20I win.

In the bowling department, Ashish Nehra will play a crucial role in the first match if Virat Kohli include him in the squad.

Nehra would be supported by Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who played brilliantly in the recently concluded series.

Spinners — Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal — will also play an important role in the spin friendly wicket.

So, with the records favouring the visitors, it will be interesting to see if India could to change their fortunes this time around or not.

Squads
India: Virat Kohli (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Lokesh Rahul, Manish Pandey, Shreyas Iyer, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni (WK), Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Ashish Nehra (only for first T20I).

New Zealand : Kane Williamson (c), Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Trent Boult, Tom Bruce, Colin de Grandhomme, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Adam Milne, Colin Munro, Glenn Phillips (wk).

IANS

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2nd Test: India 172/3 at stumps, trail by 154 runs vs Australia

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Perth, Dec 15: India were 172/3 at stumps on the second day of the second Test against Australia at the Perth stadium here on Saturday.

India skipper Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane were batting on 82 and 51 runs respectively when the day ended.

The visiting side still trail by 154 runs against Australia’s first innings total of 326. Resuming the second day at 277/6, the Aussies were all out for 326 shortly before lunch.

Brief Scores: India (First Innings): 172/3 (Virat Kohli 82 batting, Ajinkya Rahane 51 batting) vs Australia (First Innings): 326 (Marcus Harris 70; Ishant Sharma 4/41).

IANS

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India’s Sindhu defeats Thailand’s Intanon, storms into final

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P.V. Sindhu (File Photo)

Guangzhou (China), Dec 15: Indian shuttler P.V. Sindhu defeated former world champion Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand in straight games in their women’s singles semi-final at the 2018 BWF World Tour Finals here on Saturday.

The 23-year-old Olympic silver medallist, who has not lost to World No.8 Intanon in the last two years, breezed into the final after quashing her Thai opponent 21-16, 25-23 in 54 minutes, reports Efe.

The world number six from Hyderabad – who entered the semi-finals after defeating Beiwen Zhang of the US 21-9, 21-15 on Friday – dominated the first game, winning it in 20 minutes after grabbing an initial 6-4 lead.

Intanon bounced back in the second game but Sindhu did not lose nerve and won it in a nail-biting finish to wrap up the match.

Sindhu will now play against Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara in the final on Sunday.

IANS

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PV Sindhu in semis of BWF World Tour Finals

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Guangzhou (China), Dec 14: Star Indian shuttler P.V. Sindhu entered the semi-finals of the BWF World Tour Finals, defeating Beiwen Zhand of US in a lop-sided women’s singles match here on Friday.

The Rio Olympic silver medallist just took 35 minutes to outplay her opponent 21-9, 21-15.

Right from the start, Sindhu dominated the proceedings and easily overpowered her opponent to advance.

In men’s singles match, Sameer Verma defeated Kantaphon Wangcharoen of Thailand 21-9, 21-18 to enter the knock-out stage.

The 45-minute match saw Sameer at his best of abilities in the first game. In the second game the Indian shuttler struggled but was proved better towards the end to bag the issue.

IANS

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