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IPL 2018: Wanted to put up a good show in front of Warne, says Kuldeep

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shane warne kuldeep yadav

Kolkata, May 16: It was the presence of legendary leg-spinner Shane Warne in the Rajasthan Royals dug-out that inspired left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav to produce his career-best performance in the Indian Premier League (IPL) for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) at the Eden Gardens here.

“I’m always a big fan of his (Warne). He has been my idol. I always get a different kind of motivation when I play in front of him. I wanted to put up a good show in front of him,” Kuldeep told reporters at the post-match press conference.

Kuldeep returned figures of 4/20 as KKR defeated the Royals by six wickets to inch closer to a play-off berth on Tuesday evening.

Kuldeep was having an ordinary IPL till Tuesday night with just nine wickets from 12 outings at an economy rate of around 8.5.

But India’s premier tweaker first got rid of Royals skipper Ajinkya Rahane with a googly and then dismissed dangerman Jos Buttler.

In his next two overs, Kuldeep got Stuart Binny stumped with another googly before accounting for the wicket of Ben Stokes.

“I discussed with him after the match. I have already started my planning for the upcoming England series. But it was a brief conversation. Maybe after the IPL, I will again get a chance to talk to him,” Kuldeep said.

Kuldeep is part of India’s one-off test squad against Afghanistan in Bengaluru next month. India then travel to England for a long tour.

Asked about his sub-par bowling until Tuesday night, Kuldeep said his defensive mind set against Mumbai Indians in their previous game in Kolkata may have cost him dear.

“Maybe my mind set became a bit defensive and thought of restricting the flow of runs. But I’m not the kind of a bowler who stops the flow of runs. If I attack at the batsmen, most of the times I get wickets. My strength is to keep looking for wickets,” he said.

Kuldeep said Buttler’s wicket was special for him as it proved to be the turning point of the game.

“If he had played for 10 more overs, the score would have been 170-180. Everything went according to my plan. For me it was the best wicket,” he said.

KKR will head to Hyderabad on Thursday to take on already-qualified Sunrisers in the last round-robin league match on May 19.

“We have to win the next match straightway. That’s important for us, then only we stand a chance to qualify,” he signed off.

IANS

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BCCI, cricket team join nation in condoling Vajpayee’s death

Several former and current India cricketers also took to Twitter to condole the demise of the former Prime Minister.

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Atal Bihari Vajpayee

New Delhi, Aug 16 : The Indian cricket team and the BCCI joined the nation in mourning the death of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who passed away on Thursday after battling ill health. He was 93.

“The Indian cricket team and BCCI condoles the sad demise of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. Atalji dedicated his life in service of the nation,” the BCCI said in a statement.

Vajpayee, the first non-Congress Prime Minister to complete a full term in office, died here on Thursday after a prolonged illness.

Former India captain and coach Anil Kumble wrote: “A sad day for the country, as we lose one of our greatest leaders. #AtalBihariVajpayee contributed so much for the betterment of the country. May his soul rest in peace.”

“It’s been a sad week, the demise of one of India’s finest leaders “Mr. Vajpayee” is heartbreaking,” India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin wrote.

India opener Shikhar Dhawan wrote: “My deepest condolences on the passing of our former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ji. One of the few politicians I always respected for his honesty and devotion to the national cause. May his soul rest in peace.”

India batsman Cheteshwar Pujara in his message wrote: “Deeply saddened to hear about the loss of Atal Bihari Vajpayee ji. His values and ideologies will be remembered forever.”

Vajpayee, who was honoured with the Bharat Ratna in 2014, was undergoing treatment at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).

His condition worsened on Wednesday evening with leaders from across the political spectrum thronging the hospital and enquiring about his health.

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Vengsarkar calls for Pant’s inclusion in 3rd India-England Test

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Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant

London, Aug 16: Former BCCI chief selector Dilip Vengsarkar has backed the inclusion of rookie wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant in India’s playing XI for the third cricket Test against England, starting at Trent Bridge on Saturday.

Already in the backfoot after losing the first two Tests at Edgbaston and Lord’s, India find themselves in a must-win situation in the five-match Test rubber with all eyes on the non-performing batting order with the exception of skipper Virat Kohli.

Vengsarkar, who was the chairman of selectors when Kohli made his debut, has now called for the inclusion of the explosive southpaw in the playing XI.

“Rishabh Pant should get in. Apart from Kohli, nobody has shown that they could score runs here. Whether it’s English or Australian conditions, you have to adapt quickly. You have to apply yourself and get runs,” Vengsarkar was quoted as saying by BBC Radio.

“You have to give respect to the bowlers,” he added.

If Pant gets his maiden Test cap in Nottingham, that means Dinesh Karthik will be shown the door. Karthik, with scores of 0, 20, 1 and 0 in the four innings so far, has failed to justify his inclusion in the side.

Earlier, former India skipper Sourav Ganguly had also backed the inclusion of Pant for the third Test.

IANS

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Former India captain Ajit Wadekar passes away

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Ajit Wadekar

Mumbai, Aug 15 (IANS) Former India cricket captain Ajit Wadekar passed away here on Wednesday after a prolonged illness. He was 77.

Wadekar, who played 37 Tests, led India to historic triumphs in the West Indies and England in the 1970s.

Under him, India won five matches in the West Indies in the early 1970s before beating England in a three-match series.

Wadekar, who scored 2,113 Test runs with 14 half centuries and a century, led India to a third successive series victory, beating England once again in 1972-73.

He also appeared in two One-day Internationals.

An aggressive left-handed batsman, Wadekar made his first class debut in 1958-59 before making his India debut in 1966-67.

After his retirement, he also served as the Manager of the national team led by Mohammed Azharuddin in the 1990s.

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