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Pakistan will be dangerous if they enter semis: Waqar Younis

Waqar, however, also pointed out that Pakistan will not only have to win but should also raise the bar in their last league game against Bangladesh.

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Waqar Younis

London, July 1 (IANS) In an inspiring run similar to their 1992 World Cup-winning campaign, Pakistan have won three consecutive games to be alive in the ongoing 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup. The Green Brigade had climbed to the fourth spot in the points table before England’s 31-run win over India on Sunday pushed the Sarfaraz Ahmed-led side a place down.

With a game left, Pakistan still have a chance of making it to the knockouts and former skipper Waqar Younis feels if Sarfaraz’s team enter the semis, they would be the most dangerous side.

Waqar, however, also pointed out that Pakistan will not only have to win but should also raise the bar in their last league game against Bangladesh.

“It is actually becoming quite scary at this point! Is history repeating itself? I have no idea but if Pakistan do make the semi-finals then they are going to be such a dangerous side. For that to happen they will need some results to go their way, but most importantly of all they will have to beat Bangladesh,” Waqar wrote in his ICC Column.

“To beat Bangladesh they will have to play better than they managed against Afghanistan. The win over Afghanistan on Sunday was not the performance of champions and yet, somehow and some way, they are still in contention for a semi-final spot and you can never write them off,” he added.

The 47-year-old also credited bowling all-rounder Imad Wasim for Pakistan’s three-wicket win over the winless Afghanistan on June 29.

“We were so lucky to escape and survive and still be floating in this World Cup, really it was thanks to Imad Wasim. Unfortunately it has always been this way for Pakistan, we don’t seem to be able to find that collective consistency,” he expressed.

“But there is no doubting the individual pure talent in our country, look at a guy like Imad who won us that game,” Waqar added.

He also suggested that the team management shouldn’t make much changes in the Pakistan playing eleven and should stick to the winning combination. Waqar also felt that despite opener Fakhar Zaman struggling with the bat, he should be given more chances.

“We appear to have found a perfect XI at last, and I hope they (team management) don’t tinker with it anymore. Fakhar Zaman has had a poor tournament but I don’t think it would be right to drop him now,” expressed the former Pakistan skipper.

“He (Fakhar) should be given every chance to come good, and at the same time, just think how much pressure that would put on the player coming into the side at such an important time,” he backed the opener adding: “Look at the other teams doing well in this World Cup and they are making very few changes.”

Placed fifth with nine points, Pakistan will not only have to register a win against Bangladesh on July 5 but at the same time, will hope that hosts England lose their last league match against New Zealand as it would boost their chance of entering the semis.

India

COVID-19: PM Modi urges sports personalities to keep spreading awareness

In fact, Kohli recently came out with a video where he requested everyone to stay indoors and help stop the spread of the coronavirus.

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New Delhi, April 3 : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday spoke to eminent sports personalities that included the likes of BCCI President Sourav Ganguly, Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli, cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar, badminton world champion P.V. Sindhu and chess legend Viswanathan Anand as the country fights the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking to IANS, sources in the know of developments said that the Prime Minister spoke to them about ways in which there can be more awareness creation and more efforts made to reach every citizen in the country so that the directives issued by the health department is followed by one and all.

“The Prime Minister had an interaction with not just cricketers, but also sports personalities from other fields. The basic idea was to ensure that they can then go ahead and pass on the message of staying safe and staying indoors to the masses. The PM acknowledged the contribution the sportspersons have made in spreading awareness and said that this is a battle that the country has to fight together and no better way than to get sports personalities to reach out to their fans and followers further,” the source said.

The sports personalities have been already doing their bit as they have not only donated funds to help fight the pandemic, but have also spread awareness messages on their social media platforms.

In fact, Kohli recently came out with a video where he requested everyone to stay indoors and help stop the spread of the coronavirus.

“Hello, I am Virat Kohli. Today I am speaking to you not as an India player, but as a citizen of the country. What I have seen in the last few days — people moving in groups, not abiding by curfew rules, not following lockdown guidelines — it shows that we are taking the fight very lightly. But this fight is not as easy as it looks or feels.

“I wish to request everyone to please maintain social distancing and follow it. Also we should follow the directives given by the government and just for once think how you would feel if due to your negligence someone in your family gets affected by the virus. Please follow the experts as they are working very hard. It will only be successful when we follow our duties rather than going out in groups and breaking rules. This for me is an act against the country’s well-being. So now, I along with all of you wish to see things improve and please follow the directives of the government. Jai Hind!”

A list of 49 names from all prominent sports were compiled for the interaction with PM Modi. They are: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (Cricket), Virat Kohli (Cricket), Rohit Sharma (Cricket), Mamatha Poojary (Kabaddi), Sourav Ganguly (Cricket), Sachin Tendulkar (Cricket), Virender Sehwag (Cricket), Mohd Shami (Cricket), KL Rahul (Cricket), Cheteshwar Pujara (Cricket), Yuvraj Singh (Cricket), Zaheer Khan (Cricket), PT Usha (Athletics), Yogeshwar Dutt (Wrestling), Bajrang Punia (Wrestling), Vinesh Phogat (Wrestling), PV Sindhu (Badminton), Mary Kom (Boxing), Hima Das (Athletics), Viswanathan Anand (Chess), Rani Rampal (Hockey), Deepika Kumari (Archery), Mirabai Chanu (Weightlifting), Neeraj Chopra (Athletics), Sharad Kumar (Para Athletics), Apurvi Chandela (Shooting), Manu Bhaker (Shooting), Tarundeep Rai (Archery), Bhaichung Bhutia (Football), Sardara Singh (Hockey)Achanta Sharath Kamal (Table Tennis), Amit Panghal (Boxing), Gagan Narang (Shooting), Anju Bobby George (Athletics), Rohan Bopanna (Tennis), Ankita Raina (Tennis), Sai Praneeth (Badminton), Srihari Natraj (Swimming), Harmeet Desai (Table Tennis), Abhishek Verma (Shooting), Avinash Sable (Athletics), KT Irfan (Athletics), Lovlina Boroghain (Boxing), Simranjeet Kaur (Boxing), Jeremy (Weightlifting), Bhavani Devi (Fencing), Pramod Bhagat (Para Badminton).

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Warne names Akram, Fleming as captains of his greatest Pakistan, New Zealand XIs

The pace battery consists of Akram, Shoaib Akhtar and Waqar Younis while off-break bowler Saqlain Mushtaq and leggie Mushtaq Ahmed completed the spin department.

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Shane Warne

New Delhi, April 2 : Former Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne on Thursday picked the greatest Pakistan and New Zealand XI he played against during his playing days.

Warne picked Wasim Akram as the captain of the Pakistani XI. “Akram was the best bowler that I saw, his skill with the ball was exceptional,” Warne said on Instagram.

He picked Saeed Anwar to open the innings alongside Aamir Sohail. The middle order comprises of Mohammad Yousuf, Inzamam-ul-Haq and Younis Khan with Moin Khan as the wicket-keeper.

The pace battery consists of Akram, Shoaib Akhtar and Waqar Younis while off-break bowler Saqlain Mushtaq and leggie Mushtaq Ahmed completed the spin department.

As for the greatest New Zealand XI, the spin legend picked Stephen Fleming as the skipper. In fact, Warne said that Fleming was the best captain he played against. Alongside Fleming, Warne picked the likes of Shane Bond, Daniel Vettori, Brendon McCullum, Danny Morrison and Martin Crowe in his best New Zealand XI.

Warne’s greatest Pakistan XI: Saeed Anwar, Aamir Sohail, Mohammad Yousuf, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Younis Khan, Moin Khan (wk), Wasim Akram (c), Saqlain Mushtaq, Mushtaq Ahmed, Shoaib Akhtar and Waqar Younis.

Warne’s greatest New Zealand XI: John Wright, Brendon McCullum, Andrew Jones, Martin Crowe, Stephen Fleming (c), Nathan Astle, Chris Cairns, Daniel Vettori, Shane Bond, Simon Doull and Danny Morrison

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Enjoy batting with Dhoni, ABD the most: Virat Kohli

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Dhoni Kohli BCCI

Mumbai, April 2 : M.S. Dhoni and AB de Villiers are the two batters Virat Kohli loves batting with the most, the Indian captain said on Thursday during a social media interaction with former England batsman Kevin Pietersen.

“I enjoy batting with those who can run fast with me. So it has to be MS when we play for India together and AB when we play in the IPL for RCB. We don’t even talk while we are batting,” Kohli said during an Instagram live hosted by Pietersen.

Pietersen had previously hosted India’s limited-overs vice captain Rohit Sharma at a time all are indoors due to the 21-day lockdown in the country to battle coronavirus pandemic.

Kohli also spoke about the Indian cricket team being one of the best fielding sides in the world and how he got that culture in the side.

“I was lucky to be in the centre of transition. I got to see what we were lacking and what the world was doing and we needed to catch up. So I was lucky to play with plyeers who were on same page,” Kohli said.

The pair also went down memory lane to talk about their days playing together for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in 2009 and 2010.

“Right from 2009-10 we had amazing fun at RCB. We hit off well from Day 1. You came in as the big KP a star. We had a gun team with Kallis, Boucher, Anil Kumble, Rahul Dravid,” Kohli said.

RCB have reached three finals but have never won an IPL. Kohli, as captain of the side, said he feels they deserved a title but added he is not obsessed to win one with the franchise.

“We have reached three finals but haven’t won. We deserve to win a title. At RCB, we get talked about so much as we had stars. The more you think (about winning the IPL), the more it keeps running away from you. There have been added pressure lately but we need to just enjoy and not take pressure.”

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