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Playing regularly for India has helped me improve my line and length: Umesh



Umesh Yadav

Kolkata, April 14: Playing almost all of India’s Test matches at home has helped pacer Umesh Yadav improve his line and length also letting him know his strong points and areas to improve.

The Vidarbha pacer who picked up 17 wickets at an average of 23.41 in eight innings in the recently concluded India-Australia series has been the mainstay of India’s bowling.

Yadav impressed with control and consistent pace throughout, but particularly in the final Test against Australia at Dharamsala.

On the liveliest of pitches used in the four-Test series, Yadav tormented the tourists to claim five wickets, also hinting that India now have the necessary fast bowling resources to clinch the deal on the hard decks of Australia and South Africa.

For many, including former captain Sourav Ganguly, Yadav was the find of India’s long home season.
“This is all due to my hardwork. In the last 8-10 months I am playing continuously (for the Indian team). The more you bowl the better you become,” Yadav told reporters on being asked if he was carrying his Dharamsala form in the Indian Premier League (IPL) as well, where he returned to duty for the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) with a four-for against Kings XI Punjab to help the purple brigade cruise to a eight-wicket win.

“It’s like a bowler’s line and length is sorted with regular bowling. I think, the number of matches I have played has helped me better my line and length. Now I have come to know my strong points and the areas I need to bowl to,” the 29-year old, who used to be wayward before, said.

Narrating an incident of how Team India coaches, especially batting coach Sanjay Bangar has helped him understand the finer nuances of his game, like the run-up, Umesh said: “In the last 10 months, our coaches Sanjay Bangar, Anil (Kumble, chief coach)sir who have a fair amount of idea about bowling have helped me a lot.

“Sanjay sir had told me that when you run in to bowl, sometimes you run faster than required in order to bowl faster.

“Then you risk the chance of disturbing your line and length. You should enjoy you run up which will help you bring control to your bowling.”

KKR have six more matches at the Eden Gardens, where Umesh looked to be in sublime form with the ball. The relaid 22-yar strip, the pacer said, was to his liking with a lot of carry and bounce.
“The wicket is very good,” Umesh, who missed the franchise’s first two matches due to right hip and lower back soreness, said.

“There was a lot of carry and bounce so it helps the fast bowlers. The conditions were good too. You don’t get such wickets in Test cricket very easily.”

KKR take on Sunrisers Hyderabad at home on Saturday high on confidence after the marauding win playing for the first time in front of their supporters.



Shooter Manu wins gold at Junior World Cup



Manu Bhaker
Manu Bhaker Photo Credit: ISSF @ISSF

Sydney, March 24: Teenager Manu Bhaker nailed her second World Cup gold medal inside a month, winning the womens 10m Air Pistol title at the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) Junior World here on Saturday.

She did a double on the day, winning the team gold in the event as well with compatriots Devanshi Rana, who missed out on an individual medal placing fourth in the final, and Mahima Turhi Agrawal to end an amazing month for herself and extend a golden six month or so period of excellent performances.

Just 20 days ago, the girl from Jhajjar, Haryana, created waves across the shooting world by winning the senior World Cup gold at the same 10m Air Pistol event in her senior team debut.

This comes after the Asian Championships silver last year in Japan to secure a Youth Olympics quota for her country and nine golds at the Shooting Nationals, all in the span of six months.

On Saturday, Manu finished the qualifying round at the second spot with a score of 570 behind Kanyakom Hirunphoem of Thailand.

Kanyakom was in great form throughout the day and was six points clear at the top with 576.

Also Kanyakom, even though still a junior, was a far more experienced than Manu, having represented her country at the Asian Games in Incheon, way back in 2014.

She shot off the blocks very strong in the final as well and appeared to be peaking just at the right time, when she edged ahead of Manu at the end of the 20th shot of the 24-shot final.

The duo were well clear of the chasing pack of six from the very onset of the final. At the end of the 22nd shot, Kanyakom was a point clear of Manu and had a lead of 0.9 on the last shot.

Manu shot a 9.8 while Kanyakom faltered with a 7.9 to seal the deal for the Indian. Manu finished with 235.9 to Kanyakom’s 234.9 while Kaiman Liu of China got the bronze with 214.2.

After briefly being in contention for the bronze, India’s Devanshi Rana finished fourth with a finals score of 195.3.

The Indian trio of Manu, Devanshi and Mahima logged a combined 1693 to win the team gold ahead of China (silver with 1681) and Thailand (bronze with 1673).

India also picked up another gold, two silvers and two bronze medals on the day to log a total of five gold, two silvers and five bronze, just behind China who have six golds.

India won the team gold in the junior men’s 10m Air Pistol when the trio of Gaurav Rana, Anmol Jain and Arjun Singh Cheema produced a combined effort of 1718.

Gaurav and Anmol also bagged silver and bronze in the individual event. Gaurav shot 233.9 in the individual final to finish well behind China’s Zhehao Wang who shot 242.5 for gold. Anmol shot 215.1 to settle for silver.

A second Indian team comprising Anhad Jawanda, Abhishek Arya and Adarsh Singh also got Bronze in the event with a combined effort of 1675.

India’s second silver medal of the tournament came in the Mixed Team Trap event where Manisha Keer partnered Ali Aman Elahi to finsih second with a score of 34 out of 50 hits in the final.

The gold went to the Italian pair of Petroni and Sessa who hit 38 birds in the final. China got the bronze.

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Aadil Anand wins 2 gold at Tunisian Junior & Cadet TT meet



Adil Anand

Rades (Tunisia), March 24: Paddler Aadil Anand delivered two gold medals as India bagged six medals in the Tunisia Junior and Cadet Open which concluded here.

Aadil,12, upstaged Algeria’s Abdelwahab Bellahsene 3-1 (11-6, 9-11, 11-5, 11-6) to claim the honours in the Mini-Cadet Singles on Friday and then teamed up with Payas Jain for the Cadet Boys doubles gold, according to a release.

The Indian duo cruised past the local pair of Aziz Jerbi and Amine Mohamed Oueslati in straight games 11-9, 11-7, 11-8 for their triumph.

Overall, the young lads bagged a rich haul of two gold, two silver and two bronze medals for the country in the ITTF Junior World Junior Circuit tournament.

Aadil was over the moon on his maiden success for the country and thanked the Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI) and former national champion and acclaimed coach Kamlesh Mehta for his guidance.

“I am so happy that after three years of hard work, I am being rewarded for my efforts. I will cherish this for a long time, particularly as it’s my first title for India. I believe this will spur me on for subsequent tournaments,” he said.

Payas had to settle for the silver in the Cadet Boys Singles losing the title clash to China’s Liu Menglong 3-1 (6-11, 13-11, 11-9, 11-7).

Manush Shah put up a gallant display in the Junior Boys Singles final but had to be content with a silver medal as he failed to get past Iran’s Amin Ahmadian, losing 2-4 (7-11, 11-5, 11-9, 8-11, 10-12, 9-11).

Manush also secured a bronze as he and Manav Thakkar were the losing semi-finalists in the Junior Boys doubles. They went down to the Chinese pair of Wang Yihao and Zhang Shangzheng 1-3.

Mainak Nistala, who lost to Aadil in the semi-finals of the Mini-Cadet boys’ singles, picked up the other bronze medal.


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Commonwealth Games 2018: PV Sindhu to be India’s flag-bearer



PV Sindhu

New Delhi, March 24: PV Sindhu, the silver medallist at the Rio Olympics, was on Saturday chosen as the flag-bearer of the Indian contingent for the opening ceremony of the 2018 Commonwealth Games (CWG) in Gold Coast, Australia.

The CWG opening ceremony will be held on April 4.

World No. 3 Sindhu is one of the favorites to win the badminton women’s singles title in Gold Coast after reaching the semi-finals of the All England championships last week.

With Japan and China not part of the Commonwealth, Sindhu should have little problem in her bid to win a medal in Gold Coast. And depending on the draw, Sindhu’s stiffest test could be against compatriot Saina Nehwal.

Sindhu had earlier won a bronze medal bronze in the 2014 edition of the multi-sport event.

Sindhu had earlier won a bronze medal bronze in the 2014 edition of the multi-sport event.

Sindhu had also bagged a silver medal at last year’s Badminton World Championships.

India will see participation of 222 athletes from 15 different sports including Aquatics, Athletics, Badminton, Basketball, Boxing, Cycling, Gymnastics, Hockey, Lawn bowls, Shooting, Squash, Table Tennis, Weightlifting, Wrestling and Para Sports in the quadrennial sport.


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