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Women’s T20 WC: India enter maiden final after washout

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ICC Women's World T20
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Sydney, March 5 (IANS) India have qualified for the final of the ongoing Women’s T20 World Cup after their semi-final clash against England got washed out at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Thursday. Persistent rain since morning delayed the toss and eventually the semi-final had to be called off without a ball being bowled.

India have made it to their first-ever T20 World Cup final by virtue of finishing at the top of the points table in Group A with eight points. After defeating defending champions Australia in the opening game, they didn’t look back and registered comprehensive wins against Bangladesh, New Zealand and Sri Lanka to finish the group at the top.

England, on the other hand, had finished Group B at the second spot with six points.

India captain Harmanpreet Kaur expressed disappointment after the game got cancelled and said: “It is unfortunate not to get a game due to the weather. But that’s how the rules go. In future, it would be nice to have a reserve day. From day one, we knew that we have to win all the games because if in case we don’t get any play in the semi-finals, it will be hard for us.”

Harmanpreet also credited the team for their comprehensive wins in the group stage and hoped they would be able to replicate the performance in the final to be played at the MCG on Sunday, which co-incides with the International Women’s Day.

“As a team, we just want to go out there and play our best cricket. I feel that if we can play our best cricket, we will have a strong chance. We aren’t thinking about whom we want to face and just focusing on our game,” she said.

Meanwhile, England captain Heather Knight said it was frustrating for her team as they didn’t want their World Cup campaign to end in such a manner.

“It’s frustrating. We didn’t want the World Cup to end this way but not much you can do about this. It would have been good to have a reserve day perhaps,” Heather said.

Earlier, Cricket Australia had made a last-minute request of having a reserve day for the semi-finals. Cricket Australia’s chief executive Kevin Roberts on Wednesday revealed that the request was made to the ICC, which the apex body declined.

India will face the winner of the other semi-final between Australia and South Africa to be played at the same venue.

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Happy Indian cricket got Dhoni because he is unbelievable: Ganguly

Dhoni has played 90 Tests, 350 ODIs and 98 T20Is for India, amassing over 17,000 international runs.

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Sourav Ganguly

Kolkata, July 7 : Mahendra Singh Dhoni is not only one of the best finishers in world cricket, he is a destructive top-order batsman too who should bat higher up, feels former India captain and BCCI President Sourav Ganguly. Dhoni, regarded as one of India’s finest leaders, turned 39 on Tuesday. It was under Ganguly that the Ranchi wicketkeeper batsman made his debut and went on to win all ICC trophies for India, the only captain to do so.

During a chat with India Test opener Mayank Agarwal which was shared by BCCI with hashtag #DadaOpensWithMayank, Agarwal asked him: “Your word got Mahi bhai picked in the Indian team and the rest is history. Is that a myth or a reality?”

“That”s true but that”s my job isn”t it. That”s every captain”s job…pick the best and make the best team possible,” Ganguly replied.

“You go by your instincts. You go by the faith of that player that he will deliver for you.

“I”m happy that Indian cricket got Mahendra Singh Dhoni because he is unbelievable.”

“One of the great finishers in the world, said Agarwal.

“One of the great players in world cricket. Not just a finisher, I think everyone talks about the way he finishes lower down the order…he batted at No. 3 when I was captain. He got 140 against Pakistan in Vizag..I always believe that he should bat up the order because he is so destructive,” Ganguly opined.

“You know the best player in the shorter format has the ability to hit boundaries at will. You look over a period of time, the history of one-day cricket…the best players can find the fence under pressure consistently and M.S. Dhoni was one of them,” he added.

Cricket fraternity thronged social media to extend birthday wishes for Dhoni who led India to an ICC 50-over World Cup, T20 World Cup and Champions Trophy in 2013. He even led India to the number one ranking in both Test and ODI formats.

Dhoni has been on a sabbatical ever since the semi-finals of the 2019 World Cup where India lost to New Zealand. It”s been almost a year that he has been away from the cricket field, yet conversations about his return or future retirement have never died out in the time since and he still remains one of the most talked about cricketers in the present era.

Dhoni has played 90 Tests, 350 ODIs and 98 T20Is for India, amassing over 17,000 international runs.

Speculations about his retirement from all forms of international cricket have been on ever since the 2019 World Cup. But Dhoni has still not made any such announcement. However, one thing is for certain, whenever he hangs his boots, it will be a day when the entire country will have tears in their eyes, just like when Sachin Tendulkar drew curtains on his 24-year-old long career in Mumbai.

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Eng vs WI: Anderson & Broad deserve to play 1st Test, says Hussain

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Nassar Hussain

London, July 6 : Former England captain Nasser Hussain feels veteran pacers James Anderson and Stuart Broad deserve to be in the playing XI for the team’s first Test against West Indies starting Wednesday.

The first Test of the three-match series is scheduled to be played at Ageas Bowl, followed by two matches at the Old Trafford from July 16 and 24 respectively.

Hussain stated England are going to rotate the bowlers around, considering workload management, as they will take on Pakistan right after the conclusion of the West Indies series.

“A lot will be made of the first Test selection, but the bowlers are going to be rotated. I would start with Anderson and Broad because they deserve it. Then I”d leave (Chris) Woakes out and pick one of (Mark) Wood or (Jofra) Archer,” Hussain was quoted as saying by Daily Mail.

“I”d probably go for Wood because he bowled very well in his last two Tests in South Africa, but Archer is a serious bowler so I”d have no problem with him instead,” he added.

However, according to a report in The Guardian, Broad “faces the prospect of missing a first home Test match in eight years as England give serious consideration to unleashing the dual pace of Jofra Archer and Mark Wood at the earliest opportunity”.

West Indies Test skipper Jason Holder had earlier warned their opponents against taking them lightly and Hussain agreed with him.

Pointing towards their potent bowling attack, Hussain stated they will pose a big threat to the high-profile England line-up in the forthcoming series.

“They are a threat, especially the bowling. With Shannon Gabriel alongside Kemar Roach, Alzarri Joseph and Holder (left), nobody is going to get easy runs,” Hussain said.

“But the batting looks flimsy with no Darren Bravo or Shimron Hetmyer. Shai Hope and Kraigg Brathwaite will have to repeat their Headingley form of last time.

“England are very difficult to beat at home and West Indies haven”t won here for a long time, so I”m going for an England win — but you”d be a fool to write off West Indies because they thrive on being written off.”

West Indies had famously beaten England during the previous series between the two sides that was played in the Carribbean Islands. A draw in the series would be enough for them to retain the Wisden trophy.

–IANS

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We definitely spoke to Rahul Dravid: Ex-CoA chief Rai on India coach job

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Vinod Rai

New Delhi, July 6 : Former Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Committee of Administrators (CoA) chairman Vinod Rai recently lifted the lid as to why former captain Rahul Dravid turned down Team India”s coaching job following the end of Anil Kumble’s tenure.

In 2017, Kumble resigned from the high-profile role after his relationship with skipper Virat Kohli became ”untenable”. Dravid was approached by the CoA but he opted against taking the job citing personal reasons.

“Rahul was very upfront with us,” Rai told Sportskeeda during a Facebook live session. “He said ”look I have two boys growing up at home and I have been travelling with the Indian team all over the world and I am not able to give time and attention to them, I think I must stay at home also. And give time to my family”.

“I think that was a very fair request and though he would have been uppermost in mind. So, he was very much in the zone of consideration,” he added.

Rai also revealed Dravid wanted to continue as the coach of the India U-19 team as he wanted to complete the work that he had started with the Colts. Current head coach Ravi Shastri was eventually handed over the reigns of the senior team.

“Look, in terms of potential for coaching, Dravid, Shastri and Kumble are the best in the business,” Rai said.

“We definitely spoke to Rahul. He was engaged with the Under-19 team and he was involved with them. He had developed a road map on how to develop a team.

“He was bringing out fantastic results. He wanted to continue because he felt that there were some unfinished task with that team and he wanted to do it.”

Dravid was later appointed as the head of circket at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in July, 2019 and Rai said: “He was very kind and very gracious in accepting that and committing himself to the NCA.”

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