In his prime, Gavaskar was called the Mumbai Bradman: Ravi Shastri

Agencies
January 6, 2021

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Sydney, Jan 6: India head coach Ravi Shastri unveiled the portrait of his former skipper Sunil Gavaskar for the Bowral Museum on the eve of the third Test against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Wednesday.

Shastri showered praise on his former skipper and explained why he believes that Gavaskar was the best opening batsman he had seen.

"Gavaskar is easily the best opening batsman I have ever seen. I had the privilege to play under him. He was the master tactician, nothing fazed him. 13 hundred against West Indies is a tribute to the way he played the game and in his prime, he was called the Mumbai Bradman when he was getting all those hundreds. For me it's an honour to unveil this," Shastri said in a video posted by BCCI.

The coach also launched a new book 'India's 71-Year Test: The Journey to Triumph in Australia'.

According to a report in cricket.com.au, the book features more than 200 pictures, many of which were found languishing in the United States of America (USA) and purchased by former Australia Test opener Wally Edwards who donated them to the Bradman Museum collection.

"It was an honour because the history of Indian cricket and Australian cricket goes deep. I was fascinated after reading the first four or five chapters of this book," said Shastri.

"You get goosebumps in the early stages, Lala Amarnath coming here, Vinoo Mankad coming here. Bradman playing against India and India playing against New South Wales, Hazare getting 200, it's fascinating," he added.

Meanwhile, the four-match series between India and Australia currently stands level at 1-1 and the third Test is slated to be played at the SCG from Thursday.

Rohit Sharma made a return to the Indian team for the Pink Test against Australia while pacer Navdeep Saini is set to make his debut in the longest format of the game.

India on Wednesday named the playing XI for the Pink Test. Opening batsman Mayank Agarwal has been dropped from the side as Rohit replaces him. Gill will open the innings with Rohit after playing knocks of 45 and 35* in his debut Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Saini comes in for speedster Umesh Yadav. The latter sustained a strain in his left calf muscle on Day 3 of the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne and has returned to India after he was ruled out of the series.

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February 23,2021

MI not just an IPL club, but a finishing school, feel Ishan Kishan and  Suryakumar

New Delhi, Feb 23: Five-time Indian Premier League (IPL) champions Mumbai Indians has over the years proved that it is one of the most successful clubs in world cricket. While the team definitely boasts of some world-class performers like Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya and Kieron Pollard among others, what makes the club stand out is its vision and keenness to back raw talent and turn them into finished products.

A look at the 2020 edition of the IPL itself bears testimony to the fact that the team management relied not just on international performers like Pollard or Quinton de Kock or Trent Boult, but also on the likes of Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav.
While Ishan finished with 516 runs from 14 games - the most for MI in the last edition - Suryakumar picked 480 runs from 16 games. In fact, his calm and composed nature saw former cricketers calling for his inclusion in the team for the limited-overs series against Australia.

Even though Suryakumar missed the bus for the Australia tour, both him and Ishan are a part of the Indian team for the England T20Is. The twin call-up has once again showed that the MI franchise is more a finishing school which believes in creating the perfect bench strength for the national team.

Speaking to ANI, Ishan threw light on his journey with MI. "What I have gained in the last three years at Mumbai Indians will always remain with me as the bedrock of my cricket. Difficult for me to break it down into details, but it was more of the mentorship I would reckon from the coaches, captain and Zaheer Sir, which really helped me; and my conversations with Akash Sir, he always shown faith in me."

"When I came to Mumbai Indians, I was still someone trying to figure out the transition from being a U-19 cricketer to making it to the other side as a professional. To be honest here, the management at Mumbai Indians brought a lot of discipline in me, at times pushed me hard, and yet allowed me to express myself freely. Now when I look back, I feel this is the best that has ever happened to my game and to me personally," he smiled.

Echoing the sentiments, Suryakumar threw light on the vision that the MI unit has and how it helps youngsters to rise through the ranks.

"I would say Mumbai Indians is as an institution. The entire set up, the system and process is a notch higher when it comes to Mumbai Indians. They have clear vision, and that's what has helped me in my process and the progression I needed to become a better cricketer," he told ANI.

While Ishan and Suryakumar have hogged the limelight since their national call-up, the MI team management has been working overtime with these guys for the last few years.

The reason behind Mumbai Indians' consistent success over the years is the management's focus on creating a robust network of scouting system which identifies raw talent and nurtures them into professional cricketers.

Suryakumar is a classic example of how Mumbai Indians identified his style of playing, created a position for him in the team where he is able to showcase his potential and backed him all through. Ishan is another case study how Mumbai Indians saw his potential early on. He was quite raw when he came to the MI camp. But the scouts and management were clear of his capabilities.

Even though the likes of Hardik and Bumrah are now international performers, they too were picked up early by MI. In recent years, Mumbai Indians have expanded their scouting programme internationally and the purchase of young South Africa cricketer Marco Jansen once again showcases MI's belief in investing in the youth.

The MI family has always maintained that they are not looking at immediate success and wish to create a long-lasting impact. In fact, owner Akash Ambani mentioned this after Jansen was picked at the auction.

"He (Marco) is a name we have been tracking for two years. We have an international scouting programme in place, like the Indian scouting programme. What Marco brings to the table is that he is relatively young, 6.8 ft, a left arm fast bowler who can swing the new ball and can bat at No.8. Now am sure with Mahela (Jayawardene), Zak (Zaheer Khan) and all the support staff we will be able to unearth the potential," he said.

He also backed the call to bring in youngsters like Arjun Tendulkar and Yudhvir Charak. "We believe that we have the environment to help individuals reach their potential. It's very important that his (Arjun) process and progression happens just as any other young cricketer," he pointed.

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February 27,2021

IND vs ENG: Jasprit Bumrah released from Test squad due to 'personal reasons'  | Cricket News – India TV

Chennai, Feb 27: Fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah was on Saturday released from India's squad for the fourth Test against England, beginning on Thursday, due to personal reasons, the BCCI said.

The Board said no addition to India's squad will be made for the final Test.

"Jasprit Bumrah made a request to BCCI to be released from India's squad ahead of the fourth Test owing to personal reasons," BCCI Secretary Jay Shah said in a media release.

"Accordingly, the fast bowler has been released and he will not be available for selection for the fourth Test."

Bumrah has already been rested for the white-ball series coming up after the four-Test series.

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February 20,2021

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Melbourne, Feb 20: Japan's Naomi Osaka beat Jennifer Brady in straight sets in the Australian Open final to win her fourth major title on Saturday.

Osaka edged a tight first set and broke the American twice in the second to win 6-4, 6-3 in 77 minutes in front of thousands of fans at Rod Laver Arena.

Third seed Osaka preserves her 100 percent record in Grand Slam finals after winning the 2018 and 2020 US Opens and the 2019 title in Melbourne.

The 23-year-old, who also becomes the first woman since Monica Seles to win her first four major finals, will now rise to second in the world rankings.

Osaka, rated as the world's top-earning female athlete, saved two match points in the fourth round against Garbine Muguruza before going on to lift the trophy.

Osaka, who also beat her idol Serena Williams in straight sets in the semi-finals, has not lost a match in more than a year.

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