'Incredible Test series win': Wasim Akram hails India's historic triumph

Agencies
January 20, 2021

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Brisbane, Jan 20: Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram applauded Team India for their remarkable turnaround in the Test series against Australia.

India beat Australia by three wickets against all odds in the final Test of the series at The Gabba on Tuesday to take the series 2-1.

Akram, who is one the best bowlers cricket has ever seen, said he hasn't seen a bold, brave, and boisterous Asian side on a tougher tour of Australia before this achievement.

"Incredible Test & series win for India have not seen a bold, brave and boisterous Asian team on a tougher tour of Australia. No adversity could stop them, frontline players injured, & won after a remarkable turn around from the depths of 36 all out, inspiring for others. kudos India," Akram tweeted.

The last time a visiting team came out triumphant from the Brisbane Cricket Ground was back in November 1988 when the mighty West Indian outfit under the leadership of Viv Richards thrashed Allan Border's team by 9 wickets.

What makes the feat even more commendable is how the Indians fought multiple injuries and mental fatigue - due to the bio-bubble restrictions -- to register a historic win.

In the first Test against Australia, India was bundled out for 36 and there were many pundits who said the visiting team will face a 4-0 drubbing. But proving every critic wrong, the Ajinkya Rahane-led side registered famous victories at Melbourne and Brisbane.

The side also recorded a famous draw at Sydney and at every step of the way, this line-up overcame adversity.
India's memorable win has also ensured they toppled Australia in the ICC Test Team Rankings to claim the second spot. 

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March 2,2021

Virat Kohli Becomes First Indian to Breach 100-Million Followers Mark on  Instagram

Mumbai, Mar 1: Skipper Virat Kohli has become the first Indian cricketer to hit 100 million followers on photo and video sharing social networking platform Instagram.
 
Kohli has joined Juventus striker Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, Argentine forward Lionel Messi, Hollywood actor and former pro-wrestler Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson, American singer-songwriter Beyonce, and Ariana Grande in the 100 million club.

Kohli is also the fourth most followed sportsperson on Instagram.

Ronaldo tops the chart with 265 million followers, while Barcelona captain Messi and Brazil's Neymar stand second and third in the list with 186 million and 147 million followers respectively.

Speaking of cricketers, Virat Kohli has more than three times the followers of second-placed MS Dhoni (30.4 million).

Apart from Instagram, Kohli also has a massive fan-following on other social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. As of now, he has 40.8 million followers on Twitter, while he has over 36 million likes on Facebook.

Recently, Kohli had upstaged Bollywood stars Akshay Kumar and Ranveer Singh to retain the top spot in India's most-valuable celebrity list. According to the Celebrity Brand Valuation Study 2020 by Duff & Phelps, the Indian skipper was reportedly crowned as India's most valuable celebrity with a brand value of $237.7 million.

Kohli is currently leading the Indian side in a four-test series against England at home. India lead the series 2-1 after their dramatic victory by 10 wickets in the pink-ball test at Ahmedabad. India need to either win or draw the last test, which will also be played at the same venue, to qualify for the World Test Championship final.

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February 22,2021

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Ahmedabad, Feb 22: Brushing aside the incessant talk around spin-friendly pitches in India, big-hitting England all-rounder Ben Stokes has said that Test players should be proficient in handling all kinds of conditions.

Ahead of the day/night Test here starting Wednesday, Stokes wondered how the newly-refurbished Motera strip would behave but at the same time, stressed that top-flight cricketers should be able to deal with whatever they are faced with.

"The thing about being a Test batsman is that you need to be able to handle all types of conditions. India is one of the places where it is a lot tougher for overseas batsmen to come and be successful, but then so too is England," he wrote in a column for the 'Daily Mirror'.

"And that is part of the game, the challenges and why we love it," he said.

The turning tracks in India became a talking point during the ongoing series when some former England players such as Michael Vaughan asked whether such strips were ideal for Test cricket.

The series is tied at 1-1 after India's brilliant 317-run triumph in the second Test in Chennai. Stokes' bowling quota of just two overs in that game raised a few eyebrows but he said it was about

"Don't read too much into the fact that I didn't bowl a huge amount in the second game, I'm sure if it was a green seamer I would have bowled a lot more overs.

"I think there may be more reason for me to bowl under lights in the next game if it will help the team."

A lot is at stake for both India and England in the four-match series as the World Test Championships final spot is still up for grabs. While India need to win one and draw another to make it, England will have to triumph in both the remaining games.

Stokes said nobody has the slightest clue how the track would behave.

"Generally around the world whenever these pink ball games are played there is always a period when the ball starts doing a bit under lights and it brings the seamers right into the game," Stokes wrote.

"For us out here that will be massive. And at a brand new ground that looks pretty impressive no-one will know just how it will react.

"We've got a good spin department, but hopefully with conditions that suit, we've certainly got a seam department to back them up strongly."

Stokes said the Test triumph of the English team that toured in 2012 has been an inspiration for the current side.

"There aren't too many teams who come away from India with a series win.

The lads from 2012 are rightly proud of their achievement and the rest of us want to join Rooty, Jonny, Jimmy and Broady in achieving it for ourselves, and what a chance we've got," the 29-year-old said.

The outcome of the first two Test was pretty much decided by the team batting first and posting a massive total. If it was England in first Test, India did the same in the second. Stokes acknowledged the "scoreboard pressure".

"Scoreboard pressure in Test cricket is probably at its most prominent in the sub-continent, and plays a massive part in trying to win the game.

"The good thing is we know what it takes to win out here, so it is about putting that into practice once more, learning what we can from the second Test and delivering this week," he wrote.

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March 4,2021

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Basel, Mar 4: Indian shuttler PV Sindhu got off to a winning start in the Swiss Open as she defeated Neslihan Yigit of Turkey here on Wednesday.

Sindhu secured a 21-16, 21-19 win over Yigit in the match to progress to the second round. She started off brilliantly in the first game, taking a 10-5 lead but her opponent managed to end the lead, with scores reading 11-11.

Sindhu then again took a lead and then maintained it throughout, winning the first game 21-16. In the second game, Yigit gave a tough competition to Sindhu but the latter held her nerves and went on to win the game.

Earlier in the day, the Indian men's doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty started their campaign on a high as they outclassed Scottish pair Christopher Grimley and Matthew Grimley in the first round of the Swiss Open.

Rankiredddy and Chirag won the hard-fought first set 21-18 but went down in the second essay as the Scottish pair fired an array of shots to diffuse the Indian attack.

The Indian pair in the third set took a lead early and then maintained a gap throughout the set to clinch the match comfortably 21-18, 19-21, 21-16.

Also, Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth defeated compatriot Sameer Verma in the first round of the ongoing Swiss Open here on Wednesday. Srikanth secured an 18-21, 21-18, 21-11 win over Verma to progress to the next round of the tournament.

However, HS Prannoy crashed out of the tournament after losing to Dutch badminton player Mark Caljouw 21-19, 9-21, 21-17. 

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