Never ever, ever underestimate the Indians: Langer

Agencies
January 20, 2021

Never ever, ever underestimate the Indians: Langer

Adelaide, Jan 20: "Never ever, ever underestimate" the Indians, said Australia head coach Justin Langer following their Test series loss against the Ajinkya Rahane-led side.

An injury-ravaged India, fielding a second string team, on Tuesday defeated Australia by three wickets in the series-deciding fourth Test at the Gabba, a month after the Adelaide debacle where the visitors were bundled out for their lowest ever Test total of 36. India became the first team to beat Australia at the Gabba in a Test match since Viv Richards' all-conquering West Indies team in November 1988.

"It was an incredible Test series and in the end there is always a winner or a loser. Today Test cricket is the winner. It's going to hurt us big time. India deserved full credit. They have been outstanding but we have learnt lessons from it," Langer told Channel 7 after the Brisbane Test.

"First, you can never take anything for granted, second never ever, ever underestimate the Indians. There are 1.5 billion Indians and if you play in that first eleven you got to be really tough, don't you?" he added.

The former Australia opener Langer said India put up a remarkable fightback after the Adelaide debacle especially after the ouster of big players like Jasprit Bumrah, Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin due to injuries.

Ashwin and Hanuma Vihari managed to eke out a draw in the third Test that kept the series level. Both players were injured after that along with frontline fast bowler Bumrah which led to India having to field debutants Washington Sundar and T Natarajan in the fourth Test. Shardul Thakur, who had played just one Test before that, was also included while Mohammed Siraj, who made his debut in the second Test, was pushed to being India's new ball bowler.

"I can't compliment India enough. They haven't gone away after that first Test match which we won in three days, bowled them out for 30 odd. For them to fight back like they did is amazing, credit to them. The big lesson for us is that you can't take anything for granted. India never got away," he said.

Rishabh Pant and Shubman Gill were the stars on the final day of the fourth Test in which India chased down a target of 238. Gill scored 91 while Pant was unbeaten on 89. Langer said that the latter's innings reminded him of England all-rounder Ben Stokes's 135 at Headingley during the third Ashes Test in 2019 in which he smashed 75 runs with no.11 Jack Leach at the other end to take England to victory by one wicket .

"It was an amazing effort. (Rishabh) Pant's innings somewhat reminded me of Ben Stokes's innings in Headingley actually. He came in, he was almost fearless and he will be lauded because of it. It was an unbelievable innings," Langer said in his praise of the Indian wicket keeper-batsman.

"I thought young (Shubman) Gill (91) batted very well. Their young bowling attack kept us under pressure throughout the match and as I said India deserve full credit."

Langer also said that he was proud of his bowlers for the efforts they put in throughout the series.

"From our point of view, we had the same four bowlers (Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon and Mitchell Starc) who have gone hard, they have stood up and they have worked so hard but unfortunately we didn't get over the line today," he said.

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Agencies
February 27,2021

Surprisingly, Ravi Shastri indulges in 'banter' on social media

Mumbai, Feb 27: The Indian cricket team's landslide win over England in the third Test match seems to have allowed coach Ravi Shastri to indulge in humour on social media. In a rare reply to a tweet, Shastri on Saturday wrote "love the banter" on his handle.

The tweet has a reference to India's 10-wicket win over England in the third Test in Ahmedabad, Gujarat - a 'dry' state where liquor is prohibited. The win was registered inside two days of the five-day match, allowing players three days to practice and indulge in other activities.

It all started with a meme on social media. It carried a smiling photo of Shastri with these words attributed to the former India captain: "you thought I'd stay in a dry state for 5 days?" The reference was to the prohibition in Gujarat.

But whoever made the meme probably forgot that the next Test match will also be played in Ahmedabad, starting on March 4, so Shastri would have to stay put in the bio bubble in the city.

Well-known writer and author Shobhaa De, 73, tweeted the meme and tagged former Shastri.

Surprisingly, Shastri, 58, reacted. "Love the banter ! Feels good to bring some smiles in these tough times," he tweeted in reply.

Shastri, a successful all-rounder, played 80 Tests and scored 3,830 runs and captured 151 wickets. In 150 One-day Internationals, the left-arm spinner bagged 129 wickets and scored 3,108 runs.

After retirement, Shastri switched to television commentary and has had a few stints as coach of the Indian team.

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Agencies
February 15,2021

castesit.jpg

Hisar, Feb 15: The Haryana Police has filed an FIR against former India cricketer Yuvraj Singh over his alleged casteist remarks against Yuzvendra Chahal during an Instagram chat last year, officials said on Monday.

It was during one of the Instagram live sessions with Indian vice-captain Rohit Sharma when Yuvraj made the offensive comment about Chahal, while talking about his regular social media posts.

Singh (39) had apologised for the remarks, saying he "unintentionally" hurt public sentiments.

"An FIR has been filed against Yuvraj Singh based on a complaint by lawyer Rajat Kalsan at the Hansi Police Station," Hansi Superintendent of Police, Nikita Gahlaut said on Monday. 

She said the case was lodged on Sunday under various provisions of IPC and the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

Kalsan had filed the police complaint last year.

Police said the FIR has been lodged under IPC sections 153 (giving provocation with intent to cause riot), 153 A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc.) and under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities), Act.

Kalsan had alleged that Singh's comment had hurt the sentiments of the Dalit community, stating that a large number of people had watched the video on social media.

The lawyer had also complained to Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij, who had ordered the Haryana Director General of Police to take action in the matter.
Kalsan had also filed a petition in the special court established under the SC/ST Act in Hisar. The court had summoned the status report of the case from Hansi police.

Expressing regret over the comments, the former India cricketer had tweeted, "I understand that while I was having a conversation with my friends, I was misunderstood, which was unwarranted. However, as a responsible Indian I want to say that if I have unintentionally hurt anybody's sentiments or feelings, I would like to express regret for the same."

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Agencies
February 19,2021

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Chennai, Feb 19: Mumbai Indians head coach Mahela Jayawardene said it is 'disheartening' that no Sri Lankan player was picked in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 mini-auction on Thursday and added that the island players need to lift their game in order to feature in the tournament.

Lasith Malinga's decision to retire and Royal Challengers Bangalore's decision to release Isuru Udana ahead of the auction means that no Sri Lankan player will be part of the league for the first time in its history.

However, Udana, Kusal Perera and Thisara Perera were part of the auction but all went unsold while rookie Jaffna leg-spinner Vijayakanth Vilasanti made it among the 298 players that were shortlisted to go under the hammer.

"I think we still have the representation, so we're happy (joking about him and Sangakkara being in the IPL). But yeah, a bit disappointed. I'm sure a few of the guys were on the radar, but I think it's a tough place because you're looking at 20-odd slots for the overseas players and the majority of the slots were for those fast bowlers and all-rounders, which I think Sri Lanka lacks a little bit of that," ESPNcricinfo quoted Jayawardene as saying.

"But I'm sure the younger generation will come through and till then, it is disheartening but that is what it is. IPL is a place where you try and get the best players in world cricket to come and play. And it's a good message for the Sri Lankan players to lift their game up, get competitive, so they could be part of the IPL on their merit," he added.

In the players' auction held on Thursday, defending champions Mumbai Indians picked up, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Jimmy Neesham, Yudhvir Charak, Marco Jansen, Arjun Tendulkar and Piyush Chawla.

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