Thought he must be joking: Tewatia when Chahal broke news of India call-up

Agencies
February 22, 2021

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Mumbai, Feb 22: Rahul Tewatia was told that he had been selected for the Indian team by his Haryana teammate Yuzvendra Chahal and the all-rounder wondered whether to take the news seriously at first. Tewatia, Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav all received call-ups to the Indian T20I team that will face England in five matches starting on March 12.

"When Yuzi bhai (Chahal) informed me, my first reaction was that he must be joking. I never thought I would get picked now. Mohit bhaiya (Sharma) also came to my room to inform me," Tewatia told The Indian Express.

Tewatia said that he knew he had to make most of his chances whenever he got them as Haryana has three spinners who have played for India.

"Life has always thrown challenges. Haryana has three spinners who have already played for India; Amit Mishra, Chahal and Jayant Yadav. I always knew that if I get an opportunity, I must make it count. People had noticed me after the IPL. I thought if I continue to do well, I could get picked for the Indian team," he added.

The five-match T20I series will be played entirely at the Sardar Patel stadium in Motera and ends on March 20. This will be followed by an ODI series of three matches in Pune from March 23 to 28.

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Agencies
February 19,2021

It was nerve-wracking, my parents had tears of joy: Gowtham

Ahmedabad, Feb 19: A net bowler with the Indian team right now, uncapped Karnataka all-rounder Krishnappa Gowtham is still trying to get a grip on his emotions after fetching a mind-boggling Rs 9.25 crore deal with Chennai Super Kings which left his parents and wife overwhelmed by tears of joy.

After a bidding war at the IPL auction in Chennai on Thursday, Gowtham was bought by CSK, his price surpassing that of Krunal Pandya's then record of Rs 8.8 crore by the Mumbai Indians in 2018 for an uncapped player.

"It was nerve-wracking, I was very anxious, watching on TV," Gowtham, who is currently with the Indian Test team here as a net bowler for the series against England, told ESPNcricinfo.

"We'd just landed in Ahmedabad and I'd just switched on TV and my name came up. Emotions were changing every minute. Then, Rohit Sharma and Hardik Pandya knocked on my door and gave me a big hug and they asked for a big treat."

His base price was Rs 20 lakh, and he was quickly the focus of a fierce bidding war between the Kolkata Knight Riders and the Sunrisers Hyderabad, before CSK swooped in with a late bid.

The 32-year-old off-spin all-rounder from Karnataka has modest IPL statistics. He has played just 24 matches in three seasons since 2018 and has scored 186 runs and taken 13 wickets.

He was a part of Rajasthan Royals for two seasons -- 2018 and 2019 playing 15 and 7 matches respectively -- and was with Kings XI Punjab (now Punjab Kings) in 2020 where he featured in just two games before being released.

Gowtham's parents and wife in Bengaluru were in tears when they came to know of the good news.

"My parents had tears, happy tears. They were all so happy for me," Gowtham said.

"It's hard to describe that feeling. It's all just sinking in. Obviously this isn't the first time I've been part of the auction but every time your name comes up, the kind of butterflies in your tummy is unimaginable."

Gowtham, an India A regular, will be playing under Mahendra Singh Dhoni at the CSK and he remembers queuing up with a few other uncapped players to get his bat signed by the legendary wicketkeeper batsman after an IPL game three years ago.

"The first time I met him, I asked MS what I needed to do to take my game to the next level," Gowtham recalled.

"It was a fanboy moment. After that, I've managed to chat with him a couple of times, haven't really had long chats, they have just been short and simple. I'm waiting to now join the set-up and have many fruitful conversations with him. It's an exciting feeling to play for CSK."

Five years ago, things were tough for Gowtham when he was gripped by self-doubt.

He had been reported for a suspect action that needed remodelling.

Then, he was not picked by his state team Karnataka even after his bowling action was deemed legal.

"It was tough sitting out, yes there weren't too many opportunities, but I tried to make the most of my time. That is the kind of person I am, you have to keep learning and improving every day," he said.

"I worked on my fitness, worked hard on improving my skills in the nets and making the most of learning from Anil Kumble and other senior coaches so that I could be ready whenever the opportunities comes.

"Keep giving your best. Every day is a new opportunity. My aim is to be a better version of my previous self. Day by day, keep getting better. It's just that simple."

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Agencies
February 19,2021

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Mumbai, Feb 19: India captain Virat Kohli has revealed that he battled depression during a harrowing tour of England in 2014 where he felt like the "loneliest guy in the world" after a string of failures with the bat.

In a conversation with former England player Mark Nicholas on his 'Not Just Cricket' podcast, Kohli conceded that went through a tough phase during the particularly difficult tour.

"Yes, I did," was his response when asked whether he had suffered from depression at the time.

"...it's not a great feeling to wake up knowing that you won't be able to score runs and I think all batsmen have felt that at some stage that you are not in control of anything at all," he recalled.

Kohli had a disastrous tour of England in 2014, registering scores of 1, 8, 25, 0, 39, 28, 0,7, 6 and 20 in five Tests, averaging 13.50 in his 10 innings. He roared back to form in the tour of Australia after that, accumulating 692 runs in the Test series.

"You just don't understand how to get over it. That was a phase when I literally couldn't do anything to overturn things...I felt like I was the loneliest guy in the world," he said of the England tour.

Kohli remembered feeling alone despite the fact that there were supportive people in his life. He said professional help was what he needed.

"Personally, for me that was a revelation that you could feel that lonely even though you a part of a big group. I won't say I didn't have people who I could speak to but not having a professional to speak to who could understand what I am going through completely, I think is a huge factor.

"I think I would like to see it change."

The India captain, considered one of the best batsmen in modern cricket, believes mental health issues cannot be overlooked as they can destroy a person's career.

"Someone whom you can go to at any stage, have a conversation around and say 'Listen this is what I am feeling, I am finding it hard to even go to sleep, I feel like I don't want to wake up in the morning. I have no confidence in myself, what do I do?'

"Lot of people suffer with that feeling for longer periods of time, it carries on for months, it carries on for a whole cricket season, people are not able to get out of it," Kohli said.

"I strongly feel the need for professional help there to be very honest," he added.

Kohli is currently in Ahemdabad for ongoing home Test series against England. The two teams have won a game each and will compete in the third Test from February 24.

Fondly remembering his growing up days, Kohli said the Indian team of '90s had really inspired him to take up the sport.

"The Indian team of the '90s really opened up my imagination about what could be done with the sport because it is so different from anything else I had seen before. It just instilled a lot of faith and belief in me that magical things can be done if an individual believes or decides," he said.

"That's where the spark started...the dream of wanting to play for the country really started."

Kohli lost his biggest supporter, his father Premchand, at the age of 18 and he considers it as the "most impactful" incident of his life.

"...that incident really put things in proper perspective for me. My father did work very hard in initial days to make sure that I get the best cricket gear or I continue with my cricket practice.

"From there on it made my belief even stronger that come what may, I am definitely going to realise my dream to play at the highest level and represent my country," he said.

Kohli is seen as a tough, competitive and enigmatic character on the field and he revealed that in real life too he is no different.

"...the disconnect for many years now is people don't seem to understand, don't seem to process, a lot of the times is that I have never worked towards creating a perception for myself which is perfect from a worldly point of view.

"For me what matters is what I can do an individual and how much I can provide on the cricket field as an individual," he said.

"I cannot fabricate things to look good in front of certain set of people. That's just not who I am," he asserted.

Another thing he hardly cares about is the expectations from him when he is on the field.

"Expectation is honestly a burden when you start thinking about it too much."

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coastaldigest.com news network
February 17,2021

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The IPL 2021 auction will be held in Chennai on Thursday (Feb 18, 2021) and a total of 292 players will go under the hammer. There are some big international and Indian names in the list and it will be interesting to see how the teams react when some of the big names, released by the franchisees, are called out.

Kings XI Punjab, who will now be called as Punjab Kings, have the biggest purse and will rejig the line-up again. RCB too went for the jugular despite a play-offs finish last season.

CSK too will be looking to make some big buys to start afresh. Here is a look at how the 8 franchises are placed in terms of purse and slots left.

Available purse and team strengths of the team ahead of IPL 2021 mini auction

Chennai Super Kings (CSK)
Number of players: 18
Number of Overseas players: 7
Total money spent: ₹62.10 cr
Salary cap available: ₹22.90 cr
Available slot: 7
Overseas slot: 1

Delhi Capitals (DC)
Number of players: 19
Number of Overseas players: 6
Total money spent: ₹72.0982 cr
Salary cap available: ₹12.9018 cr
Available slot: 6
Overseas slot: 2

Punjab Kings
Number of players: 16
Number of Overseas players: 3
Total money spent: ₹31.80 cr
Salary cap available: ₹53.20 cr
Available slot: 9
Overseas slot: 5

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR)
Number of players: 17
Number of Overseas players: 6
Total money spent: ₹74.25 cr
Salary cap available: ₹10.75 cr
Available slot: 8
Overseas slot: 2

Mumbai Indians (MI)
Number of players: 18
Number of Overseas players: 4
Total money spent: ₹69.65 cr
Salary cap available: ₹15.35 cr
Available slot: 8
Overseas slot: 2

Rajasthan Royals (RR)
Number of players: 17
Number of Overseas players: 5
Total money spent: ₹50.12 cr
Salary cap available: ₹34.85 cr
Available slot: 8
Overseas slot: 3

Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB)
Number of players: 12
Number of Overseas players: 4
Total money spent: ₹49.10 cr
Salary cap available: ₹35.90 cr
Available slot: 13
Overseas slot: 4

Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH)
Number of players: 22
Number of Overseas players: 7
Total money spent: ₹74.25 cr
Salary cap available: ₹10.75 cr
Available slot: 3
Overseas slot: 1

How Kings XI Punjab became Punjab Kings

Kings XI Punjab were on Wednesday renamed as Punjab Kings ahead of the 2021 IPL auction on Thursday in Chennai. A new logo was also unveiled on Wednesday. 

Speaking about the new brand identity, team CEO Satish Menon said: "Punjab Kings is a more evolved brand name, and we understand it was a right time for us to move focus on the core brand itself." 

"The change in brand identity is not about changing our brand ethos but celebrating our one-ness as we stand in unity like a family. The new logo honors the liveliness and vibrancy of the brand and provides modern elements, while we stand out from the rest of the teams."

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