IPL 2020: Andre Russell shatters glass in nets before KKR vs MI

Kolkata Knight Riders are yet to play their first match in the Indian Premier League held in UAE but the buzz around Russell storm has already taken over the internet. T20 cricket’s most destructive batsman Andre Russell is all set to entertain the fans with his brute masculinity as he did in the previous edition.

This was quite visible in the KKR’s nets session ahead of their clash against defending champions Mumbai Indians, who should be wary about the Russell factor. In a video shared by KKR, the Windies all-rounder can be seen practicing the big shots and in the last bit he shatters the camera glass with a powerful drive.

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Russell and Sunil Narine joined the KKR camp recently after finishing the Caribbean Premier League duties. Russell amassed over 200 runs in the tournament, which included two fifties something that KKR might rejoice about.

Russell enjoyed a splendid outing in the previous edition, where he scored 510 runs at a strike rate of 204.81. He also bagged 11 wickets to go with his runs that he scored for Kolkata.

While Russell was unhappy about not being sent to bat higher in the previous edition, KKR management have indicated that this time we might get to see him come at the number 3 position.

Meanwhile, Mumbai Indians would look to bag their first points of the season after failing to prove their mettle against MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings in the season opener.

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IPL 2020: MS Dhoni hits the ball out of Sharjah stadium, the jubilant fan takes it home

By: Sports Desk |

Updated: September 23, 2020 9:20:02 am





With a total of 416 runs scored at the iconic Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Tuesday when Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals locked horns in the fourth match of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2020). Royals win the thriller by 16 runs but CSK skipper MS Dhoni emerged as one of the star performers in the match with three consecutive sixes in a losing cause.

Dhoni’s sixes caught everyone’s attention for a simple reason that two of the three maximums flew out of the park. England bowler Tom Curran was at the receiving end when he bowled a slower length ball and Dhoni sent it for a huge six over the wide long-on.

The camera followed the ball outside the stadium landing at the road with traffic moving. A man was also seen collecting the ball and running with a smile on his face. The ball wasn’t returned and commentators were amazed to see the scene when one of them said,” The fan is not going to return it. He will keep the ball as a prized possession for a lifetime.”

MS Dhoni came into bat when the CSK needed 79 runs off four overs. When an improbable 38 were needed from the last six deliveries, MS Dhoni tried to prevent too much damage to the CSK net run rate by clobbering three consecutive sixes off Tom Curran. Though it was too late, Dhoni showed his spark and ended up making 29 off 17 balls. CSK could reach 200-run mark and fell short of 16 runs to win the match.

The RR vs CSK match, which was fourth of the IPL 2020, saw an amazing power hitting from both the teams. As many as 416 runs scored in 40 overs studded with 33 sixes from both the sides. It’s a record as in 2018, there were 33 sixes hit in the CSK vs RCB match. In the same edition, CSK’s match against Kolkata Knight Riders had witnessed 31 sixes.

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First Covid lay-offs by BCCI: 11 coaches at national academy; they say were not alerted

Written by Devendra Pandey
| Mumbai |

September 23, 2020 4:30:13 am





BCCI, cricket board, match fee, players payment, Indian express newsDravid, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly and board secretary Jay Shah did not respond to queries from The Indian Express. (File)

NO INDIA matches since February, its showpiece IPL playing out in a bio-bubble of empty stands in the UAE, the world’s richest cricket body is now quietly tightening its belt.

Marking its first big staff lay-offs since the Covid outbreak, the BCCI has decided to not renew the annual contracts of 11 coaches at its premier National Cricket Academy (NCA), including five retired India players —Ramesh Powar, SS Das, Hrishikesh Kanitkar, Subroto Banerjee and Sujith Somsundar.

The Indian Express has learnt that former India captain Rahul Dravid, who had handpicked the team after taking over as Head of Cricket at NCA, informed the coaches last week about the termination of their services. Those who have been asked to leave include domestic stalwart Sitanshu Kotak.

The 11 coaches were employed on one-year contracts that are set to expire this month, on salaries ranging from Rs 30-55 lakh. And at least five of them told The Indian Express that they were not alerted before the decision was taken or given a “real reason”.

Dravid, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly and board secretary Jay Shah did not respond to queries from The Indian Express.

“We received a call from Rahul (Dravid) two days ago and he informed us that BCCI has decided not to renew our contract. There was no real reason given to us. He said he tried his best to retain us but he couldn’t do anything further. For the past three months, we have been attending webinars and planning activities for after Covid-19. Now suddenly, we are told that our services are no longer needed,” said one of the coaches.

Another coach rued the timing of the decision. “We have been told this at a time when many state associations have already appointed coaches for their teams. It will be tough for us to get new assignments in this Covid time,” another coach said.

Cricketing activities at the NCA had come to a complete halt since the Covid lockdown in March. However, earlier this month, BCCI-contracted players were given the option of training at the Bengaluru-based academy.

In 2019, on Dravid’s recommendation, the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators had recruited these coaches to manage the heavy workload at the country’s premier academy.

Apart from helping the men’s and women’s senior teams during camps and rehabilitation programmes, the coaches were involved in training India-A, India U-19 and India U-23 developmental sides.

With the NCA also involved in identifying and nurturing talent, the coaches were drafted to work for 120 days a year.

“The NCA doesn’t function for the full year. So it was decided that we have to give 120 days to NCA where we work with seniors, India-A, India under-19, India under-23 and other specialised camps, which are conducted every year,” a coach said.

It’s not as if the BCCI is running out of money, though. According to the last balance sheet made public by the board, it had cash and bank balance of Rs 5,526 crore, as of March 2018, including Rs 2,992 crore in fixed deposits. In April 2018, the BCCI signed a five-year broadcasting deal with Star TV worth Rs 6,138.1 crore.

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RR vs CSK: Sakshi Dhoni lashes out at umpires for Tom Curran’s decision; deletes tweet

By: Sports Desk |

Updated: September 22, 2020 11:46:15 pm





sakshi dhoni, ms dhoni, umpireMS Dhoni was involved in a controversial moment in the match between RR vs CSK in IPL 2020.

It has just been four days into the 13th edition of Indian Premier League and fingers have already started pointing at the quality of umpiring. After a dubious short-run call in the clash between Kings XI Punjab and Delhi Capitals, another controversial decision made by both on-field and third umpire in the ongoing clash between Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals has been the buzz on social media.

Moments after the third umpire gave Tom Curran not-out, Sakshi Dhoni slammed the official for his call. The wife of India’s most decorated captain in a tweet urged the officials to use technology the right way. However, she soon deleted the tweet.

“If u r using the technology, then use it the right way… out is out whether its catch out or lbw…” she wrote.

The incident took place in the 18th over when Tom Curran was yet to open his account. He was adjudged caught-behind, but with the batsman left shocked with the decision the umpires decided to go upstairs to the third umpire for a clearer picture.

TV replay showed that the ball had hit Curran’s thigh pad and not his bat and the ball didn’t even carry to Dhoni. The batsman was asked to resume batting.

However, the umpire skipped to check for LBW and the ball tracker showed it was hitting the stumps, which meant the batsman would have been out.

Taking to Instagram, she wrote, “First time I have seen the third umpire is being referred after the player has been given out! Umpiring needs to be improved in such a prestigious tournament! Billions watching it! @iplt20”. The story was later deleted by her.

Sakshi dhoni, MS Dhoni, IPL umpire, RR vs CSK umpiring, Tom Curran umpire decision, Sakshi Dhoni on Tom Curran dismissal, MS Dhoni Tom Curran, IPL umpiring, IPL 2020 Sakshi Dhoni deleted her Instagram post. (Screengrab)

Meanwhile, courtesy to some late blitz by Jofra Archer Rajasthan Royals posted 216 for 7 on the board after being asked to bat first at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.

Sanju Samson emerged as the top scorer for Royals with 74 off 32 balls, which included 9 sixes and a boundary while skipper Steve Smith made 69 off 47 balls with four boundaries and as many sixes.

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Sanju Samson hits it out of the park in RR’s win over CSK

Written by Vishal Menon
|

September 23, 2020 1:41:54 am





Sanju Samson scored a 32-ball 74 against CSK, hitting nine sixes. (Source: IPL)

The Chennai Super Kings knew they were up against it, chasing 217 for their second successive win in the Indian Premier League (IPL). Midway through their innings, the cause seemed lost, but they kept fighting till the end. Even after losing five wickets in seven overs, Faf du Plessis’ clean hitting gave them a semblance of hope. But eventually, Rajasthan Royals prevailed by 16 runs in a match that witnessed as many as 33 sixes.

The game was well and truly gone with 79 required off four overs. When an improbable 38 were needed from the last six deliveries, MS Dhoni tried to prevent too much damage to the CSK net run rate by clobbering three consecutive sixes off Tom Curran.

For the Royals, the platform for the win was laid by the breath-taking strokeplay of Sanju Samson, who scored a 32-ball 74.

During the lockdown, Samson, like most cricketers, was scared about losing his batting skills. He knew that he couldn’t stay away from having a hit at the nets for very long. So, the 25-year-old devised a unique strategy to get himself back into the groove.

“I have not been able to bat for so many days. And I can’t stay away from something that I love so much for so long. So, I set up a small area on my brother’s terrace, fully covered with nets, where I played with tennis balls and hit my shots. Sometimes, I worked on things which I wanted to work on,” he had told The Indian Express.

The long break seems to have worked in Samson’s favour. In his first competitive fixture in over six months, the wicket-keeper-batsman hardly displayed signs of rust or lack of match practice. His big hitting put even the usually calm Dhoni under stress.

READ | Jaiswal’s confused daze, Jaddu’s frustration, Tewatia’s ear block

Samson began with a nonchalant hoick off Sam Curran over the square-leg fence for a six. However, he was at his devastating best against the spinners. A couple of shots stood out: he clattered Ravindra Jadeja over the long-on fence and in the subsequent over, a sublime inside-out shot off Chawla over extra cover brought up his quickest half-century in the IPL, off just 19 deliveries.

Samson reaped the rewards of looking to play straight. Another facet of his batsmanship was that he never came down the track to spinners. Like most modern players, he preferred to stay in the crease and unfurl that lovely swing of the bat. Chennai’s spinners were guilty of pitching the ball up and in the slot to Samson, which allowed him to just stand and deliver. In hindsight, both Jadeja and Chawla would have been better served with a much shorter length.

Skipper drops anchor

Sanju Samson and Steve Smith shared a 121-run partnership. (Source: IPL)

Samson’s belligerence allowed Rajasthan Royals captain Steve Smith to come into his own. The Australian has not had it easy in recent times. He was concussed before the recent ODI series in England, and after two days of rest in Dubai, was put through the paces in training, following which he was deemed fit for this match.

Opening for the first time ever in a T20 match, Smith took his time to settle in. But watching the carnage from the non-striker’s end took the pressure off him. Smith was happy to play second fiddle to Samson. He brought up his half-century off 35 deliveries, after getting a reprieve from Sam Curran.

When he departed for a 47-ball 69, Smith looked absolutely knackered. A clutch of wickets following Samson’s exit meant the Royals lost their way a bit, before an entertaining cameo from Jofra Archer, whose unbeaten 8-ball-27 included four sixes in the last over bowled by Lungi Ngidi.

One of the reasons Chennai have been such a force in the IPL is their spinners. Match after match, season after season, they have worked in tandem to spin a web around opposition batsmen. But in their second game this season, they were put to the sword by a rampant Samson.

Jadeja and Piyush Chawla conceded 95 runs in their eight overs. Neither managed to extract turn or bounce from the slow Sharjah track and to compound matters, their predictable lengths made it more conducive for strokeplay.

In contrast, Royals’ spinners — Shreyas Gopal and Rahul Tewatia — lacked the pedigree and experience of their CSK counterparts. But they learned from the mistakes made by Jadeja and Chawla.

They varied their pace cleverly and mixed the lengths to keep the batsmen guessing. First up, Tewatia foxed Watson with a slider and followed it up with a slow, loopy delivery that had Sam Curran stumped. He was on a hat-trick when he had Ruturaj Gaikwad dismissed in the same fashion with a flattish delivery.

Gopal also sneaked in with Murali Vijay’s wicket to leave Chennai gasping. From 56/0 in 6.3 overs, Dhoni’s team slumped to 77/4 and then 114/5 at the end of the 14th over. The two unheralded Rajasthan Royals spinners finished with figures of 8-0-75-4.

Brief scores: Rajasthan Royals 216 for 7 (Sanju Samson 74, Steve Smith 69; Sam Curran 3/33) bt Chennai Super Kings 200/6 (Faf du Plessis 72, Shane Watson 33; Rahul Tewatia 3/37) by 16 runs.

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Bianca Andreescu pulls out of French Open, to take rest of 2020 off

By: Reuters |

September 23, 2020 1:19:01 am





Bianca Andreescu won the 2019 US Open. (Source: File)

Canada’s Bianca Andreescu has pulled out of the French Open and will take the rest of the season off to focus on her recuperation, the world number seven said on Tuesday.

Andreescu, who did not defend her 2019 U.S. Open crown in New York this year, has not played on tour since the WTA Finals in Shenzhen last year where she retired with a knee injury that also kept her out of the Australian Open in January.

“I have come to the difficult decision to skip the clay court swing this year and will be taking the remainder of the season off to focus on my health and training,” Andreescu said in a statement.

“As hard as it was to come to this conclusion, I have so much to look forward to in 2021, including the Olympics. I want to use this time to focus on my game so I can come back stronger and better than ever.”

The French Open begins on Sunday.

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RR vs CSK: Jaiswal’s confused daze, Jaddu’s Frustration, Tewatia’s Ear Block

Written by Express News Service |

Updated: September 23, 2020 12:28:06 am





ipl 2020Ravindra Jadeja was Wile E. Coyote on Tuesday, and his bunny Steve Smith turned into the Roadrunner.

Jaiswal’s confused daze

A thwack to mid-wicket the previous delivery from Deepak Chahar made it seem like Yashasvi Jaiswal was set for a memorable debut. Whether it was the confidence of the previous hit, or just the sight of a similar ball – Jaiswal went for another boost in the arm immediately after in the third over of Royals innings. What happened next was a top edge, a glance to see the trajectory of the ball, a sudden thought that he ought to take a run – or atleast cross the non-striker, and then a gradual realisation that this would be a rather forgettable opening to his life in the Indian Premier League. Confusion reigned supreme in that brief moment of poor judgement and the 18-year old spent what would seem like a long walk back to the Sharjah Cricket Stadium pavilion thinking of what had just happened. A couple of overs later, Sanju Samson was assaulting all the empty seats in the stadium while the camera continued to pan to Jaiswal, who would clap at his teammate’s violent manhandling of Piyush Chawla’s bowling, and then occasionally the wry shake of his head at what might have been.

— Shashank Nair

Frustrated Jaddu & Roadrunner Smith

The usually wily Ravindra Jadeja was Wile E. Coyote on Tuesday, and his bunny Steve Smith turned into the Roadrunner. Jadeja could have dismissed Smith for the seventh time in T20s in the ninth over, only his appeal was turned down twice. After being denied by the umpire, Jadeja — convinced that he had trapped the Aussie in front of the wicket — asked his captain to review the decision. The confident request turned into a desperate plea over 15 seconds, but even a begging Jadeja couldn’t trigger the Dhoni Review System. Salt into the wound? The ball would have crashed into the leg stump, replays showed.

Jadeja was determined to get his man, even while prowling at point. He charged in after a Smith dab, scooped up the ball, got in the throwing position, but with nobody backing up, threw up his hands in frustration. Next ball, he went for it anyway. With Smith out of the crease at the non-striker end, Jadeja chanced his rocket arm and conceded an overthrow, earning an earful from bowler Lungi Ngidi. The coup de grace came soon afterwards. In his final over, Jadeja induced a rare mis-hit from Smith towards the long-off boundary, where Sam Curran bungled the easy catch over the ropes. Smith was at 31 when he escaped the LBW. He added 38 more, gluing the Rajasthan innings together. And CSK never used their review.

— Gaurav Bhatt

Tewatia’s Shushing Ear Block

Upon dismissing Shane Watson with a slider, Rajasthan Royals leggie Rahul Tewatia slipped away from the on-rushing teammates, stood still and plonked both index fingers into the ears, all the while staring unblinkingly at Watson. It was not a spontaneous bit of celebration, rather he followed up each of his three wickets with the same manoeuvre. European football flocks should be well acquainted with what’s called a fingers in the ear celebration. It might not be quite as iconic as the cradle rocking of the Brazil trident in the 1994 World Cup, or eccentric as Paul Gacoigne on his revolving dentist chair, but it’s catching up fast. Barcelona forward Phllippe Coutinhio could be credited for its swelling popularity. He once explained: “We should never listen to people who will de-motivate us because their speeches only deviate us from the real focus we should take.” At that time, he was under the weather for his shoddy performances.

It could be true for Tewatia, whose IPL career has not quite taken off, despite the hype that had attended his debut in 2014, incidentally in Rajasthan’s stripes. Ever since, he has turned up for Kings XI Punjab and Delhi Daredevils before returning to the Royals, making only 21 appearances in this span. So the celebration could mean: “Just shut out the voice from outside. I am not listening.” Only that in the shuttered-down stadium, there was hardly any noise other than the echoes of their own shouts. The positive spin is that empty stands have not extinguished the whim of celebrating.

— By Sandip G

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Controversy in RR vs CSK: Umpires recall Tom Curran after giving out, Dhoni loses cool

By: Sports Desk |

Updated: September 22, 2020 10:28:31 pm





ipl 2020, ipl 2020 umpire, rr vs csk umpire, csk vs rr umpire, tom curran, tom curran umpire, csk umpire decision, ipl umpire, ipl 2020 updates, cricket news

The 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) witnessed yet another controversial moment when Rajasthan Royals (RR) were batting in the first innings against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in Sharjah on Tuesday.

CSK sent RR out to bat first and quickly found themselves on the backfoot owing to the quickfire partnership between Sanju Samson (74) and Steve Smith (69). Both of them partnered each other for 121-runs for the second-wicket and led RR to 132/1 in 11.3 overs.

But after Samson got dismissed by Ngidi in the 12th over, CSK gained back some control in the match owing to Sam Curran’s two wickets in the 17th over, which reduced RR to 173/6.

In the 18th over though, umpire Chettithody Shamshuddin made a dubious decision against RR’s Tom Curran who was batting alongside his captain Smith. In the fifth ball of Deepak Chahar’s over, the English all-rounder was given caught behind even though the ball had hit his thigh pad.

Curran was left shell-shocked at the decision, and even more so, at the lack of a review, which was already being taken earlier by Rahul Tewatia. However, right after making the decision both the umpires had a brief chat and decided to go upstairs to get a clearer picture of the incident.

TV replay showed that there was no connection between the bat and the ball, and what made it more interesting was the fact that it bounced before Dhoni had collected it. The decision was then overturned.

According to the rulebook, if a batsman has been given out on the field, then the third umpire shouldn’t come into play. This is probably why Dhoni launched into a protest. Generally, in these circumstances, if umpires have a doubt in mind, they go upstairs to check the catch to make the final decision.

But in this case, it wasn’t done and the questions again will be raised about the decision not being reversed in the game between KXIP and DC.

While there was a lot of confusion regarding Dhoni’s appeal for Curran’s wicket, he probably appealed for LBW and umpire signalled out for catch.

Rajasthan Royals battled their way from there to finish with a total of 216/7 after Jofra Archer scored a 8-ball 27. Curran finished the innings on 10, hitting a single boundary.

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Ankita Raina progresses, Ramkumar bows out of French Open qualifiers

By: PTI |

Updated: September 22, 2020 8:08:16 pm





Ankita Raina will next take on Japan’s Kurumi Nara, seeded 22nd. (Source: File)

India’s Ankita Raina progressed to the second round of the French Open qualifiers with a hard-fought win over Jovana Jovic on Tuesday but Ramkumar Ramanathan’s bid to qualify for his maiden Grand Slam singles main draw fell flat.

In a marathon two-hour 47 minute contest, Ankita prevailed 6-4 4-6 6-4 against the Serbian. The 27-year-old Indian won 106 points to 100 of her rival.

It was first meeting between the two players since 2014 when Ankita had lost to Jovic in Anning on clay courts.

Ankita will next take on Japan’s Kurumi Nara, seeded 22nd.

Ankita has not gone beyond the second round at the Grand Slam qualifiers and needs to win two more matches to make it to the main draw.

No Indian woman has played in the singles main draw of a major since Sania Mirza competed in the 2012 Australian Open.

In the men’s singles, Ramkumar bowed out after a straight set defeat against French wild card Tristan Lamasine.

The Indian Davis Cupper, ranked 198, lost 5-7 2-6 to lower-ranked Lamasine in one hour and 27 minutes on Monday. The Frenchman is placed 268 on the ranking chart.

The 25-year-old Ramkumar was profligate as he squandered as many as seven of the eight breakpoints he earned. He lost his serve four times in the first round contest.

The country’s top singles player Sumit Nagal has already exited and now Prajnesh Gunneswaran is the lone Indian left in the men’s singles qualifying event.

Ramkumar has been trying to crack the Grand Slam main draws since 2015 but has not succeeded yet. Making the third round at the Australian Open qualifiers in 2018 has been his best effort so far.

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IPL 2020: Yashasvi Jaiswal seeks MS Dhoni’s blessings before debut

By: Sports Desk |

Updated: September 22, 2020 8:27:12 pm





IPL 2020, RR vs CSK, IPL, rr vs csk, Yashasvi Jaiswal, MS Dhoni, Yashasvi Jaiswal Dhoni video, Yashasvi Jaiswal RR, Dhoni csk, ipl 2020 updatesYashasvi Jaiswal made his Rajasthan Royals debut against CSK. (Screengrab)

IPL 2020, RR vs CSK: Yashasvi Jaiswal, the player of the U-19 World Cup made his debut for Rajasthan Royals against Chennai Super Kings in an IPL match in Sharjah.

Jaiswal, the young Indian prodigal batsman, was also the highest run-getter in the tournament with 400 runs in six innings, including an unbeaten hundred against Pakistan in the semifinal.

On Tuesday, when MS Dhoni walked out for the coin toss against Rajasthan, Jaiswal made it a perfect opportunity for himself to have a fanboy moment with the CSK captain.

He walked up to MS Dhoni and bowed down in front of him which caught the attention of a lot of people.

Watch the video of the incident here:

Meanwhile, Ruturaj Gaikwad, one of the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) players tested positive for coronavirus, also made his Indian Premier League (IPL) debut on Tuesday.

Teams:

Rajasthan Royals (Playing XI): Yashasvi Jaiswal, Robin Uthappa, Sanju Samson(w), Steven Smith(c), David Miller, Riyan Parag, Shreyas Gopal, Tom Curran, Rahul Tewatia, Jofra Archer, Jaydev Unadkat

Chennai Super Kings (Playing XI): Murali Vijay, Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis, Ruturaj Gaikwad, MS Dhoni(w/c), Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja, Sam Curran, Deepak Chahar, Piyush Chawla, Lungi Ngidi

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