FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017: Can this World Cup usher in a new dawn for Indian football?


India, a land of 125 crore people has different castes, creed and culture, but when it comes to sports, Indians forget everything and get all united to cheer for the tri colour and will scream their lungs out to show support for the sport. Wait, but this happens only for cricket, right? Yes, the sad reality is cricket is treated like a religion in our country and all the other sports take a backseat and everyone becomes some sort of an expert, while talking about cricket and other sports suffer because of it.

The Under-17 FIFA World Cup 2017 will be played in India from 6th October to 28th and India by virtue of being hosts have got a direct entry into the event and all eyes will be on India, how they will perform in this marquee event. Not many people apart from football enthusiasts must be knowing this and 90 per cent of people might be clueless about this event even though it is happening in India. And, you cannot blame them because our system and All India Football Federation (AIFF) has done very little to create awareness about this event and, as a result, the beautiful game doesn’t feature in our day to day discussions and we are totally ignorant about football culture in our country.

Sunil Chhetri, Bhaichung Bhutia (now retired), Jeje Lalpekhlua are some of the names that football lovers are aware of, but after that even the die-hard fans must be having hard time to continue the discussion. Our team has made huge strides in recent past on international stage but our ranking is still dismal 107 and it doesn’t matter and we are quite satisfied with it. This culture reflects how seriously we take football in this country and it comes as a no surprise that we are making our debut in U-17 World Cup because we lack basic infrastructure and there is no accountability in our system.


FIFA U-17 World Cup: Meet all the 16 champions
Indian Super League (ISL) has come as breath of fresh air, but we are still a long way from competing at the highest level and our league can’t be compared with English Premiere League and Spanish La Liga for obvious reasons. The influx of money is a good thing for football, but our archaic and dysfunctional system has seen a neglect over the years and it will take more than couple of ISL seasons to get our game back on track.

The current World Cup can unify the game and if India performs well then it could create a legacy and more youngsters apart from north east belt and other parts of country will dream to become another Chhetri or Lalpekhlua and for that to happen we have to let our kids grow and tell them it’s okay to play another sport apart from cricket. The jury is still out on whether this World Cup will make any difference or the things will remain the same.




SGM decides to constitute a committee to implement Supreme Court order


Mumbai : In a move expected to further delay the implementation of Lodha panel reforms, the BCCI on Monday decided to form a committee for analysing how “best and quickly” the principal Supreme Court order can be executed.

The two hour and 45 minute long Special General Meeting, attended by controversial former BCCI president N Srinivasan, did not take any decisive call as requested by the Committee of Administrators during a meeting with state units on Sunday.

Chaudhary said that the committee will have a deadline of of a fortnight to submit its report and it will start working in the next two days.

The principal issues are ‘one state one vote’, age cap of 70 years, cooling off period after every three years and reinstatement of a five-member selection panel instead of current three.

On some of the other issues like bilateral engagement with Pakistan, Chaudhary reiterated the BCCI’s stance that it can only play the arch-rivals if permitted by the government.

“We met with the PCB on the basis of a letter signed by the BCCI back in 2014. It was necessary. Our position is still the same. The tour can take place only after government permission,” Chaudhary stated.

About revoking the suspension order of the Rajasthan Cricket Association, the acting secretary said: “We have asked them (RCA) to formally respond to a showcause notice and they have also decided to withdraw the litigation against BCCI.”

The new RCA president is Congressman CP Joshi. The former IPS officer also informed that the newly- constructed stadium in Guwahati will soon be hosting international matches. “The Assam CA’s Stadium is fit to hold matches barring a few areas. Inspection was done by BCCI secretary and GM (Game Development),” he said.




ICC Champions Trophy 2017: Buoyant India aim semis berth against Sri Lanka amid weather woes


London: A near flawless demolition of Pakistan achieved, India will eye another dominant performance to seal a semifinal berth when they take on Sr Lanka in the ICC Champions Trophy here today.

Having pulverised Pakistan by 124 runs, India will start as overwhelming favourites against Sri Lanka, who looked in total disarray during their 96-run defeat at the hands of South Africa.

The only worry is the fickle London weather, with forecasts of 40 percent chance of heavy rainfall.

Contrasting performances aside, the sheer difference in quality also puts India a few notches ahead of the cricketers from the island nation. On paper, the two sides are a total mismatch.

While India ticked almost all the boxes in their victory against Pakistan, the Sri Lankans, in their opening fixture, looked as if they have only entered the tournament to add numbers.

The winners of the last edition have a formidable batting line-up, which is being backed very well by a potent bowling attack. And therein lies the problem with Sri Lanka, which is a side that is going through a rebuilding phase for the longest time now.

It’s two years since both Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara quit ODIs post the 2015 World Cup but Sri Lanka have not been able to single out even a couple of players, who can show steely resolve.

The likes of Dinesh Chandimal or Chamara Kapugedara have been around for some time but both have been guilty of not realising their full potential till date.

No wonder Sangakkara, in his column for the ICC, has made it clear that Sri Lanka need to show aggression against India while conceding that it may not be easy for them. For India, playing Sri Lanka before facing South Africa (on June 11) is an advantage as they can go into the final group league game with a free mind.

Rohit Sharma hitting a 91 on comeback is a reassurance while Shikhar Dhawan’s positive approach will keep the ‘Men in Blue’ in good stead.

Skipper Virat Kohli has over the years been Sri Lanka’s nemesis and the 81 not out against Pakistan, is just the tonic he needed before taking on the likes of Lasith Malinga, Suranga Lakmal and  Nuwan Pradeep. Yuvraj Singh was in vintage form at the Edgbaston and a placid Oval pitch will only help get a few more runs under his belt. Hardik Pandya’s power hitting at No 7 and his ability to chip in with quick wickets makes this Indian side more intimidating.

The only thing that Virat Kohli would want now is Mahendra Singh Dhoni getting some batting time before the big game against South Africa.

Kohli promoting Pandya ahead of Dhoni is an indication that the skipper is looking to use his former captain more as an accumulator — in Javed Miandad mould who would rotate strike, frustrate bowlers and launch a furious counter-attack after getting his eye in.

India’s bowling unit has been sharp off late. Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s controlled swing bowling, Umesh Yadav’s fiery pace backed by Jasprit Bumrah’s overs at the death has have troubled the oppositions.

Such has been the quality that bowlers of Mohammed Shami and Ravichandran Ashwin’s calibre are warming the benches since the first XI picked for the matches so far have not given any reason to complaint.

For Sri Lanka, this is a do-or-die match where a lot will depend on how well skipper Mathews plays and the kind of performance Malinga gives while bowling first up.

Meahwhile, Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews conceded that it will be “very hard to beat India.” After losing by 96 runs to South Africa, Sri Lanka have been plagued by injuries with skipper being unable to bowl and senior batsman Chamara Kapugedara already sustaining a knee injury.

Worse, Upul Tharanga has been suspended for two games due to slow over-rate. “As you know, India is a force in world cricket no matter where they play, whether it’s at home or away. They have played fantastic cricket especially in the last couple of years. It’s very hard to beat them unless we are on top of our game. We will all have to pull our socks up and give a great performance,” Mathews said on the eve of the game against India.

The Teams

India: Virat Kohli (captain),  Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma,  Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wk), Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ajinkya Rahane, Dinesh Karthik

Sri Lanka: Angelo Mathews, Upul Tharanga, Dinesh Chandimal, Niroshan Dickewalla, Chamara Kapugedara, Kusal Mendis, Kusal Perera, Thisara Perera, Sekkuge Prasanna, Nuwan Pradeep, Suranga Lakmal, Lakshan Sandakan, Lasith Malinga, Asela Gunaratne, Nuwan Kulasekara.




Rohit Sharma Unplugged: MI skipper on IPL 2017 win, strategy and challenges


Mumbai: Mumbai Indians won IPL 10 by defeating Rising Pune Supergiant by one run in Hyderabad. After that, Mumbai Indians came to Mumbai and interacted with media about the game, challenges and the journey of winning the trophy in Mumbai. During the press conference, Mumbai Indian skipper Rohit Sharma as well as Parthiv Patel and Shane Bond were present at Trident Hotel on Monday in Mumbai. The captain made some interesting observations.

Dropping Harabhajan Singh

In IPL 10, Harbhajan Singh did not play a match. On it, Rohit said, “It was just a tactical change. Nothing was related to performance.”

2013, 2015, 2017, which win was special?

Mumbai Indians have won the IPL trophy three times, in 2013, 2015 and 2017. Rohit said, “All three (2013, 2015 and 2017) are special for me. Last game was brilliant, to be part of one of the best T20s. I can not single out any one every win is very very special. We have a put a lot of hard work in it, so I want to cherish all of them. But certainly, my best T20 game was last night.”

Challenges faced

“The challenge in the game of IPL will always be there. A new set of players are joining the team. A new support staff is coming in, that comes with IPL. You have face that challenge, for that you have to know them very well. And we are very glad for we had the same staff during the games.”

Difference between coaches

In IPL 10, Mahela Jayawardene was the coach of the Mumbai Indians team. On this Rohit said, “Different coaches are different. Ricky Ponting and Mahela (Jayawardene) are separate individuals. But both of them have vast experience and immense knowledge about the game. Both taught us how they dealt with and handled situations when they were playing, and that helped us a lot. Have been around both coaches so I have learnt so many things.”

Team work

“I feel individual brilliance can win you a few games but what is required to win a championship is team unity and team work. These are the factors which I believe personally is very critical to win a championship.”

Rivalry between Pune and Mumbai (Misal vs Vada Pav)

When it was confirmed that the final match will be held between Mumbai and Pune, Punekars and Mumbaikars started trolling each other on social media by saying that it’s a match between misal pav and vada pav. Reacting to it, Rohit said, “A match between Mumbai and Pune get most people excited because both teams are from Maharashtra. Till the final, we have played three matches with Pune, and lost all. For the final, we did plan to prove anything. We just wanted to play the game. We were just thinking about the game and team work. But, I don’t know about what vada pav and misal pav were trending on social media.”

Low-scoring IPL Final

Mumbai Indians scored only 129 for eight after electing to bat, and Rohit said they were 30-40 runs short of what would have been a winning score on the pitch. “Our target on this wicket was 140 to 160. 160 on this wicket probably would have been a match-winning score,” Rohit opined.

All praise for Kunal Pandya

Rohit couldn’t stop praising Krunal Pandya, who was adjudged man-of-the-match for his vital 47 runs. Asked if he aspired to become India captain, Rohit gave a diplomatic reply. “It’s thinking too far ahead. I don’t think too far ahead. When the opportunity comes, if it comes, I will grab it with both hands,”

 




IPL 2017: Mumbai Indians demolish KKR to storm into final


Bengaluru, Krunal Pandya’s unbeaten 30-ball 45 helped Mumbai Indians record a facile six-wicket win over Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in their Indian Premier League (IPL) second qualifier clash at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Friday.

Mumbai, who finished on 111/4 in 14.3 overs, will now take on Steve Smith’s Rising Pune Supergiant in the final on Sunday.

Krunal stars
Chasing just 108, Krunal joined hands with skipper Rohit Sharma for a 54-run fourth wicket stand to steady Mumbai’s ship after early hiccups which left them on 34/3 at one stage. Rohit (26) gave away his wicket cheaply, picking out Ankit Rajpoot at deep square leg off Nathan Coulter-Nile’s delivery.

KKR caused a flutter among Mumbai ranks scalping three wickets inside the first six overs. Piyush Chawla (2/34) was at the forefront of the early demolition, sending the dangerous Lendl Simmons (3) and Ambati Rayudu (6) back in the hut with a googly and a peach of a delivery respectively which beat Rayudu all ends up.

At the end of Powerplay, Mumbai were in a spot of bother at 36/3. But once Rohit and Krunal saw off the initial few overs, it was Mumbai all the way as the latter played the role of aggressor with deft fours and lusty sixes to inflict a 16th defeat on their rivals in the two sides’ 21st meeting. Krunal’s innings was laced with eight fours and no six. With him at the crease was Keiron Pollard (not out 9) when Krunal hit the winning runs.

KKR fall to Karn
Earlier, Mumbai leg-spinner Karn Sharma took four wickets to bowl out KKR for a paltry 107 in 18.5 overs. Karn (4/16) was brilliant on the night taking the wickets of Sunil Narine (10), Gautam Gambhir (12), Colin de Grandhomme (0) and Ishank Jaggi (28) to derail KKR’s innings.

Suryakumar Yadav (31) and Jaggi put a semblance of a fight with a 56-run association for the sixth wicket but could not script a turnaround as the former fell in the 18th over looking to accelerate. Umesh Yadav (2) was not out as Rajpoot (4) was the last man to be dismissed. Opener Chris Lynn (4) was sent back early by medium pacer Jasprit Bumrah (3/7) with a fullish delivery which the explosive Australian tried to loft over mid-on but was picked up by Pollard.

The men in purple, who usually score at a brisk pace in the Powerplay overs, struggled to get going with the ball not coming on to the bat even as Gambhir continued his good form hitting the first four of the innings in the third over off Mitchell Johnson, playing in place of Mitchell McClenaghan.

Narine, kept quiet by Bumrah, Mitchell Johnson (2/28) and Lasith Malinga (1/24), cut loose with an uppish shot over deep midwicket for the first six of the innings before Karn outfoxed the West Indian spinner with a googly that saw Parthiv Patel effect an easy stumping.

Robin Uthappa (1) did not last long, being trapped plumb by Bumrah, while trying to flick across the line. After six overs, KKR could muster just 25/3, and captain Gambhir lost his wicket five balls into the seventh over. The southpaw was looked good before playing against the turn off Karn for Hardik Pandya to pouch the ball at deep midwicket.

Keeping veteran tweaker Harbhajan Singh on the bench, Karn vindicated his captain’s faith in him by taking the wicket of Colin de Grandhomme in the next delivery, pinging the New Zealander on his backfoot for an easy leg before decision. After 10 overs, KKR were tottering at 43/5. In the next four overs, Suryakumar and Jaggi sought to stem the rout, scoring 40 runs before their stand was broken by the excellent Karn, taking the prized scalp of Jaggi.

Chawla departed adding just two to the total and Coulter-Nile tonked Johnson for a six to bring up KKR’s 100 in the 17th over before getting out.

Following is the scoreboard in the IPL second qualifier game between Kolkata Knight Riders and Mumbai Indians at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium

Kolkata Knight Riders

C. Lynn c Pollard b Bumrah 4
S. Narine st Patel b K Sharma 10
G. Gambhir c H Pandya b K Sharma 12
R. Uthappa lbw b Bumrah 1
I. Jaggi c Johnson b K Sharma 28
C. de Grandhomme lbw b KV Sharma 0
S. Yadav c Malinga b Bumrah 31
P. Chawla c Rayudu b Johnson 2
N. Coulter-Nile c H Pandya b Johnson 6
U. Yadav not out 2
A. Rajpoot b Malinga 4

Extras (lb 3, w 4) 7

Total (all out; 18.5 overs) 107

Fall of wickets: 1-5 (Lynn, 1.3 ov), 2-24 (Narine, 4.4 ov), 3-25 (Uthappa, 5.2 ov), 4-31 (Gambhir, 6.5 ov), 5-31 (de Grandhomme, 6.6 ov), 6-87 (Jaggi, 14.5 ov), 7-94 (Chawla, 16.1 ov), 8-100 (Coulter-Nile, 16.5 ov), 9-101 (SA Yadav, 17.1 ov), 10-107 (Rajpoot, 18.5 ov)

Bowling

M. Johnson 4-0-28-2
J. Bumrah 3-1-7-3
L. Malinga 3.5-0-24-1
K. Sharma 4-0-16-4
K. Pandya 3-0-25-0
H. Pandya 1-0-4-0

Mumbai Indians

L. Simmons lbw b Chawla 3
P. Patel c Uthappa b U Yadav 14
A. Rayudu b Chawla 6
R. Sharma c Rajpoot b Coulter-Nile 26
K. Pandya not out 45
K. Pollard not out 9

Extras (lb 4, w 4) 8

Total (4 wickets; 14.3 overs) 111

Fall of wickets 1-11 (Simmons, 1.3 ov), 2-24 (Patel, 2.5 ov), 3-34 (Rayudu, 5.4 ov), 4-88 (RG Sharma, 12.2 ov)

Bowling

U. Yadav 2.3-0-23-1
P. Chawla 4-0-34-2
N. Coulter-Nile 3-0-15-1
S. Narine 4-0-21-0
A. Rajpoot 1-0-14-0




IPL 2017 Qualifier 2 MI vs KKR: Watch out for these players


IPL 10 has reached its final stage and there are only two matches to go before we find out who the winner is. Rising Pune Supergiant were the first team to enter the final beating all odds by defeating the mighty Mumbai Indians in their own backyard. The match between Mumbai Indians and Kolkata Knight Riders in Bengaluru will be a close one and whoever holds their nerve will take on RPS in the final on Sunday in Hyderabad.

Mumbai Indians will be smarting from their defeat against the less fancied RPS and would like to start on a fresh note. MI Have always performed well against the Knight Riders in the IPL. This season Mumbai have outclassed Kolkata in both the matches and would be confident of keeping the form going.

Players to watch out for MI:

Lendl Simmons: The Trinidadian has always performed well for Mumbai Indians. Simmons seamlessly replaced Jos Buttler and has provided impetus to the Mumbai Indians’ batting. Simmons would fancy his chances against Knight Riders bowling attack, which consists of Umesh Yadav, Sunil Narine and Nathan Coulter-Nile. Lot will depend on Simmons’ aggression and what kind of tone he sets upfront.

Rohit Sharma: The Mumbai Indians captain has had a very poor IPL by his lofty standards. Sharma has struggled right through this IPL and has also got some dodgy decisions. The skipper has only scored 283 runs in 15 matches at a very low average of 23.58. The big stage might see Sharma bouncing back and has a very good record against the Knight Riders. Sharma would like to lead from the front and answer his critics to take his team into the IPL finals for the fourth time.

Jasprit Bumrah: Jasprit Bumrah has been a total revelation this season. The youngster has bowled exceedingly well at the death and has been the go to bowler for Rohit Sharma. Bumrah has picked up 15 wickets in 14 matches and has only conceded runs at just over seven. Bumrah would be high on confidence and would like to pick up wickets in the crunch game.

AFP PHOTO / PUNIT PARANJPE

Kieron Pollard: The big West Indian is a big match player and has been very consistent this season. Pollard has batted well under pressure and when MI were 7 for 4 against Royal Challengers Bangalore in Bengaluru, Pollard took his time and scored a match winning 70 off 47 balls hitting five maximums. Pollard relishes the challenge and with his athletic fielding will be an asset for the Mumbai franchise.

Kolkata Knight Riders have played exciting brand of cricket this season and narrowly missed out for this match if the rain had not stopped against Sunrisers Hyderabad. KKR started the tournament with a bang before losing their way. KKR have always performed poorly against MI and would like to change that in this crucial match.

Players to watch out for KKR

Chris Lynn: The Aussie has been the cornerstone stone of Knight Riders’ batting. Lynn started the tournament with a bang against Gujarat Lions in Rajkot and blasted 93 off only 41 balls hitting eight sixes striking at 226.82. Lynn then suffered a misfortune and injured his shoulder against MI and missed next nine matches. KKR would hope that Lynn continues the good form and takes them to another IPL final.

Sunil Narine: Sunil Narine is known for his bowling, but this season he has become a batsman who can bowl a bit. Narine scored the fastest fifty this IPL in just 15 balls (i.e. 2.3 overs) against the hapless Royal Challengers Bangalore in Bengaluru. Narine might not be intimidating but he has been getting the job done for KKR. Chris Lynn and Narine complement each other well and KKR are much stronger when they both attack from the word go.

Gautam Gambhir: Gautam Gambhir doesn’t come across as your typical T20 player. He is not big, doesn’t hit big sixes or plays funky shots but Gambhir is currently the second highest run scorer (486 runs in 15 matches) and has also led KKR admirably. The Delhi lad plays spin very well and is an ideal foil for the stroke makers around him. Gambhir is an IPL veteran and scored over 4,000 runs, with 35 half centuries to his name. The match will come down to who holds their nerve and Gambhir always plays well when there is pressure and thrives on it.

AFP PHOTO / Dibyangshu SARKAR

Nathan Coulter-Nile: The big, burly cricketer from down under has bowled with pace and aggression this season. Coulter-Nile with his height and bounce will test the technique of batsman and has a knack of picking up big wickets. The Aussie has made a difference to the KKR line up and has picked up 14 wickets in seven matches. Coulter-Nile is also a handy batsman down the order and can smack a few with the willow.




IPL 2017: Shah Rukh Khan and Son Abram cheer for KKR in Rajkot


Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan is busy shooting for his new film and was recently spotted in Punjab to root for his upcoming motion picture directed by Imtiaz Ali. But, who can keep him far from Kolkata Knight Riders’ (KKR) matches, the team which he owns. On Friday, him as well as his child AbRam was also observed cheering for their team in Rajkot. Daddy and child were available amid the match between Gujarat Lions and KKR, which Kolkata won convincingly. AbRam stole the spotlight for quite some time and the concentration of the observers moved to him from the match.

Twitterati went wild and couldn’t avoid themselves from sharing the minute via web-based networking media. The Badshah of Bollywood and AbRam were seen sitting in the stands, with the previous donning a KKR cap and child a white polo t-shirt.

What also got the consideration were the looks of AbRam’s new tattoo that is like his father, which SRK is seen sporting for his character in the Imtiaz Ali directorial yet untitled film.

The “Raees” on-screen character had, few days prior, shared a photo montage from the arrangements of the film where he and performing artist Anushka Sharma were seen in normal Punjabi clothing.

SRK, in a kurta and pajama, was riding a tractor in the fields of Punjab. “Lehraate Khet, Ladkiyaan, Lassi Te Love in Punjab. Thank u all for such a great shoot and to Imtiaz for bringing us here (sic),” 51-year-old on-screen character captioned the post.

The Ring and Rehnuma were the tentative titles of the film. However, the final title is yet to be decided.




IPL 2016: Mumbai Indians beat Royal Challengers Bangalore by 6 wickets


Mumbai middle-order batsmen Kieron Pollard and Jos Buttler played explosive innings to knock out Bangalore

Defending champions Mumbai Indians produced a power-packed performance with both the bat and ball to climb back into top four of Indian Premier League table with a convincing six-wicket win over hosts Royal Challengers Bangalore on Wednesday.

Playing XIs:

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Chris Gayle, Lokesh Rahul (wk), Virat Kohli (capt.), AB de Villiers, Shane Watson, Sachin Baby, Stuart Binny, Sreenath Aravind, Chris Jordan, Varun Aaron, Yuzvendra Chahal

​Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (capt.), Parthiv Patel (wk), Ambati Rayudu, Krunal Pandya, Jos Buttler, Kieron Pollard, Nitish Rana, Harbhajan Singh, Tim Southee, Mitchell McClenaghan, Jasprit Bumrah




Ind v WI: India set to lose no.1 ranking as day four abandoned


Port of Spain: India stood on the brink of losing their number one status in the world as the fourth day’s play in the fourth and final cricket Test against West Indies was abandoned owing to wet outfield here today.

Efforts to get the Queen’s Park Oval ready for play were given up in the very first hour of day four as the umpires called it off at 10.25 local time.

The first inspection was scheduled at 10, and the umpires deemed the ground unfit for any cricket for a third day running.

As per one member of the ground staff, the umpires had said that there was an improvement from day three, but not sufficiently enough to allow for the game to advance. And so, India are set to lose their no.1 Test ranking, which they had gained last week following Australia’s 0-3 loss in Sri Lanka.

To retain this ranking going into the long home season, the Indian team needed to win this final Test in Trinidad and take the four match series by a 3-0 margin. But that looks impossible at this juncture, with threat of more rain and the ground in poor state. Pakistan will thus become the new no.1 Test ranked side, courtesy their 2-2 draw in England.

Earlier, an ICC release had said that the new no.1 side will be presented with the Test mace after the completion of this West Indies-India series brings out the new rankings’ order, which should be around lunch time here tomorrow once this match is finally abandoned.

India has to be consistent to be best Test team: Kohli
Only 22 overs were bowled on day one at the Oval, on Thursday, and after winning the toss, West Indies were placed at 62 for two at lunch when the rain showers first came. Kraigg Brathwaite (32) and Marlon Samuels (4) were unbeaten at the crease, with Ishant Sharma (1-7) and Ravichandran Ashwin (1-22) the wicket-takers.

The former dismissed Leon Johnson (9), caught at short leg by Rohit Sharma, and the latter bowled Darren Bravo (10) with a beautiful off-break delivery.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar (0-13) and Mohammed Shami (0-14) were the other bowlers deployed.

Day two and three were abandoned without a ball being bowled, just like day four, as wet outfield and intermittent showers made sure that the ground was unfit for cricket.




Ravichandran Ashwin fastest Indian to reach 200-wicket haul


Kanpur : Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin on Sunday became the fastest Indian and second overall to take 200 wickets, reaching the milestone in his 37th Test.

Ashwin trapped New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson in front to get to the 200-mark on day four of the first Test at the Green Park.

The spinner had also got the better of Williamson in the first innings, when he went through the defence of the visiting captain with a vicious off-spinner.

With this feat, Ashwin left behind the likes of Dennis Lillee and Waqar Younis, who took 38 Tests to get to 200 wickets. South African pacer Dale Steyn took 39 Tests to reach the landmark. Only leg-spinner Clarrie Grimmett got to the double century of wickets faster than Ashwin as the Australian reached there in 36 Tests.

Ashwin, who has so far taken seven wickets in the Kanpur Test, said he enjoyed his last 100 wickets. “Ever since coming back from Australia (in 2014-15), I have been enjoying my last 100 wickets. I was planning my wickets better,” said Ashwin after stumps on day four.

“The challenge from the opposition is always good. For example, Williamson was playing really well. Taylor was playing back. It’s a combination of playing good batsmen, conditions and match situations that makes this satisfying.

We have a bunch of fighters, will fight it out: BJ Watling
“I think its too early to talk about my achievements I have a long way to go. (12 more Tests to go in the season) Very important to take one day at a time, Test cricket can set you back if you take it for granted. Be greedy in terms of what you want to achieve, but preparing for a Test, you have to take it one day at a time,” he added.




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