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Gavaskar is entitled to his opinion but it doesn’t affect me one iota: Tim Paine | Cricket News

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BRISBANE: Australia captain Tim Paine wouldn’t engage in a war of words with Sunil Gavaskar, saying the legendary Indian’s critical assessment of his leadership doesn’t bother him one bit.
On the last day of the Sydney Test, Paine tried to unsettle Ravichandran Ashwin by sledging the Indian spinner and Gavaskar promptly termed it “unbefitting of national team captain” whose days as the man in charge seemed to be “numbered”.

Asked if he had heard about Gavaskar’s comments of him, Paine said: “I had, but I am not going to go into it and get my back and forth with Sunny Gavaskar, I think I am not going to win that.”
Paine in a curt manner put forth that Gavaskar doesn’t bother him.
“He is entitled to his opinion. It doesn’t affect us one iota. It is adding to the Test match, which is great. So Sunny can keep saying what he wants to say at the end of the day, it is absolutely nothing to do with it.”
Paine has already publicly apologised for crossing the line and said that from now on, he would like to play the way he knows and that’s doing his job with a smile on the his face.
“Throughout my career, I have done a pretty good job of being relaxed 99 percent of the times. That’s when I have played my best cricket. Other day, I thought I got caught up in the moment.
“What I have been good at it is able to step back and have a look around the crowd and realise you are captaining your country in a Test match, something I have always dreamt of. Obviously, I am going to compete very hard and I am going to win as much as anyone and I would like to competitive,” said the 36-year-old, whose own place in the team will be under scanner if they don’t win the series.

Asked if he would continue the banter after what happened in Sydney?
“I will be myself. Don’t know how many Tests I have played but I have gone about in a pretty consistent fashion. Other day, it was a blip on the radar,” he had no shame in admitting.
Paine said that he wouldn’t still mind a light-hearted banter.
“I have copped that on the chin and look to come out and play competitive cricket, as I always do. There is a bit of banter that I always do but be aware of the stump mic and be a bit more respectful of the umpires, officials and players,” the skipper added.
On the subject of the dropped catches for which Australia paid dearly, Paine said it was both technical glitch and not being in a good head space.
“There was probably little-bit of both, there was a slight technical thing, nothing major, that’s for sure. I was little-bit tens that made my arms and hands a bit stiff, a bit tight,” said Paine.
He explained why he dropped Rishabh Pant twice off Nathan Lyon.
“….at times, the ones of Nathan in particular, I actually let the ball get underneath my eyes and my hands were too close to my body and didn’t have enough room to go with it,” he said.
“…so for me it was slight technical tweak, making sure that I am getting my hands bit at front, giving myself bit more room to move and adapt with the ball and not let the ball get under my eyes. If it gets under your eyes, the you lose sight of it.”
Paine also said that unnecessary controversy created by Steve Smith scuffing up Pant’s guard hasn’t affected the former captain at all.
“Steve is in good frame of mind. We have seen through what he has gone through in the last three years that he came back straight into form and performed in the Ashes, he is mentally very strong, very tough,” the skipper said.
“He knows that at times he is going to be criticised and he has handled that extremely well not only this week but since he has come back in to our side, so, if anything he feeds off it, his statistics will speak for himself and we will see the best of Steve Smith this week.”


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Aguero self-isolating after contracting coronavirus | Football News

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LONDON: Mannchester City’s record goalscorer Sergio Aguero said on Thursday he has contracted coronavirus and is self isolating. The 32-year-old Argentinian striker had already been self-isolating due to being in close contact with someone who tested positive for the virus.
Britain is in the midst of a third lockdown due to the emergence of a new strain of Covid-19 across the country in recent months which is believed to be more contagious.

Manchester City have been hard hit by the virus with 11 players and staff testing positive in recent weeks.
They were forced to postpone a Premier League match with Everton in late December.
Aguero has had a frustrating season making just three starts due to a series of injury problems.
“After a close contact, I’ve been self-isolating and the latest test I took was positive for Covid-19,” he tweeted.
“I had some symptoms and I’m following doctor’s orders for recovery. Take care, everyone!”
City have prospered despite his absence, their 2-0 win in the Premier League over Aston Villa on Wednesday being their ninth successive win in all competitions.



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India vs England: Stokes, Archer named in squad for first two Tests

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London: Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer have been named in England’s squad for the first two Tests against India, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) announced on Thursday.

Stokes and Archer are currently not a part of England’s squad for the ongoing two-match Test series against Sri Lanka, but the duo will return to action after a much-deserved break. Rory Burns has also returned to the squad for Tests against India.

Under the leadership of Joe Root, England will be looking to show a spirited performance to bolster their chances of making it to the finals of the World Test Championship in June.

England’ squad: Joe Root (Yorkshire) (captain), Jofra Archer (Sussex), Moeen Ali (Worcestershire), James Anderson (Lancashire), Dom Bess (Yorkshire), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Rory Burns (Surrey), Jos Buttler (Lancashire), Zak Crawley (Kent), Ben Foakes (Surrey), Dan Lawrence (Essex), Jack Leach (Somerset), Dom Sibley (Warwickshire), Ben Stokes (Durham), Olly Stone (Warwickshire), Chris Woakes (Warwickshire).

Reserves: James Bracey (Gloucestershire), Mason Crane (Hampshire), Saqib Mahmood (Lancashire), Matthew Parkinson (Lancashire), Ollie Robinson (Sussex), Amar Virdi (Surrey).

Surrey’s Ollie Pope will travel to India and will be added to the squad when passed fit. Pope is recovering from a shoulder injury sustained in September during the Test series against Pakistan.

The national selectors have provided a block of rest for Jonathan Bairstow, Sam Curran, and Mark Wood. The three players, who are currently in Sri Lanka, will miss the first and second Tests in India.

This is consistent with the selection policy of finding a block of rest for all multi-format players at some point during the post-Christmas winter schedule.

With Archer and Stokes returning, and subject to the fitness of the rest of the squad, Somerset’s Craig Overton will return home after the Sri Lanka series.

India and England are set to lock horns in four Tests, five T20Is, and three ODIs. The first Test is set to begin on February 5 in Chennai.

On Tuesday, India had also announced its squad for the first two Tests against England.

India’s squad for first two Tests against England: Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Wriddhiman Saha, Hardik Pandya, KL Rahul (subject to fitness), Rishabh Pant, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohammad Siraj, Shardul Thakur, Ravi Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Washington Sundar, Axar Patel.

The team has five stand-bys in Priyank Panchal, KS Bharat, Abhimanyu Easwaran, Shahbaz Nadeem, and Rahul Chahar. Net bowlers have also been included with an eye on the coronavirus situation and they are Ankit Rajpoot, Avesh Khan, Sandeep Warrier, K Gowtham, and Saurabh Kumar.

The first two games of the 4-game series are to be played in Chennai before the cricketers move to Ahmedabad for the third and fourth Test.



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India vs England: Stokes, Archer back for first two Tests against India | Cricket News

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LONDON: Explosive all-rounder Ben Stokes and pacer Jofra Archer on Thursday returned to a 16-member strong England squad named for the first two Tests of the upcoming four-match series against India.
The England selectors also named six travelling reserves for the first and second matches, to be held at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai from February 5.

Both Stokes and Archer were rested for the ongoing two-match Test series in Sri Lanka, while Rory Burns was at home for the birth of his child.
The team will continue to be led by Joe Root.

Surrey’s Ollie Pope will travel to India and will be added to the squad when passed fit. Pope is recovering from a shoulder injury sustained in September during the Test series against Pakistan.
The national selectors have provided rest to Jonathan Bairstow, Sam Curran and Mark Wood. The three players, who are currently in Sri Lanka, will miss the first and second Tests in India.
“This is consistent with the selection policy of finding a block of rest for all multi-format players at some point during post-Christmas winter schedule,” the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said in a release.
With Archer and Stokes returning, and subject to fitness of the rest of the squad, Somerset’s Craig Overton will return home after the Sri Lanka series.
Squad for first two Tests: Joe Root, Jofra Archer, Moeen Ali, James Anderson, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Ben Foakes, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Ben Stokes, Olly Stone, Chris Woakes.


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