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India vs Australia: Held back in Oz for nets, Washington Sundar may play Gabba Test; Jasprit Bumrah out | Cricket News

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MUMBAI: The Indian team will not take any chances with fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah, who is “50% fit” ahead of the fourth Test against Australia at the Gabba. However, in the case of R Ashwin – who has been struggling with back spasms – a final call will be taken by Wednesday afternoon.
If Ashwin stays for the Test, apropos of Bumrah, the Indian team will walk into the game with six batsmen and five bowlers, including two spin bowling-allrounders.
Tamil Nadu cricketer Washington Sundar, who was asked to stay back in Australia after the white ball series, now stands a huge chance to wear the Test whites for the fourth Test, alongside Ashwin, if the latter is declared fit to play.

Mayank Agarwal, who was expected to play this Test in the absence of Hanuma Vihari, who has been ruled out, also suffered a knock in the nets on Monday and is being observed. Should Agarwal also be ruled out, the young Prithvi Shaw will find himself back in the scheme of things – only this time to play in the middle-order.
Given Sundar’s batting abilities, he and Ashwin can be expected to play the role of all-rounders, thus boosting India’s batting order as against a depleted bowling attack that will now rest on the shoulders of Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini and Shardul Thakur.
Sundar being considered by the team management, because of his ability to bowl and also bat a bit, will mean there will be no place for Saha to get in.

Meanwhile, Thakur is expected to be slotted in ahead of T Natarajan, given his relatively better red-ball experience.
The only potential scenario the team management will have to consider carefully is the possibility of Ashwin not being declared fit in time. Will Ravi Shastri and Ajinkya Rahane then consider a spin replacement in Kuldeep Yadav or let go of a five-pronged bowling attack and instead walk in with an extra batsman is a call that will have to be taken.
Hanuma Vihari and Ravindra Jadeja have already been ruled out.
The playing eleven, for now, is expected to be on the following lines: Shubhman Gill, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (WK), Mayank Agarwal / Prithvi Shaw, R Ashwin, Washington Sundar, Mohammed Siraj, Navdeep Saini, Shardul Thakur.


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Newport keeper Tom King sets world record with goal from 96 metres out | Football News

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When Newport County goalkeeper Tom King took a goal kick in a League Two game at Cheltenham Town on Tuesday, little did he know he would be writing his name into the Guinness World Records book for the longest goal ever scored.
At 0-0 in the 12th minute, King placed the ball inside his six-yard box and launched it so far upfield that it bounced a few yards outside the opposition box before the wind picked it up and over the helpless Joshua Griffiths in Cheltenham’s goal.
Guinness World Records ratified the record on Thursday, with his 105 yards (96.01 m) goal breaking the record previously set by former Stoke City goalkeeper Asmir Begovic, whose clearance from inside his own box found the Southampton net in 2013.
“I’m absolutely delighted because it’s not something that I intentionally set out to do,” King said on the club’s website. “I’m sure it will be talked about for a long time to come, so I’m proud and I’m sure my family will be extremely proud too.

“I’ll have to drop Asmir a message to send my commiserations… It’s different territory for me because I never dreamt of being in the books that you get for Christmas every year.
“Hopefully I might actually read it if I get one for Christmas this year. I’m delighted and hopefully no one beats it for a long time now so I can show my grandkids.”

However, King refused to celebrate the goal out of respect for his Cheltenham counterpart even though it was the first goal he had ever scored as a professional.
“I didn’t even know how to celebrate really and I apologised to the other goalkeeper after the game… It’s not nice to be on the other end of it,” he said.



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Natarajan receives ‘hero’s welcome’ at native village Salem | Cricket News

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SALEM (Tamil Nadu): After winning the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, most of the Indian stars landed in the country on Thursday and every star continues to be welcomed with open arms. Pacer T Natarajan was no exception and he received a hero’s welcome at his native village in Salem.
Natarajan had made his Test debut during the fourth match against Australia at the Gabba and he even went on to take three wickets in the first innings.

Upon reaching his native village Salem, Natarajan was welcomed with ‘dhols’ and shehnais. The Indian pacer was surrounded by a huge crowd and he then stepped onto a chariot.
People did not stop there and he was escorted by a huge crowd and the Indian pacer basked in the much-deserved glory.
As India won the Border-Gavaskar Trophy against Australia 2-1 on Tuesday, pacer T Natarajan had said that playing Test cricket for the country was always his dream.

“The last couple of months have been surreal. My time with #TeamIndia has been the best of my life. Playing Test cricket for India was a dream. We have overcome many hurdles on this tour to win this series. Overwhelmed with your support,” Natarajan tweeted.

Natarajan was chosen as a net bowler for the Australia series, but the left-armer went on to represent the country in all three formats of the game. In his debut Test, Natarajan also went on to take three wickets, including the likes of Marnus Labuschagne and Matthew Wade in the first innings.
The last time a visiting team came out triumphant from the Brisbane Cricket Ground was back in November 1988 when the mighty West Indian outfit under the leadership of Viv Richards thrashed Allan Border’s team by 9 wickets.

Virat Kohli had also returned home after the first Test as he along with wife Anushka Sharma were expecting the birth of their first child. Kohli announced that they have been blessed with a baby girl on the very day when the Indian team played out of its skin to draw the third Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
In the first Test against Australia, India was bundled out for 36 and there were many pundits who said the visiting team will face a 4-0 drubbing. But proving every critic wrong, the Ajinkya Rahane-led side registered famous victories at Melbourne and Brisbane. The side also recorded a famous draw at Sydney and at every step of the way, this line-up overcame adversity.



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Inside Team Room: Wear that 36 all out like a badge, R Sridhar recalls ‘Raviship’ and more | Cricket News

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NEW DELHI: He “aged 10 years in about one hour” thanks to Rishabh Pant and Washington Sundar.
Team India’s long-serving fielding coach R Sridhar was in the thick of things as the side battled adversity after adversity before their “unreal” Test series win over a mighty Australia. And in an exclusive conversation with PTI, he opened up about the emotional roller-coaster that the tour was.
“When Rishabh and Washy (Washington Sundar) were batting, I wasn’t able to cope up with tension,” Sridhar said after reaching his home in Hyderabad, still trying to calm the nerves after that surreal final day in Brisbane.

“My heart rate was 120 on fitness app and couldn’t help telling Rohit that main ek ghante mein 10 saal buddha ho gaya,” he joked.
An integral part of the Indian team set-up, Sridhar opened about the tour in an elaborate chat, asserting it will be difficult to surpass what the team went through in the past one month — from hitting the nadir to reaching the zenith.
He touched upon the many highlights of the intense trip — from coach Ravi Shastri‘s inspiring speech after the 36 all-out disaster in Adelaide to Hanuma Vihari’s “miracle” batting at Sydney to the stunner in Brisbane.

36 all out and the aftermath:
“After 36 all-out, you didn’t know what’s next. Then Ravi (Shastri) bhai gathered the team and said: ‘Wear this 36 like a badge on your sleeves and you will be a great team’.
“After 40 days, it was gospel truth. Also we had five meetings in two days after the Adelaide Test finished on the third evening. Virat (Kohli), Jinks (Ajinkya Rahane) and the coaching staff discussed the combination and Virat gave some lovely suggestions for the MCG Test before leaving.
“I don’t think there could have been a better execution in Melbourne,” he recalled the events leading up to the turnaround in Melbourne, where India won to draw level.

Hanuma Vihari and the Sydney Heist:
“At tea time in Sydney, Vihari had his feet stretched wide as Nitin Patel strapped his hamstring and other physio administered painkillers. I went up to him and told Vihari, ‘You owe the next two hours to your team as this team has backed you at every juncture.’
“…and after those 250 balls when he came back, he could barely walk, he fell down on the chair as I went to hug him. He said: ‘Sir you asked for it. This is the best I could do in this situation.’ I could just mutter ‘thank you.’
Sridhar said Vihari’s fitness took a hit as he wasn’t a part of the IPL like most other Indian players last year.
“His hamstring injury is multi-factorial. Firstly, he wasn’t playing IPL like others, so general fitness level was a bit less than other guys which I told him and then he stood at short leg for three Tests which also contributed to injury. But what he did in Sydney gave us belief that we could do it in Brisbane.

“Vihari is an intense, young man. He is not your normal, jovial kind of a guy. He can go into a shell very soon, and that’s his strength also and it helped him in Sydney.
“Despite being on heavy dose of painkillers, which could make you a bit drowsy, he actually pulled off a miracle in Sydney. So when we got there in Brisbane, we had the belief that we could do it.”
The Brisbane Chase on final day:
“We didn’t want to complicate anything with Rishabh and Washy and it was their own plan. They had very valid excellent plan which was based on their abilities and belief.
“When you see what they were executing, the last thing you want to do is send in information and at such times, less is more. Ajinkya and Ravi bhai said, ‘Just leave these two alone. Whatever happens, we would take it, we came so far brilliantly’.”
T Natarajan didn’t carry his bat or pads to the tour:
“You know Nattu didn’t carry a bat. He had his bowling spikes and trainers because he came as a net bowler and was supposed to bowl. He had to borrow one from either Washy or Ash (R Ashwin) when he was named in the squad.
“But that was the beauty. He was not any usual net bowler. (Strength and Conditioning coach) Nick Webb and (trainer) Soham (Desai) had proper strength and conditioning plan for all our net bowlers and they were an integral part of dressing room.”
Talent called Washington:
“We kept him here after white ball games because we didn’t want Ash to bowl too much at the nets but Nathan Lyon was always going to be an integral part of the Aussie line-up so we needed our batsmen to get net sessions.
“We used Washy to bowl into the rough. When Washy would bowl to our top order at nets, I would go and tell him ‘Washy, give the ball over-spin because that’s the need of the hour on Australian pitches, up (pitching it up) and over spin as you have to put your whole body behind the ball, because it requires energy.’
“We would tell Washy, that you may not be the lead off-spinner, but when India come back again in 2025, who knows you might be leading the spin attack with Kuldeep. Also even when he was not in original squad, he would bat for 30 minutes every day.”
Leadership will now be known as ‘Ravi Ship’:
“Before the Brisbane Test started, Ravi bhai had one mantra, ‘Nattu is no less than (Jasprit) Bumrah and Washy is no less than Ashwin, and that will be your mindset’. If you two are crossing that boundary line wearing that India cap, you are no less than the person next to you.
“Please quote me, it is unfair that you needed India’s greatest Test victory to understand Ravi Shastri’s contribution to Indian cricket. He was Indian cricket’s ‘Go To Man’, when NCA needed restructuring in 2007, when IPL was conceptualised, when India needed a stop gap coach in 2007 after the World Cup exit, and also in 2014 when a Team Director was needed.”
And finally, a Champagne spray and game of TT:
We had a flight next morning. So first we had to pack our bags and then we went to the team room for celebration. 90 percent people don’t drink so it was just spraying champagne and then some games of table tennis which the boys enjoyed.


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