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Shreyas Iyer needs a big knock in Ranji Trophy quarter finals to regain lost ground

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“He’s an experienced player. His contribution has been amazing whenever he turned up for Mumbai. We are thrilled to have him in our team for the semifinal,” Rahane said before his team takes on Tamil Nadu in the Ranji semifinals.

AJINKYA Rahane sounded confident. The lack of runs isn’t playing on his mind but an in-form Rahane gives Mumbai a better chance of being at their best. A Ranji Trophy quarter final could spur on Rahane.

 

It has been a disappointing domestic season for the middle-order batsman. In 10 innings his highest has been 56 not out. A run drought in domestic cricket after being dropped from the Test team.

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Unraveling the Challenge: IND vs ENG in Dharamsala – Rohit Sharma and Ben Stokes Contemplate Pitch Dynamics and Conditions

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In the serene backdrop of Dharamsala, the final Test between India and England unfolds, challenging preconceived notions of English conditions. The seemingly familiar setting with a chill in the air and a Victorian-style stadium complex contrasts sharply with the track’s distinctly “typically Indian” nature, as pointed out by Rohit Sharma.

England, feeling at home initially, grapple with the challenge of a whitish-brown pitch devoid of grass. Captain Ben Stokes opts for a balanced approach, contemplating ‘2 spinners, 2 pacers.’ However, uncertainties loom as Mark Wood replaces Ollie Robinson, and Shoaib Bashir’s upset stomach adds an element of unpredictability to the playing XI.

Dharamsala’s ever-changing weather complicates matters, with misleading signals confusing both players and spectators. Despite initial impressions, Rohit Sharma dismisses the notion of Dharamsala being a pseudo-England, emphasizing the team’s familiarity with the conditions. The pitch, with its winter-induced wrinkles, adds another layer of complexity, making the bounce unpredictable and challenging for batsmen.

As the match day approaches, the focus shifts to India’s bowling lineup. The return of Jasprit Bumrah leads the pack, with Mohammad Siraj as his deputy. The inclusion of Akash Deep, showcasing pace and movement in the nets, adds to the selection dilemma. Coach Rahul Dravid faces a tough decision, especially considering Akash Deep’s impressive spell troubling established batsmen.

The spotlight intensifies on England’s seasoned bowler, James Anderson, whose practice session reveals his skill and the challenges he poses for batsmen. With rain forecasted on Day One, Anderson’s prowess becomes a significant hurdle for India’s top order. Dharamsala’s potential to transform from gloomy and rainy to Ranchi or Rajkot within minutes adds an element of unpredictability to the game.

Rohit Sharma’s Zen perspective on handling pressure at Dharamsala provides a glimpse into the players’ mindset. Amidst the captivating scenery, players can turn to the mountains and find solace during challenging moments. The clash between India and England in Dharamsala transcends the expectations of a typical English Test, promising an intriguing battle shaped by unique pitch conditions and unpredictable weather.

 

 

 

 

 

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“Dhoni’s Arrival Sparks Excitement: CSK Gears Up for IPL 2024 with a Hint of Mystery”

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In a much-anticipated moment for fans, cricket legend Mahendra Singh Dhoni has officially linked up with the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) as the team prepares for the upcoming IPL 2024. A social media post from the franchise on Tuesday exclaimed, “#THA7A Dharisanam! 🦁💛 #DenComing,” marking the commencement of Dhoni’s journey with the team this season.

Dhoni, who recently attended the grand pre-wedding celebrations of Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant in Gujarat’s Jamnagar, has set the cricket world abuzz with speculation about a mysterious “new role” awaiting him in the upcoming season. In a viral social media post on Monday, the 42-year-old hinted at an exciting chapter ahead without revealing specific details, leaving fans and enthusiasts eagerly guessing about the nature of his involvement.

The former Indian captain, instrumental in leading CSK to their fifth IPL title last season, took to Facebook for a rare social media update, expressing his anticipation for the new season and the undisclosed “role” that awaits him. Despite the lack of explicit details, Dhoni’s enigmatic statement has generated significant buzz among cricket aficionados.

Last year saw Dhoni adopting a different batting strategy, often making appearances towards the end of CSK innings. However, the cricket maestro has yet to confirm whether he will resume his role as the captain for CSK in IPL 2024. Speculations about his retirement have lingered since the last season’s final, where he artfully sidestepped questions about retiring on a high note. Dhoni maintained that retiring at that juncture would be taking the easy way out, expressing a desire to return as the CSK captain if his physical condition allows.

As the cricket fraternity eagerly awaits the unfolding of Dhoni’s mysterious “role,” CSK is gearing up for their first clash against Royal Challengers Bangalore in the season opener on March 22. The team will then face a formidable challenge against Gujarat Titans on March 26, in a rematch of last year’s IPL final. A journey to Delhi on March 31 to clash with the Delhi Capitals awaits, followed by a concluding match in Hyderabad against the SunRisers, marking the completion of the first phase of the tournament for CSK.

With Dhoni’s arrival injecting renewed excitement and anticipation, the CSK fans are bracing themselves for a thrilling IPL 2024 season, fueled by the charisma and strategic prowess of their iconic captain.

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‘World’s shortest retirement’: Pat Cummins responds to prospect of Neil Wagner returning for 2nd NZ vs AUS Test

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Neil Wagner in action. (ICC)

On Sunday Australia thrashed New Zealand by 172 runs in Wellington to take the lead in two-match series. In addition to the loss, another concerning factor has been the fitness of young fast bowler Will O’Rourke who walked off the field due to holding his hamstring on Saturday.

When Australian skipper Pat Cummins on the prospect of Neil Wagner returning in place of O’Rourke for the second Test he would laugh and say “World’s shortest retirement.” The Kiwi left-arm seamer announced his retirement earlier in the week.

“I mean, why not? If he’s your next best bowler that you think is going to perform, then go for it. I’ve faced him before.” Cummins recalls. “It’d be good to see. He’s high energy. It’s been good fun chatting to him each morning out here, so see how he goes.”

New Zealand skipper Tim Southee speaking about Wagner after the game would say, “He’s had great reception here over the last week,” he said. “Got a couple of moments on the field, and he’s been a fan favorite for a long time,” he added.

A kiwi great

South Africa-born Wagner played 64 tests for New Zealand and will finish fifth on New Zealand’s list of all-time test wicket-takers with 260 at an average of 37.

His 260 Test wickets puts him in the fifth of all time New Zealanders’ bowling list behind Richard Hadlee, Tim Southee, Daniel Vettori and Trent Boult. And importantly, only Hadlee’s strike-rate is better than his.

“The time’s obviously come,” said Wagner, who fought back tears when thanking people at a press conference in Wellington.” He would remember Brendon McCullum at this emotional time.

“He (MCCullum) always spoke about leaving the Black Caps in a better place when you’re done, and moving that legacy forward, and I thought that’s something I can be pretty proud of.To the NZ public and the fans, I can’t thank you enough, for your support, for making me feel welcome, for making me feel like a Kiwi.”

 

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