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Gambhir has great cricket brain, he's going to be fantastic for India: Dale Steyn

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Gambhir has great cricket brain, he's going to be fantastic for India: Dale Steyn

New Delhi, July 11 (IANS) Former South Africa pacer Dale Steyn lauded Gautam Gambhir’s appointment as India’s head coach and said his aggression and game awareness on the field will be beneficial for the Men in Blue.

BCCI announced Gambhir as head coach of the Indian team after the departure of Rahul Dravid. India clinched the T20 World Cup title to end the 11-year-long ICC trophy drought in his last assignment.

“I’m a big fan of Gautam Gambhir. I love his aggression. He’s one of the few Indians I ever played against who came back at you, and I like that. I think he’s going to take that into the dressing room with guys like Virat and some of the other senior players who might not play as big a part anymore. I’m not too sure,” Steyn told Star Sports.

“Not just in India, but in world cricket, we need guys who are a little bit more aggressive and play the game a little bit harder. We all seem to play in the leagues against each other, and we become quite friendly and friends. I like the way that he’s fierce on the field but a gentleman off the field. He’s also streetwise, a very smart cricketer, and has a great cricket brain. So I think from that point of view, he’s going to be fantastic for them too,” he added.

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Former Proteas all-rounder Jacques Kallis also remains confident in Gambhir’s ability to excel in the job with his aggressive nature.

“It’s great to see Gautam getting into the coaching side of things. He’s got a really good cricket brain. He’ll bring some fire and loves playing the game aggressively. I think he’ll bring that added touch, and the guys will certainly learn a lot from him. He’s got a lot to add and will bring significant value to that Indian side. I wish him all the best—not too much against us, but I’m sure he’ll do a fantastic job,” Kallis said.

Former Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi added, “I think it’s a big opportunity, and we need to see how he makes the most of it. I have seen his interviews, and he talks positively and is very straightforward.”

Gambhir will join the Indian side for the Sri Lanka tour, where India will play three T20Is and as many ODIs against Sri Lanka, starting on July 27.

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–IANS

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Tennis: Andy Murray confirms he will retire after Paris Olympics

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Tennis: Andy Murray confirms he will retire after Paris Olympics

Tennis: Andy Murray confirms he will retire after Paris Olympics

Paris (France), July 23 (IANS) Scotland’s former World No.1 Andy Murray on Tuesday announced that the upcoming Paris Olympics will be his final tournament as a tennis player. Murray announced that he will bring his illustrious playing career to a close after the Paris Olympics, the 37-year-old confirmed on Tuesday via social media.

Murray, a 46-time tour-level titlist, will represent Great Britain at an Olympic Games for the fifth time in Paris, where the tennis event runs from 27 July to 4 August. A two-time Olympic men’s singles gold medallist, Murray will then call time on his 20-year pro career.

“Arrived in Paris for my last-ever tennis tournament @Olympics. Competing for Great Britain has been by far the most memorable weeks of my career and I’m extremely proud to get to do it one final time!” wrote Murray in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

Murray is set to compete in singles and doubles (alongside Daniel Evans) in Paris. He won his first Olympic gold by defeating Roger Federer in the final at London 2012, before defending his crown by edging Juan Martin del Potro in an epic final at Rio de Janeiro 2016.

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–IANS

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Jr Women, Men West Zone Hockey: Chhattisgarh defeat Madhya Pradesh 9-0

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Jr Women, Men West Zone Hockey: Chhattisgarh defeat Madhya Pradesh 9-0

Jr Women, Men West Zone Hockey: Chhattisgarh defeat Madhya Pradesh 9-0

Rajnandgaon (Chhattisgarh), July 23 (IANS) Chhattisgarh defeated Hockey Madhya Pradesh 9-0 in the women’s match on the third day of the 2nd Hockey India Junior Women and Men West Zone Championship 2024 here on Tuesday.

In the only match of the day, Sneha Patel (14’) gave Hockey Madhya Pradesh the lead towards the end of the first quarter before captain Palak Gupta (17’, 32’, 47’) and Chanu Khaidem Shileima (18’, 52’, 53’) both scored hattricks as Hockey Madhya Pradesh were well ahead in the contest.

Kajal (54’) and Krishna Sharma (59’) also chipped in with a goal each for Hockey Madhya Pradesh.

–IANS

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Sub-jr Men, Women West Zone Hockey: M.P, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh win on Day 1

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Sub-jr Men, Women West Zone Hockey: M.P, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh win on Day 1

Sub-jr Men, Women West Zone Hockey: M.P, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh win on Day 1

Surat, July 23 (IANS) Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Chhattisgarh scored comprehensive victories in their respective matches in the women’s category, while Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra won in the men’s category on the opening day of the 2nd Hockey India Sub-junior Men & Women West Zone Championship 2024 here on Tuesday.

Hockey Madhya Pradesh began the Zonal Championship with a 13-0 victory against Goans Hockey in the Women’s category at Veer Narmad South Gujarat University Hockey Ground. The goal-scorers for Madhya Pradesh were Sajeda Begum (3’, 25’, 37’), Bhabar Keshar (5’), Captain Tanvi (19’, 21’, 23’, 34’, 52’), Hirva Purohit (22’), Ekta Jakhodiya (23’), Aqsa Khan (47’), and Geethasri Nammi (53’).

In the second match, Maharashtra registered a 4-2 win against Rajasthan in the women’s category. Rawat Anvi (10’, 53’) opened the account for Maharashtra but a quick brace from Lamoria Salini (19’, 25’) turned the table in Rajasthan’s favour.

Hockey Maharashtra fought back through goals from captain Yashasvi Prakash Kubde (25’, 44’) and Rawat Anvi to secure a comeback victory.

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Chhattisgarh Hockey defeated Hockey Gujarat 14-1 in the women’s category in the third match of the day. Naina (5’, 10’, 38’), Shyamlee Ray (8’, 40’), Dubee Rawat (24’, 46’, 53’, 56’), Sidar Madhu (26’, 44’, 50’), and Maurya Priyanshi (48’, 60’) got on the scoresheet for Chhattisgarh Hockey while Captain Ghadge Komal (9’) scored the lone goal for Hockey Gujarat.

The men’s category commenced with Chhattisgarh beating Goans Hockey 11-1. Sahu Piyush Kumar (24’, 37’, 39’, 45’, 46’, 49’, 55’) led the goalscoring efforts for Chhattisgarh. He was joined on the scoresheet by Avi Manikpuri (27’, 36’), Kujur Pritam (27’), and Om Kumar Yadav (42’). Gaonkar Ansh Ankush (59’) managed to score a consolation goal for Goans Hockey towards the end of the match.

The last match of the day saw Maharashtra defeat Rajasthan 3-1 in the men’s category. Vijkape Dnyaneshkumar (7’, 38’) and Thakur Siddharth Sachin (60’) scored for Maharashtra while the only goal for Rajasthan was scored by captain Amit Singh (13’).

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–IANS

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Women's Asia Cup: Harmanpreet, Pooja rested as India opt to bat first against Nepal

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Women's Asia Cup: Harmanpreet, Pooja rested as India opt to bat first against Nepal

Women's Asia Cup: Harmanpreet, Pooja rested as India opt to bat first against Nepal

Dambulla, July 23 (IANS) India stand-in captain Smriti Mandhana won the toss and opted to bat first against Nepal in a Group A match of the Women’s Asia Cup here on Tuesday. India have rested regular skipper Harmanpreet Kaur and pacer Pooja Vastrakar for the encounter. S. Sajana and Arundhati Reddy come in for the duo in India’s playing 11.

“We’d like to bat first today. In the last few years, T20 cricket has changed. It’s a collective effort, we’ve looked to take on whatever is in our range. The outfields are quick, the tracks are flat, and sometimes even 200 isn’t enough. We’ll look to trust our process and look to bat. 180 will be great, it’s about playing one ball at a time. Harman and Pooja are resting,” Mandhana said at the toss.

On the other hand, Nepal captain Indu Barma confirmed two changes in her team.

“We are ready for both. We have some youngsters who are keen to get into the contest. We are ready for every challenge; we look to give our 100%. We have two changes,” she said.

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Playing XIs:

India Women: Shafali Verma, Smriti Mandhana(c), Dayalan Hemalatha, Jemimah Rodrigues, Richa Ghosh(w), Deepti Sharma, S Sajana, Radha Yadav, Tanuja Kanwar, Renuka Thakur Singh, Arundhati Reddy.

Nepal Women: Samjhana Khadka, Sita Rana Magar, Kabita Kunwar, Indu Barma (c), Dolly Bhatta, Rubina Chhetry, Puja Mahato, Kabita Joshi, Kajal Shrestha(w), Sabnam Rai, Bindu Rawal.

–IANS

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Paris Olympics: 'We are confident about our chances', says archer Deepika Kumari

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Paris Olympics: 'We are confident about our chances', says archer Deepika Kumari

Paris Olympics: 'We are confident about our chances', says archer Deepika Kumari

New Delhi, July 23 (IANS) India’s ace archer Deepika Kumari is confident of the team’s chances in the Paris Olympics. She said clear communication in tough situations will benefit them in the quadrennial event. Indian archers will compete in all five medal events in Paris: men’s and women’s teams, individual, and mixed categories.

The women’s team boasts exceptional talent including the 2022 Asian Games bronze medallists Ankita Bhakat and Bhajan Kaur, apart from Deepika.

“The strength of any team lies in its communication and combination. It’s essential to support each other in various situations. We talk a lot and discuss how to handle different scenarios. Clear communication, especially in tough situations, is a huge strength for us. We are confident about our chances at the Olympics,” Deepika said on JioCinema’s ‘The Dreamers’.

Bhakat, who is fulfilling a lifelong dream of competing in the Olympics, expressed her confidence in the team’s progress.

“Since I started archery, I have always dreamt of playing in the Olympics. Now, that dream is coming true. In past World Cups, we rarely played podium matches, but this time it’s different. We learned from our early setbacks and improved significantly. Our performance has been consistently better in each competition, and I believe we will perform well at the Olympics,” Bhakat stated.

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She emphasised the importance of self-belief, adding, “I know what level of performance I’m capable of. When I give my 100%, the medal will surely follow.”

Bhajan echoed Bhakat’s sentiments, stressing on the importance of continuous improvement and giving their best effort. “My performance at the second World Cup was much better than the first one, so I started feeling victorious about my progress since the first World Cup,” said Kaur.

“Whenever we go for a tournament, we focus on giving our best, no matter the magnitude of the tournament. Our aim is to leave no stones unturned for the Olympics as well and we are confident that we will return from Paris with a medal.”

Bhakat also pointed out the invaluable experience of having a veteran like Deepika Kumari in the team. “It’s a great advantage that Deepika is going to the Olympics for the fourth time. She understands the challenges we might face in Paris,” she explained.

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Bhajan added, “Deepika’s experience, along with Ankita’s, is our biggest strength. They help us understand and rectify any issues in our game. Our ability to communicate and support each other is crucial.”

Deepika, one of India’s most decorated archers, has been a beacon of excellence in the sport. The former World No.1 archer has won medals in World Cups, Asian Championships, the Commonwealth Games, the World Championships, and the Asian Games.

–IANS

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