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IPL 2024: Suryakumar Yadav reveals the secret behind the ‘Supla’ shot

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Mumbai, May 8 (IANS) Mumbai Indians batter Suryakumar Yadav broke down the arsenal of batting shots he has deployed throughout his career when he scored an unbeaten 102 off 51 deliveries which propelled the struggling Mumbai Indians side to secure a seven-wicket victory against Sunrisers Hyderabad at Wankhede Stadium.

From the iconic ‘offside scoop’ to his popular ‘Supla’ shot, the 33-year-old showed a glimpse of a multi-dimensional shot-playing ability against SRH. Yadav shared the story behind the origins of the shots in his repertoire. Yadav’s ‘Supla’ shot has become familiar with each and every inning that he has played, something he now revealed that he picked up playing tennis ball cricket in Mumbai.

“I suppose the name of the shot comes from the local tennis ball cricket that is played in Mumbai. And from there, when I started playing that shot because people have played a lot of it in tennis ball cricket, they started connecting with this shot and gave it a name. When the shot is played and is referred to as a ‘Supla’ shot, it feels good to hear,” Suryakumar Yadav said To JioCinema.

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Yadav got into the details of how he perfected the shot while playing rubber ball cricket with his school friends while demonstrating how the shot is executed.

“The story behind the shot is beautiful. I used to play cricket on hard cement tracks with my school friends and there was a 20-metre boundary on the offside while the right side was about 90-100 metres. We used to play with rubber balls in the rainy season and make the ball wet before bowling it hard. They used to bowl from my knee to my head, so if you want to score runs while not getting hit by the ball, that’s where the shot comes from. Whenever people ask me if I have practiced this or not, I have used this shot so many times in rubber ball cricket that it’s now in my muscle memory.”

Hitting the ‘Supla’ shot is tricky, but Yadav has figured out when and how to use the shot when the situation demands it.

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“I actually try to take the ball on the body when I play the ‘Supla’ shot. Whenever I stand and hit, I try to be in the line of the ball. If you miss the line of the ball, it’s very difficult to play that shot… I try to take the ball in line with the body and time it… There’s no premeditation in this… Even if it’s the first ball, if I want to use it, I’ll do it because I go with the intent to bat, enjoy, and entertain as much as I can, as much as I have practiced. Even if it’s the first ball, if it’s in the arc, it will go. So, the fielder at the back is actually irrelevant for me. I don’t see if he is there or not. If I want to play a shot, I have to play it.”

Not every batting inning is flawless, but Suryakumar Yadav knows how to create magical moments, regardless. That is precisely what he did in 2020 while facing Jofra Archer, executing an incredible ‘offside scoop’ shot after taking a knock to the head.

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“On the previous delivery, it hit me on my head and my head was spinning! After that, I thought I had to hit a different shot. I haven’t used this shot again since.”

Yadav also broke down other unique shots we have seen him use over the course of his IPL career, including the ‘uppercut shot’ and the ‘jump shot’. Suryakumar Yadav has scored 334 runs with a strike rate of 176.71 through nine appearances in the IPL 2024 with his season-high of 102* runs in his last game against the Sunrisers Hyderabad.

–IANS

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National Motorcycle Racing: Double delight for Sarthak, Basim, Rakshitha and Kaushik

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Chennai, June 16 (IANS) It was a day of the “double” at the Madras International Circuit here on Sunday as the first round of the MRF MMSC FMSCI Indian National Motorcycle Racing Championship 2024 concluded with the new generation of riders emerging to displace the old guard.

Teenager Sarthak Chavan (Pro-Stock 301-400cc Open), schoolgirl Rakshitha Dave (Girls, Stock 165cc), Abdul Basim (Novice, Stock 165cc), and Kaushik Subbiah Ganesan (Novice, Stock 301-400cc) won both races this weekend in their respective National Championship categories.

Barring Pune’s Sarthak, the other three riders are from Chennai.

Sarthak Chavan, the 17-year-old prodigy, established himself as the top gun in the premier Pro-Stock 301-400cc Open class, winning both races over the weekend in an emphatic manner. Following him in P2 in both races was another 17-year-old, Chiranth Vishwanath from Bengaluru, who just couldn’t match Sarthak’s pace. The duo dominated both races leaving the rest to scrap for the other podium spot.

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Sarthak, however, missed a possible win, despite starting P7 on the grid, in the other premier category, the Pro-Stock 165cc, when he crashed again after tangling with Chiranth when the two were fighting for 1-2 positions. The Pune youngster had crashed in Race-1 on Saturday when leading.

Though both Sarthak and Chiranth recovered to rejoin the race, veteran TVS Racing team-mates Jagan Kumar, KY Ahamed and Deepak Ravikumar made the best of the free space in front to finish in that order. For Jagan, a multiple National champion, it was his first win of the season after a barren 2023.

Chennai schoolgirl, 15-year-old Rakshitha Dave completed a fine double in the Girls (Stock 165cc) category. Having won Race-1 on Saturday, she extended her domination with a sweeping win in Race-2 today, virtually unchallenged.

Similarly, another Chennai teenager Abdul Basim (Rockers Racing) achieved a clean sweep in the Novice (Stock 165cc) category, winning Race-2 today with as much ease as in the previous outing on Saturday.

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Later, another Chennai rider, Kaushik Subbaiah Ganesan also notched a double in the Stock 301-400cc (Novice) class with another fine ride starting from pole position.

–IANS

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Raducanu opts out of Paris 2024, Murray to compete in Olympic swan song

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London, June 16 (IANS) Emma Raducanu has declined the opportunity to represent Great Britain in next month’s Paris Olympics. The 2021 US Open champion, who is still recovering from surgery on her wrists and ankle, was offered one of the two International Tennis Federation (ITF) places reserved for former Grand Slam champions.

However, Raducanu has chosen to focus on her fitness and prepare for the upcoming British grass-court season.

Raducanu’s current world ranking is too low to qualify outright for the Olympics, a consequence of her time away from the sport due to injury. The 21-year-old missed the French Open, which is played on the same Roland Garros clay courts that will host the Olympic tennis tournament, to ensure she is in peak condition for the British grass-court swing.

Iain Bates, head of Great Britain’s Olympic tennis team, shared insights into Raducanu’s decision. “I have had various conversations with Emma over the last couple of weeks and a slightly longer period where it’s very clear how much being part of a British team at an Olympics would mean to her,” Bates said.

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“I think she feels this isn’t going to be the right timing for her for this summer. She’s hopefully got many Olympics ahead of her. I’m very comfortable with the decision that she’s made.”

Meanwhile, two-time Olympic gold medallist Andy Murray is set to compete in what might be his final tournament. The 37-year-old tennis icon, who won gold in London 2012 and Rio 2016, has been granted an ITF place for Paris 2024.

Earlier this year, Murray hinted that he did not expect to “play much past this summer,” adding a layer of poignancy to his participation in the upcoming Games.

Great Britain’s tennis nominations, announced at Queen’s Club on Sunday, include a mix of seasoned players and rising stars. Joining Murray in the men’s singles are Cameron Norrie, Jack Draper, and Dan Evans. Katie Boulter is the only British woman to have qualified by ranking.

In doubles action, Murray and Dan Evans are slated to pair up in the men’s doubles. Joe Salisbury and Neal Skupski will also compete in the men’s doubles, leveraging their high world rankings. For the women’s doubles, Boulter and Heather Watson will team up, alongside another pair, Harriet Dart and Maia Lumsden.

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The Olympic tennis tournament, scheduled from July 27 to August 4 at Roland Garros, will feature five medal events: women’s singles, men’s singles, women’s doubles, men’s doubles, and mixed doubles. As the event draws closer, the ITF will finalize and announce the full entry list on July 4.

–IANS

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Asian Team Squash : India women's team finishes fifth

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Dalian (China), June 16 (IANS) India women’s team finished fifth while the men’s team ended at sixth place in the Asian Team Squash Championships which concluded on Sunday.

The women’s team beat Iran 2-0 in the match to decide the fifth and sixth positions with Rathika Suthanthira Seelan and Pooja Arthi Raghu scoring comfortable wins.

However, the men’s side lost to South Korea 1-2, with Velavan Senthilkumar recording a win before Suraj Kumar Chand and Om Semwal lost by narrow margins.

India results:

Men: India lost to South Korea 1-2 (Velavan Senthilkumar bt Jeongmin Ryu 11-5, 11-1, 11-4; Suraj Kumar Chand lost to Minwoo Lee 11-7, 11-13, 9-11, 8-11); Om Semwal lost to Jooyoung Na 9-11, 6-11, 9-11).

Women: India bt Iran 2-0 (Rathika Suthanthira Seelan bt Fereshteh Eghtedari 11-5, 11-9, 11-7; Pooja Arthi Raghu bt Parmin Nekopayantak 11-5, 11-7, 12-10).

–IANS

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Euro 2024: If we don't win, we're going to be disappointed, says Kane

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Gelsenkirchen (Germany), June 16 (IANS) England captain Harry Kane said he wouldn’t be satisfied with anything less than the Euro 2024 title.

England will enter the competition as one of the tournament favourites alongside France. They will start the campaign against Serbia on Monday (12:30 AM IST).

“We all want to be remembered to have won a major tournament with England – not just to have had good campaigns – so we know it is something to respect and be proud of, and to keep pushing ourselves,” BBC Sport quoted Kane as saying.

“If we don’t win, we’re going to be disappointed,” he added.

England finished as runners-up in the last edition of the continental showpiece after losing to Italy on penalties in the final.

Kane said his side is ready to face tough challenges in the competition in pursuit of the title.

“As much as you can be unlucky and go out on penalties, we really want to win and start winning as a national team because we have been taking steps towards this moment. It is going to be tough, we know that, but we’re ready for the challenge.”

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He admitted the pressure of wearing the Three Lions jersey and representing the country on the global stage.

“It’s not easy to play for England, first and foremost – even harder to get into the major tournaments.

“It’s a proud achievement because I think it shows consistency, good work ethic, professionalism, and to be able to make yourself available for all the tournaments is not always easy,” he added.

–IANS

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Ocon reflects on valuable lessons from Hamilton as he eyes future in F1

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New Delhi, June 16 (IANS) As Esteban Ocon prepares to depart Alpine at the end of the season, the French racer has shared insightful reflections on his time working alongside seven-time Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton.

Ocon’s journey, marked by highs and lows, has been deeply intertwined with the Brackley-based Mercedes squad, where he was a junior team member, GP3 titleholder, and later the F1 team’s reserve driver in 2019.

In a conversation with the High Performance Podcast, Ocon opened up about the moments that left him “amazed” while working with Hamilton. This period followed a challenging phase for Ocon, who lost his seat at Force India after the 2018 season but found solace and learning opportunities at Mercedes. Now, as he navigates his fifth and final season with Alpine, Ocon’s career management by Mercedes keeps him linked to the powerhouse team.

Reflecting on his time as Mercedes’ reserve driver, Ocon shared how Hamilton’s dedication and professionalism stood out beyond his natural talent. “I remember Lewis coming from different marketing events and all these things in a race weekend – Lewis is a very busy man,” Ocon recounted. “Apart from racing, that’s some of the differences compared to some drivers who are more focused on the racetrack. Seeing how he switches his focus from one thing to another amazed me. He was straight away on point, back with his engineer after something completely different.”

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What impressed Ocon the most was Hamilton’s ability to seamlessly transition between his numerous off-track commitments and the intense focus required for racing. Hamilton’s meticulous approach, including maintaining paper boards with notes, left a lasting impact on Ocon. “He always had his paper boards with notes and he was always having notes not to forget things from one year to another, or one session to another. This is what I do as well now.”

Admitting that he had never taken notes before observing Hamilton, Ocon now follows a similar practice, storing meticulous notes on his phone for his engineers. “Performance meetings, problems to fix, all of the points that we have to go through that I’ve put basically as an example,” Ocon explained. “If I don’t write them at the exact moment that I’m going to come out of the car, I will not remember exactly or they’re going to be much more vague.”

Ocon’s adoption of Hamilton’s strategies underscores the profound influence the champion has had on his career. “If I go to a marketing event and then come back and I’m like, ‘I had something very interesting, but I don’t remember it,’ imagine how much that would cost basically – to us, to our performance.”

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–IANS

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