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Kedar’s Homecoming

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WHAT A KNOCK! Kedar Jadhav plays a shot during the India v/s England First One Day International match, Pune, Reuters/UNI

Ably led by Kohli, the Pune boy overcame agony to hit ton that transformed the match and made short work of the humongous target

By Sujit Bhar

India winning a One Day International (ODI) versus England isn’t news. But when it wins chasing a massive 350 for seven, England’s highest versus India, then it is. Moreover, if it happens to be the first captaincy effort by Virat Kohli, after Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who had just given up his, leaves with six for six, pulling India down to 63 for four, then it surely is. And that’s what happened in Pune on January 15, in the first ODI of the series.

But that’s not the end. England managed a steady run-rate, reaching the score without a century contribution. That meant that, with four down and not much on the board, India needed to speed up things. Eyes turned to Kohli, of course, the man for a chase. He did not disappoint, scoring a strong 122 off 105 deliveries, with eight hits to the fence and four over.

India won by three wickets with 11 deliveries to spare. This was India’s third successful chase of 350-plus totals.

That was great play, no doubt. But the day belonged to a 32-year-old local lad, Kedar Jadhav. The attacking middle-order bat (also an occasional off-break bowler) hit a whirlwind 120 in 76 deliveries, assisted by 12 boundaries and four sixes.

It was a great start for India’s home series, keeping India’s record of not losing a home ODI intact, and, even in losing, England surely can’t complain. They had started the series tentatively, with former BCCI secretary Ajay Shirke’s letter warning them of a possible lack of facilities, now that board president Anurag Thakur and he had been sacked by the Supreme Court. Facilities were up to the mark, they found, only the Indian team was too hot to handle.

The match itself has been analysed enough, but the incredible thing is India’s throwing up great batting talent on a regular basis. Just the other day Jodhpur-born 25-year-old Karun Nair had become only the second Indian after Virender Sehwag to hit a triple century, and on Sunday Jadhav came in from the cold, so to say, lifting India out of the woods.

Jadhav isn’t a newcomer, this being his 13th ODI, neither is he new to a chase. Four months back, in a chase, India were down to 73 for four, when he combined with then skipper Dhoni for a 66-run partnership that saved the day. On Sunday, fighting cramps (Kohli had cramps too), Jadhav provided ample support to his new captain to be named Man of the Match.

The attacking stance is Jadhav’s default setting. He broke into the big boys’ league with a half-century off 29 deliveries on his IPL debut for Delhi Daredevils. He carried with him the experience of six half centuries and a century in first class cricket and for Maharashtra he has displayed excellent offensive tactics.

Also confidence, oodles of it.

It was clear from what Kohli said after the match. He has been quoted as saying: “I think it was outstanding. Just to have another guy that was willing to believe we can win from any situation was such a boost for me as well. The way he came out—and knew exactly how to bat at this wicket—was tremendous.”

Following Dhoni, Kohli has gained similar leadership qualities. Of Jadhav he said: “He was disappointed in the last series against New Zealand when he couldn’t get us across the line. In New Delhi he was playing really well. We told him that the best place you can learn is out there in the middle. No point sitting outside and thinking what you could have done.”

Kohli has welcomed Jadhav into his world, into his own way of thinking, and for a virtual greenhorn to have his captain put a great deal of confidence in him is great news. Jadhav made the best use of it.

And quite like any top level motivator from the world of hard-core professionals, when Jadhav was facing a hurdle through painful cramps, Kohli just told him to rise above it, play for the team. These are the small things that make a complete human being; someone who is willing to see beyond that threshold of pain, into the world of accomplishment.

If we look back, perhaps, this is the level of optimism that the Supreme Court wanted to bring back to the game. The apex court possibly saw beyond the politicking and wheeling dealings into a world where the game of cricket is supreme. That remains beyond that threshold of temporary pain.

That was what Kohli and Jadhav showed.

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IPL 2024: Marcus Stoinis hits first IPL century as Lucknow Super Giants beat Chennai Super Kings by 6 wickets

Ruturaj Gaikwad’s century was overshadowed by Australia’s Marcus Stoinis who smashed a stunning century to help LSG seal a thrilling victory.

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Marcus Stoinis’s unbeaten 124 powered Lucknow Super Giants to the highest successful run-chase at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Tuesday. Chennai Super Kings captain Ruturaj Gaikwad lead his team from the front as he hit his first century to help the hosts post a gigantic total of 210/4 in 20 overs. Ruturaj Gaikwad (108) was well supported by Shivam Dube (66) as the duo forged a 104 run partnership for the 4th wicket. MS Dhoni applied the finishing touches to the innings of CSK as he smashed a boundary on the final delivery of the innings.

Ruturaj Gaikwad’s century was overshadowed by Australia’s Marcus Stoinis who smashed a stunning century to help LSG seal a thrilling victory. Stoinis hit 124 off 63 balls as Lucknow chased down the target in 19.3 overs. Stoinis was well supported by Nicholas Pooran (34 off 15 balls) and Deepak Hooda (17 off 6 balls) to help Lucknow Super Giants complete the highest successful run chase at Chepauk.

Marcus Stoinis was named the Player of the Match for his stunning century. Stoinis hit 13 sixes in his first-ever IPL ton. Chennai Super Kings captain Ruturaj Gaikwad admitted that the 6 wicket defeat at the hands of Lucknow Super Giants is a tough pill to swallow for the defending champions.

Earlier Lucknow Super Giants won the toss and opted to bowl first against Chennai Super Kings. Pace bowler Mat Henry picked up the crucial wicket of Ajinkya Rahane in the first over as Lucknow Super Giants captain KL Rahul caught a one-handed stunner in the first over of the match. Both the teams showcased brilliant batting display, but nerves got to the best of Chennai Super King’s bowling attack as Pathirana and Mustafizur just could not contain Stoinis’s onslaught and were hit all round the park.

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IPL 2024: Yashasvi Jaiswal hits brilliant century to help Rajasthan Royals beat Mumbai Indians by 9 wickets

Yashasvi Jaiswal looked in top class form as he was the top-scorer of Rajasthan Royals with 104 runs off 60 deliveries. He was well supported from Jos Butler (35) and Sanju Samson (38*) as Rajasthan Royals emerged victorious by 9 wickets.

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Yashasvi Jaiswal hit a brilliant century as Rajasthan Royals defeated Mumbai Indians by 9 wickets in their IPL match in Jaipur on Monday. Sandeep Sharma took a maiden 5-wicket haul to help Rajasthan Royals restrict Mumbai Indians to 179/9. After the rain interrupted the match RR chased down the total of 180 with 8 balls to spare.

Yashasvi Jaiswal looked in top class form as he was the top-scorer of Rajasthan Royals with 104 runs off 60 deliveries. He was well supported from Jos Butler (35) and Sanju Samson (38*) as Rajasthan Royals emerged victorious by 9 wickets.

Earlier, Trent Boult (2/32) sent back Rohit Sharma (6) to the pavillion in the first over itself, while Sandeep Sharma took a 5 wicket haul and claimed the wickets of Ishan Kishan (0) and Suryakumar Yadav (10) in successive overs to reduce Mumbai Indians to 20/3 after they opted to bat first. But Tilak Varma brought his team back into the game and hit 3 sixes and five fours scoring 65 runs. He was well supported by Nehal Wadehera (49 from 24 balls) as the duo forged a partnership of 99 runs from 52 deliveries for the 5th wicket.

Rajasthan Royals bowler Sandeep Sharma took a 5 wicket haul against Mumbai Indians. He said his plan was to use variations and cutters while he tore down the Mumbai Indians batting line up. He picked up 5 important wickets and gave away just 18 runs in his 4-over spell at an economy rate of 4.50.

While speaking at the post-match presentation, Sandeep Sharma said he felt good after a comeback from injury. The 30-year-old pacer added that he was enjoying every game in the ongoing season of IPL. After this victory, the Rajasthan Royals hold the top spot in the IPL 2024 standings with 14 points. Meanwhile, Mumbai Indians stand in 7th place place with 6 points.

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Rohit Sharma criticises impact player rule, BCCI reacts

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India captian and Mumbai Indians star cricketer Rohit sharma criticised the impact player rule and sad that he is not a big fan of it. Now, BCCI has responded to Sharma’s comment and said that they will reevaluate the rule.

Indian Premier League (IPL) chairman Arun Dhumal also acknowledged this and said  that every decision has advantages and disadvantages, he also mentioned  BCCI is prepared to review the regulation when the current IPL season concludes.

Ahead to being established in the IPL, the impact player rule was initially put into effect in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament in 2022–2023. There have been many expert comments regarding the rule that has been in place for almost two editions of the prestigious T20 tournament, with the many of players being against it.

Since this remark has been made, they will certainly analyze it and talk to everyone concerned and then the board will take calls, Dhumal said.

Every rule that is in place has a number of advantages and disadvantages. Nothing about its execution is set in stone, so after the season ends, they are open to any discussion, he continued.

Earlier, Rohit Sharma also discussed how the impact player rule is reducing the role of all-rounders in the sport.

Sharma said, he is not a big fan of Impact sub rule. All rounders will eventually be held back because cricket is ultimately played by 11 players, not 12. To make the game exciting for everyone around you, you are taking a great deal from it. During an interew the hitman said, if the audience look just at the cricketing side of things, he feels guys like Shivam Dube and Washington Sundar aren’t getting to bowl, which is not a good thing for them as a team.

He continued saying that there are 12 players, it’s interesting, and after the team or the captain sees how the game and the pitch are playing, they might turn on the impact player. You can add another bowler, giving you a total of six or seven bowlers, if the team bats effectively and don’t lose wickets. Many teams are hitting well up front, and he hardly ever sees a No 7 or No 8 coming to bat, so the team doesn’t need that additional batter, Rohit Sharma said.

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