Thursday, 4 April 2013

Indian Tennis Star Leander Paes eyes the Rio Games

Indian Tennis Star Leander Paes is set to soldier on, the doubles star stating with confidence that he will not break down before the 2016 Olympics.

At the draw ceremony on the eve of the Asia-Oceania (Group I) relegation tie between India and Indonesia, Paes said: “Everyone is talking about next Olympics, and I don’t see why I can’t take part in it.

Feeling great

“My body feels great, I’m injury free, and I’m mentally very happy.”

The 39-year-old, playing his 50th Davis Cup tie, credited the younger members in the team for instilling in him a will to march on.

Present and future

“I believe that these three cats (Somdev Devvarman, Yuki Bhambri and Sanam Singh) are the present and future of tennis in India.

“I see Yuki target ball cans when he practices his serves, and he smacks them left, right and centre.

“I watch Somdev run around the court. I was playing doubles with Sanam yesterday, and I see how he takes such a short backswing.

“These are things I learn from all of them. I play tennis because I’m passionate about it, and these three young guys will definitely motivate me to get to the Olympics,” he said.

Commenting on the year ahead on at the ATP tour, Paes stated that he would partner Jurgen Mulzer at the Madrid Open, Rome Masters and the Monte Carlo Masters.

After these three events, he is likely to take a call on a new partner.

“It’s a bit of a tough ask at the moment, though, because most players are set with partners for the whole year,” he said.

Indonesia’s Wisnu Adi Nugroho, the World no.1774, stated that he has “nothing to lose” when he takes on the much-higher ranked Devvarman in the opener.

Christopher Rungkat, the team’s spearhead, added that the match experience gained by Nugroho would prove helpful for Indonesian tennis in days to come.

IPL 2013: Royal Challengers Mumbai Indians vs Bangalore LIVE

Welcome to the LIVE coverage of the second match in IPL 6 between Mumbai Indians(MI) and Royal Challengers Bangalore(RCB) from Chinnaswamy stadium in Bengaluru. SCORECARD
Vinay Kumar comes into the attack for RCB.
3.4 overs: SIX!! Ponting dances down the track and smacks Daniel Christian over the long on fence for the maximum.  
2.5 overs: FOUR!! Short ball down the leg side, Tendulkar puts it away to the fine leg fence for a boundary.
1.3 overs: Christian angles it in while Ponting defends it back to the bowler.
Daniel Christian will partner Unadkat from the other end. 
Tidy over just two runs from it. 
0.5 overs: Unadkat gets some swing. The ball nips back sharply to upset Tendulkar.
Ricky Ponting and Sachin Tendulkar are at the crease for Mumbai. Cricket legends for an opening pair, couldn't ask for more. Jaydev Unadkat will start the proceedings for RCB. 
Mumbai Indians will need some partnerships if they intend to defeat the upbeat Bangalore squad.
RCB finishes off their innings at 156/5 after 20 overs. Chris Gayle scored a blistering knock of 92 runs in just 58 balls with 11 fours and five sixes. Arun Karthik also chipped in with 19 runs. Their partnership of 76 runs helped RCB post a competitive total after early dismissals. 
19.6 overs: SIX!! Chris Gayle smacks Patel over the point region and clears the fence easily. What a way to end the innings!
19.5 overs: FOUR!! Chris Gayle slashes hard to get a boundary over the third man region.
19.2 overs: FOUR!! Gayle pushes it down the ground between long on and midwicket for a boundary.
Via @SportsNutDan on twitter: Captaining a team with Indian bowlers. Ponting's worst nightmare comes true.  
18.2 overs: FOUR!! Arun Karthik gets into the act, smashes Oram over deep midwicket for a boundary. 
17.6 overs: SIX!! Gayle gets on top of short delivery and muscles it over long on fence for a biggie. Mumbai Indians experiencing Gayle-storm right now.
17.5 overs: FOUR!! Gayle pierces two point fielders to perfection to get the second boundary in the over. 
17.2 overs: FOUR!! Gayle slices a low full toss over backward point for a  boundary.
16.2 overs: Four!! Consecutive boundaries for young Arun Karthik. Oram will be disappointed with his line.
Via @HollyFerling5 on twitter: The ball hit by Gayle travels to places where Mallya's flights doesn't these days!  
15.2 overs: SIX!! Gayle is turning the heat on Harbhajan now. He gets down over one knee and smacks the ball over deep extra cover boundary for a maximum. 
13.4 overs: Chris Gayle has slammed his first fifty this season. The big left-hander took 38 balls to reach his half-century with six boundaries and two sixes. That's his 13th Indian T20 fifty.
12.4 overs: Another one bites the dust!! Bumrah has got his third wicket of the match after he got Karun Nair out LBW on a full length delivery. Nair departs for a duck. RCB is currently at 81/5 after 12.4 overs.
11.4 overs: OUT!! Harbhajan Singh has got Daniel Christian out caught at deep midwicket boundary. Christian departs after scoring four runs. He shoudn't have played that shot especially with Gayle doping the job at the other end. RCB is currently at 75/4 after 11.4 overs.
10.4 overs: Four!! Consecutive boundaries for the big left-hander. He's starting to cut loose now.
10.3 overs: SIX!! Gayle clears his front leg and launches the ball over the long on boundary for a huge six. That went way back into the stands.
10.2 overs: Four!! Gayle gets an outside edge. Luckily it flies away to the deep backward point boundary.
9.6 overs: Flighted delivery from Bhajji. Daniel Christian gets a leading edge. Bhajji, while attempting to catch the ball, has crashed into the big West Indies batsmen. Seems like Gayle's hurt. Physio is out on the field now.
Sight of spin now. Harbhajan Singh has been brought into the attack. 
RCB is currently at 56/3 after nine overs. It's Strategic Time-Out now.
8.5 overs: That's a MAXIMUM!! Gayle has smashed young Bumrah over his head and clears the fence easily. Is it the beginning of the Gayle-storm??
8.4 overs: Four!! Gayle flicks the length delivery off his pads for an easy boundary behind square.
7.6 overs: Four!! Chris Gayle's first boundary in the match. It looks like the big left-hander is saving himself for the last 10 overs.
6.6 overs: Four!! Gayle tries to flick Oram on the leg side but the ball goes off his pads to fine leg region for a boundary. 
Daniel Christian comes to the crease alongside Gayle. RCB needs a steady partnership from this pair.

6.1 overs: OUT!! Bumrah strikes again. Poor shot by Mayank Agarwal as he tried to drive on the up only to give a simple catch to Tendulkar at mid off. Agarwal departs after scoring just one run. RCB is currently at 31/3 after 6.1 overs. 
Mumbai Indians' latest signing Jacob Oram into the attack now.
Mayank Agarwal walks to the crease for RCB. 
4.5 overs: That's OUT!! Young Bumrah has finally got his revenge on the RCB skipper. Virat Kohli is out LBW after scoring a blistering knock of 24 runs. RCB is currently at 24/2 after 4.5 overs.
4.4 overs: Four!! Virat Kohli is punishing the youngster. The pressure is getting to Bumrah now. 
4.2 overs: Another Four!! Back to back boundaries for Kohli. The youngster islacking confidence on the big occasion.
4.1 overs: Four!! Virat Kohli welcomes the youngster to the IPL party.
Young Jasprit Jasbirsingh Bumrah to make the first change for Mumbai. 
3.4 overs: That's a Biggie!!! Kohli steps down the track and slams Munaf Patel over long on for a six. It was the first six of the match and for a change Gayle was not involved in it.
It was Mitchell Johnson's first Indian T20 league wicket. 
2.3 overs: Four!! Virat Kohli flicks the good length delivery through the square leg region for a boundary.
RCB skipper Virat Kohli walks into the field to partner Chris Gayle.

2.2 overs: OUT!! Mitchell Johnson has rattled the stumps in his second over. Tillakaratne Dilshan has been bowled by an in-swinging delivery. He departs without troubling the scorecard. RCB is currently at 3/1 after 2.2 overs. 
From the look of it, the two batsmen are getting an eye-in as of now.  
Another good over for Mumbai, just one run from it. RCB is at 2/0 after two overs.  
1.2 overs: Good length delivery by Munaf Patel on the pads. Gayle pushes it to midwicket for a single.
Munaf Patel will partner Johnson from the other end for Mumbai. 
Tidy over by Johnson, just one run coming from the over. RCB is currently at 1/0 after the first over. 
0.1 overs: Early sign of swing. Gayle has been squared up by Johnson on the first delivery. It will be interesting to see Gayle's approach against swing bowlers.
Chris Gayle and Tillakaratne Dilshan are at the crease for RCB while Mitchell Johnson will start the proceedings for Mumbai Indians.
Toss: Mumbai Indians have won the toss and elected to field first.

Players to watch out for(MI):

Sachin Tendulkar: The Master Blaster remains the biggest draw in Mumbai's line-up. He has scored 2,047 runs for the team overall, but only 324 of them came in 13 matches of IPL-V. He has been willing to anchor the innings and would be hoping for a consistent opening partner this time.

Lasith Malinga: The biggest reason why Mumbai are feared by their opponents are Malinga's toe-crushing yorkers. He will continue to lead the bowling and will hope the batsmen can keep up their end of the deal this time around.

Glenn Maxwell: The million-dollar man is a terrific all-rounder to have in your side. He can bowl right-arm off-spin and bat anywhere in the middle-order. He shot to fame after smashing a 19-ball half-century in 2009-10 - the fastest fifty in Australia's domestic cricket. He will have to play a key role if Mumbai intends to clinch their first IPL title.

Kieron Pollard: The West Indian scored 220 runs last year and picked up 16 wickets. He is also a panther in the field and a fan favourite.

Players to watch out for(RCB):

Chris Gayle: Arguably the most devastating contemporary batsman, Gayle is the first player to score a century in international Twenty20 cricket; the only man to score seven or more tons in the Twenty20 format; and is the leading six-hitter in Twenty20s. With 1,804 runs in matches in his IPL career, Gayle has been the backbone of RCB's batting. The left-hander has been the top-scorer in IPL for two consecutive years(2011 and 2012).

Virat Kohli: The newly-appointed captain of the RCB, Virat Kohli, is one of the finest batsmen in the world today. The 24-year-old is the quintessential new-age cricketer who plays his game aggressively and is unafraid to express his emotions on the field. The right-hander has been explosive for RCB with 1, 639 runs in 77 matches during his IPL career. He was the second-highest run scorer in 2011 season behind his teammate Gayle. Kohli is also a good fielder and can bowl the occasional medium pace spell too.

Sadeep Warrier: The 21-year-old unknown cricketer from Kerala has been a livewire in the Indian domestic cricket. The right-arm medium-fast bowler shot to fame after taking 22 wickets in a mere five matches for Kerala in the Ranji Trophy. After being called up the BCCI to bowl at the Indian batsmen in nets, the young speedster managed to impress Virat Kohli - who asked RCB to sign him with immediate effect.

AB de Villiers: The South-African wicket-keeper batsman has made a name for himself with his game changing abilities in the world of cricket. The 29-year-old cricketer has scored 1,302 runs in 60 matches during his IPL career. He can role-play himself as a finisher, middle-order batsman or even as a pinch hitter. During the 2012 season when playing the role of a finisher, he snatched wins out of the jaws of defeat. He unearthed some outrageous shots to incredible effect and in one over, smashed Dale Steyn for 23 - two fours and sixes each - to win RCB a thriller.


Mumbai Indians: Ricky Ponting(c), Abu Nechim Ahmed, Akshar Patel, Aditya Tare, Aiden Blizzard, Ambati Rayudu, Amitoze Singh, Dhawal Kulkarni, Dinesh Karthik, Dwayne Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Harbhajan Singh, Jacob Oram, Jalaj Saxena, James Franklin, Kieron Pollard, Lasith Malinga, Mitchell Johnson, Munaf Patel, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Phil Hughes, Pawan Suyal, Pragyan Ojha, Rishi Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Sachin Tendulkar, Suryakumar Yadav, Sushant Marathe, Yuzvendra Singh Chahal.

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Virat Kohli(c), AB De Villiers, Abhimanyu Mithun, Abhinav Mukund, Andrew McDonald, Arun Karthik, Cheteshwar Pujara, Chris Gayle, Christopher Barnwell, Daniel Christian, Daniel Vettori, Harshal Patel, Jaidev Unadkat, K P Appanna, Karun Nair, Mayank Agarwal, Moises Henriques, Murali Kartik, Muttiah Muralitharan, Pankaj Singh, Prasanth Parameswaran, R Vinay Kumar, Ravi Rampaul, Rudra Pratap Singh, S Aravind, Sandeep Warrier, Saurabh Tiwary, Sheldon Jackson, Sunny Sohal, Syed Mohammad, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Vijay Zol, Zaheer Khan.

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IPL Day 2: Mumbai Indians vs Royal Challengers Bangalore

Mother of all battles is about to begin at the Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru as Mumbai Indians will take on Royal Challengers Bangalore on Thursday. Both the teams have new captains in Ricky Ponting (MI) and Virat Kohli (RCB) and the likes of Chris Gayle and Kieron Pollard are ready to unleash themselves to make this match a spectacle.
Here we bring to you the players who might come all guns blazing on Thursday to make this T20 affair a memorable one.
Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB)
Chris Gayle: Gayle-storm is all set to hit this season and with splendid knocks in Big Bash, he is confident of repeating the performance of yesteryears. Gayle has always been the trump-card as he creates a lot of pressure with his monstrous sixes. His ability to clear the ropes with his shear strength, makes him the most entertaining and dangerous player in the shortest format of the game.
Most of the team do the same mistake, of plotting their strategy around him and they tend to overlook the other crucial players who can be equally dangerous. As long as he stays at the crease, opposition will always have a threat.

Kohli: Newly appointed captain of RCB has been in decent touch with the bat. Last year he wasn’t so impressive, but this time he is ready to wash off those bad memories. With the responsibility of captaincy, he must be looking forward to set a perfect example of leading from the front. Kohli strength is to start off slow and then gradually go after the bowlers.
AB DeVilliers: De Villiers has hit the purple patch just before the start of the series,  with back to back fifties in the recent international matches and is looking to make a greater impact this time. Inclusion of De Villiers in the squad also resolves the worry of wicket-keeping and with his experience of leading an international side, he can be a great investment for Virat Kohli as he is in the initial stages of his captaincy.
Muttiah Murlitharan: Spin-Wizard is back in town and is roaring to get back in action. He gives tremendous amount of strength to the bowling attack of RCB. His ability to run through the best batting line-up makes him the deadliest bowler of all times. He has been the master of disguise from the past two decades and lot is expected from him in this edition of IPL. Off-late, he looked in great touch in Big Bash which ensured that RCB will surely get the services of the best bowler of their team.
Saurabh Tiwary: Saurabh Tiwary can be very instrumental in the middle-order. He has not been in terrific form in recent times, but a player of his calibre would surely be looking of making a comeback to the national squad with some impressive performances in IPL. The southpaw has ability to clear the fence and with De Villiers he can be very destructive in the mid-overs. His high-standard fielding has always earned him praises and similar kind of performance is expected from him.
Mumbai Indians (MI)
Sachin Tendulkar: It doesn’t matter which format he will play, he has all that it takes to make his team win the matches. Tendulkar’s ability to mould his game according to the situation makes him a world-class player. Demi-god of cricket has been the cornerstone of MI since the inception of IPL. With tons of experience that he carries, he is an inspiration to everyone in the Mumbai Indians dressing room.
Ricky Ponting: Newly appointed captain of Mumbai Indians is looking in great touch with the bat. His impressive performances in Sheffield Trophy and Big Bash earned him a chance to be in the Mumbai Indians squad. Ponting has always been an aggressive player but has kept himself away from T20 in past few years. But now he is looking very well prepared to smash the bowlers with his favourite pull and hook shots. It would be a great site for every cricketing fanatic when the two legends of modern-era cricket, Sachin Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting, will take the centre stage for Mumbai Indians on Thursday.
Kieron Pollard: Caribbean-thunder is ready to rock the IPL with his all-round performance. He has been one of the biggest match-winners for Mumbai Indians in the last two editions. His ability to hit the ball out of the park at his own will stands him apart among the all big hitters. The way he deceives the batsmen with his slow balls has always been a treat to watch. Pollard’s presence is more than enough to create turbulence in the opposition’s mind.
Munaf Patel: Munaf has not played any international cricket match for quite a sometime, but his performances had always been a class apart in IPL. He has always been amongst the wickets when it comes to the T20 affairs because of his variations. His ability to use the slower deliveries to deceive the batsmen has always worked in his favour. The only problem with him is his sloppiness on the field.
Rohit Sharma: Rohit has been in the worst form of his career and is definitely looking forward to break his flop streak in the sixth edition of IPL. He has always cherished when it comes to IPL and this time much better performance is expected from him. Under the limelight of Ponting and Tendulkar, he can reinvent himself as a better batsman. Tendulkar has always rated him the batsman of the high quality but he has failed to justice to Master’s belief. This is a high time for him to come up with something spectacular so that he can make the Mumbai Indians proud of him