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  •   No time for prep, Kohli blames management
    Scorecard: 2nd Test | IND vs SL - Schedule | Full CoverageIndia captain Virat Kohli on Thursday admitted that the management's poor planning affects the team's performance and they are put under scanner for poor results.Ahead of the second Test against Sri Lanka, the skipper said that the team is using the ongoing series against the Islanders as a build-up to the upcoming series in South Africa as they have no time to prepare for it otherwise.India will fly out to South Africa for three Tests, six ODIs and three T20Is, just two days after hosting the current series against Sri Lanka.Also Read: Give Team India a break: Coach Ravi Shastri tells BCCIKohli told media, "Unfortunately we get only two days before we fly to South Africa, after this series gets over. So we have no choice than to be in game situation and think of what's coming ahead for us. Had we got a month off, ideally, we would have done proper preparation in a camp sort of scenario. But we have to make do with what we have."He said that people start judging players for their poor performance but they do not consider the time given to the cricketers to prepare for the game."As usual, cramped for time, which I think we need to assess in future because we very easily assess the team when we go abroad, but we don't look at how many days we got to prepare before we go to a particular place to play. Everyone starts judging players when results come after Test matches," he opined.Kohli, 29, added that the game should be fair where the players get to prepare the way they want to and then are entitled to be criticised.India will play their second Test against Sri Lanka in Nagpur on Friday.Stay updated on the go with Sify Live Scores App. Click here to download it for your device

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  •   New CSK or ole CSK, that's the question!
    So IPL 2018 will see the return of MS Dhoni as the captain of the Chennai Super Kings and the grand reunion of his team-mates Suresh Raina, Ravichandran Ashwin and Sir Ravindra Jadeja. That seems just about right, doesn't it? MSD and his boys are all floating around after the end of Rising Pune Supergiant and Gujarat Lions. The CSK old timers should coalesce and bring back the glory days.CSK is a super successful team and will be red-hot favourites for 2018 IPL. But wait a minute? Why should all other teams want that to happen?Why shouldn't a bidding war ensue over MSD and he would arguably become the most expensive IPL player ever? He sure is worth it!This line of thinking came to the fore when the IPL governing council met to discuss the player retention policy.One proposal was that CSK and Rajasthan Royals (the other team that is returning after an exit) retain five players. Then the ole CSK would be back.Some said 3 and some 1, in which case only Dhoni would be a certainty for CSK. But what if they decide to allow zero retentions? Then Dhoni could be in any team with a brand new CSK.This is a possibility because RR wants to start with a clean slate and so CSK stands isolated. Teams like Kolkata Knight Riders are opposing CSK's dreams.KKR owner and Bollywood badshah Shah Rukh Khan even said months ago that he was willing to sell his pyjamas to buy Dhoni! SRK also gave an impassioned speech about IPL and money in the meet.In fact, there is even a proposal to allow the exchange of players between teams at the middle of IPL 2018! Howzatt for total fluidity versus retention!Also see: IPL 2017If most franchisees go in for a fresh slate theory then you could have a mega auction and the suspense would rival the auction of IPL 1.Thanks to this core issue, all other issues have been pushed to the background. News did come of a couple of franchisees wanting the auctions to be in England though that was opposed by all others.Interestingly, Royal Challengers Bangalore owner Vijay Mallya is a wanted man cooling his heels in London. This is the only way he would have been able to attend the auction!It has been a high-profile exchange this time because this is only the second time that the governing council saw almost all the owners present as they chart out the policy for the next five years.There was also a proposal to hike the salary purse from Rs 66 crores to Rs 85 crores.There's another proposal to bring down a team's squad strength down from 27 to 22. If both these proposals are accepted then the per head player fee would shoot up from Rs 2.44 crores to Rs 3.86 crores!There is some bad news for women's cricket though. If you thought we might finally have a women's IPL after their great showing in the World Cup, you are mistaken. The idea was summarily shot down.Coming back to IPL 2018, so while there's still a good chance that Dhoni and CSK will be re-united, he'll have to hold his whistle podu till the next governing council meeting!The author is a Bangalore-based journalist and blogger. He blogs here

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  •   We have no choice but to play on bouncy wickets: Kohli
    Scorecard: 2nd Test | IND vs SL - Schedule | Full CoverageNagpur:A candid India skipper Virat Kohli on Thursday admitted that he had asked for bouncy wickets for the home series against Sri Lanka keeping in mind the more tougher tour to South Africa in January."Yes (I had), because unfortunately we get only two days before we fly to South Africa after this series gets over. So we have no choice but try to be in a game situation and think of what's coming ahead of us."Had we got a month off ideally, we would have done a proper preparation in a camp sort of scenario but we have to sort of make do with what we have," Kohli told reporters during the pre-match press conference ahead of the second Test against the islanders starting on Friday.India drew with the tourists in the first rubber at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.India will finish their limited overs matches against Sri Lanka on December 24 (final T20I) before they fly off to South Africa on December 28."As usual cramped for time, which I think we needed to assess in future as well because we very easily assess the team when we go abroad but we don't look at how many days we have got to prepare before we go to a particular place to play," Kohli said."And everyone starts judging players when results come after Test matches. It should be a fair game, where we get to prepare the way we want to and then we are entitled to be criticised. So we thought this is an ample opportunity for us to challenge ourselves, put us in a situation (which they expect to encounter in South Africa)," he added.Kohli also dropped hints that the spin twins Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja might start against the Proteas as team balance would be kept in mind first."I can't commit to that 100 percent when we play abroad that we will be playing with two spinners, to be honest."It is because we need to have a look at the balance of the side as well. Obviously, those two guys with their batting abilities are both contenders to start a Test match depending upon the batsmen we are up against in the opposition," the skipper said."It's very important to understand if a left-arm spinner is bowling to five right-handers or the off-spinner is bowling to four left-handers. Just because of the angle the ball coming in makes so much difference against a spinner."And it can turn away from you at some stage in the Test match. Those are very minor factors that you assess before picking the first spinner in overseas conditions," the 29-year-old explained.The tweakers have taken more than 100 wickets at Jamtha since the first Test played here in 2008 but those factors won't be taken into account when he decides on the playing XI for Friday."That won't matter because, obviously you have to look at what you are playing at, what kind of wicket you are playing on and pick the team accordingly. I don't think the past record should matter a lot because you can see totally different wickets at venues when you play at different times."For example, the Ashes Test match going on right now doesn't seem to be the usual Gabba wicket that we see with a lot of pace, bounce and carry. So, it all depends on what you are playing on and then select the team accordingly," Kohli said about the opening Ashes Test being played at Adelaide in Australia.Stay updated on the go with Sify Live Scores App. Click here to download it for your device

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  •   Ashes: Australia rally late to restrict England
    Brisbane:Australia fought back with two late wickets to restrict England to 196 for four and leave the Ashes series-opener in Brisbane delicately poised on Thursday after the tourists’ unheralded batsmen threatened to dominate an intriguing first day.Live Scorecard - Ashes 1st TestAshes debutants Mark Stoneman and James Vince had frustrated Australia’s vaunted pace attack with a 125-run partnership on a slow Gabba wicket but seamer Pat Cummins hauled the home side back in the game.The young paceman bowled Stoneman for 53 in the last over before tea then returned to capture England captain Joe Root lbw for 15, leaving Moeen Ali and Dawid Malan to negotiate a nervy finish to stumps.Spinner Nathan Lyon denied Vince a potentially career-defining century with a brilliant piece of fielding, running him out for 83 after nearly four hours of pain-staking graft.Malan was 28 not out and Moeen on 13, with both sides having fought hard after Root won the toss and sent his team into bat.England would have been buoyed by the performance of rookies Vince and Stoneman but tempered by the disappointment that neither could go on to make bigger scores.Stoneman was bowled four balls short of the relief of tea, while Vince was out making a needless dash for a single.Vince’s wicket seemed like a turning point and though Root dug in for 50 balls, he was out lbw by a scorching delivery from Cummins, the wicket awarded after home captain Steve Smith demanded a review of Marais Erasmus’s not out decision.Cummins greeted Moeen with a short ball that hammered into his upper body. Unperturbed, the all-rounder drove Cummins for four and casually despatched Lyon for six with a slog sweep over deep midwicket a few overs later.Australia lost a review trying to remove Malan lbw in the last over before play was halted due to poor light.Dropped CatchVince, England’s surprise selection at number three, brought up his maiden 50 in his eighth test, having never before surpassed 42 in his previous seven matches.Stoneman raised his 50 with a streaky edge off Cummins, the ball falling short of second slip before racing off for two, leaving fielder Peter Handscomb punching the turf in frustration.Worse was to come for the hosts in the following over as recalled wicke-tkeeper Tim Paine grassed a chance to have Vince out for 68 when he nicked Lyon behind.Paine had taken Matthew Wade’s place in the Test squad in a surprising selection, beating out Peter Nevill, and the miss saw Smith fling his head back in exasperation.While the Gabba wicket showed a green tinge, Smith said he too would have batted first and his fast men rarely threatened early, struggling to extract much pace or movement off the seam in the morning.The exception was a peach of a delivery from paceman Mitchell Starc which moved away slightly from Alastair Cook and kissed the outside edge on the way to Handscomb in the slips.Smith earlier confirmed opener David Warner and Shaun Marsh would play after they suffered neck and back strains in recent days.Stay updated on the go with Sify Live Scores App. Click here to download it for your device

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  •   Ashes: Starc removes Cook but England new boys hold firm
    Brisbane:Alastair Cook fell cheaply but Mark Stoneman and James Vince showed impressive defiance in their Ashes debuts to steer England to 59 for one at lunch on the first day of the series-opening test in Brisbane on Thursday.Live Scorecard - Ashes 1st TestOpener Stoneman and number three Vince had built a 57-run partnership at the break, steadying the tourists after Mitchell Starc had Cook caught in the slips for two in the third over.After England captain Joe Root won the toss and sent his side in to bat, Stoneman compiled 25 and Vince 32 as the pair frustrated Australia’s vaunted pace attack.While the Gabba wicket showed a green tinge, Australia captain Steve Smith said he too would have liked to bat first and his fast men rarely threatened, struggling to extract much pace or movement off the seam.The exception was a peach of a delivery from Starc which former captain Cook had no choice but to play, the ball moving away slightly and kissing the outside edge on the way to Peter Handscomb in the slips.Starc then tried to soften up Stoneman with short balls and a few choice words after his follow-through but the Australian attack was surprisingly subdued for the first morning of cricket’s oldest rivalry.Vince, England’s surprise selection at number three, did his best to put the pressure back on the bowlers, stroking two consecutive boundaries off Josh Hazlewood before the drinks break, the first a glorious cover drive followed by a dismissive flick off his pads.It was mostly slow going for the tourists, however, as they patiently held firm against the pacemen, with Stoneman seeing off 90 balls and Vince 74.Smith introduced spinner Nathan Lyon shortly after the drinks break and he coaxed a leading edge with his first ball but he was also fended off despite finding plenty of turn.The pitch is likely to harden and quicken as the day progresses, meaning stiffer tests are likely for England’s inexperienced batsmen.Smith earlier confirmed opener David Warner and Shaun Marsh would play after they suffered neck and back strains in recent days.England picked Jake Ball as their fourth seamer and he joins James Anderson, Stuart Broad and all-rounder Chris Woakes in their pace attack as they bid to retain the urn, having won the last series 3-2 on home soil in 2015.Australia won the previous series Down Under 5-0 in 2013/14.

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