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Happy Birthday Captain Cool: India celebrates as MS Dhoni turns 39

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From veterans to present day’s superstars to fans, cricket fraternity has thronged to social media to celebrate the 39th birthday of the former and most successful captain of the Indian cricket team Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Tuesday.

Hailed as one of the greatest-ever captains in the history of the sport, Dhoni has won everything that a captain can win while playing cricket and remains the only international skipper to achieve the feat.

He has led team India to a ICC World T20 glory in 2007, ICC World Cup victory in 2011 before completing his ICC success with the Champions Trophy in 2013. He even took the Test team to the pinnacle of the ranking and earned the prestigious ICC Test Mace, becoming the first Indian captain to do that.

However, it had never been only about his leadership skill that made him the living legend he is today. Much before he became captain, the superstar in him had already taken birth, thanks to his powerful strokeplay and ice-cool determination to win matches from the jaws of defeat.

Apart from being one of the greatest limited-overs batsmen of this generation,  Dhoni is also India’s best-ever gloveman behind the stumps. His impeccable wicketkeeping skills have placed him beside the likes of Adam Gilchrist, Kumar Sangakkara and Mark Boucher as one of the best to have donned the keeping gloves.

Its been almost a year that he has been away from the cricket field, yet conversations about his return or future retirement have never died out in the time since and he still remains one of the most talked about cricketers in the present era.

Several members of the Indian cricket fraternity took to Twitter to wish Dhoni on his special day.

“Happy birthday to my Bittu from your Chittu. My friend who has taught me to be a better human being and stood by me in bad times MS Dhoni,” India all-rounder Hardik Pandya wrote on Twitter.

“Happy birthday to MS Dhoni…a true leader who led from front, a true brother who stands for his real brothers. A true fighter till the last ball in play. Thanks a lot brother for such great moments with me…loved every advise given to me and team,” S Sreesanth said.

“Many more happy returns of the day to a man whose composure and patience continues to be an inspiration,” wrote VVS Laxman.

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Kapil Dev undergoes angioplasty surgery after suffering heart attack

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Former India captain Kapil Dev has suffered a heart attack and has subsequently undergone angioplasty surgery on Thursday at a hospital in New Delhi.

The 1983 world cup winning skipper, who had been active in his role as a pundit during the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL), was dealing with long-standing diabetes-related health issues.

The news of his illness broke out in Twitter when a journalist Teena Thaker tweeted about his condition.

Sadness has engulfed the social media feeds of cricket lovers ever since the Haryana Hurricane’s news came out. Wishes and prayers have poured in from a corners for his speedy recovery.

Kapil Dev, 61, is considered to be one of the greatest all-rounders of all time. He had played131 Tests, picking up 434 wickets and making 5248 runs. He also represented India in 225 ODIs, picking 253 wickets and scoring 3783 runs for India.

However, it’s his heroics in the 1983 World Cup which has made Kapil Dev an immortal in Indian cricket. The underdog team led by him– famously known as Kapil’s Devils – became source of inspiration to an entire generation of a third-world populace after they gave India their first ever cricket world cup.

However, such was the brilliance of the man that he never considered the Indian team of 83 underdog. India were not the underdogs who were overawed in the final and won the World Cup by a fluke, he had said.

“When you start playing cricket, you keep on moving in the same manner and you don’t really analyse it so much that yes we are going to play in the World Cup final for the first time that, too, against the West Indies at Lord’s. We didn’t think so much,” Kapil Dev had told The Statesman over a telephonic interview earlier this year.

“Honestly, I don’t remember what I thought initially after Holding got out. If I can remember that after 37 years, I should have been a genius. But, of course, I was happy,” Kapil Dev had said while describing how he felt after winning the World Cup.

“[Inside the dressing room] there was just celebration at that moment like a new baby was born in the house. We didn’t think or see anything… we were just so happy. And winning the World Cup… it was any cricketer’s dream. So we were just celebrating and did not speak much because our faces revealed everything,” he added.

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Sourav Ganguly has assured me that India will tour Australia: CA chairman

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Cricket Australia chairman Earl Eddings has put doubts over India’s upcoming tour to Australia to rest, saying he has got assurance from his Indian counterpart Sourav Ganguly that Virat Kohli’s men would travel Down Under for a full-fledged series.

“I’m 100 per cent confident they are coming. Sourav Ganguly and I talk about it most days and we are already planning when we can catch up once he and the team get over here,” a report in The Australian quoted Eddings as saying.

As per the report, the tour will commence with a white-ball component before the four-Test series, which at this stage, begins in Adelaide on December 17-21. The other venues include Melbourne (December 26-30), Sydney (January 7-11) and Brisbane (January 15-19).

The report further said that the Indian team would land in Brisbane, instead of Perth or Adelaide, and will not face much strictness in terms of quarantine time despite the state of Queensland currently seeing severe restrictions.

Ganguly, president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, is currently in the United Arab Emirates where the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League is taking place.

Team India, under Kohli’s leadership in 2018, had become the first Asian team to register a Test-series win Down Under when they won the four-match series 2-1.

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IPL 2020: Dominant Delhi Capitals at top after thrashing Rajasthan Royals by 46 runs

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Delhi Capitals continue to enjoy their dream campaign as they defeated Rajasthan Royals by a humiliating margin of 46 runs on Friday at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.

With five wins from six matches so far, Shreyas Iyer’s men now stand at the top of the points table in the ongoing season of the Indian Premier League (IPL). Steve Smith’s team is placed at seventh.

Even though Rajasthan had restricted their opponents at 184/8 on a track where any total less than 200 is considered moderate, the Delhi bowlers came all guns blazing and bundled the Royals for 138.

Kagiso Ragada was once again the shining star for Capitals with his figures of 3/35. Marcus Stoinis and Ravichandran Ashwin contributed to the cause as well with two scalps each, while Axar Patel, Anrich Nortje and Harshal Patel picked one wicket each.

Chasing a 185-run target, RR lost opener Jos Buttler (13) cheaply off an Ashwin delivery, with just 15 runs on the board.

Skipper Steve Smith (24) and Yashasvi Jaiswal (34) tried their best to rescue RR from the early damage with a brief 41-run stand. However, Nortje didn’t let the duo convert it into something big as he packed back the RR skipper in the ninth over.

The RR’s middle-order once again succumbed under pressure and lost seven wickets for just 100 runs.

Earlier, Jofra Archer’s (3/24) brilliant show with the leather saw DC being restricted at 184/8 in the allotted 20 overs.

Put into bat, DC received jolts at regular intervals, thanks to RR bowlers who didn’t let a partnership develop and which ultimately hurt the Shreyas Iyer-led side’s chances of posting a big total.

It was Shimron Hetmyer, who was the top-score for DC with his 24-ball 45, and Marcus Stoinis, who chipped in with a 30-ball 39 run, helping their side reach a respectable total.

Apart from Archer, Kartik Tyagi, debutant Andrew Tye and Rahul Tewatia picked a wicket apiece.

Brief scores:

DC: 184/8 wkts in 20 overs (Shimron Hetmyer 45, Marcus Stoinis 39; Jofra Archer 3/24) beat RR: 138 all out in 19.4 overs (Rahul Tewatia 38, YashasviJaiswal 34; Kagiso Rabada 3/35) by 46 runs

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