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India vs New Zealand: Sourav Ganguly predicts outcome of the World Cup, gives his verdict on Virat Kohli and company

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The ODI series against New Zealand was expected to be a stiff challenge for the Indian team, but the results in the first three ODIs have proved anything but tricky for the rampant side. Three comprehensive victories in three matches and the Indian ODI juggernaut rolls along at a fair clip.

Former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly is mighty impressed with the performance of Kohli and company and said that the top order is currently the best in the world.

“It’s been a better performance than Australia. It has been complete domination and it’s good to see them dominate at home and away as well. The confidence has been great and it’s quite impressive to see the bowlers get them out in 50 overs. It’s been a great year for India in ODIs,’ Ganguly told IndiaTV.

The Indian spinners, Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal have been brilliant and they are the primary reasons why Kohli can afford to attack in the middle phase as they keep picking up wickets which has not allowed New Zealand to breathe easy.

“Kulcha have strangled the New Zealand batsman and overall the team has been excellent. Especially Rohit and Kohli, who have been so consistent, you don’t have such a top order in any other team in the world. India are ahead of other teams in ODI cricket. This might be one of the best World Cups we may witness,” Ganguly further added.

The former Indian captain also believes that the Indian batting order can chase down any total as they know how to respond to pressure and such is the experience in the ranks that they are perhaps the best ODI side in the world.

“A team cannot defeat India if you’re putting on targets such as 200 or 250, the Indian batsman have shown the ability to chase down bigger targets. Whenever there is pressure, batsman like Rohit, Virat, Kedar or Dhoni respond with a six. They’ve learnt how to handle pressure,” he added.

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India conquer The Gabba by beating Australia in final Test; win four-match series 2-1

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India on Tuesday became the first team to conquer The Gabba in 33 years as they beat Australia by three wickets in the final Test and won the four-match Border-Gavaskar Trophy series 2-1.

Chasing 328, India achieved the target with three overs remaining on Day 5. Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara and Rishabh Pan shone with the bat for visitors on the weary Brisbane wicket against the star-studded Australian bowling attack.

If Pant ensured India’s completion of the chase by remaining unbeaten on 89, opener Gill’s innings of 91 was the kickstart India needed.

Pujara with his marathon 211-ball knock of 56 runs was the steadying force that held India’s fort from end eventually guided the tourists towards history.

The Ajinkya Rahane-led team were comfortably placed after the second session of final day at 183/3, requiring another 145 runs in 37 overs from the post-Tea period.

Earlier, resuming the session at 83/1, talented opener Shubman Gill continued on his development as he went on to play positively and alongside Pujara, collected runs at a brisk rate.

Gill, who looked reasonably comfortable against the Australian pace attack which resorted to short-pitched stuff, looked all set for what would have been a well-deserved century before he got caught in slips by Steve Smith against Nathan Lyon at his individual score of 91.

Skipper Ajinkya Rahane, who came in next, looked positive right from the word go and shared a quick 35-run stand with Pujara.

Rahane, after contributing with 24 off just 22 balls to India’s total, however got out caught behind against Pat Cummins.

India then sent in Pant, instead of Mayank Agarwal, clearly signalling their intentions of going for the win. Pujara and Pant added 61 runs to steady India’s ship after Australia looked to threaten by dismissing Gill and Rahane in a span of 10 overs.

While Pujara was dismissed soon after Tea, Pant showed why he is backed to the tilt by the team management. He scripted a 37-run partnership with Mayan Agarwal (9) before adding another 53 with Washington Sundar (22).

In the meantime, the 23-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman completed his half-century and anchored the broken ship of India, which was without its main captain and chief sailors, at finishing line after a successful voyage.

Earlier, in the morning session, India lost the wicket of Rohit Sharma (7) but scored 79 runs as Gill and Pujara didn’t allow Australia to make inroads into the Indian batting line-up

West Indies were the last one to beat Australia at what is considered a fortress for the Australian team.

In all, Australia had won 40 out of the 62 games they played at the venue prior to this match, losing just eight.

Four of those losses have come against England while three came against West Indies, the last of which was in 1988. One came against New Zealand.

India have played seven matches, losing five, drawing one and winning the one in the ongoing series.

This is also the first time Australia have not won at The Gabba since 2012.

Back in November 2012, they had drawn against South Africa. Following that draw, they beat England (twice), India, New Zealand, Pakistan (twice) and Sri Lanka.

source: The Statesman

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Sourav Ganguly ‘stable’ after angioplasty; to remain under observation for 2-3 days

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Former India captain and the BCCI chief Sourav Ganguly is “stable” now after undergoing an angioplasty in a private hospital in Kolkata on Saturday.

Ganguly, 48, was rushed to the Woodlands hospital in the afternoon after he felt dizziness. He will be kept under observation for the next couple of days before a three-member panel of doctors take a call on his future treatment, reported Sportstar.

He had complained of chest pain following a workout session on Friday evening. The same happened on Saturday before family members took him to the hospital this afternoon when the problem recurred.

“He was not feeling well last night. However, he decided to continue his morning routine on Saturday and suddenly felt dizzy. The preliminary doctors are trying to identify the cause of this sudden blackout… it might be because of a cardiac problem or any other problem,” Indian Express quoted a hospital source as saying.

“He was diagnosed with three blocked coronary arteries after which the stent was inserted to remove the blockage,” the news outlet quoted Dr. Saroj Mondal, one of the three doctors who performed the procedure, quoted as saying.

According to the doctor, the former cricketer suffered a myocardial infarction while working out on the treadmill.

“He had a similar experience on Friday as well. Since he was immediately brought to the hospital that helped us in treating him,” the doctor said.

Earlier in a statement, the MD & CEO of the Woodlands Hospital, Dr. Rupali Basu, had informed that that Ganguly had “family history of IHD ØE Ischemic heart disease.”

“When he came to the hospital at 1pm, his… clinical parameters were within normal limits. His ECG showed hyper acute ST segment elevation in inferior leads and lateral leads. Echo showed mild inferior wall hypokynaesia with preserved overall left ventricular function. He is stable haemodynamically. He has received loading doses of dual anti platelets and statin,” Basu stated.

Alongside several West Bengal government officials and ministers, Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee paid a visit to Ganguly. “He is fine now and even spoke to me. I thank the hospital authority and the doctors here,” Banerjee said.

Ganguly was also tested for COVID-19. His results have reportedly come negative.

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Lionel Messi breaks Pele’s record during Barcelona’s 3-0 win over Valladolid in La Liga

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Barcelona star Lionel Messi on Tuesday set another world record as he moved past Brazilian legend Pele to become the highest goalscorer for a single club.

Messi scored his 644th goal for the Catalan club during their win against Valladolid in La Liga, overtaking Pele’s record of 643 goals for Santos.

Messi’s achieved the feat after playing 749 games for Barcelona spreading across 17 seasons. Not many had thought that it would be possible to break Pele’s record.

“When I started playing football I never thought I would break any records. And even less the one I achieved today,” Messi posted on Instagram shortly after the game.

“I can only thank all those who helped me over the years, my teammates, my family, my friends and all those who support me every day,” he added.

Pele had earlier congratulated Messi when the latter had equalled his record.

“When your heart overflows with love, it is difficult to change your path. Like you, I know what it’s like to love wearing the same shirt every day. Like you, I know that there is nothing better than the place we feel at home,” Pele had said in an Instagram post.

“Congratulations on your historic record, Lionel. But above all, congratulations on your beautiful career at Barcelona. Stories like ours, of loving the same club for so long, unfortunately, will be increasingly rare in football. I admire you very much,” he had added.

Pele, who played his last game for Santos in 1974, is counted among one of the greatest players ever to grace the game.

There’s another Pele record that Messi has in his sights. The 77 goals that the Brazilian scored for his country are still a South American record. But Messi has 71 for Argentina, and needs just six more to equal that number.

Meanwhile, Barcelona moved to the fifth place in the points table of La Liga after registering their seventh win of the season. Other than Messi, Clement Lenglet and Martin Braithwaite put their names on the scoresheet against Valladolid.

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