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Asian Games 2023: India's Gold Medal Dream In Women's Hockey Ends In Agony

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Favourites India endured a forgettable 0-4 drubbing at the hands of China in the women’s hockey semifinals, a result that not only pushed the team out of the gold medal race but also denied it a direct entry to the Paris Olympics. Last edition’s silver medallist India, the highest-ranked team in the tournament at world number seven, was no match to world number China, who were the bronze medallist in 2018 in Jakarta. Jiaqi Zhong (25th minute), Meirong Zou (40th), Meiyu Liang (55th) and Bingfeng Gu (60th) scored the goals for China. China started on an attacking note put pressure on the Indian defence from the start. The Chinese managed to enter their opponent’s circle on frequent basis but failed to find the back of the net as the Indians defended stoutly.

China’s relentless pressure resulted in back-to-back penalty corners in the sixth minute but failed to get past India captain Savita in front of the goal.

The Indians made a few circle entries but failed to yield any results from them.

The Chinese secured another penalty corner in the 11th minute but once again Savita came to her side’s rescue.

Three minutes into the second quarter China earned another penalty corner but Bingfeng Gu’s flick was saved by Savita. The Indians looked completely out of sorts as the Chinese continued their domination.

The coordination between the midfield and forwadline was completely missing as India failed to create any clear cut scoring chance.

China, on the other hand, earned their fifth penalty corner in the 25th minute and Zhong made no mistake to hand the hosts the slender lead at half-time.

The Indians continued to play defensive hockey and the ploy backfired as China secured back-to-back penalty corners 10 minutes into the second half and Zou found the back of the net after getting a deflection from the stick of an Indian defender.

Trailing by two goals, the Indians finally started to wake up and started to press on the Chinese defence and got their first real scoring chance in the form of back-to-back penalty corners.

From the first set piece, Deep Grace Ekka sounded the board but the goal was disallowed for height and from the second chance Deep’s try was was saved by Chinese goalkeeper Jiao Ye.

The Indians finally started to put pressure on the Chinese defence but the attacks lacked sting.

However, India managed three more penalty corners, the second of which was converted by Udita but again the goal was disallowed for a raised ball.

The fourth and final quarter belonged to India but goals eluded them as all the 11 Chinese players fell deep to keep their lead intact.

With India going full-press, China took the opportunity with both hands and scored from a counter attack through Liang to drain the final nail on India’s coffin. In the final minute of the match China secured two more penalty corners, and Gu added salt to India’s wound.

India will now play the loser of the second semifinal between Japan and South Korea in the bronze medal match on Saturday. PTI SSC APA AT AT

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India Coach Application Deadline Ends: No Top Foreign Names Apply, VVS Laxman Not Interested, Gautam Gambhir…

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File image of former Indian cricket team star Gautam Gambhir© AFP




The deadline for applying for the post of Indian men’s cricket team chief coach ended on Monday but both the BCCI and the top name in its wishlist, Gautam Gambhir chose to keep mum on the development. After guiding Kolkata Knight Riders to their third IPL trophy on Sunday, it is but natural that Gambhir’s name is getting more momentum. While both interested parties haven’t said anything on record, the BCCI, it seems, doesn’t have too many quality options available at the moment.

It is understood that no notable foreign name has applied for the post, especially after BCCI secretary Jay Shah made it clear that the Board is looking at someone who has risen through the ranks and knows the domestic structure.

It could be safely said that the BCCI’s primary target was VVS Laxman, the National Cricket Academy head, but the stylish Hyderabadi seems not interested in a full time position which requires him to available for 10 months a year.

“The deadline is fine, but the BCCI brass wouldn’t mind taking some more time before reaching a decision. Right now, the team will be busy with World T20 for the better part of the month of June. After that seniors will be rested from tours of Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe where any of the NCA-based senior coaches can accompany the team. So what’s the hurry,” a BCCI source told PTI on conditions of anonymity.

Also, KKR principal owner Shah Rukh Khan shares a deep bond with Gambhir and it is not easy to leave an IPL team which has been a part of identity for the former India opener.

There’s another aspect that needs to be look into seriously — what senior India players, currently in New York, feel on whether Gambhir can indeed be Rahul Dravid‘s replacement. 

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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Rafael Nadal Knocked Out of French Open Round 1 By Fourth Seed Alexander Zverev

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File photo of Rafael Nadal© AFP




14-time champion Rafael Nadal knocked out of 2024 French Open Round 1 by fourth seed Alexander Zverev

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‘One Format May…’: Mitchell Starc Hints ODI Retirement After IPL 2024 Triumph

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Australia fast-bowler Mitchell Starc hinted on his ODI retirement after lifting the IPL trophy with Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). The left-arm pacer said with a long wait before the next one-day World Cup, he might shift focus to more franchise cricket around the world. Starc’s return to the IPL has been nothing short of spectacular, culminating in a title win with Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR). After years of prioritising international cricket, Starc’s decision to rejoin the cash-rich league paid off, and he now contemplates altering his cricketing commitments, potentially stepping away from ODIs.

Starc, who had largely stayed away from the IPL during his peak years to focus on his national duties and manage his workload, revealed his thoughts on this shift at a press conference following KKR’s emphatic win over Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in the IPL 2024 final by eight wickets. KKR secured their third IPL title, with Starc playing a pivotal role.

“The last nine years, I’ve prioritised Australian cricket. I have given myself a chance to give my body a break and spend some time away from cricket with my wife as well, so that’s certainly been where my head’s been for the last nine years,” Starc said at a press conference.

“Moving forward… look, I am certainly closer to the end of my career than the start. One format may drop off. There is long time before the next one-day World Cup and whether that format continues for me or not… it may open doors for more franchise cricket.”

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this season,” he said. “It’s been great, it leads into the World Cup, that’s the other side of the benefit of being here against some amazing players in an amazing tournament. It’s a great lead-up to a World Cup.

“Next year – I don’t know the schedule exactly – but I’ve enjoyed it, I look forward to being back next year and hopefully be seen in purple and gold [KKR’s colours] again.”

Starc’s consideration of dropping ODIs from his cricketing calendar could mean more appearances in franchise cricket, including the IPL. Despite being the most expensive player in IPL auction history, fetched for Rs. 24.75 crore by KKR, Starc had a tough start to the season. He conceded 100 runs in his first two games without taking a wicket, but his performance dramatically improved as the tournament progressed.

Starc’s match-winning figures of 3-34 and 2-14 in Qualifier 1 and the final, respectively, against SRH showcased his ability to perform under pressure. His efforts were instrumental in KKR’s dominant campaign, ending with a resounding victory in the final.

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this season,” Starc said. “It’s been great, it leads into the World Cup, that’s the other side of the benefit of being here against some amazing players in an amazing tournament. It’s a great lead-up to a World Cup. Next year – I don’t know the schedule exactly – but I’ve enjoyed it, I look forward to being back next year and hopefully be seen in purple and gold (KKR’s colours) again,” he said.

“I’ve played a lot of cricket, so I know how to manage myself. I haven’t played a lot of T20 cricket in the last few years, so for me, it was trying to find that rhythm of [the] T20 format, and trying to stay ahead of batters,” Starc concluded.

–IANS

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