WWW.INDIANEXPRESS.COM 12 SPORT THE INDIAN EXPRESS, SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 13, 2021 India hope for right turn BRIEFLY Getsports federationsinorder: HCtoCentre New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Friday asked the Centre to "get the National Sports Federations in order" by ensuring they follow the sports code and not to give them any relaxations with regard to grant of recognition."Get the NSFs (National Sports Federations) in order. Why is it difficult for them to adhere to the sports code,"abenchof JusticesVipinSanghi and Najmi Waziri said to the central government while issuing notice to it andseekingitsstand onapleaforstay of the recognitions granted to various sportsfederationswhichareallegedly not complying with the code. "No relaxations in the interim while we are examining it," the bench told central government standing counsel Anil Soni who was appearing for the Sports Ministry. The remarks by the court came while hearing an application moved by advocate Rahul Mehra for stay of a clause introduced in the sports code on February 1 for grantingexemptionsorrelaxationswithregard torecognition of federations. PTI Pakistantoplay7 gamesinSA Cape Town: South Africa have announced the schedule for a sevengame limited overs tour by Pakistan in April, providing a chance to return to play following Australia’s decision to pull out of a three-test series in the country next month.South Africa and Pakistan will contest three One-Day Internationals between Apr. 2-7, which will be followed by four Twenty20 Internationals from Apr. 10-16 to close the home side’s summer season.All games will be played on the Highveld in either Johannesburg or Pretoria, with the teams entering a bio-secure environment to quarantine from Mar. 26.The serieswillprovidemuch-needed revenue for Cricket South Africa, who are reeling from the financial fall-out of Australia’s withdrawal, the latter citing COVID-19 fears. REUTERS Liverpool’sFabinhoto missLeicestergame London: Liverpool have suffered another defensive injury as manager Juergen Klopp confirmed makeshift centre back Fabinho would miss Saturday's Premier League clash at Leicester City with a muscle problem.Liverpool's defensive resources have been decimated this season with centre backs Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip all ruled out with serious injuries, leaving Fabinho to fill in, at times alongside fellow midfielder Jordan Henderson.The Brazilian, who along with Henderson, was an integral part of Klopp's industrious midfield pressing machine in their run to the title last season, will sit out the match at the King Power Stadium, where fourth-placed Liverpool face a Leicester side a spot above them in the table. REUTERS MARY KOM TO COMPETE IN SPAIN M C Mary Kom will be seen in action for the first time since qualifying for the Olympic Games last year in March when the veteran, along with eight other Tokyo-bound boxers, compete in next month's Boxam International Tournament in Castellon, Spain. PTI After debacle in first Test, hosts look to bounce back on surface expected to aid spinners from start Kuldeep in the mix SHAMIK CHAKRABARTY CHENNAI, FEBRUARY 12 Chennai: The Indian team managementismullingonplayingChinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav in the second Test replacing Washington Sundar, it is learnt. With Axar Patel set to come in for Shahbaz Nadeem, India will have a left-arm spinner who can bat as well. Before the first Test, captain Virat Kohli spoke about having depth, bowlers who can bat. As this paper understands, it was a reason why Washington was picked instead of Kuldeep following Axar's injury. Washington scored 85 not out in the first innings, but as the team looks for variety, the door becomes ajar for Kuldeep, who last featured in a Test two years ago. ENS “YEAH, IT (pitch) looks completely different. I am sure it will turn from Day 1 but again, as I have said before the first Test match, you have to wait and see how it plays in the first session and take it from there on,” Ajinkya Rahane said at the pre-match press conference. Will the Chepauk pitch for the second TestliveuptotheIndianteammanagement’s expectations? One has to wait and see, but thehostsarenolongertakingthesurfaceout of the equation. Under pressure, they are seemingly falling back on their age-old formula of spinning out opponents on turners. There’snoharminmaximisinghomeadvantage. Then again, this Indian team has often bragged about never being bothered by conditions, home or away. “Our philosophy has been bhaad mein gaya pitch (to hell with pitch),” head coach Ravi Shastri had said a couple of seasons ago, after winning a home Test series against South Africa. A brilliantlyprepared England appears to have shaken the confidence. Precedent in history Afurtherprobewouldrevealthatoverthe past few years in home series, India have embraced the template of spin-punch on square turnerseverytimetheywereunderpressure. In 2016, after England finished the first Test in Rajkot stronger on a very good pitch, India playedonaturnerinVizag,winningthesecond by 246 runs. Not that the Indian batsmen scoredenmasseinthatgame.Centuriesfrom Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli, and a cameofromRavichandranAshwininthefirst innings proved to be the difference. Indian spinners out-skilled and out-bowled their Englishcounterpartsina4-0serieswin.Rajkot had triggered the ‘spin aggression’. Somethingsimilar happened a year later, when Australia won the first Test in Pune. In fact, it was a case of a rank-turner backfiring and little-known Steve O’Keefe trumping Indian spinners. Normality returned thereafter through India’s 2-1 series victory. Feeling Jadeja’s absence JoeRoot’sEnglandarebrilliantlyprepared IndiacaptainViratKohliduring apracticesessionattheMA ChidambaramStadiuminChennai. PTI this time. Also, they have found a chink in India’s armour. Usually at home, India choke their opponents with relentless spin from both ends. But Ravindra Jadeja’s injury has createdahole,puttingpressureonAshwinto singlehandedly carry the team’s spin attack. It made England’s job a lot easier in the first Test, especially on the first two days when the pitch slept. RootandCoworedownAshwinandcapitalisedontheprofligacyof ShahbazNadeem and Washington Sundar. Axar Patel is fit and will replace Nadeem for the second Test. Style-wise, Axar is the closest Indian cricket can offer as Jadeja’s replacement at the moment. But the 27-year-old is yet to play Test cricket and his effectiveness at this level remains unknown. Kuldeep Yadav for Washington would be Bangladesh 105-4 in 2nd Test, trail West Indies by 304 runs Dhaka:PACERSHANNONGabrielputonaninspirational bowling show as West Indies took control of the second test against Bangladesh onFriday.WestIndieswasdismissedfor409in its first innings after resuming on 223-5. Gabriel(2-31)helpedtoreduceBangladeshto 105-4 — still 304 runs behind — at stumps on the second day. Mushfiqur Rahim (27) and Mohammad Mithun (6) are at the crease. Joshua Da Silva earlierstruckasuperb92forWestIndieswith NkrumahBonnerhitting90andAlzarriJoseph scoring82.Wicket-keeperDaSilvawaspartof twosignificantpartnershipswhichpropelled West Indies past 400. He and Bonner put on 88 runs for the sixth wicket before Joseph joined Da Silva in a 118-run stand for the seventh. Bonner looked solid while Da Silva cut fastbowlerAbuJayedforaboundarypastbackward point to begin his day. DaSilvacontinuedhisaggressiveapproach but offspinner Mehidy Hasan broke through todismissBonner10runsshortofhisfirstcentury. His knock included seven boundaries. Joseph counterattacked right after coming to thecreaseandkeptthescoreboardtickingrapidly. Da Silva appeared set for his first ton but left-arm spinner Taijul Islam deceived him with a delivery to take his 100 test wickets at home.JosephedgedbehindoffAbuJayed,triggering a collapse as West Indies lost the last fourwicketsfor25runs.Gabrielstrucktwicein his first two overs. He dismissed Bangladesh opener Soumya Sarkar for 0, after he played a lazy shot to short midwicket, before Najmul Hossain (4) edged the ball to gully. At 11-2, captain Mominul Haque and openerTamimIqbalstartedtherepairjob. AP BRIEFSCORES: Bangladesh105for4(Rahim 27*,Mithun6*,Gabriel2-31)trailWestIndies 409 all out (Da Silva 92, Bonner 90, Joseph 82, Jayed 4-75) by 304 runs at Day 2 Stumps an attacking option, provided the chinaman bowler is making the ball zip off the surface. The change, though, is fraught with risk. For seven Tests on the bounce now, India have failed to post a 400-plus total in an innings. Time and again, they have been bailed out by the lower-middle order, be it the partnership between Washington and Shardul Thakur in Brisbane or the former’s classy 85 not out in the first innings of the first Test here. Kohli has made it clear that the team wants bowlers who can contribute with the bat as well. It would be difficult to replace Washington without upsetting the team’s balance. Making it tougher for themselves Fielding regression and a lack of bowling discipline have made matters worse. A total of 31 catches went down in Australia across formats.ThatIndiastillfoughtbacktogetthe better of the Aussies in their backyard spoke volumes for the team’s resolve and strength of characterunder Rahane’s captaincy. What happened in Australia, however, was a departurefromthenormal.Also,Australiawere equally loose on the field. In the first Test, a tight run-out opportunity very early into Root’s innings on the first day followed by a couple of lives to Ben Stokes proved costly. England, on the other hand, put on an exhibition of stunning catches; from Root to StokesandJamesAnderson.Overthetwoinnings in the first Test, India also bowled 27 no-balls. Rahane admitted that in Indian conditions,close-incatchesarecrucial.“Wearereally working hard on what we can control. In India, close-in catches are really important and sometimes these things happen. No one does it intentionally, it’s all about how confident you are. Close-in catches are really important,” he said. About no-balls, India’s vice-captain stayed away from public criticism of the bowlers. “We all were disappointed about the no-balls and they are working really hard.” EnglandshowedinthefirstTestthatthey were ready to turn the slightest opportunity to their advantage. Irrespective of pitch conditions, India will have to be on top of their game. This Indian team is pretty good at coming back from reverses, but going by the tourists’ performance in the series opener, this time they probably have met their match. Four changes Meanwhile, as Root said, England would be making four changes – Jos Buttler, Dom Bess, Anderson and the injured Jofra Archer to be replaced by Stuart Broad, Ben Foakes, Moeen Ali and Olly Stone or Chris Woakes. A rank-turner can excite Moeen. The off-spinner’s record against India – 41 wickets in 12 Tests, including two five-fors – is a goodindicator. LIVE: Star Sports Network from 9:30 am Tokyo chief resigns after sexist remarks REUTERS TOKYO, FEBRUARY 12 TOKYO 2020 Olympics chief Yoshiro Mori resigned on Friday and apologised again for sexist remarks that sparked a global outcry, leaving the troubled Olympics searching for a chief five months from the opening ceremony. Theresignationof formerprime minister Mori, 83, will further erode confidence in the organisers' ability to pull off the postponed Summer Games during a coronavirus pandemic. A selection committee made up of an equal number of men and women, and centred around athletes, would choose a new president, Tokyo 2020 chief executive Toshiro Muto told a news conference after a meetingof aboardof advisers.Hedidnotsay when the decision would be made but it had to be done "urgently". "Regarding qualities of a new president ... experience in Olympics and Paralympics ... Gender equality or diversity and inclusion ... we need a person that has a really highlevel of understanding of that," Muto said. Among the possible candidates, media said, was Olympics Minister Seiko Hashimoto, 56, a seven-time Olympianandpioneeringfemale lawmaker. Herfirstname isbasedonthe Japanese words for the Olympic flameandshewasbornjust days before the 1964 Tokyo Olympics opened. Hashimoto later told reporters she had not been asked to replace Mori and she sought to reassure the public that Japan would stay focused on preparations. Mori sparked a furore when he said during an Olympiccommitteemeetingthismonththat women talk too much, setting off a chorus of callsforhimtobesacked. Heinitiallyrefused to step down. "Myinappropriatecommentscaused big trouble. I'm sorry," Mori said at the begin- ning of a meeting of senior organising committee officials on Friday, adding that the most important thing was for the Tokyo Olympics to be a success. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said it was "as committed as ever" to staging the Games, which areduetoopenonJuly23."TheIOC will continue working hand-inhand with his successor to deliver safe and secure Olympic Games Tokyo2020in2021,"IOCPresident Thomas Bach said in a statement. Mori on Thursday had asked the mayor of the Olympic Village, 84-year-old Saburo Kawabuchi, to take over the job but by Friday, amid public dismay that the chosen successor was another older man, media reported that Kawabuchiturnedthejobdown.Broadcaster Fuji News Network quoted a government source as saying: "We can't give the impression that things have changed unless we install a woman or see a generational shift.” AUSTRALIAN OPEN After tumble, Djokovic unsure if he can continue ASSOCIATED PRESS MELBOURNE, FEBRUARY 12 NOVAKDJOKOVICsaidhetoreamuscleduring a fall in his five-set victory in the Australian Open’sthirdroundandmightneedtopullout of the tournament. Hisopponent,AmericanTaylorFritz,wasn’t so sure. He figured Djokovic definitely will bebackoutthereSundaytocontinuehispursuit of a ninth championship at Melbourne Park and 18th Grand Slam title overall. “If he can play like he played in the fifth, I don’t see why he wouldn’t play,” Fritz said. “He’ll beat pretty much anyone.” The No. 1-ranked Djokovic seemed to be cruisingalongwithatwo-setleadFridaynight when his left foot gave out from under him as he tried to change directions and he slipped awkwardly on the white “MELBOURNE” lettering at the back of the blue court. He took a medicaltimeoutfortreatmentonhissideand later was helped more by a trainer. Fritz got back into the match, before Djokovic eventually won 7-6 (1), 6-4, 3-6, 4-6, 6-2. When it ended, Djokovic puffed his chest, heldhisarmsoutwideandbellowed,hisvoice echoing through an empty and otherwise silentRodLaverArena.Thematchbeganwith spectators present, but they were forced to leave a little past 11:30 p.m. — about an hour beforeDjokovicwrappeduphiswin—because Djokovic fell and hurt his side during the 7-6 (1), 6-4, 3-6, 4-6, 6-2 win over Fritz. AP alocalCOVID-19lockdownbeganatmidnight. Duringanon-courtinterview,hewassubdued. Andpessimistic.“Iknowit’satear,definitely,of themuscle.SoIdon’tknowifI’llmanagetorecover from that in less than two days. I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know if I’m going tostepoutontothecourtornot,”saidDjokovic, whoissupposedtoface2016Wimbledonrun- ner-upMilosRaonicwithaquarterfinalberth on the line. “I am just very proud of this achievementtonight,”Djokovicsaid.“Let’ssee what happens tomorrow.” TheonlymaninthedrawwithmoreGrand Slam trophies than Djokovic, No. 2 Rafael Nadal,hasbeencomplainingaboutabadback since last week. The Nick Kyrgios Experience was in full effect against Dominic Thiem, from the underarm ace that successfully closed the second set to the around-the-back, betweenthe-legs miss that ceded the third and so much more. Kyrgios, a 25-year-old Australian who is partshowmanandpartsideshow,hadagrand ol' time while he was off to a perfect start, egging on a rowdy, partisan crowd and building a two-set lead in the third round Friday against No. 3 seed Thiem, the reigning U.S. Open champion and last year's runner-up at MelbournePark.Notsurprisingly,thetalented and tempestuous Kyrgios was decidedly less amused after his level of play dipped, resulting in a tossed racket, his customary sort of back-and-forthwiththechairumpire,acouple of warningsthatresultedinapointpenalty— and, eventually, a 4-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 loss to Thiem. KEY RESULTS: Men’s Singles 3rd round A Zverev (6) bt A Mannarino (32) 6-3, 6-3, 61; A Karatsev bt D Schwartzman (8) 6-3, 6-3, 6-3; M Raonic (14) bt M Fucsovics 7-6 (2), 57, 6-2, 6-2; D Thiem (3) bt N Kyrgios 4-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4; N Djokovic (1) bt T Fritz (27) 76 (1), 6-4, 3-6, 4-6, 6-2; Women’s Singles 3rdroundGMuguruza(14)btZDiyas6-1,61; S Williams (10) bt A Potapova 7-6 (5), 6-2; N Osaka (3) bt Ons Jabeur (27) 6-3, 6-2; S Halep (2) bt V Kudermetova (32) 6-1, 6-3; I Swiatek (15) bt Fiona Ferro 6-4, 6-3 Fans banned for five days as Melbourne goes into lockdown REUTERS SYDNEY, FEBRUARY 12 AUSTRALIA'S SECOND-MOST populous city will enter a five-day snap coronavirus lockdown, authorities said on Friday, banning spectators for much of the Australian Open tennis tournament. A fresh COVID-19 clusterlinkedtoaquarantinehotelinMelbourne, the capital of Victoria state, reached 13 cases as of Thursday midnight, as authorities rushed to quash the spread of the virus. All of those infections were linked to the highly contagious UK variant. Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews announced the lockdown for the state, starting at midnight on Friday, calling it a “short, sharpcircuitbreaker”banningpublicgatherings, home auctions, weddings and religious gatherings. “We must assume that there are furthercasesinthecommunitythanwehave positive results for, and that it is moving at a velocity that has not been seen anywhere in our country over the course of these last 12 months,” Andrews told reporters, noting the high transmission rate of the UK variant. Asked about the Australian Open, which runs through Feb. 21, the premier said the Grand Slam tournament, one the biggest events in the country's sports calendar, was consideredaworkplace,subjecttolockdown restrictions. “There are no fans. There are no crowds. These people are essentially at their workplace,” he said. Tennis fans will be able to attend games scheduled for Friday, while those who had bought tickets to restricted events will get a refund. Serena Williams, who was out on court winningherthirdroundmatchwhentheannouncementwasmade,saidshewouldmiss the fans. “It's not ideal,” the 23-times Grand Slam champion said. “It's been really fun to have the crowd back, especially here.” Three-timeGrandSlamchampionNaomi Osaka said she found it “funny” that tennis players were deemed essential workers. “But I don't know, I don't make the rules. I'm just here just trying to - I don't know, just having fun.” Victoriasuspendedinternationalpassenger flights from Saturday, excluding those already in transit, until further notice. “We will continue to assess the impact of the UK strain of the virus on our programme and international arrivals, and will provide more information on the duration of this pause soon,” the state government said in a statement. R.N.I. No. WBENG/2005/20789 VOL. 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