Pakistan

Straight-faced Lionel Scaloni measures Dutch challenge

Straight-faced Lionel Scaloni measures Dutch challenge

09/12/2022, Pakistan, Multi Sports, Pakistan Publications, Article # 30969767

DOHA: It wasn’t long after Louis van Gaal and Memphis Depay had left one news conference hall bursting with smiles and laughter that Lionel Scaloni took to the podium in the one opposite to it to answer questions. The difference in mood between the two rooms was obvious; the latter much more tense.

Argentina have heaps of pressure on them to deliver World Cup glory for the first time since 1986; they might not get the chance again four years from now when their talisman Lionel Messi would be 39. In an era of enhanced longevity, Messi might still be playing by the time the 2026 World Cup comes around but perhaps he would not be as effective as he still is. Coach Scaloni is mindful of this fact and perhaps that’s built the pressure that is pretty apparent.

“We’ve had an intense last few days,” Scaloni, straight-faced throughout, told reporters on the eve of Argentina’s quarter-final clash with the Netherlands on Thursday. “We’ve been planning on how we can cause damage to our opponents.” Asked if he had a plan to prevent Messi from being shackled by Netherlands’ marking, Scaloni said they will see “what happens on the pitch”. “We have thought about something different tomorrow,” he added. “We could implement some modifications [in our strategy] from the technical side. We have it in our minds.”

Of course, no one is telling anyone anything. “It would be very foolish to reveal here the plan we have to stop Messi,” Scaloni’s Dutch counterpart Van Gaal told reporters as he aims to prolong his ambition of delivering a first World Cup title for the Netherlands.

Scaloni and Van Gaal are on the opposite sides of the age spectrum. The World Cup is the last tournament for the 71-year-old Van Gaal, who has won everything at club level while Scaloni, 44, is in his first head-coach role but has already secured an international title — a year ago at the Copa America.

Van Gaal is battling cancer as he leads Netherlands’ pursuit for glory. Fighting for his life is a bigger fight than anything else but Van Gaal is a serial winner and hasn’t been shy about speaking of his desire to win the World Cup in Qatar. But he’s also an embodiment of calm now.

His news conference, alongside Dutch forward Memphis Depay, had anecdotes from history but it was more about his evolution from being a fierce taskmaster to a jovial, smiling one now. “My vision has evolved but I’ve not changed. I have more patience now,” he said.

It was as if Van Gaal was taking swipes at the ball as questions came to him, most notably when the mention of Argentina winger Angel di Maria calling him as the worst manager he’d worked under during their time at Manchester United.

“During his time at United, there were a few personal issues which is why I believe he feels that way … but he’s one of the players who says that and usually it’s the other way round,” said Van Gaal, before turning to Depay. “Here’s another from the same time at United but we now kiss each other.”

As the press pack broke into laughter, Van Gaal added: “I would kiss him on the mouth, if he allows me.” As the laughter continued, Depay, giggling, said, “Not happening here, that’s for sure.”

It’s the kind of exchange that embodies the spirit in the Dutch camp right now: harmony, unity. That’s not to say that Argentina don’t have the same; a team unified behind Messi to win the title that’s eluded him. The closest he’s come to winning it was eight years ago in Brazil, beating Netherlands in the semi-final on their way to the final, where Germany denied Messi the glory he’s craved for long.

“Tomorrow’s game will be the crucial one,” said Scaloni. Argentina have looked good in moments at the tournament, ultimately reliant on Messi to pull them through, but the Dutch clash might well be the one that set the tone for them to end their 36-year wait.

Published in Dawn, December 9th, 2022



https://www.dawn.com/news/1725370/straight-faced-lionel-scaloni-measures-dutch-challenge
Qatar probing death of worker at World Cup training site

Qatar probing death of worker at World Cup training site

09/12/2022, Pakistan, Multi Sports, Pakistan Publications, Article # 30969768

DOHA: Qatar has launched a work safety investigation into the death of a Filipino, officials said on Thursday, following reports that the man died while working at a training site during the football World Cup.

Nasser Al Khater, chief executive of the World Cup in Doha, confirmed to Reuters that a worker had died, but gave no further details. He offered his condolences to his family and said “death is a natural part of life”.

The Philippines’ foreign ministry confirmed in a statement that one of its nationals had died while working at a resort south of the capital Doha. It said its embassy was “working with legal authorities to ascertain more details of his passing”.

Online sports publication The Athletic on Wednesday reported that the man worked for a company contracted to fix lights in a car park at the Sealine Resort, the training site of the Saudi national team. It said he died after he slipped off a ramp while walking alongside a forklift and hit his head on concrete.

Citing multiple unnamed sources, it said the accident occurred during the World Cup, but did not specify when.

The statement from the Philippines said it would not provide further details out of respect for the man’s family. The resort did not respond to a Reuters’ query.

“If the investigation concludes that safety protocols were not followed, the company will be subject to legal action and severe financial penalties,” said a Qatar government official, who declined to be named. “The rate of work-related accidents has consistently declined in Qatar since strict health and safety standards were introduced and enforcement has been stepped up,” he said.Qatar’s World Cup organisers, the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, said in a statement that it was not involved in the Qatari investigation as “the deceased (was) working as a contractor, not under the remit of the SC”.

The number of work-related deaths in Qatar is in dispute.

Britain’s Guardian newspaper reported last year that at least 6,500 migrant workers — many of them working on World Cup projects — had died in Qatar since 2010, based on its calculations from official records.

In response, Qatar said the number of deaths was proportionate to the size of the migrant workforce, and included many non-manual workers, adding that every life lost was a tragedy. The SC said that three work-related deaths and 37 non-work related deaths had occurred on World Cup related projects.

Published in Dawn, December 9th, 2022



https://www.dawn.com/news/1725366/qatar-probing-death-of-worker-at-world-cup-training-site
US basketball star Brittney Griner swapped for Russian arms dealer

US basketball star Brittney Griner swapped for Russian arms dealer

09/12/2022, Pakistan, Multi Sports, Pakistan Publications, Article # 30969396

American basketball star Brittney Griner was headed home on Thursday after being freed from a Russian prison in a swap for Viktor Bout, the notorious arms dealer known as the “Merchant of Death.”

President Joe Biden announced Griner’s release in an address to the nation and Moscow confirmed she had been exchanged in Abu Dhabi for Bout, who was serving a 25-year prison sentence in the United States.

“She is safe. She is on a plane. She is on her way home,” Biden said, adding that he had spoken to Griner and she was in “good spirits” after a “terrible ordeal.”

The 32-year-old Griner, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, WNBA champion and LGBT trailblazer, was arrested on drug charges at a Moscow airport in February against a backdrop of soaring tensions over Ukraine.

Another American held in Russia, Paul Whelan, a former US Marine detained in 2018 and accused of spying, was not part of the prisoner exchange and he told CNN he was “greatly disappointed.”

“I don’t understand why I’m still sitting here,” Whelan told the US television network in a phone call from the Russian penal colony where he is imprisoned.

Biden pledged to continue to seek Whelan’s freedom, saying “we will never give up.” “Sadly, for totally illegitimate reasons, Russia is treating Paul’s case different than Brittney’s,” he said.

Griner was accused of possession of vape cartridges with a small quantity of cannabis oil and sentenced in August to nine years in prison.

Biden said Griner’s release was the result of “painstaking and intense negotiations” and she would need time to recover from “needless trauma” after being “wrongfully detained.”

Biden made the announcement at the White House flanked by Griner’s wife, Cherelle Griner, Vice President Kamala Harris and Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

“I’m just standing here, overwhelmed with emotions,” Cherelle Griner said, describing her wife’s imprisonment as “one of the darkest moments of my life.”

She also acknowledged Whelan’s fate, saying: “Today my family is whole, but as you all are aware there’s so many other families who are not whole.”

WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert welcomed Griner’s freedom saying there was a “collective wave of joy and relief” in the women’s professional league where the 6’9“ (2.06 meter) Griner has been a star for a decade.

Former president Barack Obama tweeted “kudos to @POTUS and his administration for the difficult diplomatic work involved to make it happen.”

Biden publicly thanked the United Arab Emirates for helping “facilitate” Griner’s release and the UAE issued a joint statement with Saudi Arabia saying it was the result of “mediation efforts” by leaders of the two Arab nations.

Griner and Bout were flown to Abu Dhabi by private planes, the statement said, and were exchanged “in the presence of specialists from the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.” Biden said Griner was expected back in the United States within 24 hours.

Rescue our compatriot

At the time of her arrest, Griner had been in Russia to play for the professional Yekaterinburg team, during her off-season from the Phoenix Mercury.

She pleaded guilty to the charges against her, but said she did not intend to break the law or use the banned substance in Russia.

Griner testified that she had permission from a US doctor to use medicinal cannabis to relieve pain from her many injuries.

The use of medical marijuana is not allowed in Russia.

The Russian foreign ministry said it had been negotiating with Washington to secure Bout’s release “for a long time” and that initially the United States had “refused dialogue” on including him in any swap.

“Nevertheless, the Russian Federation continued to actively work to rescue our compatriot,” it said. “The Russian citizen has been returned to his homeland.”

The 55-year-old Bout, who was accused of arming rebels in some of the world’s bloodiest conflicts, was arrested in a US sting operation in Thailand in 2008, extradited to the United States and sentenced in 2012 to 25 years in prison.

The 2005 film “Lord of War” starring Nicolas Cage was based in part on Bout’s arms trafficking exploits and he has been the subject of several books and TV shows.

Asked about Bout’s release, a senior US defense official said “there is a concern that he would return to doing the same kind of work that he’s done in the past. “



https://www.dawn.com/news/1725322/us-basketball-star-brittney-griner-swapped-for-russian-arms-dealer
Waning Azhar Ali counts days as Pakistan mainstay

Waning Azhar Ali counts days as Pakistan mainstay

09/12/2022, Pakistan, Multi Sports, Pakistan Publications, Article # 30969333

Is Azhar Ali indispensable? If not then Pakistan cricket team’s management, if it is serious in building a strong and established Test side for future, are duly expected to review their plans regarding the right-hander’s place in the national squad, sooner than later, simply because the batter is gradually becoming a liability.

In recent years, Azhar’s confidence level has visibly dipped with fast waning hand-eye coordination, perhaps due to age. Throughout his career, the 37-year-old never looked solid against well-directed short-pitched bowling, and this flaw is exploited by top-class pace bowlers.

Moreover, the batter by nature is of predominantly defensive mindset, which for reasons best known to Azhar, has not changed even on many occasions when it was required. It severely dents the team’s cause.

Amid this over-protective stance, add his tentative shot-making to this set of weaknesses and it certainly gives a bleak outlook.

Number three is regarded by experts as the most important position in a Test team. They should be game-changers like Australia’s Marnus Labuschagne, world’s top-ranked Test batter and New Zealand Captain Kane Williamson, ranked sixth.

Candidly speaking, Azhar despite his vast experience – plus the continuous chances he has been afforded by the national selectors over the years – has not succeeded in finding the right recipe to become a rock-solid cog in the national side.

It was a huge moment in the recently-held Rawalpindi Test where Joe Root – tactically planted at leg slip – getting down on one knee gleefully took a straightforward catch offered by Azhar at a crucial juncture on the last day.

The dismissal explicitly signified the right-handed veteran blundered in judging the situation and left the scene just when Pakistan wanted him to stay at the crease and help his team avoid the defeat.

Had Azhar, with 19 Test centuries to his credit, remained out there in the middle, the hosts might have saved the game against a compact English bowling attack.

Simply because if tailenders Naseem Shah (six off 46 balls) and debutant Zahid Mahmood (one off 21), who came in to bat at number nine could prolong the proceedings, 95-Test veteran Azhar could surely do it with authority.

He couldn’t. The 37-year-old, in the first innings also, had slumped on a featherbed of a wicket.

Rawalpindi proved a two-fold drawback for Azhar. At the outset, he couldn’t score on a batters paradise at the Pindi Cricket Stadium where openers Imam-ul-Haq and Abdullah Shafique – both far less experienced than Azhar – comfortably smashed hundreds in response to England’s gigantic 657.

Even Agha Salman, batting at number seven in only the third Test of his career, crafted 53.

Secondly, Azhar wilted again on the last day when he was needed to just survive, not even go for a win. Where debutant Saud Shakeel made a fighting 76, Azhar miserably waned.

Not to forget it was home ground and crowd, so no excuses. At the same venue, Azhar had amassed 185 – in a drawn affair – against Australia earlier this year.

Has Azhar, the present team’s most capped Test cricketer, flopped like this rarely during the past few years? Well, it’s a simple no.

Taking a glance at his career spanning over 12 years, one finds that while the Lahore-born batter had a memorable 2016 when he scored a triple century (302 not out) against West Indies in Dubai and two months later followed it up with an impressive unbeaten 205 against Australia at Melbourne, he started showing clear signs of decline since 2018.

Since May 2018, to be exact, till to date Azhar has accumulated 1451 runs at a wanting average of 36.27 in 60 innings of the 34 Test matches he has featured in.

Out of the five centuries he scored during this time period, only one was made outside Asia – a fine 141 not out against England in the drawn third and final Test at Southampton in August 2020.

Azhar’s obvious, bemusing and endless struggles against top-quality short-pitched bowling on Pakistan’s tours to South Africa (59 runs in six innings, 2018-19), Australia (62 in four innings, 2019) and England (69 in four innings, if 141 not out at Southampton excluded, 2020) became a hot topic.

The batter’s healthy average of 54 in the 27 Tests he featured in on UAE featherbeds – where Pakistan played all their home series from 2010 till 2018 in the aftermath of the March 2009 terror attack on the Sri Lankan team in Lahore – is a sharp contrast.

Azhar’s batting problem does not end here. It runs deep.

Even on largely lifeless tracks in Pakistan, where he averages a healthy 47.85 in nine Tests since 2019, the batter has not been able to give his input against top-quality opponents.

Against Australia in Karachi earlier this year, when Pakistan after flopping in the first innings ended up at a remarkable 443-7 to honourably save the game while chasing a mammoth 506, Azhar played no role in both the innings.

And after crafting a 78-run knock in the first innings of the third and final Test at Lahore, he disappointed in the second innings as Pakistan slumped to a 115-run loss while pursuing 351 for victory.

He then had a poor outing (3 and 6) in the first Test against Sri Lanka at Galle in July.

Furthermore, Azhar’s two Test hundreds in 24 innings of his last 14 Tests since January 2021 came against lowly Zimbabwe (126, May 2021) and Australia (185 on a docile track, as mentioned before) earlier this year.

It goes on to show that besides having some major problems in handling bowlers on fast, bouncy and seaming tracks in Australia, South Africa and England, Azhar has now started struggling even on Pakistani pitches.

England are on a roll. They will not change. After having won seven out of their last eight Tests with the novel “Bazball” show ever since their head coach Brendon McCullum took charge in May this year, they will come hard at Babar Azam and his men in Multan and Karachi no matter which type of surface they play.

Azhar is on the brink, he has to demonstrate in Multan that he can, and will, rise to the occasion. Otherwise, the Pakistan team management will need to seriously review the team composition, primarily Azhar’s capability and role, in order to secure the team’s interests in the long run.



https://www.dawn.com/news/1725321/waning-azhar-ali-counts-days-as-pakistan-mainstay
Pakistan need to rediscover its heavy metal style to counter England’s ‘Bazball’ in Multan

Pakistan need to rediscover its heavy metal style to counter England’s ‘Bazball’ in Multan

09/12/2022, Pakistan, Multi Sports, Pakistan Publications, Article # 30969283

The awe that England struck us all with, may have made us feel slightly better about Pakistan’s defeat in the first Test, but deep down, we all know Babar Azam’s men could have done better.

We all want to say it out loud that Pakistan could have gone on to break the unbreakable Ben Stokes, making him regret THAT bold declaration.

It was just 343 in four sessions! How did we fail to grab this opportunity on a batting paradise? How did we go from being just 86 runs away from what could have been a historic win with five wickets in hand?

Again, maybe, it is too harsh to hold Pakistan accountable given that they lost to a side that has no respect for the opposition bowlers.

What if Pakistan had won the toss? What if Haris Rauf hadn’t been injured? It could have been the express pacer’s reverse swing on a dry fifth-day track that would up-root Ben Stokes’ stumps.

It may have then been the English journalists — travelling in numbers to Pakistan — questioning the sustainability of “Bazball”.

At this point, I’m done with the what-ifs. It’s time to get practical. The second Test in Multan starts Friday. Pakistan have been forgiven. England have been hailed as the best Test side in the world right now. This is Pakistan’s chance to prove “Bazball” is not going to make the cut in the long run.

If the cricket hungry crowd at the scenic Multan Cricket Stadium has to be entertained, the hosts need to take the responsibility to do that.

It’s Imamul Haq and Abdullah Shafique who should be treating the early overs as the powerplay on what would most probably be another belter. It should be Babar, who delivers a ton, or double, to the Multanites. It should be Mohammad Rizwan, who needs to display his exuberance and make England pay for what they did to Pakistan’s bowlers in Rawalpindi .

The bowlers, despite their youth and inexperience, need to pick themselves up, need to bounce back, need to hit that line and length, and those pads and stumps.

Pakistan’s coaches need to understand that cricket — in fact, sports in general — is not about camaraderie with the opponent. It’s about blood and sweat, and it’s about preying on it.

England’s predatory instinct was exactly what got Pakistan tamed in Rawalpindi. It’s time for Pakistan to be on the offensive.

Babar said on the eve of the first Test that teams have their own styles of play and that being defensive may help sides win matches despite England’s relentlessly attacking cricket.

Even if Babar’s argument is bought, it is hard to makes sense of Pakistan’s defensive batting approach when the target was within their sight.

But as they say: “Loha he lohay ko kaat’ta hai” (diamond cut diamond), Pakistan need to bring out the heavy metal if they want to have a chance against England in the Multan Test, as only a victory there would make the final contest in Karachi worth gold for the spectators.

“Bazball” may have been adopted by England nine months ago, but what it is defined by — flare, aggression, expression, emotion — has also been a part of the Pakistan cricket’s DNA. It just needs an outlet and it is about time the Pakistan players and coaches let the players express what comes naturally to them.



https://www.dawn.com/news/1725320/pakistan-need-to-rediscover-its-heavy-metal-style-to-counter-englands-bazball-in-multan
Stokes eyes Wood's pace boost for England in 2nd Pakistan Test

Stokes eyes Wood's pace boost for England in 2nd Pakistan Test

08/12/2022, Pakistan, Multi Sports, Pakistan Publications, Article # 30969102

England skipper Ben Stokes said Thursday the express pace of fit-again Mark Wood would help counter dry and spin-friendly conditions in the second Test against Pakistan.

England are on a high after a thrilling 74-run victory in the first Test, and will be looking to take that momentum into the match in Multan, which starts Friday.

A confident Stokes said the addition of Wood — who replaces the injured Liam Livingstone — will add some spice to the England bowling mix.

“Having someone in your squad who can bowl at 150 kilometres per hour is a massive bonus for any team around the world — especially as Pakistan is a very hard place to come and win,” the England captain said.

“Someone of his calibre will add to our ability to take 20 wickets.”

This would be Wood’s first Test since March. He missed the first match in Rawalpindi with a hip injury.

Ollie Pope will continue as wicketkeeper in place of Ben Foakes, who missed the Rawalpindi match after coming down with a mystery virus that swept through the visiting squad.

Jack Leach and Will Jacks — who shared nine wickets on a lifeless Rawalpindi pitch — are England’s main spin options.

“The pitch is dry and it seems a lot more muggier here than (Rawalpindi),” Stokes said of the grassless top in Multan.

“You might see reverse swing coming into a Test match a lot earlier.”

The England skipper said he expected Pakistan to come back fighting to save the three-Test series, but added that his side have no plans to change their tactics.

“We will have the same mindset over the next five days and hopefully everything we do can contribute to us leaving here two-nil up,” he said.

Pakistan skipper Babar Azam, meanwhile, said he was hoping for some help from the Multan surface for his spinners.

“This one is dry and there will be spin and reverse swing — but you need to play at your best to win,” he said.

Pakistan have yet to decide if they will select Faheem Ashraf or Mohammad Wasim Junior in their pace attack for the second Test.



https://www.dawn.com/news/1725313/stokes-eyes-woods-pace-boost-for-england-in-2nd-pakistan-test
Stokes eyes Wood's pace boost for England in 2nd Pakistan Test

Stokes eyes Wood's pace boost for England in 2nd Pakistan Test

08/12/2022, Pakistan, Multi Sports, Pakistan Publications, Article # 30969029

England skipper Ben Stokes said Thursday the express pace of fit-again Mark Wood would help counter dry and spin-friendly conditions in the second Test against Pakistan.

England are on a high after a thrilling 74-run victory in the first Test, and will be looking to take that momentum into the match in Multan, which starts Friday.

A confident Stokes said the addition of Wood — who replaces the injured Liam Livingstone — will add some spice to the England bowling mix.

“Having someone in your squad who can bowl at 150 kilometres per hour is a massive bonus for any team around the world — especially as Pakistan is a very hard place to come and win,” the England captain said.

“Someone of his calibre will add to our ability to take 20 wickets.”

This would be Wood's first Test since March. He missed the first match in Rawalpindi with a hip injury.

Ollie Pope will continue as wicketkeeper in place of Ben Foakes, who missed the Rawalpindi match after coming down with a mystery virus that swept through the visiting squad.

Jack Leach and Will Jacks — who shared nine wickets on a lifeless Rawalpindi pitch — are England's main spin options.

“The pitch is dry and it seems a lot more muggier here than (Rawalpindi),” Stokes said of the grassless top in Multan.

“You might see reverse swing coming into a Test match a lot earlier.”

The England skipper said he expected Pakistan to come back fighting to save the three-Test series, but added that his side have no plans to change their tactics.

“We will have the same mindset over the next five days and hopefully everything we do can contribute to us leaving here two-nil up,” he said.

Pakistan skipper Babar Azam, meanwhile, said he was hoping for some help from the Multan surface for his spinners.

“This one is dry and there will be spin and reverse swing — but you need to play at your best to win,” he said.

Pakistan have yet to decide if they will select Faheem Ashraf or Mohammad Wasim Junior in their pace attack for the second Test.



https://www.dawn.com/news/1725313/stokes-eyes-woods-pace-boost-for-england-in-2nd-pakistan-test
England recall Wood, Pope retains keeper’s gloves for Multan test

England recall Wood, Pope retains keeper’s gloves for Multan test

08/12/2022, Pakistan, Multi Sports, Pakistan Publications, Article # 30968898

England have replaced injured all-rounder Liam Livingstone with fast bowler Mark Wood in the only change to their squad for the second test against Pakistan, with Ollie Pope retaining the wicketkeeper’s gloves.

Livingstone has returned home after sustaining a knee injury in his debut test in Rawalpindi, where England pulled off a remarkable 74-run victory for a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.

Wood missed the first test as he continued his recovery from a hip injury.

Ben Foakes, who missed the opener with illness, is now fully fit but England skipper Ben Stokes confirmed that Pope, who made 108 in the first innings in Rawalpindi, will continue behind the wicket because of his superior batting.

“I’ll still keep saying that he (Foakes) is the best keeper in the world,” Stokes said on the eve of the match, which begins on Friday.

“It must sound silly to not be picking him but you got to see the conditions we face here. Pakistan is a very hard place to come and win.

“Adding Mark Wood into the side gives us the best opportunity to take 20 wickets.

“That’s what we came here to do. We came here to try and win the game of cricket and not be conservative […],” he added.

Off-spinner Will Jacks, who claimed six wickets on his test debut in Rawalpindi, was also retained.

England would conclude their first test tour of Pakistan since 2005 with a match in Karachi.

Team England: Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Harry Brook, Ben Stokes, Will Jacks, Ollie Robinson, Jack Leach, Mark Wood, James Anderson.



https://www.dawn.com/news/1725302/england-recall-wood-pope-retains-keepers-gloves-for-multan-test
Rohit out of final Bangladesh ODI with thumb injury

Rohit out of final Bangladesh ODI with thumb injury

08/12/2022, Pakistan, Multi Sports, Pakistan Publications, Article # 30968899

India skipper Rohit Sharma was set to fly back home Thursday to seek medical advice for a thumb injury and will miss the final one-day international against Bangladesh, coach Rahul Dravid said.

Rohit heroically batted at number nine with stitches and a bandage on his left thumb to hit a valiant 51 not out in his team’s nail-biting five-run loss to Bangladesh.

The victory in front of an ecstatic home crowd in Dhaka gave the hosts an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.

The captain adds to India’s growing injury list with Kuldeep Sen, who missed the match due to stiffness in his back, and fellow quick Deepak Chahar, who bowled just three overs due to a hamstring strain, also ruled out of the series.

“(We are) struggling with a few injuries, which is not ideal, not easy for us,” Dravid told reporters after the loss.

“Kuldeep and Deepak are out of the series. Rohit will miss the next game, fly back to Mumbai consult with an expert and see how it is and whether he could come back for the Test matches or not, I am not sure. Too early to say.”

India and Bangladesh will play two Tests starting December 14.

Rohit, who hit five sixes in his blitz and needed a six to win on the final ball when Mustafizur Rahman held his nerve, had gone off the field early in Bangladesh’s innings.

He dropped Bangladesh opener Anamul Haque in the second over at slip as the ball seemed to catch the webbing between the thumb and forefinger with blood oozing out.

Dravid hailed Rohit’s courage to run Bangladesh close with an injured hand after India had slipped to a hopeless-looking 207-7 in their chase of 272.

“It was phenomenal for him to show that level of courage. He had a serious dislocation, had to go to hospital to get that set right, stitches in his hand, couple of injections to just go out and bat,” said Dravid.

“Credit to him, to go out and take a chance and amazing how close he got us with that innings.” Dravid said the team should have a fully fit squad come January as they will look to “address” issues in the year of the 50-over World Cup.

Rohit said that India’s growing injury list was perhaps because of the gruelling workload.

“Maybe they’re playing too much cricket. It’s something we have to sit down with our team… and try and monitor their workload,” he said.

“(We) can’t afford to have half-fit players representing India,” he added.



https://www.dawn.com/news/1725300/rohit-out-of-final-bangladesh-odi-with-thumb-injury
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