Quinton De Kock to play third Test against depleted New Zealand

first_imgSouth Africa’s Quinton de Kock has been cleared to play the third test against New Zealand in Hamilton after passing a late fitness Test on Friday.The 24-year-old wicketkeeper injured the index finger on his right hand while fielding in South Africa’s eight-wicket win in the second Test in Wellington and underwent scans earlier this week.He missed training on Wednesday and Thursday and while scans determined the finger was not broken, he had damaged tendons. (Also read: Quinton de Kock likely to miss IPL due to injury)De Kock trained on Friday with strapping and a protective splint and South Africa captain Faf du Plessis said as far as he was concerned the aggressive batsman was too important to leave out for the series-deciding match starting on Saturday.”It’s a big game. Quinton is someone who you don’t just replace. From my side, I am trying to have Quinton in my team all the time,” du Plessis told reporters in Hamilton.”He has had problems with his fingers for quite a while. It’s part of being a keeper. It’s never nice to catch balls on the fingertips all the time and it’s been painful for him for a while.”Maybe the cold New Zealand conditions make it worse. It’s hurting for him a bit more now but because it’s a big game, resting him for someone else is not an option.”New Zealand need to win the Seddon Park match to level the three-match series at 1-1 but have been hampered by the loss of three pivotal players.advertisementBatsman Ross Taylor, who missed the second test with a torn calf, is again unavailable, while the pace-bowling duo of Tim Southee (hamstring) and Trent Boult (groin) were ruled out in the last 24 hours. (Also read: New Zealand paceman Tim Southee ruled out of third South Africa Test )Du Plessis said the loss of all three would be tough to overcome for the hosts and his team would be doing their best to exploit their absence and put pressure on Kane Williamson’s side.”It’s a huge blow,” du Plessis said. “I always take reference to our own team – if we lose guys like them in our side, it will be a huge loss.”You don’t just replace that in test cricket. But we know whoever comes in can do a job for the day and we have to respect that.”We are trying to put as much pressure as we can on New Zealand and… if we do that, hopefully it will be easier but it’s never a guarantee.”last_img read more

Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu made us believe we could win: HS Prannoy

first_imgHS Prannoy has credited fellow shuttlers PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal for the positive change in mindset of other players while facing tougher opponents.”The one thing which changed among all of us (players) was the belief (to win). (And) in the last five to six years I could see the change,” Prannoy said.WATCH”Before (earlier) we used to go out there and when we (saw) big names, we used to say its tough. Nowadays whenever we see the big names we are much more confident,” said the world No. 11 last night.Prannoy, along with legendary badminton player Nandu Natekar and chief national coach Pullela Gopichand, was present at the prize distribution ceremony of the 25th G D Birla Memorial Masters Inter-Club Badminton Tournament at the Bombay Gymkhana.”First when we used to play them we used to give them a lot of respect. When I started playing badminton I never thought I could play against these big names or at this Super Series level or at the World Championships,” he explained.According to Prannoy, when Saina and Sindhu started winning big tournaments and started beating Chinese players, the other players too started believing that they could also also achieve a similar feat.”The first time when I started playing (against) them there was a lot of respect and things which made me play a very silent game,” he said.”That was the one thing that changed and over the years the belief, specially in the last one or two years. A lot of credit goes to Saina and Sindhu, because they were the ones who started it. And when they started to win the bigger events, when they started to beat the Chinese continuously, that’s when all the rest of the members in the (Indian) team got the self belief saying if they can do it, then why not us..,” the 25-year-old Prannoy added.advertisementSaina won the bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics and Sindhu scripted history by winning the silver Medal in women’s singles at the 2016 Rio Olympics.Gopichand also said that there has been a change of mindset among the current players.”When I look at the change in badminton, for me the change is not only in the players of badminton, but in the youth in general. When I went to Olympics in 2000 or the Games prior to that, about 80-90 per cent of us, who went, almost went with an idea that we will go there, and (since) winning was not on our minds, we would go, be happy collecting souvenirs, clicking photographs. The mindset was not really to win.”But when I went again in 2008 and 2012, although we may not have won huge medals, the mindset of people had changed. Every athlete who went to the Olympics thought of winning a medal and they wanted to win a medal and that was a big difference between earlier generation and now,” said Gopichand.(With inputs from PTI)last_img read more