India left-arm seamer RP Singh announces retirement

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Former India left-arm fast bowler RP Singh on Tuesday announced his retirement from cricket. The 32-year-old announced his decision on Twitter.

“13 years ago today, on 4th September 2005 was the first time I donned the Indian jersey. It was the stepping-stone to what would become the most cherished moments of my life,” Singh wrote a statement he posted on Twitter.

“Today as I hang my boots and call it a day, I wish to remember and give thanks to each and everyone who made this journey possible.

“For someone born in a small village, I never thought I would be able to say this – I have lived my dream. And for that I have nobody else to thank but you. My fans. For believing in me, for criticising me and for hailing me but mainly for just being there for me. Thank you,” Singh said.

Singh formed a formidable pace pairing with fellow left-armer Zaheer Khan in the late 2000s. He was one of the star performers for India in their victorious 2007 World T20 campaign. He also played a critical role in the 2007 Test series triumph in England and in India’s Test win over Australia in the acrimonious 2008 Perth Test.

In all, Singh picked up 40 Test wickets from 14 matches, 69 scalps from 58 ODIs and 15 wickets from 10 T20s.

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Schedule for West Indies' full tour of India released

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India will host the West Indies for two Tests, five ODIs and three Twenty20s in October-November, the BCCI said on Tuesday.

The Test series will begin on October 4 in the western city of Rajkot followed by the second and final Test in Hyderabad from October 12 to 16. It means there will be a gap of barely one week between the final of the Asia Cup in the UAE at the end of the month and the first Test, should India reach the final.

The five ODIs will be played in Guwahati (October 21), Indore (October 24), Pune (October 27), Mumbai (October 29) and Thiruvananthapuram (November 1).

The cities of Kolkata (November 4), Lucknow (November 6) and Chennai (November 11) will host T20 matches.

The West Indies had pulled out of their previous tour of India in 2014 because of a pay dispute with their board.

The Dwayne Bravo-led side went back after playing four ODIs. They were scheduled to play one more one-dayer, a one-off T20 and three Tests on that tour.

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India are the worst performing Test team in fourth-innings chases

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The Indian team will think long and hard about what went wrong in the Test series against England as they conceded it 3-1 with one Test to go.

India entered the series with their strongest ever pace bowling attack and despite the absence of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah at the start of the series, had enough firepower to take 20 wickets relatively cheaply.

England won the second Test at Lord’s by an innings effectively inside two days while India bounced back in the third at Trent Bridge as they won by 203 runs. The series boiled down to two close games – the first Test in Birmingham and the fourth at Southampton. And this is where India’s growing problem came to the fore.

While India’s batting has become increasingly dependent on captain Virat Kohli to score runs in tough conditions, the team has also made it a habit of failing to chase down achievable targets in the fourth innings.

In the last five years, the team has squandered four golden opportunities to register wins away from home.

The first instance came in the 2015 Galle Test when India were set a target of 176 on a dry pitch. Sri Lanka, led by spin veteran Rangana Herath’s 7-48, bowled out India for just 112 as a 63-run loss ensued for the visitors.

Then against South Africa at the beginning of this year, the Indians were set a challenging target of 208 in the first Test in Cape Town.

However, the Indians fell well short of the target as they were bowled out for 135 with Vernon Philander picking up six wickets in the second innings.

The trend continued in the five-Test series in England. In the first Test in Birmingham, India were set a gettable target of 194 on a pitch that was still good enough to bat on. But they could only manage 162 as they fell 31 runs short of the target with Ben Stokes picking up four wickets.

And then in the fourth Test in Southampton with the series on the line, India were asked to score 245 to level the series but were dismissed for 184 with off-spinner Moeen Ali picking up four.

In the last five years, India have failed to chase down targets of less than 250 on four occasions. Pakistan and South Africa have failed to do it twice while Australia and West Indies have been unable to do so once.

It goes to show that while India might still be the No1 Test team in the world, they are simply unable to chase down any sort of fourth-innings target.

In fact, the last time India chased down a target of more than 100 outside Asia was in 2003 against Australia.

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