first_imgNew Delhi, Apr 24 (PTI) Talented shuttler B Sai Praneeth and Olympian rower Dattu Baban Bhokanal were among the six new athletes selected by GoSports Foundation, who will be supported during the third year of their Rahul Dravid Athlete Mentorship Programme. The other new entrants are Asian Games bronze medallist rower Dushyant, CWG gold medallist weightlifters Kojum Taba and N Sathish Kumar. Gymnast Rakesh Patra, who has participated in three World Championship is also a part of the project. This project comprises 20 elite athletes and 14 from the previous term have been retained. It includes likes of gymnast Dipa Karmakar, shuttlers Kidambi Srikanth, HS Prannoy, Sameer Verma, golfer Chikkarangappa to name a few. The new entrants were brought in via an exhaustive selection process which saw 282 talented sportspersons competing in Olympic disciplines apply for support. The applicants were put through three rounds of screening, basis their performance and future potential. For the final round, 17 athletes were interviewed on April 22 in Mumbai, by an interview panel comprising actor Rahul Bose (former India rugby player), Leadership Trainer, Executive Coach, and Programme Advisory Board member Girish Manimaran, and GoSports Foundation Executive Director Deepthi Bopaiah. The support structure offered to the athletes will be broadly directed towards: Training and Development, Competition, Mentorship, Legal Advice for Commercial Engagements, Support on Media Management and PR Career Guidance, Knowledge Building Workshops and Seminars. Speaking after the completion of the interviews in Mumbai, Dravid said:”Its incredible to see the number of sportspersons who have applied to the programme as we move into our third year. Personally, I am inspired by all their stories and look forward to interacting with them through the programme term. Hopefully, their success can continue to inspire many others to strive for sporting excellence.” PTI KHS KHSadvertisementlast_img read more

first_imgRishabh Pant’s rise in international cricket, especially his ability to score big runs in tough conditions, has made it difficult for Wriddhiman Saha to make a comeback in the side but the Bengal wicketkeeper should be a part of the Test squad on the tour to West Indies later in the year, feels former India stumper Deep Dasgupta.Saha, who has been out of the Test squad since July last year due to a thumb injury, has been India’s No.1 wicket-keeper ever since MS Dhoni’s retirement from the longest format in 2014. But coming back in the side will be tough for Saha after Pant’s exploits in the format as he grabbed his chance with both hands, scoring hundreds in England and Australia.Pant has also been good with his wicketkeeping on both tours but still has a some distance to go before he can match up to Saha’s standards, who is known as the best behind the stumps in terms of technique and efficiency.Dasgupta however, picks Pant ahead of Saha in India’s Test squad when they tour West Indies in August. Speaking to, Dasgupta said even though Pant is “a work in progress”, he is still the first choice in the Test side with Saha as the second option.Q. What route do you see for Wriddhiman Saha to make a comeback in the Indian team now?A. It’s like any other route, there is IPL which will happen and then you know try and come back. The most important thing is the fact that he is fit enough to play in a match situation. First you have to prove to yourself and everyone else that your fit and ready to go.advertisementQ. Do you see Saha coming back into the playing XI for the West Indies Test series or should India persist with Rishabh Pant? A. It’s going to be a tough one. What I see ahead is a good competition when he’s back. These two are according to me No.1 and 2. It’s going to be difficult for Saha, because of the way Rishabh is batting and scoring runs. If I have to pick a wicketkeeper for the first Test match in West Indies, I will start off with Rishabh. But having said that I also see Wriddhiman Saha being part of that squad.Q. Do you think his fitness was badly handled by the Indian team management?A. I don’t think the team management handled Saha’s injury badly. Every injury has its own time recuperation. You cannot push it because the moment you do that, then there is a good chance of that injury coming back. He’s been operated and a lot of care which has been taken in Bengaluru with the BCCI physios and trainers present. Ajay Ratra was appointed to help him out as well. I think he’s been looked after well.Q. What are the areas where Pant needs to improve and work on in his wicketkeeping?A. Rishabh Pant will get better with time, with more experience. He’s working on it. I was there for the semi-finals in Bengaluru and I saw him working really hard on his wicketkeeping. It’s very easy for us to say he needs to work x, y, z… but the bottomline is he needs to figure out what works for him. And that he will figure out with hard work and practice.Q. Do you think Pant is under more pressure because he’s been looked at more as a batsman in the middle-order in limited-overs cricket?A. Don’t think he is under any pressure because he is not getting to keep wickets in the limited-overs sides. At the end of the day this is what you play for. You play for the country and if a certain position is available, you try and grab that.Q. When Dhoni came on the scene he wasn’t a finished wicket-keeper, but now he’s the best in the business. What traits or qualities should Pant should pick up from Dhoni?A. Just like Dhoni, when he came into the side initially…. Even Rishabh is a work in progress. Let’s not forget he’s only 21-22. The best part of his career is ahead of him. Not just as a wicketkeeper, but even batting wise.He needs to try and figure out what works for him. When you look at MSD, he looks very unorthodox but he’s brilliant. Pant himself needs to figure out what he needs to improve on as a wicketkeeper and batsman. Nobody’s perfect but he has to find a way to figure out what works for him. Like I said, it was really good to see him working hard in Bengaluru. He was putting in those hours. And I’m sure he will figure out what works best for him.advertisementQ. Has Vijay Shankar done enough to get a place in the playing XI for the World Cup or do you still see Hardik Pandya as the frontrunner despite the controversies surrounding him?A. It is unfair to compare Vijay Shankar and Hardik Pandya. How I see it is Hardik Pandya is somebody who India will get 10 overs out of. If you see him since the South Africa series, more often than not he’s bowled his full quota of 10 overs.Vijay Shankar is more of a batsman who can bowl. I would look at Shankar completely differently, I would look at him as the sixth bowling option. I think the team management is also looking at him as a batsman who can bowl. He is a proper top-order batsman, Vijay Shankar.Also Read | This is special, so good to be back: Rohit Sharma posts picture with baby SamairaAlso Read | Dinesh Karthik responds to Hamilton controversy: Genuinely believed I could hit a sixAlso Read | Virat Kohli would have smashed me out of the park too: Shane WarneAlso See:last_img read more