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Firstpost Spodcast Episode 177: MI's victory over CSK, Tom Blundell's inclusion in New Zealand side for World Cup and more

Welcome to Spodcast, the sports update on Firstpost.

In this episode of Spodcast, Firstpost's daily news podcast, we discuss Mumbai Indians' dominant victory over Chennai Super Kings, Tom Blundell's surprise inclusion in New Zealand's squad for the ICC World Cup and more.

Hardik Pandya’s all-round performance helped Mumbai Indians best Chennai Super Kings by 37 runs in a battle of the heavyweights on Wednesday in Mumbai.

Elsewhere, 28-year-old wicketkeeper Tom Blundell was the surprise selection in New Zealand’s 15-man squad for the 2019 World Cup, despite never having played the format at the international level.

Blundell has played two Tests, scoring a century on debut, as well as three Twenty20 internationals for New Zealand. He will serve as a backup to Tom Latham for the World Cup. New Zealand coach Gary Stead said, “The key for us was finding the right balance for the squad and making sure we had our bases covered for what is going to be a very competitive World Cup. As a one-day unit we’ve been pretty consistent over the past few years and possess a very experienced group of core players, proven at the top level.”

In badminton news, PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth advanced to the second round while Saina Nehwal lost in the first round at the Malaysia Open World Tour Super 750 tournament on Wednesday.

The Indian women’s football team scored a 2-0 win over Indonesia in the opening match of the Olympic qualifiers round two, going a step closer to making it to the 2020 Tokyo Games.

Dangmei Grace, who scored in the 27th and 67th minutes, proved to be the difference between the two teams, as Maymol Rocky's wards largely dominated the match in terms of both possession and chances created.

Maintaining the momentum from their fifth consecutive SAFF title, India applied pressure on Indonesia right from the first minute. Some crafty work down the wings by Sanju and Ratanbala Devi wreaked havoc on the opposition defence, which failed to counter the Indians between the lines.

As for the Indian men’s football team, their spirited showings in recent times seem to be having a ripple effect with the position of the men's coach attracting over 250 applications, an unprecedented number that also includes some well-known names from Europe.

The post has been vacant since Stephen Constantine resigned following the Indian team's failure to make the knockouts of the AFC Asian Cup. Names like Giovanni De Biasi of Italy, Hakan Ericson of Sweden, France's Raymond Domenech and England's Sam Allardyce are doing the rounds. While they are undoubtedly big names, the All India Football Federation has also received applications from people who do not have the credentials and licence.

However, contrary to much of speculation doing the rounds, AIFF sources claimed they are not swayed by the high-profile names. The list of applicants also includes coaches from the Indian Super League and I-League. A source told PTI, “The big names doing the rounds need not necessarily fulfill the criteria of the AIFF. Early next week the concerned committee will make a short-list and the candidates would then be interviewed by the technical committee, and based on its recommendations, the executive committee would make the appointment from among the final list.”

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Updated Date: Apr 04, 2019 15:23:06 IST

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