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Firstpost Spodcast Episode 203: Mary Kom to make competitive debut in 51-kg category, CSK plan to rebuild after World Cup and more

Welcome to spodcast.

MS Dhoni is considered one of the shrewdest brains of modern day cricket, but at the end of the day he is also a human being and he sometimes goes wrong with his tips, said India spinner Kuldeep Yadav.

Kuldeep made the remarks in jest when asked whether he, in any point of time in his career, had questioned the former India World Cup-winning captain about his tips. The young spinner spoke with PTI at the sidelines of the CEAT Cricket Rating Awards on Monday in Mumbai. He said, "There are a lot of times he (Dhoni) goes wrong but then you can't say that to him...he doesn't speak much). He speaks only between overs if he thinks he needs to point out something."

Following CSK's loss to Mumbai Indians in the IPL final, the team's head coach Stephen Fleming acknowledged the need to rebuild an "ageing squad" to get past the batting issues that dogged them throughout the season.

The CSK squad has an average age of 34 for the core team but proved that age is just a number, thanks to the championship win in 2018 as well as reaching the finals yet again this year. That said, both Fleming and MS Dhoni admitted they could have done a lot more in the batting department. Fleming said, "We will give some time for the dust to settle down. I think if you win one title and reach the final next time, you have had a good two years. We do understand that we are an ageing team. So at some point, we just have to look at recreating the side."

Tennis superstar Serena Williams made a winning return from injury on Monday, beating Swedish qualifier Rebecca Petersen 6-4, 6-2 to advance to the second round of the Italian Open clay-court tournament.

Williams' last appearance was a hard-fought three-set win over Petersen in the second round at the Miami Open in March, after which she withdrew on account of a knee injury. The 23-time Grand Slam winner - now ranked 11th in the world - also withdrew from Indian Wells in March due to illness.

In boxing news, Olympic bronze medallist Mary Kom will make her competitive 51-kg debut at home in the second edition of the India Open boxing tournament, which will be held in Guwahati from 20-24 May.

With Olympic qualification just around the corner, the India Open will see 35 men and 37 women boxers from India vying for glory. In all, 200 boxers from 16 boxing powerhouses will participate in the USD 70,000 tournament.

Keeping in mind the approved weight categories for Olympic qualification, some of the Indian pugilists have changed their weight divisions.

Mary Kom had opted out of the Asian Championships last month in order to prepare for the World Championships as the event will serve as good preparatory ground for Olympic qualification. She said, "I have been preparing well for 51kg category. Having got a real...idea of the competition in this class in Germany, I am ready to give my best at this tournament and test myself ahead of the World Championships. I am glad the event will be hosted in Assam this time. With the North-East being a powerhouse of talent, I hope this gives an opportunity to the youngsters to watch and get inspired by watching us live."

Ajay Singh, President of the Boxing Federation of India, said, "The India Open is a great opportunity for the Indian boxers. In the run-up to their preparations for the World Championships, they will be facing some of the top boxers including Asian Games and World champions."

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Updated Date: May 14, 2019 13:45:57 IST