Sports highlights

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New Delhi, Mar 31 (PTI) The following are the top sports stories at 1720 hours: SPO-VIRUS-NIS-LD POSITIVE 26 athletes test positive for COVID at NIS Patiala, but none Tokyo-bound (Eds: Adds more information) New Delhi, Mar 31 (PTI) Twenty six sportspersons and support staff across disciplines were found to be COVID-19 positive after around 380 campers were subjected to tests for the dreaded infection at the National Institute of Sports in Patiala, a Sports Authority of India source told PTI on Wednesday.

SPO-CRI-IPL-HARBHAJAN-INTERVIEW I have nothing to prove to anyone, it's time to enjoy out there: Harbhajan on KKR stint By Kushan Sarkar New Delhi, Mar 31 (PTI) Harbhajan Singh is still playing because he 'wants to' and he 'will', asserts the veteran off-spinner, as combative at 40 as he was in his heydays and least bothered by the people questioning his willingness to carry on.

SPO-CRI-IND-SHAMI-INTERVIEW Youngsters showed in Australia that transition will be smooth when we retire: Shami By Bharat Sharma New Delhi, Mar 31 (PTI) Senior India pacer Mohammad Shami says the performance of the team's 'net' bowlers in the historic triumph in Australia has shown that the transition will be smooth when the current attack walks into the sunset.

SPO-CRI-IPL-SWOT-LD MI IPL: Five-time champions Mumbai Indians eye encore but some spin worries in way (Eds: Recasting intro, minor edits) By Nikhil Bapat Mumbai, Mar 31 (PTI) A batting line-up dotted with power-hitters coupled with a solid pack of death bowlers make five-time champions Mumbai Indians a formidable unit in the upcoming IPL.

SPO-CRI-ICC-RANKINGS ICC rankings: Kohli stays on top of ODI rankings, Bumrah slips to fourth Dubai, Mar 31 (PTI) India captain Virat Kohli retained his top spot in the ICC rankings for ODI batsmen, while pacer Jasprit Bumrah slipped a place to fourth position in the bowler's list released on Wednesday.

SPO-CRI-IPL-ARCHER Archer to begin two-weeks' rehabilitation, unlikely to be ready for IPL London, Mar 31 (PTI) England's Jofra Archer will begin two weeks of rehabilitation after undergoing surgery on his finger and can only start his net sessions after that effectively ruling him out of Indian Premier League.

SPO-CRI-IPL-MORGAN-HARBHAJAN Harbhajan will bolster our spin department: Morgan Kolkata, Mar 31 (PTI) Veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh's inclusion may have raised quite a few eyebrows but Kolkata Knight Riders skipper Eoin Morgan on Wednesday said it has boosted their spin force keeping in mind of Chennai's slow turners in the upcoming IPL.

SPO-CRI-IPL-DC-MISHRA Coaches have told me to work on my batting, says leg-spinner Amit Mishra Mumbai, Mar 31 (PTI) Delhi Capitals' seasoned leg-spinner Amit Mishra on Wednesday said he is working on improving his batting ahead of the upcoming IPL, preparing himself for situations where he might be required to use the willow to good effect.

SPO-CRI-IPL-MOEEN Dhoni helps players improve their game, says CSK all-rounder Moeen Ali Chennai, Mar 31 (PTI) Chennai Super Kings all-rounder Moeen Ali on Wednesday vouched for Mahendra Singh Dhoni's captaincy and said most cricketers look forward to play under him as he helps them improve their game.

SPO-CRI-IPL-GILES Don't want to go toe-to-toe with players on IPL participation, may lose our best: ECB's Ashley Giles London, Mar 31 (PTI) England's director of cricket Ashley Giles says the ECB would like to stay away from any conflict with players on their participation in the IPL as it could well mean losing the top ones if they are forced to choose between franchise and national duty.

SPO-CRI-IPL-DC-PONTING I am convinced that captaincy will make Pant a better player: Ponting Mumbai, Mar 31 (PTI) Delhi Capitals head coach Ricky Ponting is convinced that leading the side in the upcoming season of the Indian Premier League will make swashbuckling wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant an even better player.

SPO-HOCK-JR-NATIONALS-POSTPONED Junior hockey nationals postponed due to surge in COVID cases New Delhi, Mar 31 (PTI) The upcoming 11th junior women's hockey nationals has been postponed until further notice due to a surge in COVID-19 cases, the sport's governing body said on Wednesday.

SPO-HOCK-MANPREET-ARGENTINA Looking forward to another unbeaten tour, in Argentina: Manpreet Bengaluru, Mar 31 (PTI) Its morale high after an unbeaten tour of Europe, the Indian men's hockey team left for a competition trip to Argentina on Wednesday with captain Manpreet Singh optimistic of a strong show against the reigning Olympic champions.

SPO-GOLF-TEXAS-LAHIRI Refreshed Lahiri seeks good week at Texas Open San Antonio (US), Mar 31 (PTI) An eager Anirban Lahiri of India will not need to wait long to tee off here on Thursday as he sets off in the first group at the Valero Texas Open on the PGA Tour. PTI AH AH