Belgium coach Roberto Martinez believes his side is well equipped to face any team as they eye their maiden World Cup glory.Belgium registered a narrow 1-0 win over England to top Group G and set up a last-16 meeting with Japan on Monday.Martinez also brushed aside any qualms about the seemingly tougher route to the World Cup final his team face.”We need to go step-by-step, but I think that we can face anyone that we’ve got in front of us,” the Spaniard said after an Adnan Januzaj goal early in the second half handed the Belgians by far the more daunting half of the draw.2018 FIFA WORLD CUP: FULL COVERAGEThey play Japan in the last 16 with the winners of that tie facing a tricky quarter-final against Brazil or Mexico.ROUND OF 16 LINEUP & SCHEDULEFacing questions over whether he might have preferred to finish second — a draw or defeat would have had that effect and some fans began to suspect that was the Belgian plan after a tame first half — Martinez said: “Honestly, I am delighted.”FIFA World Cup 2018: Who plays who in the round of 16Warming to a theme at this World Cup, he noted unpredictable narrow margins in the tournament that have sent defending champions Germany home and put 2014 runners-up Argentina into a second-round fight with 1998 champions France.”Making predictions in the World Cup can be a little bit difficult,” Martinez said, insisting Belgium would concentrate on Monday’s meeting with Japan in Rostov-on-Don.advertisementHe did not mention that victory could see Belgium meeting five-time champions Brazil, who are starting to find some form.Belgium beat England to top Group G, Tunisia thump PanamaFrance, Argentina and European champions Portugal also potentially lie in the way of Belgium’s latest “golden generation” reaching their nation’s first World Cup final.”We are not looking at paths,” Martinez said. “For now, Japan is the only priority that we have.”DIFFICULT TASKGareth Southgate’s England by contrast face a difficult task in the next round against Colombia but are in the half of the draw in which the only other former champions are Spain.Michy Batshuayi sees funny side after his goal celebration goes wrongFor Martinez, the key thing was that his second-string team, including nine changes from the lineup that put a total of eight goals past Panama and Tunisia, had comfortably overcome a similarly experimental England side.”We had an opportunity to show all the talent we have in the group,” he said. “Everyone in Belgium should be very proud.”Martinez said that to overcome years of underachievement by a country blessed with an abundance of talent it was critical to forge a deep sense of team spirit across the whole squad and to have strength in depth for the knockout campaign.”The so-called golden generation wasn’t playing today,” he said, after leaving the likes of Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne on the bench. Instead, youngsters like Youri Tielemans, 21, and Januzaj, 23, tested and stretched the England side.He was also able to try out with success Thomas Vermaelen, the Barcelona defender out injured for over a month, and later in the game to give a run out to defensive talisman Vincent Kompany, who had also yet to play in Russia due to injury.Martinez has now given all 20 outfield squad players a game in the World Cup so they all truly feel part of the campaign.(With inputs from Reuters)
Didier Deschamps will be a satisfied coach as France reached the final of the FIFA World Cup 2018 after beating Belgium 1-0 in the first semi-final at Saint Petersburg on Tuesday.Samuel Umtiti’s 51st-minute goal separated the two sides until the final whistle as France entered their third World Cup final after 1998 and 2006.The 24-year-old became the third defender after Rafael Varane and Benjamin Pavard to score a goal for France in this edition.The win also saw Deschamps become the first French coach to reach the final of two major tournaments – Euro 2016 and World Cup 2018.2018 FIFA WORLD CUP: FULL COVERAGEIf France manage to lift their second World Cup trophy on July 15, then Deschamps, who was captain of the triumphant team in 1998, will join a super-exclusive club as he will become only the third man in history to win the World Cup as a player and as a coach.Brazil legend Mario Zagallo was the first person to achieve the feat after lifting the World Cup twice in 1958 and 1962 while he won as a manager in 1970. He also won the 1994 edition as assistant manager.Also read – World Cup 2018: Umtiti’s celebratory moves go viral as France reach finalGermany great Franz Beckenbauer followed next as he clinched the World Cup as captain in 1974 and as coach in 1990.The French players danced on the field after the final whistle and shook the hand of Thierry Henry, who helped Les Bleus win the World Cup in 1998 and is now Belgium’s assistant coach.advertisementMATCH REPORT | HIGHLIGHTSFrance goalkeeper Hugo Lloris produced a great save in each half, denying the potent Belgian attack of Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku the chance to advance the country to its first major final. Belgium reached the quarterfinals at the 2014 World Cup and the European Championship in 2016 but has yet to fulfil its lofty expectations.The world now gets to see France’s luxury squad, collectively valued in excess of $1 billion and headlined by teenage sensation Kylian Mbappe, in another major final.Two years ago at home, the French surprisingly lost to Portugal 1-0 in the Euro 2016 title match. In 2006, they were beaten in a penalty shootout by Italy in a World Cup final that was overshadowed by Zidane headbutting opposing player Marco Materazzi in the chest in extra time. Zidane was sent off in what was his final match.Also read – France reach 3rd World Cup final, Belgium’s unbeaten streak ends: Key statsIn a tournament dominated by goals from set pieces, France’s took the lead from a corner. Antoine Griezmann curled in the ball from the right and Umtiti got in front of tall Belgium midfielder Marouane Fellaini to knock in his header at the near post.Up in the corporate seats, French President Emmanuel Macron reacted to the goal by shaking the hand of King Philippe of Belgium as FIFA president Gianni Infantino watched on between them.Also read- World Cup 2018: Samuel Umtiti proud of Les Bleus as France storm into finalThe goal capped an impressive display by Umtiti, who helped to shut out the most productive attack in the World Cup with 14 goals, and meant three defenders have now scored on France’s route to the final. Benjamin Pavard and Raphael Varane scored in previous matches.
The war of words have begun ahead of the England-India Test series and it shouldn’t come as a surprise to anybody that it is fast bowler James Anderson who has delivered the first punch in this bout.Anderson, who doesn’t shy away from having a go at players from opposition teams on and off the field, has claimed that Virat Kohli will be desperate to score runs for his team on English soil, contrary to what the Indian captain had claimed at the beginning of the ongoing tour.Kohli had stated that he intends to enjoy his time in England rather than obsess over his individual form as long as the team does well. But Anderson’s point of view is exactly opposite to what Kohli said.Virat Kohli since England Tests of 2014: 15 hundreds, 3699 runs in 37 Tests”It doesn’t matter if he gets runs or not? I think he is telling lies there,” Anderson said in jest when asked about Kohli’s statement.Virat Kohli takes a dig at England batsmen after James Anderson’s controversial remarkFour years ago Kohli endured one of his worst Test performances in the five-match series in England, managing just 134 runs in total. His batting innings list in 2014 read – 1, 8, 25, 0, 39, 28, 0, 7, 6, 20 – and he finished the series with an average of 13.50.It is a blot on his stellar career to this day, even though he scored 655 runs in five Tests against England in the home series (2016-17) to lead his side to a 4-0 win.WATCHVirat Kohli was largely troubled on the off stump line in England and was caught behind the stumps on six occasions (once by keeper and five times in the slip cordon).advertisementHome pitches hide Virat Kohli’s weaknesses, says James AndersonAnderson made Kohli his bunny in 2014 having dismissed him four times in six innings while Stuart Broad (dismissed Kohli twice), Chris Jordan (dismissed Kohli twice), Liam Plunkett (dismissed Kohli once) and Moeen Ali (dismissed Kohli once) bowled probing lines and did not let him bat freely.”For India to win here, of course it matters. Virat will be desperate to score runs for his team, as you would expect from the captain and one of the best players in the world,” Anderson said.For Australia, Virat Kohli is similar to Steve Smith: Pat CumminsOverall, in Tests, Anderson has dismissed Kohli five times going back to 2012. However, Anderson struggled during the 2016 tour of India with modest returns of four wickets in three Tests.”Today, cricketers learn from not only watching match footage but also from past experiences. So I would expect a batsman of Kohli’s quality to have learnt from that last series here (in 2014).India vs England: Virat Kohli’s nightmare against spin continues in England”I am sure he (Kohli) is practising hard at certain aspects of his game and that will make the battle between him and not just myself, but him and the rest of our bowlers, a really exciting one,” Anderson said. England vs India: Overall, in Tests, James Anderson has dismissed Virat Kohli five times since 2012 (Reuters Photo)In the four-year period between his sorry tour of England and now, Kohli has played 37 Tests and scored 15 centuries, including six double hundreds.Tendulkar hopeful of a good show from Kohli, Team India in England TestsKohli, in fact, is the only captain to record six double centuries in Test cricket. He has amassed 3699 runs at an incredible average of 64.89 and has also scored 7 fifties. He has also captained India in 35 Tests and has 21 wins, a record that has put him level with former India skipper Sourav Ganguly in the list of most Test wins by an Indian skipper.But even his prolific run-scoring feat in the 2016 home season failed to impress Anderson who had taken a dig at Kohli last year during the Mumbai Test when he said that his technical flaws are not visible because of the helpful Indian tracks which lack pace and movement.”I am not sure if Virat Kohli has changed. I just think any technical deficiencies he has got are not in play out here. The wickets just take that out of the equation. There is not that pace in the wicket to get the nicks, like we did against him in England – with a bit more movement,” Anderson said at a press conference last year.”When that (pace and movement) is not there, Kohli is very much suited to playing in these conditions. He is a very good player of spin – and if you are not bang on the money and don’t take your chances, he will punish you,” he said.advertisementFollowing this presser on day four of the Test match, the fast bowler had a run in with Ravichandran Ashwin on the field who gave him a piece of his mind when the Englishman came out to bat on the final day.Back then Kohli had to play peacemaker between the two and was more relaxed about the incident than the Tamil Nadu off-spinner.”For the first time I was trying to calm things down in the middle at a time when James Anderson is involved. Ashwin wasn’t pleased with what he said in the press, but I didn’t even know about it. So I didn’t know what to make of it. I was laughing about it.”Ashwin wasn’t too impressed and he let him know, not using any bad words honestly. I think he told me he was pretty disappointed with what he said and it is important to accept defeat as it is. Things like that. Just general, you know how Ashwin is, he is to the point can really strike you well and he doesn’t need to say bad words. Later on I told James these things happen and let’s move on,” Kohli had said at the press conference after the match in Mumbai.
Barcelona have agreed to sign Chile international Arturo Vidal from Bayern Munich, the two clubs announced on Friday.Vidal, 31, who has played 100 games for Chile and scored 24 goals, will sign a three-year-deal after completing his medical in the upcoming days, Barcelona said in a statement.Bayern added: “Arturo Vidal is leaving Bayern Munich with immediate effect to join Spanish Liga champions Barcelona. The clubs reached agreement on the transfer late on Friday evening.”The transfer fee was not revealed but according to reports in Spain, Barcelona will play 18 million Euros, rising to 21 million Euros, for the former Bayer Leverkusen and Juventus player.[BREAKING NEWS] Agreement with Bayern Munich for the transfer of @kingarturo23 https://t.co/znSDr6c0VMFC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) August 3, 2018Vidal joined Bayern in 2015 from Juventus and scored 22 goals from 124 appearances at the Allianz Arena and won the Bundesliga three times, the German Cup and two domestic Supercups.”Thank you to FC Bayern and all the fans,” Vidal said. “I’d like to thank the club for giving me the chance to take on another new challenge with Barcelona.@kingarturo23 himself: “Thanks to #FCBayern and all the fans. I really enjoyed my time in Munich. I would like to also thank the club for giving me the chance to embrace a new challenge in Barcelona.” #MiaSanMia pic.twitter.com/VSBphbHiPGFC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) August 3, 2018Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge added: “I wish to thank Arturo with all my heart for three fantastic years.”Arturo made a significant contribution to the great successes we enjoyed in this time. He always led from the front in important matches, and we could always rely on him.”advertisementVidal also enjoyed success at Juventus where he won four Serie A titles, the Italian Cup and two domestic Supercups after joining the Turin club from Leverkusen in 2011.”On behalf of #FCBayern, I’d like to thank Arturo for three wonderful years. We celebrated may titles in this time, to which he made a significant contribution. He always turned up in important games and we could always rely on him,” Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. pic.twitter.com/H1F65rzx3jFC Bayern English (@FCBayernEN) August 3, 2018He played for Juve against Barca in the 2015 Champions League final where he was on the losing side in a 3-1 defeat.(With inputs from Reuters)
Pakistan seamer Sohail Tanvir has rubbed social media the wrong way after a video of his obscene send-off to Ben Cutting during the Caribbean Premier League went viral.Amidst all the talk of aggression and how the gentlemen of the game are slowly departing, Tanvir blew fire into the debate as he showed a double middle finger to Ben Cutting after bowling him out during the game between Guyana Amazon Warriors and St Kitts and Nevis Patriots.During the 17th over of the first innings, Tanvir was hit for a six by Cutting on the third ball of the over. In just the next delivery, Tanvir bowled a peach of a delivery to bowl out Cutting.Such was Tanvir’s frustration over being hit for a six in the previous ball and that he celebrated the wicket by showing a double middle finger to Cutting.Even though the ball he bowled to get the wicket was beautiful, his obscene and unwarranted send-off stole all the attention.#CPL2018 Sohail Tanvir bowls Ben Cutting after being hit for a six the previous delivery, then gives him the double finger!! Shocker! Has to be some sanction from that..kids watching. That said appears anything goes these days pic.twitter.com/vMLpUEdVdbLukesters (@Lukesters) August 9, 2018Tanvir was slammed on Twitter for having disrespected his opponent in that manner and people called on International Cricket Council (ICC) to take an action against him.Even Chris Lynn took to Twitter to speak against Tanvir’s send-off calling it “pathetic”.advertisementPathetic send off from Tanvir #CPLT20Chris Lynn (@lynny50) August 9, 2018Many people on social media were disappointed upon seeing Tanvir’s actions. While some felt let down by his attitude, others felt that he will get away with this and that does not put the guardians of the game in good light.Extremely disappointing to see this in sports. But then, what else do you expect from Pakistanis? @Nair10Vineet @pb2410 watch thisMukund Iyer (@IyerM04) August 10, 2018Saw this while I was watching the game live briefly this morning. At first I thought my half asleep mind was creating a wrong impression but when the broadcasters didn’t show Tanvir’s celebration again, it raised more doubts.Should be banned for a few games.Shubh AggarWall (@shubh_chintak) August 10, 2018Never expected this form tanvir. He looked a good matured guy when he used to play for PakistanAbdur Rahman (@MohideenAlimKK) August 10, 2018Not at all good for a gentleman’s gameSasibhushan (@Sasi2079) August 10, 2018Im literally ashamed that he is my countryman. Shame on u shame on u, and such shame on u that I wont even type ur name while doing so #CPL2018 @TheRealPCBMedia @TheRealPCBSaleha (@Saleha_maqsood) August 10, 2018He’ll get away with this.Golovkin (@Golovkin16) August 10, 2018While most of the people poured their anger on Tanvir, some found it to be the opportunity to enjoy some good memes.pic.twitter.com/0BCfxIAsAwJibran (@SabirJay) August 10, 2018@DennisCricket_ it’s meme time…Sports Banter (@CricketMemro) August 10, 2018pic.twitter.com/GzHRuezWEXalam (@Alamzebk84) August 10, 2018Despite all the attention diverted to the controversy, Sohail Tanvir’s Guyana Amazon Warriors eventually won the match by six wickets.
Google may unveil this year’s Pixel phones aka the Pixel 3 and the Pixel 3 XL on October 9, rumours suggest. The search giant, however, is yet to reveal details on the launch date. But, looks like, the rumoured date is indeed accurate as the third generation Pixel phones stop by FCC certification site. Both the Pixel 3 and the Pixel 3 XL have been certified by the FCC, which means that phones are in their finals stage of testing and all set to hit the stores. The FCC listing sadly doesn’t reveal a lot of details about the upcoming Pixel phones apart from their model numbers.The listing shows the Pixel 3 with model number A4RG013A and the Pixel 3 XL with A4RG013C. Another interesting thing that the FCC listing reveals is that this year’s Pixel phones are indeed fully designed in-house at Google. Apparently, two devices have been submitted to FCC by Google itself, meaning both the Pixel 3 and the Pixel 3 XL have been designed by Google and not buy HTC or LG like the previous Pixel phones.The first generation of Pixel phones — Pixel and Pixel XL — were designed by HTC, while the second generation Pixel phones aka Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL were designed by HTC and LG. This year the story is a little different. Going by the FCC listing looks like Google’s in-house engineers that the company got from HTC earlier this year have designed the upcoming Pixel 3 and the Pixel 3 XL.Although the launch timeline of the Pixel phones is yet to be revealed by Google, rumours and leaks about the phones making around on the internet have already revealed a lot of details about the phones.advertisementA Russian website last week put up a review of the pre-production Google 3 XL, which more or less revealed everything about the upcoming high-end Pixel phone. Both the phones will come with glass back, meaning the Google phones may pack wireless charging support. According to the rumours, the Pixel 3 will look a lot like the Pixel 2, while the Pixel 3XL will see some design changes.The 3XL will come with a single camera paired with LED flash on the back and a notched display on the front. However, compared to the iPhone X notch, the Pixel 3 XL notch seems to be much wider (length-wise) — which doesn’t look very appealing. The Pixel 3XL is said to come with a dual selfie camera, while the Pixel 3 will boast of a single camera setup just as the previous Pixel phones.As far as the camera specs are concerned, the Pixel 3 XL is tipped to sport 12-megapixel sensor with an aperture of f/1.8, dual pixel PDAF and laser-assisted autofocus. On the front, the 3 XL will have an 8-megapixel primary image sensor. One of the two selfie cameras will come with a wide angle lens. A report coming from 9toMac reveals that the Pixel 3 XL will be able to shoot ‘Super Selfies’, meaning the phone will feature faux bokeh for Portrait Mode.ALSO READ: Google Pixel 3 XL: Review done, specs and design shown, this is the phone Google will launch in OctoberThe Pixel 3 XL is said to sport a 6.7-inch display with 1440 x 2960 pixels resolution, 18.5:9 aspect ratio and a screen-to-body ratio of 94.4 per cent. This means that Pixel 3 XL will be much bigger than the Galaxy Note 9 and also the Huawei P20 Pro. As for the hardware, both the Pixel 3 and the 3 XL will be powered by Qualcomm latest Snapdragon 845 processor.
Cricket Australia has made it clear that they are open to more tour matches against India, as requested by Indian head coach Ravi Shastri.In an interview to ESPNCricinfo, Shastri had said that he has requested the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to try and squeeze in a few tour games amidst the busy schedule before the start of the tour in Down Under. However, he was skeptical about the possibilities.”If you have two or three games against weaker sides we don’t mind because it is a game. But when you have a schedule as tight as this and when you have a memorandum of understanding that has already been formulated, with a choc-a-bloc calendar, there is very little you can do. Now, we have requested for a couple of games in Australia before the Test series. But is there space [to play those matches]? That is the question,” he wondered.”Ideally we would want two three- or four-day games before a Test series. But do you have the time? For example, we have a T20 series in Australia preceding the Test series. There is a 10-day gap before the first Test. These are things that have been approved earlier. It is not in our control,” he said.Also read – We have requested for tour games in Australia before Test series: Ravi ShastriResponding to the same, a CA spokesperson said that they are willing to explore options, but are still waiting for an official notification from the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).advertisement”We are happy to discuss options with the BCCI, but we have not received any formal notification to increase the number of tour matches prior to their series commencing in Australia,” Cricket.com.au quoted CA spokesperson, as saying.Also read – Lack of practice games reason behind India’s Test series loss in England: MS DhoniIndia will tour Australia at the end of this year with the two cricketing giants scheduled to play three Twenty20 Internationals, four Tests and three One Day Internationals from November 21 to January 18.And this time around, Shastri and Co. will look to avoid the mistakes they did before the South Africa and England tour. India’s decision to not play warm-up matches in South Africa and England was severely criticised. India had canceled their lone tour game in South Africa earlier this year while their four-day practice match in England was reduced to three days.Also read – As India lose another Test series overseas, time for Ravi Shastri to answer tough questionsAnd the results were there to be seen as the Virat Kohli-led Indian side lost both the series despite putting up a good show.As of now, India are scheduled to play any practice games before or after the T20 series starts, which will be followed by the four-match Test series, starting on December 6 at the Adelaide Oval.
The Football Association has condemned the violent disturbances caused by English in Seville on Sunday, a day before England take on Spain in the Nations League.Video footage emerged on social media, where large group of English fans can be seen brandishing tables and chairs in Seville. Some people were also seen vandalising cars.Riot police were forced to intervene to disperse the crowds. However, there were no reports of any arrests or serious injuries.Following the incident, FA has has let their disappointment be known and vowed to sanction any supporter found to be responsible.”We condemn the unacceptable behaviour witnessed in Seville. With the Spain fixture still to come on Monday night, we urge those following the team to respect our hosts and act in a responsible manner,” an FA spokesperson said.”The FA will work in partnership with the UK Football Policing Unit to help identify those involved and we will sanction any England Supporters’ Travel Club member found to be responsible for disorder.”¿Es necesario aguantar esto? Botellas volando, retrovisores arrancados, mobiliario de bares destrozados… vergonzoso @EmergenciasSev @Ayto_Sevilla pic.twitter.com/bjE89muxUcMª del Mar Alvarado (@MaritaAR4) October 14, 2018Around 3,000 fans have travelled to the southern Spanish city for the match which is due to kickoff at 2045 CET on Monday.This is not the first time English fans were seen engaging in such acts. Earlier this year, around 90 England fans were arrested for anti-social behaviour before and after a friendly against the Netherlands in Amsterdam.(With inputs from Reuters)advertisement
Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo is ready for an emotional return to his former club Manchester United in the Champions League on Tuesday but believes the Italian side can win by executing their gameplan.Ronaldo is back at Old Trafford for the first time since 2013 when his goal for Real Madrid sent the Spaniards through to the Champions League quarter-finals at United’s expense.”Emotional? I can remember what it was like when I was at Manchester,” the Portuguese told a news conference on Monday.”I won lots of trophies here. I remember the support as well, the support was fantastic.”Ronaldo lifted three Premier League titles, the FA Cup and two League Cups plus the first of his five Champions League crowns during six years at United and expects a tough game against Jose Mourinho’s team despite their recent struggles.United are 10th in the Premier League after a sluggish start to the season and second in Champions League Group H, two points behind Juve after a win and a draw in their first two matches.”It will be a difficult game. Manchester have a good team, they play at home,” Ronaldo said. “It will be tough for us, but we have our weapons. We have a chance, I know if we play the way the coach wants, we have a good chance to win the game.”Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri, whose team are four points clear atop Serie A after eight wins and a draw, said they would have to match United’s physicality and revealed he would play with a back four to give the side more stability.advertisement”It will be a physical game, we will have to approach it with great concentration, manage the ball and set up well on a technical level to avoid one of the greatest dangers that they can bring us, namely high balls,” Allegri said.The Italians will be without their Croatian striker Mario Mandzukic due to an ankle injury, while their German midfielder Emre Can will miss the match because of a thyroid problem.”I’m sorry there’s no Mandzukic, though it is not anything serious with him. I’d already thought about playing with others in attack,” Allegri added. “We’ll probably play with a back four because in midfield we’ll have to numerically match them.”(With Reuters inputs)
Cheteshwar Pujara hoped India’s top-order batsmen would learn from their mistakes on the opening day of the Adelaide Test and put up a far more improved show in the second innings of the first Test against Australia.After opting to bat, India were reduced to 41 for 4 as KL Rahul, Murali Vijay, Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane perished to lose shots against Australia’s pacers. And just when Rohit Sharma had settled down, he attempted a hoick against Nathan Lyon and holed out.Pujara had to dig deep and produce one of his finest knocks to give India some kind of respectability – they finished at 250 for 9 at stumps. However, Pujara conceded India’s top-order batsmen should have batted much better.”To be honest, we should have batted better but they also bowled well in the first two sessions and I knew I had to stay patient and wait for the lose balls. But they bowled in the right areas,” Pujara told the media after the end of the first day. “I also felt our top order should have batted better but we will learn from the mistakes and put up a better show in the second innings.”Pujara showed it was not impossible to bat. You just had to remain patient and wait for the scoring opportunities. And his resilience paid rich dividends – Pujara brought up his maiden hundred in Australia and went past 5000 runs.Perhaps Pujara’s colleagues could take a leaf out of his book. They could learn how to prepare for a big Test series from close quarters. In 2014, Pujara had struggled in England and Australia – eventually, he was dropped. Four years later, Pujara has turned a new corner.advertisement”The top order made mistakes but hopefully, we will learn from those mistakes and we will bat better in the second innings. I had prepared well.. Overally my experience in Test cricket and first-class cricket helped me,” he said.Maybe Pujara was upset with the lack of support from any one of his partners in the top-order. Who knows how many India could have got had at least one of the others batted longer and showed some more application.Sunil Gavaskar was furious with the way the Indian batsmen approached the innings. “That [poor outside the off-stump] is an understatement. They [India batsmen] were just reaching out for deliveries which they could have very well left alone. The only exception may be KL Rahul but all the others played shots that they could have avoided,” Gavaskar told the broadcasters as India went to lunch at 56 for 4. “It was the first session of a five-day Test match, a five-day Test match and you had all the time in the world to build a good total.”You know that the Kookaburra ball swings around only for maybe a dozen overs or so. You can then cash in, capitalise and score plenty of runs. But everybody was like ‘I have to get my runs in this session’.”And if these players had been newcomers, understandable but these are all experienced players who played those shots outside the off-stump.”Thanks to Pujara, India now have a fighting chance. The onus will be on the bowlers on Friday and if they can restrict Australia, Pujara will get to see if his batting colleagues have indeed learnt from their mistakes.Also Read | Sunil Gavaskar blasts India batsmen after poor shot selection in Adelaide TestAlso Read | Chocolate milkshake for Pujara after magnificent Test hundred in AustraliaAlso Read | Adelaide hundred one of my top 5 knocks, says Cheteshwar PujaraAlso watch –
Rishabh Pant’s cricketing talent is no secret: 20 catches and 350 runs in India’s historic Test series triumph over Australia are testimony to his skills on the field. But Pant is gaining popularity as a babysitter these days, thanks in no small measure to Australian Test captain Tim Paine.During the course of the intriguing Test series, Rishabh Pant and Tim Paine were constantly in each other’s ears. As wicketkeepers, both men were audible to the entire cricket world which was was hooked on to every ball of the four Tests played in Adelaide, Perth, Melbourne and Sydney.The verbal exchanges picked up steam during the Boxing Day Test when Tim Paine asked Pant if he would like to babysit his kids while he took his wife out. Pant later hit back at Pant by calling him a temporary captain. It looked like getting out of control before a nice surprise on New Year’s Day.Pant was photographed with Mrs Paine and her kids at the Australian Prime Minister’s house with the tag of ‘Best Babysitter.’Social media was abuzz as the photo went viral within minutes.Now, Bonnie Paine is on the lookout for Pant again. With the Test series over, Pant is set to return home but his services may still be needed in Australia. Bonnie Paine has asked Rishabh Pant to babysit her kids once again (Bonnie Paine Instagram)However, Pant is in high demand even from his India teammate. Rohit Sharma, who recently became a father, wondered whether Pant would be happy to take over babysitting duties.advertisementMorning buddy. Heard your a good baby sitter, need one right now. Ritika will be quite happy @RishabPant777 https://t.co/JkGWTYpnBkRohit Sharma (@ImRo45) January 9, 2019And guess what, Rishabh Pant has obliged.@ImRo45 Hahhaa.. Bhaiya @yuzi_chahal not doing his job properly? More than happy to babysit Samaira Congratulations @ritssajdehRishabh Pant (@RishabPant777) January 9, 2019Pant was the second highest run-scorer in the Test series behind Cheteshwar Pujara but he will now return home to rest. After that, he will look to do exactly what the team management has asked him to: learn how to finish games.#AUSvIND Scenes of @RishabPant777 dancing to our song; We’ve got Pant’ !.We’ve got PantRishab PantI just don’t think you’ll understandHe’ll hit you for a sixHe’ll babysit your kidsWe’ve got Rishab Pant’.#BharatArmySongBook #BharatArmy #12thMan #COTI pic.twitter.com/l9WoTlqLnuThe Bharat Army (@thebharatarmy) January 8, 2019Rishabh Pant made his Test debut in England and scored a hundred in only his third match at The Oval. Against the West Indies at home, Pant was dismissed for indentical scores of 92. In Australia, after getting starts in every innings, Pant blazed away to an unbeaten 159 in the final Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground.Pant’s constant chatter from behind the stumps made him a hit with the broadcasters. Even Tim Paine admitted Pant was a sport for accepting his invitation to click the viral baby-sitting photo.Also Read | Fans love ‘babysitter’ Pant’s photo with Tim Paine’s kids: Best thing I have seen all yearAlso Read | Rishabh Pant now needs to learn how to finish games, says Ravi ShastriAlso Read | The Pant and Paine show at MCG: When light-hearted banter turned offensive
Rafa Nadal routed Tomas Berdych 6-0, 6-1, 7-6(4) in a centre court masterclass to charge into the quarter-finals of the Australian Open on Sunday.The 2009 champion was relentless at Rod Laver Arena, claiming the first two sets in an astonishing 51 minutes and firing 32 winners past the hapless Czech to reach the last eight at Melbourne Park for the 11th time.Spaniard Nadal, who avenged his defeat to the former world number four in the quarter-final of the 2015 tournament, sealed the win on his first match point when the Czech hammered into the net.Bidding for an 18th Grand Slam title, second seed Nadal will play unseeded American Frances Tiafoe for a place in the semi-finals.37 Grand Slam quarterfinals #AusOpen pic.twitter.com/KDeCUXuMMe#AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 20, 2019TIAFOE’S QUARTER-FINAL BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONAmerican Frances Tiafoe celebrated his 21st birthday by stunning Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov 7-5, 7-6(6), 6-7(1), 7-5 in the fourth round of the Australian Open on Sunday.@FTiafoe is just the second American male player to reach the #AusOpen quarterfinals since @andyroddick in 2010.Match report : https://t.co/NdVtVBrNVS pic.twitter.com/yGBeJ9iRet#AusOpen (@AustralianOpen) January 20, 2019Tiafoe, the last American man standing at Melbourne Park, fended off four early break points in a sluggish start before taking his own opportunities on Dimitrov’s serve to claim the opening set.Former Melbourne semi-finalist Dimitrov had three sets points to draw level but Tiafoe refused to wilt under the pressure and reeled off five straight points to move two sets ahead.Dimitrov, who has slipped just outside the top 20 in the world after early exits in his last three Grand Slams appearances, dug deep to fight his way back, claiming the third set in another tiebreak.advertisementBut Tiafoe was back on top in the fourth set, clinching a decisive break in the 11th game before serving out to seal a quarter-final.Also Read | Former champion Angelique Kerber stunned in fourth roundAlso Read | Maria Sharapova ousted as Barty wins thriller to reach quartersAlso Read | Petra Kvitova storms into quarters after outclassing Amanda Anisimova
After the 80-run hammering on Wednesday, a desperate India will be eyeing for a strong comeback against New Zealand in the second contest of the three-match Twenty20 rubber at Eden Park in Auckland on Friday.While the visitors face a must-win situation, another victory for the Kiwis will seal a moral series victory win for them.In the first game, neither the Indian batsmen nor the bowlers clicked as they succumbed before a clinical all-round show by the hosts. Kiwi opener Tim Seifert (84 off 43) hammered the Indian bowlers all around the Park on Wednesday and it would be crucial to pack back him early on Friday.What time does the 2nd T20I between India vs New Zealand start?The first T20I between India and New Zealand starts at 12.00 PM IST on February 8, Friday at Eden Park, Auckland.What TV channel and live stream is the 2nd T20I between India and New Zealand Live Streaming on?Star Sports 1 and Star Sports 1 HD in English commentary and Star Sports 3 and Star Sports 3 HD in Hindi Commentary. Hotstar, JioTV and Airtel TV will live stream India vs New Zealand match.Where will the 2nd T20I between India and New Zealand be played?The 2nd T20I between India and New Zealand will be played at Eden Park in Auckland from 12.00PM IST.Where can I watch India vs New Zealand 2nd T20I live?The match will be shown in Star Sports network and can also be streamed on hotstar.com.advertisementWhere can I check the online live updates of the India vs New Zealand 2nd T20I?You can follow our ball-by-ball-updates of the match between India vs New Zealand from our live blog on indiatoday.in/sports.What are the squads for the 2nd T20I between India and New Zealand?India: Rohit Sharma(c), Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant, Dinesh Karthik, Kedar Jadhav, M.S. Dhoni, Krunal Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Siddarth Kaul, Khaleel Ahmed, Shubman Gill, Vijay Shankar, Hardik Pandya, Mohammad Siraj.New Zealand: Kane Williamson (c), Doug Bracewell, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Scott Kuggeleijn, Colin Munro, Daryl Mitchell, Mitchell Santner, Tim Seifert, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Blair Tickner, James Neesham.
Mahindra XUV300 is scheduled to launch on February 14. The much awaited compact SUV has been receiving a lot of praise for its technical specifications, including powerful petrol and diesel engines. The company is expecting the XUV500-inspired vehicle to turn its fortunes in the segment.A major competitor for XUV300 in the compact SUV segment will be Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, which has been quite popular ever since its launch in March 2016. India’s largest carmaker sold 148,462 units of Vitara Brezza in 2017-18, with average monthly sales of around 12,372 units. Maruti Suzuki Vitara BrezzaOnce XUV300 is launched, it will be interesting to see how it fares against Vitara Brezza. But for now, I give you a detailed comparison between the technical specifiactions of the two compact SUVs.EngineUnder the hood, XUV300 will offer a 1.2-litre petrol engine and a 1.5-litre diesel one. The petrol motor will produce 110 bhp of power and 200 Nm of torque, while the diesel powertrain will churn out 115 bhp of power and 300 Nm of torque. The compact SUV’s petrol and diesel variants will return mileage-figures of 17 kmpl and 20 kmpl, respectively.Vitara Brezza gets only a diesel powertrain. The four-cylinder, 1.3-litre, DDiS 200 engine is good for 89 bhp of power and 200 Nm of torque. Maruti Suzuki claims a fuel a fuel efficiency of 24.3 kmpl for the compact SUV.DimensionsXUV300 will have a length and width of 3,995 mm and 1,821 mm, respectively. Its height will be 1,617 mm and wheelbase 2,600 mm. It will come with a 265-litre boot and a 42-litre fuel tank.advertisementVitara Brezza is 3,995 mm long and 1,790 mm wide. It has a height of 1,640 mm and its wheelbase measures 2500 mm. The compact SUV gets a 328-litre boot and a 48-litre fuel tank.TransmissionXUV300 will have a standard six-speed manual gearbox. There are expectations that the company will give the vehicle an automatic transmission in near-future.The diesel engine in Vitara Brezza is mated to a five-speed manual gearbox with an option for an automatic transmission as well.BrakesXUV300 gets disc brakes on all four wheels. ABS (Antilock Braking System) with EBD (Electronic Brakeforce Distribution) is standard across all the variants of the compact SUV.Vitara Brezza comes in with disc brakes at the front and drum brakes at the rear. It also gets ABS (Antilock Braking System) with EBD (Electronic Brakeforce Distribution) as standard across all its variants.TyresXUV300 gets 17-inch alloy wheels.Vitara Brezza only gets 16-inch alloy wheels.ALSO READ | Mahindra XUV300: Ahead of its launch on February 14, everything you need to knowALSO READ | Kawasaki Versys 1000 introduced in India, priced at Rs 10.69 lakhALSO READ | Land Rover Discovery Sport set to get major updates in 2019
Germany coach Joachim Loew is not planning to call up world champions Jerome Boateng, Mats Hummels and Thomas Mueller any longer, saying the team needs to look to the future.The Bayern Munich trio was part of the 2014 World Cup-winning team but the Germans crashed out of the 2018 World Cup in the group stage, their earliest exit in 80 years.All three have also struggled for form this season.”I thank Mats, Jerome and Thomas for the many successful, extraordinary and unique years we shared,” Loew said in a statement issued by the German FA.”Now it is time to set the course for the future. We want to give the team a new look,” Loew said.”I am convinced that this is the right step. The youngsters coming through will have the room they need to grow. Now it’s up to them to take on responsibility.”Loew, who can call on young talent including Julian Brandt, Kai Havertz, Leroy Sane, Niklas Suele and Serge Gnabry, said he had travelled to Munich to inform the three Bayern players.”2019 is a new beginning for the Germany national team,” he said. “It was important for me to personally explain my decision to the players and the FC Bayern management.”The German coach has been in charge since 2006 and his contract runs to 2022.SAME GENERATIONWith close to 250 internationals between them, Hummels (70 caps), Mueller (100) and Boateng (74) were part of the same generation.Hummels and Boateng, both 30, played together in the 2009 Under-21 European championship triumph as Germany started to reap the rewards of a major and sustained investment in youth players that had started seven years earlier.advertisementThey all graduated to the senior team and took part in the 2010 World Cup where Germany’s youngest tournament team in 76 years reached the semi-finals with an exciting run that included wins over England and Argentina.Mueller, 29, has scored 10 goals at World Cups, winning the golden boot in 2010. He was the second-top scorer four years later with another five goals.The trio’s international cycle was complete when Germany were crowned world champions in 2014, having also clinched an extraordinary 7-1 victory against hosts Brazil in the last four.”I am personally convinced that I can still play at the highest level and will continue to do so,” Boateng wrote on Twitter.”I was always extremely proud to wear the national team top ands I will never forget the summer of 2014. But I would have obviously wished for a different departure.”Germany team manager Oliver Bierhoff told Bild newspaper: “Thomas, Mats and Jerome have achieved a lot for German football,””They will continue to do so for their club. I continue to feel very connected to them and am thankful for the time we spent together in the national team.”Germany play their first international of 2019 on March 20 against Serbia in Wolfsburg.Also Watch:
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson notched up his maiden World Cup hundred in the Black Caps’ thrilling 4-wicket win over South Africa on Wednesday in Birmingham.In a rain-affected match, Williamson showed why he is considered one of the calmest minds in world cricket with a well-paced hundred that all but ended South Africa’s hopes of making the semi-final.After putting South Africa into bat, New Zealand bowlers bowled with discipline and purpose to restrict South Africa to 241 in 49 overs. Chasing a tricky target on a sluggish Edgbaston wicket, New Zealand got off to an unlucky start as they lost Colin Munro as early as the 3rd over.Kane Williamson then came in and kept the scorers busy in a 62-run stand with Martin Guptill. However, following the opener’s dismissal, New Zealand lost wickets in a hurry and were reduced to 80 for 4 in 18.1 overs.Despite losing partners at the other end at regular intervals, Williamson kept his focus and made sure New Zealand clinched 2 points.Williamson played the perfect finisher by taking the game deep and staying till the end to take his team past the finish line. A deft touch to the third man boundary in the final ball of the penultimate over and his first six of the innings that came in the last over when New Zealand needed 8 from 5 proved Williamson is an ice-cool customer.There were a couple of close calls in the middle over and Williamson even survived a caught-behind appeal but nothing distracted the New Zealand captain from going about his job.advertisementKane Williamson’s level-headedness in one of the most thrilling finishes of World Cup 2019 has left the cricket fraternity in awe.Gem of a player, Kane Williamson. Composure and classMike atherton (@Athersmike) June 19, 2019Kane Williamson you beauty!!! #NZvsSA #CWC2019 #BACKTHEBLACKCAPSGrant Elliott (@grantelliottnz) June 19, 2019Kane Williamson nerves toughest earthly material.Andrew Fidel Fernando (@afidelf) June 19, 2019Kane Williamson absolutely Dhoni-ed that inningsPeter Miller (@TheCricketGeek) June 19, 2019Kohli’s skills + Dhoni’s calm = Kane Williamson. What a guy! #NZvSAShridhar V (@iimcomic) June 19, 2019MS Dhoni, remember the name 🙂 https://t.co/ApcbTscAj4Cricketopia (@CricketopiaCom) June 19, 2019All class..#KaneWilliamsonzainab abbas (@ZAbbasOfficial) June 19, 2019#KaneWilliamson nicks one and doesn’t walk.The other day, #ViratKohli didn’t nick and walked.Who would’ve thunk! #NZvSA #CWC19Hemant Brar (@Cricquest) June 19, 2019Intelligent captain and an extraordinary batsman. Kane Williamson is a genius. @BLACKCAPS #Cricket #KaneWilliamsonDaniel Alexander (@daniel86cricket) June 19, 2019No fireworks, no showmnaship. Just a clinical completion of the task at hand. This man #KaneWilliamson is the Mechanic.’ Like Jason Statham, the perfect executioner…#NZvsRSAanand mahindra (@anandmahindra) June 19, 2019#KaneWilliamson makes such a big difference to the #blackcaps . Paces his innings so well.. Great control and great skill. Reads the games beautifully #NZvSAF #wc19Hemang Badani (@hemangkbadani) June 19, 2019Also Read | MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli and Hardik Pandya get new haircuts after Pakistan winAlso Read | New Zealand vs South Africa: Kane Williamson non-review wasn’t the turning point, says Faf du PlessisAlso See:
The Tyreek Hill 10-day narrative is a sobering reminder of how much a life (any of our lives, really) can change in such a small amount of time.Hill spent, what, 20 years constructing a career that pointed towards a inconceivably-prosperous life for himself and then probably 20 seconds burning it all to the ground.There are so many angles to this story that I don’t know which to tackle first but the foremost to me is this:I’m glad it happened inasmuch as it means the girl who Tyreek attacked won’t have to endure something she said had been ongoing for a while.There was some positing on Twitter that she would “wake up from her confusion” and realize that Tyreek was her (and her baby’s) meal ticket (as if eating is more important than living) and the whole thing would go away.But she didn’t and it didn’t and for that I’m thankful that she was brave enough to present it to the authorities. That’s a good (and not totally common) thing in 2014.Here are a few more thoughts on the entire thing followed by a chronological list of the events that unfolded last Thursday and Friday.Thoughts:• Tyreek playing the race card is interesting considering (and this is not a difficult thing to figure out if you can navigate the Internet at all) his girlfriend does not appear to be white.• When you put it like that….Oklahoma State running back Tyreek Hill has been arrested for strangling his pregnant girlfriend: http://t.co/bureRJHQJo— Brian Phillips (@runofplay) December 12, 2014• Not sure about you guys but my biggest “oh sh**” moment was reading that she was eight weeks pregnant. Not that it makes it any better if she isn’t but it certainly makes it worse that she is.• Related: It doesn’t take a wild imagination to put “punch in the stomach” and “8 weeks pregnant” together as a grotesquely married duo.• This is not a thing I would tweet shortly after being arrested for overpowering another human being:Just got to be strong— Ty Hill (@cheetah) December 13, 2014• Here’s something I wrote about heroes back in August. Feels like a good time to dust it off and put it back out there.• The series of events of the last 10 days are staggering, really. The sentiment Friday night before Bedlam among the more delusional, I admit, was “Gundy might be coaching for his job.” Now? “Gundy runs Stillwater, man.”• Along those lines…has any single player ever provided his head coach more PR goodwill along such a lengthy scale of achievement than Tyreek for Gundy over the last 10 days?• There was sliver of me that (the entire time this was unfolding) thought “what if he’s innocent?” but the fact that I still haven’t heard Tyreek deny any of this coupled with him playing the race card and the girl’s testimony and physical evidence is all pretty damning even if, in a court of law he is acquitted.• All in all I thought it was handled very professionally by Gundy, the university and everyone involved. Swift, decisive and zero doubt on where anyone stands.• Between this, Devon Thomas and Ronald Jones the over/under for Rennie Childs carries in 2015 is 9 million point five.• I’m not sure if Tyreek played in OT in Norman (he probably did) but that had to have been the greatest last play of a career in Oklahoma State history, right?• Speaking of history — would you rather have the last three years of Prentiss’ career back, last 1.75 of Dez’s or last year of Tyreek’s?• I love this podcast with Reihan Salam where he talks about sports in America:“ says that one of the reasons he finds sports so compelling is that professional sports is how Americans talk about commerce, race, power — it’s how they talk about so many things.”I realize that thought has huge implications but I think (and hope) it applies here.• I thought Robert Allen[1. First time Reihan Salam and Robert Allen have ever or will ever be mentioned in the same blog post. Ever.] said all of this pretty eloquently here:“Tyreek Hill will get his day in court, but his privilege of being a Cowboy football player has been taken away. It’s sad, but there was too much evidence that put that in question Thursday night in that emergency room.”Here’s a together a chronological collection of everything you missed at the end of last week:1. Tyreek Hill arrested2. Tyreek Hill’s girlfriend was pregnant3. It appears Tyreek initially played the race card4. Tyreek’s bail set at $15,0005. The Tyreek narrative keeps getting worse6. Tyreek Hill dismissed from the OSU football teamTotally Tickets is your source for Oklahoma State football tickets.If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers!