Cardiff boss Warnock: Crystal Palace and Jordan very good for meby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveCardiff City boss Neil Warnock admits former Crystal Palace owner Simon Jordon helped him fall back in love with the game.Warnock faces his former club today.He said, “I’m looking forward to it because I’ve got some special memories there. I’ve got some good friends there and it’s always a good atmosphere.”I enjoyed it. Simon Jordan got me that love back. I felt really let down leaving Sheffield United. I think I would’ve jacked it in had it not been for Simon.”I ended up having a fabulous relationship with him and I’m disappointed how it ended for him as well.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
Heaton backtracks on Burnley futureby Ansser Sadiq10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveTom Heaton has played down speculation of leaving Burnley.The 32-year-old goalkeeper was previously adamant about his desire to leave, as he was not getting regular game-time.But a start against West Ham, which was his first in the league, has eased his mind. Heaton kept a clean sheet as his team notched a 2-0 win at home.”I never wanted to leave the football club, it’s just the fact that I wasn’t playing that I would have had to,” said the goalkeeper after the game.”But after being back playing today it’s the last thing on my mind to be honest.”At 32 I don’t really have much time to waste. Not for one minute did I want to go anywhere but sometimes it has got to be looked at.”That probably changes now. It’s great to be back out there and I can’t tell you how pleased I am to be back out on the pitch and pull on that shirt again.” TagsTransfersAbout the authorAnsser SadiqShare the loveHave your say
TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Everton boss Silva admits he didn’t want to sell Lookmanby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveEverton boss Marco Silva admits he was reluctant to sell Ademola Lookman.The 21-year-old was entering the final two years of his Goodison contract and with RB Leipzig willing to pay £22.5m for the wantaway winger, Everton agreed to his sale in late July.“He spoke to me at the end of the season about what he wanted to do and what was his desire,” Silva told the Liverpool Echo.“Like you know, at the beginning of last season he spoke to me about his desire to leave the club. I said no, no and no, even if we received a very good offer to sell him, for our structure, no because I saw in him, and I keep seeing in him…(his quality).“If you are asking me about my technical point of view, if I would like to sell him, I will say no.“At the end of last season he came to see me in his office to tell me what he was thinking, about his desire, his future and what he would like to do.“I respect his opinion but I said to him ‘you are in my plans again’.“Then came an offer to the club, and like you know I don’t like to talk about this side of things, but the had just two years left on his contract with us and so then we are talking about many, many things.“It is not just a technical point of view because my opinion about Lookman is the same about as last season. I don’t have doubts. He has all the qualities to have a very good career. The quality is there, he has to change some things, but the quality is there. The most difficult thing, he has – the quality and the talent.“In football you many people with talent who don’t achieve but I believe he will achieve good things in his career.”
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Bournomouth boss Eddie Howe: Burnley spell important for meby Paul Vegas12 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveBournomouth boss Eddie Howe says he has no regrets over his time with Burnley.Howe remains thankful for his time with the Clarets.“For my development, for my experiences. I don’t think I would be sat here in the Premier League if I hadn’t experienced what I had at Burnley,” he told the Daily Echo.“I think it did me the world of good personally. In some respects, it feels like a continuous journey from the first spell (at Cherries) through – but the spell at Burnley was so important for me.“That feels like quite a short spell away now during the two times at Bournemouth put together.”
NBA star Tomas Satoransky has labelled LeBron James as the “Cristiano Ronaldo of basketball” and compared Kobe Bryant to Lionel Messi.The Washington Wizards point guard – who is in England for the NBA London Game 2019 against the New York Knicks – also revealed that he prefers Messi to Ronaldo having previously played for Barcelona’s basketball team earlier in his career.“Am I Team Messi or Team Ronaldo? I’m Team Messi!,” Satoransky told Goal. Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? “If I had to name a ‘Messi of basketball’, it would be [former LA Lakers star] Kobe Bryant.“I would probably call LeBron James more like a Cristiano Ronaldo because of how physically dominant he is.“But I would say Messi is more like a Kobe Bryant.”Satoransky, 27, played for Barcelona’s basketball team from 2014 to 2016, prior to joining the Wizards, and he shared a humorous story from that period regarding the Barca football side.“We shared the same training centre with the football team but they were always quite hidden from us and from the media,” he explained.“I remember the fans waiting for the Barcelona soccer players. We [the basketball players] would come along and the fans would be like: ‘We don’t want them!’ So they were waiting only for the soccer players.“But it was like a real family there at Barcelona. Neymar and Pique are huge basketball fans. Pique was at a couple of games, too.”Satoransky also commented on Wayne Rooney’s move to Washington DC to play for D.C. United.The Czech giant expressed his hope that the NBA London Game can have the same positive impact on basketball in the UK as Rooney has had on soccer in the U.S.“I always pay attention to footballers who come over from Europe and I followed the career of Wayne Rooney when he was in the Premier League, before he came to Washington,” he stated.“It’s great for MLS and American soccer fans that they get to watch players like Rooney. It’s become more and more fashionable for such stars since David Beckham played for the LA Galaxy.“[To help basketball grow] is why we have had an NBA game in London for so many years in a row. They love basketball in the UK and their league is developing well.“The UK fans are great and when you see all the stars from the Premier League sitting courtside for the game, it’s clear it has a big impact. A lot of my friends from Europe are trying to come over to watch the game, too.”The game between the Washington Wizards and the New York Knicks will take place at The 02 in London on Thursday evening.
Colombia heaped misery on Lionel Messi and Argentina with a 2-0 victory in their Copa America opener on Saturday.Runners-up in 2015 and 2016, Messi’s Argentina were looking to banish their past demons in pursuit of a first major international title since 1993.However, Argentina were upstaged by Colombia, who made a winning start in Group B thanks to Roger Martinez’s 71st-minute stunner and Duvan Zapata’s late sealer. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? As Argentina pressed and probed, first-half substitute Martinez sent a thunderous strike past Franco Armani in Salvador and Zapata made sure of the win during the closing stages.Argentina came into the tournament off a 5-1 rout of Nicaragua and with the most Copa victories in history (119) but the South American giants did not look like winning against Colombia.Martinez – a replacement for Luis Muriel in the 14th minute – linked up with Radamel Falcao but his shot deflected just wide of the post as Colombia appeared the more likely to strike first.Overall, it was a forgettable opening 45 minutes, which did not see a single shot on target from either team, with Messi subdued.It was more of the same in the second half, though Colombia goalkeeper David Ospina was finally called into action after a vicious volley from Leandro Paredes approaching the hour mark.The match did come to life moments later when Juan Cuadrado’s tackle on Messi threatened to spark a melee as Argentina players rushed in to confront the Colombia winger.That triggered Argentina, who almost took the lead after Nicolas Otamendi’s powerful header forced Ospina into a low diving save, while Messi was unable to head home the rebound with the goal at his mercy.But Colombia broke the deadlock with 19 minutes remaining – Martinez collecting the ball on the flank and drifting inside before beating Armani from distance – and fellow substitute Zapata doubled the lead four minutes from the end courtesy of an emphatic close-range finish.71’GOOOOOOOOLLLL DE COLOMBIAAAAAA.@rogermartinezt9 adelanta a Colombia en el marcador.Colombia 1 vs. 0 Argentina#COLARG #VamosColombia #ElEquipoDeLaGente pic.twitter.com/m905bHTi2L— Selección Colombia (@FCFSeleccionCol) June 15, 2019What does it mean? Long road ahead for ScaloniIn the build-up to the match, head coach Lionel Scaloni joked he would retire if Argentina win the Copa America. Scaloni does not appear any closer to retirement based on Saturday’s result and performance. After last year’s World Cup last-16 exit and Messi’s brief international absence, the South American giants have a lot of work ahead.Martinez makes himself a heroWhen Muriel went down with an injury early in the first half, Carlos Queiroz turned to Martinez. And as Falcao struggled to make an impact on proceedings, 24-year-old America forward Martinez emerged a hero with his first international goal since 2016.Pressure builds on Messi and Co.The weight of a nation falls on Messi’s shoulders and the captain was helpless to prevent another poor result on the international stage. Still searching for his first senior title with Argentina, Messi was relatively subdued in the team’s first game.Key Opta Facts- Colombia’s win was their third against Argentina at the Copa America and first since 1999.- They also ended an eight-game winless run against Argentina.- Argentina lost their Copa opener for just the third time and first time since 1979.- Argentina attempted only one shot (blocked) and had just one touch in the opposition box in the first half against Colombia.- Messi has now played 22 Copa America games. Only Javier Mascherano (26) has played more for Argentina.What’s next?Argentina meet Paraguay on Wednesday, while Colombia face guests and 2022 World Cup hosts Qatar. read more
“You don’t have to pore over it,” Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane argued after Friday night’s 7-3 loss to Atletico Madrid. “It’s a pre-season game.”They were better [than us] at everything. But there is nothing more to talk about.”Zidane must have known that thinly veiled plea would fall on deaf ears. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? The modern game specialises in hot takes and kneejerk reactions, particularly when it comes to its biggest clubs – and they don’t come any bigger than Real Madrid.Defeats – even those that occur in friendly games – never escape intense scrutiny at the Santiago Bernabeu, so it was hardly surprising that the Atleti loss has provoked a bitter backlash.Tomas Roncero of AS described it as Real’s “biggest humiliation in 50 years”. He was exaggerating, playing up to his public persona as one of the more colourful journalists in Spain, but Marca also felt compelled to gauge the feelings of the fans ahead of what is hoped to be a season of redemption for Real.The findings were certainly eyebrow-raising. Of the almost 225,000 supporters polled, 64 per cent do not believe that Zidane, the man who delivered three successive Champions League titles in his first spell in charge, is the right coach for Madrid’s makeover.However, a whopping 80% of the 215,451 fans asked about Real’s transfer window do not believe that the coach’s squad has been sufficiently strengthened this summer.That is a staggering state of affairs, given Madrid have already invested €303 million (£276m/$338m) in new players.Club president Florentino Perez has even delivered Zidane’s top target, Eden Hazard, in a transfer that was essentially a decade in the making.However, the player that Zidane arguably needs the most, Paul Pogba, has yet to arrive.From the coach’s perspective, the one potential positive from the calamitous derby defeat is that Madrid’s longstanding midfield deficiencies were exposed in the most brutal fashion yet.With Dani Ceballos having been loaned to Arsenal for the season and Marcos Llorente allowed to join Atletico, Real are painfully short on numbers – and young legs – in the middle of the park.Indeed, Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and Isco were the only first-team midfielders to make the trip to the United States for their International Champions Cup fixtures.Kroos has performed particularly poorly, most notably in the loss to Atleti, when his lack of pace and dynamism was repeatedly and ruthlessly exploited by Diego Simeone’s side.The 29-year-old German’s lethargy was merely symptomatic of a general torpidity in Madrid’s engine room, though.Granted, Casemiro’s return will aid matters in that regard, with the Brazilian having been given extra time off following his involvement in his nation’s Copa America triumph.However, it’s clear that Real’s ageing midfield needs an injection of youth, strength and enterprise.For all his flaws, Pogba ticks all three boxes, which is precisely why Zidane is so intent on bringing his compatriot to Spain.The Atletico humiliation may have been shocking but Madrid’s listlessness – particularly in the middle of the park – was hardly surprising.Zidane bemoaned his players’ total lack of “intensity” after the game but his second stint at the Bernabeu has been characterised by a worrying absence of motivation.It is worth remembering that while Madrid’s hopes of winning a major trophy this year were over by the start of March, Zidane’s return failed to prompt an upturn in the team’s fortunes.There was a lot of talk of players wanting to fight for their places in the 2019-20 squad but last season’s campaign spluttered to a sorry conclusion, with the team losing three of their last four Liga games.It was hoped the addition of fresh faces would aid the reinvigoration process but Madrid have not yet been cured of their general malaise, as we have seen not only against Atletico but also in the loss to Bayern Munich earlier this month.Physically, the Blancos are still some way off the pace, which is, to be fair, to be expected at this time of year.But it is worrying that Ferland Mendy and Luka Jovic are both in danger of missing the start of the new season with minor injuries, while Marco Asensio is expected to sit out the entire campaign with ligament damage.All of a sudden, Madrid, in spite of their early-summer spending spree, look low on numbers – and quality.The collapse of Gareth Bale’s proposed move to China and Madrid’s inability to find a buyer for James Rodriguez haven’t helped matters either, particularly as the sale of both players is essential to generating sufficient funds to acquire Pogba.Time is not on Real’s side either, as the World Cup winner’s current employers, Manchester United, will not countenance a sale after the English summer transfer window closes on August 8, given they would not be able to sign a replacement.The Old Trafford outfit are keen on Sergej Milinkovic-Savic but the Lazio ace is only likely to arrive if Madrid are willing to pay at least €150 million (£137m/$167m) for Pogba.The size of the fee will obviously provoke debate. After all, many United fans felt that the temperamental talent only really turned up for six weeks last season. And yet he still managed to play his way into the PFA Team of the Year, which only serves to underline just how highly he is rated by his peers – and how eye-catching a performer he can be when he is focused and firing on all cylinders.At the very least, he would bring with him a much-needed goal threat. He struck 16 times in all competitions last season; Modric, Casemiro and Kroos racked up nine between them.What Zidane covets above all else, though, is Pogba’s almost unique mix of physique and technique. He has both the skill and the stamina required to rejuvenate Madrid’s midfield.As former Blancos boss Santiago Solari recently conceded, “When [Modric and Kroos] are fit, they are the best but the truth is that they aren’t getting any younger. It’s normal that the club are thinking about other players.”They are thinking about Pogba.According to the AS poll, the majority of Real fans are also in favour of the France international’s arrival – 60% of them, to be precise – even if there is an almost total acceptance (92%) that he will not solve all of Madrid’s issues.However, Pogba says he wants a new “challenge”. Zidane can certainly offer him one.
BLACKSBURG, VA – NOVEMBER 17: A general view of an end zone pylon during the game between the Virginia Tech Hokies and North Carolina Tar Heels at Lane Stadium on November 17, 2011 in Blacksburg, Virginia. (Photo by Geoff Burke/Getty Images)We’re now one half into college football’s game of the week, as No. 6 Notre Dame and No. 24 Virginia Tech are at halftime at Lane Stadium in Blacksburg, Virginia.The Fighting Irish, coming off a strong win against Stanford, were looking good early, going up by double digits, however the Hokies are storming back at home.It’s Notre Dame 17, Virginia Tech 16 as we enter halftime. This has the makings of one really exciting second half.What is ESPN projecting? It still likes the Fighting Irish.ESPN’s Football Power Index is confident in Brian Kelly’s team, as it is giving Notre Dame a 61.1 percent chance to win the game.Notre Dame will need to get its running game going in the second half it it’s going to hold on for a victory. The Fighting Irish rushed for negative three yards in the first half. Thankfully for Kelly and Co., Ian Book was strong through the air, passing for 163 yards.Virginia Tech, meanwhile, totaled 139 yards through the air and 76 yards on the ground.What’s your prediction for the second half?The second half should begin momentarily. It’s being televised on ABC.
DALLAS, TX – OCTOBER 06: Sam Ehlinger #11 of the Texas Longhorns during the 2018 AT&T Red River Showdown at Cotton Bowl on October 6, 2018 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)Video of a star college football quarterback greeting his mom after Tuesday night’s major bowl win is going viral.Sam Ehlinger and the Texas Longhorns pulled off a major Sugar Bowl upset, knocking off the Georgia Bulldogs.Ehlinger was arguably the best player on the field in the game, rushing for three touchdowns and totaling more than 230 yards of offense.After the game, he shared an awesome moment with his family.Check it out:ICYMI: After his Sugar Bowl win, @TexasFootball QB Sam Ehlinger shared an emotional moment with his mom in the stands. pic.twitter.com/IqcSlbMS4d— ESPN CollegeFootball (@ESPNCFB) January 2, 2019That’s pretty awesome.Texas finished the 2018 season with a bang and will head into the 2019 season with a lot of hype.The Longhorns should enter the season ranked inside the top 10 with College Football Playoff hopes.
MORGANTOWN, WV – NOVEMBER 04: Will Grier #7 of the West Virginia Mountaineers takes the field against the Iowa State Cyclones at Mountaineer Field on November 04, 2017 in Morgantown, West Virginia. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)With word leaking out that Dana Holgorsen would take the job at Houston a few days ago, athletic director Shane Lyons has wasted little time in finding West Virginia football’s next head coach.Holgorsen leaves WVU after eight seasons at the helm of the Mountaineers, finishing with a 61-41 record, and 38-32 mark in the Big 12. His Mountaineers lost in this year’s Camping World Bowl to Syracuse.While a willing move from the Big 12 to the AAC is a curious one for a coach, the Cougars are reportedly paying Holgorsen a record deal for a Group of Five coach.For those who thought his tenure at WVU had grown stagnant, this could be seen as a mutually beneficially opportunity for Holgorsen and the Mountaineers.According to a new report, we are very close to finding out who the program’s next head coach will be.Neal Brown, Luke Fickell, and Tony Gibson have reportedly been interviewed for the West Virginia football job in the last two days.Brown and Fickell are the successful young coaches at Troy and Cincinnati, respectively. Gibson is the current defensive coordinator in Morgantown. A hire could come by this weekend.From WV MetroNews:West Virginia administrators are wrapping up a 48-hour period in which they staged interviews with Cincinnati’s Luke Fickell, Troy’s Neal Brown and current Mountaineers defensive coordinator Tony Gibson. The aim is to name a replacement for football coach Dana Holgorsen by the weekend.“We’re going to be thorough, but at the same time, we’re going to be swift,” athletics director Shane Lyons said Thursday.Lyons had known for several days that Holgorsen was taking the job at Houston, but Holgorsen’s reps did not give West Virginia official notice until after 2 p.m. on Wednesday. In the meantime, Lyons began vetting candidates.“We were hoping everything would happen quicker on the other end, but it wasn’t and I couldn’t slow down,” Lyons said.Brown has made waves at the Group of Five levels with his Trojans’ wins at LSU and Nebraska over the last two years. A number of analysts have called him the clear choice for the job.Fickell is familiar with WVU President Gordon Gee from both of their lengthy tenures at Ohio State. Lyons says that Gee is directly involved in the hiring process. Fickell served as the interim coach for the Buckeyes between Jim Tressel and Urban Meyer’s tenures, and coached under Meyer until he took the Cincinnati job before last season.His Bearcats went 11-2 this season with a Military Bowl win over Virginia Tech.Gibson has the players’ vote, as coaches already on staff so often do in these situations. Per the report, he is a “longshot” for the head coaching job, though.West Virginia finished 74th in total defense and 67th in scoring defense this year, surrendering 138 total points to Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, and Syracuse during WVU’s 0-3 finish to the year.It is unclear if other coaches could get involved for the job, but Brown and Fickell are particularly solid candidates who would continue to get big-time looks going forward.[WV MetroNews]
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – OCTOBER 15: Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers warms up before a game against the Minnesota Vikings on October 15, 2017 at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers famously waited long after he thought he would in the NFL draft after coming out of college.The former Cal Bears star landed with the Packers despite the team be invested in Brett Favre – much to Rodgers’ chagrin for a few years.However, after learning under Favre and becoming a star in his own right, Rodgers is paying it back to his former program.According to a release from the school, Rodgers donated a “seven-figure” sum to the school.Here’s what he said about the move:“I’m pleased and proud to make this gift to support Cal football,” Rodgers said.“My years at Cal were among the best years of my life. My time in Berkeley created lasting, unforgettable memories. Coach Wilcox was on the coaching staff when I was a Bear, and I am excited about the team’s direction with Justin pointing the way. He is a tremendous football coach and an even better role model for his players. I hope that my contribution can help him move this program forward.”Thank you @AaronRodgers12!!Aaron has made a seven-figure gift to the program that will be used to renovate the football locker room and create the Aaron Rodgers Football Scholarship. #EarnIt🗞️ | https://t.co/RvqVXcSef0 pic.twitter.com/wFQBfSbhh5— Cal Football (@CalFootball) June 11, 2019The two-time NFL MVP and first-team All-Pro selection owns the highest average annual salary in the NFL so this move shouldn’t break the bank.It’s an awesome gift for the current Cal players and head coach Justin Wilcox as he looks to build the program.
EUGENE, OR – SEPTEMBER 14: A general view af the game between the Oregon Ducks and the Tennessee Volunteers on September 14, 2013 at the Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Oregon. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)With the release of the updated Coaches’ Poll this afternoon, all of the college football national rankings have been updated going into Week 2.There were a few changes on the charts, with Boise State and Nebraska entering the fold and Iowa State and Northwestern bowing out. Auburn made a sizable jump, while Oregon fell off as a result of their loss to the Tigers.It is very early in the season, and it will take some more time to sort out which teams are truly elite from the rest of the pack. However, it’s never too soon to look at who might be sitting a little higher than they deserve.By our estimation, here are the three “most overrated” teams in the updated Coaches’ Poll.Note, we listed them according to the order they were ranked in the poll, not by which we think is most overrated: No. 10 FloridaFull disclosure: we ranked Florida seventh in our preseason top 25, so we were buying into them pretty heavily. But the Gators did not look like a top-10 team in their season-opening win over Miami on August 24. They have to get more consistency out of Feleipe Franks if they are going to win double-digit games and make a run at the SEC East. We’ll see if the extra time off helped them this weekend.No. 16 WisconsinWe didn’t rank the Badgers in the preseason, but had them pegged as the “first team out.” Therefore, it feels like No. 16 is slightly high, even after an impressive beatdown of USF in Week 1. Jonathan Taylor is a superstar, but we need to see Wisconsin against some better competition before we have them on the cusp of the top 15.No. 18 OregonThe Ducks dropped five spots after losing to Auburn. Even though the Tigers are a quality team, we feel Oregon should have fallen just outside the top 20. This was a game you led by two touchdowns with a projected top-10 NFL Draft pick at quarterback and a freshman making his first start playing against you. That’s a brutal start to the season for a team expected to compete for the Pac-12 title.You can view the full Coaches’ Poll here. The latest AP top 25 is here.
Last year they went undefeated in the regular season, playing a number of close games before getting the doors blown off them in the College Football Playoff.With huge games against Georgia and Michigan looming, Kelly wants to tighten everything up.The Fighting Irish will return to the field this Saturday for their home opener against New Mexico. They are favored by 34.5 points.The game will be played at 2:30 p.m. EST and will air on NBC.Did the Irish spend their early bye week wisely? ARLINGTON, TEXAS – DECEMBER 29: A Notre Dame Fighting Irish cheerleader waves a flag during the College Football Playoff Semifinal Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic against the Clemson Tigers at AT&T Stadium on December 29, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)After a convincing win over Louisville in Week 1, Notre Dame spent Week 2 on a very early bye. But they made the most out of their early break.Head coach Brian Kelly revealed on Monday that Notre Dame spent their free weekend practicing more than usual. In fact, he got the entire team together for a full scrimmage – a rarity for bye weeks.Via Tom Loy of Irish Illustrated:“…they took full advantage of the bye week… even scrimmaged on Saturday on a bye week, which is not something they normally do… They want to come out and play better.”Notre Dame beat Louisville 35-17 in Week 1, but failed to cover the 20-point spread in that game. Louisville was largely expected to be in serious rebuild mode in its first season under Scott Satterfield, but hung in with Notre Dame. There was definitely discussion that the performance was disappointing.
We are not going to stop, ready for Sydney: Virat Kohli after historic Boxing Day Test winIndia vs Australia: Virat Kohli was thrilled after India won their first ever Boxing Day Test in Australia. India now lead the 4-Test series 2-1.advertisement Rajarshi Gupta MelbourneDecember 30, 2018UPDATED: December 30, 2018 08:24 IST Virat Kohli had the last laugh as India wrapped up a historic victory (Reuters Photo)HIGHLIGHTSVirat Kohli was delighted with India’s historic Test victory at the MCGKohli led from the front with a first innings 82 as India won their first Boxing Day Test in AustraliaKohli finished 2018 with 1322 Test runs including five hundredsVirat Kohli was a pleased and relieved captain as India completed the job of picking up the final two Australian wickets and win the third Test by 137 runs in Melbourne on Sunday.The first session was washed out due to the relentless rain in Melbourne, but the weather conditions improved after the first two hours and play finally started at 7.25 am IST.India needed just 5.3 overs in the second session to bowl Australia out for 261, the second time in two days, and secure a historic victory in the Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.Kohli will retain the Border-Gavaskar trophy as India, who had cliched the trophy last year after winning the series 4-1 at home, took an unbeatable 2-1 series lead after this Test win.”We are not going to stop here. This has given us more confidence to play more positive cricket in Sydney.”We’ve done well in all three departments, which is why we’ve retained the trophy. But we want to continue. This is how we played in South Africa too, and we’re ready for the final game,” Kohli said at the post-match press conference.Kohli led from the front as he so often does. In the first innings, he battled a stiff back and scored 82 in a 170-run partnership with Cheteshwar Pujara, who hit his 17th Test hundred.Kohli has been in sensational form this year – he scored 1322 runs including five hundreds but his captaincy raised some serious questions in South Africa, England and even in Australia when he chose to go in to the Perth Test without a spinner.advertisementHowever, Kohli seemed to have learn from his mistakes in Melbourne. With plenty at stake, Kohli dropped his two regular openers and gave Mayank Agarwal a maiden Test cap. Hanuma Vihari was promoted up the order to open the innings with Agarwal.Rohit Sharma, who missed out the Perth Test due to injury came back in the side and scored his first Test fifty outside Asia since 2015. Ravindra Jadeja picked up crucial wickets while the fast bowlers continued to live up to their captain’s high expectations.”Our first-class cricket is amazing, which is why we won. Credit must go to first-class set-up in India, which challenges our fast bowlers in India, and that helps them abroad. Agarwal showed great character on Boxing Day. And Pujara has always been composed, so we just wanted a big partnership. And the fact that Vihari batted so long in the first innings, it allowed us to bat more confidently. And Rohit’s 60-odd as well,” the Indian captain said.Kohli’s decision to not enforce the follow-on after taking a 292-run first innings lead also raised a few eyebrows. Allan Border said he was surprised with India’s move. Many felt the rain which had been forecast for the weekend could rob India of a memorable win.”It’s a good thing I don’t read any comments or opinions (on not enforcing the follow on). I wanted us to bat more, and add some more runs, because batting would be difficult on day four and five.”We knew that it would be tough for Australia, but credit to our bowlers, especially Jasprit (Bumrah). The three fast bowlers have broken the record for most wickets by pacers in a calendar year for a team, which is brilliant. I certainly feel proud as a captain when they bowl in partnerships. No one is looking to out-bowl each other,” Kohli added.Kohli had the last laugh as India wrapped up a historic victory. He will now be eager to go over to Sydney and win the first ever Test series for India in Australia.For sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byrohan sen Tags :Follow India vs AustraliaFollow Boxing Day TestFollow Virat Kohli
Top Bowlers Top Bowlers Rajasthan RAJ All batsmen are considered right handed 0 Square Leg third Man 16 Toss: KOL elected to field view more view less Kolkata KOL Dinesh Karthik (c)(wk) D. Karthik (c)(wk) 8.75 Sudhesan Midhun S. Midhun 139/3 3 0.5 nb 139/3 3 Kolkata Shreyas Gopal (RAJ) S. Gopal (RAJ) 0 (20.0) Indian Premier League, 2019 Reuters April 8, 2019UPDATED: April 8, 2019 14:26 IST Chris Lynn got a lucky break as a ball ricocheted off the stump but didn’t dislodge the bails ( Courtesy by BCCI)HIGHLIGHTSDhawal Kulkarni managed to hit Chris Lynn’s wicket but the bails wasn’t dislodgedLynn after the match said that he “might actually go the casino tonight”RR skipper Ajinkya Rahane requested the umpire to not give it a boundary at leastAustralian Chris Lynn was tempted to visit a casino to cash in on his luck after a miraculous reprieve while batting during Kolkata Knight Riders’ Indian Premier League (IPL) victory over Rajasthan Royals on Sunday.The 28-year-old was on 13 when he inside-edged a delivery from Dhawan Kulkarni onto his stumps and started walking off without bothering to look behind.Kulkarni was celebrating too but it was soon cut short when the bowler realised that the ball had lit up the zing bail but failed to dislodge it, ricocheting off the leg stump to the fine-leg boundary for a four instead.Lynn went on to score 50 off 32 deliveries in Kolkata’s successful eight-wicket win chasing Rajasthan’s 139-3 that put them at the top of the IPL table with four wins from five matches.Chris Lynn Bowled? Well, not really!https://t.co/ojTfTmDGsb #RRvRCB pic.twitter.com/ejwSUwxO0bIndianPremierLeague (@IPL) April 7, 2019″I always like to ride my luck,” Lynn told teammate Harry Gurney in a video posted on the IPL website.”I inside-edged it, and then I heard a second noise. I thought (the wicket-keeper) might catch it or the bails might come off, but I got lucky.”I might actually go the casino tonight!”‘I might go to a casino now’ – Lucky Lynn tells Gurney!@lynny50 rode his luck on his way to a Fifty for the @KKRiders while @gurneyhf admits he was nervous before his splendid debut show! By @Moulinparikh #RRvKKRWatch the full video – https://t.co/lErtWV7vLb pic.twitter.com/Xg13bMUq04advertisementIndianPremierLeague (@IPL) April 8, 2019It was the third time in this year’s IPL that a batsman had benefited from the bails refusing to be dislodged.Rajasthan were also on the receiving end in an earlier match when Jofra Archer’s delivery rolled onto the stumps but Chennai Super Kings captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, yet to open his account, survived as bails was not dislodged.Dhoni, who went on to make a match-winning 75 off 46 deliveries, suffered the heartbreak himself on Saturday when bails did not fall despite his direct hit with Punjab opener KL Rahul short of his ground.Rajasthan captain Ajinkya Rahane appeared as bewildered as the bowler and was involved in a long conversation with the on-field umpire after Sunday’s incident.”The rules are what they are, but I told the umpire, at least don’t declare it a boundary,” Rahane said.”It’s already so tough for the bowlers in T20, and in such a situation, a ball can, maybe, declared a dead ball. That was my conversation with the umpires.”Also Read | Dinesh Karthik lauds KKR’s clinical effort with ball and batAlso Read | No need to panic yet, assures RR skipper Ajinkya RahaneFor sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Tags :Follow IPL 2019Follow Chris LynnFollow CasinoFollow LuckyFollow RR vs KKRFollow bailsFollow Kolkata Knight RidersFollow Rajasthan Royals Top Batsmen Top Batsmen fine Leg 140/2 114/2 ( C. Lynn 10.5 Overs) , third Man 1 Harry Gurney (KOL) H. Gurney (KOL) Mid off 140/2 0 4.66 3 m Mid Wicket Match Ended Square Leg advertisement 2 6s (13.5) 0 Mid off e/r Kolkata batting KOL batting Fall of Wickets Indian Premier League, 2019 Time: (GMT) | 20:00 (Local Time) All batsmen are considered right handed w 156.25 3 c Steven Smith b Shreyas Gopal c Sudhesan Midhun b Shreyas Gopal Harry Gurney H. Gurney Nitish Rana N. Rana Mid on Mid off 6 0 third Man Shubman Gill S. Gill not out 47 (20.0) 0 3 2/25 (4) 10 0 2 0 Mid Wicket Mid on 14 0 50 (32) Robin Uthappa R. Uthappa not out Jofra Archer J. Archer Mid Wicket not out 1 1 162.5 graphs third Man commentary Square Leg Rajasthan RAJ Mid on Mid Wicket No data available! 188 o covers (13.5) All batsmen are considered right handed 0 60 Mid on 0 4 0 Steven Smith (RAJ) S. Smith (RAJ) (13.5) Sunil Narine S. Narine c Steven Smith b Shreyas Gopal Piyush Chawla P. Chawla covers Series Status: Player Of The Match: Harry Gurney Point 32 50 – Krishnappa Gowtham K. Gowtham 31 Prasidh Krishna P. Krishna Extras: 11 runs (B: 0, LB: 8, WD: 3, NB: 0, P: 0) B view full scorecard Super Over IPL 2019: Chris Lynn wants to visit the casino after his lucky breakChris Lynn got a lucky break while batting on Sunday as a ball ricocheted off the stump but didn’t dislodge the bails. Kolkata Knight Riders went onto beat Rajasthan Royals by 8 wickets in their Indian Premier League encounter. Chris Lynn (KOL) C. Lynn (KOL) 13.5 R vs Kolkata beat Rajasthan by 8 wickets Kolkata KOL 0 Rajasthan 25 26 fine Leg 0 91/1 ( S. Narine 8.3 Overs) , Mid off 0 6 10.33 Chris Lynn C. Lynn c Sudhesan Midhun b Shreyas Gopal Andre Russell A. Russell 1 Match Ended 73 (59) 0 Point Square Leg 140/2 covers Point All batsmen are considered right handed 0 2/35 (4) 0 Scorecard 6 Point 22 35 2 22 covers S/R 4s Indian Premier League, 2019, Match 21 Referee: Vengalil Narayanan Kutty (IND) Umpires: Anil Chaudhary (IND), Chris Gaffaney (NZ) and Bruce Oxenford (AUS) 27 Ben Stokes B. Stokes Kuldeep Yadav K. Yadav 1 Rajasthan Bowling RAJ Bowling Shreyas Gopal S. Gopal fine Leg Dhawal Kulkarni D. Kulkarni 0 0 fine Leg 0 3.6 0 wd r not out
Mo Salah fires as Liverpool enter Champions League semis with 4-1 win vs PortoEgypt striker Mo Salah doubled the tally after Sadio Mane’s opening strike and goals from Roberto Firmino and Virgil van Dijk wrapped it up late on for Liverpool.advertisement Reuters PortoApril 18, 2019UPDATED: April 18, 2019 09:25 IST Salah and Sadio Mane helped Liverpool take the lead in the first half (AP Photo)HIGHLIGHTSSalah, Mane, Firmino and van Dijk scored for LiverpoolMilitao netted a consolation goal for hosts Porto in the 69th minuteTottenham Hotspur will face Ajax Amsterdam in the other semi-final tieA resurgent Mohamed Salah scored one and set up another to inspire a clinical Liverpool to a 4-1 win at Porto in their Champions League quarter-final second leg on Wednesday that teed up a last-four clash with Barcelona.The Reds, who eased through 6-1 on aggregate, held off Porto in the early stages before Salah and Sadio Mane combined for the Senegalese to put them ahead with their first shot on target following a VAR review.Egypt striker Salah doubled the tally after the break and goals from Roberto Firmino and Virgil van Dijk wrapped it up late on.Porto had briefly reduced the arrears through Eder Militao, but having lost the first leg 2-0 at Anfield, they never seemed in a position to overturn the deficit.Barcelona advanced on Tuesday when they won 3-0 in their second-leg against Manchester United, completing a 4-0 aggregate victory.Five-times European champions Liverpool, who had produced a scintillating display to beat Porto 5-0 in the last-16 at the Dragao stadium last season, had a totally different approach this time.They soaked up the pressure as Porto made an adventurous start, with Jesus Corona curling a powerful shot just over the bar in the opening minute.Juergen Klopp’s side looked temporarily toothless, but they were just waiting for their moment – which came in the 26th minute.Mane latched onto a cross from Salah to beat Iker Casillas from close range but he was initially flagged offside, only for referee Danny Makkelie to check the VAR.advertisementAfter a two-minute review, the goal was eventually given.Facing the huge task of scoring four goals to qualify, Porto looked stunned, despite having attempted 15 shots before the interval.Salah, who endured a goal drought in March, confirmed he was getting close to his best again when he coolly slotted the ball past Casillas after collecting a perfect diagonal through ball from Trent Alexander-Arnold in the 65th minute.It was Salah’s first Champions League goal since December, and his first away from Anfield in the competition in 12 months.Militao soothed the home fans’ suffering a little, beating Roberto Firmino in the air to head home in the 69th minute.Brazilian Firmino, who had started on the bench as Klopp handed a rare start to Divock Origi, made it 3-1 with a downward header with 13 minutes left and Van Dijk headed home a fourth from a corner eight minutes later.Tottenham Hotspur will face Ajax Amsterdam in the other semi-final tie.Also Watch:For sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byrohan sen Tags :Follow FC Porto vs LiverpoolFollow UEFA Champions LeagueFollow Mo Salah Next
commentary World Cup 2019: Australia crush England to storm into semi-finalsEngland vs Australia World Cup 2019: Defending champions Australia became the 1st team to reach the 2019 World Cup semi-finals when they defeated England by 64 runs. advertisement Rajarshi Gupta LondonJune 25, 2019UPDATED: June 26, 2019 07:11 IST Jason Behrendorff celebrates a wicket (Reuters)HIGHLIGHTSAustralia beat England by 64 runs to reach the 2019 World Cup semi-finalsFinch (100), Behrendorff (5 for 44) and Starc (4 for 43) starred for AustraliaAustralia are the 1st team to reach the semi-finals of World Cup 2019Australia hammered England by 64 runs at Lord’s on Tuesday to enter the semi-finals of the 2019 Cricket World Cup. After Aaron Finch smashed a classy 100, Jason Behrendorff picked 5 for 44 and Mitchell Starc finished with 4 for 43 as England failed to chase 286.Australia, the defending champions are the first team to reach the last four of the 2019 World Cup. England, the hosts and one of the pre-tournament favourites, are now in a bit of a spot. They now have 8 points from 7 matches and face must-win matches against India and New Zealand for a safe passage into the semis.England were rattled in the 2nd ball of their chase when James Vince was bowled by Behrendorff. Joe Root, England’s leading run-scorer this World Cup, was then trapped LBW by Starc. Eoin Morgan did not look comfortable during his brief stay and top-edged a short ball from Starc – England were in tatters at 26 for 3 in the 6th over.But England still dreamt with Ben Stokes in the middle. He dropped anchor and played some enthralling shots to keep England in the hunt. When he started his association with Jos Buttler, it looked like England would take it close.However, England were pegged back further Marcus Stoinis removed the dangerous Buttler. After a promising partnership between Stokes and Chris Woakes, Starc produced a lethal yorker to end Stokes’s stay for 89.From thereon, it was a matter of time before Australia romped home to a comfortable win. It was a special day for Behrendorff and it was made more special when he dismissed Jofra Archer to pick his maiden 5-wicket haul in ODIs.advertisementEarlier, Eoin Morgan won the toss and decided to put Australia in to bat in overcast conditions. After a watchful start, Aaron Finch and David Warner got into their groove and became the first opening pair to be involved in 5 successive 50+ stands in the World Cup.Warner and Finch are the two leading scorers in the 2019 World Cup and they have allowed Australia to be so dominant despite a dodgy show from the middle-order. On Tuesday, the two men tormented England and made sure Australia had a solid foundation for a big score.David Warner became the 3rd Australian after Matthew Hayden and Ricky Ponting to score 500 runs in a single edition of the World Cup but he fell to Moeen Ali for 53 after a 123-run opening partnership.Australia once again sent Usman Khawaja before Steve Smith at No.3 and he could never eeally get going but Aaron Finch was in fine form at the other end. He pierced the gaps, ran hard and kept the English attack on its toes.And just when it looked like Australia were on course for a score well in excess of 300, they lost Khawaja and Finch in quick succession.While Khawaja fell to Ben Stokes in the 33rd over, Finch miscued a pull shot off Jofra Archer right after getting to his 100 in the 36th over. Steve Smith tried his best at No.4 with 38 but a horrible mix-up with Marcus Stoinis and regular wickets thereafter allowed England to restrict the Australians.Alex Carey’s unbeaten 38 off 27 meant Australia got to a competitive total against a power-packed English batting line-up. At the end, 285 proved to be more than enough against a batting side which fancies itself to go past 500 in ODIs one day.Also Read | David Warner 3rd Australian to hit 500 runs in a single World CupAlso Read | England vs Australia World Cup 2019: Eoin Morgan looked scared, says Kevin PietersenFor sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byAjay Tiwari Tags :Follow World Cup 2019Follow England VS AustraliaFollow Aaron FinchFollow Ben Stokes No data available! scorecard view more view less graphs Next
Associated Press WellingtonJuly 19, 2019UPDATED: July 19, 2019 08:49 IST Ben Stokes played a starring role in the World Cup 2019 final (Reuters)HIGHLIGHTSBen Stokes was the Man of the Match during the World Cup 2019 finalStokes was born in New Zealand before his family moved to EnglandKane Williamson too has been nominated for the coveted awardAllrounder Ben Stokes, who guided England to victory over New Zealand in the final of the cricket World Cup, has been nominated as New Zealander of the Year.New Zealand captain Kane Williamson has also been nominated.Stokes’ match-winning innings of 84 allowed England to tie New Zealand’s score of 241-8 and he then helped the home team prevail after a tie-breaking “super over” in which both teams scored 15 runs. England won on a count back of boundaries hit during the match.Stokes was born in New Zealand but moved to England with his family when he was 12. His father Gerard, who played rugby league for New Zealand, was then coaching in England.Stokes has remained in England since, though his parents Gerard and Deb returned to live in the South Island city of Christchurch.New Zealander of the Year chief judge Cameron Bennett said Stokes “might not have been playing for the Black Caps but, having been born in Christchurch where his parents now live and with Maori ancestry, there’s clearly a few Kiwis about who think we can still claim him.”Bennett said the way Williamson conducted himself in the face of devastating disappointment in the final and throughout the World Cup resonated with Kiwis.”He’s been the embodiment of the qualities we cherish as New Zealanders courage, fairness, humility,” he said.Also Read | Knighthood for Ben Stokes? ‘Of course’ say UK’s next prime ministerial candidatesAlso Read | World Cup 2019: Stokes asked umpire to take off four overthrows during final, claims AndersonadvertisementFor sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byAjay Tiwari Tags :Follow Ben StokesFollow World Cup 2019Follow Kane Williamson Ben Stokes nominated for New Zealander of the YearEngland all-rounder Ben Stokes, who guided his team to a thrilling victory against New Zealand in the World Cup 2019 final on Sunday, has been nominated due to his Kiwi ancestry having being born in Christchurch.advertisement
Next Press Trust of India New YorkAugust 7, 2019UPDATED: August 7, 2019 10:13 IST PV Sindhu became the first Indian to win the season-ending BWF World Tour finals in 2018. (IANS Photo)HIGHLIGHTSP V Sindhu is the only athlete from the country to be named among the world’s highest-paid female athletes by ForbesSindhu is tied for the 13th place in The Highest-Paid Female Athletes 2019 list released by ForbesThe list of the world’s top 15 female athletes is topped by Williams, with total earnings of USD 29.2 millionIndia’s badminton star P V Sindhu is the only athlete from the country to be named among the world’s highest-paid female athletes by Forbes, a list topped by tennis great Serena Willams.With total earnings of 5.5 million dollars, Sindhu is tied for the 13th place in The Highest-Paid Female Athletes 2019 list released by Forbes on Tuesday.”Sindhu remains India’s most marketable female athlete. She became the first Indian to win the season-ending BWF World Tour finals in 2018, Forbes said.The list of the world’s top 15 female athletes is topped by Williams, with total earnings of USD 29.2 million. Forbes said Williams, 37, plans to play through at least next year but is already planning her next act with a clothing line, ‘S by Serena’, and designs to launch jewellery and beauty products lines by the end of 2020. She also has built a venture portfolio worth more than USD 10 million.On the second spot is Naomi Osaka, who won the 2018 US Open, defeating 23-time Grand Slam champ Williams. She has total earnings of USD 24.3 million.Forbes said its earnings tally looks at prize money, salaries, bonuses, endorsements and appearance fees between June 2018 and 2019. There are 15 female athletes who made at least USD 5 million during that time period; for comparison roughly 1,300 male athletes will hit that mark this year.The top 15 earned a cumulative USD 146 million, compared with USD 130 million last year.Williams and Osaka both earned more than twice as much as the third-highest-paid female athlete in the world, Angelique Kerber, who pulled in USD 11.8 million from tennis.advertisementForbes added that tennis remains the most surefire way for female athletes to make millions of dollars. Female athletes in soccer, basketball and softball earn salaries of pennies on the dollar compared with their male counterparts.Despite the playing salary gap in team sports, marketing opportunities have opened up in recent years for female athletes thanks to the growth of social media platforms, according to Dan Levy, who heads up the Olympics and female athletes divisions at Wasserman.Pro athletes now have a way to connect with their fans that doesn’t rely on network TV to build a fan base and connectivity to the consumers that brands want to reach, Levy says. That change alone has helped women become much more powerful in the sports marketing world.Also Read | Hoping to carry momentum into world championships after Thailand Open win: Chirag ShettyAlso See:For sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted bySaurabh Kumar Tags :Follow PV SindhuFollow Forbes P V Sindhu only Indian among Forbes list of world’s highest-paid female athletesTop Indian shuttler P V Sindhu had withdrawn from the Thailand Open after crashing out of the Japan Open earlier in July.advertisement
Next Rahul Rawat New DelhiSeptember 9, 2019UPDATED: September 9, 2019 19:33 IST KL Rahul struggled to get going in India’s 2-0 win over West Indies (Getty Images)HIGHLIGHTSRohit Sharma will be considered for Test opener role, says MSK PrasadThe chief selector said India are concerned about KL Rahul’s formVirat Kohli is improving as captain with every match: MSK PrasadIndia chief selector MSK Prasad has said he is worried with KL Rahul’s poor form in Test cricket and indicated it might be time for Rohit Sharma to step up as an opener in the five-day format as well.Rohit Sharma is the most dangerous opening batsman in the shorter formats with 3 ODI double hundreds and 4 T20I hundreds but is yet to seal a permanent berth in the Test team. He was part of the Test squad for the 2-match series in the West Indies but he did not get to play either game.Rohit Sharma was seen as a middle-order option but Hanuma Vihari has cemented the No.6 with some sensational performances in the Caribbean. That leaves Rohit Sharma with an opportunity to try and fit in as an opener in the Test side.Back in 2013, Rohit Sharma was promoted to open the innings for India in ODIs with Shikhar Dhawan and he has not looked back since.While Hanuma Vihari has justified Virat Kohli’s decision to pick him over Rohit Sharma in the middle-order during the recent two-Test series against the West Indies, KL Rahul has only flattered to deceive, exactly the point that former captain Sourav Ganguly also made.India next play South Africa at home in a three-match T20I series, which will be followed by three Tests. The Test squad is yet to be announced and the big question is if Rohit will be tried as an opener ahead of Rahul.The answer lies with the captain and the national selectors, who are yet to zero in on the squad for the Test series. Ganguly, VVS Laxman and former opener Gautam Gambhir have insisted that Rohit should be given a chance at the top of the order at the expense of KL Rahul.advertisementNational selectors have not rejected the idea and could consider the proposition when they sit to select the Test team.”As selection committee we haven’t met after the conclusion of the West Indies tour. We will definitely take this (Rohit as opener) point into consideration when we all meet and discuss about it,” MSK Prasad, chairman of the national selection committee, told India Today in an exclusive interview.”KL (Rahul) is definitely a great talent. Of course, he is going through a bit tough time in Test cricket. We are definitely concerned about his form. He needs to spend more time on the wicket and regain his touch and form,” the former wicketkeeper-batsman added.Chahal, Kuldeep defenitely part of T20I set-up: MSK PrasadFor two years in the lead up to the World Cup, India preferred wrist-spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav over seasoned campaigners like R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja.Though Washington Sundar was there in India’s T20 teams, leg-spinner Rahul Chahar’s inclusion has pushed Chahal and Kuldeep out of the squads from the shorter format. India’s next big ICC assignment will be the T20 World Cup next year in Australia. So have Chahal and Kuldeep slipped down the pecking order?Not really, if Prasad is to believed. “In order to bring variety in the spin bowling department, we have been trying youngsters keeping in view of the T20 World Cup in Australia. Chahal and Kuldeep have been outstanding performers in the shorter formats in the last two years. They are definitely ahead in the race now. It’s just that we are trying few other options now.”After an abrupt end to India’s campaign at the World Cup, the team did well on the tour that followed, winning the T20I, ODI and Test series in the Caribbean. Prasad looked reasonably satisfied with the success on the tour and pointed out the positives that the team brought back home.”In shorter formats, we have seen Shreyas Iyer emerging as a matured batsman who can play to the situations and demands of the team and deliver accordingly. Similarly, we have seen (Navdeep) Saini, Krunal (Pandya), Washington (Sundar) progressing well in shorter formats.”In the longer format we have seen solid performances from young Vihari. He was clearly the stand out performer in this series apart from Bumrah, who was outstanding with the ball. I am also very happy with the form of Ajinkya Rahane because he is very crucial for the success of Indian team in this format.”‘Kohli has so much to offer as captain’The victory in the last Test at Jamaica not only handed India the series but also made Virat Kohli India’s most successful Test captain with 28 wins. So how does Prasad, who took over as chairman of selectors in 2016, see the evolution of Virat as captain?advertisement”I am extremely happy that Virat is being hailed as the most successful Test captain in Indian history. He has been improving as captain with every passing game. I feel he has so much to offer as captain in times to come. He is still young and he has a long journey ahead as captain in this format (Test). He has a wonderful mix of youth and experienced players in the side to lead and I wish that he should plan well and lead this team and win the World Test Championship,” said Prasad.Often selectors have to take the flak for the team’s failures and there are always opinion on selection and non-selection of some player or the other. Does that bother the selectors?”Our primary focus should be on identifying right talent and groom that talent before they are inducted into the Indian team. I am not worried about the external factors because they are not in my control. As long as we are doing our job honestly, sincerely and with highest degree of integrity that is good enough. Moreover, I always share with my colleagues that when our intentions are right then nature will conspire itself and help us in executing our jobs to the perfection.Also Read | Afghanistan emulate Australia with record-setting Test win over BangladeshAlso Read | Completely agree with Sourav Ganguly, Rohit Sharma should open for India in Tests: Gautam GambhirAlso See:For sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byAkshay Ramesh Tags :Follow Rohit SharmaFollow KL RahulFollow India vs South AfricaFollow Virat KohliFollow Kuldeep YadavFollow Yuzvendra ChahalFollow Hanuma VihariFollow T20 World Cup 2020 KL Rahul form a concern, will consider Rohit Sharma as Test opener: MSK PrasadKL Rahul managed to score only 101 runs from 4 innings in the Test series in the West Indies and it looks like the selectors are losing patience with the opening batsman.advertisement