Month: November 2019

World Cup 2018: Messi takes Argentina to last-16, Peru sign off on a highWorld Cup 2018: Messi takes Argentina to last-16, Peru sign off on a high

first_imgLionel Messi and Argentina finally got things going at the World Cup.Messi scored an exquisite 14th-minute goal to give the two-time champions the lead in a must-win game against Nigeria on Tuesday, but it wasn’t until Marcos Rojo’s 86th-minute strike that Argentina was assured of a place in the round of 16 with a 2-1 victory.Victor Moses scored from the penalty spot in the 51st minute for Nigeria, putting Argentina in danger of being eliminated without winning a match in Russia.2018 FIFA WORLD CUP: FULL COVERAGEIt took an unlikely goal by Rojo – a center back – to save Argentina with a cushioned volley into the corner.The win gave the Argentines second place in Group D and allowed the soccer-mad nation to forget about the 3-0 loss to Croatia last week that sparked days of soul-searching within the squad and back home.READ REPORTCroatia on the other hand ended Iceland’s chances at the World Cup and helped out Argentina at the same time.Ivan Perisic capitalized on a defensive error to score a 90th-minute winner Tuesday, giving Croatia a 2-1 win over Iceland and first place in Group D on Tuesday.READ REPORTIceland could have finished second in the group with a victory because Argentina beat Nigeria 2-1 at the same time.Instead, the Croats will face Denmark on Sunday in Nizhny Novgorod and Argentina will take on France on Saturday in Kazan.WORLD CUP DAY 13 – HIGHLIGHTSFrance and Denmark produced the World Cup’s first 0-0 draw at the 37th attempt amid boos and whistles from fans on Tuesday.advertisementThe slow-paced game was out of step with a vibrant tournament. But it advanced both teams to the round of 16 unbeaten, with the bonus of no players suspended and no serious injuries.READ REPORTThe draw would always have ensured that outcome, and became inevitable in the second half. Events elsewhere in Group C made this game all but irrelevant.Back at the World Cup for the first time since 1982, Peru isn’t leaving Russia empty handed.WORLD CUP 2018 – FIXTURES | POINTS TABLEThe Peruvians failed to score a goal in their opening two matches, but the team finally gave its fans a reason to celebrate when it ended Australia’s hopes of advancing to the knockout round with a 2-0 victory on Tuesday.READ REPORTThe Australians had to beat Peru and hope Denmark lost to France in the other Group C match, but neither result occurred. France and Denmark drew 0-0 in Moscow.Andre Carrillo’s 18th-minute goal – a half-volley from inside the area – was Peru’s first in a World Cup since its last appearance 36 years ago. Peru hadn’t won a World Cup match since defeating Iran in 1978. France-Denmark play first goalless draw of World Cup 2018As France took on Denmark, Didier Deschamps equalled Raymond Domenech’s record tally of 79 games as France manager.He named Presnel Kimpembe in the starting XI, as he became the fourth to make his first start with France in a World Cup match, after Franck Ribery (2006 vs Switzerland), Morgan Schneiderlin and Lucas Digne (2014 vs Ecuador).But after 90 minutes (and added time), France and Denmark produced the first 0-0 draw in this edition of the World Cup. The goal-less draw ended a record 37-game streak of not having a goalless draw. Peru win a World Cup match since 1978Andre Carillo’s opener (first since 1982) gave Peru the lead in a World Cup game for the first time since 1978, when they had lead against Iran. That match was also the last time they had managed a win (4-1) in the tournament, which is the fourth longest gap between victories in the competition.Paolo Guerrero, who scored the second goal, became the first No.9 to score for Peru at the World Cup and also at the age of 34y 176d became the third oldest South American player. Only Uruguay’s Obdulio Jacinto Varela (36y 279d) and Argentina’s Martin Palermo (36y 227d) are older.Tim Cahil also became the first Australian player to appear at four separate World Cups. Diego Maradona gets Argentine crowd going at World CupArgentina fans broke out into spontaneous chants of “Diego! Diego” when Diego Maradona was shown taking his seat at the St. Petersburg stadium before the Argentina’s World Cup match against Nigeria.The 57-year-old Maradona briefly danced with a woman in the stands as fans took photos of him. He was also seen displaying a banner of himself in the stands. As Messi gave Argentina the lead he was seen thanking the Gods.advertisementBut Maradona appeared to need assistance to walk as a man was seen helping Maradona stay on his feet as he was led away from his seat overlooking the pitch and into an adjacent room in the video posted by Fernando Schwartz, a well-known sports journalist in Mexico.A photograph also posted on Twitter appeared to show two medical staff attending to Maradona.The Argentine website of sports broadcaster ESPN said Maradona was taken to hospital but newspaper La Nacion said he was treated for low blood pressure in the stadium and was able to leave the stadium normally shortly afterwards. Messi reaches century as Argentina qualify with their oldest ever XIArgentina have won all four of the games they have played against Nigeria at the World Cup.Argenita named their oldest ever team for a World Cup game – with the average age being 30 years and 189 days. In goal was Franco Armani, aged 31, become the 17th different goalkeeper to start for Argentina in the World Cup. No country have had more goalkeepers.Lionel Messi scored with his 13th shot of the 2018 World Cup, after 662 minutes of football, with his last previous World Cup goal came against Nigeria as well in the last edition.His 14th minute goal from Messi was the 100th of this edition of the World Cup and also his 100th in a different stadium (including club and country).Other’s hwo have scored the 100th goal of a World Cup are Andres Iniesta (2010) and Neymar (2014).READ MOREMessi also became only the third Argentinian after Diego Maradona (1982, 1986, 1994), Gabriel Batistuta (1994, 1998, 2002)to have scored in score in three editions of the World Cup, in 2006, 2014 and 2018. The goal was Messi’s 6th World Cup goal, and also the first he has scored with his right foot.Marcos Rojo scored with Argentina’s only shot on target in the second half, which was only his third goals for his national team. He had scored in the 2015 Copa America, and both of his World Cup goals have now come against Nigeria. Iceland’s poor record against Croatia continuesBefore the start of the match, Iceland had beaten Croatia only on one occasion and after the game their record read 1 win, 1 draw, 5 losses.Mateo Kovacic became the first outfield player at the 2018 World Cup to play at least 80 minutes in a single game without misplacing a pass.Croatia have now won three consecutive World Cup games for the first time in their history. With the loss, Iceland also crashed out, meaning both the debutants in this edition went out in the group stage.(With inputs from AP)last_img read more

Asus ZenFone 5Z vs Honor 10 vs Nokia 7 Plus: Honor and Nokia should be very nervousAsus ZenFone 5Z vs Honor 10 vs Nokia 7 Plus: Honor and Nokia should be very nervous

first_imgAsus has been on a sort of roll lately, especially in India. After launching a pretty stellar ZenFone Max Pro M1 to take on affordable phones like the Redmi Note 5 Pro, the company is quickly back with a brand new smartphone, this time taking on affordable flagships like the OnePlus 6 and Honor 10. The Asus ZenFone 5Z was launched in India boasting of flagship specs at a price that puts even the OnePlus 6 to shame. Starting at Rs 29,999, the Asus flagship is the cheapest phone to sport a Snapdragon 845 chipset in the country.The phone obviously directly competes against the OnePlus 6, a comparison on that will follow shortly. However, the ZenFone 5Z’s middle 6GB + 128GB variant also competes against the Honor 10, which is priced at Rs 32,999. The Nokia 7 Plus, on the other hand, may not be a flagship, but it has been a pretty attractive option in the sub-Rs. 30,000 for a few reasons. The Nokia phone is cheaper at Rs 25,999, but here’s where things get interesting – the ZenFone 5Z can also be purchased for as low as Rs 26,999 thanks to a flat Rs 3,000 off via ICICI Bank debit and credit card. This gives HMD Global reasons to worry about the Nokia 7 Plus as well.Here’s what Asus ZenFone 5Z brings to the sub-Rs 30,000 segmentSo far, OnePlus has enjoyed the title of being a flagship killer because the company has brought phones that boast flagship specs at an affordable price. But the ZenFone 5Z changes things. Asus’ flagship brings a premium design with glass on the front and the back and a metal frame in between. Completing the premium design is a tall 6.2-inch FHD+ display with a notch cut out and a 19:9 aspect ratio. Talking about the hardware, the ZenFone 5Z is powered by a flagship Snapdragon 845 chipset and the base variant comes with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage.advertisement The ZenFone 5Z houses a 3,300mAh battery with fast charging support, supports stereo speakers and High-Res audio, among other things. The dual camera setup includes a primary 12-megapixel sensor with large 1.4um pixels, f/1.8 aperture, dual-pixel phase detection autofocus, four-axis OIS and EIS. The secondary camera comes with an 8-megapixel wide-angle sensor for depth of field shots. Up front, the ZenFone 5Z sports an 8-megapixel sensor and the camera also supports Face Unlock and what Asus calls ZeniMoji, which is a take on Apple’s Animoji feature.Apart from some powerful hardware, the ZenFone 5Z also highlights a smart AI-based software. The phone runs Android Oreo-based ZenUI and Asus says it has cut down on a lot of bloatware, keeping things cleaner and simpler. Notably, the phone also comes with a lot of AI smarts. The ZenFone 5Z uses AI and machine learning to identify 16 different scenes and objects and adjust the camera settings accordingly to best capture the image. Asus also uses AI when it comes to charging the phones.Will Honor 10 be able to stave off the ZenFone 5ZHonor played its cards right when it launched the Honor 10 in India at Rs 32,999, a price tag that was previously associated with the OnePlus 5 and OnePlus 5T. Honor was perhaps aware that OnePlus would launch the OnePlus 6 a couple of notches higher. The Honor 10 justifies its price tag by not only bringing a stunning design that includes an all-glass design with an aurora colour scheme on the back and an edge-to-edge 5.84-inch Full-HD+ IPS LCD notched display up front.Apart from the looks, the Honor 10 also brags about some serious hardware that includes an AI-based Kirin 970 processor coupled with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. The phone holds a 3,400mAh battery and Android 8.1 Oreo-based EMUI 8.1. The Honor 10 also brings some impressive cameras that include a dual rear camera system that comprises of one 16-megapixel colour or RGB sensor and another 24-megapixel monochrome sensor, and a 24-megapixel camera up front. The Honor 10 is arguably more visually appealing than the Asus ZenFone 5Z. The cameras are perhaps at par with what Asus’ flagship offers, although the Honor 10’s selfie camera will be hard to beat. Both the phones rely heavily on AI when it comes to recognising scenes and capturing that ideal photo. In fact, the ZenFone 5Z may have a bit on advantage thanks to its wide-angle lens. As for the performance, a Snapdragon 845 chipset will be faster compared to the Kirin 970 and the ZenFone 5Z gets an advantage there as well.ZenFone 5Z has the potential to rattle the segment and make Honor and Nokia sweat quite a bitBut perhaps the biggest deciding factor will be the software. The Honor 10 has a pretty cluttered EMUI OS that takes a little getting used to. It is also filled with bloatware that can weigh down on the phone after a while. The ZenFone 5Z also has a skin on top, but Asus has made its ZenUI simpler, cleaner with fewer pre-loaded apps, and this should see a few takers.advertisementNokia 7 Plus has one big advantageYou might think it’s a little unfair comparing the Nokia 7 Plus with the ZenFone 5Z. The Nokia 7 Plus runs on a mid-range chipset and not Snapdragon 845. But one will inevitably have to compare the two considering the ZenFone 5Z can be purchased for as low as Rs 26,999 after a flat Rs 3,000 discount offered via ICICI Bank debit and credit card. This makes the ZenFone 5Z even more attractive than before ad challenges HMD’s mid-range handset that is found for Rs 25,999. The Nokia 7 Plus may not come with a glass design, but the phone looks quite premium being machined out of a single block of Series 6000 aluminium and getting a ceramic coating on the back with copper accents all around. Beyond the design, however, the Nokia 7 Plus has one really big advantage over the ZenFone 5Z – stock Android.ALSO READ: Asus ZenFone 5Z is cheapest phone in India with Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 but software is its main USPThe Nokia 7 Plus is perhaps the only phone in this segment that comes with pure, stock Android. It is also the only phone right now that’s part of the Android One program, which means the phone will get regular Android security updates and a guarantee of Android P and Q in the future. The same cannot be said about the ZenFone 5Z and Honor 10. As a pure Android phone, it doesn’t get better than the Nokia 7 Plus. In fact, thanks to a well optimised software, the Nokia 7 Plus manages to perform well with a Snapdragon 660 chipset.Overall, I would say that the ZenFone 5Z has the potential to rattle the segment and make Honor and Nokia sweat quite a bit. Both the Honor 10 and Nokia 7 Plus are admirable phones that look great and perform really well, but the ZenFone 5Z sits in a position where it is able to attack both of them on either direction. It offers an all-round flagship package at a price point that is absolutely stellar. But we’ll know just how good the ZenFone 5Z really is in our detailed review so stay tuned for that.last_img read more

Willian to take legal action over ‘forged’ letter regarding change of agentsWillian to take legal action over ‘forged’ letter regarding change of agents

first_imgChelsea midfielder Willian said that he has initiated legal proceedings following the emergence of a “forged” letter which shows a change of agents for the Brazil international.Willian posted the letter, which states that Denirobson Dias had given permission to Renee Pinheiro Anunciacao to represent Willian to clubs in the United Kingdom and France, on his social media.”In the recent days I have been informed that a ‘letter of authorization for player agent FIFA’, allegedly signed in my name has been circulated through the football market,” Willian said on Instagram.”Since there seem to be clear evidence that my signature has been forged, or anyway misused, I hereby inform that my lawyers are already instructed to proceed with all appropriate legal measures before any competent courts or authorities.”Willian has been linked to moves to Barcelona and Manchester United but Chelsea’s huge asking price have rebuked the parties in any bid for the Brazilian so far.Willian, who represented Brazil at the World Cup in Russia, returned to training with Chelsea on Thursday ahead of their Community Shield tie against Premier League champions Manchester City on Sunday. Earlier, he had failed to come to training due to passport issues.last_img read more

Tottenham’s Pochettino insists club will be competitive despite no signingsTottenham’s Pochettino insists club will be competitive despite no signings

first_imgTottenham Hotspur became the first Premier League side to not sign a player in the transfer window as it shut on Thursday.But despite the lack of signings, manager Mauricio Pochettino said he was happy with his squad despite it looking certain that they won’t sign any players in the transfer window which shuts on Thursday.The Argentine appeared at the end of last season to call on the club’s owners to make some signings after Spurs finished in the Premier League top three for the third consecutive season.Their pursuit of Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish has ended but Pochettino seemed content when speaking to the media ahead of Saturday’s league opener at Newcastle United, saying it was not about making “fashionable” signings.Barcelona’s Yerry Mina, Andre Gomes sign for Everton, Kalinic moves to Atletico”It’s difficult to understand for people that Tottenham didn’t sign or sell a player, but sometimes in football you need to behave differently and we’re happy with our squad,” he said.”If we cannot improve our squad it’s better to keep it together. When it’s not possible it’s not possible and you have to move on and believe in the way we work and be competitive.”It’s not about adding because it’s fashionable. I have no doubt we are going to be competitive, with or without signings.”Tottenham will move into a new 62,000-seater stadium in September after playing their first ‘home’ game against Fulham at Wembley Stadium where they lodged last season.MASSIVE EFFORTadvertisementPochettino praised the work being done on the club’s new ground and the training complex and in securing top players like England duo Harry Kane and Dele Alli on long contracts.”The club made a massive effort to extend contracts like Harry Kane,” he said. “It’s making an amazing effort to finish our stadium. We finish the lodge at the training ground.”With so many Tottenham players involved in the latter stages of the World Cup, Pochettino has had little time to work with the whole squad leading into the first game.He even joked he was thinking he could get a game.”I am with full energy, I am fitter than last season because I was thinking if a player involved in the World Cup arrives not fit then I have a possibility to play,” the former Argentina international defender said at the club’s training ground.”I am so happy with the way they came back to training on Monday. I am so proud of them because they were very focused on trying to arrive in a very good condition.”Some need more time to get fit than others. Some will be fit to start the game. Some will be fit to be on the bench. Maybe some will stay here to try to reach the level, to give more time, because maybe we don’t want to take risks.”Tottenham, who also played Newcastle in the first game of last season, are without midfielders Victor Wanyama (knee) and Erik Lamela (muscle injury) for Saturday’s trip north.last_img read more

Former Nike executives sue over discrimination, sexual harassmentFormer Nike executives sue over discrimination, sexual harassment

first_imgWashington, Aug 10 (AFP) Former US executives of Nike are suing the company on grounds that it failed to pay and promote women at the same rate as men and ignored widespread sexual harassment.The 40-page court document filed in Nike’s home state of Oregon details the experiences of several senior executives who worked for the sporting goods manufacturer for many years, and are asking other women to join the class action suit.The suit names former Nike brand president Trevor Edwards and former head of human resources David Ayre for creating and tolerating what the suit calls a hostile workplace for women.Edwards, who was in line to lead the company, was forced out in March after myriad reports of harassment against female employees came to light.In the new scrutiny created by the #MeToo movement, about a dozen other executives were dismissed afterward as the company tried to get a handle on the scandal.But the suit also documents widespread allegations of pay discrimination against women employees who say they received lower pay than men for the same work.”At Nike, the numbers tell a story of a company where women are devalued and demeaned,” the lawsuit alleges. “For many women at Nike, the company hierarchy is an unclimbable pyramid.” “Nike judges women more harshly than men, which means lower salaries, smaller bonuses, and fewer stock options.” The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.Kelly Cahill, who worked for Nike for four years as a director, and Sara Johnston, who was there for nine years, filed the complaint and several other women have joined the lawsuit. AFP NSANSAadvertisementlast_img read more

Playing for Bangladesh again will be my greatest achievement: Mohammad AshrafulPlaying for Bangladesh again will be my greatest achievement: Mohammad Ashraful

first_imgMohammad Ashraful will be making his return to cricket after serving a five-year ban for his involvement in match-fixing and spot-fixing during Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) back in 2013.The 34-year-old Bangladesh batsman, whose punishment for the offence will end on August 13, said that he has been waiting for the day for quite long and asserted that making a comeback for his national side would be a great achievement for him.”I have been waiting for August 13, 2018, for a long time now. It has been more than five years since the day I admitted my involvement. Although I have played domestic cricket in the last two seasons, there is now nothing preventing me from being eligible for national selection,” ESPNcricinfo.com quoted Ashraful, as saying.”Playing for Bangladesh again will be my greatest achievement,” he added.In May 2013, Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) had initiated an investigation in the spot-fixing and match-fixing charges that were levied against the batsman, following which he was indefinitely suspended from the team.Later, Ashraful admitted to fixing charges and subsequently, he was handed over a ban of eight years by anti-corruption tribunal of BPL. The ban was later revised to five years following an appeal against the suspension by the batsman.Reflecting on his future cricket plans, the right-hand batsman said that he has already gone through a month-long training and would now join the pre-season training ahead of the upcoming National Cricket League later in the year.Ashraful has played a total of 178 one day matches for Bangladesh and made 3468 runs with an average of 22.09, while in Tests he has scored 2737 runs with an average of 24.01 in 61 games.advertisement(With inputs from ANI)last_img read more

Motorola One with Snapdragon 625, 4GB RAM spotted on GeekBenchMotorola One with Snapdragon 625, 4GB RAM spotted on GeekBench

first_imgFor weeks now, we have been hearing about the Motorola One and One Power phones that are yet to be unveiled. Interestingly, the Motorola P30, which we barely knew anything about apart from some renders, went official in China earlier this week. It seems the Motorola One and One Power may be global versions of the P30, but with some subtle differences in design, as per some reports. It also looks like these phones are nearing their launch after the Motorola One was spotted on GeekBench this week.As per the benchmark site, the Motorola One will come with some paired down specs. The listing reveals that the Motorola One will be powered by an octa-core Snapdragon 625 chipset coupled with 4GB of RAM. This contradicts the TENAA listing late last month that listed the device running Snapdragon 636. It now seems the Motorola One Power will be the one getting the more powerful chipset.The Motorola One was benchmarked running Android 8.1 Oreo which is expected to be stock Android considering the Motorola One duo are tipped to launch as Android One phones. But depending on the launch of the device, Motorola could ship the phone with Android 9 Pie. Apart from this, the benchmark site does not give away any other detail.Based on renders and leaked live images, the Motorola One Power will look identical to the P30 with a wide notch, an iPhone X-like vertical dual camera setup and an all-glass body. The Motorola One, on the other hand, will come with a smaller notch and some differences in the look of the rear cameras.advertisementBased on what we know so far, the Motorola One will sport a 6.18-inch FHD+ notched display with a 19:9 aspect ratio. A 16MP + 5MP dual camera configuration is expected on the back and a 12-megapixel selfie camera up front. The Motorola One will also get a noticeably smaller battery 2,820mAh, while the One Power will house a 4,850mAh battery as per past reports.There is no word yet when Motorola plans to unveil these phones and whether they will make their way to India. With the Motorola P30 now official, it’s only a matter of time before the company announces its Android One phones for the global market.last_img read more

Coming soon: Workshops to teach stress and finance-management to athletesComing soon: Workshops to teach stress and finance-management to athletes

first_imgNew Delhi, Sep 20 (PTI) Indian athletes’ training regimen will not just be about honing sporting skills but also learning “life skills” such as stress and finance management, the Sports Authority of India (SAI) announced Thursday, saying the new aspects will be an integral part of their soon-to-be-launched workshops. The SAI’s Mission Olympic Cell (MOC) held a meeting here Thursday to discuss the road-map for the 2020 Olympics to “ensure that India’s performance at the Olympicswould be its best ever.” It was decided that the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) committee will “look at sensitising and educating athletes through workshops on relevant topics and life skills”. “The athletes who represent India on an international platform are ambassadors for the country and their conduct away from the playing arena is as important to theirwell-being as their performance on it,” the SAI said in a statement. “The focus will be on providing skills to deal with stress, media management and how to manage their finances. The coaches of the athletes will be an integral part of these workshops,” it added. It was also decided that a network of coaches, academies and sports science specialists in India and globally will be put together to form a strong support system. “Software and technology will be used to record training, performance, injuryand other similar aspects of an athlete which will be further monitored, researched and analysed before receiving intervention through a scientific process,” it said. Besides, the cell cleared Rs 88,040 for star javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra’s recent training stint before the IAAF Continental Cup in Czech Republic.advertisement A presentation was also made by the TOPS panel following a recce team’s visit to Tokyo in July. The recce team was led by SAI officials and comprised representatives from private NGOs Olympic Gold Quest, JSW Sports and GoSports. “They interacted with the Indian diaspora to identify appropriate accommodationand food for the Indian athletes not only during the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 but alsofor any training and visits of the athletes to Tokyo before the Olympics. “This will help in a seamless cultural assimilation of Indian athletes prior to the Olympics.” The MOC deliberated on the strategy to provide support to TOPS athletes in their preparations. The meeting also ratified financial proposals put forth by some athletes, requesting funding for their training. PTI PM PDSPDSlast_img read more

Laver Cup: Kyle Edmund gives Team Europe 2-0 lead over Team WorldLaver Cup: Kyle Edmund gives Team Europe 2-0 lead over Team World

first_imgBritain’s Kyle Edmund regained command in a tiebreaker and beat American Jack Sock on Friday as Team Europe took a 2-0 lead in the Laver Cup.Edmund’s 6-4, 5-7, 10-6 victory followed Grigor Dimitrov’s 6-1, 6-4 win over Frances Tiafoe of Team World in the opener at the United Center.Edmund broke Sock’s service to capture the first set 6-4. Sock, who came out to warm up wearing a Chicago Bulls jersey over his shirt, fought back and broke Edmund to go up 6-5 in the second set before serving it out as the crowd came alive.Edmund then raced to a 7-2 lead in the 10-point tiebreaker that is used in the Laver Cup when the first two sets are split.Sock was to play doubles later Friday with Kevin Anderson against the Team Europe star pairing of Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic.Dimitrov had 13 winners and two service breaks to win the first set 6-1, finishing it off with one of his five opening-set aces.Tiafoe was a late replacement for Juan Martin del Potro on Team World. The 20-year-old American played for in the Davis Cup semifinals last weekend in Croatia, losing the deciding match in five sets to Borna Coric.He played much tougher in the second set Friday against Dimitrov, getting a service break for 4-4 before Dimitrov broke back and served out the victory in a match that featured extended baseline rallies.(With AP inputs)last_img read more

Barcelona door always open for Pep Guardiola, says club president Josep BartomeuBarcelona door always open for Pep Guardiola, says club president Josep Bartomeu

first_imgPep Guardiola would be welcomed back to Barcelona with open arms after club president Josep Maria Bartomeu said the door is always open for the La Liga side’s former player and coach to return to the Nou Camp.The Manchester City manager played for Barcelona for 11 years before becoming coach in 2008, leading the club to 14 trophies including two Champions League titles.He left in 2012 and went on to coach Bayern Munich before joining City but last month said in an interview with the Universo Valdano TV programme that he would like to finish his career coaching at Barca’s famous La Masia youth academy.”I read a few days ago that he’s planning in the future to come back to Barcelona and maybe take care of La Masia,” Bartomeu said in an interview with The Times of London.”I think it’s good news for our club that he could do that one day.”He knows the door is always open for him. Even when he told us he wanted to leave in 2012, we suggested to him he could take care of La Masia. He preferred (a clean break). Nobody told him to leave Barcelona. He could come back in future. He knows this. Why not?”Guardiola won the Premier League with Manchester City last season, with a record total of 100 points.last_img read more

Trump hangs painting of self at bar with Republican presidentsTrump hangs painting of self at bar with Republican presidents

first_imgWashington, Oct 16 (AFP) It could be any Republican president’s fantasy: hanging out at a bar with fellow conservative American leaders of years, decades, and even centuries past.For President Donald Trump, that fictional “happy hour” exists, in the form of a painting hanging at the White House that caused a huge uproar on social media when it was revealed over the weekend.The president’s critics say the scene is as real as some of the claims Trump made during his interview on “60 Minutes” that aired Sunday where a glimpse of the painting could be seen in the background.Trump’s likeness has been ruthlessly disfigured by “high” and “low” artists alike, who have made no secret of their dislike of the Republican president.But in “The Republican Club,” a painting by Andy Thomas, an uncharacteristically brawny Trump sports an affable, if slightly pinched smile as he is joined by the likes of Abraham Lincoln, Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, Teddy Roosevelt and George W Bush.The whole group is chatting around a table and seems to be having a jolly good time while sharing drinks, apart perhaps for Calvin Coolidge, who hovers in the background a short distance away.Trump, who does not drink alcohol, appears to be having a soda.Instead of sitting, Roosevelt has a foot propped up on a chair as he leans in intently, hand on one knee. Gerald Ford is leaning against a pillar. Reagan and Nixon are trading glances, and George H.W. Bush looks on. Eisenhower leans in next to Trump.advertisementThe fantasy creation was mercilessly mocked on social media.One Twitter user wrote: “Neither Lincoln nor Teddy would be caught dead at this table.” “Like, you could borrow stuff from the Smithsonian or the National Gallery of Art but, nope, you’re gonna decorate the White House with crap from the Things Remembered kiosk at the mall,” wrote journalist Benjamin Freed in another comment. Indeed, the Trump White House has a strained relationship with the art world. It has no curator — William Allman, who long held the post, retired last year and has yet to be replaced.And when the Trumps asked the Guggenheim Museum to borrow a Vincent van Gogh painting, they were instead offered a solid gold toilet by Maurizio Cattelan, a satirical, if fully functioning sculpture called “America.”Thomas, who specializes in figurative paintings of cowboys, also made a Democratic presidents’ version of the image.In both the Republican and Democratic versions, there’s a vague rendering of a woman in the background, a nod to a potential first female American president.”Even in Trump’s thrift store trash painting, a woman is coming to end the bullshit when they aren’t paying any attention,” read a comment by Twitter user Emily Colucci.Others digitally altered images of other protagonists like North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Trump supporter and rapper Kanye West or Russian President Vladimir Putin onto some of the other presidents’ heads.Thomas said Trump gave him some positive feedback about the painting.”He basically said, ‘Most portraits of me I really don’t like,'” Thomas told Time magazine.”And he’s right. He’s hard to paint. There’s some bad ones out there.” (AFP) PMSPMSlast_img read more

What does football legend Tim Cahill do on off day? Play a ‘bit of cricket’What does football legend Tim Cahill do on off day? Play a ‘bit of cricket’

first_imgAustralian Tim Cahill is a football icon. After conquering most parts of the globe, the man is currently in India.Playing for Jamshedpur FC in the Indian Super League, Cahill when asked why the move, had answered, “Jamshedpur has no distraction unlike we see in the bigger cities. No traffic blockage, we have great training facilities, apartments, gym, swimming pool everything is available within the complex so yeah, it’s good for the players.”Winless after the first two games (a loss and a draw), Jamshedpur will finally be playing at home against ATK on Sunday.And on the action of homecoming, the all-time top-scorer of the Australian national team proffered to play a bit of cricket.Having captained the football team, Cahill is not novice either with the bat in his hand.He posted a video of him batting on his social media handle with the caption, “Little bit of cricket on my day off. We don’t like cricket, we love it.”Little bit of cricket on my day off we don’t like cricket, we love it pic.twitter.com/EBfTDBeSymTIM CAHILL (@Tim_Cahill) October 18, 2018Coming from Australia, Cahill knows a thing or two about the sport and surely has the knowledge of the love and rivalry between the two countries.In fact on arrival, Cahill had professed his love for Sachin Tendulkar and also said that he is now a Virat Kohli fan.READ – Australia’s record goalscorer Cahill is a fan of Tendulkar and Kohli”In Australia, the all time favourite legend from the Indian cricket team is Sachin Tendulkar. It is without a shadow of a doubt. But now it is obviously Virat Kohli because I like his background story of how he has achieved what he is today.”advertisementlast_img read more

Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 launch on October 25: Snapdragon 845, 10GB RAM and everything else we know so farXiaomi Mi Mix 3 launch on October 25: Snapdragon 845, 10GB RAM and everything else we know so far

first_imgOn Thursday, October 25, Xiaomi is going to announce the Mi Mix 3 at an event in Beijing. The company has been revealing key details about the upcoming flagship almost every day now and we have a good amount of knowledge about what the device will be bringing. Xiaomi is looking to close the year on a strong note, which is why the company seems to be going all out on the Mi Mix 3. The original Mi Mix can be credited for starting the bezel-less trend, and the third iteration will likely inspire a few more trends.From 10GB of RAM to 5G support, the Mi Mix 3 will be bringing a few interesting features never seen before on a smartphone. The company has also been making some strides in terms of design as well, by offering a near bezel-less display with a slide-out mechanism similar to the Oppo Find X. Based on everything Xiaomi and past leaks have told us, here’s what you can expect the Mi Mix 3 to bring later this month.– Starting off with the design, the Mi Mix 3 will sport an all-screen display. By all-screen we mean truly all screen and almost no bezels all around. The teasers and images posted by the company show an edge-to-edge display with no notch. So, Xiaomi is taking the Oppo route and is hiding the cameras and sensors in a slide out mechanism instead.– There is a difference, however, to how the mechanism works on the Mi Mix 3 compared to the Find X. Oppo’s phone mechanically raises the slide out panel when trying to unlock the phone through face unlock or when opening the camera app. With the Mi Mix 3, it seems the user will have to physically slide down the front panel with their finger to reveal the cameras behind. This will likely be required every time you want to unlock the phone via face unlock, but it’s just a speculation as of now.advertisement– We haven’t seen a lot of images revealing the rear panel of the Mi Mix 3, so it’s hard to say what we can expect. If it’s anything like the Mi Mix 2, then you can expect a curved ceramic body with the M Mix 3 as well. We also expect to see dual rear cameras on the back and a rear-mounted fingerprint sensor, unless Xiaomi has decided to use an in-display sensor instead. — The Mi Mix 3 will rock a Snapdragon 845 chipset since Qualcomm is yet to announce its successor. More important is the fact that this chipset will be paired with a whopping 10GB of RAM. This would make the Mi Mix 3 the first smartphone to come with this amount of RAM. This is of course the top-end variant, and Xiaomi may announce a 6GB or 8GB variant of the as well. The 10GB variant will be available in certain markets only, as per Xiaomi.– Apart from confirming 10GB of RAM, Xiaomi has also revealed that the Mi Mix 3 will be one of the first commercial smartphones to support 5G speeds. The next generation cellular technology will ensure blazing fast speeds and the Mi Mix 3 will be ready for that. 5G is yet to see a commercial deployment and it will be a few years before it becomes a standard.– Xiaomi’s teaser also confirmed that the Mi Mix 3 will get 24-megapixel dual camera setup on the front.However, it’s still unclear whether both the sensors are 24MP or just one of them. Either way, this would be a significant update over the 5MP front-facing camera on the Mi Mix 2.– Some rumours suggest that the Mi Mix 3 will come with a dedicated Xiao AI button placed on one side of the phone. The button will likely work similar to the Bixby button on some Samsung phones. Pressing the button will activate Xiaomi’s AI assistant that will help you with day-to-day tasks.– As for the pricing, reports say that the Mi Mix 3 will start at CNY 3799 which comes to around Rs 40,000 in India. This price is said to be for the 6GB + 256GB variant. To recall, the Mi Mix 2 was launched in India at Rs 35,999, but the phone has since received a few price cuts and can now be found for Rs 29,999 on Flipkart.last_img read more

Don’t need a foreign coach, feels archer Deepika KumariDon’t need a foreign coach, feels archer Deepika Kumari

first_imgKolkata, Oct 29 (IANS) Managing to win a bronze at the recently-concluded Archery World Cup Finals without a coach, star Indian recurve archer Deepika Kumari feels there is no need to rope in a foreign coach ahead of the World Championships as it could further complicate their preparations.The Archery Association of India (AAI) — acting on directions of the Sports Authority of India (SAI) — had failed to provide a coach to archers Abhishek Verma, Jyothi Surekha and Deepika for the World Cup final last month after Jiwanjot Singh Teja resigned over a Dronacharya Award snub.The cavalier attitude of AAI was seen as a heavy discouragement for the archers who qualified for the marquee event after a gruelling battle at the four World Cup stages earlier this year.”I cannot comment on that (no coach given at the World Cup final). We need a national coach but right now in India we do not have too many of them. And the good coaches are busy preparing upccoming players,” Deepika told reporters on the sidelines of the first invitational Indian Open Indoor Archery tournament that concluded at the Netaji Indoor Stadium here on Sunday.Asked if roping in a foreign coach would solve the problem, Deepika said, “If we rope in a foreign coach now and he or she will teach us new things, it won’t help.””We have already worked on a certain technique and now suddenly you will change it, it will take 3-4 years more. We would want to polish our form and work on the mental aspect as well.”The Indian recurve contingent returned empty-handed from this year’s Asian Games while the compound team — both men’s and women’s — bagged silver.The recurve archers have been on a downward spiral for quite some time now, not winning anything at the 2016 Rio Olympics and 2014 Incheon Asian Games too.During the last two years, the AAI tried out more than a dozen archers for the men’s team, with 26-year-old Atanu Das being the constant member.The compound archers, meanwhile, underwent a 10-day training camp under Italian star archer Sergio Pagni before the the 2018 Jakarta Asiad where the likes of Abhishek Verma, Rajat Chauhan and Aman Saini won silver in the men’s category while Muskan Kirar, Madhumita Kumari and Jyothi Surekha pocketed silver in the women’s section.The World Archery Championships will be held in June next year and Deepika said it will be the most important competition for them as Olympic quotas will be up for grabs.”We have very little time to prepare for World Championship. If we feel the requirement to play a tournament in between, we will play the World Cup.””But 2019 will be a very important year for us. We have not been doing well as a team for the last two years. I hope the trials are conducted well and the team is stronger than before so that we can return (from the 2019 World Championship) with a quota. That is very important,” said Deepika.The de-recognised AAI is slated to have its elections in December and only after that can the national calendar be planned.”The calendar is not out yet as elections are still pending. We can tell only after that,” Deepika signed off.–IANSdm/tri/vmadvertisementlast_img read more

Sania Mirza and Shoaib Malik decide name of their baby boySania Mirza and Shoaib Malik decide name of their baby boy

first_imgIndian Tennis star Sania Mirza and Pakistani cricketer Shoib Malik, who were blessed with a son on Tuesday morning, have named the little one Izhaan Mirza-Malik.The first name means God’s gift, as the parents feel that he is truly one.Sania delivered the baby in Rainbow Hospital here under the guidance of Praneeti Reddy.READ – Sania Mirza and Shoaib Malik blessed with a baby boyShoaib broke the news on social media, tweeting: “Excited to announce: It’s a boy, and my girl is doing great and keeping strong as usual #Alhumdulilah. Thank you for the wishes and Duas, we are humbled.”Excited to announce: Its a boy, and my girl is doing great and keeping strong as usual #Alhumdulilah. Thank you for the wishes and Duas, we are humbled #BabyMirzaMalikShoaib Malik (@realshoaibmalik) October 30, 2018Saina’ sister too posted a photo on Instagram to congratulate the couple. Sania married Shoaib in a traditional Hyderabadi Muslim wedding ceremony on April 12, 2010.Sania at the ‘Goa Fest 2018’ earlier this year had said that their child would keep surnames of both of them.”Today I will tell you a secret. My husband and I have spoken about it and we have decided that whenever we have a child, the child will have Mirza-Malik as a surname and not just Malik. So that’s where we stand as a family including my husband. He actually wants a daughter,” Sania had said.advertisement(With inputs from IANS)last_img read more

Minerva forfeit I-League tie vs Real Kashmir in Srinagar due to unrest after Pulwama attackMinerva forfeit I-League tie vs Real Kashmir in Srinagar due to unrest after Pulwama attack

first_imgDefending champions Minerva Punjab FC Saturday forfeited their I-League match against Real Kashmir FC in Srinagar after the All India Football Federation (AIFF) turned down their request to relocate the fixture in the aftermath of the Pulwama terrorist attacks.The match was scheduled for Sunday and Minerva said its foreign players have been advised by their respective countries’ embassies to pull out.”…we regret to inform you that this is not a risk that we are ready to take hence we shall not be travelling to the turbulent region,” the Punjab club said in its letter to the AIFF.Minerva also said that it did not receive the security assurances it had sought from the AIFF following the attack on Thursday which led to the death of 40 CRPF personnel. It is being termed as the deadliest terrorist strike in three decades in Jammu and Kashmir.”Considering the extraordinary circumstances following the Pulwama attack just 20Km from Srinagar Airport, the Ministry of Home affairs need to approve the football match being held. If the CRPF convoys are not safe, then we are very soft targets for such attacks,” the club stated.”We had asked for written assurance and permission from Ministry of Home Affairs which we still haven’t got from your or Home team’s end. Please note that our foreign players have already received Travel Advisory Warnings from their respective embassies asking them not to travel to Srinagar till further notice,” it added.Minerva once again urged the AIFF “to delay the match for at least a fortnight till situation in the valley is settled.”advertisement”…alternately we are ready to play in Delhi, Chandigarh or any other neutral venue,” the club said.Earlier, I-League CEO Sunando Dhar said local security authorities in Srinagar gave the go-ahead to hold the match at the TRC Ground. He said the AIFF was assured of all the necessary security arrangements for the players and officials by the local authorities.”Our officials are already in Srinagar in preparation of the match. I have spoken to the match commissioner and he told me that the situation in Srinagar is currently normal. The local security in-charge of the match has also assured full security to the players, officials and all those related to the match,” Dhar told PTI on Saturday.”We have been assured that the whole security bandobast of players’ transport from the airport to the team hotel and for travelling from the team hotel to the ground and return on match day will all be provided. So we have decided to go ahead with the match,” he added.But Minerva said that the arrangements mentioned by the AIFF “are routine” for any visiting team.Minerva owner Ranjit Bajaj said his side decided to forfeit the match due to security concerns and as a mark of respect for the slain CRPF Jawans.”We are not going to play the match, we will forfeit it. We have decided it and I have no second thought in doing that,” he said.Real Kashmir will get all the three points. The league debutants will be on 35 points from 17 matches. Leaders Chennai City FC (34 points from 16 matches) will play against Shillong Lajong on Sunday.”The AIFF wants to portray that the situation in Srinagar is normal but it is not normal there,” Bajaj said.Third-placed East Bengal (31 points from 15 matches), who are scheduled to play against Real Kashmir on February 28, have also got in touch with the AIFF after the attack, expressing similar security concerns.last_img read more

Watch: R Ashwin does bhangra after starring in KXIP’s 12-run win vs RRWatch: R Ashwin does bhangra after starring in KXIP’s 12-run win vs RR

first_imgCaptain Ravichandran Ashwin had to do the customary bhangra dance after Kings XI Punjab’s convincing victory over Rajasthan Royals in Mohali on Tuesday.It has become a ritual of sorts for the Kings XI Punjab players to do the bhangra after every win on their home ground and Ashwin had to do the same at the IS Bindra stadium.Bollywood actor Sonu Sood was also seen dancing to the tunes of the dhol along with Ashwin, who was even picked up by one of the dholwallahs.Ashwin seemed in high spirits and why wouldn’t he be, as his team is doing really well this season in the Indian Premier League.View this post on InstagramBhangra ta sajda jado nachche sadda skipper! . . . #SaddaPunjab #KXIPvRR #VIVOIPL @rashwin99A post shared by Kings XI Punjab (@kxipofficial) on Apr 16, 2019 at 12:18pm PDTKings XI notched up their fifth victory and bounced back from two successive losses to beat Rajasthan Royals by 12 runs in front of their home crowd on Tuesday.Ashwin starred with bat and ball while KL Rahul hit his 4th fifty of the season as Kings XI defended the total of 182 by restricting the Royals to 170 for 7 in 20 overs. KXIP now have 10 points from 9 matches while RR have lost 6 out of their 8 matches this season.Invited to bat, Rahul, who was named in India’s World Cup squad on Monday, and David Miller (40 off 27) shared a 85-run stand to lay the foundation.Ashwin then smashed a four and successive sixes in the last two balls to put KXIP in a strong position.advertisementThe hosts then returned to restrict Rajasthan to 170 for seven, courtesy some superb bowling by Ashwin (2 for 24) and Murugan Ashwin (1 for 24) in the middle overs after Arshdeep Singh’s maiden two IPL wickets. Mohammad Shami was expensive but came good in the final overs, scalping two wickets.Also Read | IPL 2019: KL Rahul storms past 1000 runs for KXIP in only his 23rd matchAlso Read | KXIP vs RR Highlights, IPL 2019Also Read | KL Rahul in a good space now after a tough couple of months, says Karun Nairlast_img read more

I hope to do well if I get a chance to play in World Cup: Navdeep SainiI hope to do well if I get a chance to play in World Cup: Navdeep Saini

first_imgPacer Navdeep Saini, who is among India’s standbys for the World Cup, says he is ready for his big break in the mega event should the need arises.After attracting selectors’ attention with a splendid season for Delhi in domestic cricket, the 26-year-old has impressed with his pace and bounce for RCB in the IPL.The uncapped pacer is the sole bowler among the standbys with the others being Ambati Rayudu and Rishabh Pant. Saini will also be travelling with the World Cup squad as one of the four net bowlers alongside Khaeel Ahmed, Avesh Khan and Deepak Chahar.”Absolutely (I’m ready)… The confidence of doing well in IPL will give me a big boost. If I get a chance in World Cup, I hope to do well,” the shy lad from Haryana told reporters after RCB’s 10-run win over Kolkata Knight Riders at the Eden Gardens here on Friday.On his World Cup preparation, he said: “We talk during the matches but the most important thing is to pay full attention at the nets. If you do well at the nets, you will do well in a match as well.”My dad has always told me to give your 110 per cent effort wherever you play. I’m putting in that extra effort always in practice session and in a match.”Saini is also gaining from the vast experience of South African great Dale Steyn who has come on board as a replacement for Nathan Coulter-Nile.”I had a discussion with him on the eve of the match. He just told me to bowl the same way and not try anything different,” Saini said.advertisementSaini returned with figures 1/31 taking the prized-scalp of the explosive KKR opener Sunil Narine.Impressed with the bounce at Eden Gardens, he said: “I have bowled on other wickets but never generated this kind of bounce anywhere. The plan was to bowl length deliveries as I was getting that extra bounce.””Against (Andre) Russell, the strategy was to hit the deck hard to generate a bit of extra bounce,” he said of their strategy against the West Indies big-hitter who had threatened to script yet another near-impossible win with his brutal assault of 65 from 25 balls.In the first leg at the Chinnaswamy Stadium, Russell had sealed a 206-run chase with five balls to spare and the memories had come to haunt RCB while defending 214.”Yes it was very much like the first leg match. But we wanted to execute our plans in a better way at the death. It was about out-thinking the batsmen. We wanted to go one step ahead,” he said as RCB bowlers Moeen Ali and Marcus Stoinis held nerves in the final two overs to get their team over the line.Also Read | Navdeep Saini could make World Cup debut: Ashish NehraAlso Read | Brett Lee heaps praise on pacers Bumrah, Prasidh and Sainilast_img read more

Taskin, Farhad recalled to Bangladesh ODI squad for Ireland, West Indies tri-seriesTaskin, Farhad recalled to Bangladesh ODI squad for Ireland, West Indies tri-series

first_imgPacer Taskin Ahmed and all-rounder Farhad Reza have been recalled to Bangladesh’s one-day international squad for the tri-series against host Ireland and West Indies, beginning May 5.Taskin has been recovering from an ankle injury he sustained during a Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) game. The 25-year-old was adviced a three-week rest and later made a comeback in the recent Dhaka Premier League (DPL).Farhad, who has not played an ODI since December 2011, was the highest wicket-taker in DPL, returning with 38 wickets from 16 games.Earlier, Bangladesh had announced its 15-man squad for the World Cup, which saw the inclusion of uncapped right-arm pacer Abu Jayed at the expense of Taskin, who was sidelined due to injury concerns.Taskin, who last featured in October 2017, was not named in the squad for the tri-series initially. The squad for the series was announced with the World Cup team and featured 17 players including Nayeem Hasan and Yasir Ali Rabbi as stand-bys.However, the management reconsidered and added Taskin and Farhad in the squad, ICC reported.Bangladesh squad: Masrafe Mortaza (C), Tamim Iqbal, Litton Das, Soumya Sarker, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmud Ullah, Shakib Al Hasan (VC), Mohammad Mithun, Shabbir Rahaman, Mosaddek Hossain, Shaifuddin, Mehidy Hasan, Rubel Hossain, Mustafizur Rahman, Abu Jayed, Nayeem Hasan, Yasir Ali, Taskin Ahmed, Farhad Reza.Also Read | India vs Pakistan at 2019 World Cup is not ‘war’ but just another game: Shoaib MalikAlso Read | Hungry to smash sixes in World Cup: Andre Russelllast_img read more

Will the best team win?Will the best team win?

first_imgOn pure cricketing merit, India is the best team in the World Cup, but that does not automatically mean they will win the World Cup. The history of the World Cup tells us that the best team has not always won; it’s about playing the best cricket in the weeks,On pure cricketing merit, India is the best team in the World Cup, but that does not automatically mean they will win the World Cup. The history of the World Cup tells us that the best team has not always won; it’s about playing the best cricket in the weeks that matter and, yes, once you are in the knock-out phase, it’s about a few good hours of cricket and the trophy is yours.When it comes to formats, India is best in the 50-over format, no matter what the conditions, but, before we examine India’s World Cup chances, let’s examine their competitors. I pick Australia, England and New Zealand to be India’s main adversaries.Australia could be the story of this World Cup. Australian cricket was in a shambles just a few months ago, but their World Cup team looks very good. It has covered all bases and with David Warner and Steve Smith back, they look a champion side.Because Australia have been world champions many times before, once they find early form in England, it is to be expected that they will all deeply believe they can win it again.New Zealand will be as New Zealand always are in World Cupsa good side made of earnest cricketers who will give their best. If they win, it will be a surprise, but no one will grudge it, for over the years, it has been the most likeable side.England are the biggest underachievers in limited-overs cricket. No one has been around longer than England at the international level but all they have to show for it is one World T20 title in 2010. They are being widely tipped to win the World Cup this time, considering they have an excellent recent one-day record and are playing at home. But they also have a tendency to over-think and complicate simple matters.advertisementExcellence in sport is achieved by teams and individuals who manage to keep things simple and rely on sharp instincts and common sensethink Mahendra Singh Dhoni here; England lack this quality and that has prevented them from being champions and dominating world cricket like West Indies or Australia have in the past. Coming back to India, something really nice happened with India’s 50-overs team after the Champions Trophy defeat in the finals to Pakistan in EnglandYuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav made their entry and became an integral part of the team. Since then, India’s winning graph has been northbound.During Ashwin and Jadeja’s spin regime, India weren’t getting as many wickets in the middle overs, which meant that set batsmen were batting in the death overs with plenty of wickets in hand.Death overs proved to be just that, the endgame for India, as the poor fast bowlers struggled to stop the rampaging batsmen. Since the arrival of Chahal and Kuldeep, India get most of their wickets in the middle overs, which means there is less pressure on the death bowlers, which now includes one of the best in the world, Jasprit Bumrah, and a resurgent Mohammad Shami. Chahal and Kuldeep have been gamechangers, a very important reason, along with Virat and Bumrah, why India are a strong 50-overs side. Of late, wickets may not have come as easily for Chahal and Kuldeep as batsmen are more aware of their skills and tend to be cautious against the duo, but I believe they will continue to be India’s main weapons in the World Cup campaign.Along with Rohit and Shikhar, India are blessed to have the greatest one-day batsman in his prime playing at No. 3. With Virat Kohli, it’s not just about piling up the runs; it’s more about winning, and breaking records is a by-product of that.Let’s now come to India’s Achilles heel in this World Cupthe batting from No. 4 to No. 6. India may play Vijay Shankar at No. 4 to begin with, but he is a complete unknown as a 50-overs No. 4. The alternatives are also not too exciting, which is an interesting indication in a country considered a batting powerhouse.Perhaps these are early signs that India, in the near future, may have greater bowling depth than batting, especially in the seam department.That brings us to Dhoni, India’s former World Cup winning captain, batting at No. 6. We all know his best days are behind him, but he is still a great value-add as keeper and batsman. However, IPL form can be misleading, as it was last season, where he just could not translate IPL form into international cricket form. One of the greatest finishers this game has ever seen, Dhoni still wants to finish games on his own, but the ammunition he has today is a bit rusty, and that concerns me because his great mind still thinks he can do it as he used to. His batting mechanism has let him down a few times at the international level, and perhaps the team management could nudge him to be more realistic.advertisementIndia is a very good chasing team and not as dependent on Dhoni as before, what with Hardik Pandya hitting the ball better than anyone else in the world.Unlike in 2011, India’s more reliable aspect is their bowling, so much so that they may have to rest a quality bowler like Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the first few matches. If this were the scenario with their batting too, India would have been infallible, not just favourites this World Cup.A longer version of this piece first appeared in the India Today World Cup Special Edition, also currently on stands.last_img read more