India to go for the kill
Aus face uphill task to save Test
HI mulls complete reshuffle in team management
Serbian joy augurs well for tennis
Barca face tricky Kazan
Mittal Champions Trust felicitates athletes
Navratilova embarks on climb to Mt. Kilimanjaro
BCCI convenes SGM after Modi objects to probe panel formation
Humpy, Harika in 2nd round
Bangalore, December 6
The second string team's exemplary performance in the absence of Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Suresh Raina and Harbhajan Singh has also given a boost to the side's World Cup aspirations.
The young players such as Virat Kohli, Murali Vijay and Saurabh Tiwary have made an impact and would have impressed regular captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni just a couple of months ahead of the World Cup being hosted in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Chairman of the natiolnal selection panel, Krish Srikkanth, said the youngsters have done well for themselves and their performance has shown that team's World Cup preparations are going according to the plan.
"Youngsters in the team have proved that the bench strength is good. It is important that we keep winning all our matches up to end of the World Cup," Srikkanth said ahead of the match.
"Overall, I am confident that the players will perform to their potential and keep the momentum. I am glad that the preparation for the World Cup is on the right track," he said.
As for tomorrow's match, the Indian players are an upbeat lot and would be looking to keep the momentum going for a whitewash. Despite being a second-string side, the Indians have proved themselves better on all counts against a short-of-confidence New Zealand, which came here after being hammered 0-4 by minnows Bangladesh. The Indian line-up has not exactly missed the dashing Virender Sehwag or the reliable Sachin Tendulkar as the likes Virat Kohli have stepped in effortlessely against a rather ineffective Kiwi attack. Kohli, who has been good nick in the domestic circuit, has been solid so far along with Murali Vijay.
Vettori urges team
Facing the challenge of avoiding a series whitewash, New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori today asked the top-order batsmen to respond to the tough situation as they face a rampaging India in the fourth ODI tomorrow. New Zealand are down 0-3 and the Kiwi skipper said it's time that the players of his side wake up and perform. PTI 1st ODI; Guwahati India 276 New Zealand 236 India win by 40 runs 2nd ODI; Jaipur New Zealand 258/8 India 259 for 2 India win by 8 wickets 3rd ODI; Vadodara New Zealand 224 for 9 India 229 for 1 India win by nine wickets
Facing the challenge of avoiding a series whitewash, New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori today asked the top-order batsmen to respond to the tough situation as they face a rampaging India in the fourth ODI tomorrow. New Zealand are down 0-3 and the Kiwi skipper said it's time that the players of his side wake up and perform. PTI
1st ODI; Guwahati
New Zealand 236
India win by 40 runs
2nd ODI; Jaipur
New Zealand 258/8
India 259 for 2
India win by 8 wickets
3rd ODI; Vadodara
New Zealand 224 for 9
India 229 for 1
India win by nine wickets
Adelaide, December 6
Clarke had appeared to have recaptured his best form after cheap dismissals in Brisbane and the Adelaide first innings before he was out for 80. At stumps, Australia, chasing 375 runs to save the Test, were 238 for four with Mike Hussey the not out batsman on 44.
The Australian vice-captain went to the crease under pressure following scores of nine and two and his team needing him to produce a long match-saving innings against dominant England, who are chasing their first Adelaide win since 1995. Rain might yet help Australia's rearguard after a storm suspended play for an hour after tea with more bad weather forecast for tomorrow's final day.
Top-rated spinner Graeme Swann proved the major threat with his sharp turn out of the rough and captured the key wickets of Simon Katich and Ricky Ponting. Katich's painful resistance ended in the 30th over, when he pushed forward to Swann and got a touch for wicketkeeper Matt Prior
The stoic left-hander battled a painful Achilles injury and hobbled for his 43 off 85 balls to help put on 84 for the opening stand. Swann got Ponting's prized wicket when the Aussie skipper came forward and edged to slip, where Paul Collingwood snapped up a great low two-handed catch.
It was a huge setback for the Australians, with Ponting lasting only 21 minutes for his nine when occupation was more important than runs. Opener Shane Watson again failed to go on after a good start when he nicked Steven Finn to Andrew Strauss at first slip for 57. AFP
Australia 1st innings: 245
England 1st innings: 620 for 5 dec
Australia 2nd innings:
Watson c Strauss b Finn 57
Katich c Prior b Swann 43
Ponting c Collingwood b Swann 9
Clarke c Cook b Pietersen 80
Hussey not out 44
Extras: (b-5) 5
Total (4 wkts, 79.2 overs) 238
Bowling: Anderson 15-3-70-0, Broad 11-3-32-0, Swann 34-10-72-2, Finn 14-2-41-1, Collingwood 4-0-13-0, Pietersen 1.2-0-5-1.
HI mulls complete reshuffle in team management
New Delhi, December 6 He also said that it would be not be a surprise if HI completely overhauls the team management of both the senior men's as well as women's team. "HI secretary general (Narinder Batra) at present is in Malaysia for a meeting of the Asian Hockey Federation. After his return he will be meeting other HI officials on December 11, where all the issue including that of coaches will be taken up," the source said. "It is certain that (Jose) Brasa won't get an extension and Harendra's chances are also slim after his resignation drama during the Asian Games. Some officials are very angry with Harendra for disclosing his resignation letter to the media. He has also irked them with his statement that he is ready to reconsider his resignation if given full authority of the team," he said. "During the meeting the officials will rethink about the whole set up, including a change in the entire support staff," he added. Incidentally, the senior men's hockey team is without a coach after the Asian Games where they won the bronze medal. National coach Harendra had tendered his resignation immediately after India's shocking 3-4 defeat at the hands Malaysia while chief coach Brasa's contract has expired. PTI
New Delhi, December 6
He also said that it would be not be a surprise if HI completely overhauls the team management of both the senior men's as well as women's team. "HI secretary general (Narinder Batra) at present is in Malaysia for a meeting of the Asian Hockey Federation. After his return he will be meeting other HI officials on December 11, where all the issue including that of coaches will be taken up," the source said.
"It is certain that (Jose) Brasa won't get an extension and Harendra's chances are also slim after his resignation drama during the Asian Games. Some officials are very angry with Harendra for disclosing his resignation letter to the media. He has also irked them with his statement that he is ready to reconsider his resignation if given full authority of the team," he said.
"During the meeting the officials will rethink about the whole set up, including a change in the entire support staff," he added.
Incidentally, the senior men's hockey team is without a coach after the Asian Games where they won the bronze medal. National coach Harendra had tendered his resignation immediately after India's shocking 3-4 defeat at the hands Malaysia while chief coach Brasa's contract has expired. PTI
Belgrade, December 6
The proud nation has blessed the sport with the likes of Novak Djokovic and former top-ranked women Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic in recent years but until Sunday only basketball and soccer victories would spark such wild celebrations. That world number three Novak Djokovic, who won both his singles rubbers in the 3-2 victory, rated the triumph as the best moment of a career that has already brought one grand slam title, spoke volumes about the health of the competition.
"We should not forget the Davis Cup is not a requirement, it's a free choice to participate," ITF president Francesco Ricci Bitti said. "It's totally different from all the other tournaments. We are very happy with the final and it shows that the Davis Cup is strong."
Djokovic always plays with his passion for his homeland stamped on his sleeve and the 23-year-old was his country's talisman for three intense days on the banks of the River Danube which provided a fitting end to competition.
Not only did he play stunning tennis when it most mattered to claw back 0-1 and 1-2 deficits against the competition's aristocrats, he fuelled the partisan home support that ultimately overwhelmed the French players.
While some of the world's top players, Roger Federer included, have not always shown total commitment to the Davis Cup, Djokovic has made it his priority to turn Serbia into one of the competition's big guns. With plans for a new national tennis centre unveiled during the final, tennis in Serbia is booming.
The defeat of France at the end of only its third year competing in the elite World Group could act as a catalyst for a new generation of Serbian champions from the sprawling tower blocks and 1950s apartments that dominate the city. Troicki, who lives very much in the shadow of the likes of Djokovic and Jankovic, could have been forgiven for hogging the spotlight after winning the most important match of his career.
Instead, the 24-year-old displayed just what makes the Davis Cup so special to athletes normally flying solo. "I'm not a hero," he told reporters. "We all did it. Janko (Tipsarevic) in the semis. Reuters
Last ten Davis Cup winners
2010 Serbia beat France 3-2
2009 Spain beat Czech Rep 5-0
2008 Spain beat Argentina 3-1
2007 U.S. beat Russia 4-1
2006 Russia beat Argentina 3-2
2005 Croatia beat Slovakia 3-2
2004 Spain beat U.S. 3-2
2003 Australia beat Spain 3-1
2002 Russia beat France 3-2
2001 France beat Australia 3-2
2000 Spain beat Australia 3-1
Madrid, December 6
To do so they need to beat Barca, who have already secured the top spot, while hoping bottom side Panathinaikos avoid defeat in Denmark. Rubin have met the Spanish league leaders three times in the last two seasons and have notched one win and two draws.
The victory came in a shock 2-1 triumph at the home of the then European champions, in the group stages last October. "We have nothing left but to beat Barca in our last match," Rubin captain Christian Noboa said following a 1-0 home win over Copenhagen two weeks ago their first victory in the group that kept alive their slim hopes.
"We managed to do it last year so we could do it again this time," added the Ecuador international. Rubin, who have won the Russian league for the past two years, could only manage a third-place finish this year which earns a place in the Champions League qualifiers next season.
Barcelona have been in irresistible form. They top La Liga by two points from Real Madrid and have won their last seven consecutive matches in all competitions. They have not conceded a goal in their last four outings while scoring 19 times.
Saturday's 3-0 victory away at Osasuna in the league came after an impromptu 350 km dash by train and bus because of an air traffic controllers' strike, but they still prevailed despite arriving at the stadium just minutes before kickoff. With qualification and first place already assured Guardiola will be tempted to rotate his squad, while their 90,000 capacity stadium is likely to be half empty.
"I ask the fans that they don't desert us because this year we are going to need them more than ever," Guardiola said after the Osasuna game.
Playmaker Xavi could be among those rested after suffering sore Achilles tendons earlier in the campaign. Argentine defender Gabriel Milito is the only player on the injury list at present. Reuters
Mittal Champions Trust felicitates athletes
New Delhi, December 6
In a video message from London, Lakshmi Mittal congratulated the athletes and said: "The Mittal Champions Trust is proud of our players' winning performance which has been achieved via the collective effort of their own determination as well as the coaches and trainers working with them."
Speaking on the occasion, MCT board member Amit Bhatia said: "The achievements of these athletes here has reinforced the belief that MCT has for Indian sports and the talent of our athletes. Our aim is to put India firmly on the medal grid by the 2012 London Olympics and I am confident of achieving this."
The gathering was also addressed by Abhinav Bindra and Mahesh Bhupathi, who are both members of the MCT board. The athletes signed a pledge, 'Towards London 2012', committing to win at the London Games.
Present at the occasion were athlete Preeja Shreedharan, who won a gold in the 10,000 metres and a silver in the 5,000m at Guangzhou, gold-winning boxer Vikas Yadav, Ronjan Sodhi, the only gold medallist from the Asiad shooting contingent, as well as Babita Kumari and Geeta Kumari (women's wrestling), Bombayla Devi and Mangal Singh Champia (archery), Dinesh Kumar, Paramjeet Samota and V. Santhosh Kumar (boxing), shooters Bindra, Suma Shirur and Lajja Goswami and wrestlers Mausam Khatri, Narsingh Yadav and Yogeshwar Dutt.
Kilmanjaro, December 6
Martina is joined on the challenge by a team of 27, including German Paralympic cyclist Michael Teuber and British Olympic badminton star Gail Emms and a host of international fundraisers. It will take the climbers six days to reach the summit.
Martina, who battled breast cancer earlier this year, is raising funds for the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, a charity which supports community sports projects around the world. Speaking as the team were about to depart on their expedition, Martina said: "I've been planning to climb Mt Kilimanjaro since early this year, even before my breast cancer diagnosis, so it feels really great to finally be underway." "I'm feeling well prepared for the challenge, and although I'm sure we'll all be in for a tough few days of climbing, I am determined to reach the summit," she said.
Before the climb Martina visited the Laureus-supported Mathare Youth Sports Association (MYSA) project in Nairobi, the kind of project which will benefit from funds raised from the Kilimanjaro challenge. PTI
Mumbai, December 6
"The SGM will be held in Mumbai on December 11. It's with regard to the technical point raised by Lalit Modi's (former IPL chief) counsel. It's a minor thing," BCCI secretary N Srinivasan informed PTI today.
Modi's counsel Mehmood Abdi had pointed out last month that the three-member disciplinary panel did not have the BCCI General Body's mandate. Abdi had said on November 22 that BCCI has forgotten to re-constitute the Committee for the year 2010-2011 at its Annual General Body Meeting held in September.
"We are in a peculiar situation as of today. As per 1(Q) of BCCI by-laws various committees have to be freshly constituted. In its AGM, they did not form a fresh disciplinary committee," Abdi had said. "As for us, therefore, there is no disciplinary committee in existence as this panel does not enjoy the mandate of the GBM as required by BCCI constitution. There was no reconstitution, re-nomination or formation of the disciplinary body," he said. PTI
Hatay (Turkey), December 6
The $450000 championship saw the early elimination of other two Indians Souymya Swaminathan and S Meenakshi. Soumya fought hard but could not do much against Monika Socko of Poland and had to sign peace, while Meenakshi suffered her second defeat in as many rounds at the hands of former world women's champion Maia Chiburdanidze of Georgia. At the end of the Classical games of the first round as many as 25 players, including Jovanka Houska of England and Ju Wenjun of China who got Walkovers, made the second round. PTI
Siemens to equip Noida F1 Track
JCT play Churchill Bros
Ghosal, Pallikal lead Indian charge
Former cricketer T E Srinivasan dead
Atwal signs up with WSG
2. (2) Tiger Woods 8.45
3. (3) Martin Kaymer (Germany) 7.60
4. (4) Phil Mickelson 7.16
5. (6) Jim Furyk 6.55
6. (5) Steve Stricker 6.53
7. (11) Graeme McDowell (Britain) 6.36
8. (7) Paul Casey (Britain) 6.26
9. (9) Luke Donald (Britain) 5.88
10. (8) Ian Poulter (Britain) 5.82
More agony for Tiger