India can handle Johnson, says Virat
... but Ganguly not happy with preparations
Australia win, reclaim No. 1 spot
vijay hazare trophy
Anand slips, Carlsen takes game, match and title
Hamilton takes second title
Messi breaks goal record
Switzerland win first Davis Cup title
Guye Adola burns up Delhi roads
Guye Adola celebrates after his win in the elite category. PTI
India can handle Johnson, says Virat
Adelaide, November 23
“I think coming to Australia and playing, it's more about the mindset rather than getting used to the conditions, because pace and bounce is something which you can get used to. But unless you're mentally there, there's no point of any sort of practice,” Kohli told reporters on the eve of the first two-day warm-up match against Cricket Australia XI.
Kohli also opined that the team is “absolutely” capable of withstanding the threat posed by the paceman Johnson. “He's been bowling really well — everyone knows that. Credit to him for doing all that,” Kohli said. “We are equipped enough to tackle him on these pacy and bouncy wickets. I don't see any good reason why we can't come up and put up a good fight.
“It's all about mentally being there. If you can visualise being in that battle and being on top, I think you're going to be able to go out there and execute it. I think the guys in our team have the ability to do it ... it's all about being mentally present.”
Given the responsibility of leading the side in the first Test in the absence of Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who is recovering from a wrist injury, Kohli said that he had always been comfortable as a leader.
“I love leading the side, I love being the captain, I love putting my foot forward and putting in my (views) throughout the game. I don't see any issues on why I can't be up to the challenge.
“As long as the team backs me and puts in the performances we want, I think I'm going to look good at the end of the day,” said Kohli.
Responding to Australian paceman Peter Siddle's jibe that he might find the rowdy crowd and added responsibilities “a bit daunting”, Kohli, who will become India's 32nd Test captain at the start of the four-Test series in Brisbane on December 4, was quick to answer back. “Well that's for me to know and for me to experience,” said the top-order batsman.
“I've played against him, he's quite a competitive guy so I'm not surprised there's already some banter starting from that end ... (and) I don't mind all that, he added. — PTI
Sydney: Michael Clarke's Sydney Cricket club is being probed for declaring at 17-0 during a local game on Sunday and claiming it was to boost the injured Australian captain's chances of batting time before the first test against India next month. Clarke is racing against time to be fit for the December 4 opener in Brisbane, having hurt his hamstring in a One-day International against South Africa in Perth just over a week ago.
His club ‘Western Suburbs’ were sent in to bat against Parramatta after losing the toss, but declared after a few overs, with captain Jeff Cook saying it was to give Clarke the best chance to bat the following Saturday.
“All I wanted to do was the best for Michael Clarke and Australia,” News Ltd media quoted Cook as saying.
“I stand by what I wanted to do,” Cook said. “I might have sacrificed six first-innings points, but it would be fantastic for cricket if 2000 kids turned up to watch Michael try to prove a point to the Australian selectors.” State governing body Cricket New South Wales said it would investigate. “While Cricket NSW and the Sydney Cricket Association are conscious of the broader interest of Australian cricket, and appreciate the thinking behind this gesture, we are also conscious of the need to main the integrity of the Sydney Grade competition,” it said in a statement published by News Ltd.
“Consequently we will investigate the full facts and evaluate Wests' actions at the conclusion of the round.” — Reuters
New Delhi, November 23
“The key to doing well in places like Australia is the preparation before the Test series starts and not between the matches. I am not happy with India's schedule of two two-day games ahead of first Test match,” said Ganguly.
“This effectively means that you will get only two innings to prepare yourself for the first Test which I don't think is ideal. Even someone like Virat Kohli would like to get at least four innings to prepare himself,” he added.
Ganguly, India's most successful captain in overseas Test matches, recollected the time when India batted well. “If you look at the Oval Test match few months back, we batted some 42 odd overs in the first innings and some 25 odd covers in the second innings. In Brisbane back in 2004, Australia made 323 and we responded with a 450 odd total. In Adelaide, we scored 550 and 700 in Sydney. At Headingley in 2002, we scored in excess of 600 runs.”
Ganguly said he doesn't see any change in Indian captaincy till the World Cup and that should be the way to go. “I don't see any change in captaincy till World Cup and also it should be like that. Yes, MS Dhoni should be concerned about his overseas Test record because it's something that he will have to live with. But I don't think that Ganguly and Dhoni's captaincy should be compared. “We captained teams in different eras. But just like I had the tag of being captain who lost tri- series final, CT final, World Cup final, Dhoni has had a lot of success in major finals.” — PTI
Sydney, November 23
What looked like being a stroll to a convincing 4-1 series triumph when Steve Smith departed for 67 with Australia 11 runs from their target of 275 was transformed into a tense finale by Robin Peterson.
The South African spinner (4-32) did most of the damage as the hosts lost four wickets for three runs but James Faulkner held his nerve to smash the winning runs off the first ball of the final over.
For much of the evening, though, the South Africans looked like they were mentally on the plane home and looked unlikely to defend their original tally of 280 for six, let alone the amended target put in place after a short storm. Australia's masterblaster openers set about the chase in typical flamboyant fashion but David Warner (21) had already departed when the rain delay reduced their allocation of overs to 48.
There was no stalling Aaron Finch, however, and he put on 100 with Shane Watson before falling for 76 to a brilliant piece of fielding from Faf du Plessis, who caught the ball falling over the rope but offloaded it to Rilee Roussouw.
South Africa's bowling appeared to lack bite without the rested Dale Steyn and Watson cashed in with 82 off 93 balls, clubbing a second huge six a couple of balls before holing out to Roussouw at deep midwicket.
Earlier Quinton de Kock's fine 123-ball 107 anchored the South African innings before the opener became Pat Cummins (3-54) third victim when he nicked the ball to be caught behind. Brief scores: Australia 8 for 275 (Watson 82, Finch 76, Peterson 4/32); SA 280 for 6 (De Kock 107, Behardien 63, Rossouw 51, Cummins 3-54). — Reuters
Ahmedabad, November 23
Chasing 239 for victory, the Harbhajan Singh-led side rode on a 167-run second-wicket partnership between Amitoze (91) and Mandeep (81) to achieve the target in 48.3 overs. Amitoze, whose knock was laced with eight fours and a six, however, missed out on his first List A century.
Mandeep was also unlucky to miss out on a deserving hundred. His knock came off 93 balls, which included seven boundaries and a six.
Yuvraj Singh (26 not out) and Taruwar Kohli (35 not out) also chipped in with useful contributions in their 64-run unbeaten partnership and saw the team home.
Earlier, electing to bowl, the Punjab bowlers picked up regular wickets to restrict Odisha to 238. Medium-pacer Baltej Singh bagged two wickets, while Deepak Bansal, Siddharth Kaul, Harbhajan and Yuvraj picked up a wicket each. Baltej, who has starred for Punjab in the quarterfinals with a five-wicket haul, was again impressive.
Arabind Singh, who top-scored with 89, was looking dangerous when Kohli ran him out. Opener Natraj Behera (61), Abhilash Mallick (36) and Anurag Sarangi (24) also chipped in with useful contributions.
Brief scores: Odisha: 238 for 7 in 50 overs (Arabind Singh 89, Natraj Behera 61; Baltej Singh 2/55); Punjab: 244 for 3 in 48.3 overs (Amitoze Singh 91, Mandeep Singh 81; Suryakant Pradhan 1/22). — PTI
Sochi, NOvember 23
The world champion closed the 12-game match with a 6.5-4.5 scoreline, courtesy his win in the penultimate game.
While this match may have been closely fought in the eyes of the experts, the fact remains that Anand lasted only one extra game compared to the 2013 match in Chennai where it was all over in the tenth game of the match.
Anand knew that a draw would keep him in the match but, quite expectedly, the Indian was not hooked to the idea of staying on till the last game of the 12-game match, and tried make headway at the first opportunity on Sunday.
When Anand went for the real complications in the Berlin defence, the opinion of the experts was pretty divided. Anand was the first to deviate from earlier games in the same opening and in the opinion of Ian Nepomniachtchi, a former second of Carlsen, Anand went for unwarranted complexities.
In the 11th game too, Anand made fewer mistakes than Calrsen and some even opined that the Indian had a better chance. As it happened, Anand came up with an exchange sacrifice when according to Grandmaster Peter Svidler, ‘he felt he ought to be doing something’. As things became clear, the exchange sacrifice was probably not the best of solutions for Anand in a seemingly equal situation and this was what eventually plotted his Indian.
Anand, however, regretted his decision to sacrifice a rook for a minor piece. “It was a bad gamble, and I got punished,” he said. Carlsen remained the calculation machine he is known to be and his judgement on the position helped him seize the initiative. — PTI
shock, disappointment, and some praise
It was a bad gamble and I was punished! I have to admit he's a better player. His nerves held up…
I think Anand needed to really make something of the eight and 10th games (Anand with white pieces), that was his big chance . It is a huge relief, not to have to come back for the 12th
Anand went crazy! Lost patience and self-destructed. He completely misevaluated the
It's sad. Vishy's play in most of this game was very good indeed, but better nerves are needed to overcome Magnus's tenacity. The match proved that chess is a battle of nervous systems, not just
Vishy's fans still have a reason to be proud of him. To win the Candidates & to put up such a resistance vs Carlsen is a feat. The next challenger will probably be 20+/30+ years
Hamilton takes second title
Abu Dhabi, November 23
In a floodlit race overshadowed by the ever-present spectre of mechanical failure after the Briton’s Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg suffered a loss of power early on, Hamilton raced to his 11th win in 19 races.
The 29-year-old, who took his first title with McLaren in 2008, became Britain’s first multiple champion since Jackie Stewart in 1971 and only the country’s fourth.
“Lewis, thank you very much for not letting the British public down,” Britain’s Prince Harry told him over the radio from the pit wall as the chequered flag came down. “You are an absolute legend.”
Hamilton, crying tears on the podium as the anthem sounded and his voice cracking in later interviews, performed a slowing down lap with the British flag fluttering from the cockpit.
“World champion. Oh my God, I can’t believe it, thanks everyone,” he had shouted over the radio before parking up and embracing his father, pop star girlfriend Nicole Scherzinger and family.
The victory was a record 16th of the season for Mercedes. Rosberg finished 14th after starting on pole position, the much-vaunted ‘duel in the desert’ becoming a nightmare after dark for the German son of 1982 champion Keke.
He had suffered a loss of power from the 25th of 55 laps, then complained about losing brakes as he fell down the order.
When the team asked him to pit and retire, Rosberg asked to stay out so he could at least end the season on track and he crossed the line 14th.
“Sorry it didn’t work out but you drove like a champion,” said Mercedes technical head Paddy Lowe. “We come back next year to have another go.”
Brazilian Felipe Massa finished second for Williams in the race, with Finnish team mate Valtteri Bottas third. — Reuters
Abu Dhabi GP
Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 1:39:02.619
Felipe Massa (Williams-Mercedes) +2.5 secs
Valtteri Bottas (Williams-Mercedes) +28.8
Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull-Renault) +37.2
Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes +60.3
Nico Hulkenberg (Force India-Mercedes) +62.1
Sergio Perez (Force India-Mercedes) +71.0
Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull-Renault) +72.0
Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) +85.8
Lewis Hamilton 384
Nico Rosberg 317
Daniel Ricciardo 238
Valtteri Bottas 186
Sebastian Vettel 167
Fernando Alonso 161
Felipe Massa 134
Red Bull-Renault 405
Force India-Mercedes 155
MADRID, November 23
James Rodriguez nodded Real in front in the 23rd minute at Eibar’s tiny Ipurua stadium in the Basque Country, which holds fewer than 6,000 spectators, and Ronaldo’s scuffed shot made it 2-0 just before the break.
Karim Benzema cracked the third in the 69th minute and Ronaldo netted from the penalty spot seven minutes from time as the European champions swept to a 14th victory in a row in all competitions. The latest victory put the world’s richest club by income two points clear at the top with 30 points from 12 matches during which they have amassed 46 goals, 20 of them coming from Ronaldo in 11 appearances.
At the Nou Camp, Messi matched Telmo Zarra’s 1955 record of 251 goals when he curled in a delightful free kick to give Barca a 21st-minute lead. The 27-year-old’s effort was cancelled out by a Jordi Alba own goal in the 47th minute before Neymar headed in a Xavi free kick two minutes later.
Uruguay forward Luis Suarez, still to open his account with his new club, set up Ivan Rakitic to nod Barca’s third in the 65th minute and Messi completed his 30th career treble with goals in the 72nd and 78th. “There are an infinity of Messi’s goals that I have enjoyed,” said Barca coach Luis Enrique.
“He cannot be compared with any other player I have seen. He is unique. We have him now and we enjoy him. I thought nobody would overtake Zarra and look what happened.” — Reuters
La Liga’s top scorers
Lionel Messi 253
Telmo Zarra 251
Hugo Sanchez 234
Alfredo di Stefano 227
LILLE (France), November 23
The 17-times Grand Slam champion shook off back problems during the weekend and recovered from Friday’s defeat by Gael Monfils to hand France a third defeat in their last three finals.
With Federer imperious on serve, there was a sense of inevitability in the air of the Pierre Mauroy stadium despite the support of a record 27,448 raucous crowd and Gasquet’s decent level of play. He made more unforced errors than the gifted Frenchman — 24 to 21 — but hit an astonishing 62 winners, kneeling down before lying on his chest after wrapping up the match with a cunning drop shot.
“We fought hard for it. I’ve been playing this game for almost 15 years and clearly I had never come as close than this past weekend,” said Federer, for whom the only major title missing from his collection is now an Olympic singles gold medal. “I’m happy I stayed calm and played a good match when I had to. I’m really happy for all the guys in the team.”
Stan Wawrinka gave them the first point by beating Tsonga in the first singles rubber before Monfils levelled on Friday.
Switzerland were 2-1 up going into Sunday’s reverse singles after Wawrinka and Federer teamed up to beat Gasquet and Julien Benneteau in the doubles on Saturday. — Reuters
Guye Adola burns up Delhi roads
New Delhi, November 23
Adola stopped the clock at 59.06 minutes to lower the course record of 59.12 by six seconds, set by countryman Atsedu Tsegay last year. He won winner’s purse of $27,000 and the course record jackpot of $7,500.
Adola was followed home by Kenya’s Geoffrey Kipsang (59.07) and Mosinet Geremew (59.11), who too broke the existing record. Kipsang, who matched the pace of Adola for most part, failed to accelerate towards the end. Adola, bronze medallist at the World Championships, ran a well-calculated race to shatter the Kenyan’s dream of taking the Delhi title this year.
Kipsang on his fifth visit to India, had to contend with another runner-up position.
The men’s race began at a brisk pace and the entire pack stayed together until 17km, before Adola, Kipsang and Geremew broke away from the group. Till about 400 meters from the finish line, Geremew led Kipsang. However, in the last few metres, Kipsang, the IAAF World Half Marathon champion, out-sprinted Geremew to take the second place.
In the women’s event, two-time world champion Kiplagat stunned reigning World Half Marathon champion Gladys Cherono to become the first woman to defend her crown. Kiplagat clocked 01:10:04 to relegate Cherono (01:10:05) to second position. Ethiopia’s Worknesh Degefa finished third in 01:10:07.
In the Elite Indian men’s category, Suresh Kumar came out victorious with a timing of 01:04:38, followed by Nitender Singh Rawat (01:04:54) and Kheta Ram (01:04:56). Among the women, Preeja Sreedharan, who is retiring after the National Games in February, successfully defended her title, clocking 01:19:03. Monika Athare (01:19:12) and Sudha Singh (01:19:21) finished second and third respectively.