Transfers Ronaldo: Neymar took a step back leaving Barca for PSG Sacha Pisani 15:56 1/12/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(4) AFP Transfers PSG Barcelona Ligue 1 Neymar The 2002 World Cup winner says that the attacker’s decision to move to France is not one that will help him advance his level Neymar’s decision to swap La Liga giants Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain was a step backwards, according to Brazil legend Ronaldo.Eyebrows were raised when Neymar left Lionel Messi and Barca in a world-record deal after French powerhouses PSG activated the Brazil international’s €222 million buyout clause in August.Neymar has starred for PSG, scoring 20 goals in all competitions – 11 of those strikes in Ligue 1 – but in an interview with ex-Brazil international Zico via YouTube, former Barca striker Ronaldo said: “Sportingly, the decision is a step back. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player “But there are challenges that everyone seeks.”I played in Barcelona at the time and went to Inter when the Italian championship was much more competitive.”Neymar was on target on Wednesday as PSG defeated 10-man Amiens 2-0 to reach the Coupe de la Ligue semi-finals.PSG are back in action against Claudio Ranieri’s Nantes in Ligue 1 on Sunday.
Liverpool ‘Wow, really bad defending’ – Klopp fumes as Liverpool crash out against West Brom Joe Wright Last updated 1 year ago 09:49 1/28/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(1) Alex Livesey Liverpool Jürgen Klopp Liverpool v West Bromwich Albion West Bromwich Albion FA Cup The German manager felt his side deserved to exit the FA Cup given the standard of their performance at the back Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp was left stunned at his side’s poor defending as they exited the FA Cup at the hands of West Brom on Saturday.Alan Pardew’s side claimed a 3-2 win in an eventful clash at Anfield, ensuring Liverpool failed to progress beyond the fourth round of the competition for the third year in a row.Roberto Firmino opened the scoring but a double from Jay Rodriguez turned the game on its head, before a third Baggies goal was disallowed and a Liverpool penalty awarded through VAR, only for Firmino to miss from 12 yards. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Joel Matip’s own goal at the end of the first half ultimately proved decisive, with Mohamed Salah’s 78th-minute strike coming too late to spark a comeback.Klopp was angry with the way his team defended for the visitors’ goals, particularly when it came to the marking for Rodriguez’s second and the failure to spring the offside trap in the build-up to the third.”Everybody saw; we made big mistakes and let them come back in the game,” he told BT Sport . “It’s obvious what we did wrong. We won the first balls but we lost the second and the third, so it makes no sense. “You must be much more clinical and shoot it in the stand if you are not sure where you can pass the ball.”The second one; wow, really bad defending. The whole group involved in that situation, not really compact, we let them play the ball, make the cross and the goalscorer is completely free in the box. That’s not how defending should be. Then we don’t use the chamce with the penalty, which can happen, of course.4 – Liverpool have been eliminated in the fourth round of the FA Cup in all three seasons under Jurgen Klopp. Repetition. pic.twitter.com/3sRKCnncLJ — OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 27, 2018 “The third one is then in extra time of the first half. It must be offside; it’s unbelievable he wasn’t. It’s easy to defend; you push up, they pass the ball back and [Craig] Dawson is offside. He wasn’t, he celebrated the goal and he was like, ‘what can I do, if they let me do this?'”Second half, we had to show character, there’s no doubt about character. We chased the game and scored a little bit too late. We did a lot of good things but, if you start like this, you make the game complicated.”It was a bit hectic, they tried to save some time, it’s normal, but West Brom deserved it. We have to blame ourselves for this, it’s all about us, but compliments to West Brom.”Klopp also spoke on the use of VAR, which was prevalent throughout the match, claiming that West Brom’s goal being disallowed and Liverpool being awarded a penalty were instanced of the controversial system working the way it should. “I think it’s important, that’s actually what we always wanted – that if a goal should be disallowed, it should be disallowed,” he told reporters. “Usually in these two situations after the game we talk about it and I have to explain a defeat which maybe wasn’t deserved because we didn’t get a penalty and they scored another goal.”It’s normal in the beginning that it takes a little bit longer. Is it cool in January when it’s cold for the players especially? Probably not.”That will, I think, become a little bit smoother, a little bit more fluent in the future.”The loss to West Brom saw Klopp’s side crash out in the fourth round of the FA Cup for the third time in his three seasons in charge and left the club with the Champions League as their last realistic hope of winning a trophy this season. The Reds trail leaders Manchester City by 18 points in the Premier League and face Porto in the Champions League round of 16. Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the web
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Real Madrid coach Solari explains leaving Isco on benchby Carlos Volcano10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveReal Madrid coach Santiago Solari left Isco on the bench for victory over Rayo Vallecano.Real overcame Rayo 1-0 via a Karim Benzema strike, with Solari pleased about the win, which he discussed after explaining his benching of Isco.”My interest is in ensuring that all players are well, happy and committed and we all work for that,” he said.”I try not to make mistakes in the formation or the substitutions and I do that because it is part of my job.”With the way the match went, I brought Dani Ceballos in for Marco [Asensio] because he was tired then Fede [Valverde] for the midfield and Vini came in because he was the only forward on the bench who could replace Benzema.”We were dominant against Rayo and should have gone in at half-time with a more comfortable lead but when you don’t take your chances you will suffer.” About the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say
TagsTransfersAbout the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Arsenal quoted enormous asking price for Lille winger Pepeby Freddie Taylor10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveArsenal have been quoted a fee of roughly €80 million if they want to sign Nicolas Pepe.The Lille winger is a hot prospect from Ligue 1 who has been in impressive form this season.Gunners boss Unai Emery does want to sign a winger to add another dimension to his team.But Lille sporting director Luis Campos said to Telefoot: “I hope he will stay this winter. We’ll do everything to keep him.”All the top clubs in the world have their eyes on him, and that’s normal, but the president has been clear. The idea is for him to continue at the club.”In contrast, with my experience in football, I would say that if a club arrives with a big number and can convince the player… I would sell him for €80 million.”That’s the price tag, but you’d have to convince the player and he’s been a big part of us being in second place.”
About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say Bruce slams Newcastle players for ‘total surrender’ in Leicester thrashingby Freddie Taylor25 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveNewcastle manager Steve Bruce laid into his players in a furious tirade after their humiliating 5-0 loss to Leicester City.The Magpies were a man down and laid down tools in the second half as Leicester overran them.And Bruce, who wants to instill defensive solidity into the team, was very disappointed by the effort shown by his players.After the match, Bruce said to reporters: “It was a complete surrender and happened too quickly, too easily.”I’ve only been at the club two or three months and I certainly haven’t witnessed what I witnessed here. Too many felt sorry for themselves.”It was nowhere near what’s required. If you have 10 men or nine men, the one thing you can show is a bit off resilience. Determination, a bit of fight or courage, whatever you want to call it.”We simply haven’t done enough to put anything right.”That’s the disappointing thing for myself, resilience is the only thing I really genuinely, demand from them – to play in a certain way – but we didn’t see that here.”
TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Cardoner admits Barcelona players pushed board to bring back Neymarby Paul Vegas22 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveBarcelona vice-president Jordi Cardoner admits the players pushed the board to bring back Neymar last summer.It’s been confirmed Barca twice had offers for Neymar turned down by PSG.And Cardoner says it was the players who were eager to see the deal happen.He told Catalunya Ràdio: “Neymar, in addition to having a good relationship with the locker room, is a great player. “Hence our desire to have him in our ranks. The players have suggested him to us, but we are the ones who weigh the pros and cons.”
About the authorAnsser SadiqShare the loveHave your say Shaqiri content with Liverpool role: I’m a leaderby Ansser Sadiq18 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveLiverpool winter Xherdan Shaqiri considers himself one of the leaders in the squad.Swiss star Shaqiri has often spoken about his disappointment at not playing enough for the Reds.While he has impressed when given a chance, he is behind Mohamed Salad and Sadio Mane for a position on the wings.Speaking about his role at the club, he told Schweizer Illustrierte: “Apart from the fact that I would like to play more, I’m happy in Liverpool. “I have a certain status in the team because I am one of the more experienced players. “I think I’m one of the leaders.”
TagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Lionel Messi: Why I plan to stay with Barcelonaby Carlos Volcano16 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveLionel Messi has hinted he’s willing to play out his career with Barcelona.Messi, speaking on RAC1, insists he and his family are happy and settled in the city.He explained: “My idea has always been to stay here, it has always been the case and it has not changed. “An extension? I think not, I do not have all the information about it, but for the moment there is nothing according to what my father tells me. Whenever there were negotiations, I always stayed away from the discussions because there were never any problems, everything was always clear. “Today, my idea and that of my family is to finish my career here. Especially because I’m settled in the club and I feel good within the club, after for family reasons, because we are happy in this city, and for my sons also not to change their friendships and break them, I lived it and it had hurt me a lot on a personal level.”
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Fred assures Man Utd fans: I feel like I’m getting betterby Paul Vegas3 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United midfielder Fred says he’s finally adapting to the rigours of Premier League football.The Brazilian has been disappointing since arriving from Shahktar Donestk for a whopping £52m in the summer of 2018.But Fred insists he has needed time to change his playing style from the Ukrainian leagues.”My first season was difficult but that is normal when a footballer changes league,” he said. “The Ukrainian league isn’t as strong as the Premier League. It’s faster and more physical here.”You need to start games strongly and finish them strongly.”It’s the full force for 90 minutes, but it takes time to adapt to English football when you come from Ukraine, even though I was playing against some of the best teams in the Champions League, but I believe I am adapting.”The 26-year-old added that feeling more settled in the city of Manchester is playing a role in his improvement on the pitch.”I’m learning day by day. I feel like I’m getting better. I have a big heart. I will play better.”I like Manchester. My family are here and they like it too. They are speaking English. I’m having English classes, too, but it’s not possible all the time because we travel a lot but we speak lots of languages here.”
Maurizio Sarri was left ‘p*ssed off’ after Chelsea’s lost 2-0 to Arsenal and also said that it is “extremely difficult to motivate” his players, but David Luiz has assured that the Blues dressing room remains behind their manager.The defeat put pressure on Chelsea’s primary aim for the season to qualify for the Champions League through a top four finish, with Arsenal and Manchester United closing the gap on Sarri’s fourth placed side to just three points.Luiz is one of Sarri’s regular players, having played in 22 of his side’s 23 league matches, and he not only backs his 60-year-old manager as well as his insistence on employing his style of play to achieve positive results. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? “He was not happy, but nobody was happy, so it was normal,” Sarri told journalists at the Emirates Stadium. “It is our style, it is our philosophy, I think if you asked at the beginning of the season can Chelsea keep the ball you would have said no.”And now we are able to do that, like the best teams in the world, but then we have improve our last 25 metres. It is part of the process, when you try to do something and this is inside your mind, if you believe in it you can arrive there.”Because of the results if you start to change and change, you don’t go anywhere. So this is our philosophy, I believe in it, I trust in it, so I just know we have to improve, like every team in the world.”What Sarri has done until now is unbelievable, amazing, because normally a team to understand this philosophy needs one or two years, like Man City and Liverpool, who are playing v well with the ball now.”What he has done has been amazing, so we have to try to improve the details now. I don’t think so [that players are turning], everybody is trusting his job and everybody is with him.”Arsenal were far more productive than their London rivals on Saturday despite only having 35.7% possession.Chelsea didn’t manage a shot on target until the 82nd minute as Eden Hazard was shackled by Unai Emery’s tactics, as he led the forward line with Alvaro Morata’s future in doubt and Olivier Giroud left on the bench.Luiz thinks that every player at Chelsea needs to take responsibility for the poor attacking displays of late, leaving the club with no goals in three of their last five games.“I think they were better than us, and they proved that when you play against a high level team like Arsenal if you don’t approach the game the same way, you can suffer, so that was what happened,” He added. “That is another problem that we have to improve – creating more chances and scoring more.”When I say that I am not talking about the strikers, I am talking about the whole team. The offensive phase starts with Kepa, and then with us the defenders, with everybody. In the last 6-7 games we have not scored that much, especially in the Premier League, and we have to improve.”The offensive phase starts with the goalkeeper. Everybody has to participate, in the offensive phase and the defensive phase. The first 25 minutes we did not perform well, after that to control a team like Arsenal here with possession is never easy, especially in the second half we did that.”But then after that possession, and being more dangerous is two different things, so I think we had the possession but we still have to be more dangerous.“The pressure is always there, I think every Premier League every year is like this – a race for the title, and race to the Champions League positions, or Europa league positions, or to escape relegation. It is the same every year.“This is one of our goals this season so we have to do better and better and improve every single day.”Chelsea are hoping to takeover Gonzalo Higuain’s loan from AC Milan ahead of their next match against Tottenham in the semi-final of the Carabao Cup, and have agreed a deal with Juventus that the club hopes to finalize soon. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.
Liverpool have to “win everything” if they are to finish the season atop the Premier League table, says goalkeeper Alisson.Jurgen Klopp’s league leaders were held to a 1-1 draw away to West Ham on Monday, Michail Antonio’s goal cancelling out Sadio Mane’s opener, which should have been disallowed for offside.Klopp was annoyed by refereeing decisions after that call went the Reds’ way and the Liverpool manager has been asked by the Football Association to explain his comments to the media. Article continues below Editors’ Picks ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? And Alisson told Liverpool to rediscover their focus after missing the chance to restore their lead from chasing Premier League champions Manchester City back to five points.”We have to be prepared to fight everything,” Alisson said. “All the adverse circumstances that come our way.”I believe our team is on the right track. Now we do not have much room for hesitation. If we want to be champions, we have to win everything from now on.”Liverpool did not look their usual selves at London Stadium, although injuries meant they were without a host of players including captain Jordan Henderson.”I believe we had glimpses into the game. Some moments of insecurity,” the Brazil goalkeeper added.”We started ahead. [But] from the moment we started to miss some passes – some silly passes that we are not used to missing – I think the team lost a little confidence in the match. I think the opposing team also gained confidence.”Successive 1-1 draws for Liverpool have opened the door for Manchester City, who will go top of the table for the first time since December 15 if they win at Everton on Wednesday.And midfielder Fabinho called for the Reds to bounce back in their next Premier League game at home to Bournemouth on Saturday.”We have confidence,” Alisson’s compatriot said. “We enjoyed a brilliant December, which was almost perfect, but now we have had this dip.”It is difficult to explain why this has happened. I believe that now teams who play against us sit very deep. We need to do things a little differently and maybe we aren’t doing this – we are unable to find the spaces.”Often, we want to go through the middle and it is difficult against physically strong and defensive teams. We need to find solutions and in these past few games we haven’t.”We want to play better every day and unfortunately it is not happening. We know our quality and we know that we can give more. If we do it, with our quality, we will continue at the top.”But I’m talking and talking is always a little easier, so we have to try to put it into practice. Personally, I am not worried. But we know that in the next game we have to give much more.”Beating Bournemouth is important to continue with a three-point gap at the top of the table. Now we only look at the next game and that is against Bournemouth. Then there will be a run of difficult games, but we will get some players back from injury and the manager will have more options to choose for those games.” Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the web
FS1With week five of the 2018 college football season in the books, FOX Sports analyst Joel Klatt has issued an update regarding his top 10 teams in the country. Alabama is still No. 1, while Ohio State, after a huge win against Penn State, comes in at No. 2.The first eight teams in Klatt’s top ten are undefeated. The last two – Penn State and Auburn – have losses to other teams in the top ten. Penn State fell to Ohio State on Saturday night, while Auburn lost to LSU a few weeks back.Klatt also has a few teams on the cusp of being ranked in the top ten – Michigan, Washington, Wisconsin and Stanford. He also noted that he thinks Colorado should be the No. 18 team in the country.Klatt’s top 10 isn’t too controversial – it’s very similar to what both the AP Poll and the Coaches’ Poll looked like on Sunday afternoon.My New Top 10 (9/30)1 @AlabamaFTBL 2 @OhioStateFB 3 @FootballUGA 4 @OU_Football 5 @ClemsonFB 6 @NDFootball 7 @LSUfootball 8 @WVUfootball 9 @PennStateFball 10 @AuburnFootballAlmost: @UMichFootball @UW_Football @BadgerFootball @StanfordFball18 @RunRalphieRun— Joel Klatt (@joelklatt) October 1, 2018At this point, it looks like Ohio State might have the easiest road to the playoff. The Buckeyes, with big wins over TCU and Penn State, likely won’t be tested again until they play Michigan in the final game of the season.Alabama, meanwhile, still looks like the odds-on favorite to win it all. The Crimson Tide, behind Tua Tagovailoa, has looked untouchable so far this year. That said, they still have a number of tough games left on the slate.
LOS ANGELES, CA – OCTOBER 24: Clouds over the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum turn pink in color as the sun sets during the Oregon State Beavers and USC Trojans college football game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on October 24, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)One of college football’s best defenders has been ruled out for the rest of the 2018 season.USC announced this evening that star linebacker Porter Gustin has suffered a season-ending injury.The elite linebacker, who was top 10 nationally in sacks, has a fractured ankle. He’ll have surgery this week.“Clay Helton said Porter Gustin suffered an ankle fracture, which will cost him the remainder of the season. Big blow to the Trojans’ defense and tough break for the senior linebacker,” Antonio Morales tweeted.“Gustin will have surgery this week. He had seven sacks in six games, which was tied for seventh nationally.”Clay Helton said Porter Gustin suffered an ankle fracture, which will cost him the remainder of the season. Big blow to the Trojans’ defense and tough break for the senior linebacker. #USC— Antonio Morales (@AntonioCMorales) October 15, 2018Gustin will have surgery this week. He had seven sacks in six games, which was tied for seventh nationally.— Antonio Morales (@AntonioCMorales) October 15, 2018That’s brutal news for a USC team that notched a huge win on Saturday night, upsetting No. 19 Colorado.USC (4-2) is set to play at Utah next weekend.
(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)The college football bowl season continues Friday afternoon with a handful of solid contests. Three match-ups highlight the action today including four ranked programs that hope to finish the season on a high note.There are four ranked programs in action today, the most of the bowl season thus far. Here is the three-game schedule coming up Friday afternoon and night:Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl: Purdue vs. Auburn at 1:30 p.m. ET on ESPNCamping World Bowl: No. 16 West Virginia vs. No. 20 Syracuse at 5:15 p.m. ET on ESPNValero Alamo Bowl: No. 24 Iowa State vs. No. 13 Washington State at 9:00 p.m. ET on ESPNThe College Football Playoff kicks off in just over 24 hours. These three games will give a good primer for the action yet to come.There’s plenty to watch today and tomorrow afternoon ahead of the playoff. Three games are on the docket for tomorrow ahead of the playoff as well.
TUSCALOOSA, AL – OCTOBER 21: Fans cheer as they celebrate in the final seconds of the Alabama Crimson Tide 45-7 win over the Tennessee Volunteers at Bryant-Denny Stadium on October 21, 2017 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)Last season, Alabama and Oklahoma battled in the College Football Playoff. Although neither team is set to meet this upcoming season, they could clash as they try to land a commitment from Jordan Banks, a four-star linebacker from Harbor City, California.Banks is the No. 14 outside linebacker in the 2020 class, according to 247Sports’ rankings. He has 16 scholarship offers and is currently considering a handful of Power Five programs.Right now, Banks isn’t ready to commit to any team on his list. However, Alabama and Oklahoma are trending up in the race to land the four-star linebacker.He took an unofficial visit to Alabama’s campus over the weekend and felt a pretty strong connection with the coaching staff. From 247Sports:“I really enjoyed being around the coaching staff and the hospitality they showed me,” Banks said. “They showed me a lot of love and I really love it out there. It’s not just the football program, it’s the school itself that stands out for me.“Alabama is the biggest thing going on there, it’s a total football town and everyone there loves Bama football. I really connected well with the coaching staff and I like how I fit in there and how they plan to use me.”It’s becoming very apparent that Nick Saban knows how to make a strong impression on his recruiting targets.The Crimson Tide weren’t the only school that Banks spoke about, as he revealed his appreciation for the Sooners as well.I already took an official visit to Oklahoma and loved it there. I’m going to try and set up official visits with the other three schools soon here. Right now, I don’t have a 5th school locked in. There are a lot of schools I’m looking at but those four stand out the most for me.Alabama and Oklahoma will make the cut for Banks’ top five schools, which also includes Ohio State and Washington.Banks wants to make his decision sometime in November.[247Sports]
AUSTIN, TX – SEPTEMBER 15: Joshua Moore #14 of the Texas Longhorns catches a pass for a touchdown in the third quarter defended by Ajene Harris #27 of the USC Trojans at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium on September 15, 2018 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)Back on Aug. 1, Texas sophomore Joshua Moore was arrested on a weapon’s charge.The wide receiver has been practicing with the team this summer, in the lead-up to Texas’ season opener against Louisiana Tech on the 31st. It is unclear what his status will be for that game.Moore’s court date has been set for next Thursday, Aug. 22. The proceedings will likely determine his status for the start of the year.Texas WR Joshua Moore has a court date scheduled for Aug. 22 for an unlawful carrying of a weapon, per Travis County records. Arrest occurred on Aug. 1, per Austin PD.— Brian Davis (@BDavisAAS) August 15, 2019 As pointed out by Burnt Orange Nation, the charge came in early August, but per the Travis County Court Clerk’s records, Moore’s offense came back on July 5, with a warrant listed for July 31.Head coach Tom Herman has responded to the Joshua Moore news, saying that the program is monitoring the proceedings.Via the Austin American-Statesman:Moore has been practicing with the Longhorns this month. In a statement to the Statesman, UT coach Tom Herman said, “We’re aware of the situation with Joshua Moore.”“We have talked with him and his family and are handling this internally at this time, but will continue to monitor the legal process,” Herman said. “We will determine any further action upon the completion of that process.”Moore is expected to have a pretty big role in the Longhorns’ offense. He started six games last year, recording seven catches for 53 yards and a touchdown on a 27-year haul-in against USC. A shoulder injury ended his season prematurely.[Austin American-Statesman]
Akshay Ramesh New DelhiFebruary 13, 2019UPDATED: February 13, 2019 15:54 IST Vijay Shankar has been impressive in the limited opportunities he has got so far (AP Photo)HIGHLIGHTSLakshmipathy Balaji said Vijay Shankar will be considered as one of the reserve players for the World CupVijay Shankar impressed with the bat in the ODI and the T20I series in New Zealand earlier this yearBalaji also rated India’s bowling unit as the best going around in the lead up to the World CupFormer India pacer Lakshmipathy Balaji has said Vijay Shankar has made a strong case for his inclusion in the Indian World Cup squad with his performances in the limited opportunities he has got so far.Vijay Shankar has only played four One Day Internationals but the Tamil Nadu all-rounder is in contention to earn a ticket to England for the showpiece cricketing event, starting May 30.Selection committee chairman, MSK Prasad had confirmed earlier this week that Vijay Shankar is in the pool of probables. There is positive talk surrounding the 28-year-old after his impressive showings in the recently-concluded tour of New Zealand.”Definitely. Vijay Shankar will be part of India’s World Cup squad. He has produced results with his bat. He should be there because he has showcased his immense potential in the limited chances he has got. He will be considered as one of the important reserves. He may not be fitting in the playing XI, but you need a strong bench strength. You reserve need to fight for spots in the XI,” Lakshmipathy Balaji told indiatoday.in.Shankar made his T20I debut during the Nidahas Trophy T20I tri-series in Sri Lanka last year but things didn’t go as he had a meltdown under pressure in the tense final against Bangladesh. Even as the required rate was soaring higher and higher, Shankar was struggling to put bat to ball and managed only17 from 19 balls before Dinesh Karthik played a blinder and helped India lift the trophy.However, in what can be called the second innings of his nascent international career, Shankar seems to be ticking all the right boxes. In Hardik Pandya’s absence, Shankar made his ODI debut in Australia and made the most of the only opportunity he got to bat in the 50-over format.advertisementWhen India were reduced to 18 for 4 in the fifth ODI of a five-match series in New Zealand, Shankar hung around and stitched a match-winning partnership with Ambati Rayudu. Shankar was then rewarded with an opportunity to bat higher up the order in the T20I series and the all-rounder showcased his ability to hit the long balls.Vijay Shankar as a back up top-order batsman? Suggesting that India can even look at Shankar as a backup top-order batsman: Balaji said: “So far he has proved himself as a batsman. With his batting ability, now he is pushing his case very very strongly. India are always trying to fill someone at the No. 4 spot. If Vijay Shankar comes good, you have another option for that spot. Vijay Shankar is making a strong case now for a top-order spot. His name will definitely be discussed.”He has not got enough opportunities to bowl. But whatever opportunity he got, he was looking okay. He is not someone who is express pace. But the first phase of Vijay Shankar has definitely been good. Now it’s time for him to bat consistently and try bowl full quota of overs.”Oppositions will find it tough to face India pacers: Balaji Meanwhile, Balaji also opined that India have the best pace bowling unit going around and oppositions at the World Cup in England will have a tough time facing Jasprit Bumrah and Co. The bowling coach of Chennai Super Kings added that Mohammed Shami may pip Bhuvneshwar Kumar to become the first-choice new ball bowler for India.”India have got the best pace bowling unit right now with Bumrah, Bhuvi, and Shami in very good form leading into the World Cup. With the depth we have in the bowling department, this could be the best Indian attack to have travelled to a World Cup,” Balaji added.”I think Shami has done well in England, South Africa. Especially in English conditions, where there is lateral movement on offer, a bowler with upright seam can perform. All three bowlers work on their pace as well. They’re not similar. One is a proper swing bowler, one is a seam bowler, another one has a combination of high pace and unusual action. I think oppositions will find it difficult to face our pace attack.”Shedding light on possible combinations for the World Cup, the 37-year-old said: “Bumrah will be my go-to man. Bumrah and Shami as the first two picks. Then we can look at the conditions and the opposition. Against Asian teams like Pakistan and Sri Lanka, India can go in with three seamers and one spinner in Kuldeep Yadav. If you play against Australia, South Africa, and England, you can play two seamers, two spinners and Hardik Pandya.”advertisementAlso Read | Pant, Rohit as openers for India in World Cup? Shane Warne has an interesting takeAlso Read | Great experience to share dressing room with Dhoni, Kohli and Rohit: Vijay ShankarAlso Read | Why India need MS Dhoni’s experience at 2019 World Cup: L Balaji explainsAlso See:For sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byAkshay Ramesh Tags :Follow Vijay ShankarFollow Lakshmipathy BalajiFollow 2019 World CupFollow India national cricket teamFollow India vs New ZealandFollow Nidahas Trophy Final Vijay Shankar making a strong case for 2019 World Cup berth: L BalajiSpeaking to indiatoday.in, former India pacer Lakshmipathy Balaji says the variety and depth in India’s bowling unit will make it difficult for oppositions at the 2019 Cricket World Cup.advertisement
Jyotindra Dubey New DelhiJune 22, 2019UPDATED: June 22, 2019 00:24 IST David Warner smashed 166 runs against Bangladesh on Thursday. (AP Photo)HIGHLIGHTSSachin Tendulkar holds the record of smashing most number of runs in a single edition of World cupTendulkar’s 673 runs in the 2003 edition of the World Cup is still unbeatenDavid Warner has scored 447 runs so far in World Cup 2019In the current edition of ICC World Cup, two major records were broken in a gap of just two days recently.The first one was on 18 June during the England versus Afghanistan match, which witnessed the most expensive spell in a World Cup. Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan, the world’s number three bowler in ICC ODI ranking, conceded 110 runs without a wicket off nine overs.The second record was set two days later, of the highest aggregate ever in any ICC World Cup match, during the Australia versus Bangladesh match. In all, 714 runs were scored with Australia posting a massive score of 381/5 and Bangladesh replying with 333/8 in a losing cause.Both these records make one thing clear. The current World Cup tournament has been a high-scoring one and the pitches are favouring the batsmen more than the bowlers. If the trend continues in the second half of the tournament, there is a strong chance that Sachin Tendulkar’s record of scoring the most number of runs in a single World Cup tournament could be broken.Tendulkar’s 673 runs in the 2003 edition of the World Cup is still unbeaten. However, this year, the top two run scorers of the tournament have already made over 400 runs each, with quite a few matches yet to be played.Australian opener David Warner tops the chart with 440 runs in six games that he has played so far. He is followed by Shakib Al Hasan, the all-rounder from Bangladesh who has scored 425 runs in six matches, including one match which got washed out. Both Warner and Hasan are yet to play three matches each in the league stages of the tournament.advertisementWarner’s opening partner and Australian skipper Aaron Finch is not far behind, with 396 runs. Joe Root of England, and Indian opener and vice-captain Rohit Sharma are two other batsmen in the top five run scorers list.Who among these five batsmen can break Sachin’s record? The Data Intelligence Unit (DIU) of India Today group analysed the scoring patterns of the these five batsmen in the tournament to see how many runs they could score in all by the end of the league stage, if they continue scoring runs at the same pace (average runs/match) as they have been doing so far. According to DIU calculations, Rohit Sharma and Shakib Al Hasan Hasan could cross the 673-mark by the end of the league stage if they maintain their scoring average in the remaining league stage matches. Sharma has played three matches in the tournament till now, with one match getting washed out, where he has scored 319 runs at an average of 106 runs per match. If he maintains his form, he can score more than 850 runs by the end of the league stage as India is yet to play five more league matches in this tournament.Hasan has scored 425 runs in five matches, with one match getting washed out. Bangladesh has three more league matches ahead, and if Hasan keeps scoring at the same rate, he too can easily cross the 673 mark.David Warner, at his current scoring rate, might miss the mark by just three runs. While Aaron Finch and Joe Root will have to level up their scoring rate to surpass Sachin’s record, as they are falling short off the it by quite a few runs.Additionally, if the respective teams of these players reach the semi-finals or the finals, their chances of breaking the 16-year old record increase further.Also SeeFor sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byAnita Jat Tags :Follow World Cup 2019Follow Sachin Tendulkar Will Tendulkar’s record 673 runs in a single World Cup be broken this year?In the high scoring World Cup 2019 there is a strong chance that Sachin Tendulkar’s record of scoring the most number of runs in a single World Cup tournament could be broken.advertisement Next