Sports http://www.theweek.in/news/sports.rss en Thu Dec 03 15:52:17 IST 2020 https://www.theweek.in/privacy-an-settlement.html hamilton-fit-to-race-at-abu-dhabi-gp-after-covid-19-recovery <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/sports/2020/12/11/hamilton-fit-to-race-at-abu-dhabi-gp-after-covid-19-recovery.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/sports/images/2020/11/15/lewis-hamilton-reuters-2.jpg" /> <p>Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton has recovered from the coronavirus and will race at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix this weekend, the Mercedes team said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Hamilton’s presence at the Yas Marina circuit means that George Russell returns to drive for Williams in Sunday’s race.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The seven-time world champion tested positive for COVID-19 the day after winning the Bahrain GP on November 29 and missed last weekend’s Sakhir GP in Bahrain as he self-isolated for 10 days.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Lewis tested negative for COVID-19 on Wednesday prior to completion of his self-isolation period in Bahrain. This enabled him to travel to Abu Dhabi on Thursday afternoon, and he tested negative on arrival, Mercedes said in a statement.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Lewis has therefore completed the protocols required by the FIA for his entry to the paddock and will be able to take part in the race weekend.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Governing body FIA confirmed that Hamilton was free to leave Bahrain according to the health authority regulations in place.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>There are two practice sessions in Abu Dhabi on Friday.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Russell was released by Williams to drive for Mercedes as an emergency replacement for Hamilton, and he impressed with his assured driving at the Sakhir GP.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>He even looked on course to win the race before a botched tire stop by the team and a late puncture when he was in second place combined to push him down to ninth place. But the 22-year-old British driver's speed saw him earn a bonus point for the fastest lap and earn widespread praise.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Hamilton has won the Abu Dhabi GP a record five times, including the past two years.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>He has an insurmountable lead over Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas, who can still be overtaken for second place by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Sunday will also feature Sebastian Vettel’s last race with Ferrari after joining the Italian team in 2015. The four-time F1 champion, who has struggled most of the season, is racing for Aston Martin next year.</p> http://www.theweek.in/news/sports/2020/12/11/hamilton-fit-to-race-at-abu-dhabi-gp-after-covid-19-recovery.html http://www.theweek.in/news/sports/2020/12/11/hamilton-fit-to-race-at-abu-dhabi-gp-after-covid-19-recovery.html Fri Dec 11 11:33:17 IST 2020 isl-10-man-sc-east-bengal-hold-jamshedpur-to-goalless-draw <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/sports/2020/12/10/isl-10-man-sc-east-bengal-hold-jamshedpur-to-goalless-draw.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/sports/images/2020/12/10/Wahengbam-Angousana-SC-East-Bengal-Alexandre-Monterio-De-Lima-Jamshedpur-FC-PTI.jpg" /> <p>SC East Bengal held a wasteful Jamshedpur FC for a goalless draw to secure their first point of the Indian Super League at the Tilak Maidan Stadium, here on Thursday.<br> </p> <p>SCEB's Eugeneson Lyngdoh was given the marching orders following a second yellow card in the 25th minute but their defence led by Hero-of-the-Match Mohammed Irshad stayed compact and foiled every attempt of the Red Miners.<br> </p> <p>After three losses on the trot, laggards SCEB finally opened their account as they now have one point from four matches, while JFC moved to fifth place with six points from five games.<br> </p> <p>SCEB coach Robbie Fowler criticised the referee's decision for the second yellow on Lyngdoh and said the "standard needs to improve".<br> </p> <p>"I tried speaking to the official but they simply didn't listen. It's ridiculous. The standard of refereeing needs to improve. We felt as if we were playing against 12 players," the Liverpool legend said at the post-match interaction.<br> </p> <p>He, however, seemed happy to have secured a point.<br> </p> <p>"For a team playing with 10 players we were resolute. We fully deserved the point," he said lauding his defence.<br> </p> <p>Fresh from a stunning win over ATK Mohun Bagan, the Nerijus Valskis-led JFC attack struggled to find the net on multiple occasions, while the woodwork denied them twice.<br> </p> <p>The match ended with both the teams on 10 men when JFC's Laldinliana Renthlei was sent off following a second yellow in the 90+2nd minute after his tackle from behind against Jacques Maghoma.<br> </p> <p>SCEB were dealt a big blow in the 25th minute when they were reduced to 10 players after Lyngdoh was sent off following two yellow cards in space of four minutes.<br> </p> <p>The midfielder swung his foot and got a faint touch to take down Alexandre Lima, which prompted the referee to dish out a second yellow card.<br> </p> <p>The Red Miners had the first opportunity at goal in the sixth minute but Aniket Jadhav's shot ballooned over the post from close range.<br> </p> <p>In the 38th minute, the Red Miners were inches away from scoring from a Monroy corner that found Stephen Eze near the goal post, but the header hit the crossbar.<br> </p> <p>Then in the 68th minute, Alex Lima's faced a similar fate when his shot came off the woodwork.&nbsp;<br> </p> http://www.theweek.in/news/sports/2020/12/10/isl-10-man-sc-east-bengal-hold-jamshedpur-to-goalless-draw.html http://www.theweek.in/news/sports/2020/12/10/isl-10-man-sc-east-bengal-hold-jamshedpur-to-goalless-draw.html Thu Dec 10 22:40:43 IST 2020 mumbai-indians-rope-in-parthiv-patel-as-talent-scout <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/sports/2020/12/10/mumbai-indians-rope-in-parthiv-patel-as-talent-scout.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/sports/images/2020/4/24/parthiv-patel-insta.jpg" /> <p>Former India and Gujarat wicket-keeper batsman Parthiv Patel on Thursday joined Indian Premier League defending champions Mumbai Indians as a talent scout.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Parthiv, who featured in 25 Tests, 38 ODIs and two T20s for India, had announced his retirement on Wednesday, drawing curtains on a career spanning 18 years.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"Parthiv brings a vast domestic and international cricketing experience spanning over two decades, along with an understanding of the fast-paced IPL competition," MI said in a statement.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>MI owner Akash Ambani said that he was delighted to have Parthiv joining the franchise.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"We had the opportunity to pick his cricketing brain during his playing days at Mumbai Indians. I am very confident of his contribution to further enhance our scouting system with the depth of cricketing knowledge he possesses.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"Parthiv understands our ideology, the DNA of Mumbai Indians and what we are trying to create at MI," said Ambani.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The 35-old former wicket-keeper, on his part, said that he was thankful for the opportunity that was presented to him.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"I had enjoyed my cricket playing for Mumbai Indians, those momentous three years with the champion sides remain itched in my memory. It's time now to turn a new chapter in my life. I am excited, confident and thankful to the Mumbai Indians management for the opportunity presented to me," said Parthiv.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Parthiv, a former Mumbai Indians player, was part of the IPL winning sides in 2015 and 2017. He will now work closely with the coaching staff and scouts' group.&nbsp;</p> http://www.theweek.in/news/sports/2020/12/10/mumbai-indians-rope-in-parthiv-patel-as-talent-scout.html http://www.theweek.in/news/sports/2020/12/10/mumbai-indians-rope-in-parthiv-patel-as-talent-scout.html Thu Dec 10 21:02:12 IST 2020 india-england-series-ahmedabad-gets-d-n-test-chennai-to-host-opener <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/sports/2020/12/10/india-england-series-ahmedabad-gets-d-n-test-chennai-to-host-opener.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/sports/images/2019/8/1/ashes-england.jpg" /> <p>International cricket will return to India after a coronavirus-forced break with the marquee series against England in February-March next year and the itinerary unveiled on Thursday features a Day/Night 'Pink Ball Test' at the reconstructed Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Apart from the day-nighter starting February 24, Ahmedabad will also host the fourth and final Test and five T20 Internationals, the BCCI stated unveiling the 52-day tour's detailed schedule.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The two other venues that have been allotted matches as per BCCI's rotational policy are Chennai, which will be the venue for the first two Test matches (starting February 5), and Pune that will host the three ODIs (March 23 to 28).</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"Chennai will also host the second Test while the newly built Sardar Patel Motera Stadium in Ahmedabad will host the remaining two Test matches," stated a press release from the BCCI.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"Motera, the largest cricket stadium in the world, boasts of state of the art facilities and a seating capacity of 110,000...The iconic Test will be followed by the 5-match T20I series, which will also be held in Ahmedabad," it added.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>England team will finish its two World Test Championship engagements in Sri Lanka (Jan 14-18, Jan 22-26) and fly from Colombo to Chennai on January 27.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>BCCI secretary Jay Shah on Thursday announced Motera as the venue for the day/night Test during the Gujarat Cricket Association's Indoor Academy inauguration.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The match will be India's second pink ball Test at home after the Bangladesh game at the Eden Gardens last year.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The last leg of the tour will feature ODIs and all three matches will be held in Pune.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"The BCCI has restricted the tour to just three venues keeping in mind the current pandemic situation prevailing in the country," the statement read.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"Both Boards have worked closely to put together an exciting series that promises to provide high octane action between two powerhouses of world cricket," Shah added.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>England and Wales Cricket Board CEO Tom Harrison said he is looking forward to an exciting series.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"We have been delighted with the planning that has been undertaken by the BCCI to ensure the three venues in Chennai, Ahmadabad and Pune will be ready to host international cricket in a bio-secure environment...," he said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"The prospect of becoming the first international side to play at the magnificent Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad adds an extra dimension to the tour and I know will be something that is a highlight for both the players and management," he added.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>A BCCI source explained the rationale behind Pune and Chennai getting matches.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"As per our rotational policy, Pune and Chennai were due to get matches long back. With this series, they would get a chance to host their pending games.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"Also after a lot of deliberation, BCCI's operations team found that these are the three appropriate venues to create bio-secure environment for two teams," the official said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Since the England team will be travelling from one bio-bubble to another, it would be allowed to train during its week-long soft quarantine in Chennai.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>There are no practice matches scheduled as of now and it is understood that since England would have already played two Tests in Sri Lanka, they won't require a warm-up game after landing in Chennai.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Indian squad members are likely to be given a week's break after they are back from Australia and would again undergo RT-PCR Tests before they enter the bio-bubble in Chennai.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It is understood that a successful hosting of England series would pave the way for a good and successful IPL at home after it had to be taken to UAE this year.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>England's tour of India, 2020/21:</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Test series</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>1st Test: 5th-9th Feb (Chennai)</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>2nd Test: 13th-17th Feb (Chennai)</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>3rd Test: 24th-28th Feb (Ahmedabad) (D/N)</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>4th Test: 4th 8th Mar (Ahmedabad)</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>T20I series</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>1st T20I: 12th Mar (Ahmedabad)</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>2nd T20I: 14th Mar (Ahmedabad)</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>3rd T20I: 16th Mar (Ahmedabad)</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>4th T20I: 18th Mar (Ahmedabad)</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>5th T20I: 20th Mar (Ahmedabad)</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>ODI series</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>1st ODI: 23rd Mar (Pune)</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>2nd ODI: 26th Mar (Pune)</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>3rd ODI: 28th Mar (Pune).</p> http://www.theweek.in/news/sports/2020/12/10/india-england-series-ahmedabad-gets-d-n-test-chennai-to-host-opener.html http://www.theweek.in/news/sports/2020/12/10/india-england-series-ahmedabad-gets-d-n-test-chennai-to-host-opener.html Thu Dec 10 20:58:13 IST 2020 satendra-singh-lohiya-the-para-swimmer-who-braved-odds-to-prove-his-doubters-wrong <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/sports/2020/12/10/satendra-singh-lohiya-the-para-swimmer-who-braved-odds-to-prove-his-doubters-wrong.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/sports/images/2020/12/10/satendra-singh-lohiya.jpg" /> <p>Satendra Singh Lohiya is a powerhouse of mental strength and determination. Winner of the Tenzing Norgay Adventure Award 2020 by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Lohiya, earlier this year, became the first Asian para-swimmer to crossed the 42km-Catalina Channel in the US in just 11.34 hours.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Lohiya lost movement in his legs at a young age, but soon swimming became his source of strength and happiness. He would swim in the river by his village Gata in Bhind district of Madhya Pradesh. That, too, without the knowledge of his parents as they would get worried. Questions raised by villagers about his future would echo loudly in his ears; many would even wonder why he was studying, when he would be better off collecting alms at the local temple instead. But it did not deter him.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Speaking to THE WEEK, Lohiya said, "I’ve never seen my disability as my problem. I consider it my superpower. I used what I lacked as my strength to achieve more. I would like to give the message that use what you lack as motivation to climb higher and make your family and country proud. The strength and will-power of the mind supersedes the bodily powers."</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>His dream to swim across seas and channels around the world has been ably supported by the TATA Trust, which helped him not just with financial resources abut also technical and training resources.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The 33-year-old has a degree and a diploma in computers and tally. He persuaded his father to allow him to study further; his dad agreed and sold the land in village to move his entire family to Gwalior. While pursuing his undergradutate degree, the passion for swimming was strong but financial constraints put brakes on it. His friend told him about Lakshmibai National Institute of Physical Education and soon Lohiya met the first most important person in his life as a para-swimmer—Dr V.K. Dabas. "He [Dabas] saw that I knew how to swim and decided to train me. We trained together for the next two years. We would get the pool there for an hour and I had to make the most of that time to train. There weren’t any special facilities for me. I have trained myself with minimal resources and I take pride in that," Lohiya said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>His first competition was the Kolkata X-National Paralympics Swimming Championship in 2009, where he won a bronze medal, which reaffirmed his belief that he could pursue swimming further. To sustain his dream of achieving success as a swimmer he applied and got a job in the Commercial Tax department in the MP government. But the job did not allow him enough time to train and so he left it soon after. He was awarded the Vikram award by the MP government in 2014—the highest award for sportspersons in the state. But Lohiya found out there weren't any provisions for para-athletes and so he went to court, challenged the state government policy and won the case, ensuring the MP government created a policy for para-athletes.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In 2014, he decided to swim across the English Channel but it took him four years to achieve it. In August 2019, he crossed the Catalina Channel through a relay. He has participated in six national level competitions and three international competitions.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In an interaction with THE WEEK, he shared the various challenges he faced while swimming across the English Channel and other long distance swims, and his plans. Excerpts:</p> <p><b>Q) Tell us about your planning and preparation ahead of swimming across the English Channel?</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>A) I came across Rohan More from Pune, who, then, had crossed seven channels. I reached out to him for guidance and he agreed to help me. Arranging for funds to train, travel, and complete this channel was going to be a challenge. London is an expensive place. I applied for sponsorships at several places, I heard from nowhere except Tata Trusts. They called me and told me that they had seen my accolades and asked me to fill a form. They told me they would support me in my endeavours. However, I couldn’t cross the English Channel in 2017, which was my first attempt. For the next one year, I rigorously trained under More in Pune. I went back to the English Channel in 2018 with my fellow para-swimmers. I went to England in May 2018 and crossed the English Channel through a relay in June.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Q) What were the challenges while swimming long distances given your disability?</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>A) There were a lot of question marks about whether my disability would allow me to sustain or if I would ever be independent in life. I wanted to leave a lasting legacy. I wanted people to remember me. I wanted to be an inspiration for others. I didn’t want to ponder over what I lacked, but wanted to focus on what I could do with what I had and make the most of it. When you swim in a river, it is usually calm. A sea is more vociferous and has waves which swimmers need to train to navigate through. I believe strengthening one’s mind in such cases serves as the strength to do it all. All the people who then doubted me have told me that I took a great step by moving to Gwalior and chasing my dream.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Q) Which swim did you find was the most tough and challenging so far?</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>A) English Channel was the most challenging. My instructor was also a pillar of support in helping me access the training facilities I needed. It was also challenging because this was my first time swimming outside India. The water is very cold. The water is 11 degrees Celsius. To prepare myself mentally was important. Additionally, the pressure of not wanting to let my supporters and sponsors down was there. I didn’t want to disappoint anyone. As I said, a lot of people were hesitant to sponsor me for the English Channel. To prove to the then director in the sports office, Bhopal, I swam in the Arabian Sea across 33km in 5 hours 42 minutes. He still didn’t believe in me. I had decided to go back to his office only with the certificate that I had crossed the English Channel. I was now determined.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>For the training in Pune, I would shut the lights at the pool and train in the dark to prepare myself for swimming in the night. I even went there three months in advance to acclimatise my body to the cold water. Eventually, we crossed the English Channel in 11 hours. The day I walked into the director’s office with my certificate, he had tears in his eyes.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Q) How did you cope with COVID-19 restrictions on swimming?</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I used to meditate and practice yoga every morning. I also used to exercise at home since access to swimming pools was restricted. Moreover, I focused towards building my immunity which has kept me healthy.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><b>Q) Your plans?</b></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I was supposed to cross the North Channel in August, but plans got delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I am preparing to cross the North Channel in Ireland on September 3, 2021. I also want to cross the Seven Seas. In the long-term, I want to open a para-swimming academy for disabled children. I want to provide a platform for para-athletes from the rural regions to recognise their hidden talents and pursue their dreams.</p> http://www.theweek.in/news/sports/2020/12/10/satendra-singh-lohiya-the-para-swimmer-who-braved-odds-to-prove-his-doubters-wrong.html http://www.theweek.in/news/sports/2020/12/10/satendra-singh-lohiya-the-para-swimmer-who-braved-odds-to-prove-his-doubters-wrong.html Thu Dec 10 20:16:58 IST 2020 isl-sc-east-bengal-seek-turnaround-against-resurgent-jamshedpur-fc <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/sports/2020/12/10/isl-sc-east-bengal-seek-turnaround-against-resurgent-jamshedpur-fc.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/sports/images/2020/12/1/east-bengal-training-twi.jpg" /> <p>Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler will be under pressure to end his side SC East Bengal’s three-match losing streak when they face a resurgent Jamshedpur FC in an Indian Super League (ISL) game in Vasco, Goa on Thursday.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>SC East Bengal are currently the only side yet to open their account in the 11-team top-tier league.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Lacking a quality striker upfront, SC East Bengal’s backline too has been badly exposed of late, especially after the injury to their captain and defensive mainstay Danny Fox.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Up against the Red Miners, boasting last season’s Golden Ball winner Nerijus Valskis, Fowler’s shaky defence will be further tested.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Lithuanian striker struck a brilliant brace to script Jamshedpur’s first win of the league, that also halted ATK Mohun Bagan’s three-match winning run in their last match.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“It’s not going to be an easy game as no game in this tournament is supposed to be easy. We have a lot of quality in the side; we just need to take our chances. We need to convert chances and defend well,” SC East Bengal’s midfielder Jacques Maghoma said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“I think that if we rectify a few errors here and there, we’ll be fine and start winning those points. We just need to get some positive results.”</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Luck, too, is eluding Fowler’s side as their two penalty claims, including one when Maghoma was brought down inside the box against NorthEast United FC, were rejected by the referee.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“We started so well, dominated possession, but couldn’t capitalise on the chances. A penalty at that stage would’ve been massive for us. You can give the referee the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they made a mistake, but hopefully, they will correct it before the next game.”</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Owen Coyle-coached side, on the other hand, would be high on confidence after their one-sided win over ATKMB as they have moved up to the seventh spot.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“Well, the psychological boost is to win the match and we obviously deserve to win the match, obviously (against) the team that is on top of the league, the team that is unbeaten, the team which has not conceded a goal is obviously nice,” Coyle said.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“But the points are important because we came very close to the last two or three matches.”</p> http://www.theweek.in/news/sports/2020/12/10/isl-sc-east-bengal-seek-turnaround-against-resurgent-jamshedpur-fc.html http://www.theweek.in/news/sports/2020/12/10/isl-sc-east-bengal-seek-turnaround-against-resurgent-jamshedpur-fc.html Thu Dec 10 13:36:04 IST 2020 Our-batting-depth-without-Warner-will-be-tested-Smith <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/sports/2020/12/10/Our-batting-depth-without-Warner-will-be-tested-Smith.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/health/images/2020/2/26/Australia-cricket-Steve-Smith-walks-off-reu.jpg" /> India's nemesis Steve Smith feels that Australian team's batting depth would be hugely tested in absence of injured opener David Warner in the first Test in Adelaide, starting December 17.<br> <br> The hosts will likely have a new look opening combination in Joe Burns and Marcus Harris following injuries to Warner (groin) and in-form young gun Will Pucovski (concussion).<br> <br> &quot;Our depth is obviously going to be tested with Davey (Warner) out and few potentially new players coming in. It will test us out no doubt against a good Indian outfit,&quot; Smith said in Adelaide in a virtual news conference.<br> <br> &quot;They beat us out here last time and they're a very good side. It's gonna be a great series and whoever's up there and whoever's in the team hopefully we will do our job and can have a successful summer.&quot;<br> <br> Smith rated the Indian bowling attack highly even though he felt that it's not the &quot;strongest&quot; without senior pro Ishan Sharma, who has been ruled out of the four-match Test series because of a side strain he sustained during the IPL.<br> <br> &quot;They are a good (bowling) line-up. They're pretty experienced now... Mohd Shami has played a lot of cricket, Jasprit Bumrah has played a reasonable amount of cricket and a quality bowler.<br> <br> &quot;In the spin department, whichever spinner they use be it Ashwin, Jadeja or Kuldeep, they've all played a fair bit of cricket now.<br> <br> &quot;The quicks perhaps haven't played quite as much, whoever they go with them but they're all good bowlers. We're gonna have to be at our best as a batting group this summer, if we're gonna beat them.&quot;<br> <br> On Ishant's absence, he said: &quot;Ishant Sharma is probably a big loss for them at the start, if he's not available... He's obviously played a lot of cricket. Maybe without him, it may not be the strongest. I'm sure they would like him to play.&quot;<br> <br> The series will see Smith's face-off with Indian pace spearhead Bumrah for the first time in longer formats and he said the key against his awkward action is to be watchful all the time.<br> <br> &quot;I'm not doing anything specific. I think his skill set won't probably change too much. We know how he bowls, he's got a good pace.<br> <br> &quot;He's got that awkward action, very different to a lot of people. So you've got to be pretty watchful all the time.<br> <br> Suspended for his alleged role in the ball tampering scandal, the former Aussie captain missed India's last Test series that the Virat Kohli-led side won 2-1 to make it a first in 72 years.<br> <br> &quot;I watched it in bits and pieces. Yeah, it was difficult to be sitting on the sidelines and not being able to go out there and make a difference.<br> <br> &quot;That was the toughest thing to me knowing that I probably could make a difference out there.<br> <br> Indian skipper Virat Kohli will take paternity leave after the Pink Ball Test to be with his actor wife Anushka Sharma who is expecting their first child in January.<br> <br> Asked whether it will be a big advantage for the Aussies, Smith said it's a big loss for India but he credited Kohli for the decision.<br> <br> &quot;No doubt it's a big loss for India, Virat is a world class player. But look, you have got to give some credit to him.&quot;<br> <br> &quot;I know how much he would love to have played here but he's also a human being, and he's got a life outside of cricket and a family that's starting. So credit to him for wanting to be there for the birth of his first child.<br> <br> &quot;We know how much he loves playing here in Australia, how good he is. But like I said, a lot of credits go to him for wanting to go back there.&quot;<br> <br> This will be the first time India will play a Day/Night Test abroad Smith said it would be a great spectacle.<br> <br> &quot;The atmosphere certainly is right up there. It's one of the most beautiful stadiums around the world. It's a great place to play cricket, particularly day-night cricket. Just the atmosphere and the lights. Everything's just outstanding so it's a great spectacle of the pink ball.&quot;<br> <br> Smith considers Adelaide Oval to be one of his happy hunting grounds.<br> <br> &quot;It's a place I've really enjoyed playing and got some fond memories of Adelaide. I don't know what the crowd capacity will be, but there's always great support here and I'm looking forward to getting out there next week,&quot; he signed off.<br> <br> The Border-Gavaskar series gets underway in Adelaide from December 17, 8.30am onwards only on Sony Six and Sony Ten 3 channels. http://www.theweek.in/news/sports/2020/12/10/Our-batting-depth-without-Warner-will-be-tested-Smith.html http://www.theweek.in/news/sports/2020/12/10/Our-batting-depth-without-Warner-will-be-tested-Smith.html Thu Dec 10 12:15:59 IST 2020 Wade-can-be-makeshift-opener-in-Test-for-Australia-feels-Clarke <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/sports/2020/12/10/Wade-can-be-makeshift-opener-in-Test-for-Australia-feels-Clarke.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/sci-tech/2020/april/Australia-cricket-Matthew-Wade-runs-ap.jpg" /> Former skipper Michael Clarke believes in-form wicketkeeper-batsman Matthew Wade can be a makeshift opener in an injury-hit Australia squad for the first Test against India beginning at Adelaide on December 17.<br> <br> Australia are grappling with injury issues ahead of the day-night Test with David Warner being ruled out due to a groin injury, while Will Pucovski, who was considered a sure-short selection for the opening Test, is now a doubtful starter after suffering a concussion in a warm-up game against India A in Sydney.<br> <br> Joe Burns' awful run of form has only added to the list of worries for the selectors.<br> <br> With Cameron Green making a case for his selection with a hundred against India A, Clarke feels in that case Wade should be pushed up the batting order.<br> <br> &quot;If you're going to pick (all-rounder) Cameron Green then you've got to find another spot for Wadey,&quot; Clarke told AAP.<br> <br> &quot;He's got to be in that starting XI but that could be anywhere in that team. That could be opening the batting if need be. I think Wadey can do that.&quot;<br> <br> Wade had smashed back-to-back fifties in the last two T20Is against India. However, he has never batted higher than No.5 in Test cricket though he did open for Australia in 10 ODIs, averaging 30.60 with a highest score of 75. http://www.theweek.in/news/sports/2020/12/10/Wade-can-be-makeshift-opener-in-Test-for-Australia-feels-Clarke.html http://www.theweek.in/news/sports/2020/12/10/Wade-can-be-makeshift-opener-in-Test-for-Australia-feels-Clarke.html Thu Dec 10 11:06:24 IST 2020 italy-1982-world-cup-winner-paolo-rossi-dies-aged-64 <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/sports/2020/12/10/italy-1982-world-cup-winner-paolo-rossi-dies-aged-64.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/sports/images/2020/12/10/paolo-rossi-twi-ubaldofillol-crop.jpg" /> <p>Paolo Rossi, star of Italy’s 1982 World Cup-winning campaign, has died at the age of 64. The news was announced in the early hours of Thursday by Italian TV channel RAI Sport. The cause of death has not been revealed.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“Such terribly sad news: Paolo Rossi has left us,” said RAI Sport presenter Enrico Varriale.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>“Unforgettable Pablito, who made all of us fall in love in that summer of 1982 and who was a precious and competent work colleague in RAI over recent years.” Rossi had been working for RAI Sport as a pundit.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Rossi’s wife, Federica Cappelletti, confirmed the news as she posted a photo of herself and her husband on her Instagram page, captioning the picture, “per sempre” meaning ‘forever’.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Rossi is most widely recognised for his heroics at the 1982 World Cup in Spain and scored the opening goal in the final which Italy won 3-1 against West Germany. He also won the tournament’s Golden Boot and Golden Ball.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Rossi scored 20 goals in 48 appearances for Italy.</p> http://www.theweek.in/news/sports/2020/12/10/italy-1982-world-cup-winner-paolo-rossi-dies-aged-64.html http://www.theweek.in/news/sports/2020/12/10/italy-1982-world-cup-winner-paolo-rossi-dies-aged-64.html Thu Dec 10 09:46:16 IST 2020 paolo-rossi-the-emblematic-protagonist-who-rose-from-the-ashes-of-a-betting-scandal <a href="http://www.theweek.in/news/sports/2020/12/10/paolo-rossi-the-emblematic-protagonist-who-rose-from-the-ashes-of-a-betting-scandal.html"><img border="0" hspace="10" align="left" style="margin-top:3px;margin-right:5px;" src="http://img.theweek.in/content/dam/week/news/sports/images/2020/12/10/paolo-rossi-file-ap-crop.jpg" /> <p>2020 hasn’t been the best of years for many reasons. It even eclipsed the two World Wars in terms of the sheer extent of impact. We saw the world lose many icons across the board. Italian World Cup hero Paolo Rossi was the latest to breathe his last before the turn of 2021. The football world lost yet another gem within two weeks of losing Argentine legend Diego Maradona. One of the greatest forwards to ever play the game, Rossi put his name on the wall with other greats who played the game in 1982. He went from a lonely duckling, taking the pitch after a two-year hiatus due to betting allegations, to a majestic swan with a touch of grace. The saviour of the Azzurri who were engulfed by clandestine bets and match-fixing.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Rossi and Maradona were both World Cup heroes, known for memorable performances in the ’82 and ’86 World Cups respectively. Both their careers have had its share of controversies. But while Maradona’s career and fame took a dip post the 1990 World Cup, Rossi became an Italian icon after the betting scandal that he was involved in. While Maradona ended his illustrious career on a low, Rossi rose from the ashes of scandals to cement his name as one of the greatest footballers to have ever played the game. ‘Pablito’, as he was affectionately called, became the emblematic protagonist of Italian football.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Rossi made his professional debut in 1973 for Juventus, but it was mired by injuries making only three Coppa Italia appearances between 1973-75 without finding the net even once. He was then sent on loan to Como for a year where he managed to score only six goals. His career took a turn for the better in ’76 when he started playing for Vicenza Calcio (then Lanerossi Vicenza). Coach Fabbri played him as a centre forward (Rossi played as a right winger until then), and it was an immediate success. He top scored in Serie B division scoring 21 goals, winning the Golden Boot and led the team to promotion to Serie A. He top scored yet again the following year with 24 goals, becoming the first player to win the Golden Boot in Serie A and Serie B in consecutive years. He was called to play for the national side in the 1978 FIFA World Cup, where he scored three goals and gave four assists as Italy finished fourth.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>He became the most expensive player and sportsman ever to that date when Lanerossi payed 2.6 billion lire (approx $2 million then) in 1976. But despite scoring 15 goals for Vicenza in ’79. The club was relegated to Serie B and he was loaned to Perugia. It was his time at Perugia that saw him take the center in the infamous 1980 betting scandal known as Totonero. Rossi was banned for three years in which he missed out on the 1980 European Championship.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Rossi was called to the Italian national side in 1982 after his three-year ban was reduced to two. He joined the squad just two months before the start of the World Cup. His first game was a disaster as he was labelled as a ‘ghost aimlessly wandering over the field’ by the media.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Italy became the first team to advance from the first round (until then there were two Round Robin stages) without winning a single game, drawing all three of their fixtures. Italy advanced to the second round which also featured reigning champions Argentina featuring Maradona and favourites Brazil featuring Zico, Socrates and Falcao. Rossi scored a memorable hat-trick against Brazil (3-2) to take Italy to the semi-finals. Italy beat Poland 2-0 with Rossi scoring both goals to reach the finals where they faced West Germany. The final was scoreless at the end of the first half. In the 57th minute, Rossi’s header gave Italy the lead. They went on to beat West Germany 3-1 to lift the World Cup for the third time. Rossi was adjudged player of the tournament, winning the Golden Boot and the Golden Ball. That same year he also won the Ballon d’Or.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Following the news of his death, tributes poured in from around the world. Rossi is the second World Cup hero to die within two weeks after Maradona passed away last month from a heart attack.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Rossi ended his professional career scoring 103 goals from 251 games for clubs and 20 goals from 48 games for the Italian national side. The man who broke Brazilian hearts in 1982, was included in the Top 125 greatest living footballers by Pele in 2004 as part of FIFA’s 100th anniversary celebrations.</p> http://www.theweek.in/news/sports/2020/12/10/paolo-rossi-the-emblematic-protagonist-who-rose-from-the-ashes-of-a-betting-scandal.html http://www.theweek.in/news/sports/2020/12/10/paolo-rossi-the-emblematic-protagonist-who-rose-from-the-ashes-of-a-betting-scandal.html Thu Dec 10 12:13:34 IST 2020