London : Virat Kohli can be “rattled” and Australia should try to get under his skin rather than sitting back and be bullied by the Indian captain, said former skipper Ricky Ponting.
India will take on Australia in the four-Test series beginning on Thursday and former Australia batsman Dean Jones has advised against provoking Kohli.
The India skipper has mellowed down since the previous tour Down Under but when asked if he will be provoking Australia on the field, Ponting said: “Well, he might. I don’t necessarily believe that he is someone you shouldn’t try to get under his skin. I have seen him rattled.”
“Mitchell Johnson definitely rattled him a few times with some good hostile bowling and some good hostile body language around him. So, I would not sit back and let anyone bully,” Ponting told cricket.Com.Au.
“The way we go about playing cricket, especially at home, it is about good strong body language. That is the way Australians have always played their best.”
Ponting, under whom Australia dominated world cricket, said it would be “rubbish” if the current side doesn’t play with an aggressive mindset.
“Yes, Australian teams of the past have always had few words to say but it was always on the back of some good hostile bowling, you can’t do without it. It is rubbish otherwise.”
“You have to able to impose yourself on the game in a way other than using your mouth. You got to use your actions and skills.”
India lost the four-Test series 0-2 four years ago but Kohli amassed 692 runs at an average of 86.25, including four centuries.
Had he been the captain, Ponting says he wouldn’t have allowed Kohli to get a good start.
“With someone like him who likes to score freely, he has obviously got a big ego, there are other things you can do. Don’t let him score boundaries early on. Try and bowl tight, consistent stuff,” he said.
“He also likes to run the ball down to third man so may be play around with guys behind the wicket in different areas, just get inside his head as to what we are trying to do.”
“Another thing I will be doing is going back and looking at who has had the most success against him and why. The first one that comes to mind is James Anderson. He seems to trouble him the most,” added Ponting.
I will always be there for development of football : Chhetri
New Delhi: Sunil Chhetri, the all-time leading scorer for India in international football, says he is always there to help develop the sport in the national capital, where he was brought up.
The 34-year-old Padma Shri was conferred the first ever Football Ratna honour by Football Delhi, the association governing the sport in the city.
“I am honoured by the kind gesture of Football Delhi and recognising me with the Football Ratna award. My support will always be there for the development of football in Delhi and I am sure the current management is working hard to develop football in Delhi and make Delhi a model football state in India,” Chhetri said.
Football Delhi president Shaji Prabhakaran, himself a former player of repute and administrator at the All India Football Federation and FIFA, presented the award to Chhetri.
“We are inspired by the spectacular achievements of Sunil. His professionalism, dedication, discipline and passion, on and off the field, is an example not only for the football fraternity but also for every Indian to dream big and achieve something spectacular in life,” Prabhakaran said.
“It is a great honour for us to confer the first ever Football Ratna to Sunil Chhetri and we express our gratitude and thanks to Sunil for his time and inspiration to develop football in Delhi.” On the occasion, Football Delhi also honoured Shubham Sarangi, youth player from Delhi who is currently the player of Delhi Dynamos squad for ISL. Shubham was part of AIFF Youth Academy since the age of 12 years and represented India in U-14 and U-17 youth national teams.
Lacazette sent off in Arsenal loss; Chelsea, Napoli win
London: Arsenal suffered a shock 1-0 defeat at BATE Borisov on a night forward Alexandre Lacazette will want to forget after being sent off late on, while Chelsea, Inter Milan and Napoli all won away in Europa League last 32 first-leg ties.
Spanish sides Sevilla, Valencia and Villarreal also tasted victory on the road, while Benfica, Club Brugge and Plzen have the upper hand heading into next week’s second legs.
Arsenal had scored 10 goals in two matches against BATE Borisov in the same competition in 2017 but never looked like being as prolific in the freezing temperatures of Belarus.
BATE took the lead when Stanislav Dragun nodded a free kick past Arsenal goalkeeper Peter Cech seconds before halftime after Lacazette put a header wide midway through the first half.
To compound his misery Lacazette was shown a red card five minutes from time for felling Aleksandar Filipovic with an elbow after the defender held him back and was also booked.
Arsenal’s London neighbours Chelsea did much better in similar temperatures, overcoming Malmo 2-1 in Sweden.
Ross Barkley gave the 2013 winners the lead when he stabbed home from close range on the half-hour and Oliver Giroud got his fifth goal in four Europa League matches with a slick back heel from a Willian cross 14 minutes into the second half.
Malmo’s Anders Christiansen scored a lovely goal on the break to make it 2-1 but the Swedes could not level the tie.
Italian clubs also enjoyed success with Napoli beating Zurich 3-1 in Switzerland, while Inter Milan’s Lautaro Martinez netted a 39th minute penalty for a 1-0 win at Rapid Vienna.
Napoli captain Lorenzo Insigne put the visitors ahead after 12 minutes as he capitalised on a dreadful mistake by keeper Yanick Brecher and Jose Callejon doubled their lead in the 21st when he slotted home from Kevin Malcuit’s low cross.
Piotr Zielinski got the third 13 minutes from time before Benjamin Kololli grabbed a consolation from the penalty spot.
In the only tie featuring two teams who dropped down from the Champions League, visitors Benfica beat Galatasaray 2-1 after taking the lead in the 27th minute when Salvio converted a penalty given for handball.
Never thought India call-up would come so early: Markande
Mumbai: Mayank Markande had just demolished the England Lions with an impressive 5/31 to help India A register a comprehensive win by an innings-and-68-run win inside three days in the second and final unofficial Test, in Mysore. But moments just got better for the 21-year-old after being included in the Indian T20I side which will face Australia in the two-match series from February 24.
But the India call-up is a bolt from the blue for the youngster who has been in impressive form over the past few months. “Get a national call-up is the biggest achievement in a player’s career. To be honest I was not expecting this. I did not think I would get included the national set-up this early. I consider myself really lucky,” said Markande.
The last one year has been “amazing” for Markande where he played 7 first-class matches and picked up 34 wickets at an average of 21.26 (including three five-wicket hauls.) But he attributes his India call-up to years of hard work.
“My performances in the Ranji Trophy along with meaningful performances for India A must have been noticed by the selectors. and I am really happy that they have given me a chance to prove myself,” he said.