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Foakes, Bairstow, Buttler: England have problem of plenty

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London : A century on debut and tidy performance behind the stumps has ensured that Ben Foakes will retain the wicketkeeper’s position for the second Test against Sri Lanka, captain Joe Root has said.

With Jonny Bairstow nursing an ankle injury, Foakes stepped into the role in the first Test and seized his opportunity with a man-of-the-match performance, scoring 107 in his debut innings.

England won the match at Galle by 211 runs, with Foakes’s first innings knock crucial after they had slumped to 103 for five on the first day.

 

The wicketkeeper was last man out, having combined with the lower middle order and bowlers for an additional 239 runs.

“Ben is going to keep,” Root said in comments published by The Independent ahead of the second Test in Pallekele starting on Wednesday.

“We’ve come to Sri Lanka to win this tour. And in these conditions, I think Ben is the best option behind the stumps.

“It’s a great opportunity for Ben to show his ability and I think you’ve got to reward a performance like last week.”

Bairstow has returned to training but Root did not say whether he would have been available. British media have reported that he did not take part in any activities that could have aggravated the ankle injury.

Root said his Yorkshire teammate Bairstow, who has strengthened England’s lower-middle order with his batting and worked hard on his wicket-keeping, still had a role to play in the Test side.

“Jonny is a fine keeper and what he’s done over the last couple of years has been exceptional,” Root added.

“He’s pretty much been faultless, not really stood out at all, which is probably a good thing for a wicket-keeper, and long-term I see him as a focal part of the Test team.”

Fellow wicket-keeper Jos Buttler is likely to move up the order to bat at number three after Moeen Ali failed to take his opportunity in Galle, being dismissed for a golden duck in the first innings and scoring just three in the second.

“I’ll bat where is required,” the free-scoring Buttler told British media about a potential elevation to the top order.

“In this part of the world it doesn’t matter too much.

“The style of cricket required is very similar wherever you bat with a 90 percent chance of starting your innings against spin.

“Potentially number three could be the best time to bat.”


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Dhoni could be ‘exposed’ by Yuvraj’s dad after World Cup

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Mumbai: Father of recently retired former Indian all-rounder Yuvraj Singh, Yograj has struck again, and all the signs point toward former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

While the cricketer is busy preparing for India’s next clash against Pakistan on Sunday after rain played spoilsport on the much-hyped India-New Zealand clash, a recent video of Yograj has surfaced where he speaks about an ‘un-named’ player who is responsible for the ‘dirty politics’ in the Indian cricket team.

Yograj further goes on to state that this player is the reason that many players like Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, VVS Laxman, and his own son Yuvraj Singh were not included in the Indian team at crucial points in time.

 

While Yograj didn’t reveal much about the player he talks about, he did mention that he’d make the complete revelations after the currently ongoing 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup. Based on earlier allegations by Yograj, who was also a former pace bowler, towards then Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, It seems pretty evident that he is speaking of ‘Captain Cool’.

“I don’t want to take his name but he has been playing these dirty politics from the last 15 years. He has made lives difficult for Indian cricketers. I will make this revelation after the World Cup gets over. He will remember this for life that someone said something about him,” said Yograj.

“I don’t want to speak about him at this point in time because I don’t want the team to get affected during the World Cup,” he added.

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FIFA Rankings: India unmoved at 101

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London: The Indian national team remain unmoved in the June 2019 edition of the FIFA Rankings released.

Following India’s exit from the 2019 AFC (Asian Football Confederation) Asian Cup, India have had a change in coach with Igor Stimac replacing Stephen Constantine.

Under Stimac, India recently participated in the King’s Cup 2019 in Thailand where a 3-1 defeat against Curacao (79) was backed by a 1-0 win over hosts Thailand (116) in the third-place play-off.

 

GFX India FIFA Rankings June 2019

The Blue Tigers are set to face Tajikistan (120), DPR Korea (122) and Syria (85) in the upcoming Intercontinental Cup 2019 next. India enter the tournament as defending champions.

Meanwhile, in the global standings, Belgium continue to lead at the top having bettered their advantage over second-placed France who also stay put in their position, the same as Brazil and England at third and fourth spots respectively.

2019 UEFA Nations League champions Portugal have displaced Croatia to stand fifth while Spain (7) has gained two places. Germany (11 – tied with Argentina), Italy and Netherlands (both at 14) have also moved two places up.

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Coutinho brace helps Brazil forget Neymar in winning Copa start

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Sao Paulo: A brace from Philippe Coutinho handed hosts Brazil a winning start to the Copa America in a 3-0 victory over Bolivia as the absence of superstar Neymar was quickly forgotten.

Barcelona’s Coutinho scored from the penalty spot early in the second half and added a close-range header three minutes later.

Substitute Everton netted a sensational third five minutes from time to clinch a Group A victory for coach Tite’s tournament favorites in Sao Paul.

 

The build-up to the competition had been dominated by Neymar’s woes, firstly when he was accused of rape by a Brazilian model, and then when he damaged ankle ligaments in a friendly last week, forcing him out of the Copa.

If Brazil’s first-half performance was anything to go by, the Paris Saint-Germain star was sorely missed, but Coutinho’s brace at least silenced the jeers that met the team at half-time.

“Whistles are part of the game, the fans want us to win and play well, so that’s why they jeer,” said the match-winner, whose goals papered over the cracks of an at times disjointed performance.

“We always want their support but we’re focused on the objective, which is the match,” Coutinho told Brazil’s SportTV.

“Whistles or cheers, the important thing is to stay focused and get the win.” Brazil made a bright start and predictably dominated the early possession and chances
But surprisingly their greatest threat came from set-pieces with Coutinho’s corner delivery causing panic in the Bolivian backline.

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