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India wasted time playing Sri Lanka, says annoyed Bedi

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New Delhi: Former India captain Bishan Singh Bedi is not at all surprised with the current team’s surrender in South Africa as he feels Virat Kohli’s men went into the series without serious preparation and “wasted time” playing against Sri Lanka.

The 135-run defeat in Centurion on Wednesday ended India’s nine-series-winning Test run as South Africa took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match rubber.

India had hammered Sri Lanka in a full series at home before departing for South Africa. The series was arranged within three months of the away assignment in Sri Lanka where India blanked the hosts.

 

When asked about India’s preparation for South Africa tour, Bedi came up with a stinging response.

“There was no preparation. We wasted our time with the Sri Lankans. There was no sense in playing a weak team for one and a half month when we should be preparing for South Africa,” Bedi told PTI.

“It was supposed to be a tough tour and it required intense preparation. You beat Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka and you then call them to India, for what? The Indian cricketers would have been better off playing domestic cricket or preparing themselves exclusively for the tour,” said the spin great.

India went into the series without playing a warm-up match. However, Bedi said there is no need to press the panic button yet.

“India have been outplayed. It is not a cause of panic, it is a cause of concern. Bowlers have done a good job. The catching and batting has left a lot to be desired. It is a good trial by fire for this Indian team.”

India will travel to England and Australia later this year; and with the performance against South Africa, they have certainly not increased the fans’ expectations for future tours.

Bedi felt the ODI form was given preference over the five-day form when it came to selecting the playing eleven.

One example of that was picking Rohit Sharma over vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane in the first two Tests. Rohit ended with 78 runs in four innings, averaging 19.50.

“It is not my job to pick the team. I can only say that vice-captain, who is part of the decision-making, is not playing. I can’t agree with that.

“Whether you like it or not, he is a human being. Rahane is not going to take this development positively. Why did you make him vice-captain if you had to drop him?

“It looks like ODI form was preferred for picking the eleven, which is not the right thing. Test matches are a different ball game and this series has proved that,” Bedi added.

“Another baffling decision was to drop pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar after a six-wicket haul in the first Test in Cape Town,” he said.


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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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