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Kohli reveals how IPL 2019 will influence India’s WC selection

Press Trust of India

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Hyderabad: India captain Virat Kohli Friday said IPL performances will have “no influence” on the World Cup team selection, calling the speculation a “very, very radical analysis”.

With 12 to 13 slots more or less locked, India will be zeroing in on their last couple of slots for the World Cup, which starts May 30 in England, after the five games in the upcoming ODI series against Australia.

“No, I don’t see the IPL having any influence on World Cup selection. I think that will be very, very radical sort of analysis,” the Indian captain, known for his forthright views, said on the eve of the first ODI here.

 

There were talks that IPL could be a possible shoot-out between Dinesh Karthik and Rishabh Pant for the second wicketkeeper’s slot but Kohli said that one good IPL won’t make much of a difference for any World Cup hopeful.

“We need to have a solid team. Before we head into the IPL, we need to be absolutely clear of what team we want for the World Cup. I don’t see anything changing on how the IPL goes for any of the players.

“If one or two players do not have a good IPL season, it doesn’t mean that they are out of the picture for the World Cup. Those things are not going to matter,” Kohli set the record straight.

Talking about the remaining slots, Kohli is keen to give Pant some game time but certainly not at the cost of playing a bowler less, taking the field restrictions into account.

“We will have to think about the combinations. I don’t think playing a bowler less is a good idea because with the extra fielder in till the 40th over, it becomes very difficult to sort of get a few guys to chip in with a few overs here and there.

“We will have to work out the batting combination to try and give game-time to the guys we want to. But, I don’t see the bowling combination changing,” the skipper said.

The skipper also dropped a broad hint that KL Rahul, who seems to have regained some form, has made a very good case for himself for the World Cup squad.

“It augurs really well. KL, when he plays well, is operating at a different level I feel. We have seen him do that in the IPL last year and in patches over the last season we played as a team.” Kohli then went on to explain as to what makes Rahul special.

“It’s very difficult to find a consistent player, who can play good cricketing shots and still win you games at a strike-rate of over 140 or 150. He has all the shots and has a solid game as well.

“…it will be interesting to see what happens in the final World Cup squad. Definitely, he has made a strong case for himself. It’s good he’s in great nick and hopefully he can carry it forward.” The one time the skipper seemed a trifle irritated was when a scribe asked whether the team is experimenting at the cost of winning the series.

“We are playing to win the series or else I’ll leave the ball to hit the stumps,” it was difficult to miss the sarcasm in his voice.


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Would be sitting at home if I think like people from outside: Kohli

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Mumbai: Virat Kohli said he would be “sitting at home if he thinks like people from outside”, responding, in his trademark combative style, to Gautam Gambhir’s recent jibe at him, but without taking the former opener’s name.

Gambhir, who led Kolkata Knight Riders to two IPL trophies in 2012 and 2014, recently said that in a result-oriented franchise environment, Kohli has been “lucky” to have survived despite Royal Challengers Bangalore never winning the coveted title in his eight years as skipper.

Asked about it, the batting maestro said, “Obviously, you want to win the IPL. I am doing what I am supposed to do. I don’t care whether I am going to be judged on this (not winning IPL) or not. There is no real, sort of, parameters you set. I try to perform wherever I can. I try to win all the possible titles, but sometimes it just doesn’t happen.

 

“We have to be practical about why we haven’t won one. That boils down to bad decision making in pressure situations. If I think like people from outside, I can’t even sustain five games. I would be sitting at home,” Kohli said.

According to Gambhir, one can’t say Kohli and Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the same breath, as India’s current captain has not won the IPL even once in comparison to his predecessor’s three. Gambhir also compared Kohli with his national team deputy Rohit Sharma, who too have three IPL titles to his credit.

“I know people talk about it a lot and they like to grab opportunities to talk about these things. But I have a responsibility here and given a chance, as a captain, I would love to win the IPL for my team.

“We all are motivated to do so. It has not happened and that’s the reality. No excuses for that. Only acceptance of the faults that we made in the past. The fact that we played six semi-finals means that we have been a side who are always in contention. If we make better decisions, we can go further than that. That’s how I see things,” Kohli added.

The Indian captain was speaking on the eve of the IPL 12 opener between his team and Chennai Super Kings.

To a question if he felt RCB were the underdogs against CSK at home, he said every team that comes here has to be considered so, with the home team being led by Dhoni.

“MS knows exactly what he wants from his team in these conditions. We all have seen that and are aware of it. We are going to be backing our skills and then find ways to come out on top.

“It’s very easy to be overawed by the support that CSK are going to get. In the IPL, people can get carried away by the support that a team like CSK gets at home but we have to focus on our basics.”Kohli also said RCB’s focus this year would be on being consistent and scratching their way to wins.

“It again boils down to how much composure you have in crunch situations. If you see all the teams that have won, they have had players who have stood up and done the job.

“In the past, when we have been close to winning the title, we have just expected things to go our way instead of standing up. That is something we want to correct this season. If we look ugly, we look ugly. It doesn’t matter. We don’t want to be a side just playing flamboyant cricket. We want to be a consistent side,” Kohli said.

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AIFF deny I-League clubs’ request to reschedule qualifiers

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Mumbai: The All India Football Federation (AIFF) has denied the I-League clubs’ request to restart the 2019 Super Cup, Goal can confirm.

Nine I-League clubs had earlier informed the Indian FA that they are willing to take part in the Super Cup 2019 after AIFF president Praful Patel reached out to the clubs on Thursday and assured them that he will hold a meeting with them in mid-April.

After initially deciding to withdraw from the competition citing AIFF’s unfair treatment towards the clubs, the I-League clubs’ unison expressed their willingness to take part in the knock-out competition if all the clubs are allowed to take part.

 

However, as Goal reported earlier, matches given as walkovers cannot be replayed according to the regulations of the national cup competition. The AIFF has made it clear to the clubs that the regulations must be adhered to and that it would be unfair towards the opposing teams – Delhi Dynamos, FC Pune City and Chennaiyin FC – that took the field for the matches which did not take place.

Minerva Punjab, Gokulam Kerala FC and Aizawl FC failed to turn up for their Super Cup qualifiers on March 15 and March 16.

Due to the I-League clubs’ absence on the match days, the AIFF awarded Delhi Dynamos, FC Pune City and Chennaiyin FC wins by virtue of walkovers.

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Neymar charged for ‘insulting’ referee in Man United defeat

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London: Paris St Germain forward Neymar has been charged for “insulting and/or molesting” the referee following his post-game rant after the French side were knocked out of the Champions League last 16 by Manchester United, UEFA said.

Neymar, who was sidelined by injury, was investigated for lashing out and labelling the video assistant referee (VAR) system a “disgrace” after United won a controversial penalty in the dying stages to advance on away goals.

“Disciplinary proceedings have been opened following the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 second leg match between Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United FC (1-3), played on 6 March in France,” UEFA said in a statement.

 

“Player Neymar Junior – insulting / molesting acts against match official (statements made by the player following the above-mentioned match) – Art. 15 (1) (d) of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations.”

If the Brazilian is found guilty, he could be suspended for three matches in the competition for insulting match officials.

UEFA’s Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body will look into the case and a date for the hearing is yet to be confirmed.

PSG coach Thomas Tuchel had said after the game that he understood Neymar’s anger and defended his comments, saying they were made in the heat of the moment.

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