Sydney: India’s ODI vice-captain Rohit Sharma said the World Cup squad was more or less settled but nobody should take his place for granted as poor form could lead to omissions. Sharma said there could be one or two changes in the squad, which will take on Australia and New Zealand in the upcoming ODI series, depending on poor form and injury in the coming months. “The squad that plays these 13 ODIs is more or less the one that will go to the World Cup. There will be one or two changes, keeping in mind the form and injury concerns over the next few months,” Sharma said ahead of India’s first ODI against Australia here on Saturday.
Talking about the slots in the playing eleven, he said, “…more or less, the slots are pretty much taken. Having said that, I feel everything will depend on the form of each player. Nobody is guaranteed that flight to England as yet.
“I would not say that every individual who’s part of the next few series would be playing the World Cup. You have got to perform. But there won’t be drastic changes,” said the stylish opener. The World Cup starts on May 30 in England. India last played ODIs in Australia in 2016, and lost the five-match series 1-4. Their top-order comprising Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli had excelled back then too, but the middle-order did not support them enough. “It’s not about one or two individuals, it’s about 11 of us contributing. Individuals may win one or two games but to win the championship, the batting unit needs to come together,” he said. “There will be times when your top-order fails and the middle-order has to take the responsibility. I think they have done that in the last few series we have played,” he added.
Women’s football team better than men’s, says Chhetri
New Delhi: The FIFA ranking says so and India football captain Sunil Chhetri too has no qualms in conceding that the national women’s team is better than the men’s side. The men’s team is currently ranked 103rd out of 211 countries, after being in the top-100 last year. The women’s side is currently 62nd out of 152 nations.
Chhetri, the poster boy of Indian football with second-most goals among active international players, praised the national women’s team for its fifth consecutive SAFF title win. “Extremely proud of all of you. I have always maintained that the women’s team is much better than the men,” Chhetri said.
The women’s team will feature in Round 2 of the Olympics qualifiers, which kick off in Mandalay in Myanmar on April 3.
I will be first one to hang my boots when time comes: Yuvraj on retirement
Mumbai: Yuvraj Singh’s cricketing future has been a topic of discussion for some years now but the player said he would be the first one to bid adieu when he felt that his time is up.
Out of national team’s scheme of things for good, Yuvraj has had a poor track record in the IPL but started on a bright note with a half-century for his latest franchise Mumbai Indians.
“When the time comes, I will be the first one to hang my boots,” Yuvraj told the media after MI’s 37-run defeat against Delhi Capitals in the IPL opener.
However, India’s 2007 World T20 and 2011 World Cup hero did admit that at times he felt indecisive about carrying on.
“The last two years, have been up and down (for me). And I could not decide on what to do,” said the 37-year-old.
Yuvraj said when on introspection, he found that he is still enjoying the game just as he did as an U-16 cricketer not thinking about national team selection.
“The main thing for me was why I played the game when I started off. I played the game because I enjoyed playing cricket. When I enjoyed playing cricket, I was not playing for India. I was playing for U-14s and U-16s. So till the time, I enjoy playing cricket, I am going to play.”
The veteran left-hander spoke to Sachin Tendulkar, who could relate with his situation as to how he felt when he was at the business end of his career.
“I have been speaking to Sachin (Tendulkar) as well and he has gone through that time when he was 37-38-39 (and how he felt). Talking to him makes things easier for me. And I am just playing because I enjoy playing cricket pretty much,” he signed off.
Zidane is the right man for the Real Madrid job : Mourinho
London: Jose Mourinho has said that he believes Zinedine Zidane is the right man for the Real Madrid managerial position.
Zidane was re-appointed as Madrid’s head coach earlier this month, just 10 months after he had resigned from the same position.
After Solari’s dismissal, many tipped Mourinho to return to the Santiago Bernabeu after he had been sacked as Manchester United boss in December.
Mourinho was Madrid’s manager from 2010 to 2013, but the Blancos instead opted to bring back three-time Champions League winner Zidane.
And Mourinho himself has now said that the Blancos made the right call, adding that the Frenchman is just getting started in his managerial career despite what he has already achieved.
“I do not think we can talk about a career for him yet,” Mourinho said of Zidane on Canal Plus.
“But in a very short time, he did what no one had done before, that is winning three consecutive Champions Leagues”.
“Now he is starting a new step in his career. He has to build a team, he has to make choices, buy players, sell them. He has to train them, give them his philosophy of play.
“I think he’s probably the best person for this club.”
Mourinho has not been shy about his desire to return to club management, and said this week he has already turned down a number of job offers.
The Portuguese said that he’s growing more eager to return every day.
“Day after day, I miss training. I’m not going to hide it,” Mourinho said.
“There’s something going on in my head, winning a fifth league and a new Champions League with a third club.”