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There can’t be 11 Kohlis in a team:Muralitharan

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New Delhi: With Australia chasing down India’s total of 358 in the fourth ODI in Mohali and squaring the five-match series 2-2, pundits and fans have been quite critical of the performance of the Indian players.

While some have questioned the bowlersinability to defend a mammoth total on a decently big ground like the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) Stadium in Mohali, others have questioned Virat Kohlis captaincy skills in the absence of MS Dhoni, known to guide the skipper on the field.

Speaking to IANS, former Sri Lanka spinner Muttiah Muralitharan begged to differ with the criticism that has come India`s way after Australia won the fourth ODI.

 

He feels that people need to be patient as one cannot have 11 match-winners in the team and it is also important to try out various combinations going into the World Cup.

“You have to be patient with the team. The Indian team has been doing really well and are trying to experiment with the World Cup around the corner. You will get failures on the road to success as there cannot be 11 Virat Kohlis in the team. Not everyone can be a match-winner,” he said.

“You will win some games and you will also lose a few. Otherwise, every team must be filled with 11 Kohli-s or Sachin Tendulkar-s or Don Bradman-s. But that cannot happen,” Muralitharan added.

Coming to India`s spin bowling department, the wizard believes that the spin arsenal is well-equipped with Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal at the fore.

“I think they are doing a good job. Both are quality performers and the fact that they have done well in all conditions bears testimony to their talent. Also, why do you think someone of the calibre of R Ashwin is not being able to squeeze into the limited-overs team? It is because these two have done well. Just one bad game (in Mohali) can`t be enough to criticise them. We are not dealing with robots here,” he pointed out.

With the showpiece event round the corner, the former Sri Lanka World Cup-winner feels that the fans too have a role to play if India are to win the trophy in England in a couple of months.

“The fans have to be patient. The Indian players have done well and you cannot put too much pressure on them. This is a sport and there will be winners and losers. It is important to keep the pressure off the players as they must be allowed to focus on the game and that will bring the desired results,” he signed off.


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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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