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Virat Kohli confident India can beat Australia after England Test series defeat

Press Trust of India

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London: Virat Kohli is optimistic that India can compete in challenging conditions in Australia despite a crushing 4-1 defeat to England that compounded a disappointing away record in Tests.
England wrapped up victory at the Oval on Tuesday, winning the final match of the series against the number one side in the world by 118 runs late on the fifth day.
But despite the comprehensive nature of the series defeat, Kohli took positives from the tour as he looked forward to Australia, where India have never won a Test series.
“What matters to me is the kind of attitude you play cricket with,” he said. “We said at the end of the fourth game that we won’t throw in the towel and we didn’t.
“This kind of series shows you exactly the kind of character of individuals and I see that as an opportunity and not adversity because if you keep winning all the time a lot of faults are swept under the carpet, you don’t realise the faults you need to work on.”
Kohli, who was top-scorer in the series with 593 runs, said India had created pressure at various times in England but had not capitalised on key moments.
“We were not able to hold that pressure for long enough with the bat and the ball as well, so at crucial stages we could not keep that pressure on for long, and that is why they took advantage of those situations better than us,” he said.
For all India are the world’s top-ranked side, they have now won just one of their past nine series outside Asia.
But a number of factors are in India’s favour for their Australia tour.
They boast arguably their finest-ever pace attack and will face a team still without the banned Steve Smith and David Warner and with fitness doubts over their attack.
When asked if he was confident about the four-match Test series, which starts in December, Kohli talked of the strides the team has made.
“The progress has been there… we need to recognise when the situation is in our favour and how to solidify that situation even further, and make sure that the opposition cannot get back in to the game,” he said.
“More often than not (against England), we have given the advantage to the opposition rather than them brilliantly turning around a situation.”
And Kohli spoke about the need to compete from the first ball of the series.
“We can’t warm up in to a series because the first Test is always crucial, and we need to make sure we are in the right frame of mind to be able to do all the things right to strike first,” he said.


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Kashmir from the outside is not the way it is over here, says Real Kashmir captain Loveday

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By Rohit Mundayur

Srinagar : Loveday Enyinnaya is no stranger to India. The Nigerian defender has been in the country for nearly eight years in a career that has taken him from the coastal air of Kerala to the colder one that you find in Shillong. After four years in the hills, he returned to the salt and beaches, only this time in Goa. Finally, he went to Chandigarh where he won the league title with Minerva Punjab. His current endeavour, though, is something no one has done before – captaining Real Kashmir in the I-League.

IndianExpress.com caught up with him and he gave a picture of what it is like to be a top flight football player in Kashmir.

What was your reaction when you first got the offer to join the club?

I said ‘I’ll consider it’. I was basically a bit doubtful because this was a new club freshly promoted from the second division. Eventually, though, I said ‘yes’ to the offer.

What made you say yes?

I had confidence (in the club). I also felt that it will be a different experience. Real Kashmir was a top team I felt when they were in the second division and that is why I accepted the offer.

What had you heard about Srinagar and Kashmir before you got the offer?

I had heard that there were political issues here. But honestly, when I got the offer I wasn’t thinking about that side of it, I was only thinking from a professional point of view. Now that I am here I realise that what I used to think about Kashmir from the outside is not the way it is over here.

How difficult was it to adjust to the weather?

I was in the North East for four-five years. Kashmir is a little bit colder. Breathing here is a little bit difficult. Sometimes your chest hurts because of cold especially when you are playing or running. But I have to get used to it and acclimatise to it. There are times when there is snow on the pitch and when you don’t feel like getting out because of the cold. This is the life of a professional, you can go to a hot place or a cold place. You get used to the heat you face in places like Kolkata. In the same way you get used to the cold here.

What do you have to say about the crowds that come here for every match?

Not too surprised by the crowds. This is the first time after all (that a team from Kashmir are playing in the I-League). They like football, and they know the game too. They are happy that they are getting to see it live. It is like when Shillong Lajong reached I-League for the first time. It was the same in Shillong. The crowd here is amazing, you know, they understand football. So we better use the advantage.( IndianExpress.com)

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Smith, Warner’s suspensions ‘could be lifted this week’

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London : Steve Smith and David Warner could have their one-year bans from international and state cricket reduced or adjusted after a review by the board of Cricket Australia (CA) this week, local media reports said.

Former Test captain Smith and vice-captain Warner were handed the bans by CA after the ball-tampering scandal earlier this year and are not scheduled to resume playing at the top level until the end of March 2019.

Batsman Cameron Bancroft was handed a nine-month ban for his part in the affair and is scheduled to return to action at the end of December.

The Australian Cricketers’ Association have always contested the bans were overly-harsh and have continued to push for all three to be able to return to representative cricket immediately.

Those calls intensified after a cultural review into Cricket Australia last month that suggested that the culture fostered in the game by the governing body had contributed to the incident in a Test against South Africa.

That review led to the resignation of chairman David Peever, who had forcefully maintained that the players should see out the full terms of their suspensions.

Sydney’s Daily Telegraph on Monday reported that “serious discussions” had taken place among senior officials over allowing the players to return to state cricket, adding that the board would consider lifting the suspensions this week.

Smith and Warner are two of the best batsmen in world cricket and the debate over their bans is being played out against the backdrop of Australia’s continued struggles in all formats of the men’s game.

With Australia’s defence of the 50-overs World Cup starting in England at the end of May and the defence of the Ashes following in August and September, there is clearly a desire among some Down Under to get the duo back as soon as possible.

Both have been keeping their hand in by playing Sydney club cricket and have received praise in local media for the way they have conducted themselves.

Smith and Warner have both been retained by their franchises in the lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL) for the next version of the competition, which starts on March 29.

Australia take on India in the first of three Twenty20 internationals in Brisbane on Wednesday looking to snap a run of four consecutive defeats in the format.

They then face the tourists, who are top of the world rankings, in four Tests over December and January looking to avoid what would be a first ever home series loss to India.

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Besides Kohli, wary Australia plan to stop Rohit Sharma

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Brisbane: Trap him in front of the stumps with a sharp inswinger or test him with a short ball: These could be the tactics employed by Australia against dangerous India opener Rohit Sharma, says pacer Nathan Coulter-Nile.

Besides India captain Virat Kohli, Rohit is another batsmen that could give the home team plenty of headache in the limited overs leg of the series beginning on Wednesday.

“He’s an unbelievable player. His record speaks for itself. He’s got a good record all around the world, so he’s a definite player to watch,” Coulter-Nile said at the Gabba on Monday.

“But we’ve also had a bit of success against him with the new ball as well–I think ‘Dorff’ (Jason Behrendorff) got him out last time we played him–rapped him on the pads–so we’ll look to do that again early.”

Coulter-Nile also fancies bowling short to Rohit, who has an impressive record in Australia and has scored 810 runs at an average of 62.31 in the last eight years.

Left-arm pacer Behrendorff could be Australia’s trump card as he had troubled the Indians with a sensational spell of four for 21 in a T20 played in Guwahati last year. He had sent back the Indian top four, including Rohit and Kohli.

“Everyone knows he’s a fantastic option up front. He’ll swing it here–it’s beautiful conditions for it today, hopefully same sort of conditions (on Wednesday), it’ll swing early. Hopefully we hold our chances, because he’ll definitely create a few,” added Coulter-Nile. PTI

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