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Australia Can Challenge India Sans Steve Smith And David Warner, Says Virender Sehwag

In the last few years, due to the lack of bilateral cricket between India and Pakistan, the India-Australia rivalry has grown leaps and bounds. The 2017 Test series between the two nations was contested aggressively and was in news for many reasons beyond cricket. However, since that eventful series in India, the dynamics of Australian cricket have changed. Virat Kohli is ready to lead his troops for a full series Down Under and it is believed that in the absence of Steve Smith and David Warner, this is India’s best chance to win a Test series in Australia. However, former India opener Virender Sehwag is of the view that the hosts are capable of giving a hard time to the visitors even without Smith and Warner. “Doesn’t matter if they (Australia) don’t have good players like Steve Smith and David Warner. They are playing in their own backyard,” Sehwag told NDTV in an exclusive conversation. 

“These players who are coming and playing in Test cricket have already played first-class cricket there. They’ve scored a number of runs. They don’t have much experience if you talk about international matches but they will give a good fight to the Indian team.”

He also went on to add that Kohli’s Team India has the capability to win a Test series anywhere in the world.

“I’ve been saying this for last one year that they can win Test series in Australia, England and South Africa. They have to play really well. If they match first innings total with Australia and England, they have a chance to beat them.”

On the other hand, former India pacer Zaheer Khan believes that India will dominate Australia in the upcoming series.

“Absolutely! If you look at the bowling line up, India have got enough in their arsenal to cause a threat to Australia for sure. Obviously, when you’re visiting Australia, there are different challenges, which as a team you have to come together, understand and prepare for the series. You need 20 wickets for sure but the platform needs to e set by the batsmen,” Zaheer told NDTV. 

Finding the right kind of combinations in the batting line-up early in the series will be a huge task for Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli if they want to exert pressure on Australia. 

Sehwag thinks that Prithvi Shaw should definitely open the innings for India

“He (Shaw) is going to play in Australia as an opener because in last two Test matches we’ve seen the way he played. He is a key batsman for me because in Australia you need someone who can play some attacking cricket. If KL Rahul gives him company and they both come good then Australia will have a bad time,” Sehwag said.

Former New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum predicted that Virat Kohli will dominate with the bat and will be the highest run-scorer of the four-match Test series. 

“There will be a lot of runs and it would not surprise me if Virat Kohli continues to go from strength to strength and dominate that series as well,” McCullum said.

Virender Sehwag, Zaheer Khan and Brendon McCullum will be seen in action in the upcoming T10 league that will be played from November 21 to December 2 in the United Arab Emirates. 

(With inputs from Rica Roy)






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Delhi High Court Seeks CBI Response To Wrestler Narsingh Yadav’s Plea

Delhi High Court Seeks CBI Response To Wrestler Narsingh Yadav

Narsingh Yadav’s had filed a plea seeking to expedite investigation into his complaint related to doping. © PTI


The Delhi High Court on Monday pulled up the CBI and asked the probe agency to file a response to wrestler Narsingh Yadav’s plea seeking to expedite investigation into his complaint related to doping filed ahead of 2016 Rio Olympics. Narsingh Yadav had tested positive for a banned substance ahead of the Rio Olympics and was debarred from representing India at the Rio Games. Thereafter, Narsingh Yadav filed a complaint alleging that his food had been spiked. Claiming that after his several representations to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to complete the probe went unheeded, he moved the high court seeking speedy disposal of his complaint.

Justice Najmi Waziri observed that Narsingh Yadav had lodged the complaint after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) upheld the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)’s decision not to give a clean chit to the wrestler in the doping matter.

The court pulled up the CBI for not completing its probe into the matter and asked what the probe agency was doing for the past two-and-a-half years.

The court directed the CBI to look into the matter keeping in mind that sportspersons have a “short career”, especially in sports like wrestling and boxing.

CBI counsel Ripudaman Singh Bhardwaj told the court that the probe agency has to question members of the CAS panel and the scientists involved in the decision-making process who are foreign nationals. The investigation agency is sending requests to question them through diplomatic channels, he told the court.

The court also asked the CBI to file a report detailing how the agency has pursued the matter and listed the matter for February 1.







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Cristiano Ronaldo Refused Special Treatment For Madrid Tax Fraud Hearing

Cristiano Ronaldo will have to enter a Madrid courthouse on foot on Tuesday after he was refused special treatment, officials at the court where he will appear for tax fraud said. According to a court document dated January 18 and unveiled on Monday, the 33-year-old Juventus forward and former Real Madrid player was denied special security measures that would have allowed him to avoid walking past journalists and curious onlookers. The court session will start at 9:50 am time (0850 GMT) and a spokesman said Ronaldo could be sentenced on the same day or in coming days.

Ronaldo is expected to be given a hefty fine after Spanish tax authorities and the player’s advisors made a deal to settle claims he hid income generated from image rights when he played for Real Madrid.

The five-time world player of the year spent nine trophy-laden years at Real Madrid.

The president of the court in northern Madrid, Juan Pablo Gonzalez-Herrero, said in the court document that he had refused Ronaldo the special measures because despite his “great fame,” he won’t “compromise security” when he walks up the stairs to the courthouse.

That means Ronaldo will not be able to drive into a court car park away from the cameras, as he had requested.

His request to appear via video conference was also denied.

The deal reached between Ronaldo’s lawyers and Spanish tax authorities mean the player will be fined 18.8 million euros ($21.4 million) and given a 23-month prison sentence which he will not have to serve.

Sentences of up to two years are generally not enforced in Spain for first-time offenders in non-violent crimes.

The judge at the hearing will pass the final sentence.






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Australian Open: Drained Novak Djokovic “Not Feeling So Great” After Grind Past Daniil Medvedev

“I didn’t feel so great, you know, in the last 20 minutes of the match,” Djokovic told reporters.

“So we’ll see tomorrow how the body reacts, but I’m confident I can recover and I can be ready for next one,” he said.

“It was just, you know, a little bit of fatigue, a little bit of back. Nothing major. But there are a couple of things that have surfaced,” said the 14-time Grand Slam champion.

“It was kind of a cat-and-a-mouse game for most of the match.

“We had rallies of 40, 45 exchanges. That’s why I think it was physically exhausting.

‘Draining match’

“His backhand is very, very solid. He didn’t give me much from that side, but, you know, you can’t always play on the forehand.

“You have to open up the court and try to be patient and construct the point.”

The 31-year-old Serb crucially saved three break points at 1-2, 0-40 in the pivotal third set to break the tenacious 22-year-old’s resolve.

“Even though it was three sets to one, it seems like a five-set match, really,” said Djokovic.

“It was draining physically a lot, because, you know, you just could not rely on the one-two punch tactics.”

Djokovic reached his 43rd Grand Slam quarter-final to stay on course for a record seventh Australian Open title, but will next have to conquer marathon man Nishikori.

The Japanese number one was in trouble at two sets down before winning a third five-setter in four matches to get past Spain’s Pablo Carreno Busta.

“Congratulations to him for fighting back from two sets to love down and break down. He’s a fighter,” said Djokovic.

“He’s a very talented player. One of the quickest players on the tour. You know, hard worker. I have lots of respect for him.”

The Australian Open is Djokovic’s most successful major and a seventh crown would put him clear of six-times champion Roger Federer, who was eliminated on Sunday, and Australian great Roy Emerson, whose six wins all came before the Open era.

Victory at this year’s Australian Open would be the Serb’s 15th in Grand Slams, putting him third on the all-time winner list — one ahead of American great Pete Sampras, but behind Rafael Nadal’s 17 titles and Federer’s 20.

It would be his third major in a row after winning Wimbledon and the US Open and set him up for a crack at the “Novak Slam”.

The French Open comes next and victory at Roland Garros would mean he holds all four majors.






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