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FC Goa lose to Real Murcia in pre-season friendly

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ISL

La Manga (Spain), Oct 17: Indian Super League (ISL) franchise FC Goa suffered a 1-2 defeat against Spanish football club Real Murcia’s first team in the second pre-season match here.

FC Goa took the lead through a super free kick from Manuel Lanzarote on Monday. Later, two goals either side of half-time were enough for the Segunda Division B side to come away with a win.

The ISL franchise started the game brightly and attacked with purpose early on. Their persistence was rewarded with a goal not long after kick off. Midfielder Manuel Lanzarote stepped up and curled a beautiful free-kick in to give the Goan side the lead.

However, the lead was short lived as Murcia hit back with a goal of their own through Nadjib. Both sides struggled to break the deadlock thereafter and failed to create enough chances to test either goalkeeper as the referee called a halt to proceedings at half time with the score even.

FC Goa, coach Sergio Lobera made a host of changes in the second half in order to test his bench strength.

Things, however, didn’t go the way of the Gaurs as they conceded a soft goal early on in the second period.

Read more…It’s been a pleasure playing in front of amazing Kolkata crowd: Sancho

In an attempt to bring the score level once more, FC Goa began to attack much more but were unable to find an equalizer.

Simultaneously, Murcia looked to put the game to bed by scoring a third on the counter but they too were not able to get the ball into the back of the net.

FC Goa will take on Real Murcia B in their next pre-season fixture on October 19.

IANS

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Happy Indian cricket got Dhoni because he is unbelievable: Ganguly

Dhoni has played 90 Tests, 350 ODIs and 98 T20Is for India, amassing over 17,000 international runs.

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Sourav Ganguly

Kolkata, July 7 : Mahendra Singh Dhoni is not only one of the best finishers in world cricket, he is a destructive top-order batsman too who should bat higher up, feels former India captain and BCCI President Sourav Ganguly. Dhoni, regarded as one of India’s finest leaders, turned 39 on Tuesday. It was under Ganguly that the Ranchi wicketkeeper batsman made his debut and went on to win all ICC trophies for India, the only captain to do so.

During a chat with India Test opener Mayank Agarwal which was shared by BCCI with hashtag #DadaOpensWithMayank, Agarwal asked him: “Your word got Mahi bhai picked in the Indian team and the rest is history. Is that a myth or a reality?”

“That”s true but that”s my job isn”t it. That”s every captain”s job…pick the best and make the best team possible,” Ganguly replied.

“You go by your instincts. You go by the faith of that player that he will deliver for you.

“I”m happy that Indian cricket got Mahendra Singh Dhoni because he is unbelievable.”

“One of the great finishers in the world, said Agarwal.

“One of the great players in world cricket. Not just a finisher, I think everyone talks about the way he finishes lower down the order…he batted at No. 3 when I was captain. He got 140 against Pakistan in Vizag..I always believe that he should bat up the order because he is so destructive,” Ganguly opined.

“You know the best player in the shorter format has the ability to hit boundaries at will. You look over a period of time, the history of one-day cricket…the best players can find the fence under pressure consistently and M.S. Dhoni was one of them,” he added.

Cricket fraternity thronged social media to extend birthday wishes for Dhoni who led India to an ICC 50-over World Cup, T20 World Cup and Champions Trophy in 2013. He even led India to the number one ranking in both Test and ODI formats.

Dhoni has been on a sabbatical ever since the semi-finals of the 2019 World Cup where India lost to New Zealand. It”s been almost a year that he has been away from the cricket field, yet conversations about his return or future retirement have never died out in the time since and he still remains one of the most talked about cricketers in the present era.

Dhoni has played 90 Tests, 350 ODIs and 98 T20Is for India, amassing over 17,000 international runs.

Speculations about his retirement from all forms of international cricket have been on ever since the 2019 World Cup. But Dhoni has still not made any such announcement. However, one thing is for certain, whenever he hangs his boots, it will be a day when the entire country will have tears in their eyes, just like when Sachin Tendulkar drew curtains on his 24-year-old long career in Mumbai.

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Eng vs WI: Anderson & Broad deserve to play 1st Test, says Hussain

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Nassar Hussain

London, July 6 : Former England captain Nasser Hussain feels veteran pacers James Anderson and Stuart Broad deserve to be in the playing XI for the team’s first Test against West Indies starting Wednesday.

The first Test of the three-match series is scheduled to be played at Ageas Bowl, followed by two matches at the Old Trafford from July 16 and 24 respectively.

Hussain stated England are going to rotate the bowlers around, considering workload management, as they will take on Pakistan right after the conclusion of the West Indies series.

“A lot will be made of the first Test selection, but the bowlers are going to be rotated. I would start with Anderson and Broad because they deserve it. Then I”d leave (Chris) Woakes out and pick one of (Mark) Wood or (Jofra) Archer,” Hussain was quoted as saying by Daily Mail.

“I”d probably go for Wood because he bowled very well in his last two Tests in South Africa, but Archer is a serious bowler so I”d have no problem with him instead,” he added.

However, according to a report in The Guardian, Broad “faces the prospect of missing a first home Test match in eight years as England give serious consideration to unleashing the dual pace of Jofra Archer and Mark Wood at the earliest opportunity”.

West Indies Test skipper Jason Holder had earlier warned their opponents against taking them lightly and Hussain agreed with him.

Pointing towards their potent bowling attack, Hussain stated they will pose a big threat to the high-profile England line-up in the forthcoming series.

“They are a threat, especially the bowling. With Shannon Gabriel alongside Kemar Roach, Alzarri Joseph and Holder (left), nobody is going to get easy runs,” Hussain said.

“But the batting looks flimsy with no Darren Bravo or Shimron Hetmyer. Shai Hope and Kraigg Brathwaite will have to repeat their Headingley form of last time.

“England are very difficult to beat at home and West Indies haven”t won here for a long time, so I”m going for an England win — but you”d be a fool to write off West Indies because they thrive on being written off.”

West Indies had famously beaten England during the previous series between the two sides that was played in the Carribbean Islands. A draw in the series would be enough for them to retain the Wisden trophy.

–IANS

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We definitely spoke to Rahul Dravid: Ex-CoA chief Rai on India coach job

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Vinod Rai

New Delhi, July 6 : Former Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Committee of Administrators (CoA) chairman Vinod Rai recently lifted the lid as to why former captain Rahul Dravid turned down Team India”s coaching job following the end of Anil Kumble’s tenure.

In 2017, Kumble resigned from the high-profile role after his relationship with skipper Virat Kohli became ”untenable”. Dravid was approached by the CoA but he opted against taking the job citing personal reasons.

“Rahul was very upfront with us,” Rai told Sportskeeda during a Facebook live session. “He said ”look I have two boys growing up at home and I have been travelling with the Indian team all over the world and I am not able to give time and attention to them, I think I must stay at home also. And give time to my family”.

“I think that was a very fair request and though he would have been uppermost in mind. So, he was very much in the zone of consideration,” he added.

Rai also revealed Dravid wanted to continue as the coach of the India U-19 team as he wanted to complete the work that he had started with the Colts. Current head coach Ravi Shastri was eventually handed over the reigns of the senior team.

“Look, in terms of potential for coaching, Dravid, Shastri and Kumble are the best in the business,” Rai said.

“We definitely spoke to Rahul. He was engaged with the Under-19 team and he was involved with them. He had developed a road map on how to develop a team.

“He was bringing out fantastic results. He wanted to continue because he felt that there were some unfinished task with that team and he wanted to do it.”

Dravid was later appointed as the head of circket at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in July, 2019 and Rai said: “He was very kind and very gracious in accepting that and committing himself to the NCA.”

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