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Real-Bayern tie like a final, feels Kroos

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Bayern Munich

Madrid, April 10 : Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos has asserted that the upcoming quarterfinal clash against German football giants Bayern Munich may decide the future winners of this year’s Champions League.

Real are scheduled to take on Bayern in what is expected to be a high voltage encounter at the Allianz Arena in Munich on Wednesday and then six days later at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium here.

Kroos, who represented Bayern from 2007-2014, asserted that the two-legged home quarter-final tie against the reigning German champions will be like a final.

The 27-year-old said that he was looking forward to taking on many of his friends and former teammates. Kroos came through the Bayern ranks, playing 130 Bundesliga games for the club.

“I know the players there better than anyone and it will be a special tie, but I don’t have any other big feelings towards it. I always keep up with how Bayern are doing. There are still many of the same players there. We are all looking forward to these games — both my friends at Bayern Munich and I,” the Germany international told the official Real Madrid website.

“They will be two fantastic games. This tie could easily be the Champions League final.”

Kroos asserted that the players of both teams will be under immense pressure and was confident that his will to win will enable him to perform well despite the pressure cooker situation.

“At Bayern you have the same pressure, they expect you to win every game and competition that you’re in. And this is the same as Madrid. Every time something goes wrong, perhaps due to other teams being at a better level, there is more commotion here than in Munich,” the 27-year-old said.

“You see people are closer to the team and more concerned with what you are doing. My attitude is the same as that of the club, because I want to win everything. And this desire is stronger than the pressure a player puts himself under. This has always worked through the years as I have been able to win titles along the way,” he added.

Bayern’s veteran star Arjen Robben meanwhile urged his team to be confident ahead of the tie.

“It is difficult, they are one of the best teams in the world, with world-class players,” the Dutch winger told AS.

“It will be important to start the game confidently and with passion on the pitch, and try and impose our own style of play. It is about going out to win the game from the first moment. We have reasons to be confident, although at the same time we must be humble. We need to begin the game with passion, aggression and show that we want to win from the first moment.”

Bayern thrashed domestic rivals Borussia Dortmund 4-1 in the German league which Robben felt was the ideal preparation leading up to the Real tie.

“We have just beaten a big opponent (in Dortmund) which of course gives us confidence,” he said.

“We created many chances and enjoyed ourselves on the pitch. I feel that we are ready for Madrid.”

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IND Vs AUS: Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja Star As India Avoid Series Whitewash Against Australia

India beat Australia by 13 runs in the third and final ODI in Canberra. Series ends 2-1 in favour of the home team

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India Australia

Pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah found his mojo and the Indian team their winning ways in a morale-lifting 13-run triumph over Australia in the third and final ODI at Manuka Oval, Canberra on Wednesday, salvaging some of the lost pride in a 1-2 series defeat.

An in-form Hardik Pandya blasted 92 not out off 76 balls and Ravindra Jadeja’s useful 66 off 50 took India to a healthy 302 for 5 in 50 overs after an inept show in the first 30 overs.

It was at least 30 runs short of a par-score on a good batting track but a rejigged bowling attack managed to restrict the home team to 289 all out in 49.3 overs.

Shardul Thakur (3/51) and debutant Thangarasu Natarajan (2/70 in 10 overs) did their bit but it was Bumrah’s (2/43 in 9.3 overs) controlled effort with some swing upfront and the dismissal of a marauding Glenn Maxwell in the nick of time which ultimately turned the match in India’s favour.

Bumrah did the most important thing by bowling one in the block-hole that had the dangerous Maxwell (59 off 38 balls) having his own little “brain fade” moment trying to free his arms exposing the stumps.

The ‘Big Show’ was in a mood to punish the bowlers and all he needed was to see off Bumrah and attack the others as he was doing.

The cushion provided by his “senior” helped Natarajan to start bowling his yorkers under pressure and Thakur also chipped in with necessary wickets.

The inconsequential match became something of consequence for Virat Kohli and his men as they gear up for the next white-ball series — three T20 Internationals in less than 48 hours.

India’s bowling attack had a different look and it did perform way better compared to the first two games.

Natarajan was very steady in his first spell and got his maiden wicket when Marnus Labuschagne (7), in an unfamiliar role as opener, dragged a wide delivery back onto the stumps.

Thakur, replacing a rested Mohammed Shami, was also lucky when Steve Smith (7) tried to tickle one down on the ‘fifth leg stump’ to be caught by KL Rahul behind the stumps.

Moises Henriques (22) and skipper Aaron Finch (75) looked good during their 51-run stand for the third wicket before the former failed to keep a pull-shot down off Thakur’s bowling.

However, what was more heartening was Kuldeep Yadav’s (1/57 in 10 overs) restrained bowling in the middle overs with the last over punishment by Maxwell being more of an aberration.

The flight was back and so was the dip in the air that used to create confusion in the minds of batsmen.

Debutant Cameron Green (21) played an uppish slog sweep off Kuldeep which was snapped inches off the ground by Jadeja.

Jadeja (1/62 in 10 overs), who had a field day, topped up a solid batting show with the prized wicket of the rival captain Finch as Shikhar Dhawan managed to make an easy catch look difficult at long-on.

Maxwell and the calm Alex Carey (38 off 42 balls) looked like doing an encore of their victorious effort against England at Old Trafford last September.

But just when they settled down, Carey went for non-existent single only to be sent back by Maxwell as Australia were reduced to 210 for 6.

Earlier, an in-form Pandya and the effective Jadeja helped India make an impressive recovery after the team struggled during the first 30 overs with only skipper Kohli’s fighting half century being the bright spot.

Coming together in the 32nd over, Pandya and Jadeja stitched 150 runs for the unbroken sixth wicket to change the complexion of the game, which would make no difference to the final score-line as Australia have already sealed it with back-to-back wins in Sydney.

It looked like India would barely reach 250 but Pandya and Jadeja made it a different story.

The duo took some time to settle down before opening the floodgates of boundaries. They scored 53 runs from the 46th to 48th over. In all, 76 runs came from the last five overs.

Pandya’s innings had seven fours and one six while Jadeja was at his best, hitting five boundaries and three sixes.

Brief Scores:

India: 302 for 5 in 50 overs (Hardik Pandya 92 not out, Ravindra Jadeja 66 not out, Virat Kohli 63; Ashton Agar 2/44).

Australia: 289 all out in 49.3 overs (Aaron Finch 75, Glenn Maxwell 59; Shardul Thakur 3/51, Jasprit Bumrah 2/43)

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Virat Kohli beats Tendulkar’s record to become fastest cricketer to score 12,000 ODI runs

Virat Kohli reached the milestone during the third and final match against Australia in Canberra

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Indian Captain Virat Kohli

India captain Virat Kohli on December 2 became the fastest cricketer to score 12,000 ODI runs, breaking a record held by legendary compatriot Sachin Tendulkar.

Kohli reached the milestone during the third and final match against Australia in Canberra.

Kohli, who needed 23 runs for the landmark coming into the match, touched the figure in his 242nd innings when he took a single off Sean Abbott in the 13th over of the India innings.

In comparison, it took Tendulkar 300 games to get there.

The 32-year-old Indian captain was playing in his 251st ODI and averages close to 60 in the format with 43 hundreds and 59 half centuries. He made his debut in 2008.

Tendulkar scored 18,426 runs from 463 ODIs between 1989 and 2012 at an average of 44.83 with the help of 49 hundreds and 96 half centuries.

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Diego Maradona’s personal doctor under investigation

The medical psychiatrist and one other person who was in the house when Maradona passed could also be investigated.

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diego maradona

Leopoldo Luque, Diego Maradona’s personal doctor, is under investigation in Argentina over the football legend’s death.He has been named by prosecutors in San Isidro, in Buenos Aires, and the judge has ordered for the doctor’s house and clinic to be searched, with 30 police officers at each site.

There is a suspicion of medical negligence in the final days of Maradona’s life and, therefore, a potential culpable homicide.It has been claimed that Maradona didn’t have the medical permission to leave the clinic where he had surgery for a subdural hematoma earlier in November. But, he did leave on November 11 to return to his home in Tigre, Buenos Aires.

The medical psychiatrist and one other person who was in the house when Maradona passed could also be investigated.

This legal investigation could go on for some time as the prosecutors look to get to the bottom of what exactly happened in the final hours of Maradona’s life.

They’ll look to work out if he had permission to be at home, why there wasn’t a specialist doctor present 24/7, why there wasn’t an ambulance at the house, if he had the right medicine, if the general medical protocols were followed, why there wasn’t a defibrillator in the house and how the final hours were managed.

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