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Real Madrid’s Isco backs coach, squad after rocky start to season

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Isco Alarcon

Madrid, Oct 22 : Real Madrid midfielder Isco Alarcon on Monday said he has confidence in his coach Julen Lopetegui and the rest of his squad despite the rocky start to the football season.

The Spain international spoke alongside Lopetegui at a press conference ahead of Tuesday’s home game against Czech club Viktoria Plzen in the UEFA Champions League group stage, reports Efe.

“It would seem crazy to throw out Lopetegui,” Isco asserted in a strong defence of his former coach at the Spanish national team.

After winning only five of 12 games since Lopetegui took the helm this season, media speculation has said the Spanish coach’s exit may be imminent, particularly in light of the current five-game winless skid.

“We have to let (him) work, we’ve only had two months. If they throw out the coach, they have to throw us all out because we are the ones on the field, we have to score and defend,” he added.

“We give everything and when we don’t get the result we want, we go away feeling bad. It’s everyone’s responsibility, not just the coach,” Isco asserted.

“It’s not easy to take this many bad results. I’ve been here for six seasons and I’ve also experienced bad times, and we’ve managed to turn things around,” Isco said.

“We have to find the balance to try to correct defensive errors that are costing us games. It’s those details that make the result,” Isco explained.

Asked about the absence of former Real Madrid teammate Cristiano Ronaldo, Isco said “We cannot cry over someone who did not want to be here.”

After two matches, Real Madrid is currently third in Champions League Group G with three points, right behind Roma.

The two teams are tied when it comes to points, but the Italian team’s higher number of goals scored gives it an edge in the standings.

CSKA Moscow leads the group with four points, while Viktoria Plzen is at the bottom with one point.

In La Liga, Real Madrid is seventh in the table with 14 points, four points behind league leader Barcelona.

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Virat Kohli named captain of ICC’s Test, ODI Teams of the Year

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Virat Kohli

New Delhi, Jan 22: The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Tuesday announced the men’s Test and ODI teams of the year.

Indian skipper and batting mainstay Virat Kohli on Tuesday named as the captain of both the teams.

“…Virat Kohli named captain of both sides following a remarkable 2018 as batsman and skipper,” the ICC said in a statement.

The cricketers were selected on the basis of their performances in the year 2018.

The ODI team is dominated by India and England with the two teams contributing four players each, while the Test list have three Indian and as many New Zealand players.

Below we have enlisted names of the winners

ICC Men’s Test Team of the Year (in batting order):

  1. Tom Latham (New Zealand)
  2. Dimuth Karunaratne (Sri Lanka)
  3. Kane Williamson (New Zealand)
  4. Virat Kohli (India) (capt)
  5. Henry Nicholls (New Zealand)
  6. Rishabh Pant (India) (wk)
  7. Jason Holder (Windies)
  8. Kagiso Rabada (South Africa)
  9. Nathan Lyon (Australia)
  10. Jasprit Bumrah (India)
  11. Mohammad Abbas (Pakistan)

ICC Men’s ODI team of the year (in batting order):

  1. Rohit Sharma (India)
  2. Jonny Bairstow (England)
  3. Virat Kohli (India) (capt)
  4. Joe Root (England)
  5. Ross Taylor (New Zealand)
  6. Jos Buttler (England) (wk)
  7. Ben Stokes (England)
  8. Mustafizur Rahman (Bangladesh)
  9. Rashid Khan (Afghanistan)
  10. Kuldeep Yadav (India)
  11. Jasprit Bumrah (India)

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Serena Williams outlasts Simona Halep in epic battle in Australian Open

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Serena Williams
Photo Credit- Twitter/AustralianOpen

Melbourne, Jan 21: Serena Williams of the US advanced to the quarterfinals of the Australian Open on Monday after a hard-fought 6-1, 4-6, 6-4 victory over Romanian world No 1 Simona Halep.

The 37-year-old shone at the Rod Laver Arena to again demonstrate her remarkable longevity and ability to compete at the game’s highest level, reports Efe news.

“It was an intense match and there were some incredible points,” Williams said on court after the match. “I really needed to elevate my game. She’s the number one player in the world.”

The number 16 seed started strongly, storming into a comfortable lead before taking the first set 6-1 as the number one seed Halep struggled to get a foothold in the match.

After bossing the opening exchanges, Williams let her opponent back into the contest as Halep took the second set 6-4.

The American broke Halep’s serve in the seventh game of the third set to go 4-3 up; she was soon serving for the match at 5-4, sealing the win on the first of two match points.

Williams advances to the last eight of the tournament as she continues her bid to add an eighth Australian Open title to her 23 career Grand Slam wins.

IANS

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Tendulkar eagerly waiting for Anil’s Netflix web series ‘Selection: Day Part 2’

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Tendulkar Selection Day Part 2

Batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar engaged in a Twitter conversation with actor Anil Kapoor to announce the second season of “Selection Day”. The official Twitter handle of Netflix then announced that “Selection Day: Part 2” will start streaming from April 22 this year.

The series is a coming-of-age drama about two brothers Radha and Manju who are raised by their strict, obsessive father to be star cricket players in India.

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