Some losses are unfathomable and Chelsea’s coach Tuchel discovered it with shock as the news of his sacking seeped in after the disturbing loss against Dinamo Zagreb late on Tuesday night in the Champions League. Chelsea lost to lesser fancied Croatian outfit Dinamo Zagreb FC 0-1, which was the final nail in the coffin for the maverick German.
The new American ownership of Chelsea appears unforgiving in the boardroom but graceful publicly. In the official departure memo, Chelsea announced “today parted ways” and “express gratitude to Thomas”. This comes on the 100th day for the new ownership and the 100th match of the German coach Tuchel who took over from club legend Frank Lampard 20 months ago. It’s a stark reminder that in the Premier League coaches are judged every match and players every five.
But what came as a shock and surprise that in his reign which lasted for just over year and a half, he took the Blues to four finals of the five-cup competitions. He took over the reins knew that Chelsea was going through a transition period. Little did he know that he would be thrown in over the deep end of the sea amidst performance stagnation and frequent losses. He still won hearts, players’ respect and even turned into a spokesperson for the club when Roman Abromovich was asked to relinquish ownership over the Russian-Ukraine war.
However off-late, it is understood, that Tuchel ceased all forms of communication with top stakeholders and fell on the wrong side. Inexplicably in 100 matches Tuchel won 63 matches and lost only 18 with an impressive 48% Premiere League win percentage at home.
In a popular radio show by Andy Goldstein & Daren Bent for TalkSport radio outside Stamford Bridge got a fan admitted “Since last fortnight Tuchel was on thin ice and he surely has fallen out with the Chelsea board”.
What’s next? Three front runners are in contention for the coveted job at Chelsea, where it is believed that “managers in PL win trophies and then get sacked”. It is believed Graham Potter, Pochettino and Zidane are in the fray, with Potter a firm favourite. He has met the board and shared his long-term vision for the club and support expectations.
Now Chelsea fans hope to progress. Progress is not about numbers on the table alone. But the recruitment of the best coach, apt players, and style of football they play in matches and display the attractive brand of football to retain PL supremacy.
Games – 100
Wins – 63*
Draws – 19
Defeats – 18*
Clean sheets – 49
Major trophies – 3
* Includes 3 wins and
2 defeats on penalties
2021 UEFA Champions League
2021 UEFA Super Cup
2022 FIFA Club World Cup
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Elavenil Valarivan wants to showcase consistency on National Games Debut
Elavenil Valarivan will be one of those watched with more than normal interest when she lines up in the Shooting competition in the National Games. Not just because she is a home favourite but also because she wants to give home fans an indication of the consistency that has made her one of India’s top Air Rifle competitors.
“My National Games debut will happen in my place and there is a lot of excitement. I think Shooting in front of the home crowd will have a different feeling. I must play a big role in motivating local shooters in the National Games,” the Olympian said. “I would like to be in a good frame of mind for the coming World Championship with a good show here.”
A product of Gagan Narang’s Gun for Glory Academy in Sakshardham, Elavenil feels the recent renovation of the shooting range here would help shooters. “I think more and more youngsters will take to the sport. The range looks beautiful. I would get the opportunity to shoot here frequently and, hopefully, there will be more big competitions here,” she said.
Ela, as 2012 Olympic medallist Gagan Narang calls her, is grateful to her mentor. “He is a role model. I have been inspired by his achievements. What I like about him is his cool demeanor. That Is important for any shooter,” the 23-year-old said. “He would simply say be cool. Mental toughness is important, particularly in tight situations. Over the years, I have learnt from my mistakes. Self-belief is another key factor.”
Elavenil showed promise when she joined Gun for Glory in 2014. She announced her arrival on the world stage when won the silver medal in the 2018 World junior Championships. Her big moment came when she won gold in ISSF World Cup in Rio de Janeiro, becoming only the fifth Indian woman to have won a World Cup gold in 33 years.
Though she disappointed in the Tokyo Olympics, Elavenil feels the next few years would be very crucial. “My immediate priority is the coming World Championship in Cairo, Egypt, from October 12, 2022. I have been training hard. I am looking at consistency and that is important to the run up the Asian Games and Paris Olympics,” she said.
Elavenil said the competition in India Is very good. “We have some of the best shooters. And events like the National Championships and the National Games are good competition. These help us grow and help us find good form before international events,” she said.
Suryakumar Yadav moves to second spot on ICC T20 batting charts
Indian batter Suryakumar Yadav has gained a spot to move to the second position on the ICC T20 batting rankings, following his match-winning knock of 69 off 26 deliveries against Australia in third T20I in Hyderabad.
Pakistan opener Mohammad Rizwan who is going through a scintillating form in their home series against England has retained the top spot, while his compatriot and skipper Babar Azam has dropped a place to be placed third.
India’s captain Rohit Sharma has moved up one place to 13th position after scores of 46 not out and 17 while Matthew Wade (up six places to 62nd), Cameron Green (up 31 places to 67th) and Tim David (up 202 places to 109th) are the Australia players to move up the rankings. Green and David had notched half-centuries in the final match of the series.
England batter Harry Brook’s scores of 31, 81 not out and 34 in Pakistan have lifted him 118 places to 29th position while Ben Duckett has soared 1,070 places to 32nd position after scoring 43, 70 not out and 33 in those three matches.
India spinners Axar Patel who was named player of the series for bowling performance against Australia made a massive movement towards and jumped to 18th from 33rd spot, while Yuzvendra Chahal gained two spots to be at 28th position. Australia fast bowler Josh Hazlewood continues to lead the table.
Reece Topley is up 14 places to 23rd and is the third third-highest ranked England bowler after Adil Rashid and Chris Jordan while Pakistan speedster Haris Rauf is up seven places to 14th position after taking five wickets in the last three matches. Mark Wood (up 29 places to 40th) and Sam Curran (up five places to 47th) have also progressed.
Arshdeep’s three-wicket, Suryakumar’s unbeaten 50 help India defeat SA by 8-wickets
Arshdeep Singh’s three-wicket haul followed by Suryakumar Yadav’s 50* and KL Rahul’s unbeaten knock of 51 helped India defeat South Africa by eight wickets in the first match of the three-match T20I series here at Greenfield International Stadium on Wednesday.
For India Suryakumar played a knock of unbeaten 50 while KL Rahul smashed 51 not out. For South Africa, Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje bagged one wicket each. Chasing a target of 107, India got off to a bad start as they lost their opening batter Rohit Sharma on two ball duck in Kagiso Rabada’s over.
Skipper wicket invited right-handed batter Virat Kohli to the crease. However, the stylish batter could not do much and went back to the pavilion after scoring just three runs in the over of Anrich Nortje.
New batter Suryakumar Yadav hammered Nortje for back-to-back two sixes in the 7th over innings. After 10 over India’s score read 47/2. Suryakumar along with KL Rahul played a sensible knock while gathering boundaries at regular intervals. India needed six runs in 24 balls, and Suryakumar brought up his half-century in 33 deliveries. With a help of a six on the fourth delivery of the 17th over KL Rahul also brought up his fifty and took his side home with an eight wickets victory over Proteas.
Earlier, Arshdeep Singh’s three and Deepak Chahar’s two-wicket haul followed by Harshal Patel’s late blows helped India restrict South Africa to 106/8. For South Africa, Keshav Maharaj scored the highest 41 runs while Aiden Markram played a knock of 25 runs. For India Arshdeep Singh bagged three, Deepak Chahar scalped two while Harshal Patel’s late two wickets haul helped India restrict Proteas to a low total.
Opted for field first, India got off to a flying start as Chahar and Arshdeep rocked South Africa’s top order. Chahar got the ball rolling for India with the wicket of the Proteas captain Temba Bavuma in the final ball of the opening over.
In the very next over it did not take long for Arshdeep to send Quinton de Kock and David Miller packing for one and zero runs respectively. At this point, South Africa was struggling to find a place on the Indian bowler as they were tottering at 8-4.
Chahar delivered another blow to the Proteas’ top order as he dismissed Tristan Stubbs, who was caught by Arshdeep Singh. This was the third golden duck in the space of five balls. Wayne Parnell then came out to bat.
Arshdeep took 3 wickets in an over and Chahar struck twice as South Africa was five down in powerplay. Aiden Markram looked in great form but could not do much as he was sent packing by Harshal Patel after scoring 25 runs in 24 balls.
Markram helped South Africa build a bit with 25, his dismissal left Proteas tottering at 42-6 after 10 overs.
Keshav Maharaj then tried to form a much-needed partnership with Wayne Parnell.
Parnell then tried to play a big shot but handed an easy catch to Suryakumar Yadav on the delivery of Axar Patel. Parnell went back to the pavilion after scoring 24 runs in 37 balls.
In the second last over, Keshav Maharaj smashed 17 runs in the spell of Ashdeep. Maharaj’s fighting 41 kept a small hope alive for South Africa, however, he failed to continue his form in the last over as he was bowled out by Harshal Patel after scoring 41 runs in 35 balls.
In the last over Patel bounded Proteas batters, never letting them score any run and restricted them to a total of 106/8.
Brief score: South Africa 106/8 (Keshav Maharaj 41, Aiden Markram 25; Arshdeep Singh 3-32) vs India 110/2 (KL Rahul 51, Suryakumar Yadav 50; Kagiso Rabada 1-16)
FIFA honours Sunil Chhetri with docu series ‘Captain Fantastic’
Governing body of world football FIFA in its bid to honour Indian skipper Sunil Chhetri immense contribution towards the sport in India has come up with a unique and noble gesture.
Captain Marvel is currently the third highest active goal scorer with 84 strikes and fifth on all-time list trailing Portuguese great Cristiano Ronaldo (117) and Argentine magician Lionel Messi (86). Sunil will have a special three-episode series dedicated to his life and career and can be streamed on the digital platform of the federation FIFA+.
The series titled ‘Kick Off – Captain Fantastic’ will cover everything right including his personal and professional life and the people who has been his pillar of support for all these years.
FIFA made the decision public on Twitter and in a heart-warming photo placing Sunil alongside Ronaldo and Messi, wrote “You know all about Ronaldo and Messi, now get the definitive story of the third highest scoring active men’s international. Captain Fantastic is available on FIFA+ now.”
As per media reports, the series was shot in Bengaluru and Delhi. Both cities hold a special place for him as he plies his skills with Bengaluru FC in the Indian Super League and Delhi is the place where he grew up. He is India’s most-capped player and also its leading goal-scorer.
Chhetri helped India clinch the 2007, 2009, and 2012 Nehru Cup trophies and 2011, 2015, and 2021 editions of the South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Championship. The star footballer has also been honoured with the AIFF Player of the Year award for a record seven times.
Shubman Gill smashes maiden county cricket century against Sussex
Young Indian batter Shubman Gill registered his first-ever county cricket century, playing for Glamorgan against Sussex in their ongoing County Championship Division Two match on Tuesday.
In the match, the stylish batter from Punjab smashed 119 runs in 139 balls, consisting of 16 fours and two sixes. He struck the ball at a solid strike rate of 85.61. He was, however, dismissed by Jack Carson. Gill is having a solid stint in county cricket so far. He started off the season with a bang, slamming 92 runs in 148 balls against Worcestershire. However, his next outing against Middlesex saw him scoring only 22 and 11. In this match against Sussex, he outdid himself by scoring 119. So far, he has scored 244 runs in four innings at an average of 61.00, with a century and fifty each.
Earlier in August, it was announced that Gill will be playing for Glamorgan for the remainder of the County Championship season. It came after he won two back-to-back ‘Man of the Series’ awards in series against Zimbabwe (245 runs, one century and fifty in three matches) and West Indies (205 runs, two fifties in three matches).
Gill is the third Indian to wear the Glamorgan jersey after former India head coach Ravi Shastri played for the team from 1987-1991 and BCCI president Sourav Ganguly in the year 2005 donned the jersey of the English County club.
Sussex is struggling in the second division of the championship.
In 14 matches they have played so far, they have won only one, lost six and drawn six.
They are at the second-last position in points tally with 120 points.
Coming to the match against Sussex, after opting to bat first, Glamorgan posted 533/9 declared in their first innings, with centuries from Gill (119), Chris Cooke (141) and fifties from skipper David Lloyd (56) and Ajaz Patel (51) taking the side to a huge score. Sean Hunt (3/84) was the best bowler for Sussex. Sussex is currently at 88/1, with skipper Tom Haines (38) and Tom Alsop (3*) unbeaten. They trail in the match by 445 runs after Day two.
Hanuma Vihari to lead Rest of India squad against Saurashtra in Irani Cup
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Wednesday announced Rest of India (ROI) squad for the Irani Cup 2022 to be played against the 2019-20 Ranji Trophy Champions Saurashtra from October 1-5, 2022 at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Rajkot.
The prestigious tournament is back after three years after it was called off due to the COVID-19 pandemic. India batter Hanuma Vihari captain of the Rest of India team, while Mayank Agarwal has also been picked in the squad. Yash Dhull, who led India to the U-19 World Cup in 2022, has also been added along with young pace Umran Malik.
Saurashtra emerged victorious in the Ranji final in March 2020, beating Bengal. They were supposed to play Irani Cup a week later before COVID-19 put things to a halt.
There was no red ball domestic cricket in India during the 2020-21 season due to COVID-19. Ranji made its return in the 2021-22 season, with Madhya Pradesh clinching its maiden title by defeating multi-time champions Mumbai by six wickets in the final back in June.
The previous edition of the competition was held back in February 2019 in which Vidarbha beat the Rest of India on the basis of the first innings lead in Nagpur.
The Rest of India squad will be coached by Sitanshu Kotak, the former Saurashtra captain, who is currently part of VVS Laxman’s larger coaching group at the National Cricket Academy.
Rest of India squad: Hanuma Vihari (Captain), Mayank Agarwal, Priyank Panchal, Abhimanyu Easwaran, Yash Dhull, Sarfaraz Khan, Yashasvi Jaiswal, K.S.Bharat, Upendra Yadav, Jayant Yadav, Saurabh Kumar, R Sai Kishore, Mukesh Kumar, Umran Malik, Kuldeep Sen and Arzan Nagwaswalla.
Saurashtra squad: Jaydev Unadkat (capt), Cheteshwar Pujara, Sheldon Jackson, Prerak Mankad, Arpit Vasavada, Chirag Jani, Dharmendra Jadeja, Chetan Sakariya, Parth Bhut, Snell Patel (wk), Harvik Desai, Vishvaraj Jadeja, Kamlesh Makwana, Kushang Patel and Kishan Parmar.
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