Champions Trophy semi-final :Kohli calls for complete focus against ‘dangerous’ opponents Bangladesh

first_img(REUTERS) – India captain Virat Kohli shrugged off concerns about his team’s lower-middle order ahead of their Champions Trophy semi-final with Bangladesh today and called for complete focus against their “dangerous” opponents.India’s top order were solid in group-stage victories over Pakistan and South Africa, meaning the likes of Hardik Pandya, Kedar Jadhav and Ravindra Jadeja have not really been tested apart from during the defeat by Sri Lanka.The trio did not bat against South Africa and Jadeja has not faced a ball in the tournament, leading to concerns about what might happen if the likes of Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Kohli, Yuvraj Singh and Mahendra Singh Dhoni fail to fire.“As a batsman you want to finish off games,” Kohli told a news conference yesterday. “You are not necessarily going to get out thinking ‘my middle order has not got enough game time’.“We know Kedar and Hardik are playing really well at the moment so we are not bothered at all.”Kohli said India would field the same team that pulled off a comprehensive eight-wicket win over South Africa in their last match, meaning spinner Ravichandran Ashwin will keep his place at the expense of pace bowler Umesh Yadav.The skipper also warned his team not to underestimate Bangladesh, a team who have improved dramatically over the past few years to the point where they are now one game away from reaching a first final at an ICC event.“It’s no surprise anymore to anyone that they are doing really well,” Kohli added. “They are a very dangerous side on their day and everyone realises that … Bangladesh have taken huge strides.”Bangladesh skipper Mashrafe Mortaza urged his team not to let the hype surrounding the match get to them.“Our plan was always to take it match by match,” he said. “I think if everyone approaches the semi-final as just another match, it will be good for the team.“There will be a lot of hype around this game … but our first task is to stay relaxed and play.”Mortaza said Bangladesh would need to adapt to the conditions at Edgbaston, a venue they have not played at yet during the tournament.“The wicket looks the same as the one at The Oval,” he added. “It could be tough, but the truth is we will have to adjust to playing on it no matter what shape it is in.”The Bangladesh skipper also dismissed concerns that the pressure of the occasion could get to his side.“If you talk about pressure, I think India have more pressure than we. Because huge population is there and the people love cricket a lot,” he said. “Both teams have a lot of expectations.”last_img read more

Today’s Local GAA Fixtures

first_imgFirst up is the County Junior B Hurling Final between Rosegreen and Killenaule, which throws in at 12 o’ clock in Boherlahan.Then at two o’ clock we’ll also update you on the County Senior Football Preliminary Quarter-Final in Drombane, where JK Brackens will take on Éire Óg Anacarty/Donohill.Éire Óg only got out of their group, due to Killenaule being the South champions. Elsewhere today;Newport Gaels play Shannon Rovers Gaels in Templederry- that’s a North U21 B Hurling Quarter-Final, with throw-in at 11:30At one o’ clock Moyne/Templetuohy and Gortnahoe-Glengoole will contest the County Junior B Football Final in Castleiney. Meanwhile, a number of games will throw-in at 2:00.Clonmel Óg/Clerihan versus Cahir in Group 1 of the South U21 B Hurling, while in Group 2 Anner Gaels play Ballybacon Grange in Ballylooby.In the North U21 A Hurling Championship it’s Roscrea playing Kildangan in Toomevara, while Kilsheelan will host the South Intermediate Football Championship Semi-Final between Grangemockler Ballyneale and Carrick Swans.And there’s three further North U21 B Hurling Quarter-Finals down for decision.At 2:00 Ballina meet Borrisokane in Dolla, with Lorrha facing Silvermines in Moneygall, while there’s a 2:30 throw-in in Shallee for the clash of Borris-Ileigh and Portroe.last_img read more

Missouri’s plan to reopen campus for fall gives hope college football can return

first_imgThe question is far too narrow, however. The much more consequential consideration is whether college students around the country will be able to return to campus life: staying in dorms, absorbing lectures (or, on a bad day, sleeping) in classrooms and grabbing a pizza at the best joint in town. If these activities cannot resume because of the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, universities across the country will have far greater concerns than whether they’ll be able to continue funding the golf team.MORE: Will COVID-19 affect college football?And the communities around these colleges will face significant economic hardship over and above what they might be feeling now.And so it was worth noting Wednesday when University of Missouri interim chancellor Mun Y. Choi announced in a letter to the Mizzou community the school’s plans to “bring our beautiful campus to life once it is possible.”Choi said Missouri anticipates returning to “in-person operations and classes this fall.” The university will not just throw open the gates and go back to habits and practices in place through 2019; social distancing practices that will affect how classes, meetings and research are conducted are being developed. The campus is being thoroughly cleaned while closed.“Of course, the situation demands continued flexibility based on the evolving public health situation and in the best interests of students, faculty and staff, but we are looking forward to the fall semester,” Choi wrote.This does not assure intercollegiate athletics will return in the autumn. No one can be certain what course the coronavirus will follow in the months to come. Mizzou did become the first major NCAA Division I university, though, to declare an intent to return to campus life in the fall. This is an essential step toward the possibility of college football being played in the fall, whether on schedule or delayed by a bit.There will be no athletics if campuses are not open. A Power 5 athletic director told Sporting News exactly this in a recent text exchange.MORE: Cincy’s reason to drop men’s soccer more a product of conference revenue than COVID-19If campuses are open, though, it may be difficult to justify not competing, regardless of it’s in an empty stadium. You can have a few dozen or a few hundred in a classroom but not 22 on a football field? That seems somewhat illogical. Lots of college sports are played with minimal attendance, merely because spectators don’t have great interest. It might not be so revolutionary to limit or eliminate the audience at football games for the sake of public safety. We may not know the immediate future of college football until midsummer. One person who works with university admissions told SN many universities will not make a final decision about reopening campus until July. Which is all the better. Make the decision on the latest information and experience, rather than rushing into something regrettable — one way or the other.There has been much conjecturing about what might occur in intercollegiate sports, including an awkward declaration from the University of Connecticut president Tuesday that brought headlines he later sought to deescalate.One thing is certain, though: In so many ways, the issue of resuming college is more important than resuming college football. No matter which we care about more, it’s best to understand which comes first. In my corner of the world, our corner of the world, the discussion is framed in only one way: Will we have real, live college football in the autumn of 2020? Not replays of classics contested in years gone by, but games between two opposing teams of young men wearing colorful uniforms and their school’s logo on the helmet.It is an important consideration, because a lot of college athletics depends on the funding generated by this one, most popular sport.last_img read more