Real Madrid manager Julen Lopetegui looks to be on borrowed time after his side slumped to their third straight loss on Saturday, when Levante beat the Los Blancos 2-1 at the Bernabeu.Following the game, Lopetegui announced that he is not worrying about a sack and two of Real’s key players in Sergio Ramos and Marcelo also threw their weight behind the manager.”Right now that (his position) is the last thing that I’m thinking about. I feel more encouraged than ever to continue because the team gave their heart and soul on the pitch. Sooner or later we will come out of this.”The dressing room was sad but the players are keen to lift themselves up and look to the next game. The players gave everything and we will get out of this situation,” Lopetegui told reporters.”Julen has the backing of the entire team,” Sergio Ramos said.”We are with him to the death,” Marcelo added after Real slumped to their fourth defeat in five games.But, it is not all rosy for the former Spain manager, who was dramatically sacked a night before Spain’s first World Cup match in Russia as he took the Real job before letting the Spanish federation know.If reports are to be believed, his position is in jeopardy after Real’s disastrous start to the season. But, a saving grace for him could be the lack of options at club president Florentino Perez’s disposal if he decides to axe him.Santiago Solari, coach of Castilla, Real Madrid’s B team, could take charge in the short-term but the troubled search for a suitable coach in the summer would not appear much smoother now.advertisementMauricio Pochettino, Jurgen Klopp and Max Allegri would all be near-impossible to sign mid-season, while Joachim Low is still attached to Germany.Antonio Conte is out of work but there is an issue with the Italian’s style of play, not to mention any legal wranglings around his compensation package with Chelsea.Arsene Wenger would be fascinating but high-risk.For Lopetegui to call off the search, victory is surely essential at the Santiago Bernabeu against Plzen, the Czech team that have only won two Champions League matches in their history.Then avoiding defeat to Barcelona, who will be without the injured Lionel Messi, could buy him a trio of theoretically kinder fixtures against Melilla in the Copa del Rey, Real Valladolid in the league and Plzen again in the Czech Republic. Win those, and the outlook might look more rosy.Amid the sprawl of disapproving headlines on Sunday, Diario AS ran an online poll: who is more guilty, the club’s coach or president? Just over 80,000 replies were credited – almost 17,000 more than had attended the Santiago Bernabeu the day before – and 86 per cent of them answered Perez. Real Madrid fans were not impressed with their side’s display against Levante (AP Photo)There were whistles after the loss to Levante and a scattering of swinging white handkerchiefs too.But the atmosphere was marked more by deflation than disgust. At the end, as his players hunched on their knees, Lopetegui stood on the touchline, staring into space.Lopetegui is on the brink – he may well not make the Clasico on Sunday – but there is a sense this “mega crisis”, as termed by Barcelona’s Mundo Deportivo, has been a long-time coming.In July, days after Cristiano Ronaldo had left for Juventus, Perez defended his recruitment strategy, saying: “Madrid is strengthening its search for young players that will become the next great players of the sport.”By the end of the summer, they had signed Vinicius, the 18-year-old striker from Flamengo, Alvaro Odriozola, a 22-year-old right back from Real Sociedad, and Mariano Diaz, who returned after a decent season with Lyon.Only Thibaut Courtois could be considered a star, and he was joining a club that already had UEFA’s goalkeeper of the season.One theory goes that Perez is keeping the treasury full in preparation for a fresh tilt for Neymar next summer. It might explain too why a move for Eden Hazard has never been pushed through.In the meantime, Zinedine Zidane and now, Lopetegui, have been charged with papering over the cracks.Zidane managed it, spectacularly, by winning in Europe, although if Michael Oliver had not puffed his whistle for a borderline 98th-minute penalty against Juventus, Madrid would have been out in the last 16. In La Liga, they finished 17 points behind Barcelona.Three Champions League titles in a row is no fluke, just as two interventions from the Video Assistant Referee were not the sole reason Madrid lost at home to Levante for the first time in 11 years.advertisementDefensive mistakes, panicky finishing and stodgy build-up all reflected badly on Lopetegui, who made matters worse by leaving Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema on the bench.Both endured fitness issues over the international break but were excellent in the second half. By then, it was too late.”I believe in this team more than ever,” Lopetegui said. Only one of the last six Madrid coaches to preside over three consecutive defeats was not sacked afterwards. That was Bernd Schuster, whose team had put their feet up after winning the title in 2008.Lopetegui has far less credit in the bank. Perez’s period of austerity is coming home to roost.(With inputs from PTI)
Kuala Lumpur, Oct 30 (AFP) Asia’s football body has signed a major commercial rights deal with sports marketing agency DDMC Fortis aimed at securing the financial future of the game in the region for the coming years.The deal gives the agency, a joint venture between Chinese and Swiss groups, exclusive rights from 2021 to 2028 starting with the final qualifying round of the 2022 World Cup, the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) said in a statement.The AFC did not say how much the agreement was worth but reports put it at USD 3.4 billion, a huge boost for the rapidly growing football scene in Asia.”This is a most significant day in the history of the AFC,” the body’s president Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa said as the deal was signed Monday in Kuala Lumpur, where the AFC is based.”With the signing of this contract, the AFC can guarantee its member associations that the game in Asia has tremendously solid financial foundations from which to build.”DDMC Fortis CEO, Patrick Murphy, said that the group “strongly feel that, in cooperation with the AFC, we are in a position to transform the way Asian football is organised, enjoyed and commercialised across Asia”.DDMC Fortis is a joint venture between Swiss group Fortis Sports and China’s DDMC Sports International. The new deal signals an end to a long-running commercial partnership between the AFC and Lagardere Sports and Entertainment.The announcement came ahead of an AFC congress Wednesday in Kuala Lumpur, in which Sheikh Salman will be seeking support for a re-election bid next year.advertisementThe Bahraini royal first took the reins in 2013 when the AFC was still reeling from a corruption scandal which saw his predecessor, Mohamed bin Hammam, banned from football for life.At the AFC Congress next April, Sheikh Salman could face a challenge from Saudi Arabia’s Adel Ezzat, head of a new regional bloc, the South West Asian Football Federation.Delegates arriving ahead of this week’s meeting voiced support for the Bahraini. Anura De Silva, president of the Football Federation of Sri Lanka, said that Sheikh Salman’s position looked solid.”Sponsorship is booming under his leadership,” he told AFP. “The increase in sponsorship reflects his credibility and he is transparent in his job.” (AFP) APAAPA
Novak Djokovic eased past Portuguese qualifier Joao Sousa in the second round of the Paris Masters on Tuesday.Djokovic, who received a first-round bye, defeated Sousa 7-5 6-1 to advance to the third round and keep his hopes alive of achieving the season-ending world number one spot.World number two Djokovic broke his opponent’s serve four times to extend his winning run to 19 matches.The 31-year-old Serb has returned to his brutal best this season with Grand Slam wins at Wimbledon and the U.S Open, along with ATP Masters triumphs in Cincinnati and Shanghai.For Djokovic to surpass top-ranked Rafa Nadal when the next edition of the ATP rankings are released on Monday, he must outlast the Spaniard in the French capital this week.If both players lose in the same round, Nadal will retain the world number one ranking heading into the season-ending ATP Finals in London next month.Canada’s Milos Raonic came from a set down to reach the second round with a hard-fought 6-7(4) 7-6(5) 7-6(5) win over local favourite Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.In a meeting of former finalists, Raonic fired 23 aces and won 89 percent of first-serve points to beat Tsonga in just under three hours.The 27-year-old Raonic will next face Roger Federer, who is chasing his 100th career title after winning the Swiss Indoors last week.Fernando Verdasco, who reached the quarter-finals last year, produced a clinical display to defeat Frenchman Jeremy Chardy 6-4 6-4.The 34-year-old Spaniard will meet compatriot Nadal in the second round on Wednesday.advertisement(With inputs from Reuters)
Mohammed Shami now holds the record of most wickets in a calendar year by an Indian pacer after taking his 44th wicket after lunch on Day 4 of the Perth Test on Monday. In 11 matches in 2018, out of which 10 have been away from home, Shami has struck 44 times for India, which included two five-wicket hauls. Shami is also leading wicket-taker among pacers in away Tests this year. India are currently on their third overseas tour of the year and Shami has played each Test match in all of them. He played three Tests in South Africa, five in England and two so far in Australia.On Monday, Mohammed Shami recorded his best-ever Test bowling figures as he wrecked on the Australian batting line-up after lunch in Perth. His figures of 6 for 56 topped his previous best of 5 for 28 that he achieved earlier in the year against South Africa in Johannesburg.Shami’s sixth victim was Nathan Lyon, who was caught out right after a Shami delivery hit him hard at the helmet. After recovering from the helmet blow, Lyon tried to move his body away and hit another pitched-up delivery from Shami but it went straight into the hands of Hanuma Vihari at deep point.India vs Australia, 2nd Test Day 4: LIVE BLOG | LIVE SCOREShami registered his fourth five-wicket haul in his 37-match long Test career and led to a collapse of Australia’s batting line-up after lunch. This is Shami’s second five-wicket haul against Australia — the previous being back on January 6, 2015 in Sydney.advertisementThe last time Shami had a 5-wicket haul against Australia, he ended with figures of 5/112 and took the wickets of Chris Rogers, Shane Watson, Shaun Marsh, Joe Burns and Ryan Harris. In the second innings of the Perth Test, he picked the wickets of Aaron Finch, Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Travis Head and Tim Paine.6 wickets for Shami. His career best figures. 3 for Bumrah and 1 for Ishant. Australia 243. India require 287 to win #AUSvIND pic.twitter.com/JPTmqtzguYBCCI (@BCCI) December 17, 2018In his entire career so far, Shami had record four 5-wicket hauls and his maiden came against the Windies in Kolkata on November 6, 2013.Shami had picked 31 wickets after his first 8 Test matches and is fourth in the list of most wickets by an Indian pacer after 8 Tests.Jasprit Bumrah leads the list with 39 while Venkatesh Prasad (37) and S Sreesanth (37) complete the top 3.Ahead of the lunch as well, even though India could not take any wickets, there was plenty of drama as India captain Virat Kohli and Australian skipper Tim Paine had a bit of altercation due to which umpire Chris Gaffney had to intervene and remind the two players that “You guys are the captains”.In the morning session, the Indian fast bowlers put in a spirited effort but were unable to get a breakthrough as Australia reached 190 for 4 at lunch in their second innings, 233 runs ahead of the visitors, with Khawaja 67 not out and skipper Paine unbeaten on 37.Australia, desperate to level the series after narrowly losing the Adelaide opener, blunted India’s pace attack on the grassy Perth Stadium wicket during the pivotal morning session.India’s quicks were unable to exploit the pitch’s variable bounce and lacked the energy mustered during an explosive final session on day three.Australia resumed the day at 132-4 with a lead of 175 runs over India’s first innings tally of 283 and dominated the first session to take control of a fluctuating match.With only a smattering of spectators in the 60,000-seat stadium, Australia’s watchful batsmen made a sedate start in the face of accurate Indian bowling and scored just 19 runs in the first hour.Paine and Khawaja tempered their aggression, preferring to rotate the strike through sharp singles to frustrate an Indian side desperate for wickets.However, it was a completely different story in the second session with Shami absolutely running through the batting order and Australia ended their second innings at 243 all out, with a lead of 286 runs.Also Read | Not really concerned how Virat Kohli conducts himself on the field: Nathan LyonAlso Read | Perth Test: Virat Kohli’s energy is infectious, says Jasprit Bumrah after enthralling Day 3Also See:
Xiaomi just launched the Redmi Note 6 Pro in India for a starting price of Rs 13,999. Around two months before the Note 6 Pro launch, Xiaomi India launched three other Redmi 6 series phones in the country including the Redmi 6A, the Redmi 6 and the Redmi 6 Pro. Late last week three phones from Xiaomi with codenames M1901F7E, M1901F7T and M1901F7C made their way to TENNA and they are expected to be the Redmi 7A, the Redmi 7, and the Redmi 7 Pro. Xiaomi, however, is yet to confirm the devices.Back then, the TENNA listing didn’t reveal too many details about the phones, but it did mention the battery and display size and dimensions of the Redmi 7 Pro. Surprisingly, the TENNA listing has now been updated and brings more details for us.Well, don’t get too excited because the Redmi 7 Pro will not be as exciting as you expected it to be. The Redmi 7 Pro, as far as the TENNA listing suggests, will not be a major upgrade over the Redmi 6 Pro. The TENNA listing reveals that the Redmi 7 Pro when compared to the Redmi 6 Pro, will come with the same rear camera setup, display and dimensions, with a slight bump in the selfie camera. Xiaomi is also expected to not play around a lot with the design of the Redmi 7 Pro, except for replacing the iPhone X-like notch with a waterdrop style notch which will equip the selfie camera. That’s not just about it. The more surprising bit is that the Redmi 7 Pro is expected to sport a much smaller battery compared to the Redmi 6 Pro.advertisementThe Redmi 7 Pro, as the TENNA listing reveals, will come with a 2,900mAh battery setup which is much smaller than the 4000mAh battery found inside the Redmi 6 Pro. As far as the specs are concerned, the Redmi 7 Pro will come with the same display, dimensions and the rear camera system as the Redmi 6 Pro. The phone is said to come packed with a 5.84-inch full-HD+ display with a resolution of 1080×2280 pixels and include a 12MP primary camera on the back. The TENNA listing didn’t mention the megapixel count of the secondary camera but considering the Redmi 7 Pro camera is expected to have the same as the Redmi 6 Pro the second camera could pack a sensor of 5MP. The front camera of the Redmi 7 Pro will see a slight bump and come with an 8MP selfie shooter.The TENNA listing further reveals that the Redmi 7 Pro will come with a maximum of 128GB storage option and up to 6GB RAM. The listing suggests that the phone could launch in three variants – the base model with 3GB RAM and 32GB storage, the second model with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage and the top end model with 6GB RAM and 128GB storage. On the hardware front, the Redmi 7 Pro will be powered by a 2.3GHz octa-core processor while on the software front the phone will come with Android 8.1 Oreo out-of-the-box and not Android 9 Pie.ALSO READ | Alongside Redmi 7, Xiaomi plans to launch Mi Power Bank 3i with fast charging support in 2019ALSO READ | Xiaomi Redmi 7 Pro, Redmi 7 and Redmi 7A leaked: Launch likely in January, specs and key detailsALSO READ | Redmi 6A gets a big price cut and is now the best cheap phone to buy in India
Barcelona will remain in the Copa del Rey after the Spanish football federation (RFEF) said on Friday it had rejected Levante’s complaint that the Catalan side fielded an ineligible player.Levante said that Barca had played defender Juan ‘Chumi’ Brandariz in last week’s Copa del Rey last-16, first-leg game, which Levante won 2-1, when he was supposed to be serving a suspension.A statement from the federation said the head of the competition, Carmen Perez, had rejected Levante’s complaint because it arrived after the 48-hour deadline.”After studying the complaint and the corresponding allegations, the head of the competition has decided to maintain the result of the tie and keep Barcelona in the quarter-final draw,” the federation said.Levante said in a statement that they will appeal the decision.Barca, who have won the last four editions of the Copa del Rey and have lifted the trophy a record 30 times, won Thursday’s second leg 3-0 at the Nou Camp for a 4-2 aggregate win.Ernesto Valverde’s side will face Sevilla, who they thrashed 5-0 in last year’s final, in the quarter-finals following the draw, which was made shortly after the federation announced it had rejected Levante’s complaint.The federation’s decision means Barca escape the fate of Real Madrid, who were thrown out of the 2015-16 Copa del Rey for playing Denis Cheryshev in a last-32 game against Cadiz when he was supposed to be serving a suspension from the previous season when he played for Villarreal.Also Watch:
She has been scorching the track with one record after another but India’s new sprint sensation Hima Das doesn’t want to be left behind in studies either and is juggling between training and board exams these days.The transformation of Hima, the reigning world junior champion in 400m, into a top quartermiler has been nothing short of phenomenal considering that she has already run sub 51 seconds at only 19 years of age and that too after a dozen competitive races since late 2016.The sprinter from Assam’s Kandhulimari village in Nagaon district became a star overnight and kept improving her timing through the last year, culminating in a national record time of 50.79 seconds while winning silver in the Asian Games.But, just like any other youngster she realises the need to have educational degrees. She is currently appearing for her class 12 exams under the Assam Higher Secondary Education Council.”I am looking at some major tournaments in 2019 and I am trying to focus on my training along with taking examination,” Hima told PTI from Guwahati.Hima’s board exams began on February 12 and will go on till the middle of March. She is not staying at her native village to appear for the examination at nearby Dhing College. She is shuttling between her home and Guwahati’s Sports Authority of India hostels, which is 120kms away.”I have made my schedule in such a way that whenever I am getting time from studies, I do my training,” said Hima, the only Indian woman to have won a track and field gold at the world level.advertisementHima’s next paper is on Saturday (February 16) and she will come back home from Guwahati on the evening of Friday, her cousin Bijoy Das said.”She came on the evening of February 11, appeared for her first paper the next morning and left home for Guwahati in the afternoon just after the examination is over,” Bijoy said.”She told us she will come on Friday evening again for her second paper and then again go back to Guwahati for training. Her parents have no objection, they have left it to her what she wants to do. Of course, they want her to have some educational qualification also,” he added.Hima’s father Ranjit Das has a two bigha plot of land and mother Junali is a housewife. The small piece of land is the only source of income for a family of six. She is the eldest of four siblings, with two younger sisters and one younger brother.The athletics season starts next month with the Federation Cup National Championships, which will serve as the selection trial for the Asian Championships (April 21-14), at Patiala from March 15 to 18.Asked how Hima will appear for the papers as well participate in the Nationals, Bijoy said, “Her exams end before the Nationals so it should not be a problem.”Though still young, Hima is already a well-known sportsperson in Assam and she was made the sports ambassador of the state last year, besides being showered with several other honours. She was also conferred with the Arjuna Award by the Indian government last year.
MS Dhoni’s late surge had given Chennai Super Kings a competitive 160 against Kings XI Punjab on a difficult batting pitch at the Chepauk but the defending champions still had the Chris Gayle factor to think about. On Saturday after Dhoni finished strong with the bat, Harbhajan Singh, one of his most trusted bowlers over the years, did the job. | CSK vs KXIP – Match report |In his first over of the game, Harbhajan Singh lured Chris Gayle into a big drive and had him caught behind by MS Dhoni. In the same over, Harbhajan struck again to snare the dangerous Mayank Agarwal and even though KL Rahul and Sarfaraz Khan added 110 for the third wicket, MS Dhoni’s off-spinner had taken out two key batsmen to give CSK an upper hand.KL Rahul and Sarfaraz struggled in the middle overs and added only 24 runs in a 5-over period even after they were well set.MS Dhoni, who has seen some sterling Chris Gayle knocks in his time, knew the wicket of the Universe Boss would be the deciding factor. For if Gayle got going, 161 would not have looked like a big challenge – no matter how tricky the pitch was to bat on.”We had to get Universe Boss out. Because with 160 or even 200 on the board, if Chris Gayle gets going, I don’t think you can really stop him,” MS Dhoni told the broadcasters after the match. “I think it was important for us to get a few wickets in the first six overs and not leak a lot of runs and Bhajji (Harbhajan Singh) gave us that breakthrough. Otherwise, 160 is not much if Chris Gayle gets going.”advertisementThe metal in the deserved hands of Bhajju pa! #WhistlePodu #Yellove #CSKvKXIP pic.twitter.com/ta0NejQUf0Chennai Super Kings (@ChennaiIPL) April 6, 2019MS Dhoni also knew his best bet against Chris Gayle as an off-spinner. And Harbhajan Singh was a great option to try against one of the fiercest hitters of the cricket ball in world cricket.”The only thing that can save you from Chris Gayle is an off-spinner, especially if it’s turning a bit. Other than that, you need somebody who could swing the ball.”I felt Bhajji was really needed there and I felt over the years only the off-spinners have put some pressure on Chris Gayle. Other than that, even if you bowl very quick it really does not matter to him. If you can swing the ball at 128-130 kmph.. he gives you more respect than if bowl very quick,” Dhoni said.MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli were not too impressed with the Chennai pitch after the opening game of the 2019 IPL. On Saturday, Dhoni said the pitch was tougher to bat on in the first innings but it got fractionally better in the second innings.”I think the first innings was even tougher (for batting) and as the game progressed and we got into the second half, the pitch slowly got slightly better to bat on. But still it was tough.. it was not a placid wicket where you can just feet there and just hit or swing the bat. I felt it needed a bit of work and the spinners bowled very well for us.”We just had two fast bowlers which meant we had to give them a few runs in the last two or three overs and that responsibility was with the spinners and we were able to accumulate a lot of runs for the fast bowlers,” Dhoni said.Also Read | CSK vs KXIP, IPL 2019: Umpire talks to MS Dhoni after Ambati Rayudu backs up too farAlso See:
Chennai Super Kings batting coach Mike Hussey Thursday said skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni was keen to play all the games for the team and it was “very difficult” to get him to have rest.The question over Dhoni taking a break from his IPL duties crept up after he himself said that if his niggling back problem worsens he won’t hesitate to take some time off, especially with his last World Cup around the corner.”Well you would have to ask Dhoni that question. I think what I know about him is that he doesn’t want to miss any matches. He loves playing for CSK, this place is very close to his heart and he wants to play and do well and wants to see the team have success.”So trying to get him to have rest is very difficult,” Hussey told reporters here ahead of Friday’s IPL match against Mumbai Indians.”I don’t know what he (Dhoni) wants to do in that respect, but we will have to wait and see. I think he is keen to play all the games,” he said about the CSK captain.Dhoni missed last week’s defeat against Sunrisers Hyderabad due to a back spasm and the 37-year-old is not ready to risk a serious injury that could jeopardise his participation in the World Cup starting in England and Wales on May 30.Asked Hussey if he was concerned about the team’s batting despite Shane Watson’s return to form with a swashbuckling 96 against Sunrisers on Tuesday, he replied in the negative.advertisement”I am not concerned. It was great to see Watson’s innings the other day, it has been coming. We have been watching these guys closely in the nets and Watson in particular has been hitting the ball well. We knew there was a big score coming and let us hope he can have that consistency in the back end of the tournament,” he said.”I was really proud of the way MS (Dhoni) and (Stephen) Fleming showed faith in him (Watson), kept believing in the way he can play and he can win matches for CSK. They stuck with him and that was well rewarded.”I think probably before that, we had probably been relying a lot more on MS. He has been very consistent with the bat for us this season. We would like to have a team where contributions can come from everywhere in the order.”The CSK batting coach also backed Kedar Jadhav, who has been patchy throughout the tournament.”I don’t think there are any injury concerns. Much like with Watson, we rate Kedar Jadhav very highly. It is a difficult position to bat down the order. Quite often you come in high pressure situations and you don’t have many balls to bat. We like to show faith in our players. I think it is important to keep backing all the players,” Hussey said.Asked about the challenge in store for CSK bowlers against Mumbai Indians’ powerful batting unit, Hussey said it was important to prepare well and more importantly execute well.”First of all Mumbai have got great depth in their batting. They are very good team, one we respect very highly and particularly dangerous as you get to the back end as well. Guys like (Kieron) Pollard and Hardik Pandya, they are good hitters of the cricket ball,” he said.”It has been a bit of strength of the bowlers of late as they have put a lot of work into bowling at the death. It is going to be a good challenge. It is important to prepare well, plan well and mostly importantly execute well.”Mumbai Indians’ Beuran Hendricks, who has been picked in place of injured Alzarri Joseph, said he saw the IPL as a very good opportunity for him and hoped to learn by being around with people like Zaheer Khan, Shane Bond and others.Also Read | My back is holding up, not getting worse: MS Dhoni gives update as World Cup approachesAlso Read | IPL 2019: CSK reclaim top spot but MS Dhoni is not revealing any trade secretsAlso See
For a franchise used to spending the business end of the Indian Premier League (IPL) wondering what went wrong, the Delhi Capitals have surprised themselves by making the playoff with two matches to spare in a remarkable turnaround.If their long-suffering fans found it difficult to be upbeat about the team at the start of this season, they could hardly be faulted.The underperforming side underwent a major rebranding late last year – becoming the Delhi Capitals with a new jersey, a new logo and a new anthem – after JSW Sport, part of a $13 billion business conglomerate, acquired a 50 percent stake.Turn up your sound and hear our Head Coach Ricky Ponting and Co-owner Kiran Grandhi talk about our season so far!Team performances, DC fans and everything else that’s helped shape our journey into the playoffs. Watch now!#ThisIsNewDelhi #DelhiCapitals pic.twitter.com/CxCRDMw0U1 Delhi Capitals (@DelhiCapitals) April 30, 2019They appointed Australian Ricky Ponting as the head coach, but still ended the season bottom of the standings, their fourth such finish in 11 seasons.To their fans, who had not seen the side make the playoffs since 2012, all of the changes looked cosmetic as they prepared for another season of underperformance.”Everybody down to the last man is performing in this team.”Mr. @sajjanjindal and @SGanguly99 are ecstatic after our qualification to the playoffs #DCvRCB #ThisIsNewDelhi #DelhiCapitals pic.twitter.com/RoI94rYIYu Delhi Capitals (@DelhiCapitals) April 30, 2019Ponting, however, knew they just needed to be patient.”Success doesn’t happen overnight,” Ponting said in a team video. “Even last year, we felt we were very close to playing great cricket … but all the big moments popped up.”advertisement”This year we’re winning those moments.”That’s largely because of the balance in the side.Delhi retained wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant, skipper Sheras Iyer, who was elevated into the role during the middle of last season, and South African speedster Kagiso Rabada while adding opener Shikhar Dhawan – smart investments that paid off.The team effort this year contrasts with the sporadic individual brilliance of last season.”These did not add up to anything,” Ponting said. “We had outstanding individual performances but not much in the middle.”This year (opener) Prithvi (Shaw) played well when we needed him to, Shikhar played well on a number of occasions, Rishabh won two games of his own and Rabada is the leading wicket-taker by a long way.”Delhi have IPL’s youngest skipper in Iyer, who was just 23 when he was appointed, but his relatively youthful side have been guided by Ponting and former India captain Sourav Ganguly, who came on board as an advisor earlier this year.Ganguly’s presence has been particularly helpful to fellow left-handers like Pant and Dhawan and the improved performances have brought the fans back to Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium.”It helps when you win,” Ganguly said. “It helps when you play well, that’s what brings people back. If you can do that, this would be a big brand.”Sajjan Jindal, Chairman and Managing Director of the JSW Group, which also owns teams in India’s franchise-based soccer and kabaddi leagues, agreed.”The world wants to be with the winners, nobody likes the loser, right?” he said.”After seven years, coming into playoff, it’s a big deal for Delhi Capitals. I’m sure they will go a long way. And I won’t be surprised if they win this championship.”Also Read | IPL 2019: CSK players get a ‘Rish-hug’ from Pant ahead of high-profile clash vs DCAlso Read | IPL 2019: Ponting, Ganguly know how to make match winners, says Shikhar Dhawan
We have heard of the affordable or cheaper Google Pixel phones for over a year now. Well, finally two of them are here. After many leaks, which revealed almost all that is there to know about the new Pixels, the Pixel 3a and the Pixel 3a XL have been officially launched globally and in India. And while they are not exactly what you will call cheap, or even affordable, if you use the word “relatively” they do make some sense. Compared to the Pixel 3, which debuted at a price of above Rs 60,000, last year, the Pixel 3a costs Rs 39,999 in India. The Pixel 3a XL costs Rs 44,999, which you can say is “relatively” more affordable compared to the Pixel 3 XL that debuted at a price of above Rs 70,000.So, in a way, Google now plays in the premium market as well and not just in the ultra premium market. And here its competition is with the likes of OnePlus, Honor and Samsung. The question then is: Do the “relatively” affordable Pixel 3a and the Pixel 3a XL make sense for consumers? Should you pick one of these over an Honor or a Samsung. And answer, from what I have seen and tried of the Pixel 3a and the Pixel 3a XL, seems to be yes. Google is playing to its strengths with the Pixel 3a and the Pixel 3a XL, albeit it doesn’t entirely succeed in giving Pixel fans what they were expecting as far as the price is concerned.advertisementThe two newly launched Pixel smartphones are a bit pricey. While the Pixel 3a, which comes with 5.6-inch full HD+ gOLED display and a 3,000mAh battery, costs Rs 39,999, the Pixel 3a XL, which comes with 6-inch full HD+ gOLED display and a 3,700mAh battery, costs Rs 44,999. Both the smartphones come with Qualcomm 670 processor, 4GB RAM and 64GB memory, a 12.2MP rear camera and an 8MP front camera. By comparison, the OnePlus 6T, that boasts up to 8GB RAM, Snapdragon 845 processor and a dual rear camera setup, was recently selling for as low as Rs 32,999, while the Vivo V15 Pro, that comes with 6GB RAM, Snapdragon 675 processor and a triple rear camera setup is available for Rs 28,990. But, as it happens with the Pixel phones, there is more to the Pixel 3a and the Pixel 3a XL than what meets the eyes.During my limited time with the two smartphones, I found the devices to perform spectacularly well both in terms of the camera performance, which is one of the highlights of the Pixel smartphones, and otherwise. The two smartphones look quite similar to the original Pixel 3 smartphones, they are fast, despite having a more mainstream processor, and they produce sharp images even in the low light conditions – which is one area where other smartphones in this segment often fail to impress.Difference between premium and ultra premium according to GoogleLike I said, the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL are quite similar to the Pixel 3 and the Pixel 3 XL smartphones and yet there are subtle differences that separate the new Pixel smartphones from their ultra-premium siblings.The Google Pixel 3a XL looks quite similar to the Google Pixel 3 XL that was launched last year. And while the Pixel 3 XL comes with a glass back, the Pixel 3a XL features a plastic body. Visually, the difference is apparent, even though Google has tried to give similar dual-tone finish (glossy and frosted finish) to the plastic back of the Pixel 3a phones that the Pixel 3 from the last year sports. The plastic bodies of of the new Pixel phones look a bit more shiny as well and more down-market compared to the premium finish of the glass. The difference is subtle but it’s there. Pick up the phone, and you notice the difference even more because obviously the plastic bodies of the Pixel 3a phones feel different compared to the glass and metal of the Pixel 3 phones.The one good aspect of this plastic is that the new Pixel 3a phones are lighter. This means that if you like keeping your smartphone in the back pocket of your denim, you won’t feel Pixel 3a XL weighing it down like a dead weight.Notably, a glass body is not the only point of difference between the two smartphones. The Pixel 3 XL sports a notch on the top, which houses two cameras. The Pixel 3a XL, on the other hand, comes with old-fashioned bezel on the top that houses a single camera. Besides this, the budget Pixel 3a XL also sports thick bezels on the sides and on the bottom, and that clearly indicate their more affordable price tag.advertisementAnother surprise with the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL is that they bring back the 3.5mm jack that went missing in the premium Pixel smartphones – something that the jack lovers would appreciate a lot.Great low-light shotsIf you ask Google, or anyone following Pixel phones for a while now, about the raison raison d’etre of the new Pixel 3a chances are that you will be told that this about bringing (now well known) Pixel 3 camera to people who don’t want to spend Rs 60,000 on a phone. And it seems like a good reason. It also seems like a reason that Google justifies by offering consumers what it is giving in the Pixel 3a and the Pixel 3a XL rear camera, which uses the same 12-megapixel Sony-made IMX 363 image sensor that is inside the more expensive Pixel 3 phones. And its performance is in line with what hardware suggests. During my limited time with the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL smartphones, I tried their cameras under indoor lighting conditions and under low-light conditions and the images they produced were impressive. The two phones shoot pictures that are clear and with no signs of starkly evident noise or distortions. The colours captured by the two phones, particularly under the low-light conditions were bright and quite similar to the ones visible to the naked eye. I believe the credit for this goes to Google’s image processing software. I will have more to say about the phone’s camera performance in the coming days.IMAGE SAMPLESClean software and good performanceThe Google Pixel 3a and the Pixel 3a XL are fast, something that I believe is because of the neat and clean Android 9 Pie software paired with fairly capable Snapdragon 670 processor. I haven’t yet pushed the Pixel 3a I am testing to its limits by playing some games like PUBG or Real Racing, but in day-to-day use the phone performs admirably well. It doesn’t slow down or show any signs of lag while I use apps like Facebook and Instagram. When I switch between app there aren’t any lags, and camera app works without stutters.As I said earlier, this doesn’t mean that the Pixel 3a would be as fast as a phone like the OnePlus 6T that costs similar and has top-end, albeit from last year, Snapdragon 845 processor, because once you are pushing the phone by playing a game like Fortnite at top graphics settings, the Snapdragon 670 is bound to huff and puff. But for now let’s keep that as an assumption. As I use the Pixel 3a more, I will be taking a more detailed look at its performance in its full review in the coming days.The performance is also good with the phone’s fingerprint sensor, which effectively unlocks the phone in less than a second without an error each time.advertisementBesides this, the Pixel 3a is full of some cool tricks that make using it an absolute delight. You can squeeze the phone to invoke the Google Assistant and you can even set it to identify the song playing in your vicinity.In my short time with the Google Pixel 3a and the Pixel 3a XL, I found the two smartphones to be good performers. Yet, there are many aspects of the two phones that I am yet to assess. Google is promising stellar battery life with both the Pixel 3a and the Pixel 3a XL – something like best in the class battery life – but that is something I am yet to test. Then there is the display, which too according to Google is one of the top highlights of the Pixel 3a phones, but with that too I need some more time to see if its brightness can stand up to the scorching Delhi sun or not. Camera too needs a more through testing.But overall my impression of the Pixel 3a and the Pixel 3a XL is positive. I don’t particularly like the plastic design, but I don’t mind it either. It’s an issue not because it’s not a good design but because better designed metal and glass phones – hint Honor and OnePlus – exist in the market around same price points. Other than that, it is clear to see that Google is playing to its strengths here and if you have craved Pixel-class – yeh, it has become an adjective – camera and clean Android software, the Pixel 3a and the Pixel 3a XL are “relatively” more affordable options for you from Google.ALSO READ | Google Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL launched at I/O 2019, on sale from May 15 with price starting from Rs 39,999
The Indian women’s hockey team came from a goal down to eke out a close 2-1 win over South Korea in the second game and take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series, here Wednesday.The Indians had earlier defeated Korea by identical margin in the opening game of the series.India will take on Korea in the inconsequential last match of the series on Friday.On Wednesday, skipper Rani Rampal (37th minute) and Navjot Kaur (50th) scored for India after Lee Seungju gave South Korea the lead in the 19th minute through a field strike.The match started on a fast-paced note with both India and Korea trading penalty corners in the first quarter but goalkeepers of both the teams made some fine saves to keep a clean slate.Four minutes into the second quarter, Korea took the lead through Seungju’s field goal.Stunned by the Koreans, the Indians made a strong comeback after the change of ends and pulled a goal back seven minutes into the third quarter through captain Rani’s brilliant field effort.India kept up the pressure on the Korean defence and surged ahead in the 50th minute through Navjot’s strike.”Our performance was much better than the first match. Our skill control in today’s game was much better and the quality was good and consistent. I believe we could have scored more goals but the intensity and effort was good from the team,” India’s chief coach Sjoerd Marijne said after the game.Marijne said good results here would boost the team’s confidence ahead of the important c in Hiroshima later this year.advertisement”I am happy with the adjustments the team made. We played our first match just 24 hours after we arrived in Jincheon. It is nice we have won two matches in this three-match series. This will surely boost the team’s spirit ahead of the FIH Women’s Series Finals Hiroshima 2019,” he added.High on confidence after their impressive outings in Spain and Malaysia earlier this year, India had won the opening game with identical margin.Also Read | Indian women’s hockey team beat South Korea 2-1 in tour openerAlso Read | Hockey: Need to score consistently under tight marking, says Graham ReidAlso Watch:
Disha Patani caught the fitness bug a while back and since then, just like boyfriend, Tiger Shroff, the actress has been sweating it hard in the gym towards a healthy and toned body.Apart from exercising, the actress also makes healthy dietary choices. The 26-year-old recently shared a part of her another intense session at the gym. The gram is captioned, “140pounds (70 pounds each side)*4 reps. 110pounds (55 pounds each side)*10reps #deadlift Strength training, and as you can see dying too #strongereveryday.”The videos shows, Disha Patani picking up 63 kgs in weights during deadlift.For her gym session, the Bharat actress wore a pair of mini shorts flaunting her extremely toned legs. She accompanied her mini shorts with a purple sports bra and a white backless ganji.The actress wore black and white sneakers to complete her look and was seen with her hair tied in a tight sleek ponytail.On the work front, Disha is still flying high on the success of her latest film, Bharat in which she was seen sharing screen space with Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif. She will also be seen in the film, Malang along with Anil Kapoor and Aditya Roy Kapur.ALSO READ | Bharat box office collection Day 5: Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif film refuses to slow downadvertisementALSO READ | Bharat: Salman Khan and Disha Patani’s Slow Motion sends fans into a frenzy. See pics and videoALSO WATCH | Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif open up on Bharat, their journey and trolls
Authorities say a Walthill woman has been killed in a northeast Nebraska car crash.The accident occurred around 10:30 Monday morning on Nebraska Highway 94, about 2 miles southwest of Walthill.The Nebraska State Patrol says the car ran off the roadway and rolled, ejecting the driver, 38 -year-old Diona Jo Doenhoefer.
AUTHORITIES HAVE CLOSED OFF THE ROADWAYS AROUND 4TH & FLOYD BOULEVARD BECAUSE OF A GAS LINE LEAK.CREWS WERE DISPATCHED TO THE AREA NEAR NUTRA-FLO AROUND 12:30 P.M. WHEN A WORK CREW STRUCK THE GAS LINE.THE I-29 EXIT TO FLOYD BOULEVARD HAS BEEN CLOSED BECAUSE OF THE LEAK UNTIL REPAIRS HAVE BEEN MADE.NO INJURIES WERE REPORTED.
MEMBERS OF THE SIOUX CITY COUNCIL SPENT THEIR SATURDAY DISCUSSING PROJECT REQUESTS FROM DEPARTMENT HEADS AS PART OF THE ANNUAL CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS BUDGET SESSION.FIRE RESCUE CHIEF TOM EVERETT TOLD THE COUNCIL TWO OF THE DEPARTMENTS THREE BACKUP RIGS NEED TO BE REPLACED;Audio Playerhttp://kscj.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/CIP.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.OC………..TO THE FRAME SHOP. ;26THE CHIEF ALSO TALKED ABOUT A NEED FOR NEW DEFIBRILLATOR UNITS AND FLOOR DRAINS IN THE FIRE STATIONS.MATT SALVATORE OF THE PARKS DEPARTMENT PRESENTED REQUESTS FROM THE CITY’S LITTLE LEAGUE, IN WHICH EACH COMPLEX RECEIVES $3000 ANNUALLY:Audio Playerhttp://kscj.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/CIP2.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.OC……….FOR 83. :12THE COUNCIL VOTED 5-0 TO APPROVE AN INCREASE OF $10,000 FOR EACH COMPLEX TO $13,000 ANNUALLY.KELLY BACH OF THE CITY PARKS DEPARTMENT ALSO TALKED ABOUT THE IMPENDING ARRIVAL OF THE EMERALD ASH BORER AND THE EFFECT IT WOULD HAVE ON THE CITY’S ASH TREES.THE DESTRUCTIVE PEST HAS BEEN CONFIRMED WITHIN 90 MILES OF THE CITY:Audio Playerhttp://kscj.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/CIP3.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume.OC……..TREAT 250. :14SOME LOCAL CITIZENS GROUPS ALSO PROPOSED PARTNERING WITH THE CITY TO TRY AND SAVE TREES.THE COUNCIL ALSO HEARD PRESENTATIONS ON NEEDS FROM POLICE, THE LIBRARY, AIRPORT AND EVENTS FACILITIES AMONG OTHER REQUESTS.
Hilarious moment for #10 in the video above at the 1:42 mark.GIF here:h/t to reader Scott Bishop on the find.If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers!
Photo Attribution: USATSII guess I’m surprised that you’re surprised.After the game on Saturday I saw and read a lot of “wow, I can’t believe the way Walsh threw the ball, I thought he was a much better passer than that.”Really?Did you watch the Kansas game last year, or the Iowa State game?Sure, he looked better against UTSA — to the point that I wondered aloud whose arm he’d hocked on eBay in the offseason but nobody was ever confusing his arm with Brett Favre’s or, for that matter, Wes Lunt’s. Even in the Mississippi State and Lamar games he made some throws that made me gasp out loud…and not in a “Brandon Weeden to Justin Blackmon in the ’09 Colorado game” kind of way.Look, this isn’t me bailing on No. 4 one game into the conference season. Gundy made a decision that anyone in his position would have made, I think, and he should roll with it.[1. I’ll flip on this only if OSU loses 3-4 games in a row, which if you watched on Saturday doesn’t seem out of the realm of possibility.]But as I wrote after the Mississippi State game Walsh is fine as the starter and that’s about it. He’s a competitive dude and a really good runner and probably an above average college quarterback and that’s all.I know we like to put players and teams at one end of the spectrum or the other because, let’s be honest, saying a player or team is “the best ever” or “the worst ever” is a heck of a lot more fun than saying it is “just all right and probably going to be a little bit average at times.”That’s boring. I get it.But that’s the reality of the situation — and likely will be for the next three years unless he gets usurped as QB1.The amount of backpedaling I saw last weekend on Twitter and via email was almost comical. I was like “wait, aren’t I the one who’s supposed to be out on this guy?”The Walsh we saw last week in Morgantown was not who we’ll see the rest of the season — I’m willing to bet money that’s the worst game he plays all year. But some of the terrible stuff he did in that game? Yeah, that’s not going away.Everything he does poorly was on full display. I honestly don’t know if he can throw a football over 45 yards, his curl passes sail at times, he apparently makes poor choices at the line of scrimmage,[1. He audibled out of a run so he could throw a fade to Tracy Moore on second and goal from the 1-yard line.] and when Yurcich doesn’t design runs for him (specifically out of the diamond) he struggles to Johnny Football his way out of bad situations.Those are things you can kind of hide when your offense is humming and your offensive line is blocking well for you and your receivers are making plays but let’s not act like he was ever going to be this elite, Heismanian quarterback.You’re probably going to see a few more of these babies over the course of his career:Walsh completed 42.6% of passes on Sat, good for 93rd out of 101 games in Gundy era (min 20 pass attempts).— Oklahoma State Stats (@OSUStats) September 30, 2013 If you look back at his 2012 there was a lot more smoke and mirrors than anyone likes to admit. He beat Kansas, Iowa State, and Louisiana as the starter. That’s it.[1. I would say something here about how there’s a difference between being the starter on the Big 12 favorite and the backup against Iowa State on a team that had already lost a game but Walsh doesn’t strike me as the kind of guy who much cares if he’s playing a pickup game with three people watching or in front of 60K at a Big 12 game.]The combined record of teams he’s beaten as the starter the last two years is 23-29,[1. As of 10/1/13.] and three of those wins are from Lamar this year and I can’t even imagine the teams Lamar is beating.Should he have beaten Texas? Sure, but he didn’t, which kind of speaks to what I’m trying to show you.He’s going to win some games and lose some games and do some electrifying stuff but also make some passes that make you wonder if he could start at QB on the five best A-League flag football teams at OSU. At his best he might be a slightly better version of Zac (certainly with more weapons at his dispoasl) which is why I can’t figure out why they refuse to run him more.If you’re playing the guy who’s supposed to be this great running QB wouldn’t you, you know, call some designed runs for him?All that stuff aside though, this is the guy everyone wanted and Gundy gave him to you. He satiated the masses and now the masses are wondering if they were right all along.Gundy said it best on Monday at his press conference.“They (the fans) loved JW when he wasn’t playing. Now he’s playing they don’t like him. That’s the society we live in.”Collin Klein proved to us last year that you can win a conference title without a great passer. I think OSU can win the Big 12 with Walsh (I’ve always wondered about this but I really do think it) but I don’t know that they’re ever going to win one because of him.There are big questions to be answered over the next few weeks from No. 4. He’s showed signs, for sure, but he’s a long way from where OSU needs him to beOf course, given his makeup, I half expect him to come out on Saturday against Kansas State and throw for 440 and four with a buck thirty on the ground and after scoring on a slick 30-yard run in the 4th quarter pull up his jersey and reveal that “eff you @pistolsguy” shirt I know Jeremy Smith made for him.This is all part of the JW Walsh Experience and for better or worse we’re all in on it for the next few years.If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers!