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A gripping affairVirat Kohli checks his bat during a training session in Johannesburg on Tuesday. AFP

A gripping affair

Looking for a consolation win, India mull all-seam attack for the final Test; hosts aim for a clean sweep24 Jan 2018 | 2:04 AM

JOHANNESBURG:India skipper Virat Kohli today said performance of the pacers has been a big boost for the team and hinted at employing an all-seam attack against South Africa on a typical green Wanderers track in the third cricket Test beginning tomorrow.

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JOHANNESBURG, January 23

India skipper Virat Kohli today said performance of the pacers has been a big boost for the team and hinted at employing an all-seam attack against South Africa on a typical green Wanderers track in the third cricket Test beginning tomorrow. 

“Chances of anything happening are very bright. As I said, there is a lot of grass on the pitch. We would definitely look at that option. I am sure both the teams would be thinking about those options,” Kohli said when asked if India might go with an all-pace attack.

“Not many times on overseas tours we have picked 40 wickets in two Test matches. So, I think that’s a big boost for us... We are going to have a discussion on that and the other combinations.”

The Indian batsmen have come a cropper in the Test series and Kohli hoped they would learn from their mistakes. “I said before the series that whichever side bats better will win the series, and that’s been the case. The batsmen are looking to rectify their mistakes,” he said.

Kohli said he doesn’t see defeats as a burden and wants to take the losses in his stride and move forward. “Responsibility can become less or more according to phases, it’s all about hanging in there and accepting all the phases that are coming your way. I have to take it in my stride and go forward.”

South Africa, on the other hand, are eyeing to inflict a historic series sweep on India. “It doesn’t happen a lot that you get the chance to beat a team 3-0 and I would favour dominating India and being ruthless,” said SA skipper Faf du Plessis. “We have an amazing opportunity as a team to win 3-0, and that makes us even more hungry to go where no team has gone before.” 

‘Happy with preparations’ 

A day after India coach Ravi Shastri said that an extra 10 days of practice might have made a difference, Kohli said he was happy with the preparations and it was their own mistakes that cost them the series. “I don’t feel that we didn’t feel prepared, I won’t sit here and point that out after losing the series,” said Kohli. — Agencies 

Series so far 

First Test, Cape Town: South Africa won by 72 runs 

Second Test, Centurion: South Africa won by 135 

Can India remain unbeaten in Johannesburg?

India have never lost a Test in Johannesburg, having won 1 and drawn 3 out of four Tests played there since 1992:

Year Scores Result

1992 SA 292 & 252, India 227 & 141/4 Draw

1997 India 410 & 266/8d, SA 321 & 228/8 Draw

2006 India 249 & 236, SA 84 & 278 India won

2013 India 280 & 421, SA 244 & 450/7 Draw

Smith questions Kohli’s leadership

Smith questions Kohli’s leadership

24 Jan 2018 | 2:04 AM

JOHANNESBURG:South Africa’s most successful Test captain Graeme Smith is not sure if Virat Kohli can be a long-term leader for India.

Quarterfinal curse fells Nadal again

Quarterfinal curse fells Nadal again

24 Jan 2018 | 2:04 AM

MELBOURNE:Rafa Nadal’s Australian Open quarterfinal curse struck again on Tuesday, an injury forcing the top seed to retire in the fifth set against Croatia’s Marin Cilic.

Sehwag seconds Smith, says no one to check skipper

24 Jan 2018 | 2:04 AM

NEW DELHI:Virender Sehwag has once again trained his guns on Virat Kohli, saying currently there is no one in the team who can stand up to the India skipper and point out his mistakes on the field.

Punjab taste first loss

24 Jan 2018 | 2:04 AM

KOLKATA:Punjab lost to Jharkhand by four wickets in the Super League stage of the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 cricket tournament here today.

Shakib, Tamim star in B’desh win

24 Jan 2018 | 2:04 AM

DHAKA:Star all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan smashed a half-century and claimed three wickets as Bangladesh thrashed Zimbabwe by 91 runs in their second clash of the tri-nation ODI tournament today.

Swansea end Liverpool run

24 Jan 2018 | 2:04 AM

SWANSEA:Liverpool’s progress towards securing a Champions League spot was halted by the Premier League’s bottom club and a single goal by Alfie Mawson as Liverpool’s defensive frailties returned.

Briefly

Yousuf advises struggling Sarfraz to consult Dhoni

24 Jan 2018 | 2:04 AM

Karachi: Former Pakistan captain Mohammad Yousuf has advised national team captain and wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed to consult MS Dhoni to get over his fitness and form issues.

Pope performs a miracleICC U-19 world cup

Pope performs a miracle

24 Jan 2018 | 2:04 AM

QUEENSTOWN:Leg-spinner Lloyd Pope returned remarkable figures of 8/35 as Australia registered a dramatic 31-run victory over England to march into the Super League semifinals of the ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup here today.

Injured Nadal retires on day of Australian Open upsets

Injured Nadal retires on day of Australian Open upsets

23 Jan 2018 | 6:46 PM

MELBOURNE: Rafael Nadal's drive towards a second Australian Open title came to a shuddering injury- induced halt on Tuesday on a day of upsets that saw unseeded Kyle Edmund and Elise Mertens make the semi-finals.

Root to miss T20 tri-series, Stokes delays return

Root to miss T20 tri-series, Stokes delays return

23 Jan 2018 | 11:56 AM

SYDNEY: Joe Root on Tuesday pulled out of England's Twenty20 tri-series against Australia and New Zealand, as Ben Stokes confirmed his return to international cricket would be delayed by a court appearance.

New Zealand sink Pakistan

New Zealand sink Pakistan

23 Jan 2018 | 1:39 AM

WELLINGTON:Colin Munro ensured New Zealand continued a stellar home summer when they thrashed Pakistan by seven wickets with 25 balls to spare in the opening T20I.

Briefly

IPL from April 7, match timings changed

23 Jan 2018 | 1:39 AM

The 11th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) will be held from April 7 to May 27 with revised timings, the IPL Governing Council (GC) announced here today.

Mann powers Punjab past Mumbai

Mann powers Punjab past Mumbai

23 Jan 2018 | 1:02 AM

KOLKATA:Gurkeerat Mann helped Punjab seal a thrilling three-wicket victory over Mumbai to win their second match on the trot in the Super League Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament here today.

Messi, Suarez score twice as Barcelona extend league lead

Messi, Suarez score twice as Barcelona extend league lead

23 Jan 2018 | 1:02 AM

SEVILLE:Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez scored twice as Barcelona won 5-0 at Real Betis with five second-half goals to increase its Spanish league lead.

Late arrival hurt us, says Shastri

Late arrival hurt us, says Shastri

23 Jan 2018 | 1:02 AM

JOHANNESBURG:Their weaknesses thoroughly exposed in overseas conditions, India coach Ravi Shastri today said the team should have landed in South Africa earlier than it did to get familiar with the conditions and be better prepared at the start of the series.

Punjab cagers stun defending champions Uttarakhand

23 Jan 2018 | 1:02 AM

CHENNAI:Punjab edged past Uttarakhand 70-68 in the men’s quarterfinals to knock the defending champions out of the 68th Senior National Basketball Championship here today.

Tennys lessons for fifth seed Thiem

23 Jan 2018 | 1:02 AM

American sensation Tennys Sandgren’s dream debut at the Australian Open continued as the rank outsider upset fifth seed Dominic Thiem in a five-set thriller to reach an improbable quarterfinal.

Sent packing

Sent packing

23 Jan 2018 | 1:43 AM

MELBOURNE:For Novak Djokovic it must have felt like some nightmarish fight to the death against a clone of himself on Monday as Chung Hyeon stunned the six-time Australian Open champion with a display ripped straight out of the Serb’s textbook. The 30-year-old who has ruled like no other on Rod Laver Arena simply had no answer as Chung, nine years his junior, wore him into the ground to win 7-6(4) 7-5 7-6(3) and become the first South Korean to reach a Grand Slam quarterfinal where he will face American Tennys Sandgren.

Shastri defends Rahane’s ommission from first 2 Tests

Shastri defends Rahane’s ommission from first 2 Tests

22 Jan 2018 | 8:12 PM

JOHANNESBURG: India coach Ravi Shastri on Monday defended the team management’s decision to leave out Ajinkya Rahane from the first two Tests in South Africa, saying Rohit Sharma was the best option going by form.

IPL to run from April 7-May 27, opener and final in Mumbai

IPL to run from April 7-May 27, opener and final in Mumbai

22 Jan 2018 | 7:42 PM

NEW DELHI: The 11th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) will be held from April 7 to May 27 with the tournament opener and final to be played in Mumbai, the IPL Governing Council (GC) announced on Monday.

Tendulkar gives pep talk to women’s team ahead of SA series

Tendulkar gives pep talk to women’s team ahead of SA series

22 Jan 2018 | 7:09 PM

MUMBAI: Cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar on Monday gave a pep talk to members of the Indian women’s cricket team, who will travel to South Africa for a gruelling ODI and T20 series.

Cool Federer joins stuttering Kerber in quarters

Cool Federer joins stuttering Kerber in quarters

22 Jan 2018 | 6:43 PM

MELBOURNE: Ice-cool Roger Federer roared into an Australian Open quarter-final with Tomas Berdych on Monday as former champion Angelique Kerber stuttered into an enticing clash with Madison Keys.

Warner to lead Australia in T20 tri-series, Smith rested

Warner to lead Australia in T20 tri-series, Smith rested

22 Jan 2018 | 2:58 PM

MELBOURNE: David Warner will lead Australia in next month’s Twenty20 international tri-series against New Zealand and England as regular captain Steve Smith is given a break ahead of the crucial Test tour to South Africa.

Holland, Richardson in Australia’s tour squad to South Africa

22 Jan 2018 | 2:54 PM

MELBOURNE: Spinner Jon Holland and paceman Jhye Richardson are the surprise selections in a 15-man Australia squad named today for the tour to South Africa next month.

Australian captain rejects ball-tampering suggestions after ODI loss

Australian captain rejects ball-tampering suggestions after ODI loss

22 Jan 2018 | 1:05 PM

SYDNEY: Australian captain Steve Smith has shot down suggestions of ball-tampering after video of him using saliva from the corner of his mouth during Sunday’s one-day loss to England raised eyebrows.

Bopanna, Sharan lose in men's doubles at Australian Open

Bopanna, Sharan lose in men's doubles at Australian Open

22 Jan 2018 | 12:16 PM

MELBOURNE: India’s Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan lost their respective men’s doubles third round matches in the Australian Open here on Monday.

Australian down under

Australian down under

22 Jan 2018 | 1:58 AM

MELBOURNE:Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov kept cool in the Rod Laver Arena maelstrom to knock home favourite Nick Kyrgios out of the Australian Open in a fourth-round thriller on Sunday.

India lose to Belgium again, but coach sees improvement

22 Jan 2018 | 1:58 AM

TAURANGA (NEW ZEALAND):India went down fighting to Belgium in a thrilling final of the first leg of the four-nation invitational hockey tournament at Blake Park here today.

JPM lead the way in competitive world of blind kabaddi

JPM lead the way in competitive world of blind kabaddi

22 Jan 2018 | 1:58 AM

NEW DELHI:After a huddle in the middle and chants of ‘JPM, JPM’, the team stuck together for few ‘selfies’ with the coaches and the support staff.

Dabbawalas win hearts in Mumbai Marathon

Dabbawalas win hearts in Mumbai Marathon

22 Jan 2018 | 1:58 AM

MUMBAI:The city’s famed dabbawalas today participated in the Mumbai Marathon to promote their recently launched Roti Bank initiative, which would prevent food wastage.

Go-green in Johannesburg!

Go-green in Johannesburg!

22 Jan 2018 | 1:58 AM

JOHANNESBURG:Virat Kohli and his team were back to work today morning with a four-hour workout at the Wanderers Stadium.

Super win for Punjabsyed mushtaq ali

Super win for Punjab

22 Jan 2018 | 1:58 AM

KOLKATA:Punjab edged past Karnataka in the Super Over in a Super League tie of the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament here today.

NZ colts beat South Africa

22 Jan 2018 | 1:58 AM

TAURANGA :New Zealand produced a strong all-round performance to defeat South Africa by 71 runs in a Group A match of the ICC U-19 World Cup here today.

Buttler serves up special win

Buttler serves up special win

22 Jan 2018 | 1:58 AM

SYDNEY:A scintillating century from Jos Buttler gave England a 16-run win in the third ODI and a series victory against Australia here today.

England rise from Ashes, teach Aussies ODI lessons

22 Jan 2018 | 1:58 AM

SYDNEY:With today’s win, England have now triumphed in six of their last seven ODIs against Australia.

Aguero treble gets City back on track

Aguero treble gets City back on track

22 Jan 2018 | 1:58 AM

BURNLEY:A Sergio Aguero hat-trick helped Manchester City get back to winning ways in the Premier League with a 3-1 victory over Newcastle United, as they stayed 12 points ahead of Manchester United who had to dig deep to secure a 1-0 win at Burnley.

Minerva on a rolli-league

Minerva on a roll

22 Jan 2018 | 1:58 AM

CHANDIGARH:Minerva Punjab FC find themselves in an unfamiliar position.

India hints at Rahane return in 3rd Test

India hints at Rahane return in 3rd Test

21 Jan 2018 | 10:31 PM

JOHANNESBURG: India on Sunday hinted at a recall for Ajinkya Rahane in the third cricket Test against South Africa, days after his omission from the first two matches of the series raised eyebrows.

Pant stars in Delhi win; Punjab down Karnakata in thriller

21 Jan 2018 | 10:21 PM

KOLKATA: Rishabh Pant cracked a fourth successive fifty-plus score to lead Delhi’s eight-wicket rout of Tamil Nadu while Baroda, Mumbai and Punjab also secured wins in their respective Super League matches of the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy, here on Sunday.

Sanchez, Mkhitaryan set for medicals ahead of swap deal

Sanchez, Mkhitaryan set for medicals ahead of swap deal

21 Jan 2018 | 8:48 PM

LONDON: Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez and Manchester United midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan were to undergo medicals on Sunday as their swap deal neared completion, reports said.

Mohun Bagan beat East Bengal 2-0 in Kolkata derby

Mohun Bagan beat East Bengal 2-0 in Kolkata derby

21 Jan 2018 | 6:45 PM

KOLKATA: Criticised for being profligate inside the 18-yard box, Dipanda Dicka stepped up his game when it mattered most with two brilliant goals, as Mohun Bagan outclassed East Bengal 2-0 in a much-anticipated I-League derby here on Sunday.

Buttler serves up series success for England against Australia

Buttler serves up series success for England against Australia

21 Jan 2018 | 5:56 PM

SYDNEY: A scintillating century from Jos Buttler brought England a 16-run win and a one-day international series victory against Australia here on Sunday.

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