Alastair Cook names Virat Kohli in the list of 5 all-time greats

first_imgLONDON: Former England captain Alastair Cook has included current India skipper Virat Kohli in his list of batsmen who came close to matching genius of legendary West Indies batter Brian Lara.Lara, who is the only batsman to score 400 in a Test inning, had retired after scoring 11,953 runs in 131 Tests and 10,505 runs in 299 ODIs. During a Q&A session with the Sunday Times, Cook recalled a 2004 tour game where the legendary West Indies batsman had scored a century in a session to leave him awestruck. “I was part of an MCC team that played West Indies at Arundel in the first match of their 2004 tour,” Cook said. “We had a decent bowling attack — Simon Jones, Matthew Hoggard and Min Patel, all of whom were England players. “Brian Lara scored a century between Lunch and Tea which made me realise I was witnessing another level of batsmanship altogether. It was genius at work,” he added. Apart from Kohli, the other players who found spot in Cook’s list were Ricky Ponting, Jacques Kallis and Kumar Sangakkara. “The ones who came close to that when I was playing for England were Ponting, Kallis and Sangakkarra,” Cook, who captained England for 59 Tests, said. According to the former left-handed England opener, Kohli finds a spot in the list because of his sheer ability to score runs freely across formats. ‘Now you would have to put Virat Kohli in that group, especially for his ability to score so freely in all three formats,” Cook said. IANSlast_img read more

Liverpool return to training ‘like the first day at school’

first_img(BBC) – Liverpool’s return to non-contact training “felt like the first day at school”, says manager Jurgen Klopp.The Premier League leaders worked in small groups at their Melwood training ground yesterday for the first time since the coronavirus lockdown.The English top flight hopes to resume in June, with 92 fixtures left to play, having been suspended since March 13.“I woke up even earlier than usual and then I realised it was my first day,” Klopp told Liverpool’s website.“It felt like the first day at school – for me, it was 46 years ago, but it must have been similar.“I dressed myself in my uniform again – and for the right reason – for going to training.”The easing of government restrictions have allowed players to train in small groups in staggered sessions, with all 20 clubs unanimously agreeing to stage one of the return-to-training protocols at Monday’s ‘Project Restart’ meeting.As well as training in groups of no more than five, sessions must last no longer than 75 minutes for each player. Social distancing must be adhered to.Liverpool are 25 points clear at the top of the table, with nine games to play, and need just two more wins to secure their first Premier League title.The league had previously identified June 12 for matches to possibly start again, but there is now an expectation this will need to be pushed back.Klopp said he was “really happy” to see his players again and that they were all in “good spirits” and “good shape”.“We don’t know exactly how long we have, but we have some time to prepare the rest of this season and already the next season, because I don’t think there will be a massive break between the two,” he said.“It’s a pre-season for us. We don’t know how long and we will not have test games or friendlies.“Maybe we can organise it between us when we are allowed to, but it will not be the same like in other pre-seasons.”Klopp said he was glad his players had had a “real rest” during nine weeks off in lockdown, as opposed to two or three weeks of holiday per year.However, he added: “Of course, you cannot rest when you are worried about the situation in the world, not in the same way like you do on a proper holiday.”Defender Adrian Mariappa and two staff members at Watford and Burnley assistant manager Ian Woan are among six positive Premier League tests for coronavirus revealed on Tuesday.A total of 748 players and staff were tested in the first round of twice-weekly testing as part of the return-to-training measures.Official protocols sent to players and managers last week, and obtained by the BBC, revealed corner flags, balls, cones, goalposts and even playing surfaces will be disinfected after each training session.Klopp said the protocols are “brilliant” and that he felt his side were able to train in a “very, very safe place”.He added: “Then hopefully for all of us we will get good news because that always would mean the development was in the right direction for the whole country and then for the league as well.”last_img read more

When it matters most, No. 1 Syracuse defense buckles down late

first_img Published on April 22, 2017 at 6:26 pm Contact Matthew: [email protected] | @MatthewGut21 Evan Molloy flashed his stick high enough, slightly below the height of the crossbar. It redirected Griffin Konen’s shot in the final seconds, representing the latest way in which No. 1 Syracuse held on to another win.“I tried to pivot, get as big as I could in net and then kind of match the stick and kick my leg out,” Molloy said, “and I got a piece of it.”Syracuse’s (11-1, 4-0 Atlantic Coast) second 9-8 win over an unranked team this year came the same way as its first. On March 11, the SU defense stopped St. John’s in the final seconds, winning 9-8. And three Saturdays ago, SU held then-No. 1 Notre Dame’s deadly attack to nothing during its final possession. On Saturday in the Carrier Dome, the top-ranked Orange edged Binghamton (9-4, 3-2 America East), 9-8, for its ninth straight victory. A last-second stop kept SU from suffering its first loss in nearly two months.SU improved to 8-1 in one-goal games ahead of next week’s ACC tournament, which begins Friday night against North Carolina. A week ago, Syracuse held the Tar Heels to one goal in the final 20 minutes. On Senior Day, SU limited Binghamton to one score and only three shots in the final frame.Over its last two fourth quarters, the Syracuse has allowed a grand total of two goals.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“Hats off to the defense,” SU head coach John Desko said. “For the amount of time they had to play, they really gutted it out. Especially at the end of the game to get those stops.”Molloy’s save followed a rather sloppy game at the other end. Syracuse committed 13 turnovers, senior faceoff specialist Ben Williams struggled at the X (he did win three of his last four) and neither Sergio Salcido nor Nate Solomon scored a goal.From the start, Binghamton inverted behind the cage, forcing SU to adjust after the break. Invert schemes are designed to force the defense to play behind the cage, prevent fast breaks and slow down pace of game. The Bearcats did just about all of that, methodically whipping the ball around. They looked for cutters inside. They didn’t settle for outside shots.Binghamton senior attack Tom Moore scored five of his team’s eight goals, including one with his left hand. The 6-foot-3, 190-pounder worked on senior defender Scott Firman to tie the Binghamton single-season goals record (39). Most of his damage came inside, where he flashed to open spaces and converted. He had a hat trick in the first half alone.“I tried to play more off-ball today, help my teammates out, be in the right spot at the right time,” Moore said. “When I got the ball in my stick, I finished.”In the second quarter, Firman sagged off Moore and turned his body to force him right. The Bearcats’ leading scorer complied, taking a few hard steps right and bouncing in his third goal of the day past Molloy, giving Binghamton a 5-4 lead.“We got off of him and put him in a position where Scott (Firman) had to slide to the invert,” Desko said, “and we didn’t get to No. 10 quick enough and they jam it in to him. Sometimes it appears he’s covered, but they jam it in and there’s a reason he’s got all those points. He’s a heck of a player.”Out of the last timeout, Binghamton prepared for man or zone. Syracuse flashed the latter, so Binghamton inverted and worked from behind the cage as it had much of the second half. Konen pounced on a slight opening right in front of the crease, to Molloy’s right.“We wanted to keep the ball moving, have some carries, let our offense do the work,” Binghamton first-year head coach Kevin McKeown said. “We didn’t get too anxious. We had a great look at it.”Konen’s shot went high, and Molloy’s stick followed, preserving Syracuse’s longest winning-streak in six years. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more