Live Cricket Score – Pakistan vs Afghanistan, 1st Warm-up game – Cricbuzz – Cricbuzz


Afghanistan and Pakistan take on each other in the first warm-up game.

Afghanistan and Pakistan take on each other in the first warm-up game. © Getty

Make that three!!

After a patchy start in the field, Afghanistan are making amends and in some style. Haris Sohail is the third wicket to fall, bowled by Nabi for 1. Pakistan have been reduced to 65 for 3

Pakistan lose both openers

Fakhar Zaman’s streaky knock came to an end after he was cleaned up by Mohammed Nabi on 19. Pakistan were 63 for 2 in the 12th over

Nabi unlucky again:

Zaman gets a reprieve in the 10th over as he’s put down by skipper Gulbadin Naib after top-edging a Nabi delivery.


Imam finally departs as he chops one on to the stumps while attempting a pull off Hamid Hassan. He heads back for a 35-ball 32, leaving Pakistan at 47 for 1 in the ninth over.

Imam survives:

Dawlat raps Imam on the pads in the 7th over after the left-hander misses a flick. The umpire ruled in favour of the batsman, and replays revealed that it was umpire’s call regarding the impact with the stumps. He gets another lucky break in the next over as he’s beaten by Nabi’s turn but Shahzad missed a stumping opportunity.

Review comes to Zaman’s aid:

Rapped on the pads after missing one that came straight on from Mujeeb, Zaman was given out leg-before. However, he opts for the review and is justified in his decision as replays revealed that the ball was missing the stumps. Meanwhile, Imam continues confidently as he pulls a short delivery from Dawlat for another boundary.

Positive start for Pakistan:

Dawlat Zadran and Mujeeb Ur Rahman start the proceedings for Afghanistan. Imam-ul-Haq has appeared comfortable in his stay so far, clipping a Dawlat delivery on his legs for the first boundary. A short delivery from Dawlat in his next over is punched away confidently for a four by Imam. Fakhar Zaman, meanwhile miscues a big hit and just about manages to clear mid-on. Pakistan move to 21 for 0 after three overs.

TOSS: Pakistan opt to bat

Hello and welcome to the first warm-up game between Pakistan and Afghanistan! Here we are, as close to the much-awaited World Cup 2019 as can be!

This is the last chance for teams to experiment with combinations whilst getting a measure of the conditions that they will have to contest with in the tournament. First-up, Pakistan and Afghanistan!

Pakistan were handed a 0-4 loss in the recently-concluded five-match series against England, with a game washed out, in their last series before the tournament. Afghanistan, who had a brief Ireland detour, drew the two-match series 1-1, with much-needed game time under their newly-appointed captain Gulbadin Naib.

The warm-up will be a good chance for Afghanistan to asses how they need to go about their business against the best teams in the world. Pakistan, meanwhile, will want to give as much game-time to Wahab Riaz and Mohammad Amir who were last-minute entrants into their squad after not having been named in the preliminary ones. It’s worthy to note that Riaz last played an ODI back in 2017, while Amir played just the first ODI against England, but didn’t get a chance to bowl as the game was washed out.

Join us for the toss in a bit.

© Cricbuzz

Real Madrid news: “It wasn’t just Ronaldo”, Arjen Robben reveals why he left Los Blancos – Sportskeeda


1.82K   //   

24 May 2019, 13:44 IST

Borussia Dortmund v FC Bayern Muenchen - UEFA Champions League Final
Borussia Dortmund v FC Bayern Muenchen – UEFA Champions League Final

What’s the story?

Arjen Robben has opened up on his departure from Real Madrid to join FC Bayern Munich in 2009. The winger unfolded all the events that contributed to his departure from the Spanish capital, stating that Cristiano Ronaldo‘s arrival wasn’t the sole reason.

In case you didn’t know..

Robben left Real Madrid for Bayern in 2009 and became a key member of the Bavarians’ squad, with Los Blancos signing Ronaldo from Manchester United in the same window. The former Chelsea winger in his ten seaons with German giants has won eight Bundesliga titles and one UEFA Champions League among other trophies.

The heart of the matter

Robben is set to leave Bayern after their match against RB Leipzig in the German Cup final this weekend.

The Dutchman in his latest interview before his final game in a Bayern jersey, revealed the reasons behind him leaving Real Madrid. 

“It became difficult for me because of the change of president at Real.

“I actually felt very comfortable there and played very well, but when politics come into play and you do not get a real chance, you have to make a decision whether you want to keep fighting or to go and continue your career elsewhere

“It was not just Ronaldo. Perez returned as the club’s president. He then bought Ronaldo, but also Kaka, [Karim] Benzema and Xabi Alonso.

“Real spent so much money and we were told that they needed to make a bit of money back on outgoing transfers.

“For me it was a shame, because I had a very good relationship with the former coach Manuel Pellegrini. In addition, I had perhaps the best pre-season of my career.

“I talked to Mark and to Van Gaal. “He told me how had he plans for me. Both clearly signalled to me: ‘Come to Munich, please’.”

“I remember the decision was not easy. We sat together as a family on the terrace and talked. After all, it was about leaving a big club like Real Madrid. There was no turning back then.

“By comparison, Bayern was not so successful in Europe at the time. My goal had always been to win the Champions League. I wanted to show that I was good enough.

“The move to Bayern was the best decision of my career.”

What’s next?

The decision to move to Bayern from Real Madrid turned out to be Robben’s best sporting decision as he has established himself as a Bayern legend in these ten years at the Allianz Arena. Leicester City have been linked with signing the veteran on a free transfer this summer.

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Indian Football: “World Cup qualification is everybody’s dream; Nobody can take that away,” says head coach Igor Stimac – Sportskeeda


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24 May 2019, 13:34 IST

Igor Stimac
Igor Stimac

“Give us the time, support us through the process, fighting for India is a job for all of us,” new Indian National Football Team head coach Igor Stimac appealed as he addressed the press for the first time in his new role, in New Delhi today. 

Stimac, who attended the press conference with the AIFF’s new Technical Director Doru Isac, said the job of this new regime will be to set processes and synchronize style of playing across the age groups of Indian football.

“The major objective of every nation is to play the World Cup – it’s an objective, it’s a dream. After spending two weeks in the country, to tell you we will go to the World Cup will be nonsense,” Isac said while acknowledging the seeds for the future have been sown, and the time is ripe for harvesting the benefits. 

“It is a national objective to be at the World Cup, not just the Federation. The government, the fans, the media, everyone wants us to be there, and we need to work hard together to make the dream possible,” Isac said. 

“No one can stop the nation, the players or anybody dreaming about the World Cup, everybody is allowed to do so, but hard work needs to be put, together with the dream. More professionalism, a better approach, better communication, everything is necessary for our progress,” the Croatian head coach said.

Stimac stressed on the need for communication across Indian Football. “Of course, communication is so important. There are problems between the leagues, there are some other little problems in our football, we solve that if we communicate,” he said. 

The head coach and technical director both agreed on the fact that there is a need to work together with all the stakeholders in the different leagues and clubs.

“The situation of the leagues is not a conflict or war. It’s about being together. We need a positive environment and the right quality and quantity of matches. The way the games are played is important,” Isac said.

Stimac said that both I-League and ISL clubs are on his radar and that he was looking forward to working along with them.

“I will visit the clubs, I will speak to different head coaches, I will communicate with the clubs, those are important little aspects of my job,” the head coach said.

Stimac also said that his role at the AIFF and Indian Football would not be limited to picking players for the national camp and training the senior team and the Under-23 team.

“Even on the league situation, I may not be a decision-maker, but my opinion will definitely be taken into consideration by the Federation,” Stimac said.

“I-League has something the ISL cannot buy – tradition. You cannot buy that ever,” Stimac said. 

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Arsene Wenger: “When Arsenal played their first match without me, it felt strange” – FourFourTwo

The date was August 12, 2018, and Arsenal were taking on Manchester City. Almost 60,000 people were at the Emirates Stadium that Sunday afternoon, but Arsene Wenger was not one of them.

This was Unai Emery’s first competitive fixture as Gunners boss – Arsenal’s first game without Wenger for 22 years. If fans needed some time to get used to it, so too did Wenger himself.

“It was a bit strange at the start,” Wenger tells FourFourTwo. “But my mind is quite well trained. I can focus on what I want to focus on.

“If you work for such a long time, for 40 years in management, you cannot say you don’t miss it. But when I miss it, I focus on something different in life.”

FFT is meeting Wenger at an event to announce his newest focus – he’s become an investment partner in PlayerMaker, a football technology company that measures player performance using a motion sensor mounted on to a player’s boot.

The 69-year-old has kept a relatively low profile since leaving Arsenal 12 months ago, and there’s a sense that he’s actively enjoying this reunion with the English media – sitting around a table with journalists, just as he did thousands of times during his time as Gunners boss.

“Retirement is dying,” he said a year before the end of his reign at the Emirates – in three words, he’d crystallised his fears about life after Arsenal.

“I was in front of the unknown,” he admits now. “You never know how you respond to that situation, because I never wrote a CV in my life, but I’d always worked. I started at 29 as a manager and I never stopped for 40 years.”

Wenger hasn’t retired from football just yet, though, and still isn’t ruling out the prospect of a comeback. He’d previously vowed to return to management on January 1, but it’s now late May and it’s yet to happen – even though he admits he’s received attractive offers.

“I have, yes,” he confirms. “Originally I wanted to manage again straight away. Then I thought, ‘Do I go straight into the heat again?’ It’s not so much the heat, but once you go in there, there’s nothing else in your life. So I thought, ‘Let’s at least take a bit of time’. I thought, ‘OK, two months, three months’. Now I have a problem to get in again!

“But it’s been enjoyable. You have seen me on telly as a pundit, although not for Arsenal games, because everything I would say about Arsenal could be interpreted in a certain way. I read a lot, I play different sports, I’ve travelled a lot, I’ve watched a lot of games, charity work, and I’ve done many conferences on football, management, motivation, the meaning of life… I personally don’t know what it means!

“The good feeling now is that I don’t have to get up, and if I have a lunch that’s interesting: I don’t have to leave because I have a commitment. I discovered that freedom of time, and it’s a good feeling.

“I don’t know if I will go back to management. I will get back into football, for sure – in what position, I don’t know. It can be as a manager, or not. I think the appetite is still there, the desire is still there, but I know what kind of life I have now. I have to decide.”

But a year on, his love of his old club has not diminished – even if the matches aren’t quite as stressful as they used to be. “I support Arsenal, it will be my club forever,” he says. “I’ve given my life to the club. I’m like a fan now. I don’t judge – I’m happy when they win and not happy when we don’t play well, but I try to take some distance with it.”

He’ll be hoping the Gunners are victorious when they take on Chelsea in the Europa League final next week, and feels for the supporters who are either unable to travel to Baku, or are faced with the journey from hell. “It’s a little bit of a nightmare,” he admits. “The teams will have no problem – it’s the same for both and they live in ideal conditions. They have a private jet, and nice business seats, but it’s the fans it’s a nightmare for.”

The fans and Armenian wide man Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who will miss the final after deciding it was not safe to travel to Azerbaijan, following years of tensions between the two countries. “That’s something that should not happen in football, in the modern world – that politically you cannot play a football game,” Wenger says, having signed Mkhitaryan from Manchester United, months before his departure from the club.

For now, Wenger is focusing on his new venture in analytics and technology – something he’s always been interested in. “I think I was the first in England who made an agreement to measure the distances players ran on the football pitch,” he explains.

“I think it was 1999, a guy from Leeds had created a system and I met him. I’d worked on performance weighting in 1987 and 1988, with friends of mine on computers. We worked day and night to really measure the performances of players. We were 20 years ahead at the time. I was at Monaco and we could judge players using that. We discovered some players who weren’t really stars, but became good players.

“You always feel lonely as manager. You have to make decisions and you’d like to know more, because your decisions are always questioned. You want as much information as you can.

“I’ve invested in this company – I’m not just here for an advert, I’ve put my money in. Why? Because I think it’s the most accurate system that I’ve seen and the least disturbing. The system we had until now was you put the equipment on your chest, but I saw many players throw the equipment away during games or training.

“It’s faster, too. You put a chip in the computer after training and you have the information straight away. Usually we have to wait 24 hours or 48 hours. You have it in real time – basically you cannot cheat any more!

“When I played, when you went to run in the forest you had some players who would hide behind a tree and waited until the rest of the team came back. That’s not possible any more…”

The PlayerMaker technology allows myriad data to be collated, from distance run to the number of touches made and even kick velocity. It’s already in use at a number of clubs including Fulham, Millwall, Atlanta United and Club America in Mexico, and the data is designed to aid coaching of individual players, injury prevention and identification of potential signings.

But Wenger says the data is most powerful when used in conjunction with a manager’s own knowledge and judgement. “The science is vital, but afterwards it’s how you use it as a manager,” he says. “What’s important for a manager is to get as much information as you can, and after that use your knowledge to make a decision.


“This measures what’s happening on the pitch, and a sports scientist interprets that. You have a meeting in the morning and the sports scientist is there from yesterday’s training. He might say ‘This guy was tired yesterday, he should not play on Saturday’. But if he had a fantastic game the day before that, you might go against the science. He could have been tired because he was at the disco, not because the training was too hard!

“The modern manager has to collect the data and then make decisions with his knowledge – he has to be strong enough to do what he thinks is right.

“Sometimes through the data, you discover players who you think don’t work a lot, but they work in the dark a little bit – they’re generous, they compensate for others, they do a lot of work. We had Gilberto Silva and you didn’t see him a lot in the game, but you looked at his work rate and he was unbelievable. He accepted to do the job that the others didn’t want to do. You discover that sometimes – the guy who makes the difference.

“But if you take only the physical data, you’d never play Messi. If we were all managers tomorrow, we’d all play Messi.”

Whether Wenger does become a manager again, only time will tell. But it probably won’t be tomorrow. 

Then read…

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ICC World Cup 2019: Number four the focus as India face New Zealand in warm-up – Times of India

LONDON: Armed with pedigree, personnel and form, favourites India will look to hit the ground running when they face New Zealand in their opening warm-up game of the World Cup on Saturday.


However, with India yet to clear the haze of confusion over the number four position, it will be much more than a ritual of allowing one top-order batsman after another — behemoths in their own right — a hit in the middle.

The outing at the Kennigton Oval will go beyond experimenting with their highly skilled bowling attack, and quite a bit of focus will be on KL Rahul and Vijay Shankar, contenders for the number four slot.

Dubbed the most challenging World Cup ever owing to a format that is a throwback to the 1992 edition, Virat Kohli‘s team still arrived at the United Kingdom confident of adding to its two titles in the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) showpiece event.

India won the tournament in 1983 and 2011.

Kohli’s men, second behind England in the one-day international rankings, will start the tournament among the favourites alongside the host nation and defending champions Australia.

They begin their campaign in tournament proper against South Africa in Southampton on June 5, but India will get their first feel of the mega event in the iconic British capital.

While the arch lights will be firmly trained on their talismanic skipper, the number one batsman in 50-over as well as Test cricket, India, and their opponents, would also keenly watch their fancied pace attack that is a mix of speed and guile.

In Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan as openers followed by Virat Kohli, India have one of the finest and potent top three in the world. Veteran Mahendra Singh Dhoni, all-rounder Kedar Jadhav and the big-hitting Hardik Pandya provide depth to the line-up.

Opponents will observe the ability of India’s seamers to exploit the conditions, which could be the most important factor going ahead.

Jasprit Bumrah, the top-ranked ODI bowler in the world, leads the pace battery alongside Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Hardik.

Wrist spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal add variety to India’s attack, and Kohli sees them playing an influential role in the coming weeks.

The seasoned Ross Taylor, one of the finest limited overs batsmen in recent years, had said it was good that New Zealand were playing India in the practice game. The reverse also holds true for India, as New Zealand offers them the kind of challenge that could make Kohli’s team battle-hardened.

Kohli has expressed confidence in his side’s ability to live up to the billing, while his counterpart Kane Williamson also expressed how pleased he was to have the squad back together, with New Zealand having last played an ODI on February 19 against Bangladesh.

“It’s been great get together for the last few days. We’ve not played together for a couple of months but we’re not the only ones in that boat. The guys are excited to be back in camp which is really refreshing, and we’re looking forward to the challenges that we have got coming up,” Williamson had said at the Captain’s meet.


India: Virat Kohli (capt), Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal, Shikhar Dhawan, MS Dhoni (wk),
Ravindra Jadeja, Kedar Jadhav,
Dinesh Karthik (wk), Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Hardik Pandya, KL Rahul, Mohammed Shami, Vijay Shankar, Rohit Sharma, Kuldeep Yadav

New Zealand: Kane Williamson (capt), Tom Blundell (wk), Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham (wk), Colin Munro, Jimmy Neesham, Henry Nicholls, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi,
Tim Southee, Ross Taylor.

Transfer news and rumours LIVE: Man Utd plot Meunier bid after dropping Wan-Bissaka interest –

Jose Mourinho expects the Europa League final to be Eden Hazard’s “last match in blue” before he departs Chelsea and links up with Real Madrid.

He has regularly been linked with a switch to Spain, and the expectation is that a deal will finally be pushed through this summer.

Mourinho, who has previously managed the Blues and Blancos, believes an agreement will be reached and a talismanic presence will depart west London.

He hopes that move will be made with Chelsea having secured more major silverware, with domestic rivals Arsenal set to provide their opposition in a continental showpiece on May 29.

Read the full story on Goal.

Harmanpreet Kaur reveals she wanted take an indefinite break from cricket after World T20 controversy – Firstpost

New Delhi: India captain Harmanpreet Kaur has revealed that she wanted to take an indefinite break from the game because of the controversy that followed the World T20 in the West Indies.

The team management and Harmanpreet took a collective call to drop senior player Mithali Raj for the semifinal against eventual runners-up England, triggering a massive controversy that led to divisions in the team and ouster of coach Ramesh Powar.

File image of India captain Harmanpreet Kaur. AFP

File image of India captain Harmanpreet Kaur. AFP

Harmanpreet played the Women’s Big Bash League right after the World T20 in November but back home the talk of unrest in the team and her strained relationship with ODI captain Mithali gathered more steam.

She was fed up with it before the New Zealand tour began under new coach W V Raman. And then came the ankle injury that gave her a “much needed” break from the Indian dressing room.

“It (the injury) gave me a much needed break from international cricket and the Indian dressing room. I had almost made up my mind to let my parents know that I wanted to take a break. I don’t want to hold on to a spot in the Indian team just because I am a senior player,” she told ESPNCricinfo.

“I wanted to get away from cricket. Whatever happened around the team before that was immensely draining for me. Some of the things said were so far from reality that I felt, ‘I need to step away from this madness for a while’. I’m here to play cricket. If people want to drag me into unnecessary things, drag the team into unnecessary things, I have to stop trying to reason with them,” said the 30-year-old.

She twisted her ankle ahead of the first T20 International in New Zealand, following the team’s triumph in the preceding ODI series.

“I twisted my left foot while playing football during a warm-up ahead of the first T20I in New Zealand (in early February). I somehow managed to play all three T20Is despite being in some discomfort because to call up a replacement at such short notice may not have been possible. Besides, all through my career, I’ve played with fevers, shoulder, ankle and wrist injuries, so I didn’t feel like this was going to be anything significant.

“The taping and painkillers had been working fine in the warm-ups, so I thought I could deal with it. But during the matches, my movement was severely affected. Scans later revealed that there were some Level 1 and 2 ligament tears near the back of my ankle. I was at the National Cricket Academy from February 22 to April 9, and that break was a blessing in disguise for me,” she said.

Harmanpreet said the negative talk around the team after the World T20 affected her mindset adversely.

“Look, I was to play in the WBBL after the World T20, and for a while, after coming from the West Indies, I was even considering only playing in the overseas leagues and then making my way back into the Indian team. I spent hours alone, asking myself, ‘Why do I play sport?’ Because I enjoy it, because playing cricket is the only thing I’ve ever done in life.

“Agar khelke mazaa nahi aa raha hai (If I’m not enjoying the game) then I don’t want to block a place in the side, because money is not everything. Yes, we’ve only just started making some money from playing cricket, but if cricket is not giving me joy, I am happy to walk away rather than hold on to that spot just because I have a Grade A contract.

“So all of these thoughts were bothering me a lot. Mentally I was unwell, unfit, but that injury bailed me out of that terrible head space,” she added.

Updated Date: May 24, 2019 12:55:07 IST

India is the most overworked team going into World Cup, Shikhar Dhawan most used player – The Indian Express

Indian cricket team upon arrival in England for the World Cup. (Source: BCCI Twitter)

“All the bowlers in the squad, even during the IPL they were bowling themselves to be in the zone for 50-over cricket. And we saw the guys bowling. No one looked tired or fatigued after bowling four overs. They were fresh. The ultimate goal is to be fit for the 50-over format and not let their fitness come down and that was communicated before the IPL,” said Virat Kohli, India’s captain on May 21. He spoke a few hours before the Indian team left for the United Kingdom, to try to add to their tally of two World Cup titles.

The mantra before the Indian Premier League (IPL) and after has been on keeping the players fit and fresh. There was talk of regulating the World Cup-bound players’ workload, especially that of the seamers, but that is not how things have turned out at the conclusion of the T20 tournament.

India the busiest international team

With IPL drawing to a close on May 12, India players had under three weeks before their World Cup opener, and less than two weeks for the first warm-up game. But even before the IPL, India have been the busiest international team over the last year and a half.

From the beginning of 2018 till the day for the preliminary World Cup squads to be announced (April 23, 2019), India had played the most number of matches among the 10 competing nations.

India played 72 matches during this period with Pakistan coming the closest (61 matches) and Australia (60 matches) third. Strong favourites for the title, England played the fourth-highest number of matches, but focussed on Tests and ODIs, and playing the least number of T20 matches.

ODIs, Tests and T20s

Almost all teams played an equal number of 50 over matches. But India has played the most (33) with the other teams playing between 23 to 29 matches in the same period. West Indies and Bangladesh (23) have played the least number of games, but had an opportunity to get accustomed to the conditions in England ahead of the World Cup thanks to the tri-series involving each other and Ireland.

England and Sri Lanka played the most number of Test matches (16) with India just one contest less (15).

When it comes to T20s — which its backers could argue helps test players’ temperament and skill in death overs — India have played the most number of games (24). Pakistan (22 matches) and Australia (21) have played the next highest number of games in this format.

Shikhar Dhawan – India’s workhorse

Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and Mohammed Shami at the Mumbai Airport
Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and Mohammed Shami. (Express photo by Varinder Chawla)

Is it safe to assume that the player who has played the most matches is indispensable to a team? It does, however, speak volumes of a player’s fitness levels and quick turnaround time – physical and mental. Given the physical strain for bowlers, it’s no surprise that it’s batsmen who have played the most since 2018, and it’s an Indian at the top.

Left-handed opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan has played the most number of games among all international sides. With six Tests, 32 ODIs and 22 T20Is, Dhawan has taken the field the most number of times. He’s played 60 matches, amassing 2385 runs at an average of 38.46 with five centuries.

Rohit Sharma has played one match less – four Tests, 32 ODIs and 23 T20Is – to end with 59 matches. When it comes to form, he has done better than Dhawan with 2454 runs at an average of 45.44 and eight centuries. The opening pair haven’t been very consistent in the recent past, but will hope that things will work out when they possibly face Kagiso Rabada in the first over of India’s World Cup campaign.

Virat Kohli is third on the list. His 51 matches – 14 Tests, 25 ODIs and 12 T20Is – have resulted in 3465 runs being scored at a jaw-dropping average of 65.37 with 14 centuries. The Indian skipper has not shied away from acknowledging that he goes all in when on the field, and that has taken a toll on his body.

He has stated every now and then that he has back niggles and injuries. Incredibly, Kohli has missed quite a few matches in the last year and half and yet been able to accumulate high playing time. He sat out the Nidahas Trophy in Sri Lanka; one-off Test against Afghanistan; Asia Cup; T20Is against West Indies; and two ODIs, three T20Is vs New Zealand. He also missed a county stint with Surrey – in preparation for England series – due to a neck injury.

Moving to the least used: Mohammed Shami (26 matches), Kedar Jadhav (22), Ravindra Jadeja (21) and Vijay Shankar (18). Shami has been handy in Tests and ODIs, but has been less effective in the shortest format, and it’s no surprise that he did not play a single T20I. Jadhav, meanwhile, is not a Test option and can’t find a spot in the smash-and-grab T20I format, with all his appearances coming in 50 over matches. Jadeja has been used sparingly ahead of regulars Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal. Shankar came into the T20I setup in 2018 and grabbed the opportunity in the 50-over format earlier this year after Hardik Pandya was suspended. His ability to deliver with bat and ball saw him beat Ambati Rayudu into India’s final 15-man squad.

England’s Joe Root and Pakistan’s Sarfraz Ahmed have both played 51 matches each. Sarfraz’s achievement gets even more exceptional considering he is a wicketkeeper-batsman. Sri Lanka has seen a lot of changes, and Kusal Mendis is the only one who has consistently kept his spot in the team and finished with 50 matches.

Among the bowlers, Kagiso Rabada has played the most games for South Africa (40) and he was racing against time to be fit for the tournament opener. Another bowler to feature in this list is Rashid Khan, who is a key part of Afghanistan’s bowling attack. As is Mohammad Nabi who is an all-rounder.

India’s busiest seamers

ICC World Cup 2019
Among India’s seamers, Bhuvneshwar Kumar has played the most number of matches.

Following India’s historic Test series win in Australia, Kohli had said it would be important to take care of players’ workloads, and it would be their priority. There was talk that seamers would be used sparingly during IPL 2019 to allow them to stay fit for the World Cup. The topic was brought up by Kohli during a meeting, but some, like MS Dhoni, differed.

“Bowling four overs won’t make you tired. The four overs actually keeps you at your best, you are bowling the yorkers, bowling the variation and playing under pressure. I feel the bowlers can still play the whole of the IPL but what they need to manage is what they eat, when they sleep and wake up,” said the CSK skipper and India’s most-experienced player at the World Cup.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been the most used seamer since last year. He has played 40 matches, and death over specialist Jasprit Bumrah is close behind with 38 games.

Despite playing 40 matches, Kumar bowled just 301.5 overs because he played just two Test matches and the rest of his games came in limited over competitions. He picked 55 wickets – 30 from 24 ODIs and 15 from 24 T20Is – at an average of 28.07.

Bumrah bowled 591 overs in this period while taking 89 wickets at an average of 21.85 runs. Bumrah’s ability to stem the flow of runs while taking wickets regularly is highlighted by the strike rate of 3.28.

All rounders with the ability to bowl fast have also been considered in this analysis. With that in mind, Hardik Pandya has been the third-most used player – bowling 258 overs and picking 35 wickets at an average of 37.51.

Shami is fourth on the list with 26 matches and Shankar has played 18 matches.

Australia’s Marcus Stoinis (center) has been the busiest seamer in the world in last year and half. (AP File Photo)

Australia’s Marcus Stoinis and Pakistan’s Hasan Ali have played the most number of matches among the seamers from all teams. With their 42 matches, they lead South Africa’s Rabada (40). Bangladesh’s Mustafizur Rahman and New Zealand’s trio of Colin de Grandhomme, Trent Boult and Tim Southee who have all played 39 matches each.

Despite multiple options at their disposal, all rounder Ben Stokes has played the most matches (32) for England. That may bode well for them when it matters given Tom Curran, Liam Plunkett, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood and Jofra Archer come in relatively fresher.

Reports: Lionel Messi picks Manchester City star instead of Antoine Griezmann as next Barcelona signing – FOX Sports Asia

Lionel Messi has reportedly picked a high-profile Manchester City star as Barcelona’s next signing ahead of Antoine Griezmann, as the summer window closes in.

Sportskeeda are among the sources claiming that Leroy Sane would be a better fit at Barca than Griezmann, according to Messi, and it could be a pretty big move.

Griezmann announced recently that he would not be continuing his stay at Atletico Madrid, sparking speculation that Barcelona would be the preferred destination, but Sane himself could be on the move, leading to no dearth in options for the La Liga Champions.

Guardiola unsure about Sane’s and Gundogan’s future at Man City

Real Madrid have also been linked with a move for the German, who impressed under Pep Guardiola last season, but fell out of favour somewhat towards the end of this campaign.

Nonetheless, his quality remains high, and he is definitely one of the top players in the transfer market as well, even though the form of Bernardo Silva at City continues to keep him out of a regular first team spot.

With Frenkie De Jong already making his way to the Nou Camp, Messi could have his attacking options all sured up if Barca decide to bring Sane in as well and supplement him in attack.

Human activity behind global temperature rise, study confirms –

Human activity behind global temperature rise, study confirms London: Human factors such as
greenhouse gas
emissions and particulate pollution, and other external factors are responsible for the rise in global temperature, an
Oxford study has confirmed.

While this has been the consensus of the scientific community for a long time, uncertainty remained around how natural ocean-cycles might be influencing global warming over the course of multiple decades. The study, published in the Journal of Climate, looked at observed ocean and land temperature data since 1850.

Apart from human-induced factors such as greenhouse gas concentrations, other occurrences such as volcanic eruptions, solar activity and air pollution peaks were included in the analysis.

The findings demonstrated that slow-acting ocean cycles do not explain the long-term changes in global temperature, which includes several decades of accelerated or slowed warming.

“We can now say with confidence that human factors like greenhouse gas emissions and particulate pollution, along with year-to-year changes brought on by natural phenomenon like volcanic eruptions or the El Nino, are sufficient to explain virtually all of the long-term changes in temperature,” said Karsten Haustein from the University of Oxford in the UK.

“The idea that oceans could have been driving the climate in a colder or warmer direction for multiple decades in the past, and therefore will do so in the future, is unlikely to be correct,” Haustein said.

The study showed that global warming that occurred during the ‘early warming’ period (1915-1945) was in fact caused by external factors as well.

Formerly, it had been largely attributed to natural ocean temperature changes, which is why there has been uncertainty over how much of global warming is influenced by unpredictable natural factors.

“Our study showed that there are no hidden drivers of global mean temperature,” said Friederike Otto from the University of Oxford.

“The temperature change we observe is due to the drivers we know. This sounds boring, but sometimes boring results are really important. In this case, it means we will not see any surprises when these drivers — such as gas emissions — change,” she said.

“In good news, this means when greenhouse gas concentrations go down, temperatures will do so as predicted; the bad news is there is nothing that saves us from temperatures going up as forecasted if we fail to drastically cut greenhouse gas emissions,” Otto said.