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Australia vs India: Rohit Sharma’s absence will help us but KL Rahul is as good a player, says Glenn Maxwell | Cricket News

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MUMBAI: Rohit Sharma‘s absence from the upcoming white-ball series is a big “positive” for Australia but KL Rahul is as good a player to fill in the void, feels Australia’s all-rounder Glenn Maxwell.
Rahul will be Virat Kohli’s deputy in the white-ball leg since regular vice-captain Rohit is recuperating from a hamstring injury sustained during the IPL.
“He (Rohit) is a class performer, so consistent as an opening batsman with a couple of (three) double hundreds (in ODIs). So anytime he is not in the line-up against you, it is a positive,” Maxwell said during an interaction organised by the official broadcasters of the series, Sony.

The three-match ODI series begins on November 27, followed by a T20 international series.
For Maxwell, KL Rahul is as good a back-up as any team can wish for.
“But in saying that, India have still got back-ups more than capable of playing that role. We saw KL Rahul, the performance that he put on during the last IPL was extraordinary. Whether he opens the batting or not, I am sure he will be just as good a player,” Maxwell said during a virtual media interaction.
In Rohit’s absence, it is expected that Mayank Agarwal will open the innings along with Shikhar Dhawan as Rahul, who will keep wickets, is expected to bat in the middle-order.

However, Maxwell is a big fan of Agarwal-Rahul opening pair that did really well for Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) during the first phase of the IPL in the UAE.
“Well, I would say they (Mayank-Rahul) are the two lovely guys I have ever met. It was a pleasure to spend the change room (at KXIP). Two very good players, they score all-round the wicket and have got very limited weaknesses,” Maxwell was all praise for them.
But Maxwell sounded out a warning for his IPL teammates that Australia’s bowing attack will certainly put them under pressure.
“I suppose ODI cricket might be a bit different (compared to T20). Hopefully, with our bowling attack, we can put some pressure on them and with bounce in the pitches and bigger grounds as well, they play into our hands. They are good performers and good players,” a confident Maxwell asserted.
For India, the key in the upcoming series will be Mohammed Shami’s skills as both a new- and old-ball bowler.

“A guy like Mohammed Shami, whom I have played with in the recent IPL and played with him in Delhi, as well. (I) saw the skill that he has.
“He has got good skills at the end (death overs) as well as with the new ball. His ability to get moving (movement) on pitches will be key to them,” said Maxwell.
Meanwhile, asked about his wretched IPL form and whether it would have an impact on the series, he said, “No, it’s not going to affect my performances in the upcoming series.”
According to Maxwell, he, along with another in-form player Marcus Stoinis, would be the two all-rounders as well as designated finishers in the batting line-up.

“…the way we are probably going to set our team up is myself and Marcus Stoinis or potentially another all-rounder making up for the other 10 overs (for fifth bowler), the one without our four front-line bowlers.
“I suppose I can contribute wherever I can with the ball. With the bat, as it was against England, I will be trying to finish off games and do as well as I can down the order,” he said.
Steve Smith didn’t play the away ODI series against England due to concussion suffered during a net session and his presence is sure to increase Indian team’s headache, said the Victorian all-rounder.
“To have someone like Steve Smith coming back to our side, it is going to be a big plus for us, a big headache for India. Smith has always scored runs against them,” he said.
The series will be aired on Sony Ten 1, Sony Ten 3 and Sony Six channels from November 27 onwards.


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Champions League: Bayern reach last 16 as Lewandowski matches Raul goal tally | Football News

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MUNICH: Holders Bayern Munich booked their place in the Champions League last 16 on Wednesday as Robert Lewandowski claimed his 71st goal in the competition in a 3-1 home win over Salzburg.
Lewandowski scored just before the break at the Allianz Arena to draw level with Real Madrid great Raul in third on the Champions League list of top goalscorers.
Only Cristiano Ronaldo, who has netted 131 times, and Lionel Messi with 118 goals, have scored more than Poland star Lewandowski.
Bayern earned their 15th straight Champions League win to qualify for the knock-out stage as Group A winners, as second-placed Atletico Madrid drew 0-0 with Lokomotiv Moscow.
Bayern doubled their lead just after the break when Kingsley Coman’s shot deflected in off Salzburg defender Maximilian Woeber.
Leroy Sane claimed their third goal just after Bayern were reduced to 10 men when midfielder Marc Roca was sent off on his Champions League debut.
Salzburg pulled a goal back when forward Mergim Berisha got in behind the Bayern defence to net on 73 minutes.
With Bayern defenders Niklas Suele and Lucas Hernandez sidelined, US international Chris Richards made his Champions League debut at left-back.
Roca lasted just over an hour on only his third appearance since joining from Espanyol in October.
The European champions won 6-2 when the sides met in Austria at the start of November when Bayern scored four late goals.
Just as they had done at home, Salzburg made a bright start and Hungarian rising star Dominik Szoboszlai wasted a golden chance in the 35th minute when he shot over with the goal at his mercy.
Just as they had in Saturday’s 1-1 Bundesliga draw at home to Werder Bremen, Bayern laboured early on, but did not waste the first chance which came their way.
When Thomas Mueller’s shot was only parried by Salzburg goalkeeper Cican Stankovic, Lewandowski was on hand to turn in the rebound on 43 minutes.
It was 2-0 seven minutes just after the break when Leon Goretkza won the ball and passed to Coman, who beat a defender and fired in a speculative shot which took a wicked deflection off Woeber’s boot.
Having already been booked for an earlier foul on Zlatko Junuzovic, Roca was dismissed on 66 minutes for a late challenge on the Salzburg midfielder.
It made little difference as Bayern grabbed their third goal when Sane powered home a header from Coman’s cross.
Sane was at fault for Salzburg’s consolation when he gave the ball away in his own half which led to Berisha getting in behind the defence.
Bayern lived dangerously late on as Salzburg replacement Luka Sucic fired just wide.


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Australia vs India: KL Rahul looks to fill Dhoni-sized shoes | Cricket News

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KL Rahul is at an interesting stage in his career. For all his batting prowess, he has struggled to get a long run in any format, largely due to the prolific partnership of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan at the top of the order. Wicketkeeping has given him an opportunity to cement his place in the Indian XI in the white-ball formats.
Two days before India’s first ODI in Australia, Rahul made it clear how much he values this opportunity. The Indian team is in the initial stages of building a core for the two ICC T20 World Cups and one 50-over World Cup in the next three years.
“Nothing has been told to me and we are not thinking that far ahead as a team. Obviously, World Cups are important and that is a long-term vision for every team and country,” Rahul said on Wednesday.

“It (him wicketkeeping) helps the team combination a little more and it’s something I would love to do. If the opportunity presents itself and I can keep in three World Cups, I would love to do it for my country,” he added.
Before it actually came his way in January this year, Rahul has been on the prowl to latch onto an opportunity of this kind. He has been carrying his wicketkeeping gear in his kit for a couple of years. He has kept wickets in every white-ball match beyond international cricket.
However, there is also the possibility of burnout while keeping in both formats.
“My batting position will depend on the format I am playing. The last ODI series we played, I batted at No. 5 and I kept wickets, so it is a role that I enjoyed and I am happy to play whatever role the team gives me,” Rahul pointed out.

Team India are looking for a suitable replacement to fill the void MS Dhoni has left behind. The pressure seemed to have got to Rishabh Pant, who has been dropped from the white-ball formats. Rahul knows it’s the expertise from behind the stumps that made Dhoni such an asset in the team.
“Dhoni has shown the way to the wicketkeeper-batsmen on how to do the role perfectly. I will probably go and give the spinners the feedback regarding what length can be bowled on different wickets.”
This is a fresh start for Indian cricket in the post-Dhoni world, a performing wicketkeeper-batsman in KL Rahul could just be the head-start Team India needed.


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isl 2020: Indian Super League: Mumbai leave it late to pip Goa | Football News

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MARGAO: Mumbai City FC needed an added-time penalty from Adam Le Fondre to edge past 10-man FC Goa and register their first points at the Nehru Stadium in Fatorda.
For most part, Goa, who had Redeem Tlang sent off in the 40th minute, weathered the Mumbai storm but were helpless when Seriton Fernandes handled the ball inside the danger zone and the referee pointed at the spot.
It was the fourth minute of the five that were added and Le Fondre kept his cool to hand Mumbai their first win in two games.

For Goa, this would have been a hard blow. With a point to prove after former coach Sergio Lobera and several influential players’ departure to Mumbai, they had done well to keep their famed attack at an arm’s length.
They could have surged ahead themselves early in the second session, if not for double save from goalkeeper Amrinder Singh to deny Edu Bedia and Ivan Gonzalez.
Redeem’s sending off in the 40th minute for a studs-up challenge on Santana was always going to hand Mumbai the advantage.



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