Tests or ODIs, Michael Clarke feels India are always tough to beat at home

first_imgMichael Clarke visits India more often now than he did during his playing days as an Australia cricketer. But significantly, the former Aussie captain has perfected the art of ducking under the bouncer with the microphone in hand.When asked to pick one of Virat Kohli and Steve Smith in his side, he chose both. On being asked to rate the better captain between Steve Waugh and Ricky Ponting, he appraised them equally. His favourite Indian cricketer is Sachin Tendulkar.The only time he let his guard down was when the mics were switched off. He tried his hand at making pani puri and played a little gilli danda while promoting a TV show.Time for some burning cricket questions and the filter was in action again. Can the current Indian side win away from home and stay No.1 in Tests? “India is doing extremely well winning home and away and led very well by Virat Kohli. So if they keep playing good cricket, they will continue to be the no.1 team in the world,” pat came the reply.A more considered evaluation finally happened when questioned if Australia had it in them to beat India on turning tracks, next month. Smothering the spin of the question, he replied, “ODI cricket is a lot different from Test cricket, so I would imagine the wickets would be very good. I think we will see some entertaining cricket.””Hopefully, the Aussies can perform well and win. But it is going to be tough. India is always good in their backyard,” Clarke finished with a non committal reply.advertisementlast_img read more

France get lucky following Griezmann VAR storm

first_imgWorld Cup Fortunate France disappoint in World Cup opener amidst Griezmann VAR storm Kris Voakes in Kazan Last updated 1 year ago 19:59 6/16/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(1) Paul Pogba Mat Ryan France Australia World Cup 2018 160618 Getty World Cup France v Australia France Australia Powerade The idiosyncrasies of the new video system were on full display on Kazan, and Les Bleus also benefited from a huge deflection to see off Australia It is often said that it takes a little bit of luck to win a World Cup, but there is every chance that France might have used up all of theirs in the opening game as they beat Australia 2-1 in Kazan on Saturday.With a controversial opener decided by VAR and a winner which took a huge deflection off Socceroos defender Aziz Behich, Didier Deschamps’ side got more than their display arguably deserved against a belligerent Aussie side.The introduction of the Video Assistant Referee into football has been far from smooth sailing, and the moment FIFA insisted on its use at the World Cup there was a fear that confusion would reign in Russia. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Sorry, Cristiano! Pjanic is Juventus’ most important player right now Arsenal would be selling their soul with Mourinho move On Saturday that came to fruition following the award of a penalty for an apparent foul by Josh Risdon on Antoine Griezmann in the early stages of the second half.Referee Andres Cunha initially waved away French appeals for a spot-kick and play continued for around a minute before the ball went out of play and he was encouraged by VAR Mauro Vigliano to take another look on the pitch-side screen.A full two minutes on from the incident itself, Cunha returned to signal a penalty and Griezmann slotted home. History was made, but the clunky, exhaustive nature of the system was exactly what many people had feared going into the showpiece tournament.On the greatest stage of all, 41,279 fans who have invested eye-watering amounts of money to attend a World Cup were treated to a period of dead play and the ‘spectacle’ of watching an official staring at a screen.It should have been the lifeline a tepid France side needed, but somehow they undid all of their good work within five minutes as Samuel Umtiti made the astonishing decision to throw an arm in the way of a right-wing cross from Aaron Mooy. Mile Jedinak levelled up, and the Australia fans will have felt a sense of justice.Antoine Griezmann Aaron Mooy France Australia World Cup 2018 160618But France got another slice of fortune late on as Paul Pogba advanced towards the area in an attempt to finish off a flowing move. The Manchester United midfielder’s touch flew off Behich and looped over the flat-footed Mat Ryan to win it for the French.Deschamps had warned before the game that his side would need to approach the match with humility, pointing to his country’s winless group-stage exits in 2002 and 2010 as examples of how badly things can go wrong without application.This ought to be a much better France side than those, but with Pogba sluggish and no creativity coming from Corentin Tolisso or N’Golo Kante they had little to offer in midfield. Meanwhile, Ousmane Dembele and Kylian Mbappe were quiet in attack and other than his penalty Griezmann also disappeared after a lively opening 10 minutes.There is therefore plenty still to work on for Deschamps and his side, just as there is for those overlooking the continued development of the VAR system. But in France’s case in particular they cannot expect to play so poorly again and get away with it.World Cups might be about peaking at the right time, but on this evidence they have a lot to work out in their remaining Group C games against Peru and Denmark before the real business of knockout football gets underway.last_img read more