Virat Kohli confident India can upset the odds and claim series win over England

India skipper has back his side to cause a shock. (AFP)
Updated 22 August 2018

Virat Kohli confident India can upset the odds and claim series win over England

  • Only once before has a side come from 2-0 down in a five-Test series to win.
  • India go into next week's match in Southampton a high having cut England's lead to 2-1.

LONDON: Virat Kohli has warned England that his India side are only going to get better after they wrapped up victory in the third Test at Trent Bridge.
The tourists took just 10 minutes to claim the one wicket they needed to win by 203 runs and cut the host’s lead in the five-match series to 2-1.
And having seen all three parts of their game come together — batting, bowling and fielding — the captain cut a confident figure with two matches remaining.
“When both skills come together with slip catching, you win Test matches and I’m really happy to see everyone taking the responsibility at the right time. Couldn’t have come at a better time for us,” Kohli said.
Only once has a side two down after two Tests come back to win a five-match series, but fresh off the back of this big victory the master batsmen praised his side saying they answered all their critics. Coming into the match India’s batsmen, bar the brilliant Kohli, had been widely criticized, and the captain said: “As a batting group, we spoke about how the bowlers are doing so well and if we just stepped up as batsmen we will definitely be on top and that’s exactly what we did.”
The win means Kohli is now India’s second most successful Test captain. He has edged past Sourav Ganguly’s 21 Test wins. Now only MS Dhoni, with 27, has more victories.
For Joe Root defeat was a bitter blow, coming just a week after 
England’s dominance at Lord’s. But the skipper decided to focus on the positives.
“We are still in the driving seat,” Root said.
“We have to keep remembering that. We have time away to reflect on what’s been a difficult week. We are a very good side at bouncing back after a tough couple of days. I am fully expecting the guys to come back at Southampton refreshed and ready to go.”
After deservedly going into a 2-0 lead and heading into the Trent Bridge Test on a high, the tables have now turned with all the question marks hanging over the England batting line-up, not least over the form of their two openers, Alastair Cook and Keaton Jennings.
But former captain Cook got a vote of confidence from Root.
“Cook is a world-class performer,” Root said.
“He’s proven that time and time again. I’d like you to write him off because every time he’s written off he comes back and scores a double-hundred.”

Saudi Arabia launches new visa process for Formula E fans

Updated 7 min 48 sec ago

Saudi Arabia launches new visa process for Formula E fans

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia will open up its borders to fans of live sport, music and culture for the first time with the launch of a new online visa process dedicated to welcoming international tourists. The new visa process platform known as ‘Sharek’ will be introduced for the inaugural Saudia Ad Diriyah E Prix being staged at a stunning UNESCO heritage site on the outskirts of Riyadh on December 15.

The ancient historical city of Diriyah, the first seat of power for Saudi’s Kings, will make history again by hosting the biggest festival of racing, live music and entertainment ever witnessed in the country, including thrilling action on the track and global superstars performing on stage over three days.

Today’s announcement at the venue, attended by Formula E stars including Felipe Massa, Susie Wolff and André Lotterer saw the new ‘Sharek’ platform launched as part of the country’s Vision2030 plan. Organizers hope that a large number of international fans will access the online visa process and travel to the country to witness the debut of Formula E in the Middle East and the debut of striking new-look Gen2 car for the start of season five.

In an event marked by many firsts, the Ad Diriyah E Prix will be the first-time foreign travelers can access Saudi Arabia in such a fast and uncomplicated process as it opens its doors to sports tourism.

The Kingdom’s commitment to tourism, a cornerstone of Vision2030, and the importance of Formula E within the sporting, social and business calendar of the region, was underscored by the announcement that Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) – the national flag carrier of Saudi Arabia – is the new official airline partner of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship and the race title partner.

Prince Abdulaziz Bin Turki Al-Faisal, Vice-Chair of the Saudi Arabia General Sports Authority, said: “This is a truly game-changing moment for Saudi Arabia and one that we can share with the world. It is very fitting that the such a futuristic and sustainable sport as Formula E is pointing to the future direction of our country. Naturally to have Saudia, our national carrier, as the new title sponsor signals our intent to reach out and invite fans to our historic and original capital.

“Saudi Arabia is home to literally millions of passionate young fans of motorsport. Many of whom simply cannot believe that Felipe Massa took the Gen2 car around the streets of the capital today and that they now have a ‘home race’ on the Formula E calendar. So already the excitement is building especially since we’re adding live music concerts to the weekend line-up.

“With the introduction with ‘Sharek’ our visa entry process for fans worldwide, we can share the event.  We hope the Saudia Diriyah E Prix will see fans from around the globe come to Saudi Arabia to watch this epic sporting spectacle as now your ticket is your visa. We can promise a line-up both on the track, onstage and amongst a breathtaking historical setting that will excite fans across the world. It is the perfect combination of live sport, entertainment, technology and culture all in the one place and all at the one time.

“Saudi Arabia is racing into the future with Formula E as we open the Kingdom to the world in a transformation that is being supercharged by the Vision 2030 plan, and driven forward by His Royal Highness, Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.”

At the launch ceremony His Royal Highness was joined by dignitaries from Saudia and a number of government entities working together to deliver the event, including the Saudi Arabian Motorsport Federation. From the racing world, Formula E CEO Alejandro Agag was joined by F1 legend turned Formula E star with the Venturi team Felipe Massa and Susie Wolff, Venturi team principal and shareholder. Massa and Wolff have also been named as Saudia brand ambassadors.

In preparation for the Formula E race, Saudi Arabia has worked with UNESCO to create the track from the historic city’s existing roads network, holding true to the sustainable nature of Formula E and minimizing noise pollution. The project has inspired infrastructure investment and conservation efforts around the archeological jewel, not only enhancing the site but proudly displaying it to the world.

Over three days throughout the Formula E weekend a series of cultural and entertainment events will be staged to ensure the race is memorable for fans, families and international tourists alike. Further details of an incredible global line-up will be announced in the coming weeks.

Prince Khalid bin Sultan Abdullah Al-Faisal, President of the Saudi Arabian Motor Federation, said: “We are not just opening up to international fans, but importantly we are opening up our nation to new and exciting sports. Giving new experiences. We hope some of the children who watch this first race will be inspired to be part of the industry over the course of the next decade. Ideally, they’ll be supporting, competing and winning on the track too. We firmly believe new opportunities will grow from the seeds planted from the historical roots of our nation in Diriyah.

“This single event has the potential to change lives and change perceptions, both of the sport and of Saudi Arabia. The seeds are already growing, the track is taking shape, all with the approval of UNESCO. It is progress and preservation in one. Today is groundbreaking in all senses.”

The event is officially sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) and its global safer driving campaign will be adopted and promoted.

Formula E joins sporting powerhouses such as WWE and European Tour Golf who have forged long-term partnerships with Saudi Arabia as it establishes its reputation as a destination for world class sports events.