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.”

Simona Halep positive despite Dubai defeat by Belinda Bencic

Updated 21 February 2019

Simona Halep positive despite Dubai defeat by Belinda Bencic

  • Former world No.1 blames three-set loss on tiredness after nine matches in 13 days.
  • Halep has high hopes for the rest of 2019, saying her game is in good shape.

LONDON: Simona Halep is still certain a good year lies in store for her despite losing to Belinda Bencic in the Dubai quarterfinals.
The Romanian former world No. 1 was the favorite to win her second title in the emirate but ran out of steam as her Swiss opponent ran out 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 winner.
It was Halep’s ninth match in just 13 days and she admitted tiredness had caught up with her.
“It was really difficult physically. I was tired,” the world No. 2 said.

Bencic came from a set down to beat the favorite in the last-eight encounter in Dubai. (AFP) 

“After the second set, I felt like I’m getting cramping a little bit. It’s normal. I was sweating a lot.”
While, her fatigue was clear for all to see, Halep was not using it as an excuse, admitting Bencic, who has now beaten her in two of their three matches, was the deserved winner.
“Yeah, she played well. She played very well. In the end, she was a little bit stronger,” the Romanian said.
Having lost in the Qatar final last weekend and failed to make the last-four in Dubai you might think Halep would be disappointed with her Middle East stint. She was, however, far from glum and revealed she is looking forward to landing more titles to add to her collection during the rest of the year.

Cheerio from Halep after her defeat to the Swiss. (AFP) 

“I think were three good weeks. Tough weeks. A lot of tension, a lot of pressure. Also the Fed Cup,” she said.
“I take only positive things. I had great matches. My level is good. Physically also I’m good. But day by day I had to play, so is not easy.
“I’m confident for the next tournaments.”