India ready to unleash young guns Prithvi Shaw and Rishabh Pant on Australia

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Prithvi Shaw has looked brilliant during his short Test career so far. (AFP)
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Updated 15 October 2018
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India ready to unleash young guns Prithvi Shaw and Rishabh Pant on Australia

  • Big things hoped for dynamic young duo when India tour Australia later this year.
  • Prithvi Shaw likened to Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and Brian Lara.

DELHI: “Fearless” young batting stars Prithvi Shaw and Rishabh Pant will be India’s special weapons during their upcoming tour of Australia, Virat Kohli said.
Hailing the roles of 18-year-old Shaw and 21-year-old Pant in the two-Test victory over the West Indies, Kohli said they had been given free rein to play their natural games.
“We were looking at them playing with a lot of freedom, which they did,” Kohli said.
“Prithvi was outstanding, Rishabh was really fearless. I am really happy that these guys have grabbed their chances.”

India captain Virat Kohli (left) has very high hopes for Rishabh Pant (right). 


Shaw became the youngest Indian batsman to score a century on his Test debut, smashing 134 in the first Test against the West Indies in Rajkot.
He followed it up with a quickfire 70 in the first innings of the second Test in Hyderabad.
Left-hander Pant, who hit a century during this year’s Test tour of England, followed up with scores of 92 in both the first and second Tests against the West Indies.
“In Test cricket, the first and the most important thing is confidence and understanding that you can score runs at the Test level,” said Kohli.
India coach Ravi Shastri compared Shaw to Tendulkar and the destructive Virender Sehwag and Brian Lara.
“He has been playing since the age of eight in the maidans (open spaces) of Mumbai. You can see all that hard work showing. There’s a bit of Sachin there, a bit of Viru in him — and when he walks there’s a bit of Lara as well,” said Shastri. AFP


Saudi Arabia to face Japan in Asian Cup second round after defeat to Qatar

Updated 17 January 2019
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Saudi Arabia to face Japan in Asian Cup second round after defeat to Qatar

  • A double from Almoez Ali means Qatar top Group E.
  • Juan Antonio Pizzi's men now face Japan in second round on Monday.

LONDON: Saudi Arabia now know they will have to overcome Japan in the second round if they are to keep their hopes of a fourth Asian Cup title alive. 

A 2-0 defeat at the hands of Qatar meant Juan Antonio Pizzi’s men finished second in Group E — both sides went into the top-of-the-table clash knowing they had already secured a spot in the knockout stages. 

A brace from Almoez Ali in Abu Dhabi was enough to give Qatar the three points and leave them top of the group. 

From the kick-off the Green Falcons were the ones who looked the more likely to make the initial breakthrough —  Fahad Almuwallad slamming a right-foot shot against the post after 22 minutes.

Qatar captain Hasan Al-Haydos then missed a penalty in the 42nd minute after Ali had been clattered in the box.

But Ali, who scored four goals in Qatar's 6-0 rout of North Korea last weekend, made no mistake in first-half stoppage time.

He calmly slotted the ball past Saudi Arabia goalkeeper Mohammed Alowais to become the first player to score six goals in a single Asian Cup since South Korea's Lee Dong-gook in 2000.

Ali subsequently headed in a seventh goal of the tournament 10 minutes from time, celebrating with a jig of delight.

While the defeat was not ideal Green Falcons coach Pizzi said he was still hopeful Saudi Arabia would be able to go far in the tournament. 

"It was an intense game but we have to hide our feelings and prepare for the last 16," Pizzi said.

"We were missing quality in the final third and individual errors have cost us," he added.

"But we will bounce back. I respect every team left in the competition, including Japan, but I don't feel that we are inferior to them in any way."

Qatar, who have never gone beyond the quarterfinals, advance to face Iraq in the last 16.