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Tour of England: Entire unit takes responsibility, says Gambhir

first_imgIndia opener Gautam Gambhir conceded that the team has not played smart cricket in the ongoing tour of England and the entire unit must take the blame collectively, after the hosts piled up a massive 456 for three on day three of the third Test.”To be honest, we have not played some smart cricket on this tour. It’s not just one individual but the entire unit which takes the responsibility,” Gambhir said.Trailing 0-2, India, after being all out for 224 in the first innings, saw England stretch their lead to 232.Gambhir, however, believed that it would be wrong to dismiss them on the basis of poor performance in one series.”One series here and there doesn’t take the credit away from us. We’ve played some good cricket over the last two and a half years. We still have a lot of talent in dressing room, there is still a lot of cricket left in the series and we can play some good cricket and try and show some character.”One of the biggest concerns facing the Indian batsmen has been their inability to perform in conditions which favour seam and swing bowling.”Whenever you go overseas and your batsmen are not able to do well, you face the same question. If we had not done well in South Africa, we would have faced the same question.”The left-hander believed while England were able to seize the initiative, his side wasn’t able to hold on to its advantage in the series.advertisement”One needs to give credit to England. They have always taken the initiative. They have put us in a lot of pressure.”No doubt we are not able to hold on to our chances. But it’s not due to shortage of effort. Sometimes things don’t go your way. Hopefully, in the coming days the rub of green goes our way and we can show some character and live up to our reputation and talent,” Gambhir said.According to Gambhir, India’s biggest concern has been their failure to make good starts count.”Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to convert those 30-40s into big runs, except Dravid. That’s the only difference. England, on the other hand, has batted well. Cook has batted brilliantly and shown lot of patience, grit and determination. That’s Test cricket – when you are in, try to make as big runs as possible.”While Cook made the most of it, that’s where we have been lacking. We also have done so in the past. If we had put 450 runs in the first innings, it would have been a different story,” he said.Despite the host bowlers’ sterling performances in the series so far, Gambhir was not ready to rate the present England attack as the best he has played in his career.”England has a good attack – but South Africa was equally good. There we were able to convert those starts into big runs. But England have never let us off the hook. They have always been putting us under pressure. They are very good as a unit – not just one or two but all four bowlers.”India’s bowling and fielding, along with their batting, has also been below par in the series – they dropped three catches on the second day.”There are no excuses, it’s just a matter of concentration. All other teams drop catches. These things happen in cricket. This is not the first or last time it would happen.”A lot of criticism has come India’s way with the common observation that they have been playing too much lately.”I can’t answer it – BCCI decides (the scheduling). The only thing I can say is wherever we play, we give our 100 per cent. We do with whatever is left in our tanks.”Gambhir conceded that England hold all the aces in the match.”We are under a lot of pressure. England hold a lot of edge in this Test. But we still have character to fight till the end. We have done it in the past – in Napier, we needed to bat for two and a half days and we did it. We need to show the same grit.”England are now on the cusp of being world’s number one Test side but Gambhir believed there biggest challenge would be to perform away from home.”It’s easy to be number one, it’s difficult to sustain it. If you are number one for just one or two series, it doesn’t make a difference.advertisement”Except for Ashes, England have played a lot of cricket at home. The biggest challenge for them would be when they go overseas,” he said.- With PTI inputslast_img read more

Dani Alves planning Premier League move

first_imgDani Alves says “it is not possible” that he will bring the curtain down on his illustrious career without taking in a spell in the Premier League.The Brazilian full-back has come close to making a switch in the past, with Chelsea having sought to acquire his services during Jose Mourinho’s first spell at Stamford Bridge.Pep Guardiola then attempted to put a reunion in place with his former Barcelona charge at Manchester City in the summer of 2017, only to see Alves head to Paris Saint-Germain. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Man Utd ready to spend big on Sancho and Haaland in January Who is Marcus Thuram? Lilian’s son who is top of the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach Brazil, beware! Messi and Argentina out for revenge after Copa controversy Best player in MLS? Zlatan wasn’t even the best player in LA! At 35 years of age, the clock is ticking on a potential move to England, but an iconic figure of the modern era still hopes to take on such a challenge before hanging up his boots.“The idea that I might finish my career without going to the Premier League, it is not possible,” Alves told The Telegraph.“For sure, this is the most amazing football in the world. First, because of the respect for the players from the fans, and then because of the passion on the pitch.“If I can play, that would be perfect, but I will make it there one way or the other.”Alves admits he found it difficult to shun Guardiola’s advances as he prepared to head for the exits at Juventus, with the pair having previously enjoyed considerable success together at Camp Nou – even if their relationship in Catalunya ended on a sour note.He added: “We had some ups and downs in our relationship and, just before he left [in 2012], he said something that really hurt me.“But he phoned me to talk about it and we had a very special talk. And I like people that are able to say they need to be forgiven and to ask for forgiveness.“So turning him down was painful. In football terms, he was one of the most amazing people I have known, completely obsessed with his work, but how he treated people was special, especially me.”Neymar Dani Alves PSGFor now, Alves’ focus is locked on events at PSG, with the dominant force in Ligue 1 looking for sizeable investment in the transfer market to deliver tangible reward in Champions League competition.“At other clubs I have been, at Juventus, at Barca, we had two ‘ships’, one for the domestic league, and another for the Champions League,” said Alves.“Not many teams have better players than PSG, but they need to understand the competition they are playing in.“They are very comfortable in the French league, but they need to raise themselves for games against the biggest clubs.”PSG are yet to drop a point in Ligue 1 this season through 13 games, but they have claimed just one win from four European outings and are sweating on progress to the last-16. Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.last_img read more