Latest National and International Sports News Today Transcript at 1:30 PM on 21 November 2023
In some football news. Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said on Monday, 20th November that India must focus on equipping upcoming players with the best technical skills before they turn 15 to find their place on the global football map. Wenger told reporters – “Football is a technical sport. We have to equip the players with the best possible capacity to be technically at the top. That means to make the ball his friend. The rest can be developed later. And this is vital.” Wenger and his team from the FIFA Talent Development Scheme are currently on a three-day visit to India in connection with the AIFF-FIFA Academy to be inaugurated in Bhubaneswar today, November 21st.
The last time India grabbed a point from Qatar, the Gulf country created as many as 27 chances, the Indian defenders had to make 36 tackles and Gurpreet Singh Sandhu made a stunning 11 saves as India held the Asian champions to a goalless draw. It was four years ago, in the second round of World Cup and Asian Cup joint qualifiers. As the two teams meet again, this time in Bhubaneswar today, November 21st, a lot has changed. India has already shown a glimpse that they can go toe-to-toe against the better Asian sides. India won three trophies in 2023 – the Tri-Nations Series, Intercontinental Cup and SAFF Championship, which simply shows the steady improvement India has made.
Moving on to some cricket news. After the World Cup final loss on Sunday, 19th November the disappointed Indian dressing room got a surprise visitor. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, after handing the winners’ trophy to Australian skipper Pat Cummins, dropped by to console and motivate captain Rohit Sharma and coach Rahul Dravid’s heartbroken team whose 10-game imperious World Cup march was halted in the game they comprehensively lost by six wickets. Those present at the interaction said Modi, after addressing the Indian team, sought out individual players to have a word with them. Mohammad Shami, the tournament’s leading wicket-taker and the pacer later tweeted a picture of him resting his head on the Prime Minister’s shoulder.
Suryakumar Yadav will lead the Indian cricket team against the Australians in the five-match T20I series which starts on Thursday, 23rd November after the Aussies claimed their sixth World Cup title by defeating India by six wickets. Ruturaj Gaikwad will be Surya’s deputy for the first three games, while Shreyas Iyer will join the squad as vice-captain for the last two T20Is in Raipur and Bengaluru. Surya was handed over the reins of the team in the absence of Hardik Pandya, who picked up an injury at the recently concluded Cricket World Cup. Pandya lost his balance while trying to stop a shot from Bangladesh opener Liton Das and dragged his right foot while landing on the pitch.
Meanwhile, Australia opener David Warner has pulled out from the five-match T20 series against India, starting from Thursday, 23rd November. Warner, who was Australia’s leading run-scorer with 535 at 48.63 during their successful World Cup campaign has been replaced by all-rounder Aaron Hardie. Cricket Australia said in a statement – ” The selectors decided Warner would return home on the back of a successful yet demanding World Cup campaign.” Warner’s withdrawal means just seven of Australia’s World Cup-winning ODI squad with remain in India for the series – Sean Abbott, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Glenn Maxwell, Steve Smith, Marcus Stoinis and Adam Zampa – as well as reserve spinner Tanveer Sangha. Matthew Wade will be Australia’s captain in the series.
Australian cricketer Glenn Maxwell’s wife Vini Raman hit back at trolls on social media asking them to “stay classy” after implying that she had received “hateful vile DMs” on her Instagram account. Raman posted several photographs on her Instagram account after Australia defeated the Indian cricket team at the World Cup final at Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. The photos also included a message for fans. The Indian-origin Raman wrote in an Instagram post on Monday, 20th November – “Can’t believe this needs to be said but you can be Indian and also support the country of your birth where you have been raised. Take a chill pill and direct that outrage towards more important world issues.”
In some badminton news. India’s star shuttler PV Sindhu is looking to make Bangalore an extended training base under Prakash Padukone at his academy in the run-up to the Paris Olympics. Sindhu told The Indian Express – “I’ll be training in Bangalore with the whole set-up of support system – physio and trainer. Everybody needs to be together in one place and whenever time permits, I’ll be training.” Shot selection, variations, and bringing accuracy to her attack are on the agenda. A double Olympic medallist who became World champion in 2019, Sindhu had struggled with injury and loss of form since last August.
Lastly, in some tennis news. After an injury-marred year, there were concerns about Rafael Nadal’s return to the game. On Thursday, 16th November however, the Spaniard gave the strongest hint yet that there is still tennis left in him and a comeback is definitely on the cards. Nadal posted a message on his social media channels – “I confirm I’ll be back. Stay tuned these days when I decide and announce with my team when and where.” Nadal, who has played just four matches on the tour all year, underwent surgery on a hip muscle in June after withdrawing from a spate of events during his favourite clay court season. In May, Nadal had announced his withdrawal from Roland Garros.