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SA v IND, 2nd Test: No one is going to ever tell Rishabh not to be a positive or aggressive player, says Dravid



 India head coach Rahul Dravid has said that no one in the team will instruct wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant to not be in his aggressive or positive self.

He acknowledged that a time will arrive when the coaching staff will have talks with Pant over the timing of playing particular shots.

Pant played a reckless shot to get out for a three-ball duck in the second innings. After being beaten outside the off-stump, Kagiso Rabada rattled Pant with a snorter of a delivery, hitting him on the gloves after sneaking past his helmet grille.

On the very next ball, Pant stepped out to slog a short ball from Rabada but gave a feather edge behind to keeper Kyle Verreynne.

“In the sense that, we know Rishabh is a positive player and he plays in a particular manner which has gotten him a little bit of success. But, of course, there are times we are going to have sort of level of conversations with him around. It is just a little bit about maybe the selection of the time to that. No one is going to ever tell Rishabh not to be a positive or aggressive player. But sometimes it is just a question of picking and choosing the time to do that,” said Dravid in the virtual press conference.

Dravid gave an explanation on how the talk with Pant will be ahead of the third Test at Cape Town. “When you have just come in, maybe giving yourself a little bit more time would be more advisable. In the end, we know what we are getting with Rishabh, he is a really positive player, he is someone who can change the course of the game for us, so we naturally won’t take that away from him and ask him to become something very different. It is about figuring out what is the right time to attack or play out a slightly difficult period that sets your innings up. He is learning, he plays in a particular way but he will keep learning, improving and keep getting better.”

Dravid went on to praise South Africa captain Dean Elgar’s unbeaten 96, which helped the hosts chase down 240. “He played well. You got to give him credit. He really stuck it out there, I think in both Test matches. He has stuck out there and fought through some very difficult periods. We have beaten the bat quite a few times, I must admit even in the first innings and here, but we haven’t been lucky in that sense. The odd ball has kicked up and hit the glove and fallen to probably where fielders haven’t been.”

Elgar received many blows on his body but was rock-solid and defiant in staying at the crease to carry his bat through the chase. “But credit to him, in spite of being beaten and not looking very comfortable, he stuck it out there and showed a lot of resilience, determination and fought his way through. We just had to keep coming back and had some clear strategies and plans against him but didn’t get him out with those strategies and plans.”

Dravid also felt luck deserted India on day four. “At times, it just doesn’t work your way. You beat the bat a lot of times and just don’t get that nick which we were looking for. But like I said in the end, he sort of showed a lot of character and determination to keep fighting even though at times he didn’t look very comfortable.”

The 48-year-old rued the fact that there wasn’t much swing on offer once play resumed on day four after rain relented. “We came here knowing that we will have to do something really special to get those eight wickets with 122 on board. Obviously, it was under covers for a while. But also, we knew that the outfield was wet and the ball was going to get wet. Probably, people would rely a lot on swing bowling and swing the ball a lot. So, probably the ball did not swung much because the ball got a little bit wet and the seam got a little bit softer.”

“But credit to the South African batsmen, they came out there and played really well. They took the opportunities whenever the bad balls were bowled and cashed in on them. Maybe a little bit of luck or break we needed today, we didn’t get today. We were excited to go out there and trying to do our best to compete out there but on the day, I think South Africa played better,” concluded Dravid.


‘I’m happy here’: Cristiano Ronaldo pledges to continue at Al Nassr in Saudi Pro League




Portugese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo has vowed to continue at Al Nassr in Saudi Arabia despite walking away empty handed in this season. The 38-year-old has earmarked the tournament to be among the top five in the world.

Ronaldo, who signed a two and a half year contract with Al Nassr, scored 14 goals in 16 games in the season, with his side standing second behind Al Ittihad in the Saudi Pro league. However, there were speculations about how long will he stay as reports of swap deal with Saudi-owned Newcastle United emerged, who have now qualified for next season’s Champions league.

In an official Saudi Pro League interview, the star footballer revealed:

“I’m happy here, I want to continue here, I will continue here. And in my opinion, if they continue to do the work that they want to do here, for the next five years, I think the Saudi league can be a top five league in the world. I expected to win something this year, but we didn’t, but next year I’m really positive, but next year I’m really positive and confident that things will change and we go in a better way.”

Cristiano Ronaldo suggests he is still adjusting to strange training timings in Saudi Arabia:

Ronaldo also revealed how contrasting the training timings in Europe and Saudi Arabia are, elaborating:

“In Europe, we train more in the morning, but here we train in the afternoon or evening and in Ramadan, we train at 10 at night. So this is strange but as I tell you, these situations are part of an experience, memories. I like to live these moments because you learn with these things.”

With 837 goals in 512 games, Ronaldo is the combined highest goal scorer in history.

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Lionel Messi to leave PSG at the end of the season, confirms club manager Christophe Galtier




Paris Saint Germain superstar Lionel Messi will leave the club at the end of the current season, manager Christophe Galtier confirmed on Thursday. Messi made 74 appearances for PSG in which he scored 32 goals and made 35 assists. In Ligue 1, Paris Saint-Germain has played 37 matches out of which they have won 27, lost six and drew four.

PSG had acquired Messi’s services two years ago in a record transfer deal after he left FC Barcelona in 2021.

Messi, who’s contract with PSG ends this season, is now being linked with with a move to Saudi Arabia while talk of a return to the Nou Camp has picked up in Spain in recent weeks.

The six-time Ballon d’Or winner will play his final match for PSG against Clermont Foot on Saturday.

“I had the privilege of coaching the best player in the history of football,” Galtier said on Thursday. “This will be his last match at the Parc des Princes, and I hope that he will receive the warmest of welcomes.”

Messi’s envious record

In the Spanish La Liga football competition, Lionel Messi has scored 474 goals in 520 matches. In the French Ligue 1, Messi has scored 22 goals in 57 matches.

The 35-year-old while playing for Football Club Barcelona has scored 672 goals in 778 games. While playing for Paris Saint-Germain he has scored 32 goals in 74 matches.

No plan to bring Messi back: Barca president

FC Barcelona President Joan Laporta recently said that the club has re-established good relationships with Argentine legend Lionel Messi, but it would not pay any price to bring him back to the Camp Nou Stadium.

“I have spoken with Leo to somehow redirect the situation that occurred when I had to put the institution ahead of everything, including him, the best player in the world,” said Laporta in a Monday morning TV show.

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Mark Zuckerberg strikes gold against jiu jitsu fighters, posts pictures on Instagram




In the past, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has appeared helpless in front of the US Congress where he has been slapped by fines, and fired 11,000 vulnerable employees after being hit by falling revenues. But outside the business arena where Meta is facing tough competition from TikTok and other rivals, Zuckerberg is a huge mixed martial arts fan.

Contrary to setbacks in the tech sector, the Facebook founder has tasted victory in jiu jitsu.

Striking gold, but in a different arena

  • The billionaire who has trained with UFC fighters, posted pictures after winning jiu jitsu matches for the first time.
  • The billionaire who tried his hand at martial arts, revealed that he won a gold medal in the Gi categroy and a silver medal in the No-GI category.
  • His post on Instagram received comments from UFC featherweight and bantamweight category champions, as well as jiu jitsu hall of fame member Bernardo Faria.

Competitive or short tempered?

  • The entrepreneur turned sportsperson, who also enjoys surfing, was seen getting into a heated argument after losing a contest during the tournament in California as well.
  • On the work front, Zuckerberg’s firm Meta also surprised the markets by bouncing back with strong earnings, after struggling with loss of ad revenue.
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