Sebastian Vettel, the German racing driver, currently drives in Formula One for Scuderia Ferrari. He is a four-time Formula One World Champion, having won the championship in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 with Red Bull Racing. He is among the most successful F1 drivers of all time. He is one of only four drivers to have won four or more drivers’ titles. He is contracted to remain as a Formula One driver with Scuderia Ferrari until at least the end of 2017. Vettel left Red Bull Racing and ended his long-term association with the company after the 2014 season and signed a contract with Ferrari for 2015, after activating a clause to terminate his Red Bull contract early. After his winless 2014 season he returned to winning ways in his first Ferrari season, being the closest challenger to the dominant Mercedes cars and winning three races. He finished third in the list with 278 points. It was believed that he is going to improve his performance in 2016 and would challenge Mercedes for the title. However, the turn of the events have been different and he is battling to end the season graciously.
Far away from reality
The expectations were high for the ongoing season and the fans were hoping to see something magical from the experienced F1 driver. He was tipped as one of the favorites for the title as he showed a lot of improvement in his debut season with Ferrari. However, the driver has not met the expectations. He has achieved few podium finishes but has not won a single race. He has managed just 165 points thus far.
Frequent trouble with Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen labeled Sebastian Vettel’s first corner move during the Malaysian Grand Prix “ridiculous” after the German compromised the Red Bull’s driver’s race. Vettel made contact with Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes as he appeared to overshoot Turn 1 at the start of the race, the incident forcing Verstappen to go wide and losing him several positions. “He just dived up the inside, braked way too late, he just T-boned Nico. And I had to avoid the crash. It compromised my race as well,” said Verstappen. “I could see him behind me. He wants to win the race in the first corner, which is, of course, ridiculous. I saw him in my mirrors, so I just braked late. I was closing up a bit on Nico, but he just dived up the inside. It was such a tight radius already, to try and turn and brake that late, of course you will lock up.” This is not the first time these two were involved in a controversy and this has been the story of the season so far. Instead of Max Verstappen, the ongoing war of word has deeply affected Sebastian Vettel, who is one spot behind Verstappen in the overall points tally. Apart from this, the German has not been able to handle the car properly and has face lot of issues with soft tyres. His winning attitude has been found wanting, which has led to the dismissal performance.
Superb performance from Red Bull duo
Daniel Ricciardo has said that he has honed his race craft this year by watching Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen. Verstappen was promoted from Toro Rosso to Red Bull in May, claiming a stunning maiden win at his first win with the team in Spain. The Dutch teenager has had mixed fortunes since then, with a handful of great drives tinged with several controversies following criticisms about his aggressive style. Ricciardo’s first Red Bull teammate was four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel in 2014 but the Australian says teenager Verstappen has provided just as many opportunities to learn new tricks. These two have formed a winning partnership at the Red Bull. Daniel Ricciardo is third in the list while Max Verstappen has occupied fifth spot in the drivers tally. The performance of these two has added extra pressure on Sebastian Vettel who despite having more experience and a better car is not able to go ahead of them. He is cut down to a frustrated figure in the famous red car.
Vettel’s participation in the Bahrain Grand Prix came to an end without even being started as his car broke down on formation lap. At the Chinese Grand Prix, Vettel collided with teammate Kimi Raikkonen on the first lap, but both were able to continue. At the Russian Grand Prix, Vettel retired on the first lap after two consecutive collisions with Red Bull driver Daniil Kvyat. Kvyat was handed a ten-second stop-go penalty and three penalty points on his licence. It’s a known fact that there is a lot of pressure at Ferrari when it comes to performance but a driver of Sebastian Vettel’s stature should know that a clean run is must. He can’t go colliding with others and then blaming them for his poor show. He has to drive like a champion and set an example for others to follow in the near future.
Pressure of being at Ferrari
This sport has become performance oriented with the passage of time. Even the star performers are not spared if they are not able to deliver on consistent basis. Sebastian Vettel couldn’t win title in his first season at Ferrari but a let off was given as he managed good number of points. The hopes were high for 2016 but the performance has gone worst considering the level of Sebastian Vettel. With just few races to go, he has to show considerable improvement, if he is willing to satisfy his bosses.
India all-rounder Hardik Pandya and his partner Natasa Stankovic were recently blessed with a baby boy. The cricketer had shared the good news on social media platforms. While enjoying his duties, Hardik is posting adorable videos and pictures of his son. The newborn is hogging a lot of limelight these days.
Hardik’s brother Krunal Pandya recently uploaded a clip with his nephew. Taking to his official Instagram handle, Krunal posted a video. He captioned the video as, “Let’s talk cricket”.
Tell him to become a fast-bowling all-rounder - KL Rahul
While people showered blessings on the little one, India batsman KL Rahul predicted the career profession of the junior Hardik Pandya.
He suggested Krunal to make the baby boy a fast-bowling all-rounder in future.
“Please tell him to become a fast-bowling all-rounder,” Rahul commented on the post.
KL Rahul is currently gearing up for the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League, which is scheduled to take place from September 19 in the UAE. While Rahul will lead Kings XI Punjab franchise, Pandya brothers will be back in action for the defending champions Mumbai Indians.
Notably, all the matches of IPL 2020 will be played across three cities - Sharjah, Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
As the preparations for the Indian Premier League (IPL) gathers momentum and the world gears up for the Caribbean Premier League (CPL), the question is whether the focus should be on how to balance the wheel versus where the next year's World Cup should be held.
There is little doubt that there are as many World Cups in cricket as there are Twenty20 leagues currently underway in the game. Even as the discussion rakes up once more about who - the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) or Cricket Australia (CA) - will host next year's ICC Twenty20 World Cup, there is a need for the International Cricket Council (ICC) to address the current situation where too few teams have their plans etched out following the pandemic break.
England is said to be still in a dismal situation despite the fact that the West Indies have successfully completed their your and Pakistan are playing the first Test. Their limited-overs series with Australia is in the dock as the Australian cricketers are contemplating how to play in England and then fly to the UAE for the IPL.
The hurdles for the IPL abound in the fact that players and teams are expected to arrive a month in advance to the scheduled September schedule to meet the Coronavirus pandemic measures but also, for franchisees to have the opportunity to work with their teams and devise a conditioning camp to get them out of the rust/rest period and towards winning ways.
South Africa are battling internal wranglings as they are fighting broader issues of corruption and uncertainty of scheduling. It is throwing their fragile, recently laid down game plan in turmoil, and given the player turnover, they will be concerned, despite the innovative 3T cricket distraction, for their jitters to calm down with an international series.
The pandemic break and the rescheduling after has meant that more than one team besides South Africa are looking at an immediate bleak future.
Australia are going all out to keep their date with the schedule of India's tour. But not many teams have India and thereby, a lucrative proposition in the offing. Calls for England to reciprocate the tour for the West Indies grows as players have been asked to undergo a pay cut despite the tour of England.
At a time when it is important that the ICC take cognizance of this FTP that is in immediate need of handling, it seems inane that after wasting more than three months in the offing while Cricket Australia refused to host the world cup this year, that they would waste more time finalizing whether CA and the BCCI would swap hosting rights for a year that is still far away when there are too many immediate concerns that need the attention of the governing body in consultation with its permanent board members on the collective issue regarding the state of the game.
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With the Indian Premier League (IPL) about to start soon, all the fans of Mahendra Singh Dhoni would finally be able to watch him play. These fans have been expecting the ‘Thala’ to play international cricket and make a comeback in Team India.
However, cricketer-turned commentator, Aakash Chopra believes that Dhoni would not be bothered about team India selection as he has risen above that. Aakash feels that 39-year-old MSD’s only focus would be to get Chennai into the finals.
"For Dhoni, it really doesn’t matter whether he is selected or not. I believe as a cricketer and as a batsman, he would just look to score runs and guide his team to victory. The maturity he has achieved won’t let me worry him about the selection and his only focus would be to win the games for Chennai Super Kings (CSK),” Aakash said in a video posted on his YouTube channel.
Saying that CSK is more or less built around MSD, therefore the success of Ranchi boy would also be reflected in his team’s success, Chopra tried to broaden the spectrum of Dhoni’s impact.
"CSK’s success depends upon MSD a lot. If he is in god form, chances are that CSK would do well because then he would be involved a lot in the game,” Chopra added.
Dhoni will score runs even after not playing competitive cricket for a long time - Chopra
Further the Delhi born commentator also said that Dhoni, even after not being part of any competitive match from July last year, would score good runs.
"Just take a thorough look at his career and you would realize that he gives very little to no damn about anything going on in the surroundings that might affect him. So I believe that even when he has not played cricket for quite some time, he is going to score runs and succeed this season,” 42-year-old Chopra concluded.
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While Indo-Pak relations have been sour politically over the years, it is in sports and among sportsmen, especially cricketers that we have some amount of camaraderie. However, it seems that Pak cricketers accusing BCCI of postponing the T20 World Cup didn’t go down well with former India cricketer Madan Lal.
Reacting to the comments of former Pak cricketers, Madan Lal, member of BCCI’s Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) said that the cricketers from our neighboring country are jealous of us.
“Most of the Pak cricketers hardly think before opening their mouth. Claiming that India used muscle and money to postpone the World Cup is utter nonsense. Basically they are jealous of our success,” Madan Lal was quoted as saying on Sports Tak.
“The reason why the World Cup was postponed was the coronavirus. It was the joint decision of Cricket Australia and the International Cricket Council because a league and a world cup are totally different things. You would always want a crowd and sponsors to make the World Cup successful. So in that aspect postponing it was a rather smart decision,” Lal added.
IPL was always going to happen - Madan Lal
The 69-year-old former World Cup winner also defended BCCI saying that the plan for IPL was already made and it has been very well executed by the board.
“There was no question of IPL not happening, it was always going to take place. The window of September-October was pre-decided. So basically the board had already planned the IPL accordingly,” Lal said.
The Indian veteran spinner Amit Mishra is one of the best performers in the IPL. Playing for Delhi Capitals, the 37-year-old leg-spinner has never failed to meet the expectations of his fans and teammates. He is even holding the record of most hat-tricks in the history of the tournament. But as far as international cricket is concerned, he hasn’t donned the Indian jersey for the last three years. Mishra made his last appearance for the Men in Blue in the 2017 T20I series against England.
However, the veteran spinner didn’t lose all his hopes to play for his country yet again. During his recent interview, when Mishra was asked if he is still hoping to make a comeback in the national squad, he replied that he is always ready to play for the Indian team.
“Of course, I do! That is why I am still playing. I am not someone who will keep playing just for IPL. I should always be ready and prepared when a call from the Indian team comes. That is the belief I always have,” Mishra told cricket.com.
Self-motivation is very important – Amit Mishra
Furthermore, Mishra also spoke about his future plans. He admitted that the thought of retirement has crossed his mind but the leggie feels that he still has some cricket left in him.
“Age should not be a criterion to judge your performance. One should always see whether a player is fit or not.”
“I have always tried to stay away from negative thoughts. Self-motivation is very important. We all are surrounded by pessimism when we don't see much success. If we try to work harder, negativity generally goes away,” Mishra added
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