articles by Akarsh Sharma

Sports

I-League 2017-18: Minerva Punjab, NEROCA FC breathe life into dying competition; Indian coaches make a mark

In an unprecedented season having two concurrent leagues, the 2017/18 I-League played second fiddle to the Indian Super League (ISL) — and this, greater than anything else, defined the dynamics of the season

Sports

I-League 2017-18: Kolkata giants East Bengal, Mohun Bagan steeped in mediocrity and fast losing relevance

It is disheartening to reflect on what that says about the state of Kolkata clubs Mohun Bagan and East Bengal, the two giants of Indian football who demand respect from the football fraternity but fail to command it.

Sports

I-League 2017-18: Sanjoy Sen leaves Mohun Bagan with mixed legacy, but history will accord his tenure due respect

Maybe a few years down the line, Mohun Bagan fans, and the fraternity at large, will view Sen’s three-year stint with far more gratitude and respect. After all, he’ll always remain the man who brought glory days back to Bagan.

Sports

FIFA U-17 World Cup 2017: India must temper expectations and not put all eggs in one basket

At the senior level, international squads are not dominated by any one batch of any age group

Sports

Premier League preview: Can Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool buck the second-season syndrome?

Considering Liverpool’s track record of falling apart after one good season, a top-four finish in the league along with a deep run in the Champions League should be sufficient for this season to be filed under ‘progress’.

India

ICC Champions Trophy 2017: South Africa win shows Team India can up the ante in knockout games

One of the more remarkably reassuring traits of this new-age Team India has been its ability to rise to the occasion and eke out wins when they matter the most.

Sports

French Open 2017: Dominic Thiem's clash with Rafael Nadal will pit clay’s past versus clay’s future

No player has ever won a Slam after beating both Djokovic and Nadal — it’s mentally and physically sapping — which is part of Thiem’s path to the French Open title.

First Cricket News

India vs Pakistan: Cricket’s greatest rivalry set for a 'homecoming' in Birmingham

For cricket’s greatest rivalry, devoid of a proper home for several years now with the fixture serving as a political and diplomatic tool, Birmingham is virtually a ‘homecoming’ – an Indo-Pak home away from home. A happy, almost fantastical, place of spirited co-existence.

Sports

Premier League: Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool achieved the bare minimum, but showed plenty of progress

In the larger scheme of things, the 2016-17 Premier League season showed progress for Liverpool even if it did fall well short of the soaring expectations the side had managed to set early on.

Sports

Antonio Conte revived Chelsea players' faltering careers to script unlikely Premier League triumph

Almost every Chelsea player improved significantly under Conte this season. It’s the signature of a high-quality coach who, ominously for other clubs, is only just getting started in England.

Sports

I-League 2017 title race: Can Aizawl FC's collective rise overpower Mohun Bagan's individual superiority?

On Saturday, in a virtual title decider, you can expect Aizawl to be the better of the two sides but if there’s one takeaway from Mohun Bagan’s campaign this year, it is that being superior on the pitch serves as no guarantee of defeating the Kolkata giants.

Sports

U-17 Fifa World Cup 2017: New Delhi missing out on marquee fixtures a result of its apathetic mindset

Will this humiliation jolt the government into any sort of long-term action? Unlikely, partially because the magnitude of a Fifa World Cup and its global reach will be lost on these officials.

Sports

ISL 2016: FC Goa's loss against Atletico De Kolkata owes much to Zico’s poor choices

FC Goa will do really well to avoid the wooden spoon this season, such has been the untidy, erratic and shambolic nature of the team’s ISL 2016 campaign.

First Cricket News

India vs England: Virat Kohli's empathy towards pacers trumps MS Dhoni's passivity

For now, it is evident that Kohli’s fast bowlers are responding to his captaincy and, in turn, his trust in them to do the required job is growing with every match. A sign of good things to come for India.

Sports

In Zinedine Zidane, Real Madrid have found their own Diego Simeone to unify the club

Zinedine Zidane's immediate mission is to end Real Madrid's domestic woes against Atletico, one of only two sides to inflict defeat on the Frenchman thus far

Sports

Premier League: Jose Mourinho's Manchester United need to show ambition at home against Arsenal

Had Arsenal been the hosts, Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho could have played his favourite banks of four — or even six — and sit back and defend

Sports

ISL 2016: FC Goa's ill-tempered loss to Kerala Blasters reaffirms how far Zico’s team have fallen

Perhaps the most damning indictment of FC Goa today that it has donned the characteristics of the very team that Zico has loathed over the past two years.

First Cricket News

India vs England: Dearth of quality grafters could lead to visitors' downfall

A feeble and fragile England batting lacks individuals who could truly batten down the hatches when required—which could, in turn, make the gap in quality of spinners a merely academic one.

Sports

AFC Cup: Bengaluru FC's success a fantastic anomaly for India's stagnant football culture

There’s a sense of irony in Bengaluru FC being heralded as the symbol of Indian football ahead of the AFC Cup final, for the club epitomises everything that Indian football is not.

Sports

ISL 2016: FC Goa’s attack mode exposed their brittle defence in FC Pune City’s last gasp win

Fragility, and not fluidity, is fast becoming the overarching trait that defines manager Zico’s FC Goa in ISL.