Abu Dhabi GP, India vs England, Hong Kong Open: What sports fans should be excited for this weekend
From Formula One to cricket, here's a look at all the action that sports fans should be looking forward to this weekend.
The weekend ahead promises to be an exciting one for sports fans, with plenty on offer. While the Formula One season is set for a thrilling finish, the Davis Cup final pits two in-form players in the very last of tennis scheduled for 2016. In cricket, Virat Kohli's team will be gunning for another victory over the English team in Mohali. Can PV Sindhu win two back-to-back titles? And which teams will ultimately qualify for the ISL play-offs? Here's a look at all the sporting action that you should be looking forward to this weekend.
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix: Decisive day looms for Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg
All eyes will be on the Yas Marina Circuit this weekend as the 2016 Formula One season draws to a close. The drivers' title will be decided on Sunday between either Germany's Nico Rosberg or his Mercedes team mate and reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton. While Rosberg is the favourite to win the 'Duel in the Desert', needing only to finish on the podium to become Germany's third world champion after Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel, he will still be on tenterhooks. Hamilton overcame a minor scare to post the fastest time in the first practice on Friday.
Hamilton is bidding to win the title for the third straight time and fourth overall, but the odds are in Rosberg's favor. The German driver leads the championship by 12 points and can afford to finish third even if Hamilton wins on Sunday. The race starts at 6:30 PM IST on Sunday and will be broadcast on Star Sports 2 and Star Sports Select HD 2.
India vs England: Virat Kohli and Co aim to continue dominance
A confident India will be looking to extend their 1-0 lead against England in the third Test match of the current five-game series at the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) IS Bindra Cricket Stadium on Saturday. With first blood drawn by the hosts in the second Test at Visakhapatnam after drawing the first match in Rajkot, India will look to carry forward the momentum to make it 2-0.
With conditions at Mohali favouring batsmen, India will likely name an unchanged side for the match -- except for keeper Parthiv Patel's induction -- while the visitors may make a few changes to their playing eleven. Limited overs specialist Jos Buttler will replace the struggling Ben Duckett in a rejigged England batting lineup, skipper Alastair Cook confirmed. England will also miss the services of paceman Stuart Broad and left-arm spinner Zafar Ansari through injuries. All-rounder Chris Woakes will replace Broad. The third Test gets under way on Saturday at 9:30 AM IST and you can watch it on Star Sports 1, 3 HD1 and HD3.
Hong Kong Open: PV Sindhu eyes second straight title
Silver medallist PV Sindhu proved her Olympic success was no flash in the pan by winning her first Super Series badminton title last week. Sindhu beat Sun Yu in the final of the China Open, three months after after she became the first Indian woman to win an individual Olympic silver medal. The shuttler continued her winning ways at the Hong Kong Open this week and has made it to the semi-finals. She fought past Indonesia's Liang Xiaoyu, 21-17, 21-23, 21-18 in the last eight.
She is next up against Hong Kong's Cheung Ngan-yi in the semis on Saturday and will be aiming for another medal to add to her glittering collection. World and Olympic champion Carolina Marin and fourth seed Tai Tzu Ying are the other two semi-finalists. Sindhu could potentially set up a rematch of the Rio 2016 final if she defeats Ngyan-yi. The semi-finals will begin at 4 PM IST on Saturday and the final at 11 AM IST on Sunday. All the matches will be telecast on Star Sports 4 and HD4.
Davis Cup: Croatia, Argentina clash for title
Former U.S. Open winners Marin Cilic of Croatia and Argentine Juan Martin Del Potro are set to take centre stage when the two nations meet in a mouth-watering Davis Cup final this weekend in the imposing Zagreb Arena. World number six Cilic, who won the 2014 title at Flushing Meadows, takes on Federico Delbonis in Friday's opening singles, followed by a clash between 2009 champion Del Potro and big-serving Ivo Karlovic.
In Saturday's doubles, Croatia's Franko Skugor and Ivan Dodig have been pitted against Leonardo Mayer and Guido Pella. Cilic will take on Del Potro and Karlovic is scheduled to face Delbonis in Sunday's reverse singles. Croatia, winners in 2005, are bidding for their second title while Argentina are looking for their first. The South American nation is the only country to have lost four finals without lifting the trophy. You can catch all the Davis Cup action on Neo Sports, starting at 6:30 PM IST on Friday.
ISL 2016: Scramble for semi-final spots continues
Mumbai City FC became the first club to qualify for the semi-finals in the third edition of the Indian Super League while FC Goa have been virtually eliminated. However, there are three play-off spots still in contention, with six clubs vying for them. Kerala Blasters FC host FC Pune City on Friday, Chennaiyin FC are up against NorthEast United FC on Saturday and Goa travel to Delhi on Sunday.
All these matches are must-win for every side still attempting to make the knockouts. With just six games remaining in the league stage, no team can afford to slip-up. The battle to make the semis could possibly go down to the very last clash of this intriguing season. All matches kick-off at 7 PM IST and are broadcast on Star Sports 1, 2 and HD1, HD2.
(With inputs from agencies)
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