Firstpost Spodcast Episode 11: Virat Kohli's rise to the World No 1 rank, Gaganjeet Bhullar's big win and more on our daily sports podcast
Virat Kohli rising to the No 1 rank in Tests, PV Sindhu's second World Championships silver and Gaganjeet Bhullar's title in Fiji — we discuss all this and more on Spodcast, Firspost's daily sports podcast.
Welcome to Spodcast, the daily sports update on Firstpost where we discuss the big sports headlines of the day. It’s a Monday, and we’re looking at the big sports news over the weekend.
Talking about cricket first, and despite India losing the first Test against England, Virat Kohli was a bright spot for the visitors. He was the highest scoring batsman in the match, with the match-saving 149 in the first innings and a fighting 51 in the second. He nearly won the match single-handed. Kohli has now moved to the top spot in the ICC’s Test batting rankings, moving past Australia’s Steve Smith.
Kohli is the first Indian batsman to accomplish this since Sachin Tendulkar in 2011. Steve Smith had a 32-month-long stay at the top of the rankings before Virat Kohli upstaged him. Besides Kohli, only six other Indian batsmen have achieved the ICC’s top rank in Tests — Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sunil Gavaskar, Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir and Dilip Vengsarkar.
We also talk about the changes for the home team going into the second Test. All-rounder Ben Stokes, the man who turned the match for England in the 4th innings at Edgbaston, will be unavailable for the Lord’s Test and will be replaced by Chris Woakes. Stokes has a court hearing in Bristol over an altercation in public last year. England have dropped Dawid Malan in favour of 20-year-old Ollie Pope.
PV Sindhu’s defeat in the final of the World Championships after losing to Carolina Marin in the final also is among the things we discuss. This is Sindhu’s second silver medal at the championships. She also finished second at the 2017 event held in Glasgow, losing to Nozomi Okuhara of Japan. Marin had also defeated Sindhu in the 2016 Olympics badminton final.
Among other things we talk about on the podcast are Manchester City’s 2-0 win over Chelsea in the Community Shield and Gaganjeet Bhullar’s maiden European Tour title at the Fiji International.
With lot of England stalwarts including former skipper David Gower already starting their annual criticism of the cash-rich T20 league, it is understood that Stokes, who could have again fetched bug bucks, has decided to stay away.
The tournament will start with main draw from 11 January and no spectators will be allowed at the venue, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic
Another of Guardiola's assistants, Rodolfo Borrell, is set to take charge of the English champions.