LISTEN: Full script of Episode 117 of Spodcast where we discuss India's series win in Australia, AFC Asian Cup and more

Welcome to Spodcast, where we look at the sports news of the day.

Some badminton news to start the podcast. The Premier Badminton League saw a thrilling tie on Monday as Awadhe Warriors beat Chennai Smashers 4-3 in a close contest.

Son Wan-ho of South Korea, ranked fifth in the world, defeated England's Rajiv Ouseph in the men's singles match to seal the tie for the Warriors over former champions Chennai Smashers. He barely broke a sweat as he defeated CWG bronze medallist Ouseph 15-6, 15-6 — a bit anti-climactic, given the seesaw contest between the otherwise evenly matched teams.

Sung Ji Hyun of Korea continued her unbeaten run for Chennai in the PBL, defeating World No 10 Beiwen Zhang 15-13, 15-8. Chennai's mixed doubles team — Chris and Gabby Adcock, ranked 9th in the world — also won their match against Mathias Christiansen and Ashwini Ponnappa 15-13, 9-15, 15-14. There were tense moments as the pair lost the second game, but stepped up their game to win the third.

However, Awadhe Warriors won the men's singles and doubles matches, which saw them go through. Lee Dong Keun easily defeated Chong Wei Feng 15-7, 15-13 while the Warriors’ Trump — Lee Yang and Mathias Christiansen — won their doubles match 15-8, 15-6 against Chris Adcock and Sumeeth Reddy. Yang and Christiansen dominated their match — they had a massive nine-point lead at 11-2 in the second game before closing out the match.

Following the Test series win in Australia, Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli said it is imperative to think about the future, and added that he would like to see more fast bowlers coming through for the team.

Kohli termed the series win in Australia as the best of his career. He said, “By far this is my best achievement. Has to be on top of the pile...I was a part of the 2011 World Cup team but I didn't have the emotion of not having been able to win a World Cup before, playing at home and winning it eventually. A lot of the senior players had that emotion. So, for them it was what "we have achieved". Yes, it was a great moment for me to be part of. But if you ask me which moment is more emotional, I would say this one, because this is my third tour here and I have seen with experience and being in the field as to how difficult it is to win here. So from that point of view this one is more emotional to me.”

Kohli also pointed out that individual contributions by players are being recognised by the team. He said, “If you ask me to single out a contribution, for me Hanuma Vihari playing 70 balls with the new ball in MCG is as big as anyone getting a hundred or anyone scoring 70-80. That's how we recognise contributions, and we don't look at contribution as something that goes up on the honours' board.”

The skipper also praised India’s bowling unit and said he wants three more pace bowlers who can share the workload while being as effective. He said, “I feel great standing in the slip cordon watching these guys. I didn't have to tell Jasprit Bumrah yesterday to bowl at 149 clicks with the old ball to a no. 11 batsman. It was his decision. You can see that hunger, and you can see that passion. We would put everything on the line to win for the team.”

He added, “It's important to take care of these guys especially manage workloads, that's going to be our priority going forward. But even more so, finding three more guys who can bowl as fast as and as relentless as these guys. We already are in the process of identifying (three pacers), and then keep them ready make them travel with the team, make them understand the importance of Test cricket, what areas to bowl, what the mindset should be. Because once you create this kind of a culture in the team, you want it to continue.”

Football news now, from the AFC Asian Cup 2019. South Korea beat Philippines on Monday while China just about avoided a humiliating defeat to Kyrgyzstan.

South Korea, one of the strongest teams in Asia, last won the tournament in 1960. Korea are ranked 53rd in the world while Philippines are ranked 116. That’s lower than India who are ranked 97. Yet, the Koreans had to soak up a considerable amount of pressure as the Filipinos, coached by Sven-Goran Eriksson, put up a stiff fight.

It eventually fell to Korea’s prolific Hwang Ui-jo to score the solitary goal in the 67th minute, which helped them register their first win in their opening Group C match. South Korea will be boosted by the arrival of Tottenham star Son Heung-min after their first two games.

Meanwhile, China survived a scare, and staged a comeback to win 2-1 against Kyrgyzstan. China are ranked 76th in the world while Kyrgyzstan, who are ranked 91, are playing their first major tournament. Kyrgyzstan dominated the first half and were leading 1-0 at half-time, but the second half saw goalkeeper Pavel Matiash score an embarrassing own goal when he palmed the ball into the Kyrgyzstan net. That gave China the reprieve they had desperately been looking for. With 12 minutes left in the game, forward Yu Dabao slammed home the second goal to ensure China avoided the blushes.

News from the I-League now. Mohun Bagan’s stunning loss to Real Kashmir on Sunday had immediate repercussions. On Monday, the club announced it had signed Khalid Jamil as their next coach. That announcement came less than 24 hours after current coach Shankarlal Chakraborty resigned in the wake of the loss to I-League debutantes Real Kashmir.

Their press release said, “With immense pleasure, we wish to inform you that Khalid Jamil has been appointed...the new head coach of Mohun Bagan senior football team for the remainder of 2018-2019 football season..."Please note that the team will resume training on Tuesday at Mohun Bagan ground under the new head coach.”

Jamil was coach of Aizawl FC when they won the I-League in 2016. That title win is considered one of the biggest achievements in the history of Indian domestic football. Jamil, a Kuwait-born Indian then moved to East Bengal but parted ways after failing to win the I-League and Super Cup in 2017.

After the loss to Kashmir, Mohun Bagan are in sixth place in the points table, with just 15 points from 11 games.

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Updated Date: Jan 08, 2019 12:10:59 IST

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