LISTEN: Full script of Episode 131 of Spodcast where we discuss India's ODI series win in New Zealand, Anthony Davis' trade and more
Here's the full script of Spodcast Episode 131, where we discuss India's win over New Zealand in ODI, Naomi Osaka takes No 1 spot, Ambati Rayudu's suspension and other results including NBA and ISL.
Welcome to Spodcast, the sports update on Firstpost.
India defeated New Zealand in the third ODI at Wellington by seven wickets to lead 3-0 in the five-match series. After bowling out New Zealand for 243 in 49 overs, a clinical India chased down the target in 43 overs. Rohit Sharma top scored for India with 62 runs from 77 balls while Virat Kohli scored 60 runs from 74 balls. The two batsmen shared a 113-run partnership that ensured India were in full control of the chase. Ambati Rayudu scored 40 runs and wrapped things up with the help of Dinesh Karthik who made a quick run-a-ball 38.
New Zealand's batting faltered once again as India's opening bowlers Bhuvaneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami dismissed the openers by the seventh over. Kane Williamson was sent back on just 28 thanks to a fabulous catch by Hardik Pandya off the bowling of Yuzvendra Chahal. Ross Taylor rescued New Zealand with a brisk 93 and was ably supported by Tom Latham who scored 51. When Latham fell, the score was 178/4 in the 38th over. India's bowlers then claimed six wickets while conceding just 65 runs to leave New Zealand 243 all out. Mohammed Shami, who had taken three for 41, was declared the Player of the Match.
With this win, India now have back-to-back series wins in Australia and New Zealand, and look in ominous form leading up to the 2019 World Cup. On the other hand, the Kiwis have gaps that they are trying to fill. All-rounder Jimmy Neesham and leg-spinner Todd Astle were recalled for the remaining two ODIs. Neesham replaces Doug Bracewell in the team while Astle replaces spinner Ish Sodhi. Openers Martin Guptill and Colin Munro, who have failed against India, have been retained. New Zealand selector Gavin Larsen said, "We're still looking to keep our options open with selections (for the World Cup) at this stage and ensure we continue to learn as much as we can about our players." From the Indian squad, skipper Virat Kohli has been rested for the remaining matches of the New Zealand tour.
Tennis news now and Naomi Osaka, who won the Australian Open on Sunday, became the first Asian player to top the men's or women's tennis rankings. She is also the youngest woman to make her debut at No. 1 in nine years. Osaka is the youngest woman to reach the top since 2010, when Caroline Wozniacki did it at age 20.
Osaka climbed to the top rank following the end of Simona Halep's 48-week stay atop the WTA rankings after a fourth-round loss to Serena Williams. 21-year-old Osaka said, "I feel like I'm literally just still learning...everyone kind of adjusts to being No. 1 in a different way...People were talking about (me) being No. 1 if I win this tournament. I was able to accomplish that. But the ranking was never my real goal. It was just to win this tournament."
Petra Kvitova, the woman Osaka beat in the final, moved up from No 6 to No 2, ahead of Halep who has been pushed down to No 3.
Halep said, "The main goal is just to play as good as I can every match, to win every match I play, so the ranking doesn't really matter." She also said the year-end ranking is more important than where things stand now, adding, "...I will not stress myself about this."
In the men's rankings, Novak Djokovic remains at No.1 and Rafael Nadal is ranked second. Roger Federer dropped from no. 3 to 6 after his loss in fourth round of the Australian Open.
An NBA update on Spodcast now. New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis has asked to be traded to an NBA contender before the league's 7 February transfer deadline, according to an AFP report. The 25-year-old from Chicago, a five-time All-Star forward and member of the 2012 London Olympic gold medal squad, won't sign a contract extension, his agent Rich Paul told ESPN on Monday. Paul said, "Anthony wants to be traded to a team that allows him a chance to win consistently and compete for a championship. Anthony wanted to be honest and clear with his intentions and that's the reason for informing them of this decision now. That's in the best interests of both Anthony's and the organization's future."
Davis, the top pick in the 2012 NBA Draft, shares second in the NBA with 29.3 points a game and third in the league with 13.3 rebounds per contest. He also has 4.4 assists, 2.6 blocked shots and 1.7 steals a game this season for New Orleans. He has been out since 19 January with a sprained left index finger and is due back this week. He could become a free agent in 2020 and sign a five-year contract extension worth $240 million after this season. Two teams are said to be interested in signing Davis - Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers, whose superstar LeBron James is also represented by Paul.
Indian cricketer Ambati Rayudu has been has been suspended from bowling in international cricket by the ICC. The 33-year-old was reported on 13 January for a suspect action during the ODI against Australia in Sydney.
Rayudu chose not to submit to a test of bowling action within the stipulated 14-day period. Consequently, he has been suspended with immediate effect in accordance with clause 4.2 of the ICC regulations, according to a press statement from the international governing body. This suspension will remain until he is tested again, and can demonstrate that he can bowl with legal action. However, the rules do allow Rayudu to bowl in domestic cricket events if permitted by the BCCI.
An ISL update now. A terrific performance by goalkeeper Subrata Paul helped Jamshedpur FC manage a goalless draw against FC Goa on Monday.
The first half saw both teams evenly matched, but Goa dominated the second half. Playing at home, FC Goa created multiple opportunities to score but Jamshedpur goalie Subrata Paul had a particularly good day at the office. He thwarted every attempt at a goal by the Gaurs.
Both clubs desperately wanted a win on Monday but lacked the creativity to break defences. Much of the play in the first half was confined to the midfield. Jamshedpur, who had beaten the Gaurs 4-1 at home, struggled to make any breakthroughs in Margao.
Monday's draw takes FC Goa to 21 points from 12 games, which means they remain fourth on the table. Jamshedpur FC are fifth with 20 points from 13 games.
NBA: Kyrie Irving likely to join Nets practice with training centre not falling under New York's vaccination mandate
Irving still wouldn't be able to play in home games if he doesn't meet the vaccination requirement, but at least he can be with the Nets when they are practicing at home.
Appearing before the Senate Standing Committee on Inter-Provincial affairs on Thursday in Islamabad, Ramiz said it was time for the PCB to reduce its dependence on funding from the ICC and start tapping the local market.
Irving addressed the issue on Instagram Live on Wednesday, confirming that he hoped to be back on the floor with teammates eventually.