Mental fatigue is an issue in cricket inside bio-bubble and rotation becomes important. Virat Kohli drove home his point at a time when player rotation, especially by the England team during the ongoing series, has become a matter of debate.
There’s a school of thought that Test cricket being the pinnacle, it can’t be the right format for player rotation. Kohli begged to differ.
“I feel any format of the game is right place for rotation. No human being can possibly go on for that many number of games throughout the year. Everyone needs to find windows of having some time off, having a break, especially with bubble format. The kind of systems you have to follow in the bubble, it can get very monotonous and it is very difficult to keep yourself excited about small things. I think these are the things that need to be considered as long as you play in the bubble,” the India captain said ahead of the fourth Test.
During an off the record conversation, an Indian team player was talking about the mental fatigue that life inside a bio-bubble for a long period could cause. “Mental fatigue takes its toll. Staying inside the hotel (all the time) can be very demanding. We can feel the fatigue. We do talk among ourselves on how challenging it’s getting day by day. Things are fine when matches are on, but on non-match days killing time becomes very tough,” the player said.
The majority of the players in this Indian team have moved from one bio-bubble to another for the last six-odd months – the Indian Premier League followed by the Australia tour and now the England series. The short break they had after returning from Australia was a minor ‘solace’.
The BCCI has tried to make things comfortable for the players inside the bubble. Team rooms with facilities for indoor games like table tennis provided time-pass opportunities. Players are also allowed to go poolside every two hours. Those who are married have their families staying with them. Life is ostensibly tougher for the bachelors.
“… outside of that (bubble) it (rotation) depends on where you stand physically more than mentally. But I think till the bubble exists, we need to keep the mental factor in the picture as well, because mental fatigue would be a huge, huge factor, playing within a restricted area, moving around within restricted area. So yeah, these are things that one needs to be aware of,” Kohli said.
England’s rotation policy has come under the scanner. An impact batsman like Jos Buttler returned home after the first Test. Moeen Ali followed suit after playing the second Test and the tourists had just one frontline spinner in their XI for the third Test on a Motera dustbowl. Kevin Pietersen took a swipe at it after England lost the second Test. “Badhai ho india, England B Ko harane ke liye (Congratulations India, for beating England B),” he tweeted. After the third Test, former Pakistan captain Asif Iqbal called England’s rotation policy “ridiculous”.
“The biggest flaw in English cricket at the moment is this laughable rotation policy, which is affecting the rhythm of their players,” Iqbal told this paper. The English cricket hierarchy, however, has maintained that players’ mental well-being is of paramount importance. England will play 17 Tests over the next one year and now they have the India skipper’s backing.
It’s another issue that India have a much stronger bench strength, which served the team wonderfully well during their 2-1 series win in Australia. “… hence our bench strength becomes way more important because if you have guys hungry, ready, who read the game well, who understand where the game is heading and are brave enough to take on opportunities or situations to push the team forward, then you can rotate very easily,” Kohli said.
He added: “You know there are 11 more guys who are ready to win a Test match for India, or one-day or T20 and that is exactly what we are striving towards. We have a clear road map as to where we need to go in the next four-five years, so that our transition is not difficult at all.”
Iqbal, too, had agreed that India’s bench strength allowed them to rotate. “To rotate, you have to have bench strength like India.”
AC Milan returned to form with an enthralling 2-1 victory away to AS Roma on Sunday that restored a four-point gap to Serie A leaders Inter Milan.
The visitors hit the bar and had two goals disallowed before Franck Kessie scored from the penalty spot to give them a deserved halftime lead.
Roma, who also had a goal chalked off in the first half, quickly responded after the break when midfielder Jordan Veretout curled in his 10th league goal of the season.
But a superb turn and finish from Ante Rebic put the visitors back in front after 58 minutes and they held on despite late pressure from the hosts.
The victory ends a four-match winless run in all competitions for Stefano Pioli’s side, whose hopes of a first Serie A title in 10 years suffered a blow following back-to-back league defeats to Spezia and Inter.
“I told the team that two negative games can’t make us lose the confidence we built together for over a year,” Pioli told Sky Italia.
“We hoped to do better in recent weeks, but we’re happy to get this important victory.”
Milan remain second on 52 points, four behind Inter and six ahead of Juventus in third, while Roma remain fifth with 44 points.
The pressure was on the visitors to get a result after Inter’s 3-0 win over Genoa earlier on Sunday opened up a seven-point gap between the top two.
Milan came out firing as Fikayo Tomori’s finish after three minutes was ruled out for offside and Zlatan Ibrahimovic back-heeled a shot wide of an open goal.
Rebic unselfishly opted to pass to Ibrahimovic when through on goal, but the Swede was offside as he slotted into an empty net and the goal was chalked off.
Milan defender Simon Kjaer crashed a header off the bar, before Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s headed equaliser was ruled out because of a Gianluca Mancini foul in the build-up.
Referee Marco Guida awarded Milan a penalty following a VAR review after Federico Fazio trod on Davide Calabria’s foot on the edge of the box, and Kessie stepped up to dispatch the spot kick.
Veretout curled a superb finish into the far top corner five minutes into the second half, but Milan soon responded as Rebic left Mancini for dead with a neat turn before drilling home a low shot.
The visitors had no luck with injuries as Hakan Calhanoglu, Rebic and Ibrahimovic were all forced off with muscular issues.
Chances fell at both ends during a frantic end to the game and Roma were furious not to be awarded a penalty when Theo Hernandez got in a tangle with Mkhitaryan in the box, but Guida gave a foul against the Armenian.
A basketball is a spherical ball used in basketball games. Basketballs usually range in size from very small promotional items that are only a few inches (some centimeters) in diameter to extra large balls nearly 2 feet (60 cm) in diameter used in training exercises. For example, a youth basketball could be 27 inches (69 cm) in circumference, while a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) men’s ball would be a maximum of 30 inches (76 cm) and an NCAA women’s ball would be a maximum of 29 inches (74 cm). The standard for a basketball in the National Basketball Association (NBA) is 29.5 inches (75 cm) in circumference and for the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), a maximum circumference of 29 inches (74 cm). High school and junior leagues normally use NCAA, NBA or WNBA sized balls.
Aside from the court and the baskets, the basketball is the only piece of equipment necessary to play the game of basketball. During the game, the ball must be bounced continuously (dribbling), thrown through the air to other players (passing) or thrown towards the basket (shooting). Therefore, the ball must be very durable and easy to hold on to. The ball is also used to perform tricks (sometimes called freestyling), the most common of which are spinning the ball on the tip of one’s index finger, dribbling in complex patterns, rolling the ball over one’s shoulder, or performing aerobatic maneuvers with the ball while executing a slam dunk, most notably in the context of a slam dunk contest.
Nearly all basketballs have an inflatable inner rubber bladder, generally wrapped in layers of fiber and then covered with a surface made either from leather (traditional), rubber, or a synthetic composite. As in most inflatable balls, there is a small opening that allows the pressure to be increased or decreased.
The surface of the ball is nearly always divided by “ribs” that are recessed below the surface of the ball in a variety of configurations and are generally a contrasting color. An orangish surface with black ribs and a possible logo is the traditional color scheme of basketballs but they are sold in various colors. Most famous of these variations, a red/white/blue basketball, was used for the American Basketball Association, the Harlem Globetrotters, and as the “money ball” in the NBA All-Star Weekend’s Three Point Contest.
Balls are generally designated for indoor (generally made of leather or absorbent composites), or all-surface use (generally made of rubber or durable composites, also known as indoor/outdoor balls). Indoor balls tend to be more expensive than all-surface balls due to the cost of materials. In addition, brand new all-leather indoor balls must be “broken in” first to achieve optimal grip before use in competition. The abrasiveness of asphalt and the dirt and moisture present in an outdoor setting will usually ruin an indoor ball within a very short period of time, which is why an indoor/outdoor ball is recommended for recreational players. Outdoor balls are usually called outdoor rubber basketballs & they are commonly made from rubber to cope with rougher conditions, and they need to be filled with more air to retain a suitable level of air pressure in colder weather.
Different sizes are used for different age groups. The common standards are:
|Size||Type||Circumference||Weight||Notes on basketball|
|7||Men||29.5 in (75 cm)
|22 oz (620 g)
|Men and boys ages 15 and up. This is the official size for men’s high school, college, and professional.|
|6||Women||28.5 in (72 cm)
|20 oz (570 g)
|Boys ages 12-14. Women and girls ages 12 and up. This is the official size for women’s high school, college, and professional.|
|5||Youth (North America)
|27.5 in (70 cm)
|17 oz (480 g)
|Boys and girls ages 9-11 years old. This is the standard youth basketball.|
|4||Youth (North America)||25.5 in (65 cm)||14 oz (400 g)||Boys and girls ages 5-8 years old.|
|3||Mini (North America)||22.0 in (56 cm)||10 oz (280 g)||Boys and girls ages 4-8 years old. Also known as “mini” basketball.|
Note that the ball used for all competitions (men’s, women’s, and mixed) in the formalized halfcourt game of 3×3 combines characteristics of the size 6 and size 7 balls. Its circumference is that of a size 6 ball, but its weight is that of a size 7.
Football, also called association football or soccer, game in which two teams of 11 players, using any part of their bodies except their hands and arms, try to maneuver the ball into the opposing team’s goal. Only the goalkeeper is permitted to handle the ball and may do so only within the penalty area surrounding the goal. The team that scores more goals wins.
Football is the world’s most popular ball game in numbers of participants and spectators. Simple in its principal rules and essential equipment, the sport can be played almost anywhere, from official football playing fields (pitches) to gymnasiums, streets, school playgrounds, parks, or beaches. Football’s governing body, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), estimated that at the turn of the 21st century there were approximately 250 million football players and over 1.3 billion people “interested” in football; in 2010 a combined television audience of more than 26 billion watched football’s premier tournament, the quadrennial month-long World Cup finals.
The red soil proved to be a let-down for the Indian team. Virat Kohli and Co will hope that black soil is friendlier. The first Test between against England was played on Pitch No.2 at Chepauk. A Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) functionary informed that Pitch No. 5 is likely to be the preferred 22 yards for the second Test starting on Saturday. Pitch No. 2 had red soil topping. The top layer of Pitch No. 5 is made of clay soil or black soil.
“On the first two days, the pitch was not assisting us and the spinners, it felt like we played on a road,” Ishant Sharma told the official broadcaster at the end of the fourth day’s play in the first Test.
There was evident frustration in the home camp when Joe Root and Dom Sibley were wearing down the Indian bowlers on the first day. There was an occasion when Root outside-edged an Ishant delivery, but the ball didn’t carry to first slip. Rohit Sharma decided to move forward a few paces and stood in front of the wicketkeeper, but the ball beating the bat was a rarity on the first two days of the series opener.
Will the pitch for the second Test behave the same way? Unlikely.
A bit more life
According to a member of the ground staff, the surface is expected to have more bounce and carry. So initially at least, pacers might get more purchase from the deck, while spinners could enjoy the bounce. But in all likelihood, it’s not going to be a rank turner.
It does matter if the soil used is red or black. A veteran curator who worked for the BCCI elaborated on the difference. “Bonding strength of red soil particles is more high-strung than its black or clay counterpart, the reason why red soil disintegrates faster. Pitches with red soil toppings deteriorate quicker,” he said.
Ravichandran Ashwin’s delivery that castled Jofra Archer in England’s second innings attested how the Chepauk pitch for the first Test changed as the game progressed. Ashwin had bowled a fast off-break that fizzed in a long way from outside off-stump. Later in the day, England spinner Jack Leach cleaned up Rohit Sharma, bowling with the new ball – the delivery pitching on middle stump and spinning past Rohit’s bat to hit off.
Former BCCI chief curator Daljit Singh described the pitch for the first Test as “an excellent Test match wicket that would have been even better (from the bowlers’ perspective) with a bit more grass on it”.
Coming back to red-versus-black comparisons, the clay soil retains moisture for a longer period, which prevents the top soil from loosening quicker. “It’s almost impossible to make rank turners with black/clay soil toppings. If you use the brush to shave off the grass completely or leave them very dry, chances are that it could be an underprepared surface,” said another former BCCI curator.
Singh begged to differ. “You can still prepare a turner with black soil but it needs finest curatorship,” he said. Some grass on pitches made of clay soil assist fast bowlers, especially with the new ball. Also, it helps bind the top surface. But it needs to be seen how much grass is comfortable for the Indian team management. India are now playing catch-up in this series, with qualification for the ICC World Test Championship final at stake. The pitch will be an important factor in the remaining three Tests.
The centre square at Chepauk has eight pitches, one with red soil topping, one of mixed variety and the rest offering significant clay content. All of them, however, have red soil base. The man in charge of pitch preparation, V Ramesh Kumar, this paper understands, is unlikely to roll out a dust bowl.
Good track record
Traditionally, Chepauk lays out good cricket pitches for Test cricket. In 2016, the fifth Test at this venue went the distance, with India winning on the final day. England had posted 477 in their first innings and India responded with 759/9 declared, thanks to Karun Nair’s 303 not out. Even in the second innings, England batted for 88 overs although they suffered an innings defeat.
“Interesting how a lot of people have spoken about toss being a vital factor in England winning (first Test). I have to agree. After playing on this ground for ages, its (sic) almost impossible to doctor a wicket suitable for all. Have a look at the Ranji scores if you dont (sic) believe me,” former India opener and Tamil Nadu batsman Abhinav Mukund tweeted on Tuesday.
Unless there’s an eleventh-hour change, bowlers are not going to get freebies in the second Test either, for the first two-three days to be precise.
Chepauk is ready to welcome 14,000 fans for the second Test, informed TNCA secretary RS Ramasaamy. They will not be allowed to carry anything inside the stadium except mobile phones.
“There are 17 entrances to the stadium. All the gates will be manned by people to check temperature, to make sure everybody is wearing a mask, and hand sanitisers will be available. Seats will be placed in such a way that there will be at least one seat between two spectators. Medical kiosks will be there around the ground. There will be a medical room with a doctor. There will be an isolation room, in case somebody is detected with temperature or any other symptoms. The bio-bubble area will be completely cordoned off,” Ramasaamy told The Indian Express.
The TNCA has sold tickets for nine blocks, with ticket prices ranging from Rs 100 to Rs 450 per day. A TNCA official confirmed that the decision to restrict banners, placards and other items inside the ground has nothing to do with the ongoing farmers’ protest. The state association is confident of hosting a non-controversial second Test.
“His legacy will leave an enduring impact on sports journalism, the NFL, the Kansas City Chiefs, and their fans,” Paylor’s fianceé said.
Prominent pro football journalist Terez Paylor died suddenly at age 37, his fiancée said Tuesday.
Ebony Reed, Paylor’s longtime girlfriend and fiancée, said he will be dearly missed.
“While we are shocked and saddened by Terez Paylor’s sudden passing, we also celebrate his extraordinary life that touched so many,” Reed said in a statement. “Terez was an exceptional journalist whose passion for football made him a respected voice.
“His legacy will leave an enduring impact on sports journalism, the NFL, the Kansas City Chiefs, and their fans,” she continued. “More important, Terez was a devoted son, grandson, brother, an adoring fiancé, and a wonderful friend to so many. To know him was to love him.”
Paylor hosted a podcast for Yahoo Sports and was the site’s senior NFL reporter. Sam Mellinger, a former colleague at The Kansas City Star, said Paylor didn’t travel to the Super Bowl this year because he wanted to stay safe amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Paylor’s unexpected death Tuesday was met with an outpouring of admiration and praise on social media from colleagues, fans and the NFL team in Kansas City that he spent years covering.
“Hearing the news of Terez’s passing is heart wrenching,” the team said in a statement on Twitter. “He was so young and full of life, he always wanted to do right by people. Many of us in the Chiefs had the opportunity over the years to build a friendship with him, including our players, coaches and staff, and he was an incredible person with the right attitude and integrity.”
Paylor, a member of the Pro Football Writers of America, was a voter for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was also an active member of the Kansas City Association of Black Journalists.
Paylor, who was originally from Detroit, worked as a sportswriter for The Star from 2006 until 2018, when he left to join Yahoo Sports, according to the newspaper. He attended Howard University, graduating with a degree in print journalism.