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Ashish Magotra
Articles by Ashish Magotra

Indian cricket needs to get its pitch right

The Border Gavaskar Trophy brought into sharp focus the debate about Indian pitches. But the argument here is not about turners, it’s one of extremes. Did India push things too far in their quest to gain an advantage and is it fair to do that?

Comparisons are always odious and each era has its own compulsions. But cricket at its best (and perhaps at its most ideal) should be a contest. (PTI)
Updated on Mar 18, 2023 07:40 PM IST

All England: Jolly-Gayatri come up short against Korean defence

The young Indian pair lost the All England women’s doubles semis against Baek-Lee in straight games 21-10, 21-10

Gayatri Gopichand (behind) and Teresa Jolly(Twitter/India_AllSports)
Updated on Mar 18, 2023 07:12 PM IST
By, New Delhi

Second time is a charm

The young Indian pairing of Gayatri Gopichand and Treesa Jolly make their second successive All England semis after edging past China's Li Wen Mei and Liu Xuan Xuan.

India's Treesa Jolly with Gayatri Gopichand Pullela, right, in action against China's Li Wen Mei and Liu Xuan Xuan during day four of the YONEX All England Open Badminton Championships at the Utilita Arena Birmingham, England, Friday March 17, 2023. (Zac Goodwin/PA via AP)(AP)
Published on Mar 17, 2023 07:11 PM IST
By, New Delhi

IND vs AUS 2nd Test: Australia have no defence

India romped to a six-wicket win with more than two days to spare, taking a 2-0 series lead, but Australia batters cut a sorry figure on a third day pitch that had no demons in the second Test

Indian bowler Ravichandran Ashwin celebrates with teammate Virat Kohli after the wicket of Australian batter Steve Smith during the third day of the 2nd test(PTI)
Published on Feb 19, 2023 05:12 PM IST
By, New Delhi

India vs Australia 2nd Test: Top-order muddle, lower-order muscle

India were struggling at 139/7 with Australia eyeing a big first-innings lead but Axar Patel and R Ashwin raised a century stand for the eighth wicket to leave the second Test evenly poised after Day 2

India's Axar Patel, right, looks up after he scored half century during the second day of the second cricket test match between India and Australia (AP)
Published on Feb 18, 2023 06:51 PM IST
By, New Delhi

Mohammed Shami does the trick for India on Day 1

Khawaja scored a fine 81 and Handscomb made 72 but the hosts would be the happier side at close on Day 1 of the second Test in Delhi

Indian bowler Mohammed Shami celebrates the wicket of Australian batter Matthew Kuhnemann during the first day of the 2nd test cricket match(PTI)
Updated on Feb 17, 2023 10:16 PM IST
By, New Delhi

2nd Test: All quiet at Kotla as India look to compound Aussie misery

The Australians have been unusually subdued in the build-up to the second Test, a reflection of their recent record in India

India lead 1-0 against Australia in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.(ANI)
Updated on Feb 16, 2023 06:51 PM IST
By, New Delhi

No country for fast bowling? Think again

In Tests in India, all the focus is on spinners but pacers have also done a terrific job of late

Nagpur: India's Mohd Siraj celebrates with teammates the dismissal of Australian batter Usman Khawaja during the 1st cricket test match between India and Australia at Vidharba Cricket Association Stadium, in Nagpur, Thursday, Feb. 9, 2023. (PTI Photo/Vijay Verma) (PTI02_09_2023_000013A)(PTI)
Updated on Feb 15, 2023 11:06 PM IST

The crowning of King James

LeBron James betters the NBA all-time scoring record of another LA Lakers legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar that had stood for 39 years, in Los Angeles on Tuesday night

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (AP)
Updated on Feb 10, 2023 04:08 PM IST
By, New Delhi

A last dance for the ages

Sania Mirza can give herself a perfect Australian Open farewell, after she and partner Rohan Bopanna reached the mixed doubles final on Wednesday

Sania Mirza(left) and Rohan Bopanna(Twitter)
Published on Jan 25, 2023 08:53 PM IST
By, New Delhi

10-year-itch: With vintage show, Azarenka into first Oz Open semi since 2013

The 33-year-old Belarussian, who won both her Grand Slam titles at Melbourne Park, eased past US world No 3 Jessica Pegula in the quarterfinals

Jessica Pegula, right, of the U.S. embraces Victoria Azarenka of Belarus following their quarterfinal match at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne(AP)
Updated on Jan 24, 2023 07:27 PM IST
By, New Delhi

Djokovic’s quest to be the best

In an era of ultra-popular Federer and Nadal, the Serbian has thrived on his inner steel

Novak Djokovic during a press conference.(REUTERS)
Published on Jan 15, 2023 08:35 PM IST

Four reasons why Argentina won

While Argentinian teams with far more star power failed to go all the way, the 2022 unit had something special going for them. Lionel Scaloni’s team has lost only one of its last 43 international matches (W29, D13) and they have done it by sticking to a simple formula — play hard and let Messi do his thing.

 (FIFA World Cup Twitter)
Updated on Dec 20, 2022 01:13 AM IST

The agony of Kylian Mbappe

The Frenchman became just the second player to score a hat-trick in the World Cup final, but he will have to deal with the dejection and disappointment of ending up on the losing side

France's Kylian Mbappe sits on the bench at the end of the World Cup final (AP)
Published on Dec 19, 2022 10:40 PM IST
By, New Delhi

Breaking down the goals that have lit up Qatar

While the 2022 edition has seen the fourth-highest number of goals in a World Cup with two matches left, the percentage of goals from outside the box is the lowest in the last five tournaments

The best goals stay with us a lot longer than we think possible and each time we think back to them, we find ourselves smiling(Getty Images)
Published on Dec 16, 2022 11:24 PM IST

Past forward: Run Mbappe run

The 23-year-old's game plan of outpacing opponents with his searing speed is simple and devastating at the same time.

France's Dayot Upamecano, right, embraces teammate Kylian Mbappe following the World Cup semifinal soccer match between France and Morocco at the Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor(AP)
Published on Dec 15, 2022 10:58 PM IST
By, New Delhi

The Magicians: 17 years on, Messi and Modric still pulling the strings

Having first met in an international match in March 2006, the two stars will hope to get another crack at the World Cup trophy.

Having first met in an international match in March 2006, the two stars will hope to get another crack at the World Cup trophy. (AP)
Published on Dec 12, 2022 10:45 PM IST
By, New Delhi

Argentina march into semis after beating Netherlands in an epic

In a match that went down to the wire, the Albicelestes managed to somehow beat the determined Netherlands team.

Argentina's Lionel Messi celebrates with teammates at the end of the World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between the Netherlands and Argentina, at the Lusail Stadium in Lusail, Qatar, Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022. Argentina defeated the Netherlands 4-3 in a penalty shootout after the match ended tied 2-2.(AP Photo/Jorge Saenz)(AP)
Published on Dec 10, 2022 09:46 PM IST
By, New Delhi

No Ronaldo, no problem: Ramos hat-trick helps Portugal smash 6 past Switzerland

He became the second youngest man (21y-169d) to score a hat-trick in a FIFA World Cup knockout stage match.

Portugal's Rafael Leao, left, and Portugal's Goncalo Ramos celebrate after the win (AP)
Published on Dec 07, 2022 02:45 AM IST
By, New Delhi

Just for kicks: The supremacy of style: Tiki taka and its offsprings

“I don’t care where you are from... I don’t care... if you tell me that you love football and you don’t love Barcelona, you have a problem.”

Led by Messi, Argentina ran circles around the deep-sitting Poles, coming at them from the centre and both flanks, keeping them guessing about how the threat would materialise. (AFP)
Updated on Dec 02, 2022 12:34 PM IST

Just for kicks: Team USA, and America’s brush with greatness

There are 50,000 people waiting outside the gates, trying desperately to get in and join the 25,000 who’ve already made it. This was the USA of the 1970s, and this was all for a sport they call soccer.

Pelé celebrates after a win with the New York Cosmos in 1978. (Getty Images)
Published on Nov 30, 2022 11:22 PM IST

Just for kicks: Ronaldo: A fading superstar with an insatiable hunger

As Bruno Fernandes curled the ball into the box, Uruguay goalkeeper Sergio Rochet wasn’t sure if Cristiano Ronaldo, who had made a run, would get to it. In the confusion, he forgot to cover the main line.

Cristiano Ronaldo was whiskers away from becoming Portugal’s highest World Cup scorer as he barely missed landing a touch on a cross that became his team’s first goal against Uruguay. (AFP)
Updated on Nov 30, 2022 01:52 PM IST

Just for kicks: Has Belgium’s golden generation lost its lustre?

In an interview with The Guardian on Saturday, Belgium playmaker Kevin de Bruyne said the team, ranked second in the world, had “no chance” of winning the World Cup because “we’re too old”. On Sunday, his words appeared to ring true.

Belgium, third in Russia four years ago, lost to Morocco 0-2 in the World Cup group F match at the Al Thumama Stadium in Doha on Sunday. Belgium will now battle for a last-16 spot against Croatia. (AP)
Updated on Nov 29, 2022 02:15 PM IST

Just for kicks: A quest for immortality for the king and heir apparent

“One more Messi moment!” That was the incomparable Peter Drury serenading the microphone just after the “magic man”, as he called him, had given Argentina the lead against a feisty Mexico

HT Image
Updated on Nov 28, 2022 12:55 PM IST

Driven by himself: Cristiano Ronaldo clings on to his redemption dream

One of the biggest players in the world is on the biggest stage in the world, without a club and a chance to show just how good he can be; how good he STILL is

Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates his goal during the FIFA World Cup 2022 match between Portugal and Ghana(FIFA Twitter)
Published on Nov 25, 2022 05:07 PM IST

Just for kicks: The story behind the secret sauce in Saudi football

How did Saudi Arabia, 51st in the Fifa rankings and rank outsiders in the context of the 2022 World Cup, beat Argentina, the most in-form team in the world?

Saleh Al-Shehri after scoring the equaliser against Argentina on Tuesday. (AFP)
Updated on Nov 25, 2022 01:41 PM IST

Just for kicks: Zizou, France and the genesis of a football revolution

The 1990s in France was a very different time. The country was racked by racial tension. With far-right politicians such as Jean-Marie le Pen stoking the fire, the question on everyone’s mind was a complex one: What does it mean to be French?

Zinedine Zidane with the trophy after France won the 1998 World Cup. (Getty Images)
Updated on Nov 24, 2022 07:52 PM IST

Just for kicks: In the shadow of Maradona, Messi looks for a crown

Maradona was a genius. So is Messi. Maradona could dazzle you with his skills. So can Messi. Maradona’s left foot was a gift from the heavens. So is Messi’s. Maradona could take over the game. So can Messi. Maradona won club titles. So has Messi. Maradona was one of the best. So is Messi. But Maradona, almost single-handedly, inspired his team to a World Cup. Messi hasn’t. Yet.

Lionel Messi after the loss to Saudi Arabia at the Lusail Stadium on Tuesday. (REUTERS)
Updated on Nov 23, 2022 12:27 PM IST

Just for kicks: England’s saga of loss, and its hope for redemption

England has one of the most competitive professional football leagues in the world. It is also one of the oldest and most-watched leagues in the world. But one look at their World Cup and Euro history and you will know they could have and should have done better.So why haven’t they?

England’s Bobby Moore holds up the trophy after winning the 1966 World Cup. (Getty Images)
Updated on Nov 22, 2022 01:00 PM IST

Just for kicks: Why this really is a ‘Europe vs the World’ Cup

The nine-pass move begins deep in Brazilian territory with centre-forward Tostao tracking back into his own half to retrieve the ball

Flags on sale at a marketplace in Doha. (AFP)
Published on Nov 20, 2022 11:40 PM IST
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