Tamojit Chakraborty, Author at Sportzwiki

Tamojit Chakraborty

Rafa Benitez Fanatic, Analyzes tactics, Football Fan

Andy Murray names first daughter Sophia Olivia

British tennis player and World No.2 Andy Murray and wife Kim Sears has named their first daughter Sophia Olivia, the athlete’s agent has announced.

Sears, 28, gave birth to Sophia on February 7 in the English county of Surrey, where the couple currently resides. The announcement was made on Wednesday, reports Efe.

In January, the player made it clear he would not hesitate to shorten his season in the event that the baby was born earlier and stressed that his family would always be his “priority”.

Murray lost the Australian Open final to Serbian and No.1 Novak Djokovic.

Murray, with tears in his eyes after the loss, sent a message to his wife and said he would take the next flight home.

Ishant Sharma warns Kumar Sangakkara ahead of the India-Sri Lanka Tests

Ishant Sharma was on fire in the first innings against Sri Lankan Board President’s XI in a warm-up match ahead of the three match Test series against Sri Lanka that starts on August 12. His spell before the lunch was venomous and he looked like taking a wicket off every ball. He gave five runs in four overs to take five top order wickets. And that’s a good start to a tour which will be demanding for the fast bowlers. In an interview to BCCI.tv, Ishant spoke about various things including his fiery spell.

It was pretty good. More than overs, if you get wickets in your bag it’s really important. That gives you confidence, so that’s what I try to do. Specially playing in Asia, the conditions are always tough. But it’s a challenge, you have to take it as a challenge. It’s easy to say it’s hot, the wicket is flat and I don’t want to bowl. The tough thing is to go out there and bowl 20 overs for the team and get those three important wickets. If you are playing at this level, you need to do that, Ishant said about his deadly spell.

Ishant Sharma is the leader of the attack that has the likes of Umesh Yadav, Varun Aaron and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. The pacers will look up to him for advice and suggestions. And he is ready for this role.

I just tell them to adapt to the situation. I think it is very important in Test cricket. Test cricket is not about really bowling, it is about how you bowl in different situations, especially with the Kookaburra ball. Because conditions are different from Australia, New Zealand, etc, because it’s not going to help much. Ball is going to swing only for 12-14 overs, so after that how you will bowl is really important How you bowl from 40-70 overs is really important. Initially with Kookaburra ball it swings and I was just swinging the ball and there was a little bit of help for the fast bowlers. So I just stuck to basics. I think when you are playing at this level, it is more important to stick to the basics. Then it will be easy for you to perform at this international level, added Ishant.

On Bowling in Asia, Ishant said that pacers need to believe in themselves and they have to perform whenever they get a chance to bowl. He said to be honest, playing in Asia, fast bowlers need to believe in themselves because you will not get as many overs as the spinners get because spinners will dominate in Asia. But whenever you get a chance, you need to keep believing in yourself and you must keep telling yourself that I am here to do something and I will do it.

He also said that he will go hard on retiring cricketer Kumar Sangakkara. He said He is playing for his country and I am playing for my country. We played together only in the IPL and this is international match. So I will not think that he is playing his last game, I will go hard at him.

IPL: DD v RR – Twitter reactions on Yuvraj Singh’s blunder

In the sixth match of Indian Premier League (IPL) 8 season Rajasthan Royals defeated Delhi Daredevils in a thrilling match which went to the last ball of the match where New Zealand and Royals’ fast bowler Tim Southee smashed a boundary to get his team over the line. 

The Villian of the match, though, was Yuvraj Singh who missed an easy run-out in middle overs of Delhi Daredevils’ bowling. People bashed Yuvraj left-right and center. 

Here are some of the tweets:

 

Ouch. Not a great way to start IPL8, is it?

Hahaha…great troll this one, if you know what he means!

ohh….wait Delhi is habitual to this!

another one taunting Yuvraj about his price!

But, hey it is AAP’s fault always!

KRK chips in too…with his two bits!

Is he? 😉

Last, but not least – Should Yuvi retire now?

Video: Gautam Gambhir’s version – Breaking bat

Gautam Gambhir somehow managed to break his bat while facing not so fearsome Vinay Kumar who hardly bowls in high 130s Kmph with just second delivery off Gambhir’s innings.

The broken bats didn’t came back to bite Gambhir though as he managed to score a decent fifty to help his team start with a win in eighth edition of IPL. KKR won the match by 7 wickets.

Following is the vine video of Gautam Gambhir’s breaking bat incident:

 

 

 

IPL 2015 – Player Auctions: Final Player Auction List

Cricketers from across the world will be up for grabs at the 2015 Pepsi IPL Player Auction, which is going to be held on Monday, 16 February 2015, at the ITC Gardenia, Bengaluru.

A total of 344 players will be auctioned lead by 10 Marquee Players’ set containing Hashim Amla, Yuvraj Singh, Dinesh Karthik, Kevin Pietersen, Angelo Mathews, Eoin Morgan, Kumar Sangakkara, Aaron Finch, Mahela Jayawardene, Amit Mishra, Murali Vijay and Kane Williamson of which Amla, Yuvraj, Karthik and Pietersen been fixed a base price of Rs. 2 Crores. The final auction list contains 68 batsmen, 113 bowlers, 29 wicket keepers and 134 all rounders.

These 344 players are divided in 7 categories depending upon base prices.

₹2,00,00,000 – 4 players

₹1,50,00,000 – 7 players

₹1,00,00,000 – 20 players

₹50,00,000 – 31 players

₹30,00,000 – 60 players

₹20,00,000 – 15 players

₹10,00,000 – 207 players

 

Marquee Players List:

Player

Type

Base Price

Hashim Amla

Batsman

₹2,00,00,000

Yuvraj Singh

Batsman

₹2,00,00,000

Dinesh Karthik

Wicket Keeper

₹2,00,00,000

Kevin Pietersen

Batsman

₹2,00,00,000

Angelo Mathews

All-Rounder

₹1,50,00,000

Eoin Morgan

Batsman

₹1,50,00,000

Kumar Sangakkara

Wicket Keeper

₹1,00,00,000

Aaron Finch

Batsman

₹1,00,00,000

Mahela Jayawardena

Batsman

₹1,00,00,000

Amit Mishra

Bowler

₹1,00,00,000

Murali Vijay

Batsman

₹50,00,000

Kane Williamson

All-Rounder

₹50,00,000

List of Batsmen:

Player

Base Price

Michael Hussey

₹1,50,00,000

Cameron White

₹1,50,00,000

Alex Hales

₹1,00,00,000

Brad Hodge

₹1,00,00,000

Cheteshwar Pujara

₹1,00,00,000

Ross Taylor

₹1,00,00,000

Michael Carberry

₹50,00,000

Darren Bravo

₹50,00,000

Richard Levi

₹50,00,000

Lahiru Thirimanna

₹50,00,000

Jonathan Dean

₹30,00,000

Nayan Doshi

₹30,00,000

Subramaniam Badrinath

₹30,00,000

Dean Elgar

₹30,00,000

Callum Ferguson

₹30,00,000

Abhinav Mukund

₹30,00,000

Venugopal Rao

₹30,00,000

Hamish Rutherford

₹30,00,000

Aiden Blizzard

₹30,00,000

Michael Klinger

₹30,00,000

Travis Head

₹30,00,000

Marcus Harris

₹20,00,000

Craig Simmons

₹20,00,000

Debabrata Das

₹20,00,000

Jaydev Gokul Bista

₹10,00,000

Sudip Chatterjee

₹10,00,000

Prashant Chopra

₹10,00,000

Mukul Dagar

₹10,00,000

Nikhil Gangta

₹10,00,000

Hendrick Van der Dussen

₹10,00,000

Arjit Gupta

₹10,00,000

Sagan Kamat

₹10,00,000

Bhargav Merai

₹10,00,000

K. Bharath Shankar

₹10,00,000

Rinku Singh

₹10,00,000

Robin Singh Bist

₹10,00,000

Praful Waghela

₹10,00,000

Saurabh Pradeep Wawaskar

₹10,00,000

Paras Dogra

₹10,00,000

Shreyas Iyer

₹10,00,000

Sheldon Jackson

₹10,00,000

Sarfaraz Naushad Khan

₹10,00,000

Mohnish Mishra

₹10,00,000

Yogesh Nagar

₹10,00,000

Tirumalasetti Suman

₹10,00,000

Hanuma Vihari

₹10,00,000

Swapnil Asnodkar

₹10,00,000

Sachin Baby

₹10,00,000

Udit Birla

₹10,00,000

Arindam Ghosh

₹10,00,000

Manprit Juneja

₹10,00,000

Taruwar Kohli

₹10,00,000

Milind Kumar

₹10,00,000

Shshir Bhavane

₹10,00,000

Akhil Arvind Herwadkar

₹10,00,000

Shubham Khajuria

₹10,00,000

Evin Lewis

₹10,00,000

Prashant Naik

₹10,00,000

Sujit Nayak

₹10,00,000

R Samarth

₹10,00,000

Virat Singh

₹10,00,000

List of Bowlers:

Player

Base Price

Ben Hilfenhaus

₹1,00,00,000

Zaheer Khan

₹1,00,00,000

Michael Beer

₹1,00,00,000

Nathan Lyon

₹1,00,00,000

Doug Bollinger

₹1,00,00,000

Sean Abbott

₹50,00,000

Trent Boult

₹50,00,000

Praveen Kumar

₹50,00,000

Munaf Patel

₹50,00,000

Jaydev Unadkat

₹50,00,000

Cameron Boyce

₹50,00,000

Brad Hogg

₹50,00,000

Ajantha Mendis

₹50,00,000

Pragyan Ojha

₹50,00,000

Lakshmipathy Balaji

₹50,00,000

Ravi Rampaul

₹50,00,000

Nuwan Kulasekara

₹50,00,000

Suranga Lakmal

₹50,00,000

Dhammika Prasad

₹50,00,000

Peter Siddle

₹50,00,000

Shaun Tait

₹50,00,000

Gary Putland

₹30,00,000

Adam Milne

₹30,00,000

Abhimanyu Mithun

₹30,00,000

Pankaj Singh

₹30,00,000

Akila Dananjaya

₹30,00,000

Rahul Sharma

₹30,00,000

Kyle Abbott

₹30,00,000

Sheldon Cottrell

₹30,00,000

Ben Laughlin

₹30,00,000

Mitchell McClenaghan

₹30,00,000

Gurinder Sandhu

₹30,00,000

Rudra Pratap Singh

₹30,00,000

Juan Theron

₹30,00,000

Joel Paris

₹30,00,000

Hamish Bennett

₹30,00,000

Dirk Nannes

₹30,00,000

Krismar Santokie

₹30,00,000

Thilan Thusara

₹30,00,000

Lonwabo Tsotsobe

₹30,00,000

Sudeep Tyagi

₹30,00,000

Nicholas Winter

₹20,00,000

Ronsford Beaton

₹20,00,000

Pradeep Sangwan

₹20,00,000

Andrew Tye

₹20,00,000

Krishnakant Upadhyay

₹20,00,000

Shadab Jakati

₹20,00,000

Ashish Hooda

₹10,00,000

Pankaj Jaswal

₹10,00,000

Barinder Singh Saran

₹10,00,000

Baltej Singh

₹10,00,000

Jaskaran Singh

₹10,00,000

Ishwar Chaudhary

₹10,00,000

Arup Das

₹10,00,000

Shahnawaz Hussain

₹10,00,000

Javed Khan

₹10,00,000

Sagar Mangalorkar

₹10,00,000

Babashafi Khan Pathan

₹10,00,000

Shelly Shaurya

₹10,00,000

Maninder Singh

₹10,00,000

Siddarth Trivedi

₹10,00,000

Manjeet Kumar Chaudhary

₹10,00,000

Puneed Datey

₹10,00,000

Gauresh Gawas

₹10,00,000

Avesh Khan

₹10,00,000

M. Ravi Kiran

₹10,00,000

Mohammed Mudhasir

₹10,00,000

Saurabh Naresh Netravalkar

₹10,00,000

Anupam Amrut Sanklecha

₹10,00,000

Mehjoor Sofi

₹10,00,000

Kshemal Waingankar

₹10,00,000

Imtiyaz Ahmed

₹10,00,000

Palani Amarnath

₹10,00,000

Jagjot Gill

₹10,00,000

Poonam Poonia

₹10,00,000

Pratik Sinha

₹10,00,000

Cheepurupalli Stephen

₹10,00,000

Siddarth Kaul

₹10,00,000

Amit Mishra

₹10,00,000

Domnic Joseph Muthuswamy

₹10,00,000

HS Sharath

₹10,00,000

Rahul Shukla

₹10,00,000

Aravind Sreenath

₹10,00,000

Basil Thamhy

₹10,00,000

Bhargav Bhatt

₹10,00,000

K.C. Cariappa

₹10,00,000

Mihir HIrwani

₹10,00,000

Sarabjit Ladda

₹10,00,000

Ali Murtaza

₹10,00,000

Rahil S Shah

₹10,00,000

Akshay Wakhare

₹10,00,000

Harmeet Singh Bansal

₹10,00,000

Deepak Chahar

₹10,00,000

Aniket Choudhary

₹10,00,000

Lukman Iqbal Meriwala

₹10,00,000

Umar Nazir

₹10,00,000

Prasanth Parameswaran

₹10,00,000

Anand Rajan

₹10,00,000

Ankit Singh Rajpoot

₹10,00,000

Navdeep Saini

₹10,00,000

Vikas Tokas

₹10,00,000

Yuvraj Chudasama

₹10,00,000

K.K. Jiyaz

₹10,00,000

Udit Patel

₹10,00,000

Samar Quadri

₹10,00,000

Lakshan Sandakan

₹10,00,000

Gurvinder Singh

₹10,00,000

Rajwinder Singh

₹10,00,000

Bharat Solanki

₹10,00,000

Prathamesh Ganesh Dake

₹10,00,000

Ryan Duffield

₹10,00,000

Samad Fallah

₹10,00,000

List of Wicket Keepers:

Player

Base Price

Matthew Wade

₹1,00,00,000

Denesh Ramdin

₹50,00,000

Kusal Janith Perera

₹30,00,000

Luke Ronchi

₹30,00,000

Brendan Taylor

₹30,00,000

Morne van Wyk

₹30,00,000

Ben Dunk

₹30,00,000

Shreevats Goswami

₹30,00,000

Sushant Marathe

₹30,00,000

Tim Ludeman

₹30,00,000

C.M. Gautam

₹20,00,000

Amit Paunikar

₹20,00,000

James Perison

₹20,00,000

Ankush Bains

₹10,00,000

Davy Jacobs

₹10,00,000

K.B Arun Karthik

₹10,00,000

Nikhil Shankar Naik

₹10,00,000

Smit Patel

₹10,00,000

Avi Barot

₹10,00,000

Ian Coster

₹10,00,000

Eklavya Dwivedi

₹10,00,000

Gitansh Khera

₹10,00,000

Abdul Ahad Malek

₹10,00,000

Dhwanil Patel

₹10,00,000

Mahesh Rawat

₹10,00,000

Jitesh Sharma

₹10,00,000

Umang Sharma

₹10,00,000

List of All-Rounders:

Player

Base Price

Tillakaratne Dilshan

₹1,50,00,000

Irfan Pathan

₹1,50,00,000

Marlon Samuels

₹1,50,00,000

Ravi Bopara

₹1,00,00,000

Darren Sammy

₹1,00,00,000

Johan Botha

₹1,00,00,000

David Hussey

₹1,00,00,000

Robin Peterson

₹1,00,00,000

Sachithra Senanayaka

₹1,00,00,000

Christopher Morris

₹50,00,000

Azhar Mahmood

₹50,00,000

Nathan McCullum

₹50,00,000

Nathan McCullum

₹50,00,000

Doug Bracewell

₹50,00,000

Nathan Reardon

₹50,00,000

Ashton Agar

₹50,00,000

Justin Ontong

₹50,00,000

James Neesham

₹30,00,000

Wayne Parnell

₹30,00,000

Laxmi Ratan Shukla

₹30,00,000

Albie Morkel

₹30,00,000

David Wiese

₹30,00,000

Farhaan Behardien

₹30,00,000

Jonathan Carter

₹30,00,000

Anton Devcich

₹30,00,000

Grant Elliott

₹30,00,000

Farveez Maharoof

₹30,00,000

Suraj Randiv

₹30,00,000

Joginder Sharma

₹30,00,000

Christopher Barnwell

₹30,00,000

Carlos Brathwaite

₹30,00,000

Elton Chigumbura

₹30,00,000

Seekkuge Prasanna

₹30,00,000

Roelof van de Merwe

₹30,00,000

Vaughn Van Jaarsveld

₹30,00,000

Kevon Cooper

₹30,00,000

Kevin O’Brien

₹30,00,000

Adam Zampa

₹30,00,000

Dwaine Pretorius

₹20,00,000

Rajagopal Sathish

₹20,00,000

Marcus Stoinis

₹20,00,000

Jagrit Anand

₹10,00,000

Rohit Dahiya

₹10,00,000

Cameron Delport

₹10,00,000

Prasanth Padmanabhan

₹10,00,000

Swarupam Purkaystha

₹10,00,000

Dinesh Salunkhe

₹10,00,000

Vijay Shankar

₹10,00,000

Bipul Sharma

₹10,00,000

Kshitiz Sharma

₹10,00,000

Swapnil Singh

₹10,00,000

Tanmay Agarwal

₹10,00,000

Amogh Sunil Desai

₹10,00,000

B Indrajith

₹10,00,000

David Keelan Mathias

₹10,00,000

Hardik Pandya

₹10,00,000

Abhishek Raut

₹10,00,000

Rituraj Singh

₹10,00,000

Varun Sood

₹10,00,000

Paul Valthaty

₹10,00,000

Amit Verma

₹10,00,000

Sandipan Das

₹10,00,000

Dheeraj Goswami

₹10,00,000

Vishal Kushwah

₹10,00,000

Anustup Majumdar

₹10,00,000

Jamaluddin Syed Mohammad

₹10,00,000

Wilkin Mota

₹10,00,000

Krunal Pandya

₹10,00,000

Raiphi Vincent Gomez

₹10,00,000

Shreekant Wagh

₹10,00,000

Vijaykumar Yo Mahesh

₹10,00,000

Saurabh Bandekar

₹10,00,000

Samiullah Beigh

₹10,00,000

Kumar Deobrat

₹10,00,000

Rahul Dewan

₹10,00,000

Raghav Dhawan

₹10,00,000

Abhimanyu Khod

₹10,00,000

Chirag Khurana

₹10,00,000

Priyank Panchal

₹10,00,000

Rohan Prem

₹10,00,000

Samarth Singh

₹10,00,000

Saly Vishwanadh

₹10,00,000

Jaskarandeep Singh Buttar

₹10,00,000

Yogesh Gowalkar

₹10,00,000

Shasikant Kadam

₹10,00,000

M. Shahruk Khan

₹10,00,000

Ankit Kushwah

₹10,00,000

Pradeep Sachan

₹10,00,000

Jatin Saxena

₹10,00,000

Shubham Sharma

₹10,00,000

Ankit Shastri

₹10,00,000

Rohan Shrivastava

₹10,00,000

Sagar Trivedi

₹10,00,000

Vinay Choudary

₹10,00,000

Chathuranga De Silva

₹10,00,000

Swapnil Gugale

₹10,00,000

Chirag Jani

₹10,00,000

Karan Kalia

₹10,00,000

Melu Kranthi Kumar

₹10,00,000

Selvam Suresh Kumar

₹10,00,000

Arib Nandi

₹10,00,000

Akash Parkar

₹10,00,000

Ankit Soni

₹10,00,000

Avinash Yadav

₹10,00,000

Robbie Frylinck

₹10,00,000

Aditya Garhwal

₹10,00,000

Jesal Karia

₹10,00,000

Ashok Menaria

₹10,00,000

Shrikant Mundhe

₹10,00,000

Sumit Narwal

₹10,00,000

Ram Dayal Punia

₹10,00,000

Jalaj Saxena

₹10,00,000

Ishank Jaggi

₹10,00,000

Abrar Anjum Kazi

₹10,00,000

Rush Kalaria

₹10,00,000

Darshan Misal

₹10,00,000

Nitish Rana

₹10,00,000

Pardeep Sahu

₹10,00,000

Biplab Samantray

₹10,00,000

Manan Ajay Sharma

₹10,00,000

Harmeet Singh

₹10,00,000

Harpreet Singh

₹10,00,000

Amit Yadav

₹10,00,000

Ankeet Bawane

₹10,00,000

Akash Bhandari

₹10,00,000

Kuldeep Hooda

₹10,00,000

Siddhesh Dinesh Lad

₹10,00,000

Sunil N Raju

₹10,00,000

Vaibhav Rawal

₹10,00,000

Amitoze Singh

₹10,00,000

Gurinder Singh

₹10,00,000

J. Suchitch

₹10,00,000

/

Sourav Ganguly vs Sachin Tendulkar: Is it Rivalry? No it’s not…





At the end, it was just only the beginning.  As Mohammed Rafique headed in the winner in the 94th minute against Kerela Blasters, in front of a packed DY Patil Stadium, Mumbai, one could easily witness history being created. Atletico De Kolkata etched their names in gold becoming the first Hero Indian Super League Champion.

On the stands though, there were contrasting emotions. Atletico co owner Sourav Ganguly pumped his fists in joy, almost reminiscent of the famous shirtless Lord’s celebration over a decade ago. For someone, who has followed Indian cricket over the past 20 years, Dada has always been a man who taught us how to celebrate. As the cameras shifted focus, Kerela Blasters co owner and Cricketing Legend Sachin Tendulkar was in a bit pensive, reflecting what might have been had Michael Chopra’s shot not been saved heroically by Edel Bete minutes earlier.

Sachin was seen comforting his players, who gave their all but at the end it was a step too close yet too far. Sourav on the other hand took back stage allowing his players to revel in the moment, dragging co owners and everyone associated with his side. However, the greatest of gestures came when he dragged his best friend Sachin with himself asking the trophy to collect with him. A touch of class from the southpaw, who as Amitabh Bachchan once said in Ganguly’s documentary The Warrior Prince, Sourav always, had the ‘gift of timing’.

On the field both of these legends competed fiercely when pitted against each other, fought tooth and nail for India, yet off the field they are true sportsmen. Ahead of the final, the media had dubbed the contest as a Sachin vs Sourav final, yet how different was the metaphor on the field. Both of these legends have been friends for over two decades, sharing rooms quite often on foreign tours.

At half-time, both were seen joking around, as Dada placed his hand on his diminutive friend, both taking a vow to contribute to Indian Football. Sachin said, “ISL has got a terrific response, big thank you to all those who supported the tournament. It’s a new platform for both of us.”  As Sourav responded, “Though we are in different teams, we are together for the game of football. ISL has been very competitive.”

It could easily be seen how rivalry can be transcended on the field but not off it. In a fierce competitive world, we perhaps can take something from these two icons. The Tendulkar-Ganguly partnership has bestowed innumerous great spectacles and has given enormous joy to every Indian. Now perhaps it’s time we harp on a fruitful yet ‘friendly’ competition. Constructive is the word as Friendship rules large between these two bigger than life icons in India.

As Charles Cooley had once said, “The general fact is that the most effective way of utilizing human energy is through an organized rivalry, which by specialization and social control is, at the same time, organized co-operation.”


Indian Super League: Listing the award Winners

Mohammed Rafique’s 94th minute header ensure Atletico De Kolkata be crowned the first champions of the Inaugral season of the Hero Indian Super League. The Sourav Ganguly co owned side beat Kerela Blasters by 1-0 in front a packed DY Patil Stadium, Mumbai. The Champions picked up Rs. 8 crores with the runners-up, Kerala Blasters picking up Rs. 4 crores. Chennaiyin FC and FC Goa, the two semi-finalists were handed a prize of Rs. one and a half crores each.

Full list of award winners at 2014:

  • Champions – Atletico de Kolkata (Rs 8 crores prize money)
  • Runners-up – Kerala Blasters (Rs 4 crores)
  • Semi Finalists- FC Goa and Chennaiyin FC (Rs 1.5 crores each)
  • Hero of the final – Mohammed Rafique (Atletico de Kolkata)
  •  Happy Fans Award- Kerala Blasters
  •  Fair play Award- Delhi Dynamos
  • Most exciting player of the league – Luis Garcia (Atletico de Kolkata)
  •  Fittest player of the league – Jan Stohanzl (Mumbai City FC)
  •  Goal of the league – Kostas Katsouranis (FC Pune City vs Atletico De Kolkata, Salt Lake Stadium)
  •  Golden Glove – Jan Seda (FC Goa)
  • Golden Boot – Elano Blumer (Chennaiyin FC) – 8 goals
  •  Emerging player of the league – Sandesh Jhingan (Kerala Blasters)
  • Hero of the league – Iain Hume (Kerala Blasters)

 

Power Ranking top 3 defenders of the 2014-15 Premier league season till now





The Premier League has presented one of the toughest challenges in the footballing world, in recent years. The onus has mostly been on the Premier League’s defenders to possess good all round qualities, not only to provide valuable cover at the back, but also provide attacking options in the opposition penalty box during set-pieces. With quarter of the season complete, a bevy of confident displays have allowed certain clubs have the edge over others, with a number of clean sheets already acquired.

The top three defenders of the premier league so far, as we understand…

3) Leighton Baines: Credited to be one of the most humble players in the premier league, the Englishman has been on a hot run of form this season, notching up 3 goals and an astonishing 6 assists in all competitions. Statistics that may put many attackers to shame! Everton did suffer a minor hiccup at the start of season with key defensive players absent with injuries, leading them to concede easy goals. But they seem to have got their act right now, having not lost in their last 9 matches in all competitions and keeping 5 clean sheets in the process. Essentially deployed as a left wing back by Everton coach Roberto Martinez, the 29 year old has been England’s first choice ever since Ashley Cole’s slump of form. Possessing great stamina and crossing skills, Baines has been a force to reckon with on the left flank, constantly making overlapping runs to stretch the opposition defense. With Everton’s set piece responsibilities lying essentially on their captain, Baines has been a mainstay for his club this season.

2) Branislav Ivanovic: With coach Jose Mourinho’s unique tactics at play, football enthusiasts are always waiting for what’s new from the Portuguese manager’s hat. This season it seems to have come in the form of Branislav Ivanovic’s positioning during Chelsea games! With Chelsea enforcing a much more direct style of play this season, the big Serbian has been deployed as a right wing back with Cesar Azpilicueta shifting to left back. And he seems to have got the license to kill! Having taken up very advanced positions in the opposition defense, there has been times, when Ivanovic has even been ahead of the Chelsea striker, well inside the opposition penalty box! Clearly Mourinho wants to tap the Serbian’s attacking qualities and add a new dimension to the Chelsea game. The defender’s strength and aerial qualities has been coupled with great shot power and accuracy, something the manager want to utilize comprehensively. Stat wise, the former man from Locomotive Moscow has got 2 goals and an assist to his name, with his side notching up 6 clean sheets so far. Yet the fact, that Chelsea has been unbeaten this season, speaks volumes of the solidarity at the back, with Ivanovic being a vital part to it.

1) Nathaniel Clyne: And it’s the season’s fairy tale again! After suffering an exodus that might as well have destroyed any other team, Southampton FC now lie 2nd place in the Premier League. Such has been the impact that new coach Ronald Koeman has had on the players. With a flurry of shrewd signings, the Dutch manager has managed to build up a defense which has an astonishing 7 clean sheets to their name! That too in just 12 games! Englishman Nathaniel Clyne has been the mainstay of the Southampton defense, having started every game of the season so far, putting in 2 goals and an assist to his tally. His defensive qualities too have been astounding, bearing in mind that he has been assigned the role of an attacking wing back by the gaffer. The 23 year olds solid displays have put him in contention for a place in the England national team, with Roy Hodgson clearly impressed by the player’s intent not only to attack but also track back and support the defense. With the departure of Callum Chambers, the Southampton coach may have been anxious with the lack of cover on the right flank, but Clyne has surely proved his worth until now. Surely a drastic change of fortunes for a Manchester United Reject!

 

 


Power Ranking top 3 Goalkeepers of the 2014-15 Premier league season till now





It’s important for every team that the whole of the defense does its part with astute coordination in a football game. Yet a very important part of this puzzle is a team’s custodian between the sticks, an essential make of break player as suggested by many. Defensive frailties have been overcome by coaches throughout Europe, by roping in top quality keepers. And with the modern game getting more competitive every passing day, the need of a top notch goalkeeper is paramount. Sport wiki looks in the new Barclays Premier League season, and its star goal keepers so far…

3) Thibaut Courtois: When Chelsea spent 5 million Euros for the young kid from Belgium side Genk in 2011, the lanky U18 goalkeeper was already a teen prodigy waiting to burst into the world scene. A move to the London club didn’t last long though, with Courtois being loaned out to Athletico Madrid for the next few seasons. And 3 seasons later, at 22, Thibaut Courtois is ranked amongst the top 5 goalkeepers in the world and definitely amongst the best young keepers at this time. At 6 foot 6 inches, the Belgian is a storehouse of amazing reflexes and displays outstanding composure given his age. Coach Jose Mourinho too, has been quick to hand him the starting place ahead of Peter Cech this season, and the Belgium has not failed him till now. With 4 clean sheets already to show in his brief Premier league life, the Belgian has been a towering presence for the Chelsea defense with blinding fast reflex saves and great distribution on show. The only thing that he needs to work upon is his communication with the back line, where he evidently looks lacking.

2) Fraser Forster: Power rankings are incomplete without new players and their shining stars, it seems! The keeper from Scottish side, Celtic was brought into the ailing Southampton side by new coach Ronald Koeman in the recent transfer window, to shore up his defensive problems. And the results are there to show! With an amazing 7 clean sheets in 12 games, nothing seems to have gone through the sturdy Englishman so far. His composure and one on one saves have proved to be crucial for the saints, averaging 4 saves per game, thereby helping them to 2nd spot in the Premier League. Very few will remember though, that the big Englishman was actually a part of the Newcastle United side till 2012, while being loaned out every season during his stay before managing a permanent move to the Scottish League. Three very productive seasons, both domestically and in the Champions League helped him to catch the eye of many big clubs in Europe. And re-signed back to the premier league at a modest 10 million Euros with such hot form, surely Newcastle will be left licking their wounds.

1) David De Gea: In 2011, the former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson splashed the cash on a young 21 year old Spanish goalkeeper, David De Gea from Athletico Madrid, with a reported 20 million Euro transfer fee, clearly in acknowledgement to the vast yet raw talent that he brought with him. However, the highly regarded young goalkeeper failed to reach the heights of his predecessor, the iconic Edwin Van Der Saar, much to the disappointment of the United faithful. But fast forward to this season, De Gea seems to have turned the corner. Having shown drastic improvements this season in both his decision making skills as well as his physical attributes, the Spanish goalkeeper has been the only player in the troubled United side to have started all the games so far. And despite not having too many clean sheets to his name, the 24 year old shot stopper has had an average 8 saves per game, mostly vital and acrobatic ones. Surely he has kept the score boards from tilting further against the Reds this season, thereby pushing him up to top spot in our rankings. And in his present form, new manager Loius Van Gaal can ill afford to lose this player to the host of European Goliaths hovering to secure the services of the Spanish goalkeeper.

 


1 2 3 14