The Reuters global sports blog
Rahul Dravid will go down in the annals of Indian cricket as a champion batsman who had no qualms about playing second fiddle during an illustrious 15-year career built upon the soundest of techniques.
A purist’s delight, Dravid will be fondly remembered as someone whose batting was as perfect as a coaching manual and the numerous rescue acts he performed would secure him a place on the wish-list of any international captain.
Nicknamed “The Wall” for his impeccable defence, the 39-year-old announced his retirement from test cricket on Friday after a disappointing tour of Australia, where he was bowled out in six out of his eight innings.
Probably the nature of his dismissals in Australia where the ball found it much easier to breach his previously watertight defences, convinced Dravid to call time on his career despite being the highest test run-scorer in the 2011 calendar year.
Robin Van Persie’s stoppage-time winner at Anfield on Saturday was not the most spectacular goal of the Dutchman’s career but it could go some way to confirm his status as the best volleyer the Premier League has seen.
The Arsenal hit-man notched his 31st goal of the season when he latched onto Alex Song’s lofted through-ball to guide a side-footed volley past Jose Reina at the Liverpool stopper’s near post.
The callow Portuguese lasted just 256 days at Stamford Bridge before “the project”, as he usually referred to the task of revitalising the west London club’s ageing squad, was aborted.
Rory McIlroy became the second youngest number one golfer on Sunday after Tiger Woods when the Northern Irishman survived a final-round special from the 14-times major winner at the Honda Classic in Florida.
Golf is in fine fettle. 22-year-old McIlroy can do no wrong, Woods is showing signs of a resurgence and the pair will meet again at next week’s WGC-Cadillac Championship in nearby Doral for another elite-field event.
Perhaps stung by criticism from the likes of Patrick Viera and Emmanuel Petit, Arsenal’s stunning 5-2 win over Tottenham Hotspur was built not just on pretty passing but on solid tackling too.
Viera and Petit provided the steel in midfield for Wenger’s first great Arsenal side, and both have recently been critical of their slide towards mid-table mediocrity.
Surfing’s image has always been clouded by images of wild lifestyles, of cashed-up athletes treading a fine line between partying and performing.
from Mark Meadows:
Sadly for supporters of the high-flying Ligue 1 club, Nicollin is not a fan of miracles.
Excited Britons Victoria Pendleton and Jessica Varnish interrupted their post-race media interviews to roar on four-times Olympic champion Chris Hoy after demolishing the women’s team sprint world record at the World Cup on Friday, one of four world-record breaking rides around the 2012 Olympics velodrome on day two of the test event’s competition.
Having sat down to avoid leg cramps, rather than standing like the other cyclists while reporters hustled them for a quick word, they paused as Hoy whizzed past at the Olympic velodrome amid a cauldron of noise and then promptly joined in.
It’s taken a long time, but Zlatan Ibrahimovic has finally delivered a performance worthy of his talent against an English team in the Champions League.
Long scoffed at by British fans and journalists for his pale imitation of a top-class striker in Europe’s top competition, Zlatan delivered something of a virtuoso performance as Milan thrashed Arsenal 4-0 at the San Siro, rendering the last 16 return leg in London next month all but meaningless.
Men tuning in for lots of action in Tuesday’s Champions League last 16 first leg ties would have rued the decision to stay in front of the TV on Valentines’ Night when Barcelona v Bayer Leverkusen and Olympique Lyon against APOEL Nicosia reached the 40-minute mark.
Both were 0-0. APOEL had not registered a shot on goal. Barcelona had dominated their German opposition with 78 per cent of possession, yet no opening score.