KOLKATA: Having been ignored for the World Cup, Ajinkya Rahane took up an offer to play for Hampshire even as Team India struggled to find the perfect No. 4 for the showpiece 50-over event. Back in India after playing eight County Championship matches between May and July, Rahane is bracing for the next assignment — the two-Test series in the West Indies.
In Kolkata as guest-in-chief for Cricket Association of Bengal’s annual awards function on Sunday, the much-debated No. 4 issue cropped up once more, albeit in a lighter vein.
After being called on to the stage, the Mumbai batsman was asked to say a few words. “I’m the fourth person to be called upon this evening. So, No. 4 remains my favourite position,” he quipped.
The Test vice-captain is preparing under Rahul Dravid at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru before flying out to the West Indies.
“I’m actually doing my fitness in Bengaluru because it’s raining heavily in Mumbai now. As I wanted to train outdoors, I thought Bengaluru is the best place,” he said.
He will be doubly benefitted with Dravid around, the former India captain having joined NCA as the head of cricket recently. “I am really happy to find him there. I always follow him, he is one of my role models,” added Rahane, who will pick up some valuable batting tips from one of India’s best No. 3.
FC Barcelona announce squad for Joan Gamper Trophy against Arsenal
The next Barcelona match is upon us! The Blaugrana play the first home game of the new season against Arsenal in the Joan Gamper Trophy, and as usual for the annual Camp Nou opener the entire squad plus a few Barça B stars have been called up for the party.
This is the full squad, with all players available for selection and allowed to be in uniform for this one: The five Barça stars who played in the Copa América were the last to arrive and only Arthur and Luis Suárez have had at least one training session with the squad, so it’s safe to expect Messi, Vidal and Coutinho will not have any involvement in this one. Other than these three, everybody else is fit and ready to go. The match kicks off at 8pm CET (Barcelona), 7pm BST/WAT (UK & Nigeria), 2pm ET, 11am PT (USA), 11.30pm IST (India), and you are welcome to join us to follow and comment all the action with our live blog.