Russell claims Mercedes philosophy will lead to formidable 2023 car
(Motorsport) Mercedes driver George Russell is confident that the Silver Arrows will be back in contention for the top honours next season, revealing that the team are working on a new “philosophy” for their 2023 car design. The team, by their own high standards have had an extremely disappointing 2022 season so far, failing to win a single race and falling further behind Ferrari in the Constructors Standings after a poor weekend in Singapore. With just five races to go, Mercedes have shifted their attention to the 2023 season already and George Russell is adamant that his team are on the right path.
We have a philosophy that we're going to be trying to adopt in our development and I'm very confident that is the correct one, but equally, it doesn't mean that we can necessarily achieve it," said Russell. “We have a target, and that is a massive positive in itself. We know what we're chasing, we have a clear target we're trying to chase now. Can we achieve that? I have every confidence that we can. We obviously don't know how much our rivals are going to improve over this winter, but I definitely have confidence that we will have a more complete car across the circuit range going into 2023."
The 2022 pre-season saw a lot of eyebrows being raised as Mercedes’ W13 car featured no sidepods, a design strategy that no other Formula 1 team on the grid had adopted. The risk did not pay off and the car has suffered innumerable problems throughout the season, the most notable one being ‘porpoising’ where the W13 would violently move up and down at high speeds, making it difficult for the drivers to control the car. However, Russell believes that Mercedes might once again go in a different design strategy for the 2023 car design.
“It's data driven, to be honest. We do a lot of analysis on the races we've been competitive, the races we've been slow, and trying to understand why that was and I think we've managed to gain quite a grasp onto that and understand why at certain circuits we were so much more competitive than others," he said. “We've only managed to learn that over the course of these races and I think that triple-header after the summer break was quite telling for us, with our performance between the low-downforce and high-downforce circuits. I don't want to go into too much detail because it's something that we've worked very hard on to understand and hopefully will give us an advantage next year, so I don't want to say anything that will potentially benefit our rivals.
“But at the end of the day every single car is different. I have to say I mentioned a couple of times this year that I thought we understood our car and were on the right track, but we have been set back with a couple of issues that we weren't expecting. But I think we've had enough races now, that we've gone through so many different scenarios, I can't really imagine there's going to be another one that catches us by surprise. We've had the porpoising issues, we've had the ride issues, we've had the car touching the ground and damaging the floor, we've had so many different issues and we believe now that we've got a direction that we need to head in."
The 24 year old has dismissed claims that the team was complacent in the development of the 2022 car, leading to struggles throughout the season. Russell said “I think not being complacent has been a massive factor in the team's success for so long. I found it pretty inspiring to see when we brought this new concept to the car for 2022, with the sort of no-sidepod philosophy, even though, obviously, retrospectively now it hasn't necessarily worked out for us this season, it showed an attitude within this team that it doesn't matter how much success they've had, they're still willing to push the boundaries. I think that gives me confidence moving into the future because you have to make these bold decisions sometimes, and sometimes they go against you, but sometimes they don't. And if you are just complacent, settling for an easy route, you're never going to win, so I think if that attitude is maintained, we're pushing the boundaries."
Leicester City thrash Nottingham Forest at the King Power Stadium
(Football news) Nottingham Forest replaced Leicester City at the bottom of the Premier League table after Brendan Rodgers’ side defeated the visitors 4-0 at the King Power Stadium. Two goals in the first half by James Maddison on either side of a goal by Harvey Barnes gave the home crowd much to celebrate in what has been an absolutely disastrous season for the Foxes so far. If that wasn’t all, Patson Daka came from the bench and scored the fourth goal with a deft flick in the 73rd minute. Both teams headed into this fixture with tremendous pressure to get the result, but it was Leicester City who prevailed, their superior quality being evident from the get go as Nottingham Forest succumbed to their fifth consecutive defeat.
Brendan Rogers made one change from the Leicester City team that lost to Tottenham Hotspur 6-2 with Jamie Vardy replacing Patson Daka in the starting lineup. As for Leicester City, Steve Cooper made three changes with Willy Boly, Ryan Yates and Remo Freuler being replaced by Jesse Lingard, Cheikhou Kouyate and Lewis O'Brien in the starting lineup. The atmosphere ahead of the match was tense as both teams are in the relegation zone and a draw or loss for either side would further darken the mood prevalent amongst both sets of supporters. Leicester chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha was in attendance at the stadium, using the programme notes to rally the home support, viewing this fixture as an opportunity to start afresh.
Speaking after the match, Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers said “It has been too long to be honest. We should have won before now and we have had some tough games. But I thought we were excellent tonight with our intensity in the game and our pressing. There was pressure on us, especially after the last time we played Forest. It is a great night for the players and it is brilliant for the supporters. I said beforehand that it was a season-changing game if we could get a result here and push on. I thought they were excellent. We have got some technically gifted players and guys who are tactically very good but you cannot win matches without a desire and a mentality to defend. This season, that had not been there consistently but tonight we did that. We kept our first clean sheet which is very important."
Nottingham Forest manager Steve Cooper said “We are going through difficult moments you normally look at in pre-season and we are having to go through that process in the most difficult league in the world. It's tough at the moment, I won't shy away from that. I'll believe in them until the end. I refuse to be really critical of them in the dressing room because this is such a tough challenge with a new group. We are finding out about that in the toughest league in the world. I will never say they are not good enough as that will have a negative effect. But at same time we need to be much better.
“This is a fresh challenge for us. Some of the guys have only met each other these last couple of weeks. That's the realism of the situation and something we have to deal with. At the moment we are getting punished because of periods in games where we are not a team and key moments as well. I completely understand the situation and the question and respect it 100 per cent. But my concern is we have lost another game for this club, not my own situation because I care more about the club more than my personal circumstances. I refuse to criticise the players as a group as it is a fresh challenge."
Johnson fined 50 percent match fees, gets warning for on-field misconduct in LLC
Jodhpur, Oct 3 (Cricket News) India Capitals' pacer Mitchell Johnson has been handed a warning and docked 50 percent of his match fees for involving in a heated argument with Bhilwara Kings' Yusuf Pathan during a Legends League match here.
The incident took place during the qualifier match between India Capitals and Bhilwara Kings where Johnson got engaged in a verbal exchange with Bhilwara Kings' batter Pathan and was seen pushing the latter away before the umpires intervened on Sunday.
Following a detailed investigation of the incident, a disciplinary committee, headed by Legends League Cricket Commissioner Ravi Shastri, decided to punish the bowler and also send him an official warning.
Aiming to secure their berth in the final, Bhilwara Kings and Gujarat Giants will lock horns in the eliminator at the Barkatullah Khan Stadium in Jodhpur tonight.
India Capitals have already entered the final, which is scheduled to take place at Jaipur's Sawai Mansingh Stadium on Wednesday.
Also Read : Bumrah out of T20 World Cup with back injury: BCCI secretary Jay Shah
News Source : PTI
Pole-vaulter Siva, weightlifter Sambo break records on way to gold medals in National Games
Gandhinagar, Oct 3 (Sports News) Pole-vaulter Siva Subramaniam and weightlifter Sambo Lapung shattered national records on way to winning their respective gold medals at the National Games here on Monday.
While Siva from Services soared over 5.31m to break his own national record set four years ago, Sambo, representing Arunachal Pradesh, lifted 198kg to break the Clean and Jerk national mark in 96kg men's weightlifting.
Egged on by a seizable crowd at the IIT Gandhinagar, Siva Subramaniam first broke the National Games record, set at 5.10m by Vijay Pal Singh back in 1987, by clearing 5.11m.
He then soared over 5.21m and asked for the bar to be raised at 5.31m, with an eye on the national record. He failed on the first try but cleared it the next time.
Arunachal Pradesh’s weightlifting star Lapung broke clean and jerk national record in the 96kg class, lifting 198kg on his way to gold at the Mahatma Mandir Complex here.
Lapung had missed his date with the record in the National Championships in Bhubaneswar earlier this year when the judges ruled his attempt as a No-Lift. But on Monday, there was no stopping him from regaining the national record from Vikas Thakur (Services).
Services’ Jagdish settled for silver with a total of 331kg, 15kg less than Lapung.
In swimming, SP Likhit earned two gold medals for Services at the Sardar Patel Aquatics Complex in Rajkot. He first won the 200m Breaststroke gold and then swam a leg in the Services 4x100m Medley Relay triumph.
Hrutika Shriram (Maharashtra) claimed her ninth gold medal in the National Games, her first in this edition, when she expectedly won the women's 3m Springboard Diving contest.
Notching up a tally of 179.15 points, she promptly dedicated the gold to her coach-husband and two-year-old son.
Kirpal Singh (Punjab) also set a new National Games record en route to his Discus Throw gold. His 59.32m broke a 25-year-old mark set at 58.56 by Shakti Singh.
Gagandeep Singh and Prashant Malik (both Services) took the silver and bronze medals.
The Services men's rowing team took home all seven gold medals at the course laid on the Sabarmati river front. They added three on Monday through the formidable Arjun Lal Jat and Arvind Singh (Lightweight Double Sculls), the Quadruple Sculls and Coxed Eight teams.
The women's events saw Madhya Pradesh's Vindhya Sankath and Rukmani both climb the podium twice with victories in Lightweight Double Sculls and Quadruple Sculls.
Their teammate Khushpreet Kaur also picked up her second gold in the Quads, having won the Single Sculls on Sunday.
The stellar show by their athletes meant Services continued to dominate the medals tally with 32 gold, 18 silver and as many bronze for a total of 68 medals.
In shooting, Punjab's Sift Kaur Kamra bagged the women's 50m Rifle 3 positions crown beating Odisha's Shriyanka Sarangi. Sift took a 6-0 lead but Shriyanka fought back with some high 10s to make it 15-15 in a race to 16 points.
Both shot a lowly 9.8 in the 16th series before Sift claimed gold with a 10.1 against Shriyanka’s 9.8.
Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh men and Telangana women became the inaugural winners of the 3x3 Basketball gold medals after scoring victories over Tamil Nadu 21-18 and Kerala 17-13 respectively in the finals in Bhavnagar.
In badminton, Telangana's joy doubled when their star shuttlers claimed the mixed team gold with a 3-0 victory over Kerala in Surat.
The husband-wife pair of Sumeet Reddy and Sikki Reddy put the team in the lead before former world championships bronze medallist B Sai Praneeth rallied from a game down to beat the redoubtable HS Prannoy.
Samia Farooqi then made quick work of Gowrikrishna to seal the gold.
In the men's Recurve Archery semifinals, Atanu Das (West Bengal) blanked Tarundeep Rai (Services) 6-0.
Tarundeep had beaten Jharkhand's Jayanta Talukdar, who had topped the qualification, in a match that could have drained him emotionally.
Atanu Das will meet Gurucharan Besra (Services) in the final.
In women's hockey, Haryana captain Rani Ramphal scored a hat-trick to hand Odisha a 4-0 defeat.
It was Haryana's second win in Group A at the Major Dhyan Chand Stadium in Rajkot. They are now assured of a place in the last four.
In another match, Uttar Pradesh bounced back from their opening loss to score a 6-0 win over hosts Gujarat.
In Group B, Karnataka came from behind to tie with Jharkhand 3-3, while Punjab prevailed over Madhya Pradesh 2-1 for their second win.
In a men's Pool A Match, Haryana trounced West Bengal 7-0 with Abhishek recording a hat-trick.
Also Read : Top javelin thrower Shivpal Singh handed 4-year ban for failing dope test
News Source : PTI
Bumrah out of T20 World Cup with back injury: BCCI secretary Jay Shah
New Delhi, Oct 3 (Cricket News) India's pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah has been ruled out of the ICC T20 World Cup due to a back injury, the BCCI announced on Monday.
That Bumrah is ruled out of the big-ticket event due to a stress fracture was first reported by the PTI on September 29.
Bumrah's absence will certainly affect India's chances in the marquee event in Australia as the death bowling still remains a grey area.
The BCCI was awaiting medical reports while the pacer did his rehab at the National Cricket Academy but it was a foregone conclusion that he would be out for months.
"The BCCI Medical team has ruled out Team India fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah from the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup squad. The decision was taken following a detailed assessment and in consultation with the specialists," BCCI secretary Jay Shah said in a statement.
Bumrah was initially ruled out of the ongoing three-match T20I series against South Africa due to a back injury.
While the BCCI will be naming a replacement for Bumrah in the squad for the marquee tournament soon, one among Mohammed Shami and Deepak Chahar will make it to the main squad. Jammu and Kashmir pacer Umran Malik is expected to be named in the stand by list.
Bumrah has had a history of back problem due to his slinging unorthodox front-on action which puts a lot of load on his back.
He was ruled out for three months in 2019 also with a minor stress fracture but this time, it could well be a case of at least four to six months of no show.
This year, Bumrah has played only 5 games each in three formats apart from 14 games for Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League.
Also Read : PCA Colts emerge as champions of 27th J P Atray memorial cricket tournament
News Source : PTI
PCA Colts emerge as champions of 27th J P Atray memorial cricket tournament
Chandigarh, Oct 3 (Cricket News) PCA Colts were on Monday crowned as the champions of the 27th All-India J P Atray memorial cricket tournament after they crushed Players XI Delhi by 113 runs in the finals played at PCA stadium in Mohali.
Riding on Naman Dhir’s 135 off 105 balls studded with 10 boundaries and 7 towering sixes and Rohan Marwaha's run-a-ball 86, PCA Colts posted 350 allout in 49.4 overs after being put into bat by Players XI Delhi.
Rohan and Naman put on 153 runs partnership for the second wicket before the former was trapped in front by Tomar for 86.
Naman was declared man of the match.
Gaurav Chaudhary scored 55 off 35 balls with four boundaries and two sixes before being run out.
Prerit Dutta scored 33 off 26 balls with one boundary and two sixes.
For Players XI Delhi, Yashjit Balhara (5 for 41) and Anuj Thukral (2 for 61) were the main wicket takers.
In reply, Players XI Delhi were bowled out for 237 in 44.3 overs.
Opener Lakshay Dalal (82 off 76 balls) and Ankit Partap Singh (38 off 43 balls) put on 96 runs for the second wicket. Thereafter players XI Delhi lost the momentum.
For PCA Colts, Ashwani (2 for 40), Prerit Dutta (2 for 24), Vinay Chaudhary (2 for 51) and Gaurav Chaudhary (3 for 23) were the main wicket takers.
PCA Colts took the cash prize of Rs. 2 lakh while Players XI Delhi got the runners up trophy and Rs 1 lakh.
Punjab Governor Banwarilal Purohit, who is also Administrator of UT Chandigarh, gave away the trophies and awards to both the teams.
There were 16 teams taking part in the tournament which had been drawn into four pools of four sides each. PTI SUN ATK ATK
Also Read : Irani Trophy: Saurashtra delay inevitable vs Rest with spirited batting show
News Source : PTI
Irani Trophy: Saurashtra delay inevitable vs Rest with spirited batting show
Rajkot, Oct 3 (Cricket News) Saurashtra's middle and lower-order showed a lot of stomach for fight, adding 281 runs by No. 6 to 8 batters, but Rest of India remained firm favourites to win the Irani Cup match here on Monday.
At stumps on third day, Saurashtra reached to 368/8, riding on half-centuries from the quartet comprising Sheldon Jackson (71), Arpit Vasavada (55), Prerak Mankad (72) and skipper Jaydev Unadkat (78 batting).
The overall lead is 92 runs now and Saurashtra will like to stretch it to at least 175 in order to set the cat among the pigeons.
With 276 runs in arrears, Saurashtra were literally staring at a humiliating innings defeat after being reduced to 87 for 5 before lunch.
However, Jackson and Vasavada, who have bailed Saurashtra out many-a-times in the past, added 117 runs for the sixth wicket to steady the ship.
But, it was the 144-run eighth wicket stand between Unadkat and all-rounder Mankad that raised visions -- however improbable it may look at the moment -- of pulling off a heist.
The duo not only had a century stand but also scored the runs at a quick clip -- in only 29.3 overs -- to keep the contest alive.
If it was Jackson who took the attack back to the opposition by repeatedly stepping out to left-arm spinner Saurabh Kumar (3/80 in 25 overs) to disturb his length, the pair of Unadkat and Mankad used the extra pace of Kuldeep Sen (3/85 in 16 overs) and Umran Malik (0/59 in 16 overs) to their advantage.
They hit six sixes from the bowling of Jackson, Vasavada and Unadkat.
Pujara fails again =========== Cheteshwar Pujara (1) would like to forget this Irani Cup match in a hurry as a rookie pacer like Kuldeep made life difficult for him with his extra pace and bounce.
On this ground, Pujara has hardly failed but his lack of feet movement and late reaction to deliveries with that extra kick will surely not go unnoticed as far as selectors Chetan Sharma and Sunil Joshi are concerned.
The problems that has been his undoing at the Test level is now resurfacing at the domestic level where he earlier used to rule.
Bowlers with extra pace at the domestic level are also asking Pujara probing questions.
Kuldeep got one to rear up from length on the off-stump and Pujara just dangled his bat with KS Bharat taking an easy catch.
Brief Scores: Saurashtra 98 and 368/8 (Jaydev Unadkat 78 batting, Prerak Mankad 72, Sheldon Jackson 71, Cheteshwar Pujara 1, Saurabh Kumar 3/80, Kuldeep Sen 3/85).
Rest of India 374.
Saurashtra ahead by 92 runs.
Also Read : Meghana dazzles as India beat Malaysia by 30 runs via D/L method
News Source : PTI
Indian men's hockey team to play 5-match 'Test series' in Australia in Nov-Dec
New Delhi, Oct 3 (Cricket News) The Indian men's hockey team will tour Australia to play a five-match 'Test series' in November-December.
The Indians, currently ranked fifth, will face the world number one Australians in five matches between November 26 and December 4 at the MATE Stadium in Adelaide.
The second, third and fourth matches will be played on November 27, November 30 and December 3.
It will be the first time the two sides will be meeting since the Kookaburras beat India for the gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in August.
The five-match 'Test series' will be invaluable outings for both the side in preparation for the 2023 Men's World Cup to be held in Odisha in January next year.
The Indian women's team will also be playing against the Australian women in a series of matches in May next year, for which the dates are yet to be confirmed.
A senior national Indian hockey team has not played in Australia since the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast.
"From the moment we raised the prospect of hosting these matches in Adelaide, the South Australian Government has shown enormous enthusiasm and eagerness to host, so we are delighted to bring these series to South Australia," said Hockey Australia CEO David Pryles in a statement.
"Australia and India have developed a fierce rivalry on the hockey pitch in recent times. Coupled with there being a large and passionate Indian population in Adelaide, there is no doubt this series will be a hot ticket to get hold of and attract terrific crowds," he added.
Highly decorated Kookaburras co-captain Eddie Ockenden will make his 400th international appearance in the series. The 35-year-old is currently on 398 matches.
The Indian men's team is currently coached by Australian and former Kookaburra Graham Reid. They will arrive in Australia after playing back-to-back double-headers against Spain and New Zealand in the FIH Hockey Pro League 2022-2023 season in Bhubaneswar.
"This is a great opportunity for both the Indian Men and Women’s Team as these matches will serve as an ideal preparation ground ahead of marquee events like the FIH Odisha Hockey Men's World Cup Bhubaneswar-Rourkela 2023 and the Asian Games next year,” newly-elected Hockey India President Dilip Tirkey said.
"Playing against a world-class team like Australia will prove beneficial for both our Men and Women's Hockey Teams. I wish them the very best, and thank Hockey Australia for organising these Test matches," Tirkey said in the Hockey Australia statement.
Also Read : Meghana dazzles as India beat Malaysia by 30 runs via D/L method
News Source : PTI
Is the criticism of England manager Gareth Southgate fair?
(Football news) Gareth Southgate has been under immense scrutiny in this past international break. After the 3-3 draw against Germany, England have now been winless for 6 games, the first time in 29 years. But Southgate’s criticism started way before that when the squad was announced due to a couple of absentees. Ben White, Jadon Sancho and James Madison, who are in really good form were left out. On the other hand players like Kalvin Phillips, Luke Shaw and Harry Maguire, who are struggling to get game time for their clubs were included. There is always going to be a selection debate on any side and even more if it is a national team like England.
Kalvin Phillips did pull out of the squad due to injury but there is a question mark whether he should have been there in the first place. The problem with the criticism is that if Southgate were to drop Phillips then who would be his replacement. James Ward Prowse, Jordan Henderson, Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillips are the only defensive/box to box midfielders available and Southgate usually calls up all of them. Same goes for Luke Shaw as the only other left back who could get a call up is Ryan Sessegnon who hasn't proven himself at the big stage yet. Both England left backs Shaw and Ben Chilwell are not playing regular football for their club but Southgate simply doesn't have a replacement. On top of that Shaw has always performed really well for England and he also scored against Germany.
The big call is Harry Maguire who hasn't been playing regularly for Manchester United and when he does, his performances haven't been up to the mark. Maguire has always performed well for England, especially in big tournaments like the World Cup 2018 and the Euro 2022. In his own words, Maguire went into the Euros after a long term injury and still managed to get into the team of the tournament. Southgate somehow brought the criticism onto himself as he had previously said that he will always be picking a squad based on current form which is something he hasn't been doing. Players like Ben White and Chris Smalling have been performing well consistently without getting a call up while there is a debate that Fikayo Tomori, Conor Coady and Marc Guehi should be ahead of him in the pecking order but the trio haven't played a single minute in the international break.
Southgate called up not one, not two, not three but four right backs. The England manager has used Kyle Walker as a centre back while Reece James has played right back for both the games in this window. The problem is that the 3 at the back system suits Trent Alexander-Arnold as right wing back the best because he is much better at attacking than defending. Considering how much England struggled to make chances, the Liverpool full back should definitely get more chances. Selection is not the only point of concern as his tactics have also been criticised.
Southgate took England to the World Cup semi final and the Euros final but he did it with arguably the most balanced England squads of all time. He has always been defensive minded and the argument is that this team is more than capable of playing attacking football. England played their best football when being 2-0 down against Germany and had nothing to lose. Southgate doesn't have time as the World Cup is just around the corner. The former Middlesbrough manager always manages to get the best out of England in tournaments and if he does that in Qatar then he will definitely win back the fans.
Also read: Italy qualify for Nations League finals after beating Hungary
My aim is to play for Karnataka in the Ranji Trophy: Aneesh K.V.
At the age of 21, right handed batsman Aneesh K.V. is aiming to make his first class debut for Karnataka State with the ultimate goal of playing for the Indian cricket team. He reached the finals of the Maharaja T20 Trophy earlier this year and also participated in the CK Nayudu Trophy. In this exclusive interview, Aneesh speaks about his favourite cricketer, experiences so far, approach towards different formats of the game, overcoming challenges and future goals.
Q1) Who was your favourite player growing up and what did you like about him?
It’s difficult for me to pinpoint one player as when I was growing up, I always used to admire different aspects of the game from different players. If I was given only one choice, I would pick Rahul sir (Rahul Dravid). The aura around him, the way he carries himself and the brand of cricket he played was very inspirational for me.
Q2) You recently reached the finals of the Maharaja T20 trophy, what was your experience like?
It was an amazing platform for youngsters like myself to showcase our talent. The tournament being televised especially on a platform like Star Sports only added to the benefits as I’m sure many people around the country and possibly the world were watching. All in all it was a tremendous experience and I learnt a lot from it.
Q 3) How is the experience of being part of the senior set up with the likes of international players such as Mayank Agarwal, Manish Pandey etc? What are some of the lessons that you have learnt from such International players?
It’s been a blessing in disguise for me. If you think of it, all the seniors have represented the country already and for them to be so welcoming is very encouraging. They always take their time out to answer whatever queries we have and make sure that we feel comfortable as players.
Also read: Watching Rory McIlroy makes me work harder everyday: Varun Muthappa
Q4) You are someone who has played T20s and One days, do your tactics and other things such as stance and grip change depending on the format?
Not much as I feel that a batsman who has a good technique should be able to adapt to all 3 formats of the game. For me it’s just a small change in mindset and an emphasis on game awareness as in the shorter format, game awareness becomes crucial.
Q 5) What are some of the biggest challenges in your career so far and how did you overcome them?
I think the biggest challenge or my biggest accomplishment so far was for me to believe that I can be a good 'white ball' cricketer. The moment I started believing that I could do it, I saw a few results falling my way.
Q 6) What are your future goals and ambitions? How are you planning to achieve them?
Firstly, to play for Karnataka in the Ranji trophy, thereafter hopefully for India in Test cricket. I’ve always been a huge fan of Test cricket, I believe it to be the purest form of the game and a format that I love and cherish playing the most.
Golf needs to receive more support in India: Coach Tarun Sardesai
Unlike cricket, India has yet to make its mark on the international golfing stage. The sport is often associated with privilege, luxury and skill and isn’t easily accessible to many aspiring youngsters who wish to pursue golf professionally. However, the sport is growing rapidly in the country and it appears to be only a matter of time before India begins to showcase their talent in the biggest competitions in the world and make its mark against the best.
In this exclusive interview, golf coach Tarun Sardesai speaks about his journey as a player to a coach, development of Indian golfers, overcoming challenges, helping aspiring golfers compete at the highest level, his vision for golf in India and his future goals.
Q 1) How were you first introduced to golf and what motivated you to train the next generation of Indian golfers?
I started golf in order to follow in my father's footsteps. I was hooked onto the game and being a natural sportsman I became fairly good in a short span of time. Unfortunately in those days we did not have access to great coaches and mentors and through my journey I was not able to reach a level where I could be competitive in the professional arena. My guru Mr Donato Di Ponziano advised me to take up coaching as he felt that I would be good at it. I took his advice and did my coaching certification in 2003 and the rest is history.
Q 2) According to you, what will it take for an Indian golfer to reach the level of Rory McIlroy or Tiger Woods?
I think that the way golf is perceived in the country needs to change and the sport needs to receive more support. If our players are supported at the right time in their careers with access to a lot of international exposure, then it will prepare them to be able to compete with the best in the world. Unfortunately many of our talented players never get to compete much internationally due to that lack of funds and that then causes a stagnation in their performance and they are unable to compete and win on the international stage.
Q 3) What are the biggest challenges that golfers in India face in order to turn professional? How can those challenges be rectified?
The biggest challenge that our golfers face is the lack of financial support. Golf is an expensive game and for a golfer to be competitive locally and internationally, it requires a lot of investment. From travel to training to equipment a golfer is always feeling the pressure of not being able to cope with the demands. This in turn also then makes them cut corners and not have the best team working with them. It is unfortunate but this also affects the players confidence levels and they are unable to reach their potential.
Q 4) How is your academy grooming aspiring golfers to be competitive at the global stage?
One of the biggest hurdles for any young sportsperson has been the blend of education and sport. With the help of our education team Pros+E (Professional Sports and Education) which is headed by 3 visionaries Mr Mahesh Rao, Mr Sanju Nair and Mr Kishore Shanbaug, we have been able to do just that. With a schooling system that supports all our players, they are able to focus on their sport and at the same time get a very good education. Apart from that we have put together a holistic training system with Golf, Education, Nutrition, Sports Science and Sports Psychology, all available on the same campus. This way the players do not lose time travelling from home to school etc. They are able to shorten the learning curve and improve much faster.
Q 5) What do you envision to be the future of golf in India?
Golf is growing at an alarming rate and I believe that India will become a powerhouse in the sport in the coming years. Once we are able to bring in the funding from the government as well as corporations, the sky's the limit. I believe that in the future we will have players on every major tour in the world. I also believe that we will have a major champion in the next 15 years.
Q 6) What are your future goals for your golf academy and how are you working towards making those ambitions a reality?
My immediate goal for my academy is to have a corporate partner. This will help us in funding deserving players and get them the best training and facilities to go out and win Olympic Medals and Major golf championships. This year we are having our inaugural TSG Invitational Golf Tournament where we will be inviting 120 top CXOs to play and support our cause. The idea is to raise money and build a corpus to be able to make our future goals a reality.
Watching Rory McIlroy makes me work harder everyday: Varun Muthappa
Despite being just 18 years old, Indian golfer Varun Muthappa recently won four prestigious tournaments conducted at the Karnataka Golf Association (KGA) and the Bangalore Golf Club (BGC). In this exclusive interview, he speaks about his journey as a professional golfer, winning four golf tournaments, special achievements, influence of his coach Mr. Tarun Sardesai, looking up to Rory McIlroy, overcoming challenges and his future goals.
Q 1) When were you first introduced to golf and what motivated you to pursue it professionally?
I started playing golf when I was about four and a half years old. It was just a pastime and I come from a family of golfers. My dad, uncle and my grandfathers from both sides were golfers. I was always a decent golfer growing up and I could hit the ball well. I started getting better and golf felt like a very natural career path for me. All roads ended up leading towards golf for me so it worked out nicely.
Q 2) You recently won four golf tournaments conducted by the Karnataka Golf Association (KGA) and the Bangalore Golf Club (BGC). Tell us about that experience?
Keeping form for 4 to 5 weeks is always challenging as you need to be on top of your game. I think what is important for me is staying in the present, what is done is done. I follow a process oriented procedure rather than looking at results. I just focus on the process and the rest just happens. It is a lot of work but all paid off during that time period.
Q 3) Which out of the four was the most special victory for you and why?
The Karnataka Amateur Tournament was really special as it was a two round tournament where in the first round I shot 3 over and I was one shot behind my mentor David D’Souza who is a former Indian golfer. On the second day, I stuck to my game process and shot 9 under par as I broke the course record that day. I won the tournament with 9 shots remaining, all in all it was a bittersweet victory for me.
Also read: My aim is to win the World Championship: Snooker player Varshaa Sajeev
Q 4) Tell us about the influence of your coach Mr. Tarun Sardesai on your career so far?
I have known Tarun sir since I was 7 years old but I started officially working with him 2 years ago when I joined his academy. I moved there since his academy is on the outskirts of Bangalore, I stay there 5 days a week and only come back home on the weekends. He is the reason my game has improved so much as we have improved on all the finer details like changing my swing, my workout routine, my diet etc. His entire structure brings a lot of clarity in my game as I hope to continue with Tarun sir for a long time
Q 5) Which golf player do you look up to and why?
My favourite golfer is Rory McIlroy from Northern Ireland, he is currently ranked number 3 but he was world number 1 for a long time. I relate to Rory McIlroy because of the way he hits the ball. Both of us hit the ball a long way and I just love his style of play. I also love the way he presents himself on and off the court, he is really humble and down to earth. I aspire to be like that and play golf the way he plays it. To be the best in the world consistently is the dream and that's where I want to be. I can see myself doing that and Rory is a great role model to have and he has been my favourite ever since I was a little kid. Looking at his photos and some of his old videos gives me a lot of motivation when I'm lacking some. Watching him makes me want to work harder everyday.
Q 6) What are some of the biggest challenges that you have faced in your career and how did you overcome them?
It's definitely not an easy road. People think it's very easy to play sports as you do what you love, practice for 3 hours and then relax. It may look like that from the outside but it's not like that. You need to work every single day and it can get a little boring sometimes because you are doing the same thing day in, day out. You have to work on the finest of details which a lot of people just don't get. I think I was transitioning to my swing when I went through a really rough patch where I was shooting really high scores and I just wasn't able to get the ball where I wanted to. This was about 7-8 months ago where nothing was going my way. I called my coach to ask him what is happening and why I'm not able to perform despite working and doing what I need to do. I went back to the academy and had this insight on how to work better and ever since then I have really changed how I do things.
From shooting 9 overs, I feel that I can now shoot under par every single day which is where you want to be if you're looking to turn professional. The hardest part was to change my thinking and the way I do things. My goal is to wake up everyday and be the best. If you want to be number 1 in the world then you have to live like the world number 1. You have to behave like the best golfer in the world and do the little things that the best golfers do. I'm doing all these things and they have made a big difference in my game. I'm thinking more positively, I'm working a lot more effectively and I'm taking better care of my health.
Q 7) What are your future goals? How do you plan to accomplish them?
My goal in the world of golf is to be winning majors and to be consistently competing at the world's biggest stage like the European tour which is now the DP World Tour and the PGA tTour. I want to be able to win the majors and I think the best way to do that is to stick to your process, believe in yourself and your team. Giving into your team's expectations is also a big part of it. I'm working the hours right now, trying to improve in order to be better not just as a golfer but also as a human being. I think the smallest things will make the difference in the long run.