Sport by wanaghni


                           | pdf edition | Thursday November 22 2012                                                      Sport
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Rafael Benítez ‘appoints Boudewijn
Zenden as his Chelsea No2’
Rafael Benítez has made Boudewijn Zenden his assistant manager
at Chelsea, according to the Dutchman’s father and agent Page 2

Tottenham supporters stabbed by Ultras
in Rome ahead of Lazio game
A Tottenham fan has been seriously injured and several others hurt
during violence in Rome before the Europa League tie Page 2

Joe Launchbury given first Test start as
England shuffle pack for South Africa
Wasps lock Joe Launchbury will make his England Test debut in
one of six changes from the side that lost to Australia Page 3

Michael Clarke hits                          Ashes dates                                  England will face               Full-back Mike Brown
double ton against                           announced for 2013-14                       more of the same hell           ready for a shift on
South Africa – his                           Page 5                                       from India spinners in          the wing for England
fourth of 2012 Page 4                                                                     Mumbai Page 7                   Page 8
                                             Shadow health
Roberto Mancini: It’s                        secretary fears ‘post-                       IRB set to appeal               Balanced diet gives
‘crazy’ to think City                        Olympic moment is                            ‘unduly lenient’ ban on         Alex Corbisiero
can win the Champions                        slipping away’ Page 6                        New Zealand’s Adam              appetite for England
League Page 4                                                                             Thomson Page 8                  battle Page 9 © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                         
Registered in England and Wales. No. 908396. Registered office: PO Box 68164, Kings Place, 90 York Way, London, N1P 2AP
Page  G24 Sport                                                             Thursday November 22 2012                   13:01 GMT

                                                                    hard. But I think the potential is still there. The problem with
                                                                    some players is that they are doing so well in a team and the
Rafael Benítez ‘appoints Boudewijn                                  understanding is so good that it is difficult to replicate that in
Zenden as his Chelsea No2’                                          another team. Sometimes, it is a question of time, but he is a
                                                                    good player, is keen to learn and is a good professional.”
• Zenden’s father says former Chelsea
player is returning
• Benítez will be officially unveiled at
                                                                    Tottenham supporters stabbed by
5.30pm news conference                                              Ultras in Rome ahead of Lazio game
Staff and agencies
                                                                    • One supporter seriously injured after
                                                                    clash with rival fans
                                                                    • Violence occurred on eve of Europa
                                                                    League tie
                                                                    Press Association

Boudewijn Zenden played for Rafael Benitez while at
Liverpool. Photograph: Jon Super/AP
Rafael Benítez has appointed Boudewijn Zenden as his assistant
manager at Chelsea, according to the Dutchman’s father and
   Benítez will be officially unveiled as Roberto Di Matteo’s       Italian police investigators near the Drunken Ship pub in
short-term successor at a news conference at         Rome, where the violence erupted. Photograph: Massimo
Stamford Bridge on Thursday evening following a meeting with        Percossi/EPA
the squad and the former Liverpool manager has already begun
                                                                    A Tottenham Hotspur fan has been seriously injured and
the challenge of winning round his new club’s players and fans,
                                                                    several others hurt after being attacked by Ultras in Rome. The
something that could be helped by adding a former Chelsea
                                                                    trouble flared ahead of Thursday night’s Europa League game
player to his coaching staff.
                                                                    against Lazio in the Italian capital.
   Pierre Zenden told Voetbal International his son was on his
                                                                       The supporters were drinking in the Drunken Ship pub in the
way to London. “He was approached on Wednesday by Benítez
                                                                    historic Campo de Fiori at 1am on Thursday morning when up
and is now on a flight,” he said. “Since yesterday, he phoned
                                                                    to 50 attackers – wearing motorcycle helmets and brandishing
Benítez many times. I assume that he will be on the pitch this
                                                                    weapons including knuckle-dusters, broken bottles, and
afternoon, together with the manager. I assume he will finish
                                                                    baseball bats – smashed their way in.
the season, just like Benítez.”
                                                                       At least five Tottenham fans are believed to have been
   Zenden played for Chelsea between 2001 and 2004 before
                                                                    injured. Sources named four of those as Ashley Mills, Dave
joining Benítez at Liverpool. The 36-year-old has never held a
                                                                    Lesley, Stephen Tierney and Christopher Allen. Mr Mills is
coaching role.
                                                                    said to have been stabbed and was seriously ill in the city’s San
   Meanwhile, Juan Mata has hailed Benítez as “a great coach”
                                                                    Camillo Hospital.
following his fellow Spaniard’s appointment until the end of the
                                                                       A spokesman for the mayor’s office said the attack was
season. The midfielder became the first Chelsea player to react
                                                                    “obviously organised”. The Italian newspaper La Repubblica
publicly to Di Matteo’s dismissal on Wednesday and he has now
                                                                    reported scenes of “urban warfare” as the Ultras – notorious
led the way in responding to Roman Abramovich’s decision to
                                                                    Italian football thugs – attacked the English fans.
hire Benítez.
                                                                       The bar was wrecked and two tourists are also thought
   “He’s got lots of experience and won a lot of trophies with
                                                                    to have been hurt. Rome police said the victims included a
Liverpool, taking them to a very high level,” Mata told the Daily
                                                                    Californian and a Bangladeshi. One witness told La Repubblica:
Mail. “He knows the Premier League too.”
                                                                    “We feared the worst.”
   Benítez’s arrival has been seen by some as Abramovich’s
                                                                       A Tottenham statement said: “We understand from
latest attempt to get Fernando Torres scoring. Torres has never
                                                                    local police that nine of our supporters suffered injuries last
recaptured the form he showed under Benítez at Anfield but
                                                                    night following an incident in the city centre. Three of these
Mata said: “I have total faith in Fernando Torres. He will score
                                                                    supporters were taken to hospital for further treatment. We
goals. He is a great striker and a great professional.”
                                                                    continue to seek further information and are liaising with both
   Benítez told Sport360 shortly before his appointment: “I
                                                                    Italian and UK police on this matter.”
think you can see in [Torres’s] face that he is almost trying too © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                              
Page 3 G24 Sport                                                            Thursday November 22 2012                 13:01 GMT

   There was no response from the American-owned bar on             have brought in to start have been training well, will bring a
Thursday morning. The Drunken Ship is located in the Campo          real motivation to make the most of their opportunity and will
de Fiori, one of the most visited squares in the historic centre    suit the challenge we face against a tough and physical South
of Rome. It is known for its colourful food market and nightlife    African team.”
and the bar is renowned for its lively atmosphere.                      Palmer has been struggling with a calf injury but, after two
                                                                    disappointing performances, it is understood Launchbury
                                                                    would have started anyway. Launchbury is seen as England’s
Joe Launchbury given first Test start as                            version of Eben Etzebeth, the 21-year-old South Africa lock
England shuffle pack for South Africa                               described on Wednesday by the Springbok coach, Heyneke
                                                                    Meyer, as their “enforcer”.
                                                                        Wood’s England career was interrupted by a toe injury at
• Head coach Stuart Lancaster makes six                             the start of 2012 and he has vowed to bring some “dog” to the
changes in total                                                    England back row in place of Johnson.
• Forwards pay heaviest price for defeat to                             Morgan’s dynamism in the loose was evident through
Australia                                                           the Six Nations but Lancaster wants to see more from his
                                                                    power game – to make hard yards with the ball and “smash”
Press Association
                                                                    opponents backwards when in defence. That lack of close-
                                                                    quarters aggression was the reason Morgan lost his place
                                                                    during the summer tour but the England management have
                                                                    been impressed by his development, in conjunction with
                                                                    Gloucester’s defence coach, Brad Davies.
                                                                        With Dylan Hartley, Courtney Lawes and Tom Croft still to
                                                                    return alongside Wood, Morgan and Launchbury, Lancaster
                                                                    is confident England are developing a pack physical enough
                                                                    to mix it with the nastiest around and while six changes is a
                                                                    substantial overhaul of the team, the returns of Corbisiero,
                                                                    Wood and Morgan have all been in the pipeline.
                                                                        Corbisiero replaces Joe Marler at looseehead after returning
                                                                    to action two weeks ago from the knee injury he suffered on
                                                                    England’s summer tour. Marler struggled against Australia and
Joe Launchbury replaces his Wasps team-mate Tom Palmer in           is now injured himself – but Corbisiero is considered England’s
the England XV. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images               premier loosehead and was always slated to return when fit.
Joe Launchbury will make his first Test start for England after     England team to play South Africa on Saturday
Stuart Lancaster made six changes for Saturday’s autumn                A Goode (Saracens); C Ashton (Saracens), M Tuilagi
international against South Africa.                                 (Leicester), B Barritt (Saracens), M Brown (Harlequins); T Flood
   The 21-year-old lock has replaced Wasps club-mate Tom            (Leicester), B Youngs (Leicester); A Corbisiero (London Irish),
Palmer from the second row as part of a forward reshuffle that      T Youngs (Leicester), D Cole (Leicester), J Launchbury (Wasps),
has seen the head coach change half his pack from the 20-14         G Parling (Leicester), T Wood (Northampton), C Robshaw
defeat to Australia .                                (Harlequins, capt), B Morgan (Gloucester).
   The loosehead prop Alex Corbisiero, blindside flanker Tom           Replacements: D Paice (London Irish), D Wilson (Bath), M
Wood and No8 Ben Morgan will all make their first starts of the     Vunipola (Saracens), M Botha (Saracens), J Haskell (Wasps), D
autumn campaign. For Wood it is a first start since the World       Care (Harlequins), O Farrell (Saracens), J Joseph (London Irish)
Cup after finally overcoming a toe injury and his selection
epitomises the “warrior spirit” Lancaster has said he wants in
his pack.

   In the backs, Mike Brown starts on the left wing with
England once again employing the tactic of two full-backs in a
bid to combat the Springboks’ aerial game. Lancaster recognises
the danger of allowing South Africa’s direct runners an
attacking platform in the England 22 and Brown offers reliability
under the high ball and a strong left boot.                           From Beirut to Big Brother,
   In the nip-and-tuck battle for the scrum-half jersey, Ben          Murdoch to Millionaire,
Youngs has been preferred to Danny Care primarily because the         discuss the hot topics in the media
England management feel he also offers a better kicking game.
   Manu Tuilagi and Brad Barritt continue in the centres,
                                                                      on not one, but two blogs Organ
meaning Jonathan Joseph returns to the England fold on the            Grinder and Greenslade
bench along with the versatile loose-forward James Haskell and
Saracens lock Mouritz Botha.
   “We have picked a team that will give us the best chance of
beating South Africa,” Lancaster said. “There were some tight
calls, which is what you want as coaches, but the players we © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                           
Page  G24 Sport                                                             Thursday November 22 2012                 13:01 GMT

                                                                        The start of the afternoon session was the start of the
                                                                    onslaught, Warner taking 10 off the loose Imran Tahir in the
Michael Clarke hits double ton against                              first over and then reaching his 100 in 93 balls after another
South Africa – his fourth of 2012                                   Tahir over leaked 17. Both batsmen were finding the ropes with
                                                                    abandon by this stage and added a remarkable 99 runs in the
• Australia 482-5                                                   first 10 overs after the resumption.
• Captain makes Test history with fourth                                Warner eventually fell, edging Morkel to Smith to halt
                                                                    the partnership at 155, but Hussey wasted no time finding
double century of year
                                                                    his stride. Clarke cut Tahir for four just before tea to seal yet
Press Association                                                   another century in a tea score of 280 for four.
                                                                        South Africa’s stretched bowling attack suffered another
                                                                    blow when Dale Steyn left the pitch for treatment for a
                                                                    lengthy period in the evening session and with Tahir and Rory
                                                                    Kleinveldt looking well short of Test class, Australia cashed in.
                                                                    They added a stunning 202 runs before stumps, with Clarke
                                                                    smashing Morkel for five fours in a single over to move past 150.
                                                                        Clarke’s double hundred came with a single off his 226th ball
                                                                    and when Hussey thrashed the very next delivery, a rank Tahir
                                                                    full toss, for six he joined his captain to three figures.
                                                                        Steyn, having returned to the field, finally broke the 272-run
                                                                    partnership when he bowled Hussey with the last ball of the
                                                                    day but it was scant consolation for the Proteas.

Michael Clarke also scored a double century in the first Test
against South Africa. Photograph: Rick Rycroft/AP
                                                                    Roberto Mancini: It’s ‘crazy’ to think
Michael Clarke became the first man in Test history to score
                                                                    City can win the Champions League
four double centuries in a calendar year as Australia produced
a dominant performance on day one of the second Test against        • ‘If we think we can win after only two
South Africa in Adelaide. The captain, who hit 259 not out in the   years we are crazy’
drawn series opener , ended unbeaten on 224          • City crash out at group stage for second
from 243 deliveries, with 39 fours and a six.
                                                                    year running
    Australia’s total after 86.5 overs in the day was an imposing
482 for five, with the opener David Warner (119) and veteran        Jamie Jackson at the Etihad Stadium
Michael Hussey (103) also compiling centuries and hitting four
sixes apiece.
    When Clarke arrived at the crease South Africa, who had lost
the toss, were well in the game having struck early to leave the
home side on 55 for three. But while there were failures for Ed
Cowan, Rob Quiney and Ricky Ponting, Warner and Clarke led
the fightback superbly.
    The duo’s game-turning stand was surely eased by the
injury-enforced departure of Jacques Kallis, not to mention
Vernon Philander pulling out before the start of play. An MRI
scan revealed Kallis had suffered a grade one hamstring strain.
The all-rounder will not be able to bowl again in the match but
is deemed fit enough to bat.
    Kallis had taken the first wicket of the day, trapping Cowan
                                                                    Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini says he has no fear
plumb in front of the stumps and also claiming a return catch
                                                                    for his job, despite an early exit from the Champions League.
after the ball hit the bat – with the latter dismissal taking
                                                                    Photograph: Jason Cairnduff/Action Images
precedence under the laws of the game. Morne Morkel then
added the wicket of Quiney, caught by Graeme Smith at slip for      Roberto Mancini believes his job is not at risk even though
a duck.                                                             his Manchester City side have crashed out of the Champions
    Australia’s 44 for two became 55 for three when Kallis          League group stage for the second successive season. After a 1-1
removed the clearly out-of-form Ponting for four. The dismissal     draw with Real Madrid at the Etihad Stadium left his struggling
offered further ammunition to the theory that Ponting is in his     team with only three points and winless in Group D ahead of
final days as an international player, the former captain mis-      next month’s final group tie at Borussia Dortmund, the Italian
reading the length and losing his off stump only to tumble to       said it would be “crazy” to believe the competition could be
the ground as he lost his footing.                                  won after only two campaigns.
    Yet at the other end Warner was scoring freely and found a         “The season is long, you have Champions League, the FA
willing partner in Clarke as the pair moved the score to 102 by     Cup, Premier League,” he said. “If we think we can win the
lunch.                                                              Champions League after only two years we are crazy. We need © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                            
Page  G24 Sport                                                              Thursday November 22 2012                 13:01 GMT

to improve as a team, we did some mistakes. We are a good
team. I don’t have fear for this.
    “Inside [City] everyone knows football, and for us this is the
                                                                     Ashes dates announced for 2013-14
second time [we’ve gone out at the group stage]. To win it first
you need to go into the second stage. After February everything      • Series begins only weeks after Australia
can change.”                                                         leave England
    Asked what a reasonable amount of time would be for City’s       • Back-to-back Ashes scheduled because of
expensively assembled team to be considered contenders,              2015 World Cup
he said: “Chelsea tried to win it for 10 years and in their best
moment they didn’t win – when they played with [Didier]              Press Association
Drogba when he was younger. They won last year when no one
probably thought they could. The Champions League is strange.
We need to be patient, we need to improve, also improve our
    However, José Mourinho, whose Real Madrid side qualified
in second place, suggested the patience afforded Mancini by
City would not have been given to him had he failed in a similar
manner. “That’s good,” he said. “A club must support their
manager with the maximum they can, until the last day when
they decide to make a change, a new life. But until the last day I
admire the fact that clubs support managers.
    “City are out of the Champions League but they are out with
two big teams. Real Madrid and [Borussia] Dortmund [who
won the group] are two very good teams and we knew from the          England will play five one-day internationals and three
beginning that a big team would be out. It’s good that it was        Twenty20 matches in addition to the five-Test Ashes series.
City because Roberto can work without any kind of problems, I        Photograph: Jason O’Brien/Action Images
believe. Because if it was Real Madrid the press wouldn’t let me
                                                                     England’s second successive Ashes series next winter will begin
return to Madrid.”
                                                                     in Brisbane on 21 November. Cricket Australia on Thursday
    Mancini set out with a 3-5-2 formation that he discarded
                                                                     released the dates for the five-Test portion of the 2013-14 tour,
inside the opening half hour after Karim Benzema had
                                                                     which also contains five one-day internationals and three
opened the scoring for the visitors on 10 minutes. City were
                                                                     Twenty20 matches and begins only weeks after Australia depart
overwhelmed. The quick reversion to Mancini’s normal 4-2-3-1
suggested a telling indecision, but the manager defended the
                                                                        England have three tour matches, the first of which is against
switch. “We changed because we conceded a lot of space to
                                                                     a Western Australia XI in Perth beginning on 31 October, before
them in the counterattack,” he said. “If you don’t have a good
                                                                     the first Test and a fourth in between the first and second Tests.
attitude at some moments you need to change things. We
                                                                        Further Tests will take place at the Adelaide Oval, the Waca,
conceded a goal because we had two in the box to their five, not
                                                                     the Melbourne Cricket Ground – the traditional Boxing Day
because we had three in defence.
                                                                     game – and the Sydney Cricket Ground, finishing on 7 January.
    “I thought before the game with three and [Aleksandar]
                                                                        The Cricket Australia chief executive, James Sutherland,
Kolarov and Maicon down the channel it could be good for us,
                                                                     said: “We are delighted to be able to confirm the Ashes fixtures
but then we left a lot of space in the counterattack [for them].”
                                                                     so far in advance of the series. It means fans will be able to plan
    Sergio Agüero won a 73rd-minute penalty that the striker
                                                                     their trips around the country to follow all the action. I am sure
converted to make it 1-1, but it was an unsettling night, capped
                                                                     there will be a lot of fans from the UK who will want to make the
by the sight of Vincent Kompany leaving the Etihad on crutches
                                                                     trip over and we look forward to hosting them here.”
after the match. Mancini conceded the campaign has been a
                                                                        England are facing the same opposition in back-to-back
poor one. “This Champions League is worse than last season,”
                                                                     series – at home next summer and away in the winter – to
he said. “We had only three points after five games, we made
                                                                     prevent a quick turnaround between the Ashes and the World
some mistakes, and this group was very difficult. We started
                                                                     Cup, which takes place in Australia in early 2015.
this group with defeat in Madrid [3-2] when we were 2-1 up with
                                                                        The dates of the limited-overs fixtures have not yet been
four minutes to go and everything was complicated after that.
But Madrid and Dortmund deserve to go through because they
were better than us.”                                                Ashes series 2013-14
    A place in the Europe League is not yet guaranteed, but             Brisbane, 21-25 November 2013
Mancini said he would not regard a berth in that competition            Adelaide, 5-9 December
as a distraction from retaining the championship. “We will              Perth, 13-17 December
try to get into the Europa League. It may not be as big as the          Melbourne, 26-30 December
Champions League but if you arrive in the semi-final or final it        Sydney, 3-7 January 2014
could be an important trophy for us.”                                Tour matches
                                                                        Perth, 31 October-2 November v WA XI
                                                                        Hobart, 6-9 November v Australia A
                                                                        Sydney, 13-16 November v NSW XI © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                             
Page  G24 Sport                                                            Thursday November 22 2012                 13:01 GMT

   Canberra, 29-30 November v Chairman’s XI                            Burnham said he saw little appetite at cabinet level to
                                                                   drive a cultural shift in the attitude to physical activity, which
                                                                   tended to be a Whitehall “orphan” with no one prepared to take
Shadow health secretary fears ‘post-                               responsibility and a cultural bias against prevention rather than
Olympic moment is slipping away’                                   cure at the Department of Health.
                                                                       He is likely to suggest setting a target of getting 50% of the
                                                                   population physically active by 2025, a figure comparable with
• Andy Burnham wants unified strategy to                           Germany and Scandinavia. According to recent OECD figures,
boost physical activity                                            more than 26% of the British population are obese.
• Target is to get 50% of population                                   “I want to argue that with a growing obesity crisis and people
involved in sport by 2025                                          living longer lives, the sustainability of our public services
                                                                   depend on a physical activity strategy. Costs to the economy
Owen Gibson
                                                                   and NHS will rise rapidly in coming years as obesity related
                                                                   diseases set in,” Burnham will tell the conference.
                                                                       Before the Games, the government was forced to axe a target
                                                                   set by the previous Labour administration of which Burnham
                                                                   was a part of getting one million more people playing more
                                                                   sport by 2013.
                                                                       The sports minister, Hugh Robertson, has argued that its
                                                                   investment of £450m over four years in governing bodies
                                                                   grassroots programmes through Sport England is starting to
                                                                   bear fruit, and also points to investment in facilities through its
                                                                   Places, People, Play fund.
                                                                       But Burnham is expected to argue that investment through
                                                                   the DCMS alone will not be enough to boost physical activity
                                                                   and improve public health, putting the onus on the Department
Andy Burnham fears cuts to school sport and local authority        of Health.
budgets could prevent people from taking up physical activity.         Burnham will call for fresh thinking on sports policy and
Photograph: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images                               suggest remodelling towns and cities to favour cyclists and
                                                                   pedestrians over motorists and a new school sports strategy
The shadow health secretary, Andy Burnham, has called for an
                                                                   that takes academies and free schools into account.
urgent cross-party consensus on new policies to get more of the
                                                                       The education secretary, Michael Gove, has been consulting
population physically active, amid fears that the “post-Olympic
                                                                   with sports over a new strategy after facing intense criticism
moment is slipping away”.
                                                                   over his decision to axe £162m in ring-fenced funding for a
    Despite promising that the Games would succeed where
                                                                   national network of school sport partnerships.
all other Olympics had failed in inspiring more people to take
                                                                       Other policy suggestions will include looking again at
up sport, there are fears that cuts to school sport and local
                                                                   the evidence on the free swimming programme that was
authority budgets, together with a lack of unified thinking
                                                                   introduced by Labour and axed by the coalition, and promoting
across departments, could lead to the opportunity being
                                                                   the shift from inactivity to activity as the easiest change people
                                                                   can make, over eating less or giving up smoking.
    “The post-London 2012 period is a once in a generation
                                                                       Burnham will also echo recent calls from athletes and
opportunity to get people physically active, and I feel
                                                                   governing bodies for more coverage of women’s sport and a
the Olympic moment is slipping away. I don’t believe the
                                                                   wider range of minority sports to be covered by the media,
government has any strategy to get more people physically
                                                                   particularly the BBC.
active,” Burnham will tell the Fitness Industry Association
conference in London on Thursday.
    “We have queues outside swimming pools because council
funding has been cut, waiting lists at sports clubs because the

capacity isn’t there, kids being turned away from rowing and
athletics clubs because there aren’t enough coaches. Why was
there no strategy in place to meet the expected rise in demand
following the Olympics?”
    Burnham will on Thursday send a letter to his coalition          The Guardian digital edition
opposite number Jeremy Hunt to echo recent calls from the            Read the Guardian on the web
former Olympics minister Tessa Jowell and Lord Coe, the
London 2012 chairman who is now a legacy adviser to the
                                                                     exactly the way it was printed.
government, for a long-term, cross-party strategy.                   With award-winning Guardian
    In his letter to Hunt, Burnham will call on him to invest in     photography accessible from
a strategy that has buy-in from the Department of Health as
                                                                     anywhere in the world.
well as the Department of Culture, Media and Sport and sets a
national ambition of reaching the OECD average for physical
activity. © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                           
Page  G24 Sport                                                            Thursday November 22 2012                 13:01 GMT

                                                                        Against this background English batsmen learn whatever
England will face more of the same hell                             skills they possess against spin, but rarely is it against the
from India spinners in Mumbai                                       turning ball in the way that they encounter here. And it shows
                                                                    in the manner that even the most successful play. No matter
Jonny Bairstow is set to join England’s                             their pedigree, such batting looks studious and manufactured
batsmen in their desperate search for a way                         rather than natural and instinctive, as if they have to think
                                                                    too hard about what they are doing. When Nick Faldo was in
to play spin
                                                                    his golfing pomp, he appeared to play as if to say: “Look how
Mike Selvey in Mumbai                                               difficult this game is in which I am succeeding,” rather than:
                                                                    “See how easy I can make a difficult game appear.” Therein
                                                                    is the difference between the manner in which the two sides
                                                                    approach spin. It cannot be played to a formula and for Indians
                                                                    it is in the blood.
                                                                        It is inconceivable, given the hapless manner in which
                                                                    England’s middle order batted against Pragyan Ojha in
                                                                    particular, and further, the way that the two India pacemen
                                                                    used the old ball on such a sluggish pitch as that at Motera,
                                                                    that Wankhede will not offer more of the same, perhaps even
                                                                    more so given that it is a reused surface. Inconceivable also that
                                                                    England will alter the balance of their team between bat and
                                                                        There are certain clouds to the issue, however, that make
                                                                    the detail of selection less straightforward than it might be.
Eoin Morgan, left, and Jonny Bairstow are in contention for
                                                                    The renewed injury to Steve Finn has been unhelpful, for even
a place in England’s batting lineup in Mumbai. Photograph:
                                                                    before the tour he was viewed as a fundamental part of the
Indranil Mukherjee/AFP/Getty Images
                                                                    bowling strategy.
Not long after 6.30 on pretty much any weekend morning in               Finn will remain in India for rehabilitation on his injured
Mumbai during the cricket season, as another dusty dawn             thigh, having had another scan yesterday, with a view to
lightens the sky and the city starts to wake, the great Maidans     playing in a three-day match for the England performance
are already buzzing with the game. Nets are up, practice            squad next week.
matches have started. Hundreds are here. And it is on the great         If the pitch in Mumbai is certain to turn, and from early on,
acres of open land that is to be found the bedrock of the game.     if MS Dhoni gets his wish, then given Andy Flower’s admission
By nine o’clock, matches have started, pitches packed in so that    that the omission of Monty Panesar was in hindsight a mistake,
at times it has appeared as if games overlap, as Venn diagrams,     he would not look too clever if he left him out.
with third-man in one match able to converse with fine-leg in           Which leaves two seamers. Wankhede, hard by the sea,
another.                                                            can swing (Ian Botham could tell a thing or two about that)
    Stop and watch any of these matches, or practice sessions,      although humidity is not high at present, and will probably
for any length of time, and one thing always strikes. The fields    offer more pace and bounce (better for seam but makes
are teeming with spin bowlers, for few in their right minds want    spin even more dangerous). Jimmy Anderson will play and,
to be pacers, as they are succinctly called here, in this heat.     presumably, Stuart Broad, although he might be asked to up the
So the twirlers prevail. But then so do the batsmen who face        ante a bit. As an alternative Stuart Meaker’s extra pace could be
them. They play with delicate hands, guiding the ball deftly,       seen as an important factor.
reading the length, using their feet, driving, cutting, flicking,       Bell’s brief paternal sojourn means at least one batting place
hitting over the top. It is instructive to see this happening       needs to be filled – and perhaps two. Candidates to replace
so readily at the grassroots of the game and makes it easier        Bell are Jonny Bairstow and Eoin Morgan. Bairstow’s pedigree
to understand how, say, a relative Test match novice such as        against spin, certainly in India, is limited in scope and not
Cheteshwar Pujara can play the most prolific off-spin bowler        impressive: four ODIs here a year ago saw him make three,
England have ever possessed with such assurance. And, for           35, nine and two, each time dismissed by the left-arm spinner
the sake of argument again, Ian Bell, a veteran batsman of 80       Ravindra Jadeja. But Morgan had a desperate winter last year,
matches, appears unsure even now of what is required to face        was dropped and sent away to get rid of basic flaws in his
such bowling.                                                       technique, although they appear to have been addressed. With
    The answer lies in the upbringing. Indian batsmen are           the main trouble coming from Ojha rather than the off-spin of
schooled in the art from their most formative years; methods,       Ravichandran Ashwin, common sense says a second left-hander
techniques and confidence ingrained in them even before they        would be an asset, although Ashwin, perhaps because of his
have a chance to think about it. All their cricketing lives they    height, has a good record in Mumbai.
play on dry, dusty pitches, which is why, when confronted with          Morgan should be first choice of the two but Bairstow will
lateral movement at pace, they themselves can struggle.             probably play. Further thought means that to omit Samit Patel
    The contrast with England’s batsmen is simple. At home          would be harsh at this stage.
the season starts in April. Pitches are sappy, seam bowling
dominates. Spinners all too readily, through necessity more
than anything, become stopgaps, run-savers, bottlers-up of © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                           
Page  G24 Sport                                                             Thursday November 22 2012                 13:01 GMT

                                                                    unanimously agreed that a tough and consistent stance on
                                                                    discipline is key to rugby’s integrity.
IRB set to appeal ‘unduly lenient’ ban on                              “After careful consideration and having reviewed the full
New Zealand’s Adam Thomson                                          written decision in the Thomson case well within the permitted
                                                                    72 hours of receipt, the IRB strongly believes that the sanction
• Thomson was cited for stamping on                                 of one week is unduly lenient for this particular act of foul play
Alasdair Strokosch                                                  and not aligned with the sanctions handed down in similar
                                                                    cases. The IRB firmly believes it is in the best interests of the
• But flanker’s ban was reduced for good
                                                                    Game and its integrity to exercise its ability to appeal the
conduct at hearing                                                  Thomson decision.
Press Association                                                      “The right of appeal by the IRB (in defined circumstances)
                                                                    and for host unions and tournament organisers was introduced
                                                                    into the revised Regulation 17, effective on June 1 this year, to
                                                                    uphold the integrity of the disciplinary process in appropriate
                                                                       The IRB said arrangements for an appeal hearing will be
                                                                    announced shortly. Thomson is currently available to the All
                                                                    Blacks selectors who will announce the team to face Wales on
                                                                    Thursday morning.

                                                                    Full-back Mike Brown ready for a shift
                                                                    on the wing for England

The IRB are set to appeal the reduction of the ban imposed on       • Harlequin’s left boot and ability under
the New Zealand hooker Adam Thomson. Photograph: David              high ball valued
                                                                    • Wasps’ Joe Launchbury a challenge for
The International Rugby Board has announced it will appeal          Tom Palmer at lock
what it describes as “an unduly lenient sanction” imposed
on the New Zealand flanker Adam Thomson. The All Blacks             Robert Kitson
forward received just a one-week ban for stamping on the
Scotland flanker Alasdair Strokosch ‘s head
during a Test match at Murrayfield between
the countries 10 days ago.
    Thomson was sent to the sin bin for the incident but then
subsequently cited which meant he had to appear before the
independent judicial officer Jean Noël Couraud. Couraud then
upheld the citing complaint in a hearing run under the auspices
of the Six Nations committee.
    The suspension would have been for two weeks but Couraud
reduced it by seven days for Thomson’s good conduct at the
hearing. It meant he missed last Saturday’s match against Italy
in Rome but that he is available to face Wales
this weekend and then England at Twickenham seven days              England’s use of the Harlequins full-back Mike Brown on
later. The length of ban sparked criticism throughout rugby         the wing could be a useful tactical ploy against South Africa.
and in a strongly-worded statement on Wednesday night the           Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images
IRB said it would appeal the Thomson decision “in the best
                                                                    The Harlequins full-back Mike Brown is set to start on the wing
interests of the Game”.
                                                                    for England when they unveil their side to face South Africa
    “As custodians of rugby worldwide, the IRB has a duty
                                                                    at Twickenham. Stuart Lancaster is wary of the Springboks’
to protect its image, values and integrity, together with the
                                                                    kicking game and is hoping Brown’s strong left boot and ability
welfare of players at all levels in order that the sport can
                                                                    under the high ball will prove a useful tactical antidote.
continue its unprecedented growth and welcome more men,
                                                                       Lancaster could have shifted Manu Tuilagi or Jonathan
women and children to the rugby family,” the statement read.
                                                                    Joseph to the left wing in place of the axed Charlie Sharples
At the very heart of this mission is the universal application of
                                                                    but Joseph will now be among the replacements. Up front, Ben
the disciplinary process as set out in Regulation 17.
                                                                    Morgan, Tom Wood and Alex Corbisiero have earned recalls
    “This IRB disciplinary regulation is intended to protect
                                                                    and Wasps’ Joe Launchbury is mounting a strong challenge to
all players and the Game through the strict application of a
                                                                    his club-mate Tom Palmer at lock. England are confident Geoff
sanctioning regime that acts as a strong deterrent against acts
                                                                    Parling will play despite a sore knee.
of foul play. This stance was reaffirmed by leading international
                                                                       The All Black Adam Thomson may not face England next
players, coaches, referees and administrators attending the
                                                                    week after the International Rugby Board announced it
IRB morality conference in London in March this year, who © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                            
Page  G24 Sport                                                            Thursday November 22 2012                  13:01 GMT

planned to appeal against the player’s one-week suspension for     recommended a blood test and it said I was highly intolerant to
treading on the head of Scotland’s Alasdair Strokosch earlier      wheat and dairy. I cut them out of my diet just over a year ago
this month. In a statement the IRB said it “strongly believes”     and I feel so much better, digestion-wise, body composition-
the sanction handed down by the independent judicial officer       wise, everything.
Jean-Noël Couraud of France was “unduly lenient” and lacking           “It took me a few months to be aware of the change but after
in consistency.                                                    that I’ve definitely noticed a difference. I’m feeling better and
    England probable Goode Saracens; Ashton Saracens,              not as lethargic every day. Digestion, gas … things like that are a
Tuilagi Leicester, Barritt Saracens, Brown Harlequins; Flood       lot more comfortable. It’s been a massive gain for me … I’m still
Leicester, Care Harlequins; Corbisiero London Irish, T Youngs      heavy but I’ve definitely lost some excess fat.”
Leicester, Cole Leicester, Launchbury London Wasps or                  Every little bit helps when you are a professional athlete,
Palmer London Wasps, Parling Leicester, Wood Northampton,          particularly one whose South African tour last summer was cut
Robshaw Harlequins capt, Morgan Gloucester                         short with a knee problem. The 24-year-old has only just made
                                                                   it back to full fitness and concedes it has been a tricky period.
                                                                   “I was frustrated with the injury. I was gutted to miss the last
Balanced diet gives Alex Corbisiero                                Test in South Africa because it’s such a good team to be a part of
appetite for England battle                                        and such a good environment. In the end I decided to get back
                                                                   on the horse and focus on my weights, my rehab and my diet to
                                                                   ensure I’d be ready when I came back.”
The London Irish prop, set to return at                                The next priority is to help ensure England’s pack do not
loosehead against South Africa on Saturday,                        endure another disappointing day against the Springboks,
reaps benefits from changing his eating                            having been outwitted in the scrums by a wily Australia. “They
habits on the advice of a nutritionist                             were clever,” said Corbisiero, set to replace the injured Joe
                                                                   Marler when a reshuffled starting XV is confirmed on Thursday.
Robert Kitson
                                                                   “They’re experienced and they boxed clever. They won the
                                                                   engage, they closed the gap, they got head on head which
                                                                   isn’t ideal, and they just tried to throw us off our game. It was
                                                                   frustrating watching it but it is a learning experience. I don’t
                                                                   think teams like them will be able to get away with stuff like
                                                                   that against us again.”
                                                                       England can only hope he is right. This week’s rain will
                                                                   soften the Twickenham going and South Africa’s forwards
                                                                   have already seen off Ireland and Scotland. “They’re a big
                                                                   physical team who are going to want to take us head on,” says
                                                                   Corbisiero. “We need to make sure we give ourselves the best
                                                                   platform to go out and get the win.
                                                                       “When you come into Test rugby you’re always going to
                                                                   have to get certain things right as a pack. Set-piece, scrum and
Alex Corbisiero was diagnosed last year as being severely          lineout, breakdown, physicality. You’re going to have to bring
intolerant of wheat and diary, and now restricts himself to a      all those things to the party if you want to win. That’s especially
gluten-free diet. Photograph: David Rogers/Getty Images            relevant when you’re playing South Africa. They’re very
                                                                   confrontational, physical and direct. They’re also very efficient
It is a sign of the times when prop forwards start talking about
                                                                   and it’s going to be a very tough Test for us. They’re one of the
the joys of their gluten-free intake. A well-balanced diet for
                                                                   bigger-sized packs in world rugby and you need to meet that
Jason Leonard was often a sausage sarnie in one hand and a
pint in the other but Alex Corbisiero is a thoroughly modern
                                                                       Corbisiero is also keenly aware that competition for the
loosehead with a much healthier focus since being diagnosed as
                                                                   England No1 jersey is hotting up. The young giant Mako
severely intolerant to wheat and dairy last year.
                                                                   Vunipola has made an impact off the bench in both his team’s
    England’s returning prop has even had a gluten- and
                                                                   autumn Tests so far but Corbisiero, born in New York, is not the
wheat-free pizza named after him by an Italian restaurant
                                                                   type to be shoved easily aside. “If you’re worrying about what
in Kingston, perhaps English rugby’s most unlikely claim to
                                                                   other people are doing you shouldn’t be playing Test rugby,” he
dining-room fame since another prop, Colin Smart, downed a
                                                                   says flatly. “If you want to play for your country you have to be
bottle of aftershave at a post-match banquet in Paris 30 years
                                                                   the best.”
ago. If England beat South Africa this weekend, Corbisiero is
                                                                       Nor will pizza be uppermost in his mind as kick-off
more likely to celebrate with an eponymous slice of buffalo
                                                                   approaches. “It’s not going to be easy against South Africa but
mozzarella, Italian sausage, chicken and pepperoni on a gluten-
                                                                   we’ve got a point to prove that we are a good scrum. Hopefully
free base.
                                                                   we’ll go out this weekend and show it.” A juicy slice of fresh
    Not everyone sees this as progress – “Our whole menu at
                                                                   Springbok, served on a bed of damp grass, would go down
London Irish now is rubbish because of him,” jokes his team-
                                                                   particularly well.
mate Jonathan Joseph – but it has revolutionised Corbisiero’s
    “I always felt a little bit uncomfortable on game days,
especially my stomach. The nutritionist at London Irish © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                            
Page 10 G24 Sport                                                                 Thursday November 22 2012                  13:01 GMT

                                                                         different situation and it doesn’t happen again otherwise it will
                                                                         be very, very difficult.”
Sebastian Vettel arrives for F1                                              Lewis Hamilton, the man who would be fighting for the title
showdown with reliability concerns                                       too but for McLaren’s failings this year, is looking forward to the
                                                                         final tussle between Vettel and Alonso. “They are both fantastic
• Champion’s team test alternators before                                drivers, and both have driven superbly all season,” he said.
Brazil race                                                              “Now we’ll see who takes the final honours – I hope it’s an epic
• Ferrari concentrate on Fernando Alonso’s
                                                                             The teams have arrived in Brazil against a background of
qualifying pace                                                          bloodshed. According to the city’s public safety department,
Paul Weaver in São Paulo                                                 there have been 982 homicides here in the first nine months of
                                                                         the year, with reports of another 250 since then.
                                                                             A department spokesman said the killing of police has been
                                                                         ordered by the imprisoned leaders of an organised crime gang
                                                                         called First Capital Command in reprisal for a crackdown on the
                                                                         drug trade. One team principal said last night: “We’re taking no
                                                                         special precautions this year. We are not staying in gangland,
                                                                         though the track is near there. But we don’t go out in team
                                                                             Two years ago armed men attempted to attack an armoured
                                                                         car carrying the defending world champion, Jenson Button.
                                                                         When asked about security this year Button said: “It’s the same
                                                                         as last year. We are having armoured vehicles and a police
                                                                         escort. We had them last year after what happened the year
Sebastian Vettel holds a 13-point lead over Fernando Alonso
before the season-ending F1 grand prix in Brazil and he will
win the drivers’s title if his rival fails to finish in the top three.
Photograph: Ker Robertson/Getty Images
Formula One arrived in Brazil for the showdown between
Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso for the drivers’ title, with
each driver having his own concerns leading up to Sunday’s
finale. Vettel’s Red Bull have reliability issues and Ferrari are
worried about their qualifying performances.
   Twice this season Vettel’s chances have been wrecked by
alternator failure – a fault which also ended Mark Webber’s race
in Texas on Sunday – and if the world champion fails to finish
here on Sunday Alonso only has to claim a podium place to
become an unlikely world champion.
   “For sure, the alternator is a concern,” the Red Bull team
principal, Christian Horner, said. “It is the third failure we have
had this year. It is something [engine supplier] Renault need
to get on top of this week. They have run different solutions
on different cars and hopefully they have enough data now

to make sure we have a reliable version. It is not ideal at the
   “We have to approach this race as we have the previous 19.
We have to go there, attack the weekend, and get the best out
of ourselves, the car, the strategy, the drivers and reliability.
Anything can happen, as we have seen this season. But it is
good to be going there with a lead.”                                       Are you getting the best deal on
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   “We always say it but we need to improve out qualifying
pace,” said the team principal, Stefano Domenicali.                        compareandbuy
“Unfortunately, in Austin we had one of the worst qualifyings
of our championship. So we need to make sure in Brazil it is a © Guardian News and Media Limited 2012                                                                 

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