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as yet another Denny Hamlin runaway for Joe Gibbs Racing on Saturday night in what turned out to be an anticlimactic end to Nas yet another Denny Hamlin runaway for Joe Gibbs Racing on Saturday night in what turned out to be an anticlimactic end to N from 123's blog

At first glance, Saqlain Mushtaq seems an unlikely cheerleader. Wholesale Indians Jerseys . At second glance too.Certainly in the modern sense. Hes never been seen with a pair of pom-poms and his dancing days are probably behind him.But that was the description of his role on Englands tour of India offered by Zafar Ansari. It was not meant as faint praise, either. It was meant to underline the unstinting support he has given to Englands spinners in his role as coaching consultant and, in a subtle way, it recognises the sensibly soft touch he has taken.These brief coaching stints are tricky. On one hand, the coach is keen to make as much of an impact as possible in the short period they are with the team. In the case of Saqlain, that was originally only going to be for two weeks on this tour, though it has now been extended to something approaching a month.On the other hand, such short-term coaches can be reluctant to force themselves on players. One highly respected batting coach who was invited to spend a session or two with the team during the summer departed having hardly spoken to the players for fear of tinkering without sufficient time to make substantial progress.Saqlain understands this. He understands that, as a consultant, his role is not to completely overhaul anyones technique and that, going into a game, the worst thing he could do is inject any negativity or doubt into a players mind.He has made it explicit that he didnt want to come in and change anything, Ansari said after Englands training session at the not especially catchily named Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium in Visakhapatnam. He hasnt had time to change our actions and, in the lead-up to Test, the last thing you want to be doing is changing what youre doing.He acts as our cheerleader to some extent. He boosts us and makes us feel good about ourselves. And as someone who has been so successful to come in and say I think youre a good bowler and I think you can take wickets at this level, that gives you a lot of confidence and that is important for Test cricket.Saqlain may have learned a thing or two in this regard. During his first stint with the England team, just ahead of the Manchester Test against Pakistan, he mentioned to Moeen Ali that he may like to alter his grip a little in a bid to gain more bounce. But when the result was a couple of head-high full tosses, they both concluded that the time for technical changes is not a couple of days before a Test.His input is not limited to bowling, either. Moeen credits his improvement against spin bowling in part to Saqlains comments. So when Saqlain mentioned that Javed Miandad had recently told him how much he admired Moeens batting, Moeen was thrilled and more receptive to the advice - advice offered many times previously by Mark Ramprakash - that he might like to come down the pitch more often against spin bowlers. Sometimes the source of the advice is just as important as the subject.Thats not to say that Saqlain is nothing but a cheerleader. He also has the experience to offer practical advice. So, while Adil Rashids Test career has previously been characterised by coaches suggesting that he would need to bowl quicker to succeed in international cricket, Saqlain has recognised that Rashid has several gifts but that speed will never be one of them.Instead, he has encouraged him to embrace his natural strengths: to give the ball some air, to give the ball a rip and to back his own skills to defeat the batsmen. On the evidence of the Rajkot Test, where Rashid produced probably the best bowling performance of his Test career, it seems to be working well.Its more about your approach to bowling and bowling in Test cricket, Ansari said. How you can maintain your composure when batsmen are coming at you, when the crowd is loud and when youre playing on TV. All these external factors, he brings a certain perspective to that.Saqlains background may be relevant, too. Four of this England squad identify as British Muslims and three - including all three of the spin bowlers from the Rajkot Test - have family roots in Pakistan. Saqlain is a man they can identify with, and not just as a cricketer.Ansari, while reluctant to think of himself as a role model as an individual at this stage of his career, nevertheless celebrates the success of the collective and feels their visible success is a good thing for society.As a group of four British Muslims there is something in that, he says. Theres no doubt. Thats really exciting and something were proud of. A lot of people outside the group clearly care about that and value that a lot. And that is a good thing in our society.From a personal point of view, I wouldnt hold myself up as a role model. At least in that way. Im from a very privileged background. I dont necessarily challenge norms in a particularly obvious way or even in a superficial way. So I wouldnt necessarily characterise myself as breaking down boundaries. But Moeen, Adil and Haseeb Hameed - all of them are doing a wonderful job representing their communities. And thats not an easy role to play.On a day of optional nets - the seamers from the first Test plus Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow took the opportunity to rest - James Anderson ran in hard and looked as if he was raring to go. But it was Steven Finn who troubled the batsmen most, generating unpleasant bounce from just back of a length. Both are set to be frustrated, though, with England likely to play the same XI that featured in Rajkot.And that would mean another chance for Ansari. Though he is modest about his own talents - he describes himself as not a natural ball-player and seems somewhat in awe of Moeen having spent a month or so watching him at close quarters - he concedes that he is growing more comfortable with the glare of life in international cricket.The second game felt easier from a psychological perspective, he says. Just the attention being removed from you to some extent - as an England player, people are always observing - but that singular attention shifting away is a big thing for the second Test and going forward. It allows you to play the game as a game rather than as an event that you are the centre of.Im not a natural ball-player. I guess its all relative. Im probably comparing myself with Moeen or people like that. They work incredibly hard but, from the outside, they have a certain touch that maybe I dont feel like I quite have. But this is just my perspective. Other people might say youre talking rubbish; youre being self-deprecating. But thats genuine.Ansaris skills are likely to be tested to the full in the second Test. While the pitch at Visakhapatnam currently has some grass on it, the groundsman expects it to turn from day two. It is likely that spin will play a greater part than it did in Rajkot and likely that the toss will, once again, prove important. Indians Jerseys China . The giant slalom world champion slipped during her first run in the morning, landing on her back and then twisting forward before getting her leg caught in the protective material on the side of the slope. Cleveland Indians Store . James, who turned 29 on Monday, injured his groin Friday during the Heats overtime loss at Sacramento. He sat out the following game, a 108-107 win Saturday in Portland, before coming back to help send the Nuggets to their seventh consecutive loss. . While hell be dialed in to that tournament on a course he loves, you can forgive him if his eyes glance down the calendar just a bit, towards April. NFLOpening day in the NFL saw Kansas City cornerback Marcus Peters raise a black-gloved fist during the national anthem, a protest amplified later when four Miami Dolphins kneeled on the sideline with hands on their hearts as The Star Spangled Banner played in Seattle.The protests were inspired by San Francisco backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick , the first NFL player who chose to sit and take a knee during the anthem in preseason games to call attention to what he termed the oppression of blacks and other minorities.Peters gesture was the only one visible throughout the early games as the anthems took on more significance because of the 15th anniversary of Sept. 11 attacks.GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Jimmy Garoppolo did just what Tom Brady always seems to do. Lead the New England Patriots to a late score and victory.But the Patriots needed a little help.Arizonas Chandler Catanzaro missed a 47-yard field goal with 41 seconds to play and the severely depleted Patriots escaped with a 23-21 victory Sunday night in the season opener.The miss came after Garoppolo, in his first NFL start, directed the Patriots from their own 19 to the Arizona 15 to set up Stephen Gostkowskis 23-yard field goal for what proved to be the winner with 3:44 to play.Garoppolo completed 24 of 33 passes for 264 yards with no interceptions. He never seemed rattled.TENNISNEW YORK -- Stan Wawrinka is the first to acknowledge he hasnt always been the most consistent player -- or the strongest mentally. Thats why, when he shows his mettle during a match, he likes to point his right index finger to his temple.That signature gesture got a lot of use in the U.S. Open final, when Wawrinka surprisingly managed to wear down Novak Djokovic and beat the defending champion 6-7 (1), 6-4, 7-5, 6-3 for his first U.S. Open title and third Grand Slam trophy overall.The 31-year-old Wawrinka is the oldest U.S. Open mens champion since Ken Rosewall was 35 in 1970.NEW YORK -- Angelique Kerber won her first U.S. Open title and the second Grand Slam trophy of her breakthrough season, beating Karolina Pliskova 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 on Saturday.The No. 2-seeded Kerber trailed by a break at 3-1 in the third set before taking five of the last six games against a fading Pliskova, who was seeded 10th and hadnt been past the third round at a major until this tournament.The left-handed Kerber already was assured of making her debut at No. 1 in the WTA rankings on Monday, ending Serena Williams record-tying 186-week stay at the top.Never a Grand Slam finalist before 2016, the German beat Williams for the Australian Open title in January, then lost to her in the Wimbledon final in July.COLLEGE FOOTBALLOklahoma State dropped out of The Associated college football poll after a controversial loss, and Georgia and Clemson fell after close calls against lightly regarded opposition.Alabama is still No. 1, receiving 56 out of 61 first-place votes. No. 2 Florida State, No. 3 Ohio State and No. 4 Michigan all moved up one spot. The Seminoles got four first-place votes and Michigan received one.Clemson fell from second to fifth after a four-point win againsst Troy. Stitched Indians Jerseys. No. 16 Georgia dropped seven spots after beating FCS Nicholls by two.BASEBALLTORONTO -- David Ortiz hit a three-run homer in the sixth inning, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Hanley Ramirez also connected, and the Boston Red Sox outslugged Toronto 11-8 to reclaim a two-game lead over the Blue Jays in the AL East.Ortiz put Boston up 10-8 with a drive off Joaquin Benoit. It was his 41st career home run at Rogers Centre, his highest total at any road stadium.With his 535th career homer, Ortiz moved past Jimmie Foxx into sole possession of 18th place on baseballs career list. He also increased his RBI total to 110, the most by a player age 40 or above since Dave Winfield had 108 for Toronto in 1992.Edwin Encarnacion homered twice and Troy Tulowitzki hit his third career grand slam for the Blue Jays, who are tied with Baltimore for the wild-card lead.HOUSTON -- Jorge Soler and Addison Russell homered to lead Chicago to a 9-5 win over the Houston Astros, moving the Cubs closer to clinching the NL Central.Soler hit a solo home run as part of Chicagos four-run third, and Russell hit a two-run shot -- his 20th of the season -- in the fourth as the Cubs built a 9-0 lead.Chicago extended its lead in the NL Central to 16 games over St. Louis.GOLFCARMEL, Ind. -- Powerful off the tee and relentless with the putter, Dustin Johnson didnt give anyone much of a chance by closing with a 5-under 67 to win the BMW Championship by three shots and move to the top of the FedEx Cup.Johnson won for the third time in his last eight tournaments dating to his first major at the U.S. Open, and this might have been his most complete performance.Paul Casey did just about everything he could, including two early birdies for two-shot swings that erased a four-shot deficit in two holes. Johnson answered with a pair of birdies and he was on his way. Casey made a 25-foot eagle putt on the 15th hole to get within one shot, but that lasted only as long as it took Johnson to make an 18-foot eagle putt on top of him to keep the margin at three shots.Casey was runner-up in his second straight FedEx Cup playoff event, losing to Rory McIlroy a week ago.AUTO RACINGRICHMOND, Va. -- It was yet another Denny Hamlin runaway for Joe Gibbs Racing on Saturday night in what turned out to be an anticlimactic end to NASCARs regular season.The fireworks came off the track at Richmond International Raceway, where Tony Stewart intentionally wrecked Ryan Newman before Newman angrily chided his former boss for the accident that officially ended Newmans chances to make the playoffs.The verbal beat down from Newman came with 37 laps left, before Hamlin finished off his third career Sprint Cup win at his home track while giving JGR its third consecutive victory at the track and ninth in the last 15 races.Newman called Stewart bipolar, said the retiring race car driver had anger issues, and all but outright referenced the 2014 incident in which Stewart fatally struck a sprint car driver. 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