Firstpost Spodcast Episode 96: Gautam Gambhir announces retirement; Minerva Punjab beat East Bengal and more

FP Sports
Gautam Gambhir's retirement, Indian football, Gujarat Fortunegiants' winning run in Pro Kabaddi League – we discuss these stories and more on Spocast Episode 96

Welcome to Spodcast, where we cover the big sports headlines of the day.

Indian batsman Gautam Gambhir has announced his retirement from all forms of cricket. He posted a video on Facebook announcing the end of his successful 15-year-long career. He said, "After more than fifteen years of cricket for my country, I want to retire from playing this beautiful game. Two World Cups, highest run-getter in the final of both games, it is the stuff that dreams are made of."

The crowning moments of Gambhir's career were his two innings in two World Cup finals that India won - he scored 97 in the 2011 World Cup final, and 75 in the 2007 T20 World Cup final.

Speaking to the media ahead of the first Test match between India and Australia that begins tomorrow, Indian vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane said Australia are the favourites and India would have to put up good partnerships if they want to win the series.

Rahane said that the opposition's focus on Virat Kohli could allow the other batsmen to go about their business quietly. Harking back to the 262-run partnership the two shared in Melbourne in the 2014-15 tour, Rahane said, "...both of us really enjoyed that partnership at the MCG. Mitchell Johnson was going after Virat Kohli and I was enjoying from the (other) end as well as playing my own game. Virat...was really aggressive and going after the bowlers, verbally as well...that really helped me focus on my game and I played my natural attacking game at the other end."

News from the ISL now. A home win continues to elude the Kerala Blasters FC. They were held to a 1-1 draw by Jamshedpur in a closely fought match in Kochi yesterday.

The game was goalless for over an hour as both teams squandered early scoring opportunities and then battled for possession. Jamshedpur FC enjoyed more of the possession in the first half and Kerala Blasters, who always looked on the verge of scoring, failed to convert their chances.

Meanwhile, in I-League football action, defending champions Minerva Punjab defeated East Bengal 1-0 to jump into second place in the points table.

Both sides put up strong defences throughout the match, and no goals were scored for over 75 minutes. The first half was especially tight, as both teams refused to concede an inch. East Bengal had a couple of half-chances, both courtesy of striker Jobby Justin but the forwards failed to capitalize.

The sixth season of the Pro Kabaddi League continues, and Gujarat Fortunegiants continue their winning ways. They routed Patna Pirates 45-27 on Tuesday to qualify for the playoffs.

Parvesh Bhainswal scored eight tackle points while Sachin and Prapanjan scored nine raid points each to lead Gujarat to a resounding win. On the other hand, Patna had a bad day as even star player Pardeep Narwal scored just a solitary tackle point. Gujarat kept Narwal under pressure from the start even as Sachin scored tackle points.

Also See: I-League 2018-19: Minerva Punjab come back from two goals down to snatch a point against Shillong Lajong

ISL 2018, Kerala Blasters vs Jamshedpur FC, Highlights: Kerala's quest for win continues as Jamshedpur hold them to draw

ISL 2018-19: NorthEast United pull of spectacular comeback against Kerala Blasters with two quick-fire goals in added time

Read more on Sports by Firstpost.