Murray sets sights on Djokovic
COLOMBO — Pakistan have even more reason to cheer their first Test victory in Sri Lanka in nine years thanks to impressive performances from the team’s younger players, said captain Misbah-ul-haq.
The visitors fought back from 96-5 down in their first innings to register the win in less than four days after rain had washed out four sessions of the contest on the first two days at the Galle International Stadium.
The task of hauling Pakistan out of trouble has usually fallen to Younus Khan, 37, and the 41-year-old Misbah but it was the emerging talents of Asad Shafiq ( pictured) and Sarfraz Ahmed who led them out of a precarious position and laid the foundations for the win.
Leg-spinner Yasir Shah then ripped through Sri Lanka’s batting in the second innings with career-best figures of 7-76 to complete a 10-wicket victory on Sunday.
“It’s good to have youngsters performing, that actually takes away the pressure from us (Younus and himself),” Misbah told reporters.
“This is the future we are building with these youngsters and these players are coming of age now to take the team ahead.
“Sarfraz is a key player, Azhar (Ali) is performing in the top, and the way Sarfraz and Asad played it further stamps our faith in them.”
Saeed Ajmal has been Pakistan’s main weapon in spin-friendly conditions but the off-spinner has been dropped from the side after insipid performances since returning from a ban for an illegal bowling action.
The 29-year-old Yasir, with just eight tests under his belt, ensured Ajmal was not missed.
“It’s just a start for Yasir; look at the way he has performed to step up and become Pakistan’s main bowler and to contribute in Pakistan’s victories,” Misbah said.
“So we are getting a good bunch that is grabbing every opportunity and applying themselves as a unit. The batting line-up is now getting mature and performing consistently.” — Reuters LONDON — Andy Murray set his sights on ending his barren run against Novak Djokovic after the world number three wrapped up his Wimbledon preparations with a sublime demolition of Kevin Anderson in the Queen’s Club final.
Murray clinched a record-equalling fourth Queen’s title in just 64 minutes as he delivered a grass-court master class that left world number 17 Anderson utterly bewildered.
It has been a memorable year for Murray, with an Australian Open final appearance followed by his wedding to Kim Sears in April.
Murray also won his first clay-court titles in Munich and Madrid, and reached the French Open semi-finals
The usually taciturn 28-year-old was so enthused by his fine week’s work in west London that he claimed he is playing even better than when he secured his historic Wimbledon triumph in 2013.
“You have to improve. If you don’t people will take your spot. Physically I’m definitely in a better place than I was then and I’m using my variety much better just now. That’s been good for me,” Murray said.
But there is still one big issue looming for Murray as he heads to Wimbledon’s practice courts before the tournament gets underway on June 29. abandoned him, his movement was sluggish and his runs all too unimaginative.
Falcao failed to display even a glimpse of his former self and gave United no sign of encouragement whatsoever that could have prompted them to exercise their option to buy. The striker’s form has so far shown no improvement in his Copa America outings with Colombia either. In the opening fixture against Venezuela, he was ineffective ,to put it mildly; anonymous to be accurate.
He managed just one harmless attempt at goal throughout the game, tamely lobbing a dropping ball over the keeper’s head but also well beyond the target altogether. The fact that he had only 32 touches and 18 passes to his name warranted the widespread criticism he attracted.
Falcao’s presence was marginally more notable against Brazil as Colombia’s direct approach saw their attackers get the ball
For all his success over the last six months, he has failed to solve the problems posed by world number one Djokovic.
Murray has lost only six of his 41 matches in 2015 and four of those defeats have come against Djokovic, in the Australian Open and Miami finals and the last four in Indian Wells and Roland Garros.
Yet Murray draws strength from his performances in several of those matches, as well as his Wimbledon and US Open final wins over the Serb, and insists he can close the gap if they meet again at the All England Club.
“It’s obviously a shame I’ve lost to Novak, but I’ve been close in a lot of the matches,” Murray said.
“He’s had a great year and there’s no disgrace in losing to him. But if I want to win the major competitions I have to beat him. I’ve done it before when I won US Open and Wimbledon and the Olympics, and I need to continue to improve and learn from those matches. There’s only one player in the world that’s played better than me this year.
“I would like to be that player and hopefully in the future I can be.”
Stan Wawrinka exposed a few chinks in Djokovic’s armour when he unexpectedly won their French Open final and Murray believes the reigning Wimbledon champion will still
goal.com be coming to terms with a loss that denied him a career Grand Slam.
“He was very close to achieving something that very few players have done that he probably needed some time away to rest and relax and get his head right before getting prepared for another Slam,” Murray said.
The last time Murray won Queen’s in 2013 he went on to become the first British man to win the Wimbledon singles’ title for 77 years.
But, despite his blistering form of late, he has no intention of taking success at the All England Club for granted.
“It’s great preparation, but there are no guarantees that winning here gives you a Wimbledon title,” he said.
“It gives me that little bit of confidence going in there, but all sorts of things can happen during slams. “I need to go out there and earn it.” Murray’s challenge will be bolstered by the return on Monday of his heavily pregnant coach Amelie Mauresmo, who handed over the reins to Jonas Bjorkman while she took a break during Queen’s.
“It’s been a good start with Jonas, but I also have to give a lot of credit to Amelie,” he said.
“The work I’ve done with her is paying off. Hopefully a culmination of the two of them will give me more success.” — AFP