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Just Sports

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91 Episodes
On this week of Just Sports, our hosts Rahul Puri and Samar Khan are back with their weekly round of sporting reviews and trivia. The podcast begins with the duo appreciating the spectacular performance given by the Indian team in its latest test-match series, and talk about how the Blues have evolved into “something different and better.”Rahul emphasises that a lot of credit had to be given to Shastri and Kohli for “not allowing their heads to drop, and not allowing the team to feel that they were out of the scenes.”They talk about how Samar had predicted the meltdown of the Indian cricket team owing to its dependence on Virat Kohli as the sole chief scorer, but were pleasantly surprised by the perseverance of the other players in the test match that led to its victory despite two previous defeats in the series. Both of them expect the team to come back stronger in the upcoming matches.Moving on to football, both our hosts believe that Manchester United put up a decent enough show in spite of tailgating on its defeat to London-based club Tottenham. The Reds missed a lot of good chances, but this does not necessarily spell doom and gloom. The hosts added that the outcome of the match would have been different had Belgian Romelu Lukaku scored a goal. They discuss the drawbacks of Manchester United by remarking upon its need for a settled starting XI and a solid defence, among other things.The conversation then moves to the controversy surrounding Serena William’s catsuit which she wore at the French open claiming that it helped her with the issue of blood clots. Both our hosts found the decision to ban the outfit, pointless.The episode ends with the dup’s excitement about the US open which just recently kicked off, and which they are looking forward to discussing in upcoming podcasts.
On the occasion of India’s 72nd Independence Day, our host Rahul Puri and Samar khan cherish freedom—and talk about all the action that went down in the first week of the Barclay’s Premier League—on this episode of Just Sport. Diving head-first into conversation, the duo go on to discuss how ‘the now’ is an extremely early and premeditative time to draw any sort of conclusions regarding standings and performances in the league, but at the same time, indulge in healthy debate as to which of the two London super clubs—Chelsea or Tottenham—would make it to the top four. The two then move on to discuss the third India vs England Test match. Both Rahul and Samar are visibly disappointed with the Blues’ performance and despite their collective appreciation of Virat Kohli, they agree on how he should really work on improving and strengthening his captaincy. They also discuss the future of this Indian cricket team, as well as the return of Ben Stoke and what it means. Tune in for more.
With EPL and other European leagues just around the corner, Samar Khan and Rahul Purie begin on an optimistic note in this edition of Just Sports. Capturing the early enthusiasm, Rahul says that “this is the time when all football fans should be optimistic; we’re all starting off on zero points, so everybody can have some amount of optimism, even Manchester United.”Discussing player transfers before the English Premier League, Samar points out that the transfer window this year did not witness the ‘flurry of business’ that has been the norm. Rahul agrees, noting that “It’s been a strange one, but it’s also a function of where those big 5 or 6 English clubs are, where realistically, they all have very good squads and they really only need to add 1 or 2 players.”Changing track, both move on to talk about Manchester United’s prospects in the upcoming EPL. Samar asks Rahul whether he shares his doubt about the team’s manager, José Mourinho. “As a Manchested United fan, I’m really worried about the United season, purely because of the manager,” he says. Rahul agrees, observing that “If you look at the United squad, there’s nothing wrong with the squad…you’ve got magnificent options upfront, it’s just that the manager needs to know how to deploy them.” For more, listen in!
In this episode of Just Sports, Rahul Puri and Samar Khan discuss German player Mesut Ozil’s racism claims, the upcoming test series in England, India’s middle and top order, and the EPL transfer window. Rahul and Samar disagree slightly on whether there was weight behind Ozil’s claims of racism and disrespect. While both feel that the politics of Europe had a role to play here, Samar feels that Ozil was being somewhat of a “crybaby”, while Rahul thinks there were problems in the German squad as a whole, with Ozil being used as a “scapegoat”. They then give a recap of the transfer window, which is experiencing a bit of a lull currently, going into detail about the Eden Hazard deal. Next is a preview of the ongoing test series, Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s injuries and what it means for India’s bowling, Virat Kohli as an X factor, and the batting order. For more, listen in!
Rahul Puri and Samar Khan are back after a short hiatus to discuss this week’s round-up of sports featuring everything from the recently-concluded World Cup to the new Wimbledon champion.Rahul and Samar open with a chat on the French football team. “If you objectively look at the squads even at the start of the tournament, theirs was the best squad out there," remarks Rahul.“In the game against Argentina and against Croatia, you saw all the attacking flair France has. When they needed to be very strong and very solid, they were absolutely that, in the quarter-finals and the semi-finals. We saw two sides of France, and that really makes them the deserved winners of the World Cup," he adds.They also discuss VARs, the first free-kick of the final, and the referee’s calls during the match. “At the end of the day, a bad decision like that can change the course of the match, and it changed the course of the match," feels Samar.Over to tennis, Rahul believes winning the Wimbledon title was like redemption for Novak Djokovic. “He’s also got age on his side, more than Federer and Nadal, so if he comes back, he could dominate for the next two or three years," comments Samar. For more, listen in!
Rahul Puri and Samar Khan discuss once again the vagaries of the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018. Speaking from London, Rahul reflects upon how the underdogs have broken into the quarter-finals in this edition of the World Cup after vanquishing their stronger opponents through extraordinary football and athletic grit. He thinks that even though the big players are expected to make it into the advanced stages, “it is the other side of the draw that I think has got a lot of the mystery about it.” Samar observes that World Cups differ because they demonstrate “defensive mindsets” across teams: “There is not the attacking, free-flowing football that we’re used to seeing -- the kind of football people pay to see. Teams are actually slugging it out.” Rahul says that even though that might be true for the first two rounds of the group stage, he points out that “the second round has been full of goals, I think the last stages of the group stage was also full of goals.” The two discuss questions surrounding the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) again with Rahul confronting Samar’s criticism that the technology is obstructive to the flow of the game. He argues that it has affected teams, who no longer get away with foul play. However, he says, “My only problem with VAR is: what about the times when it doesn’t seem like a very consistent system?”The big players are discussed at length in the podcast with the duo remarking how each of them can clinch the much-coveted trophy. “If I was a betting man,” Rahul says “I’d probably put my semi-finals as France-Belgium and Croatia-England. And I’m looking at France-England final.” “Well, I am a betting man, so that’s where the money is,” Samar shoots back.
Rahul Puri and Samar Khan bring you the first podcast since the FIFA World Cup 2018 kick-off. Samar begins with a remark, “It has been a crazy kind of a World Cup. It has been different from the others, it has been a li'l bit of a wake-up time for the big boys?!”Rahul agrees, “I don’t think anybody would’ve even picked the results that happened in the first round of matches. Argentina being held to a draw. Brazil being held to a draw. Germany losing to Mexico being the big shock in the World Cup...”Rahul observes that it has been a World Cup of penalties (fouls). Samar says, “The amount of penalties that have been given -- in a way it’s a good a way it’s a bad cup.” Rahul says, “It has been a fairly clean World Cup. The referees have been reluctant to hand out cards. We’ve only had one red card. Let’s face it, it was a stone-cold red.”The duo debates the use of Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system that has seen differing opinions across the football spectrum. Comparing with the review system in cricket, Samar says, “In cricket, the team can ask for a review. Over here, the VAR is still pretty much in the grey area.” Rahul replies, “I, at the moment, can’t see how the system does anything to help the match.” He says, “The big problem with VAR is that I don’t think anybody quite knows how VAR can be used.” He also questions the use of VAR as the lack in clarity of assessing a situation whether it qualifies for it or not. Samar says, “The people who are monitoring the VAR are supposed to be referees. Now, if they are referees, then they should have the same rights as the on-field referee.”The duo proceeds to examine the performances of various teams and their key players.
This week’s Just Sports is all about the World Cup and football madness. Both Samar Khan and Rahul Puri feel this World Cup is quite different because don’t have Netherlands, US, Chile and Italy playing. Rahul thinks the “number of countries in the category of 'can win it' has been reduced by two”. Clearly, this World Cup is not about the old favourites.Samar says: “It’s quite an open World Cup with many teams. The bookmakers favourite is Brazil with Neymar, Coutinho and Gabriel Jesus. Brazil is the perennial favourite. But you cannot write off anyone this time. There is Germany, there is France.” Rahul agrees. He thinks the World Cup is quite open.Talking about Brazil, Rahul thinks it’s a “great offensive force” but he is sceptical that they would “play the most exciting football”. He thinks France is the most balanced side to watch out for. Rahul seems to agree: “They are a superb side, they have got goals, they have defensive solidity, midfield organisation and quality.”  But Rahul seems a little more sceptical than Samar since he thinks France can get “too defensive”.Both of them talk about critics view about “ageing players” in Germany’s team. Rahul thinks they have got the “temperament, they know how to grind off games, and they are in a crucial group”.Talking about England, Samar feels they are “a perennial hyped-up group” who have the players but don’t make it. Rahul differs from Samir’s assessment of talent in England’s team. He thinks this England team is not the best one compared to the ones they have sent for previous World Cups. Rahul strongly feels they won’t make it beyond quarterfinals. Talking of the “underdogs”, both think that Belgium is a strong challenger. Listen up.
Samar Khan and Rahul Puri discuss the latest happening from the world of sports.The discussion kicks-off with recently concluded Champions League finale in which Real Madrid beat Liverpool. Samar says, “The one thing that we have to give them is the fact that they are the three-time champions and that takes some doing.”Rahul says, “Especially in the second half, they were far away from the better side.” He adds, “Liverpool without Salah is just not the same attacking threat.”The duo also talks about Sergio Ramos’ charge on Salah that injured him and sent him off, retired hurt. Samar says, “Big moment in the game was actually Ramos’ challenge on Salah. Even though it was a mercenary challenge to try to bring a player down. It’s like Madrid will do anything to win!”Rahul answers, “The morning after I wanted somebody to kill Sergio Ramos frankly. But that’s the player he is.”“Sergio Ramos is a thug!" he says. “It was a completely professional foul. There was no doubt about it. He certainly wanted to bring Salah down. In a football match, when you bring somebody down, there is a chance that you can hurt them," he adds.Rahul says that the challenge that Zidane, the Real Madrid manager, faces now is that this isn’t a great Real Madrid side. He says, “Zidane knows that he has to make big changes.” The duo agrees that Zidane has achieved a phenomenal feat by winning the Champions League three times in a row. Rahul says, “There are only 3 or 4 managers that have ever won three European Cups. Period. Zidane has done it three times in a row!”Samar and Rahul speak about the Indian Premier League in which Chennai Super Kings (CSK) lifted the trophy after beating Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH). Samar gives the maximum credit of CSK’s victory to its captain, MS Dhoni, to which Rahul replies, “If you’re looking for limited overs captain, you don’t look any further than Dhoni.”Samar argues that this season some teams have shown that you don’t need a team of superstars to wi
Samar Khan and Rahul Puri are back this week to bring you the latest from the sports world.The discussion begins with the Indian Premier League, where Samar observes that not tinkering much with the team has worked to the advantage of Chennai Super Kings and Sunrisers Hyderabad. “You don’t tinker with the team too much. Once you get it right, you play the same guys,” he says.The duo discusses the importance of bowling and how IPL is not only about explosive batting. Samar compares Royal Challengers Bangalore with Sunrisers Hyderabad, where good bowling by the Sunrisers helped them find the top spot. He says that RCB couldn’t qualify despite having a great batting line-up. Rahul comments: “What makes the difference is to be able to either control that batting with good line and length bowling or take wickets.”Rahul and Samar would like to bet on the Chennai Super Kings as they remain the favourites, but Kolkata Knight Riders might prove otherwise. Rahul says: “I think Dinesh Karthik who this season is out-doing Dhoni at finishing matches… He’s just being this guy who comes in and wins KKR matches through his batting.”Rahul is satisfied with the newly appointed Arsenal manager, Unai Emery, who has a proven track record. Samar says, “The one thing that also goes in favour of Emery is that he’s kind of a low-profile guy.” Rahul comments: “I think so much of the Arsenal conundrum is not necessarily the manager, it’s the board.”Rahul adds, “Arsenal needs some major surgery. And the fans too… I don’t think they can expect instant success. I think they might have to give in two or maybe three years to try get this right.”“That’s a long time in modern day football,” comments Samar. Rahul looks at the history of the Champions League, and observes that it has witnessed changes when it comes to expected winners of the trophy. He says: “When you look back at the season, maybe 10 years from now, you’d probably put your finger on a particular season, as a season where thin
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