UEFA has confirmed that teams competing in this year's delayed Euro 2020 tournament will be allowed to select a 26-man squad instead of the usual 23.

The change has been rolled out to ease the burden on players following a compressed club season and to help national teams in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak.

UEFA's executive committee approved the proposal on Tuesday and announced teams can make unlimited changes to their squad up until their first game in the event of a serious injury or illness.

The new regulations will also allow goalkeepers to be replaced before each match "in case of physical incapacity", even if two other keepers from the initial list are still available.

However, while teams can now name 26-man squads, only 23 of those can be selected per matchday.

Belgium boss Roberto Martinez and Italy's Roberto Mancini are among those to have called for squad sizes to be increased.

UEFA confirmed in March that teams can make five substitutions per match, rather than the usual three.

The tournament, delayed by a year due to the coronavirus pandemic, begins on June 11 in Rome and is set to conclude with the final at Wembley on July 11.

Romelu Lukaku is hoping to fire Belgium to Euro 2020 glory after gaining a "killer mentality" with Scudetto winners Inter.

The 27-year-old has scored 21 Serie A goals and provided a further 10 assists this season for Inter, who were crowned champions on Sunday for the first time in 11 years.

It is just the second title won by the prolific striker across his 12-year senior career after finishing first in the Belgian Pro League with Anderlecht in 2009-10.

Lukaku, who joined Inter from Manchester United in August 2019, has now set his sights on inspiring Belgium to their first piece of major silverware at the delayed Euro 2020 finals.

"Winning a club title allows you to gain experience and allows you to know how to approach matches," he told La Tribune. "You get this killer mentality.

"That is something I've missed in my career. I've given up too many times before. Then I said to myself 'I'm tired, I'm 27, it's time for a change'. But the work doesn't stop here.

"Right now I'm happy because we are champions, but I'm already focused on the Euros because it's important to me.

"I really hope the other Belgium players, like [Thibaut] Courtois, Eden [Hazard], [Axel] Witsel and [Kevin] De Bruyne, can also win titles. 

"That would be good for the team. It would bring a good team spirit and we can all move forward together."

Lukaku is scoring from 23.6 per cent of his shots – making him the first Serie A player since 2004-05 to tally 20 goals and 10 assists in the same season.

The ex-Chelsea striker's 31 combined goals and assists in Serie A this season is the most of any player, with Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo next on the list with 30.

Despite enjoying one of his most prolific seasons yet in front of goal, however, Lukaku does not believe he is the best striker in the world.

"That is Karim Benzema, without a doubt," he said.

Benzema is averaging a goal every 121.62 minutes in LaLiga for title contenders Real Madrid this season, compared to Lukaku's return of a goal every 127.29 minutes in Serie A.

The Frenchman has 21 league goals in total this campaign and a further eight assists.

The Indian Premier League has been suspended indefinitely amid the worsening coronavirus pandemic in the country.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India and Indian Premier League Governing Council confirmed the news in a joint statement on Tuesday after reports of COVID cases in three teams.

Kolkata Knight Riders duo Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier tested positive, forcing Monday's game against Royal Challengers Bangalore to be rescheduled.

Reports also suggest Sunrisers Hyderabad wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha tested positive, leading to the whole team having to isolate, while there were two reported cases in the Chennai Super Kings team.

"The Indian Premier League Governing Council (IPL GC) and Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in an emergency meeting has unanimously decided to postpone IPL 2021 season, with immediate effect," a statement read.

"The BCCI does not want to compromise on the safety of the players, support staff and the other participants involved in organising the IPL. This decision was taken keeping the safety, health and well-being of all the stakeholders in mind.

"These are difficult times, especially in India and while we have tried to bring in some positivity and cheer, however, it is imperative that the tournament is now suspended and everyone goes back to their families and loved ones in these trying times.

"The BCCI will do everything in its powers to arrange for the secure and safe passage of all the participants in IPL 2021.

"The BCCI would like to thank all the healthcare workers, state associations, players, support staff, franchises, sponsors, partners and all the service providers who have tried their best to organise IPL 2021 even in these extremely difficult times."

India has seen a sharp rise in COVID numbers in the country in recent weeks, with the total number in excess of 20 million since the start of the global pandemic.

With free agency in the rear-view mirror and the 2021 draft all wrapped up, NFL teams can now draw breath and start to reflect on what has unfolded during the offseason.

Ideally, all teams will hope they sit in a better position to challenge than they did a few months back, but the reality is some are just starting from further back than others.

When it comes to Super Bowl challengers, undoubtedly the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Kansas City Chiefs remain strong favourites to get back to the big game. The Bucs have got the band back together after hoisting aloft the Vince Lombardi Trophy on home turf, while the Chiefs have responded to a harrowing loss by rebuilding the offensive line in front of Patrick Mahomes.

But what about the chasing pack? Stats Perform picks out some of the leading contenders for glory while reflecting on what has happened since they last played.

Buffalo Bills

An appearance in the AFC Championship Game inspired by the improved play of quarterback Josh Allen left Buffalo rightly believing they needed minor tweaks, rather than dramatic alterations, to challenge once again in 2021. They kept the offensive line together, then added depth at a key area in the draft when selecting Spencer Brown in round three.

However, the Bills – who ranked 15th in opponent yards per play allowed (5.5) last term but were a lowly 26th versus the run (4.62) – used first and second-round selections to help their defense, with Greg Rousseau and Carlos Basham Jr firming up a pass rush that tied 15th for sacks. Add in Emmanuel Sanders to the receiving group and Buffalo appears to be in rude health as they aim to go one better than last season.

Los Angeles Rams

The Rams are swinging for the fences as they bid to get back to the Super Bowl. Jared Goff was the starter when they lost to the New England Patriots in February 2019, but his time with the franchise is over. The blockbuster deal to get Matthew Stafford from Detroit has ramped up the pressure to get results on the field – and not just in the regular season either.

Leonard Floyd remained thanks to a bumper contract, but John Johnson and Troy Hill are gone from the secondary. They will continue to lean heavily on Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey to lead a defense that allowed the fewest passing yards per play (5.08) and the third-least rushing yards per play (3.76). While trades have seen the Rams become accustomed to watching on as teams are on the clock in round one, it was notable they added three wide receivers with their picks as they aim for a fifth successive winning season under head coach Sean McVay.

San Francisco 49ers

Yes, a team who finished the 2020 regular season with a 6-10 record should be considered as genuine contenders. The 49ers went so close to Super Bowl glory 15 months ago, while a roster ravaged by injuries last season will hope for better fortune when it comes to keeping key personnel healthy. Defensive coordinator Robert Saleh has jetted off to New York, but Nick Bosa should be back.

In truth, it will be the offense that defines San Francisco's chances. Jimmy Garoppolo failed to inspire in his limited appearances, throwing seven touchdowns to five interceptions, so getting a quarterback in the draft – even if trading up to number three came at a high cost – made sense. Trey Lance was their choice, a high-upside selection who showed plenty of promise in 19 games for North Dakota State. The run game remains pivotal, though, which explains why they splashed out to make sure Trent Williams and Kyle Juszczyk stuck around.

Cleveland Browns

Having made the playoffs for the first time since 2002, the Browns knocked out divisional rivals Pittsburgh and then came close to upsetting Kansas City on the road. The defense was bolstered up front with the signings of Jadeveon Clowney and Malik Jackson. However, having given up 31 passing touchdowns, the secondary has rightly been the focus. After snapping up former Rams duo Johnson and Hill, Cleveland selected cornerback Greg Newsome II and linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah in the first two rounds of the draft.

Coach of the Year Kevin Stefanski built the offense around the rushing tandem of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt – the team averaged 4.8 yards per rush – easing the pressure on Baker Mayfield to move the sticks. Still, he ranked sixth in passer rating (118.4) on throws of 21 air yards or more among quarterbacks with at least 25 such attempts, showing teams cannot fill the box and focus solely on stopping the run. If they can get out of a highly competitive AFC North again, the Browns will believe they can build on a Divisional Round appearance.

Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens' hopes will once again rest with Lamar Jackson, their dual-threat quarterback who is on course for a significant pay rise when an agreement is reached over a long-term extension. His ability to run helped Baltimore finish first in rushing yards per play with 5.53, while the passing game has a little extra help now after receiver Rashod Bateman was taken with the 27th pick. Still, there was no flashy free-agency signing at the position, despite links with JuJu Smith-Schuster and T.Y. Hilton. Kevin Zeitler did pen a deal, securing an experienced guard to bolster the offensive line.

Defensively, Matt Judon and Yannick Ngakoue have moved on to the Patriots and Raiders respectively, though the Ravens have a reputation for building a pass rush no matter who is on the roster. Tyus Bowser can expect an increased role, plus outside linebacker Odafe Oweh was chosen with the late first-round pick acquired in the trade that sent offensive tackle Orlando Brown Jr to the Chiefs.

Honourable mentions

The Green Bay Packers would have made the list were it not for the uncertainty surrounding the future of reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers. For all their quarterback's undoubted qualities on the field, they have not made a Super Bowl in 11 years. And what is going on in Seattle too? Rumours relating to Russell Wilson's future have dominated the offseason for the Seahawks.

The Indianapolis Colts will hope they can get the best out of signal-caller Carson Wentz and the Pittsburgh Steelers seem set for one last ride with Ben Roethlisberger. As for a trendy pick who missed out on the playoffs last season, look no further than the Los Angeles Chargers, complete with a revamped offensive line to help keep QB Justin Herbert safe.

Washington Wizards coach Scott Brooks says Russell Westbrook must go down as one of the game's greats after another incredible triple-double in their 154-141 win over the Indiana Pacers on Monday.

Westbrook had 24 assists along with 21 rebounds and 14 points for the Wizards, meaning he will have a triple-double average for the fourth season in his career.

The point guard's 24 assists was an equal career-high, while the Wizards' 50 for the game was a franchise record and the best in NBA history since 1990.

It was also Westbrook's 32nd triple-double of the season, taking him to 178 for his career, only three short of Oscar Robertson's all-time record.

"I've been fortunate to see him for eight years," said Brooks, who coached Westbrook at the Oklahoma City Thunder. "He does a lot of things that are pretty much superhuman at times.

"Point guards don’t do what he does. They're not built that way.

"I used to always say, he's going to go down as the third best point guard ever. I think he's passed one, he's going to go down as the second best. One is obviously Magic [Johnson].

"He's doing MVP-type things every game. He's as high a level as a player this league has ever seen."

Westbrook is averaging 21.8 points per game, 11.3 rebounds per game and 11.2 assists per game this season.

"Personally I feel like I'm the best playmaker in this league because I'm able to do things that nobody else can do," Westbrook said.

"I take pride in playmaking and passing it and making my teammates better. I'm grateful to have a bunch of teammates that make my job so much easier."

An all-English Champions League final could be in the offing as Manchester City and Chelsea look to progress from the last four.

The two Premier League sides each have the edge going into the second leg of their respective semi-final ties with Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid.

And history is in their favour as they set their sights on the final in Istanbul on May 29.

Here we preview the two second legs using Opta numbers.

Manchester City v Paris-Saint Germain: Guardiola's men eye European history

It is advantage City after a dramatic first leg at the Parc des Princes, a second-half fightback and 2-1 win meaning PSG will have to score at least twice to progress.

Should Pep Guardiola's men knock out last season's finalists, they will reach their first UEFA European final for 51 years, since winning the 1970 Cup Winners' Cup final against Gornik Zabrze.

This would break the record for the longest gap between appearances in UEFA European finals, held by Sporting CP (41 years between 1964 Cup Winners' Cup final and 2005 UEFA Cup final).

City have won their previous six Champions League matches and another win at the Etihad Stadium would also see them break the record for the longest winning run by an English team in European Cup/Champions League history. Three other sides have won six in a row: Manchester United (1965-66), Leeds United (1969-70) and Arsenal (2005).

They will be the favourites having gone unbeaten in each of their four previous meetings with PSG (W2, D2), with the Ligue 1 club only facing Milan more often in the Champions League (four times) without winning than City (three times).

There have been 47 previous instances in the European Cup/Champions League of an English side winning the first leg of a two-legged knockout tie away from home, and on all 47 occasions the English team has progressed.

Recent history suggests City should be wary of a PSG turnaround, though, Les Parisiens having completed a comeback the last time they lost the first leg of a Champions League tie 2-1, beating Borussia Dortmund in the round of 16 last season.

Yet they have never progressed from a European tie after losing the first leg at home, meaning Guardiola could have plenty to celebrate as he breaks Carlo Ancelotti's record for most Champions League knockout games coached by taking charge of his 63rd.

Chelsea v Real Madrid: Omens point to Blues ending Zidane streak

Chelsea have a slight edge going into the return leg after a 1-1 draw in Spain, Christian Pulisic having scored a superb away goal.

The Blues were frustrated not to add to that opener and were pegged back by Karim Benzema, who could overtake Raul and become the outright fourth top scorer in the Champions League if he nets his 72nd at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday.

But Chelsea are unbeaten in their four previous matches in European competition against Madrid, who are winless in their past four away games against English sides in the Champions League (D2 L2), scoring only two goals across the four games.

And the Blues have progressed from five of their last seven knockout ties in the Champions League when avoiding defeat away from home in the first leg, meaning the omens are against Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane emulating three managerial greats.

Zidane is looking to secure his fourth progression in four Champions League semi-final ties, which would equal the record for most semi-final tie progressions by a coach in competition history (four - along with Alex Ferguson, Carlo Ancelotti and Marcello Lippi).

In his way is a coach who has proven formidable in home games in this tournament.

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel, who guided PSG to last year's final, has only lost four of his 18 home games as a manager in the Champions League (W12 D2), with his sides scoring 48 goals across these fixtures - an average of 2.7 per game.

If Madrid are to defeat the odds that are seemingly stacked against them, then midfielder Toni Kroos is likely to play a key role.

Kroos has been involved in 59 shot-ending sequences in the Champions League this season; the most of any midfielder in the competition, and second only to PSG's Kylian Mbappe (60) among players for teams remaining in the competition.

J.T. Realmuto hit a home run into deep left field as the Philadelphia Phillies defeated the Milwaukee Brewers 4-3 in the MLB on Monday.

Trailing 1-0 at the bottom of the first, Realmuto hit his third home run of the season with a second tier two-run homer to put the Phillies 2-1 up.

For the Brewers, they welcomed back Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Cain from injury but that failed to fire their offense, which has not quite been on song this season.

Cain did return from his quadriceps injury with a lean-back home run in the first inning.

The Phillies improve to 14-15, while the Brewers are now 17-12.

 

Big homers from Laureano and Mullins

On a day where 21 home runs were scored, Ramon Laureano creamed a beauty for the Oakland Athletics in their 5-4 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays.

With scores 3-3 at the bottom of the fifth, Laureano made it three straight games with home runs to help his side to a 5-3 lead, which they hung on to.

Cedric Mullins got the ball rolling for the Baltimore Orioles as they scored five times in the eight inning in their 5-3 win over the Seattle Mariners.

Down 1-0 at the top of the eighth, Mullins hit a home run which just eluded Mitch Haniger in center-field.

The Los Angeles Angels went down 7-3 to the Tampa Bay Rays although Shohei Ohtani hit another home run to take his season tally to nine.

 

'How about that play!?'

Pittsburgh Pirates third-baseman Erik Gonzalez made a brilliant play diving to his right and firing to first base to run out Will Myers in the San Diego Padres' 2-0 win.

 

Lights out in St. Louis

With two out in the ninth inning, the lights quite literally went out at the Busch Stadium with batter Alex Reyes quickly backing away in the Cardinals' win over the Mets, although it was only a brief delay.

 

Monday's results

Philadelphia Phillies 4-3 Milwaukee Brewers
Minnesota Twins 6-5 Texas Rangers
St. Louis Cardinals 6-5 New York Mets
Cleveland Indians 8-6 Kansas City Royals
Tampa Bay Rays 7-3 Los Angeles Angels
Oakland Athletics 5-4 Toronto Blue Jays
San Diego Padres 2-0 Pittsburgh Pirates
Baltimore Orioles 5-3 Seattle Mariners 

 

Brewers at Phillies

There is a full fixture card on Tuesday including two double-headers, while the Philadelphia Phillies continue their series against the fast-starting Milwaukee Brewers.

Anthony Davis said the Los Angeles Lakers have been "in a funk" after losing six out of seven games prior to Monday's 93-89 win over the Denver Nuggets.

Davis played a key role with 25 points for the Lakers, who were without LeBron James and Dennis Schroder against the fellow Western Conference contenders.

The win snapped the Lakers' three-game losing streak and moved them back up to fifth in the West.

"It was a big-time win for us," Davis told ESPN Sports Center post-game.

"We've been struggling. We've been in a funk. We've stayed together. We've stayed the course.

"We're missing two key guys, DS and Bron. The next man up mentality. We got this win against a team playing red hot."

LA improves to 37-28, boosting their playoffs seeding, as they moved above the Dallas Mavericks and the Portland Trail Blazers for the time being.

The Los Angeles Lakers ended their three-game losing run despite being without LeBron James as they defeated the Denver Nuggets 93-89 in the NBA on Monday.

Anthony Davis scored 25 points for the Lakers with seven rebounds and a crucial last-gasp block on Nuggets guard Facundo Campazzo's three-point attempt.

The Lakers, who had lost six of their past seven coming in, were undermanned with James sitting out with a sore right ankle, while Dennis Schroder was absent too.

The win improves the Lakers to 37-28 and moves them back into fifth in the Western Conference.

The Philadelphia 76ers were also winners on Monday, knocking off the Chicago Bulls 106-94 to improve their record to 44-21, holding top spot in the East.

Forward Tobias Harris top scored with 21 points, while Joel Embiid had a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds.

 

Westbrook goes wild again

Russell Westbrook went next level with his latest triple-double with 14 points, 21 rebounds and 24 assists in the Washington Wizards' 154-141 win over the Indiana Pacers.

In a high-scoring game, Westbrook's 24 assists was a career-high. It was also an NBA record five triple-doubles with 20-plus assists, going past Magic Johnson and Rajon Rondo with four.

The Wizards finished with 50 assists against the Pacers, which was the most by a team since 1990.

Danilo Gallinari scored 28 points off the bench as the Atlanta Hawks got past the Portland Trail Blazers 123-114 in a crucial game for playoffs spots.

Rudy Gobert scored 24 points and had 15 rebounds as the Utah Jazz returned to first place in the West with a 110-99 victory over the San Antonio Spurs.

Stephen Curry scored 41 points while Draymond Green had a triple-double as the Golden State Warriors won 123-108 over the New Orleans Pelicans, boosting their play-in hopes.

The Warriors moved past the Memphis Grizzlies into eighth after they went down to the in-form New York Knicks 118-104.

 

Bogdan Bog-down-ovic

There was an amusing moment in the Hawks' win over the Trail Blazers, when Bogdan Bogdanovic stumbled on a fast break upon a pass from Trae Young which clonked him in the head.

 

Melo moves into all-time top 10

Carmelo Anthony's 14 points for the Trail Blazers saw him move into the top 10 all-time scorers in NBA history.

 

Monday's results

Orlando Magic 119-112 Detroit Pistons 
Washington Wizards 154-141 Indiana Pacers 
Golden State Warriors 123-108 New Orleans Pelicans
Atlanta Hawks 123-114 Portland Trail Blazers
New York Knicks 118-104 Memphis Grizzlies 
Philadelphia 76ers 106-94 Chicago Bulls
Utah Jazz 110-99 San Antonio Spurs
Los Angeles Lakers 93-89 Denver Nuggets

 

Nets at Bucks

The Milwaukee Bucks (40-24) and the Brooklyn Nets (43-22) meet for the second time in three days as seedings spots in the East get determined.

LeBron James will sit out the Los Angeles Lakers' match against the Denver Nuggets on Monday after re-aggravating his right ankle injury.

James was benched late in the Lakers' 121-114 loss to the Toronto Raptors on Sunday with right ankle soreness.

The four-time MVP had missed 20 matches due to a right ankle injury until recently returning and the Lakers will not risk his health as they battle for playoffs seedings.

The Lakers have dropped three consecutive games coming into Monday's meeting with the Nuggets, as well as losing six of their past seven.

James said on Sunday that he would prioritise getting fully fit over returning too soon in a bid to improve the Lakers' seeding.

LA's recent poor form has seen them slip down to seventh spot in the Western Conference with a 36-28 record.

The Lakers are already without guard Dennis Schroder because of an exposure to a postive COVID-19 test.

Arsenal legend Thierry Henry says Spotify co-founder Daniel Ek's proposed takeover of the club is "going to be long and not easy" and may not happen.

The 38-year-old Swedish billionaire declared his interest in buying the Gunners, whom he has supported since he was eight, in the wake of the collapse of the European Super League a fortnight ago.

There has been increasing fan frustration directed at the Kroenkes in recent times, which spilled over recently amid the European Super League saga.

Speaking on Sky Sports' Monday Night Football, Henry said Ek had contacted Stan Kroenke and is expected to make a £1.8billion bid to buy Arsenal this week.

Ek has the backing of Arsenal greats like Henry, Patrick Vieira and Dennis Bergkamp, but it remains to be seen whether Kroenke will listen to or consider the offer.

"I think it is going to be long and not easy - if it does ever happen," Henry said.

"One thing that I want to reiterate is that Daniel will not move away, he will be there waiting to see if they want to sell.

"That is going to take a very long time, we know what we want to do, but first and foremost we need to make sure that we can take over, if they are listening."

Henry said Ek had approached him among other ex-Arsenal players with a view to restoring the club's DNA.

"He approached us, we listened to him," Henry said. "When we knew first and foremost that he wanted to involve the fans, we actually met the Arsenal Supporters' Trust and told them what we wanted to do.

"We want to bring them back on board, being part of the meetings, knowing what's happening because you need to put the DNA back into the club.

"But he wants to reinject the Arsenal DNA, the identity that for me is long gone. You don't have Arsenal people there among the board that can show the right direction."

Parma's relegation to Serie B was confirmed on Monday with a 1-0 defeat at Torino.

The Gialloblu are 19th in Serie A with 20 points to their name and cannot now catch 17th-placed Cagliari, who are 12 ahead.

Although Parma have four games to play, Cagliari have a superior head-to-head record courtesy of a dramatic 4-3 win last month.

Given Cagliari also still have Benevento – who are 18th – to play, Parma had to win at Torino to stand any chance of escaping the bottom three.

Mergim Vojvoda's goal after 63 minutes proved the difference, with the visitors attempting 10 shots but only once hitting the target.

This is Parma's first relegation since the club's rebirth in 2015 following bankruptcy.

They were promoted in 2016, 2017 and 2018 and then improved on their Serie A finish over their first two years back in the top flight before this season's setback.

Crotone, two points below Parma, have already been demoted, leaving just one place to be decided.

Carlos Alcaraz, a 17-year-old wildcard, will face Rafael Nadal in the second round of the Madrid Open, with the top seeds set to get their campaigns underway on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Alcaraz, featuring in an ATP Masters 1000 event for just the second time, was in impressive form as he saw off France's Adrian Mannarino 6-4 6-0.

The teenager, who will face Nadal on his 18th birthday on Wednesday, fired 19 winners as he took the initiative against his more experienced opponent and his reward is significant.

He became the tournament's youngest ever match winner, beating the record set by Nadal.

"For me, [to] play against Rafa is a dream come true," Alcaraz said as he readies himself to go up against the 20-time grand slam winner.

"Since I was a kid, I wished to play a match against Rafa and now I will be able to here [on] the Centre Court of La Caja Magica in Madrid. It is a really special match against Rafa."

He told Tennis Channel: "It's the best present for my birthday."

The biggest casualty of the day was 13th seed Grigor Dimitrov, who lost 3-6 6-3 7-6 (7-5) to Lloyd Harris early on, the South African now 4-0 against top-20 opponents this year.

Two qualifiers in Pablo Andujar and Marcos Giron played out a remarkable encounter that lasted three hours and 21 minutes.

The first set alone clocked in at just over an hour and a half, but eventually Giron came through the gruelling clash 6-7 (8-10) 7-6 (7-4) 7-5 to set up a meeting with third seed Dominic Thiem.

Fabio Fognini defeated Carlos Taberner 7-6 (7-4) 2-6 6-3 for the right to face eighth seed and Italian countryman Matteo Berrettini.

Diego Schwartzman, the seventh seed, awaits Aslan Karatsev after he beat Ugo Humbert in straight sets in what was the Russian's debut appearance at the tournament.

Dan Evans and John Isner were among the other players to secure progress on Monday.

Cricket great Sunil Gavaskar believes having Sunil Narine batting in the Kolkata Knight Riders’ middle order is a complete waste of time as the team needs quality batsmen in their line-up to be able to reverse their fortunes in the IPL this season.

KKR are currently eighth in the IPL standings after just two wins from their seven matches to date, a position that Gavaskar believes comes down to one thing.

"To be honest, they don’t have too many classy batsmen. I don’t know how many in the dugout they can look to and say, ‘Look… why don’t you come in and bat up the order.’ Because if you have a look at their batting, apart from Shubman Gill and Morgan himself, there is no class," Gavaskar said on Cricket Connected.

"There is Andre Russell down at five or six and Dinesh Karthik,” Gavaskar continued.

“I would look at promoting Karthik up the order, because for simple reasons. There is Rahul Tripathi up. Sunil Narine at 4 or 5 whatever is a waste of space. It doesn’t make any sense having him there. If you want to have Sunil Narine, have him at the top of the order where he can throw his bat around, and maybe if he connects a few, that’s fine.

“KKR’s problem is that they haven’t got anybody at three, four, five who can play an impact innings."

 

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