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The Sport Matrix: Friday 21 June 2013

Australia have the best bowlers in the world, says coach

Mickey Arthur, the coach of Australia, started the psychological games ahead of the Ashes series yesterday with a series of assertions, some more improbable than others.

He began by saying: “I honestly believe we can win the Ashes,” but then added, “we have the best all-round bowling attack in world cricket.” His claims were made in an interview on BBC Radio in which he went on to explain about the bowling: “I’m talking depth wise. If we pick up an injury we have got somebody who can rock up and be just as effective. I think that’s a massive boost for us.”

Arthur added: “If we play for each other and the badge, it will be extremely powerful. If our batsmen get enough runs, we have a really good chance in this Ashes series because I’m confident we will get 20 wickets.” 

Kevin Pietersen, meanwhile, will today return to county cricket, playing for Surrey against Yorkshire, and is set to play in England’s T20 against New Zealand next week.

Pietersen has recovered from the knee injury which forced his early return from England’s tour of New Zealand and, if all goes well, he will be ready for the first Ashes Test on 10 July. MORE

North and Folau set for Test scrap

British and Irish Lions head coach Warren Gatland is relishing the prospect of George North and Australia’s Israel Folau tearing into each other in tomorrow’s first Test. “It’ll be worth  the entrance money on its own,”  Gatland said yesterday. MORE

India win to set up finale with England

India clinched an eight-wicket victory over Sri Lanka yesterday to set up a Champions Trophy final with England on Sunday. Sri Lanka made 181-8 before India reached 182-2, helped by Shikhar Dhawan’s impressive 68 and Virat Kohli’s unbeaten 58. MORE

Murray in form for Wimbledon draw

Britain’s Andy Murray heads into Wimbledon on good form after defeating Kei Nishikori of Japan 6-2, 7-6 in an exhibition match at the Hurlingham club in London yesterday. The draw for next week’s Wimbledon tournament is made at the All England Club this morning. MORE

Champion Rose joins Tiger’s ranks

Justin Rose followed his brilliant US Open victory by joining the same management firm that represents Tiger Woods. Rose parted company with Britain-based 4Sports & Entertainment AG to join the growing golf empire run by Mark Steinberg on behalf of Excel Sports. MORE

‘Global adviser’ Singh set for axe

Shebby Singh, the “global adviser” of Blackburn Rovers, is likely to be dismissed by the Indian owners Venky’s. Singh has been involved less and less in day-to-day business at the club and has played a minimal part in helping new manager, Gary Bowyer, prepare for next season. MORE

Torres shines as Spain score 10

Fernando Torres scored four goals and David Villa struck a hat-trick as Spain thrashed Tahiti 10-0 in Group B of the Confederations Cup last night. Torres could have had five but missed a penalty, while David Silva found the net twice and Juan Mata also scored.

Glory for Queen as Estimate triumphs

The Queen’s horse Estimate claimed a historic victory in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot yesterday. The Sir Michael Stoute-trained filly beat Simenon, meaning it was the first time in the race’s 206-year history that it has been won by a reigning monarch. MORE

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