The Sports Matrix: Friday 14 October 2011

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The Independent Online

Bell to miss out on opening one-dayer

Ian Bell is likely to be left out of today’s opening one-day international between India and England in Hyderabad. The 29-year-old, for all his gifts, has never really cracked the one-day code and his younger rivals hit the ball much greater distances. MORE

How Kiwi Dragon inspired Wales

Warren Gatland, a former All Black hooker, convinced the WRU board within minutes that he was “one of us – blue collar, working class, straight talking”, and has been the “key pillar” in a strategy that has Wales on the brink of a first World Cup final. MORE

Wales have what it takes to make final

If Wales play like they did against Ireland they’ll beat France tomorrow, I have no doubt. They’ve improved every game since that agoniser against South Africa and I expect this upward curve to continue. MORE

Mancini calls Tevez to 1am meeting

The Manchester City manager, Roberto Mancini, summoned striker Carlos Tevez to an early hours meeting at his house as he attempted to calm relations between the pair. The forward remains determined to secure an appeal. MORE

Johnson may exit before reviews

With his contract running out at the end of December, Martin Johnson has until tomorrow week to decide if he wants to remain in charge of the England side. That decision could well be taken out of his hands, with a number of reviews set to take place. MORE

‘Lucky’ Irish draw Estonia in play-offs

The Republic of Ireland will play Estonia in next month’s play-offs for a place in next summer’s European Championships. Giovanni Trapattoni’s side avoided the likes of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Czech Republic and Turkey in yesterday’s draw in Krakow. MORE

“It could take years to catch United”

John W Henry believes Liverpool remain “still a long way behind” Manchester United, ahead of tomorrow’s meeting at Anfield. He also admits the legacy of the previous owners meant “it could take years to get the club back where it needed to be.” MORE

Opinion: James Lawton

If you want a motif for the team that former All Black hooker Warren Gatland has fashioned with such nerve and released so confidently into this World Cup, Leigh Halfpenny’s resolution will do well enough. MORE

Rooney handed three-match suspension

Wayne Rooney was last night given a three-game ban for his red card against Montenegro last week, ruling him out of the entire group stage of next summer’s European Championship. Labelling Rooney’s tackle an “assault”, Uefa’s disciplinary panel handed the Manchester United forward the punishment, increased from the mandatory one-game ban, following his kick on Miodrag Dzudovic in the final qualifier in Podgorica last Friday, which ended in a 2-2 draw that saw England top the group and reach the finals. Coach Fabio Capello will wait to learn Uefa’s official reasoning before deciding whether or not to appeal, mindful of the possibility of the ban being increased further. The Italian now faces the decision over whether or not to include Rooney in his squad for a tournament in which England’s participation could be over before the striker is available. MORE

Rooney loss has Capello pondering

After the draw with Montenegro there was no indication in Fabio Capello’s demeanour that he was considering dispensing with his primary asset. But this morning the reality that he will have to rebuild his team without his key player will be sinking in. MORE

Terry helps Chelsea turn on the charm

John Terry is to meet Chelsea Pitch Owners shareholders as the club bid to buy back the freehold of Stamford Bridge. The captain became the first player to back the campaign this week, encouraging CPO shareholders to “trust” Roman Abramovich. MORE