Virat Kohli has stepped down as India Test captain following the 2-1 series defeat in South Africa.

The 33-year-old took over as skipper in the longest format following MS Dhoni's retirement in 2014 and has gone on to lead his country 68 times in the longest format.

Kohli called time on his reign as Twenty20 captain following the World Cup in the United Arab Emirates late last year, with Rohit Sharma taking that role before also replacing his fellow batter as ODI skipper.

India failed to secure a first Test series win over South Africa after they lost the decider at Newlands by seven wickets on Friday and Kohli has confirmed that will be his last match as captain.

Kohli posted on Twitter: "It has been seven years of hard work, toil and relentless perseverance everyday to take the team in the right direction.

"I've done the job with absolute honesty and left nothing out there. Everything has to come to a halt at some stage and for me as Test Captain of India, it's now,

"There have been many ups and also some downs along the journey, but never has there been a lack of effort or lack of belief.

"I have always believed in giving my 120 per cent in everything I do, and if I can't do that, I know it's not the right thing to do. I have absolute clarity in my heart and I cannot be dishonest to my team.

"I want to thank the BCCI for giving me the opportunity to lead my country for such a long period of time and more importantly to all the team-mates who bought into the vision I had for the team from day one and never gave up in any situation.

"You guys have made this journey so memorable and beautiful. To Ravi [former India head coach Shastri] Bhai and the support group who were the engine behind this vehicle that moved us upwards in Test Cricket consistently, you all have played a massive role in bringing this vision to life.

"Lastly, a big thank you to MS Dhoni who believed in me as a captain and found me to be an able individual who could take Indian cricket forward."

Kohli is India's most successful Test captain, having led his country to 40 victories.

KL Rahul will be in line to step up and succeed one of India's greatest ever players, having recently been appointed as vice-captain in place of Ajinkya Rahane.

Kohli gave no indication he would quit after the loss to the Proteas in Cape Town, warning India "must come back as better cricketers” and improve with the bat.

Virat Kohli has stepped down as India Test captain following the 2-1 series defeat in South Africa.

World number one Novak Djokovic has had his Australian visa revoked for a second time and now faces being deported from the country.

Djokovic won an appeal on Monday to remain in the country, but immigration minister Alex Hawke used separate powers in Australia's Migration Act to again cancel the visa.

The Serbian must now lodge a fresh legal challenge should he wish to defend his Australian Open title, with the tournament set to begin next Monday. 

Novak Djokovic has had his Australian visa revoked for a second time and now faces being deported from the country.

Novak Djokovic has had his visa cancelled for a second time by the Australian government and faces deportation.

Kingsley Coman has signed a contract extension at Bayern Munich that runs until 2027.

Bayern confirmed the new deal for the 25-year-old on Wednesday.

The France winger's previous contract was due to run out in 2023 but Coman has signed on for an additional four years at the Allianz Arena.

Coman initially joined Bayern on loan in 2015 before completing a permanent transfer two years later.

He has won six Bundesliga titles, three DFB-Pokal trophies and the Champions League during his time at the club.

Speaking about his extension, Coman told Bayern's official website: "I'm very happy because FC Bayern are one of the best clubs in the world and I know we still have a lot of opportunities and big goals here.

"I've been at the club since 2015 - it feels like a big family. Everything is perfect here.

"My best years as a footballer are still ahead of me, and I'm glad I'll be spending them at FC Bayern.

"My biggest goal is to win the Champions League again - and this time, please, together with our fans."

It was Coman who scored the winning goal in Bayern's Champions League triumph over Paris Saint-Germain in their treble-winning 2019-20 season, a campaign heavily disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Since joining Bayern, he has made 147 Bundesliga appearances, scoring 28 goals and providing 27 assists. He has also created 189 chances for team-mates, 44 of which are defined as 'big chances' by Opta.

This season in 10 top-flight games, he has four league goals, against an expected goals return of 2.48, though he has yet to provide an assist despite an expected assist rate of 1.54.

Bayern CEO Oliver Kahn said: "Players with Kingsley Coman's ability are wanted by clubs all around the world.

"This contract extension is another example of how attractive our club is at the highest level internationally.

"Kingsley is fully committed to FC Bayern, he's found his footballing home here. World-class players consider very carefully where they sign their contracts these days.

"We're pleased that Kingsley has extended with us long-term: when he's on the ball, the fans get excited. People come to the stadium to see such players."

Board member for sport Hasan Salihamidzic added: "We're very happy Kingsley Coman has committed to FC Bayern with a long-term contract.

"Kingsley came to FC Bayern in 2015 as one of Europe's greatest attacking talents. He has developed into a world-class player with us over the past six and a half years.

"He already made history with his goal in the 2020 Champions League final and now has a great chance to leave his mark on an era.

"King, with his quality as a provider and his goalscoring threat, is of utmost importance for the future of our team. Our aim is for FC Bayern to continue to compete at the top of Europe in the coming years.

"With the contract extensions of Kingsley, Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka, we have laid a strong foundation for this."

Kingsley Coman has signed a contract extension at Bayern Munich that runs until 2027.

Bayern confirmed the new deal for the 25-year-old on Wednesday.

The France winger's previous contract was due to run out in 2023 but Coman has signed on for an additional four years at the Allianz Arena.

Coman initially joined Bayern on loan in 2015 before completing a permanent transfer two years later.

He has won six Bungesliga titles, three DFB-Pokal trophies and a Champions League during his time at the club.

Novak Djokovic is "pleased and grateful" after winning his court battle to stay in Australia and is focused on defending his title at the first grand slam of the year.

Following days of uncertainty regarding the world number one's participation at the Australian Open, it was ruled on Monday he should be immediately released from detention.

That came after authorities cancelled his visa last week, despite the Serbian being granted a medical exemption that allowed him to enter the country, regardless of his vaccination status.

The Australian Border Force declared Djokovic must fly out of the country on Thursday, sparking the challenge that went in the tennis star's favour on Monday.

However, Australia's immigration minister Alex Hawke could still cancel Djokovic's visa on new grounds, meaning his Australian Open participation is not yet 100 per cent known.

But speaking about the saga for the first time on Monday, Djokovic said he remains hopeful of competing at Melbourne Park next week.

"I'm pleased and grateful that the Judge overturned my visa cancellation," he posted on his personal Twitter account. 

"Despite all that has happened, I want to stay and try to compete at the Australian Open. I remain focused on that. 

"I flew here to play at one of the most important events we have in front of the amazing fans."

In a follow-up tweet to his 8.9 million followers, Djokovic added: "For now I cannot say more but THANK YOU all for standing with me through all this and encouraging me to stay strong."

Twenty-time grand slam winner Djokovic posted the message at the same time that his family were holding a news conference in Belgrade, which he was expected to join via video link.

Djokovic's brother Djordje confirmed that the 34-year-old has already returned to the practice court ahead of the Australian Open, which he has won a record nine times.

After spending the weekend at a detention hotel in Melbourne as he attempted to defeat the deportation order, Djokovic's mother Dijana accused the local authorities of subjecting her son "to torture and harassment".

Dijana added: "This is his biggest win in his career – bigger than any grand slam."

Djokovic's father Srdjan praised the mental strength of his son and put Monday's verdict down as a victory for a wider cause.

"Over the past few days, it's been very, very difficult for everyone in the world who is free thinking. But he is mentally extremely, extremely strong," he said.

"They took away all his rights, as a human being. He refused to revoke his visa. They gave him no right to prepare his defence for several hours, and they took away his phone. 

"Fortunately they gave him back his phone. He contacted his legal team who mounted a fantastic defence, that they could not match.

"This is a huge win for Novak, his family and the free world. He respected everything that was asked of him. He only wanted to go there to play tennis.

"Justice and the rule of law have prevailed. The judge who presided over the case has shown that not for a second was Novak the guilty party. 

"The judge was fantastic, he simply respected the facts. He took the only decision that was possible which was to release Novak."

Novak Djokovic has sensationally been handed an Australian Open lifeline by a Melbourne court.

The men's tennis world number one secured his freedom, defeating a deportation order brought by Australia's government.

The Serbian secured an injunction against immediate deportation on Thursday and spent the weekend at a detention hotel.

Ahead of the Australian Open, where he has won the men's singles title a record nine times, including last year, Djokovic arrived in the country with what he insisted were the correct documents.

Yet Australian Border Force officials cancelled his visa application, stating Djokovic had "failed to provide appropriate evidence to meet the entry requirements to Australia".

Lawyers for the 34-year-old stated he was granted a temporary activity visa on November 18.

The legal team said he was granted a medical exemption for the first grand slam of the year after a COVID-19 positive test on December 16, and was later given the go-ahead by Australia's Department of Home Affairs to travel.

However, lawyers for the government issued their own court filing on Sunday, disputing Djokovic's right to come to Australia.

"There is no suggestion that the applicant had 'acute major medical illness' in December 2021," said the government filing. "All he has said is that he tested positive for COVID-19. This is not the same."

The issue has become a political hot topic in Australia, with Djokovic's stance on COVID-19 matters rankling with many, particularly in the state of Victoria, who have faced hard lockdowns during the pandemic.

The case was listed as Novak Djokovic v Minister for Home Affairs. That is Karen Andrews; however, the matter has been one in which prime minister Scott Morrison has also become a central figure, insisting when Djokovic's visa was revoked: "Rules are rules, especially when it comes to our borders. No one is above these rules."

Djokovic has declined to confirm his vaccination status, but by requiring an exemption to compete at Melbourne Park it has been widely assumed he has not been jabbed. The government filing on Sunday stated it was "common ground that the applicant is unvaccinated".

His case was heard at Melbourne's Federal Circuit Court on Monday, with Judge Anthony Kelly ruling that the Serbian's visa cancellation order is "quashed" immediately.

This means Djokovic's visa is now valid and he can enter Australia ahead of the Australian Open getting underway in a week's time.

Tournament director Craig Tiley had said ahead of the hearing that he hoped Djokovic would be cleared to play and defend his title.

The drawn-out saga may not be entirely over just yet, however, as government lawyer Chris Tran indicated Australia's immigration minister – who has exceptional powers – may consider cancelling Djokovic's visa again.

Novak Djokovic has sensationally been handed an Australian Open lifeline by a Melbourne court.

Aston Villa have pulled off a significant coup by agreeing to sign Barcelona midfielder Philippe Coutinho on loan for the rest of the season.

The Brazil playmaker returns to the Premier League four years after leaving Liverpool to join Barca in a big-money move.

Coutinho will be reunited with his former Reds team-mate Steven Gerrard, who was appointed as Villa boss in November.

The 29-year-old Coutinho, who is contracted to Catalan giants Barca until June 2023, spent a loan spell with Bayern Munich in the 2019-20 season.

He has endured an injury-hit time at Camp Nou, with Barca attempting to cut him from their squad in the last off-season as they looked to clear room on the wage bill to not only register new signings, but also keep hold of Lionel Messi.

No buyer could be found for Coutinho at the time, but he is now on the move, at least temporarily, to Villa, who are 13th in the Premier League.

Villa said: "Aston Villa and FC Barcelona have agreed terms for Philippe Coutinho to spend the rest of this season on loan at Villa Park.

"The agreement, which is subject to the player completing a medical and receiving a work permit, also includes an option to buy and Philippe will travel to Birmingham in the next 48 hours."

Coutinho has made 16 Barca appearances across all competitions this season, starting five times and scoring two goals.

Across his time in Spain, he helped Barca win two LaLiga titles, the Copa del Rey twice and the Supercopa de Espana, scoring 26 goals in 106 appearances in all competitions. He scored 17 times in LaLiga.

 

Gerrard had refused to be drawn on talk of Coutinho joining Villa during a press conference on Thursday, but he lavished praise on the "magician".

"Sixty-three caps for Brazil, a serial winner, was incredible at Liverpool, so I can understand why he's linked to a lot of football clubs," said the former England midfielder.

"I can understand why a lot of supporters up and down the country are speaking about him. I don't think you get a nickname as a magician if you're not a special footballer, so he's someone I have an incredible amount of respect for."

Gerrard added: "I think if you go and have a look at his Wikipedia page, I think you'll see a serial winner wherever he's been.

"I've got nothing but positive things to say about the player. He's a friend of mine, so if I'm asked the questions I can speak for as long as you want."

Coutinho won the Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and Champions League during his season in Germany with Bayern.

Aston Villa have pulled off a significant coup by agreeing to sign Barcelona midfielder Philippe Coutinho on loan for the rest of the season.

The Brazil playmaker returns to the Premier League four years after leaving Liverpool to join Barca in a big-money move.

Coutinho will be reunited with his former Reds team-mate Steven Gerrard, who was appointed as Villa boss in November.

The 29-year-old Coutinho, who is contracted to Catalan giants Barca until June 2023, spent a loan spell with Bayern Munich in the 2019-20 season.

He has endured an injury-hit time at Camp Nou, with Barca attempting to cut him from their squad in the last off-season as they looked to clear room on the wage bill to not only register new signings, but also keep hold of Lionel Messi.

No buyer could be found for Coutinho at the time, but he is now on the move, at least temporarily, to Villa, who are 13th in the Premier League.

Villa said: "Aston Villa and FC Barcelona have agreed terms for Philippe Coutinho to spend the rest of this season on loan at Villa Park.

"The agreement, which is subject to the player completing a medical and receiving a work permit, also includes an option to buy and Philippe will travel to Birmingham in the next 48 hours."

Coutinho has made 16 Barca appearances across all competitions this season, starting five times and scoring two goals.

Novak Djokovic has announced he will play at the Australian Open, revealing he has been given "exemption permission" to compete.

The world number one and nine-time champion in Melbourne has not declared whether he has been vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus.

Australia has stringent rules about who should be allowed to enter the country, with tennis players needing to be either vaccinated or hold a medical exemption in order to play the grand slam tournament.

Serbian superstar Djokovic wrote on Instagram on Tuesday: "I’ve spent fantastic quality time with my loved ones over the break and today I'm heading Down Under with an exemption permission. Let's go 2022!!"

Djokovic's message was accompanied by a picture of him at an airport, with a tennis racquet bag atop his luggage on a trolley, indicating he was ready to board his flight to Australia.

He told his followers: "Happy New Year, everybody! Wishing you all health, love, and happiness in every present moment and may you feel love and respect towards all beings on this wonderful planet."

Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley said on Sunday he expected defending champion Djokovic's status for the event to become clear within days. The grounds for Djokovic receiving an exemption have yet to be disclosed, and it is unclear whether they will ever be made public.

The 20-time grand slam winner withdrew from the ATP Cup in Sydney last week, begging questions of whether he would head to Australia at all, but now that appears to have been cleared up.

Djokovic has steadfastly refused to disclose whether he has been jabbed. His declaration that he has been given an exemption points to him not having been vaccinated.

The 34-year-old won in Melbourne last February and followed up by triumphing at the French Open and Wimbledon to join Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer on 20 major titles.

Djokovic will be attempting to seize the outright lead by capturing a 21st slam, with the Australian Open running from January 17-30 at Melbourne Park.

He was on the same mission at the US Open but lost out to Daniil Medvedev in the New York final in September, as the Russian landed his first grand slam title at Flushing Meadows.

Medvedev was the man Djokovic beat in last year's Australian Open final, and is again expected to be a major challenger this time around.

Novak Djokovic has announced he will play at the Australian Open, revealing he has been given "exemption permission" to compete.

The world number one and nine-time champion in Melbourne has not declared whether he has been vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus.

Australia has stringent rules about who should be allowed to enter the country, with tennis players needing to be either vaccinated or hold a medical exemption in order to play the grand slam tournament.

Serbian superstar Djokovic wrote on Instagram: "I’ve spent fantastic quality time with my loved ones over the break and today I'm heading Down Under with an exemption permission. Let's go 2022!!"

Barcelona on Tuesday confirmed they have reached an agreement to sign Ferran Torres from Manchester City for a reported fee of €65million.

The Spain international returns to LaLiga following an 18-month spell in the Premier League and has signed a deal until June 2027.

Barca are said to be paying an initial €55m (£46.7m) and as much as €10m (£8.5m) in add-ons.

The Catalan giants revealed a €1billion release clause has been inserted in Torres' contract and he will be officially unveiled at Camp Nou on January 3.

City initially spent roughly €23m (£20m) to sign Torres from Valencia in 2020, meaning they have more than doubled their money on a player who has never truly been considered a first-choice starter.

Barca had been linked with Torres in pre-season but their crippling financial state meant transfer outlays were implausible.

The club's debts have topped €1.4billion this year and as a result of their financial performance, they saw their LaLiga salary cap slashed by €280m to just €97m, hence their inability to retain Lionel Messi.

That saw Barca slip from having the second-highest wage limit last season to seventh in 2021-22.

 

Speculation ahead of Torres' signing led to many pondering how Barca can suddenly afford such a significant transfer fee so soon, but reports indicate they recently took out a significant loan to ensure they can.

Torres' arrival means new coach Xavi has the type of young, dynamic attacker he had been after, with the 21-year-old capable of playing through the middle and out on the right, where he was most-frequently used at Valencia.

Since Xavi's return to Barca as head coach, he has spoken regularly about a desire to play with classic wingers, while his reluctance to use Luuk de Jong as the focal point of their attack has suggested a preference for a quick and energetic central striker – Torres fits the bill on both counts.

Yet he leaves City as something of an enigma, having only made 15 Premier League starts in 2020-21, and this season Torres has managed just four appearances in the top flight due to a foot injury he sustained on international duty in October.

As much as it feels he has left City before the Premier League truly got to know him, in his limited time Torres has made an impact on the pitch for City.

Among City players to feature for at least 1,000 minutes across all competitions since the start of last season, Torres' 0.55 goals per 90 minutes is the highest and none of his strikes have been from the penalty spot.

 

His average of 2.8 shots (per 90) is third only to Kevin De Bruyne (3.3) and Riyad Mahrez (3.2), and his expected goals on a per-90-minute basis of 0.44 is bettered by just Raheem Sterling (0.47), showing that Torres' high goals frequency comes from being a consistent threat.

Torres' 1.1 chances created on average is well down the list at City, however. While this may partly reflect the fact he has featured as a central striker often, perhaps greater productivity in this area would have seen City put up more of a fight to keep him.

Nevertheless, the signing represents something of a coup for a Barcelona that just a few months ago was incapable of paying for players of such a calibre.

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