Kevin De Bruyne was hailed as easily the best player in the Premier League by a wounded Mark Hughes after his Stoke City side had been picked apart by the Belgian orchestrator in a marvellous Manchester City symphony on Saturday.De Bruyne did not score but he did everything else in a fabulous all-round performance that inspired the leaders to a thrilling 7-2 evisceration of Stoke at the Etihad Stadium.It was a display so magnificent that Hughes, a fine performer himself in his Manchester United heyday but not a man given to wild praise, was moved to suggest: “For me he is the best player in the Premier League by a country mile.”Hughes called De Bruyne’s quality throughout the match as “absolutely sensational” as the 26-year-old was the heartbeat of arguably the best team performance by any Premier League side this season.Can’t wait for my next ?? games! What a team performance… ??? pic.twitter.com/5QzwKdCNMj- Kevin De Bruyne (@DeBruyneKev) October 14, 2017As the purring over his display could be heard all around the Etihad, De Bruyne, who has been producing one masterclass after another there this season, tried to mute the rave reviews by reminding everyone it was not a one-man show.”We play in a flow at the moment – we are playing well. Not just me,” he shrugged.It is true that a host of City’s players are in tremendous form – Raheem Sterling scored his seventh goal of the season and Leroy Sane his sixth – as City became the first English top-flight side to score 29 in their first eight league games of the campaign since Everton in 1894-95.advertisementYet none of his team mates are quite operating on De Bruyne’s exalted level, as even the flying Gabriel Jesus, whose double took his tally to six for the season, seemed to accept.”We all feel lucky to have him in our team,” the young Brazilian said.With City now resembling the sort of brilliant, free-flowing creation that Pep Guardiola was brought in at great expense to deliver, even the Spanish manager accepted that at the centre of it all flitted a player who “is one of the best by far”.With two more assists to his name, De Bruyne has now helped set up 32 league goals since his City debut in September, 2015, more than any other player, and he is clearly the early pacesetter in the race for the season’s individual awards.
Virat Kohli’s Team India are on a mission to conquer the world. But before they go overseas and take on the world, India will be taking on New Zealand in a three-match ODI and three-match T20 series, starting October 22.India, who are traditionally known for the batting prowess, have seen so much success for the past year or so because of bowling armoury at their disposal.Bharat Arun, India’s bowling coach, feels that the biggest challenge ahead for the team is going to be able to maintain the consistency and for that they need to have a strong pool of bowlers.”This Indian team is blessed with bowlers who are so versatile. The biggest challenge would be to make them perform time and again to maintain the level of consistency. For that I need to create a pool of players, all of whom can come in anytime and do their job,” Arun said to India Today.WATCH FULL VIDEOArun went on to praise Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah for their death bowling skills and said that all he does is giving them the right feedback that helps them work themselves better.”It’s quite a privilege to have bowlers who are so versatile, especially Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar. They are extremely skillful when it comes to death bowling, they have variety and know when to use their skills perfectly to do well in death overs.”My job as a coach is to give them the right feedback so that they understand themselves better. Also to speak about their strengths so that they are able to use their skills effectively. And that’s exactly what these two have done,” Arun said.advertisementArun cleared that the team management is not ignoring Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja but instead they are looking to give Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal a “fair run” before deciding on combinations for the 2019 World Cup.”Ashwin and Jadeja have been exceptional spinners, they have done a great job with both the white and red ball. They would definitely be a part of the old setup but it is the team management’s view of giving everyone a fair run and it’s only fair that we give Kuldeep and Chahal a fair run before we decide what kind of combinations we would like for the 2019 World Cup.”Specifically on Kuldeep, Arun said that even though Kuldeep is extremely talented, the biggest challenge for him is going to be able to constantly evolve.”Kuldeep is someone who is extremely talented but every team has enough videos with them to study every bowler and understand the bowlers better. So I think the challenge for every bowler is to evolve and to have variations that are difficult for batsmen to pick. What we discuss with Kuldeep is when you do get hit, there are lots of lessons to be learnt. Also, understand the batsmen better and at the end, constantly evolvoing is the key for Kuldeep.”Hardik Pandya has recently taken centre stage and captain Kohli has twice called him the most important takeaway from the series in Sri Lanka and ODIs against Australia. The team management is clearly looking for a valuable seam-bowling all-rounder in Pandya — one who can be of immense importance in overseas tours.”Pandya is an extremely talented all-rounder and from Hardik’s point of view, he is a very quick learner. What we are really working on with Hardik is if he can really bring in those 10 overs in ODIs. He’s working a lot on his skills and he’s not afraid to try, probably one of the most fearless cricketers you can have in the side and it makes our job easier.”He is someone who constantly wants to improve and he is maturing fast. He is really happy to take up challenges and the biggest challenge he will have in terms of his bowling is to able to bowl his quota of 10 overs in ODIs,” Arun conceded.Arun attributes the happy atmosphere in the dressing room to the “honesty and fearlessness” in the team and the combination of Ravi Shastri and Kohli that has worked for the team.”The fact Ravi and I worked with the team for two years was extremely helpful. We know all the players, we have worked with them, we understand them and so, it made everything a lot easier.”Ravi is someone who brings in a lot of positivity to the team. He is someone who gives the players a lot of confidence, he is a great motivator. It is a combination that has worked well, it is a happy dressing room. Honesty and fearlessness are the two factors that drive this team,” Arun concluded.advertisement