Indian Sports highlights, November 21: Live sports news, commentary, scores and updates

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ESPN India's daily live blog is all you need to keep up with the latest developments in Indian sport. The blog runs throughout the day and is frequently updated, so do check back often.

Here are all the key updates from November 21, Tuesday.

Qatar beat India 3-0

After the high of an away win in Kuwait, India were given a reality check as Asian champions Qatar eased past them at the Kalinga Stadium. Goals from Mostafa Meshaal, Almoez, and Yusuf Abdurisag ensured that India finished the international break with a defeat.

You can reliev the action, as it happened, here.

Our correspondent meets Arsene Wenger

Sunaadh Sagar

I shook Arsene Wenger's hand.

Well, it was the briefest of hand clasps but as an Arsenal fan I will die on this hill. I shook Arsene Wenger's hand and all pretension of detached cynicism (as journalists so often pretend to possess) went out of the window. Amidst a chaotic exit from the launch of the AIFF-FIFA academy in Bhubaneswar, where a crowd gathered around him as he was ushered out, I stuck my hand out and shook hands with my childhood idol.

It wasn't the professional 34-year-old shaking Wenger's hands, it was the 10-yr-old who first fell in love with his 98-99 Arsenal vintage and thus, football. A sport that became my career, my livelihood, my obsession and I owe it all to a man who crystallised his ideas of how the beautiful game was meant to played on the fields of Highbury. Those images were being piped thousands of miles away into a television screen in Bombay and a child was slowly being weaned away from his cricket craze into football's ability to take your breath away with regularity.

It was a 15-yr-old shaking hands who had watched his club achieve the pinnacle of English league football by going a season unbeaten, a year after being pilloried for aiming high with the same goal. Teenagers didn't dream big in India, not for a career in football.

It was the 30-yr-old shaking hands who had witnessed his idol maintain his dignity while receiving all manner of abuse from a fan base that worshipped him for a decade and more. Who had stared at failure and realised... setbacks are part and parcel of life.

It was the 34-yr-old professional who wasn't sure if Wenger's bullish words about India's development in football came from a place of naïveté or his usual optimism. If him taking the example of Japan fast-tracking their way into the World Cup would be foolhardy to expect in a country like India. If his words as a FIFA representative were just hollow platitudes. Whether the dreamer who aimed high would be undermined by the cynicism surrounding Indian football, ever ready to tear ideas into pieces.

I shook his hand. I shook his hand to say thanks. It was barely a second, but that's all I could do.

They say you shouldn't meet your heroes, but you absolutely should. And yet, it also felt like this shouldn't be a once in a lifetime experience. That your heroes should be more accessible, not thousands of miles away. That some day another 34-yr-old will be able to say thanks, meet his idol with regularity.

That's why Arsene Wenger is here, to create more Indian heroes for our people. Or atleast try. Maybe that's why, a handshake was enough.

Pankaj Advani, World Champion yet again.

This is now Advani's 26th world title (including championships across two formats of billiards, and multiple different world-level tournaments in snooker). Just look at that number. Try and process it. In Doha today, Advani beat fellow Indian Sourav Kothari to win the IBSF World Billiards Championship. He had first won the this competition way back in 2005... this win is his ninth title in the long-point format.

ISSF World Cup Final update

Divya TS is eliminated in the seventh position in the eight-shooter final at the season-ending event. Not a good day for Indian pistol shooters in Doha, overall. But at least there was one Indian finalist.

Prannoy avenges last week's loss to Chou Tien Chen

HS Prannoy is through to the second round of the China Masters Super 750, avenging last week's loss to Chou Tien Chen and winning in straight games 21-18, 22-20. The Indian eighth seed was pushed in the match that was close from the start, with no player able to build much of a lead. Prannoy almost was taken to a decider after the first match point was saved for 20-20, but he dub in to win it in two.

At the Japan Masters last week, he lost to the same opponent in three games, as Chou game back from a game down to win the second-round match.

Earlier, India's only representative in women's singles Akarshi Kahsyap went down 21-12, 21-14 to China's Zhang Yi Man.

ISSF World Cup Final update

Only one Indian makes it to the final on the first day of the season-ending ISSF World Cup Final.

Divya TS is into the women's 10m air pistol final, to be held later today at 3 PM.. She finished 6th with 576 points in the qualification. Esha Singh, the other Indian in the fray, finished 13th.

In the men's 10m air pistol, Sarabjot Singh narrowly missed out on the final. He finished ninth with 581 points, just one point behind the last qualifier.

Excitement builds up for India vs Qatar

It's a big match for the Indian men's football team today and Bhubaneswar is ready to fill the Kalinga Stadium entirely with a sold-out crowd. Our correspondent Sunaadh Sagar is in the city and watching India practise and answer questions in the press conference a day before, the overwhelming sense was that this Indian team is different. They may be the underdogs but vintage has it within itself to surprise people. Why is that? Because this is a team worth watching now, and not just a group of good players.

Read more: India are a team, Qatar better believe it

Neeraj Chopra at the World Cup final

Olympic and world champion Neeraj Chopra was in Ahmedabad for the Cricket World Cup final between India and Australia on Sunday. Here's what he had to say after:

Satwik-Chirag start with a win

Some good news to start the day. India's top doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty open their China Masters campaign with a straight-games win. They beat England's Ben Lane and Sean Vendy 21-13, 21-10 with ease. This was a repeat of last year's Commonwealth Games final, which the Indians had won too.

The Indians are the top seeds here, after reaching the world No 1 spot after the Asian Games. However, early exits at the French Open and Japan Masters saw them fall down the rankings. (Note: the draws were made in advance, which means they retain the top seed position)

What's in store today?

  • A huge day for Indian Football, as the mighty Asian champions Qatar come to town. The Kalinga Stadium is sold out, India are full of confidence, can the hosts pull off one of the great upsets?

  • In badminton, the China Masters Super 750 begins today, where Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty will open their campaign against England's Ben Lane and Sean Vendy. Aakarshi Kashyap and HS Prannoy will also be in action on Tuesday.

  • In shooting, the season-ending ISSF World Cup Finals get underway in Doha. The top 15 ranked shooters in each discipline qualify for this event and India have a 12-shooter strong contingent.

What happened yesterday?

You can check all the details of Monday's news events here. Here are the cliff notes:

  • Football: Arsene Wenger landed in India and called Indian football a goldmine that needs to be explored.

  • Football: Manvir Singh, who scored the goal that won India the opening game in the group against Kuwait, missed training ahead of Qatar game.