ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates -- After finally getting the better of longtime rival Lewis Hamilton to become Formula One champion, the weight is off Nico Rosbergs shoulders and he has the chance to really show what he can do.But at 31, the German driver is already into his peak years and only has a limited time left at the top.Rosberg showed impressive mental resilience to get the better of Hamilton over a topsy-turvy season, and the title victory was even sweeter considering that they have been competing against each other since their karting days as teens.It feels like I have been racing him forever and always he has just managed to edge me out, Rosberg said after clinching the title at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Sunday. He is just an amazing driver and one of the best in history. That makes it so much more satisfying that I took the world championship away from him.For Rosberg to be spoken of alongside other F1 greats, he needs to do more than beating Hamilton over 21 races in essentially the same Mercedes car. He was thoroughly consistent, but Rosbergs title win lacked the wow factor in terms of pure driving.He needs to dominate a campaign the way Hamilton and four-time champion Sebastian Vettel -- and others before them -- have done.Rosbergs tally of 23 career race wins is commendable but unremarkable considering Hamilton -- who is the same age -- has a whopping 53 wins. Vettel, who is two years younger, already has 42.Two-time F1 champion Fernando Alonso, who is for some observers still the most skilled driver in F1, has 32 wins. That total would be far higher had Alonso been given a leading car. The Spaniard has not won a race since taking the checkered flag for Ferrari in May 2013. He has spent this season and last getting the best out of a struggling McLaren adapting to its switch back to a Honda engine.Clearly, Rosberg needs to improve his speed if he is to be considered among the best.This year, Hamilton secured 10 wins to Rosbergs nine and -- as Hamilton has consistently repeated -- would probably have had a couple more wins without engine problems that cropped up several times. He considers himself to have been the best driver.Obviously we had a lot of problems this year, and thats inevitably why Im in this position, Hamilton said as Rosberg sat next to him in Sundays post-race news conference.Although Hamiltons comments smacked of poor sportsmanship, he does have an argument.In qualifying, Hamilton took 12 pole positions compared to eight for Rosberg, even though Hamilton was unable to compete in three sessions because of engine woes.Rosberg, however, could also have got more poles under different circumstances.He was not pushing Hamilton in qualifying over the last four races because he was more concerned with protecting his considerable lead and playing it safe on race day, where taking second place behind Hamilton was enough.Still, aside from Singapore, where Rosberg crushed Hamilton in qualifying with a quite stunning lap, he has not been as quick.After missing out on a third straight F1 title and fourth overall, Hamilton will be hugely motivated next year.Others will be pushing Rosberg, too, not least Red Bull driver Max Verstappen.The 19-year-old Dutchman has taken F1 by storm this year -- becoming the youngest to both win a race and qualify on the front row.With rule changes -- notably wider tires -- expected to make the 2017 cars several seconds quicker, Mercedes might be more strongly challenged.Verstappen will have more experience and Red Bull will be confident that he can challenge for wins, considering it was the only team other than Mercedes to win a race this season. Vettel has also expressed optimism that Ferrari can close the gap.Rosbergs father -- 1982 Formula One champion Keke Rosberg -- said his son will need to be ready.The level is always high in Formula One. Look at Max, he is the teammate of (Daniel) Ricciardo. Or Vettel, he is the teammate of (Kimi) Raikkonen, Keke Rosberg said. When you take the top three teams, all of them have been world champions, or at Red Bull theyre all young talents. Thats the level we have. Wholesale Nike Shoes . Ronaldo produced a spectacular individual performance on Tuesday, scoring all three goals and guiding Portugal into the next years World Cup in Brazil with a 3-2 victory in Sweden. The Real Madrid forward has scored 66 goals in 2013, but the last three may be the boost he needs to upstage Messi after FIFA unexpectedly extended the voting period for the Ballon dOr to Nov. 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The changes were largely to brought in to offer some succor to the bowlers, who, in the words of Dave Richardson, the ICC chief executive, had been on a hiding to nothing with the earlier rules, which allowed only four fielders outside the circle in the last ten, and also had a batting Powerplay which was usually taken between the 36th and the 40th. Under the new rules, the batting Powerplay was done away with, while an extra fielder was allowed outside the circle in the last ten. Also, there was no compulsion to have two catching fielders within the first ten.Since those rules kicked in, 113 ODIs have been played, which is a reasonable number to check whether those new rules have had the desired effect on the scoring rates and helped bowlers a little bit. The most recent evidence would suggest not, given that England made the highest ODI total a couple of days back at Trent Bridge against Pakistan, but a longer term view suggests little difference in the overall numbers.In its latest avatar, the average ODI has witnessed a run rate of 5.33, which is almost exactly the same as the rate when the earlier rules were in force between October 30, 2012 and July 4, 2015. The scoring rate increased dramatically in the first six months of 2015, rising to 5.67 from 5.29 in 2014. Those six months included the 2015 World Cup, where the scoring rate was 5.65, and the New Zealand tour to England, where the rate across five matches was an astronomical 7.15. Between October 30, 2012 and December 2014, the overall run rate was only 5.25. When splitting the numbers by teams batting first and second, the distribution is very even over the last 14 months. The teams batting first and chasing have won exactly 54 games each, while the run rates arent very different either. The numbers are quite similar to those between January 2014 and July 4, 2015. The bigger difference, as expected, has been in the last 15 overs. With teams usually opting for the batting Powerplay between the 36th and the 40th, and only four fielders allowed outside the circle in the last ten, the last 15 overs had earlier given the batting teams the licence to hit out freely, knowing that there was minimal risk of being caught at the boundary. However, with the batting Powerplay being scrapped and an extra fielder allowed on the boundary in the last ten, the run rates and the boundary-hitting frequency has dropped significantly.Since July 2015, the run rate for teams batting first in the last 15 overs has dropped to 6.95 from 7.81 in the earlier period. The balls per boundary has gone up from 6.7 to 8.7, a change of nearly 30%. With more fielders on the boundary, batsmen have had a few more opporrtunities to take twos, but overall the run rates and boundaries have reduced in the slog overs and bowlers have had more opportunities to have some control on the game.ddddddddddddhe difference in the second innings isnt so significant, though. With a specific target to chase, teams werent so aggressive in the last 15 even when the field restrictions were in place. The earlier fielding restrictions were tough on bowlers when opposition teams had wickets in hand. When teams batting first had gone into the last ten overs with five or more wickets in hand, they scored at 9.62 per over and averaged 56.81 runs per dismissal. In the last 14 months, those numbers have dropped to 8.78 and 43.58. In the first 35, the rate has gone up marginally - from 4.72 to 4.83 - but it is in the last 15 that bowling captains will feel they have more protection and a better chance to somewhat control proceedings, thanks to the extra fielder available in the outfield. When England go the way they did at Trent Bridge, though, even that extra fielder makes absolutely no difference.****Englands resurgence in ODIs over the last year has been written about before in much detail, but they have been so good recently that it deserves another mention. The 444 at Trent Bridge further underscores their transformation from the team that was such a dismal failure in the 2015 World Cup. Since that tournament, they have scored 350 or more six times in 28 innings (including two washouts), and have six other scores between 300 and 349. In 644 previous ODIs, they only had only two scores in excess of 350.A comparison between their numbers over the last year, and those between January 2014 and March 2015, shows outstanding improvements in all aspects, but especially in terms of power-hitting. In the period between January 2014 and March 2015, England scored a boundary (four or a six) every 12 balls and scored 40% of their runs in boundaries. They averaged 75 balls per six, which works out to four per 50 overs.Since the World Cup debacle, the batting line-up has transformed, and so has the boundary-hitting ability. Their balls per boundary has dropped to eight, percentage of runs in boundaries has risen to 49, and the balls per six has dropped to 46. All of those factors have contributed towards a run rate of 6.39, and a win-loss of 16-9, from a miserable 13-23 in the earlier period. With the batting firepower that they command at the moment, they would have to be favourites for the Champions Trophy that they will be hosting next year.* Percentage of total runs in boundaries^ Balls per boundary (4 or 6) ' ' '