Following denial of visa to Pakistani shooters, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Friday suspended all Indian applications to host future Olympic-related events.
The committee also warned India that it will take away the hosting rights of two more World Cup events allotted to country until central government guarantees in writing that all countries and athletes will be allowed.
IOC reluctantly spared India of 14 shooting quota places, out of total 16, for Tokyo Olympics. After the two Pakistani shooters — GM Bashir and Khalil Ahmed — were not issues visa to take part in the ISSF Shooting World Cup beginning here on Saturday.
IOC relented after talks with sports minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Indian Olympic Association (IOA) president Narendra Batra along with Randhir Singh and Nita Ambani, India’s representatives in the IOC.
DNA has reliably learnt IOC first decided to scrap all the 16 quota places, as was announced by International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) president Vladimir Lisin on Thursday.
But the three, IOA members and Rathore, constantly connected on the phone line, somehow managed to convince the world sports body to only scrap two quota places in 25m Rapid Fire Pistol event, in which the Pakistani shooters were due to take part.
However, IOC warned India that if the government does not give a written assurance, about allowing athletes from all countries, “soon”, the two awarded World Cup events — men’s 2021 World Boxing Champions and 2020 Shooting World Cup — will be taken to other countries.
The IOC had already given two warnings to India on the issue of not granting visas to athletes.
The first was when Kosovo athletes were denied visa for the ‘Women’s Boxing World Championship in November 2018 and before that for the women’s India Cup boxing’.
Even then, AIBA and Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) president Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah had shot off a letter to Rathore warning of “long-reaching ramifications”.
India were also reminded during the meeting, which concluded around 2 am (IST) that there is every possibility that IOA will be suspended much like what happened to Kuwait in 2010, under the Olympic Charter (Rule 28.9 in particular) to protect the Olympic Movement, following political interference in sports by the then government.
If suspended, Indian athletes will be allowed to participate in all the international events, including 2020 Olympic Games, only under the IOC flag and not the Tri-colour.
Olympian Bindra disappointed for not selecting Jaspal Rana for Dronacharya award
Jaspal Rana is amongst the best of the Indian shooters.
He had bagged a good number of gold and silver medals in the Asian and the Common Wealth Games. He is also credited for training young and budding shooters like Manu Baker, Saurav Choudhary, and Anees Bhanwala.
They are international shooters who have brought several medals for India in various international shooting championships. Jaspal’s daughter Devanshi Rana who is just 19 years has also won many Gold medals in international shooting championships in the junior category. She has also won gold in the Khelo India national competition.
However, now Olympic medal-winning shooter Abhinav Bindra is now annoyed with the members of the national selection panel. This is because Jaspal’sname is not included in the panel of awardees for the prestigious Dronacharya Award. Abhinav expressed his disappointment over this development. Abhinav Bindra praised Jaspal Rana for being an outstanding coach and shooter of international repute.
Abhinav Bindra said that Jaspal Rana has attained excellence in training the young and the budding shooters of India. These shooters have brought laurels for the country in shooting, despite this, his name has been overlooked for the prestigious Dronacharya award. He added that this gives his wards the impetus to train harder and prove the selection committee wrong in the international shooting competition at Tokyo in the year 2020. Olympian shooter Abhinav Bindra tweeted: ‘I can attribute much of my success to having wonderful coaches. @jaspalrana2806 has earned my respect as one of the best and it is disappointing to see him overlooked for the Dronacharya Award. Hope this gives his wards the impetus to train harder and prove the committee wrong at Tokyo 2020.’
Abhinav Bindra said that by excluding shooting coach Jaspal Rana the Indian team has now more challenges ahead. Uttarakhand Journalists Forum and NewsViewsNetwork wish Jaspal Rana the very best in all his future endeavors.
Tendulkar donates to PM Relief Fund in aid of flood victims
The former Indian skipper Sachin Tendulkar has appealed to countrymen to come forward and contribute generously to the prime minister’s relief fund and also directly to the flood victims of the Kerala deluge.
Sachin Tendulkar has also personally donated a hefty amount to the Prime Minister Relief Fund especially for the flood victims in Kerala and other flood-affected states. He has also appealed to one and all to come forward to the rescue of these hapless people by contributing with an open and generous heart.
In a tweet, yesterday former Indian Cricket captain Sachin who is credited for bringing world cups and several laurels for India in International cricket who is also loved and adored by millions of his fans globally, wrote: The recent floods across Kerala have been catastrophic. As the water starts to recede, there is a lot of help required for the flood-affected states. I have tried to do my bit, to help through the PM Relief Fund ( PMnrf.govt.in/en/ ) and request all of you to help and support.
Sachin Tendulkar has also posted several pictures of the flood victims being rescued by disaster management officials and local people. His tweet was not exclusively for Kerala but for all the states that have suffered calamities due to these heavy deluges. It may be recalled that the Kerala floods have completely ravaged the beautiful state affecting the lives of about 2.51 lakh people who have been displaced from their houses and properties. They are in terrible condition for the last several days.
This deluge has claimed more than 80 lives with about forty persons still untraceable. The massive devastation caused by these floods is indeed heartbreaking with hundreds of thousands of homes ravaged completely, lives lost and families separated with literally nothing left. The government is supplying a tremendous amount of relief material and rations through rail and air networks. The railway minister Piyush Goyal has announced that the railways will not charge any freight on the relief materials being ferried to the flood-affected states of Maharashtra, Kerala, and Karnataka. He has urged countrymen and other agencies who want to contribute to donate as much as relief material they can.
The Railways will not charge anything for ferrying the relief material he assured in a tweet.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni to serve in valley as Lt. Colonel of Territorial Army
Former Indian cricket captain credited for achieving two prestigious cricket world cup wins for the country raising its prestige globally, Mahendra Singh Dhoni would serve the Indian Army at South Kashmir, the most sensitive terror-stricken area in Kashmir valley for 15 days from 1st August till 15th August, India’s independence day. He would be the first-ever celebrity to serve the country as an honorary Lt. Colonel in the terror-stricken South Kashmir Valley for 15 days incessantly performing the patrol duties on the border and other daily routine jobs as done by fellow army men.
Former Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni is an honorary Lt Colonel of Territorial Army, a status given to him for his outstanding contribution to Cricket for the country. He would during his 15 days duty try to bring the misguided Kashmiri youths in the national mainstream said the sources.
Speaking to the media, former cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said that he had volunteered to serve the territorial Army for 15 days as he wants to acquaint himself about the challenging and critical circumstances and situations our Army troopers and officers face and function in at the border and terrorists infested areas fighting against all odds.
The Indian Army had sought permission from the Defence Ministry on the request of Mahendra Singh Dhoni as it has been duly accepted. The senior officers have prepared the duty schedule for Dhoni for his 15 days stay in the valley.
In the past too Dhoni had visited the Army camps in Kashmir valley and had exchanged pleasantries in Army Uniform. He attended the award function at Rashtrapati Bhawan as one of the recipients in full-fledged Army uniform receiving the coveted honour Padmabhushan from President Ram Nath Kovind in Ashok Hall on Monday.
According to former cricket captain and honorary Lt Colonel of territorial army, Mahendra Singh Dhoni lauded the hard work and dedication of the Indian Army in securing our borders and protecting us by sacrificing their precious lives. He added that my 15 days physical duty along with jawans with the territorial army on the ground is a tribute to our warriors who lay their lives in the line of duty.
After receiving the award Mahendra Singh Dhoni wrote on Instagram with his picture in Army uniform: An honour to get Padma Bhushan and receiving it in Uniform increases the excitement ten folds. He further wrote: Thanks to all Men and Women in Uniform and their families for the Sacrifices they make so that all of us could enjoy our Constitutional Rights, Jain Hind.
Aftermath of 2019 World Cup Cricket: the flip side
Cricket is a game of uncertain, but the amount and nature of uncertainty level which gives us the thrill, excitement and euphoria made the game most unique among all other sports. The recent concluded quadrennial extravaganza of World cup 2019 is definitely one of those events where each game gives us such feeling especially the D-day or finale stands out among the all other the matches.
Though the event is marred by certain criticisms and controversies it has something to cheer for the crowd at the end of the day. Be it the game of host nation England or India or mercurial Pakistan, each cricket nation gives their best till the last league match between South Africa Vs Australia where a below average South Africa overpowered another tournament favourite Australia in a cliff-hanger. Apart from minnow Afghanistan, all the cricket nations give their best to reach the Semi-Final though it had given tough time India in their league encounter.
The team which impressed me as a cricket aficionado most that are team Bangladesh. They have played out of their skin and probably their best in the world cup so far to surprise and supersede others. If they maintain and sustain their level of performance, who knows 2023 world cup can be knocking their door.
Probably the important X- factor and the limiting one is the English weather. It is more than unpredictable than the Pakistan team. As a number of matches abandoned and highest any word cup, could not get the best team for the semis.
Another interesting factor is the condition and nature of the pitches used for matches. In a cricket match the 22 yard matters the most but in an unpredictable and uncertain way. But this trend reversed as in 90 per cent matches won by the team playing by winning the toss and opting for batting first. Going by this trend, runner up New Zealand the team who all most won the final but due to some interesting rules by ICC, they are deprived of the glory by a whisker.
Coming back to peculiar and controversial rules of ICC has raised the eyebrows of cricket pundits. Especially in the final match the super over concept after the tie between the two teams quite ludicrous. Similarly, it won’t be ridiculous to say that a getting a six for an overthrow and which should be a five-run as admitted by the officiating field Umpire Kumara Dharmasena. The most hilarious part is deciding the winner on the base of a number of boundaries in the innings by each team. As some of the players of the NewZealand team had already spoken about the unaware of this boundary information after the match. In Football the winner is decided by extra time or penalty, same kind logic must be implemented here also with any doubt as strongly advocated by the great Sachin Tendulkar.
In the last but not least the failure of India in the semis has shattered and broken the heart of cricket fans all over the world. After topping at the group stage and playing some superb, adventurous and exciting cricket it is difficult to digest the defeat and elimination. But fans all over the world must repose and reinstate faith and hope in team India. As the test championship and world twenty-twenty is round the corner the team India should not lose their focus. This is the team who has performed all over the world in alien conditions like Australia, South Africa and NewZealand has a long way to go. Certainly, the form is temporary but class is permanent.
World cup cricket 2019 winner paranoia: Predicting the unpredictable
Summer comes in many ways for Indians. But this English summer has brought a special sensation that is World Cup Cricket. The quadrennial event has given some respite to the cricket aficionados in this scorching weather. In India cricket is religion and Tendulkars, Kohlis and Dhonis are worshipped as semi-gods. Their fanatic fans cannot digest the defeat at any means. The stubborn cricket lovers are completely obsessed with the team’s success and ultimately want to see captain Kholi conquering the world. Now the question arises, Can India deliver the goods? If not India who else will clinch the title? Predicting the unpredictable definitely needs a hail out of something as cricket is uncertain.
Going by the format and fixtures as each team will lock horn with 9 remaining teams(in total 10 teams are participating), it is early days to define and predict the form and momentum of the teams. As all the 10 teams are looking ominous and any team can surprise the stronger opponent on their day. Critically dissecting the results of matches till now have been played, no team looks to be underdogs or a dark horse. For an instance West Indies stunned and bounced out Pakistan comprehensively but battered, bruised and rattled Pakistan checked the juggernaut of the tournament most favourite English team in a close encounter. Most Interestingly Afghanistan surpassed Pakistan in the warm-up matches. Similarly, Bangladesh overpowered South Africa and gave a scare to the only undefeated side in four matches Kiwis in a cliffhanger. England completely outplayed Bangladesh by their batsman’s brute force but simply can not underestimate and undermine them by this performance.
Coming back to another favourite Australia, started positively by winning comprehensively over Afghanistan but narrowly escaped after the top-order collapse and thanks to some rearguard action mostly by Coulter-neil now can be called as an all-rounder now in this format against West Indies.
Now come to the most fan follower side all over the world that is none other than team India. The team looks to be an awesome touch. Openers are firing at the top but an unfortunate and untimely injury to Dhawan can be a big blow to team India ‘s world cup winning chances. But India’s has the sufficienct supplement in the form of stylish Karnataka opener KL Rahul and who is going to replace Dhawan the Delhi dasher Risbah Pant. Rohit Sharma scintillating century against South Africa shows how good player he is in this format as rightly said by his skipper as the best one till now. King Kohli as arguably and undoubtedly the best batsman in the current scenario can tear apart any bowling attack in the world. His insatiable hunger for runs and gigantic one-day record definitely give some strong messages to the opposition. The only matter of debate the number –four in batting order looks to be little fragile but it was bit settled in the form by stylish K.L Rahul but an injury to Dhawan and pushing him to the top –order can be a lacuna in that position. But with the inclusion of Pant, can play some mind games in the opposition camp. Apart from number four conundrum, all places in the side look more settled and strengthened. Indian middle order with two mavericks in the form of Kedar Jadhav and Mumbai hurricane Hardikya can blow away any batting line up. All these descriptions without magician Mahendra Singh Dhoni are seen incomplete. His Midas touch reminds the black magic of witch that not only makes possible the impossible but can snatch the win from the opposition’s jaw by a whisker and handing over most unwelcome and unexpected defeat in no time. Not only his batting prowess but his glove work behind the stumps has been clueless for the opponent. The legend from Ranchi contribution to the game does not end here as his gimmick of marshalling fielders in middle and death overs and timely suggestion to the bowlers still shows why he is the boss on the field. Virat probably is a rare and only captain ever played in this format to give such responsibility and respect to his ex-captain. This show how team India is gelling together and contributing to the team’s success.
After a detailed analysis of batting-depth and power, we must look at the what Indian bowling offers to the opposition. It is a balanced one with seam, swing, speed and spin, every angle as per possible covered. Jaspit Bumarah speed and deadly toe-crushing Yorker can be lethal to any opposition, both at the opening spell and slog overs. Bhuvaneswar Kumar has already shown his swing and seam skill in the English conditions in both the encounter India has faced. Not to forget the Bengal speedster Shami, quickest for India to take 100 wickets in this format can be a handy customer in this temperate English conditions. The troika pace battery of India has probably the best ever India has for long to represent a world cup cricket.
As the progress of the event and with summer coming hard to the English soil, pitches will play some tricks in terms of spinning options. The spin twins Kuldeep and Cahal offer the varieties and mysteries to play some stratagem in the opposition. They complement in such a way that opposition faces an uphill task to free from their tight grip in the crucial middle orders. They not only squeeze the opposition but their ability to give crucial and timely breakthrough can split the backbone of the counterpart.
Cricket is a funny game as we analyze past world cup winners, apart from mighty West –Indies in ’70s and ’80s and the invincible Aussies in twenty-first centuries all winners are underdogs. They came from nowhere to clinch the prestigious title in cricket history. Be it Kapil’s 83 or Border’s 87 and moving on to 1992 the Imran Khan’s Pakistan and most interestingly Arjuna Ranatunga’s 1996 all are dark horses at the outset of the tournament. Thinking about mercurial Pakistan who could have not been able to play the semis in 1992 but the rain washed away the against most favourite and strong opponent the then England encounter, gives an important one point edge over Aussies and Indies. Like bad weather, this time is looming over ICC event and three matches have already abandoned anything can happen to the outcome of the quadrennial event.
Another aspect probably has not been noticed that is in the last two world cup the host has triumphed the trophy. Going by that trend England chances are pretty high in this year event. It has all ticks in the column to be a champion side. They have been relentlessly playing some serious cricket since their miserable failure in 2015 world cup.
Whatever may be the outcome, the cricket will win at the end of the day. Chauvinistic crowds must have a lot to cheer not only sixers but the wickets and catches. Cricket is a game of momentum, the team picks themselves at the right time and remain calm and composed in crunch situations will clinch the most awaited cricket world cup 2019. Fingers crossed.
Two times DSA champion Garhwal Heroes wins semi finals by 6-0. Enters final of DSA Senior Division Annual Open Clubs Football Leagues’ Championship
Established in 1953 and DSA champion twice in the past, prestigious Garhwal Heroes Football Club today reached the finals of DSA Senior Division Annual Open Clubs Football leagues’ Championships by defeating the Youngman team with 6-0 at Ambedkar Football Stadium in the presence of good number of highly enthusiastic football fans and football veterans.
The semifinal match started at 4.06 PM. Prior to the commencement of the match several dignitories including the former terrific footballer Shyam Thapa were introduced to the olayers of both the teams viz Garhwal Heroes n the Youngman.
The semifinal match began with an attack from the team Youngman in the initial minutes of the game, but highly spirited Garhwal Heroes did not allow them to be successful in their pursuits and were clever enough to invade in their territory with tremendous energy, scoring the very first goal in the 5th minute amid cheers from the fans at the stands. The first goal was shot by Charles, the prolific Garhwal striker.
Thereafter, both the teams displayed attacks after attacks on each others’ defence but Garhwal Heroes dominated the game as Kamal, Maheep and Charles converted a series of cheeky passes leading to Garhwal Heroes second goal in in just 15th minutes. The energy level n enthusiasm of the players of Garhwal Heroes was so high spirited n in sequence that the aggressive attempts from the opponent Youngman aimed at equalizing the score failed at every level.
However, terrific Garhwal Heroes keeping their flag high, scored their third consecutive goal in the 31st minute making the score 3-0 thus demoralising their oponent Youngman. The fans n football veterans at the stands were enjoying every moment of the competition despite raised temperature. Surprisingly to the shock of the Youngman supporters, the third goal came from Kamal Rawat who converted Maheep’s pass into a goal by a power-packed shot through a narrow n difficult angle. As followed, Garhwal kept on combining well and upping their team effort resulting in emphatic goals in the 33rd, 36th, and 43rd minutes of the game to award Garhwal Heroes a fabulous lead of 6-0.
This ravishing scoreline was a result of a beautiful display of short, accurate passes and a well-coordinated attacking line of Kamal Rawat and Charles (strikers), T. Haukib, Aman Thapa and Maheep (midfielders). The defenders did a fantastic job and complemented the efforts of the strikers and midfielders to ensure a clean sweep by Garhwal. After this extremely eventful first half, the fans witnessed a goalless second half as Garwhal sailed into the finals with a final scoreline of 6-0, thanks to Charles’ hat-trick and other brilliant goals by Kamal Rawat, Aman Thapa and support from Haukib! Due to the extremely hot and humid weather today, a 2-minute water break was given to the players in each half of the match.
Semifinal 2 will be played tomorrow on Tuesday, 28 May 2019 at 4:00 pm at Ambedkar Stadium between defending champions Indian Air Force (New Delhi) and Delhi FC.
FINAL: The winner of Semifinal 2 will face Garhwal Heroes in the finals on Thursday, 30th May 2019 for a cash prize of INR 1.5 lacs (INR 75,000 cash prize for the Runner-Up).
Garhwal was established in the year 1953 and went on to be crowned the Champion in 1986 and 2013. It will look to lift the esteemed championship cup for the third time in its history on the 30th of May, 2019, so come support your team in huge numbers!
Kudos to Garhwal Heroes for repeatedly proving its mettle. A football team with scarce resources makes it to the top
*GARHWAL ENTER SEMIFINALS*
Garhwal Heroes, the table toppers of their group in the preliminary stage, had their last match of the Super League today on 22 May 2019, Wednesdayat the Ambedkar Stadium, New Delhi. The encounter was against Indian Nationals, owned and operated by the Amity Group of Institutions with abundant funding for the club. It was a very significant match for both the teams as today’s defeat would’ve meant a missed chance to enter the semifinals as well as an ouster from the DSA (Football Delhi) Senior Division Open Club League Championship. This time again, Garhwal fielded a well-rounded team that included the Nigerian striker Charles, who was earlier not played in the preliminary stages, though he showed ultimate class in play and character on the field when he was fielded in the last match that Garhwal won by a mind blowing scoreline of 5-1. The victory was made sweeter by all the fans present in huge numbers who came in response to the social media coverage and updates of the club, encouraging fans to come and support their beloved team in this must-win match with utmost vigour and enthusiasm.
The match started at 4:52 pm against the scheduled time of 4:45 pm. In the beginning, the opponents showed their strength by initiating attacks towards our half from the very start itself. But the formidable lineup of Garhwal did not allow them to sustain their efforts for long, as our half line combined and reached the opponent’s D wherein again Charles, the Nigerian striker, combining with other players, displayed his immaculate maturity, spontaneity, presence of mind and skill to utilize the cheeky set of tricks and tactics that he had just showcased to convert the brilliantly orchestrated move into a goal in the 11th minute. This goal came to the utter surprise of the opponents in the early minutes of the game and in response, the opponent players started attacking Garwal, in a full-blown effort to equalize. However, the Garhwal players, keeping in mind their motto of winning, kept their focus and maintained their natural game and combined well, to find an opportune moment to score another goal and thereby cement their lead as a one-goal margin was not enough. And it was here! In the 45th minute of the first half, as there was an airborne cross from Thapa, Charles positioned himself in such a way as to cut the opponent goalie’s access to the airborne ball, which finally dropped behind the goalie and was neatly pushed into the net by Gaurav Rawat (Daani). This goal put Garhwal in a more stable lead of 2-0. After the halftime, the opponents seemed visibly desperate to reduce the margin but were not focused as per the plan of their coach. Garhwal took full advantage of this situation and it was in the 77th minute in the second half that they meticulously showed their skill in the opponent’s D amidst the melee of players from both sides – the ball was rebound off Aman Thapa’s powerful shot which was then diligently converted into a goal by a power-packed shot by T. Haukib through a narrow angle. The opponent’s goalkeeper was stunned, naturally so, as the Garwal strikers didn’t even allow him a moment of movement between the said rebound and the goal.
After the third goal, Garhwal created many such moments where it could’ve increased the margin, while the opponents also tried their best to salvage themselves, often shooting aimlessly as a result of their desperation. In the end, Garhwal stood victorious with a ravishing score of 3-0 and sailed into the semifinals!
The Garhwal Heroes was established in the year 1953 and became first-time champions in 1986 and subsequently in the year 2013, and is on the journey to become the champions this time with the blessings of all you fans and supporters.
Good luck, Garhwal! Bring home the Cup!!
MSD-2; SUCCESS SOJURN CONTINUES
Contemplating a tiny take from the Oscar-winning movie Gladiator and Academy award-winning actor Russell Crowe’s fabulous narration from that movie only ‘Are you not entertained?’ and annexing with Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s entire cricket life, one aspect which comes to mind, who is the greatest entertainer in the current crop of cricketers for India? Not in terms of off the field activities but in the means of closing the cliffhanger in the last penultimate over’s like a classic Hollywood thriller making the most of matches exciting, enthralling and above all entertaining.
India is a nation where cricket is treated as a religion and Tendulkars are worshipped as semi Gods. But for us what matters most is how to snatch a victory from the opposition jaw by a whisker. Hats off to the magician Mahi.
Six months ago his position in Indian side was uncertain and raised few eyebrows of cricket laurels. He proved his critics wrong. Be it in front of the stumps or behind the stumps he is the go-to man for captain Kohli in crunch close matches.
Dhoni’s average in one –the day is 52.07 in 341 outings. Dhoni’s batting record is Bradmanesque when it comes successful run chase in ODI(in a minimum of 20 innings) is 99.85. Even the great Virat Kohli, who is at the prime of his career, is ranked second best to 37 years old with an average of 99.84 in successful ODI run chase.
Looking at recent IPL performances of MSD performance speaks augur well. He averages at an astounding average @42.12 accumulating 358 runs in 11 outings.IPL is the biggest entertaining platform for all the prime cricketer for showcasing and proving their net worth for their franchise. The Ranchi dasher is the best entertainer ever in this format also. Suddenly TRPs of television channels are surging in the closing overs in recent times. Maverick Mahi performances not only proved his prowess in front of stumps but his gloves work behind stumps is stupefying. Dhoni pulls off 2 stumping within 3 balls in last IPL match against Delhi Capitals 0.12 and 0.16 seconds respectively.
People not only get attracted to him in the cricketing arena but also in international relations and affairs. Recently Syed Akbaruddin India’s permanent representative at prestigious UN said,’ he followed Dhoni’s approach of never say times up and never give up early in his efforts to bring member nations on the same platform. “ He relates this to the bidding to list Massod Azhar as a global terrorist.
Before the dawn of Australia series those who have ridiculed and advised the master to hang up his boots, now gambling India’s World-cup winning chances on his presence and performance in the Indian side. That is why he is the true cricket legend for India in modern times.
World Cup Cricket 2019 Selection Conundrum
Selection is a negative process whereas recruitment is a positive one. Last week World Cup cricket 2019 Indian team selection speaks the same story. Be it Risbah Pant, Vijay Sankar, Dinesh Karthik or Ambati Rayudu, mention choices of many. Now the question arises do the selectors hit the bull’s eye or they simply missed a trick by a whisker.
Coming back to the above-cited players if we make one to one comparison, Pant looks to be a stronger and comfortable option rather than others. Starting from stalwarts like Sunil Gavaskar to Ricky Ponting everybody speaks augur well about the southpaw. Definitely, he is a rare breed and absolute murderer of a cricket ball. But he is purely picked as a middle order batsmen because his gloves work behind the stumps have raised eyebrows of many cricket pundits. Another interesting reason may be for his surprise omission is closing games, for which we may require nudgers and playing the ball in gaps for stealing single and converting ones into twos like the class of Michel Bevan rather than power hitting.
He might have proved his mettle in test cricket mostly overseas conditions with two exceptional and sensational centuries against England and Australia but his one-day performances do not sound well. His meek dismissals against weak opposition like West Indies and emerging and re-grouping Australian and below-par average 23.25 mostly in home condition does not cement his place in One-day team. Taking a risk can be a gamble in world-cup like event which may be a career-changing criterion.
Talking about Rayudu vs Sankar the earlier performance is better than Sankar. He averages in one –day at a healthy rate i.e, 47.06. But as rightly advocated by MSK Prasad, chief selector of senior cricket team BCCI,” Sankar is a 360-degree player”. Sanker bowling looks ordinary in Sub-continent conditions where he hardly bowls but in English condition, he can be a handy asset when the weather is overcast and the bowl will be taking in the air. He can give you some game-changing odd break-through. Sankar is an excellent fielder and his batting has come of age in recent times with rare failures(avg;33.0 both in India and overseas conditions).
Now taking attention to another debatable selection, Dinesh Karthik, who is picked purely as a wicket keeper batsmen with better keeping record than Pant and can be a good finisher in crunch situations though still not proved immensely in one-days. As Dhoni is no more getting younger and World cup is a long tournament, India may provide some rest to his all-time best finisher ever in this format.
Having discussed the selection conundrum we must remain sanguine that India must emerge as the conquering of the world cup one –day cricket. They should supplant their 83’s heroes by lifting the cup for the third time with a trademark British champagne in their hands.
Premier League: Liverpool face Tottenham Hotspur test in quest for title
Liverpool face arguably the toughest challenge remaining in their quest to end nearly three decades without a Premier League title when a Tottenham side with their own desperate need for points visit Anfield on Sunday.
Jurgen Klopp’s men hold a two-point lead over Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table but have played one game more meaning they need the champions to slip up at some point in their remaining eight games.
However, City face a brutal April schedule as they bid to complete a historic quadruple of trophies and still have to travel to local rivals Manchester United, as well as hosting Tottenham themselves Tricky trips to Southampton, Cardiff, and Newcastle, who are all battling for survival, await Liverpool but the majority of their seven remaining games are at fortress Anfield, where they have dropped just four points all season.
“They are unbeaten in the Premier League at Anfield, it is going to be a massive challenge,” admitted Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino. “We respect them, they are doing a good job.” Just a few weeks ago, Spurs could have circled Sunday’s visit as a chance to claw back ground in the title race themselves.
However, a run of just one point from their last four Premier League games has left Pochettino’s men, now 15 points adrift of Liverpool in third, scrambling just to protect their place in the top four.
Three weeks have passed since their last outing for Pochettino to stew over a 2-1 defeat at Southampton and the Argentine wants a reaction at Anfield.
“We are in a very good position in the Premier League and the Champions League, but of course it is not enough” added Pochettino.
“I feel little disappointed because in some periods during the season we were really good and some, like now, we are not showing our real quality.” A trip north kicks off a momentous week for Spurs as they will finally begin life in the club’s new 62,000 capacity stadium on Wednesday against Crystal Palace after months of delays.
Pochettino hailed the venue as “the best stadium in the world”, but its unveiling at a reported cost of 1 billion has only emphasised the need for Spurs to make sure it hosts Champions League football next season.
However, Klopp believes Tottenham will be buoyed just by the experience of training in their new home this week.
“I think these are exciting times for Tottenham. I saw only pictures of it and it looks pretty impressive,” he added.
“Tottenham played their last game three weeks ago, I don’t think anybody feels any defeat from three weeks ago.
“We expect the strongest Tottenham you can expect because I heard nothing about any injury problems or whatever. They had a few over the season but not in the moment, so there will be a strong side here. A world-class team will be here.” Indeed, Harry Kane continued his strong comeback from an ankle injury by scoring in both England’s comprehensive victories over the Czech Republic and Montenegro.
Kane’s streak of 12 goals in 13 matches for club and country has seen him move level with Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane on 17 Premier League goals, just one behind Man City’s Sergio Aguero in the race for the Golden Boot.
Salah pipped Kane to the award last season, but the Egyptian has scored just once in the last 10 games, while Mane has shouldered the goalscoring burden with 11 in as many games “I’m sure all the players up there will be looking to get that award,” said Kane.
“But it’s just a bonus. As a striker, I’ll be trying to help my team as much as possible.”
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