If you are visiting Kolkata during Durga Puja this year, you might just come across a replica of the fort of Chittorgarh.That’s because one of the puja organisers is planning to build a pandal in a similar fashion, to pay tribute to Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat.Durga Puja is the biggest festival in West Bengal and what adds to the festival’s grandeur are the puja pandals, which are fashioned according to various themes.Sreebhumi Sporting Club is gearing up to recreate the entire fort, costume and theme of the movie in a puja pandal.The club, which has turned heads in the past with its unique puja pandals, will be celebrating its 46th Durga Puja this year.The pandal had recreated scenes from Bahubali last year and was a star attraction amidst all pandals in the state. Sreebhumi Sporting Club was one of the most-visited pandals in 2017 for recreating the fort of the fictional Mahishmati.TMC MLA Sujit Bose, who is one of the members of the organising committee, said, “People eagerly wait for the theme-based pandal created by Sribhumi Sporting Club. We just recreate things and themes that people acknowledge.”Bose added,”Padmaavat was one of the most controversial movies this year. Mamata Banerjee, Chief Minister of West Bengal, had given permission to run that movie when other states had banned it. We have given the responsibility of creating this year’s pandal to our artist Romeo Hazra, who had created last year’s theme too. We will use Chandannagar’s famous lighting in our pandal. We recently celebrated our foundation laying ceremony (Khuti Puja). Cricketer Manoj Tiwary, Mohunbagan captain and coach attended the ceremony. Actress Subhasree and musician Rupankar were also present.”advertisementCommittee member Manish Rao said, “This time, our pandal will be based on Padmaavat. Around three to four lakh people visit our pandal daily, during the festival. We hope, this time, Padmaavat will do well. We are trying to attract more and more people.”Also Read: What is Navratri? What do these nine days of festivities mean?Also Watch: Durga Puja celebrations on in Kolkata
Internet today is buzzing with the rumours about LG’s upcoming flagship device LG V40. And while everyone is busy digging details about V40, which as per the reports is touted to sport five cameras, a new device by the Korean electronics giant spotted online has sent everyone in a state of frenzy.The new mysterious phone is said to be powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor and sport a POLED display along with having Google Assistant on board. Sounds pretty simple right? Except it’s not.According to a report by XDA Developers, which carried out a firm investigation of LG’s files, there is a strong possibility that LG’s mysterious new phone which goes by the codename “judypn” could be LGV40 codenamed “storm”. However, there is ample evidence which suggests otherwise as well.For starters, the new smartphone shares its base name with LG V35 ThinQ which had the codename “judy” and LG G7 ThinQ with the codename “judyln”. While V35 ThinkQ sports POLED display without a notch, LG G7 ThinQ comes with an LCD display with notch. If reports are to be believed, LG V40 will sport a POLED display with a notch- suggesting that judypn could indeed be the upcoming LG V40.Also, just like judypn, LG V40 is expected to come with a button for invoking Google Assistant, strengthening the reports that the upcoming LG V40 is indeed judypn.On the contrary, the mysterious new phone is rumoured to have a dual camera setup at the back, both with optical image stabalisation technology with one lens being a wide-angle lens. The new phone called judypn is also likely to sport single front-facing camera which is similar to LG V35 and LG G7.advertisementOn the other hand, LG V40 is rumoured to come with five cameras, with a triple camera setup at the back and a dual camera in the front. The upcoming device is also likely to support 3D face recognition technology-suggesting that LG might be working on a new device altogether.ALSO READ: LG V30+ review: Lights, camera, actionWhile the processor and display specifications suggest that storm and judyln might be one device, camera details suggest otherwise. At this point it is important to note that these details are based on firmware analysis which could be drastically different now.
Former India captain Ajit Wadekar passed away at an age of 77 at Mumbai’s Jaslok Hospital. Wadekar, who played 37 Tests for India and scored 2113 runs including one hundred and 14 half-centuries at an average of 31.07, will always be remembered as one of the greatest captains to have led the Indian cricket team.Wadekar took over as captain of the Indian team from Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi and proved to be a leader par excellence. Not only was he a great cricketer but one who instilled the belief in Indian team that they could win over.The most memorable moment of his career will remain the series win in West Indies and England back in 1971.However, Wadekar had to retire after India were blanked 3-0 on the tour of England in 1974.READ – Former India cricket captain Ajit Wadekar dies aged 77Wadekar also served as India manager in the 1990s and enjoyed a successful stint with then captain Mohammad Azharuddin.Here are 10 facts major facts about Wadekar’s life and cricket:1. HOW AJIT WADEKAR BECAME A CRICKETER It was just a bus ride! Wadekar was studied engineering in Elphinstone college when he boarded a bus that happened to have his college senior and former leg-spinner Baloo Gupte. Gupte asked Wadekar if he can be his team’s 12th man and Wadekar agreed. The rest as they say is history.2. WHEN WADEKAR MADE HIS DEBUTWadekar made his first-class debut in 1958-59 but it took as long as 1966-67 for Wadekar to make his Test debut for India. He made his debut against West Indies in India and had a disastrous first game.advertisement3. WHEN WADEKAR BEGAN HIS LEGACYWadekar’s legacy began in the West Indies in 1971. Back in the days when defeating West Indies was considered an almost impossible job, Wadekar not only led his team to a win against a side that had the likes of Lance Gibbs, Rohan Kanhai, Clive Lloyd and Sir Garfield Sobers but beat them in their backyard.READ – Ajit Wadekar dies at 77: Cricket fraternity mourns death of legendary captain4. FIRST SERIES WIN IN ENGLAND Just months after defeating the mighty West Indies, India also conquered England under the captaincy of Wadekar. Wadekar’s usage of his spinners was top notch and that helped the Indian team win their first ever series in the tough English conditions.5. THE SPECIAL ASPECT OF WADEKAR’S CAPTAINCYWadekar is best known for his usage of spin. To make his spin attack effective, he placed specialist close-in fielders, picking names like Eknath Solkar, Sunil Gavaskar, himself and Venkatraghavan. At times, he would attack with five fielders in the ring around the bat.6. INDIA’S FIRST ONE-DAY INTERNATIONAL CAPTAINAjit Wadekar was India’s first captain in the limited-overs format (ODIs). In fact, Indian stalwarts like Sunil Gavaskar, Gundappa Vishwanath, S Venkatraghavan and Bishan Singh Bedi made their debuts under his captaincy.7. HOW WADEKAR RETIREDWadekar’s treatment just ahead of his retirement was perhaps ungrateful. Despite the fact that Wadekar had led India so brilliantly, he was vilified in 1974 when India was whitewashed in England 3-0. After that series, Wadekar retired immediately from all forms of cricket.8. WADEKAR’S RETURN TO INDIAN CRICKET Sachin Tendulkar was felicitated by Ajit Wadekar in 2010 in Mumbai. (Getty Images)Ajit Wadekar returned to Indian cricket after those unsavoury times of 1974 in September 1992 as the manager of the Indian cricket team for the historic first-ever tour of South Africa under the captaincy of Mohammad Azharuddin. Wadekar had a huge role in the successful captaincy of Azhar and even Anil Kumble came into his own under the watch of Wadekar.9. WHEN WADEKAR BECAME THE CHAIRMAN OF SELECTORSWadekar’s stint as the manager of India ended after the infamous loss in the 1996 World Cup semi-final but he returned as the chairman of selectors in 1998. Wadekar is the only cricketer apart from Lala Amarnath and Chandu Borde to have served as captain, manager, and selector in Indian cricket.10. WADEKAR AS MATCH REFEREEWadekar officiated as a match referee for a few games in the ICL and this forced a breakdown in relationship with the BCCI. He walked out of the league in 2009.
Ranchi, Aug 22 (PTI) The international water colour festival, starting tomorrow here, aims to bring local artists in touch with the international art and promote the rich art and culture of Jharkhand.Organised by Department of Tourism, Art-Culture, Sports & Youth Affairs, the art festival will be held at Audrey House.56 internationally renowned artists — from as many as 24 countries and 25 Indian states — will participate in the five-day festival, the organisers said in a statement. “We conceptualized this festival to not just showcase the art and culture of Jharkhand but also to present the state as an emerging global art and culture destination. “The entire festival has been designed to give local artists and students a taste of International art,” Manish Ranjan, Secretary, Tourism, Art-Culture, Sports and Youth Affairs, said. During the festival, the visiting artists will interact with school students and local artists on various themes including “nature” and “modern/abstract”. While the list of artists from different countries include names like Anna Massinissa (Fabriano), Zhou Tianya and Mong Sho (China), the Indian art diaspora in the festival will be represented by Milind Mulick, Sailesh Meshram, Nirupam Konwar, Ramesh Jhawar and Praween Karmaker, among others.The festival will also hold a two-day cultural extravaganza, to showcase the rich culture and diversity of the state. The water colour festival will come to a close on August 27. PTI MAH MAH MGMG
Surviving the wiles of Pakistan spinner Yasir Shah is Australia’s “number one plan” in the upcoming test series in the United Arab Emirates, fast bowler Peter Siddle has said.Yasir played a key role in Australia’s unravelling during the last UAE tour in 2014, when the legspinner took 12 wickets at an average of 17.25 to drive the hosts to a thumping 2-0 win in the two-test series.Four years later, a raw Australia squad has returned to the Gulf state without two of their best batsmen in the suspended Steve Smith and David Warner, and would appear vulnerable to another spin bowling assault from Sarfraz Ahmed’s team.Cricket Australia closes probe, takes no action in Moeen Ali’s ‘Osama’ allegationsLooking to counter Yasir and 19-year-old prodigy Shadab Khan, Australia have re-hired spin bowling consultant Sridharan Sriram and flown in two Indian wristspinners, including Pardeep Sahu, who has played for Indian Premier League side Kings XI Punjab.Siddle said the tourists had spent plenty of time in the Dubai heat working out ways to deal with legspin and Yasir, specifically.”He’s (Yasir) going to play a big part,” said the veteran paceman.”Spin bowling in this series is going to play a massive part.”I think it’s going to be a tough contest. He bowled well against us last series over here. He took a lot of wickets, so I think it’s going to be number one plan to keep him out.”But he’s not the only one we’ve got to focus on as we get closer.”advertisementRecalled to the test squad for the first time in two years, 33-year-old Siddle expects to play a support role behind Australia’s own spinners but believes the Dubai wicket could be more lively than usual after hosting the recent Asia Cup.”I think the last series we came here, the wicket was a bit more flat,” he said.”It sort of took a few days to actually break up but this series it looks like it’s going to break up a lot earlier so spin is going to play a part.”The test series is Australia’s first since the scandal-plagued South Africa tour, which led to long suspensions for former captain Smith, Warner and batsman Cameron Bancroft for ball-tampering.Under new captain Tim Paine and recently appointed coach Justin Langer, Australia will hope to build cohesion on the tour ahead of their home series against India later in the year.With regular pacemen Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins ruled out of the tour by injury, Siddle said he felt his experience was an important factor in his recall as the team strive to forge a new identity.”From an outside point of view, the side probably in the last little bit maybe lacked a little bit of leadership,” he said.”I think without having the captaincy or vice-captaincy or any of those terms, it’s just about being a leader in my own right, doing what I do, lead by example and just help out the young guys.”(With Reuters Photo)
PV Sindhu has regained her world No.2 ranking in the latest badminton rankings released on Thursday.The Olympic and world championship silver medallist jumped one place to stay behind Chinese Taipei’s Tai Tzu Ying, who continues to dominate the rankings.Sindhu had achieved the world No.2 ranking for a week for the first time in April last year but she slipped soon before regaining the position for almost two months from September to November. She slipped to world No.3 after that and held that spot for most part of 2018.Saina Nehwal, who had reached the final of the Denmark Open last week, was rewarded for her stupendous show as she too climbed one place to reach the number nine 9 slot.In the men’s singles, Kidambi Srikanth remained static at world No. 6, while Sameer Verma jumped five spots to be in 18th position. H S Prannoy, who skipped the events in Denmark and France, slipped two places to be 17th.B Sai Praneeth is at the 26th place, while Sourabh Verma jumped two places to reach the 48th spot.Men’s doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty slipped one place to be 25th while women’s doubles pairing of Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy improved three spots to be 24th.In mixed doubles, Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Sikki were static at the 21st place.(With inputs from PTI)
Kolkata, Dec 14 (PTI) Newly-crowned world billiards champion Sourav Kothari Friday hoped that cue sport’s bid to be included in the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris is successful. The World Confederation of Billiards Sports — the body representing snooker, billiards and carom — is making a bid for Olympic recognition. The WCBS hopes the combined cue sports bid is in a significantly stronger position than the snooker one which failed for the Tokyo 2020 Games. “Snooker is massively popular in Europe and in many parts of the world and it should be included in Olympics,” Kothari said here. He hoped the inclusion in the quadrennial extravaganza will help them get more recognition in a country obsessed with the Olympics. “We are performing all the time but out country has an obsession with Olympic sports. Everywhere, whatever platform you go to, there are pushed in front,” he said. He urged other associations to take a cue from the Indian Cricket Board. “What BCCI has done for cricket is amazing. You cannot blame cricket for anything. If cricket was not there, IPL would not have come. Now franchise based leagues are everywhere.” Having clinched the worlds billiards title in Leeds in October, Kothari will now leave for the IBSF World 6 Red Snooker Championship in Egypt from December 18. “I am not playing the team event. There are four Indian teams who are playing in the team event, but I am only playing in the individual World 6 Red Snooker Championship,” he said. PTI TAP ATKATK
Gonzalo Higuain expressed his excitement on his loan move to Premier League side Chelsea till the end of the current season from Italian club Juventus. Speaking to the club website, Higuain said that he is “very excited, with great hope and desire to achieve success with Chelsea.”Higuain joined Chelsea after his year-long loan spell with AC Milan was cut to less than six months. The Argentina striker said that he is “someone who is always trying to improve, day after day.””I think the most important thing is to be humble, even when we make mistakes, and so when that happens I will always try to rectify that improve. For the rest, I’ll leave other people to give their opinions on me. I’m not someone who likes to talk too much about myself but I’m someone who tries to improve, and get the best out of myself and my team, at every opportunity,” Higuain said.When asked about his decision to try his luck in England, having played in top leagues in countries like Spain and Italy, Higuain said that the Premier League was something he didn’t want to “miss out on”.”For a long time I’ve wanted to play in England but until now such a concrete opportunity hasn’t presented itself, so it was something I was never going to miss out on. It’s a huge challenge to come and play in the Premier League and I hope I’ll be able to settle in here at Chelsea. It’s a wonderful team and I hope we can bring a lot of happiness to the fans,” Higuain said.advertisement”Chelsea is a team who always has great players and as kids everybody watched the Premier League, so it’s a real dream for me to come and play in this league, having already played in three of the best leagues in the world, it’s a real source of pride for me and I hope to make the most of it,” Higuain said.The stats speak for themselves. @G_Higuain #HiguaINChelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) January 24, 2019Higuain moved to Milan from Juventus on loan in August in a complex three-way deal which also saw defender Mattia Caldara move from the Turin side to the seven-times European champions and Leondardo Bonucci move in the other direction.Milan paid 18 million euros (16.03 million pounds) for a one-year loan with an option to buy when Higuain became surplus to requirements at Juventus following their signing of Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo.Welcome to London and welcome to Chelsea, @G_Higuain! #HiguaIN pic.twitter.com/DMJN7z8YOLChelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) January 23, 2019After joining Juventus from Napoli in 2016, Higuain won Serie A and Coppa Italia titles in each of his first two seasons with Juve and netted 55 goals in 105 appearances in all competitions, including 40 in 73 Serie A outings.Higuain will be joining up with Maurizio Sarri, under whom he achieved great success in Napoli, something he says weighed heavily in his decision making.”Maurizio Sarri is the coach who, in my career, has got the best out of me as a player. He’s someone who knew how to work with me, particularly on the emotional side. That year together was fantastic and in big parts thanks to him, so coming to work with him is very important for me. I’m really happy to have been given the opportunity to do that and I want to get back to that level,” Higuain said.Also Read | Mario Balotelli joins Marseille from Nice on a six-month contractAlso Read | Huddersfield Town will not sell top players if relegated from Premier LeagueAlso Read | Asian Cup group stage elimination a setback, says Jeje Lalpekhlua
The Maharashtra government on Friday effected a major administrative reshuffle that saw the transfer of 13 IAS officers, with PN Bhapkar, who was serving as the divisional commissioner of Aurangabad being transferred as commissioner, Sports and Youth in Pune.SM Kendrekar, a 2002 batch IAS officer, who was the commissioner, Sports and Youth in Pune, has been appointed in Bhapkar’s place.According to a statement issued by the state government, 2005 batch IAS officer KB Umap, currently posted as commissioner, animal husbandary, Pune has been appointed as director general, Maharashtra Energy Development Agency, Pune.IAS officer GB Patil has been posted as joint secretary, Agriculture and Animal Husbandry, Dairying & Fisheries Department, at Mantralaya in Mumbai while DB Desai a 2008 batch IAS officer currently posted as director of disaster management, revenue and forest department at Mantralaya has been transferred as collector, Kolhapur.H Modak, the additional tribal commissioner, Nagpur, has been posted as collector, Washim while VL Bhimanwar, currently working as chief executive officer of Thane zilla parishad has been posted as collector, Wardha.Shelesh Nawal, an IAS of 2010 batch, who is the collector of Wardha has been transferred as collector, Amaravati and AK Dhakane, the municipal commissioner of Solapur has been posted as collector of Jalgaon.IAS Lakshminarayan Mishra, the Collector of Washim, has been now posted as commissioner of Animal Husbandary in Pune and Vinay Gowda G C, currently working as assistant collector and project officer, ITDP, Taloda in Nandurbar has been posted as chief executive officer, zilla parishad, Nandurbar.Besides, IAS Aayush Prasad, currently posted as assistant collector, Khed and project officer, ITDP, Ghodegaon, Pune has been posted as Chief Executive Officer, Zilla Parishad, Akola.advertisementJitendra Dudi, an IAS of the 2016 batch, has been posted as assistant collector and project director, ITDP, Taloda, Nandurbar, the statement by the state government said.Also Read | Maharashtra: IAS officer Tukaram Mundhe transferred within 35 daysAlso Watch | IAS officer Ashok Khemka transferred again
Unheralded Gomathi Marimuthu gave India its first gold medal in the women’s 800m race as the country added four medals on the second day of the Asian Athletics Championships here Monday.The 30-year-old Gomathi clocked a personal best time of 2 minute 02.70 seconds in the half mile event to win a surprise gold for India.Shivpal Singh then added a silver in men’s javelin throw by sending the spear to a distance of 86.23m, his personal best. In the process, the 23-year-old Shivpal also booked a berth for the World Championships to be held at the same venue in September-October as he crossed the qualifying mark of 83m.Jabir Madari Palliyalil and Saritaben Gayakwad bagged a bronze each in men’s and women’s 400m hurdles respectively to swell the Indian medal tally.With the four medals on Monday, India’s medal tally stood at 1 gold, 3 silver and 5 bronze. India had won 2 silver and 3 bronze on the first day on Sunday.Sprinter Dutee Chand also shared some of the limelight as she smashed her own national record in 100m dash for the second time in two days.The first Indian medal of the second day came from 24-year-old Gayakwad who clocked 57.22 seconds to finish third in women’s 400m hurdles, behind Vietnam’s Quach The Lan (56.10) and Bahrain’s Aminat Yusuf Jamal (56.39).His male counterpart Jabir then added a bronze by running the third fastest men’s 400m hurdles by an Indian as he clocked a personal best of 49.13 seconds.In the process, the 22-year-old Jabir joined national record holder Dharun Ayyasamy as the second Indian to qualify for the World Championships 400m hurdles event to be held at the same venue in September-October. The World Championships qualifying mark is 49.30 seconds.advertisementDharun, who set a new national record of 48.80 during the Federation Cup last month, missed this Asian Championships due to injury.Pre-race favourite Abderrehman Samba of Qatar won gold with a world leading time of 47.51 seconds.In the women’s 100m dash, Dutee bettered her own national record of 11.28 seconds set on Sunday during the heats by clocking 11.26 seconds while winning her semifinal race on Monday. She is, however, yet to touch the World Championships qualification mark of 11.24.However in the men’s 400m, India suffered setbacks as defending champion Muhammed Anas and last edition silver winner Arokia Rajiv failed to win a medal.Rajiv finished fourth with a personal best time of 45.37 seconds while Anas, who has been struggling after a leg injury in an accident last year, ended at eighth with a time of 46.10 seconds.Also Read | Ajinkya Rahane hits 1st Indian Premier League hundred in 7 yearsAlso Read | Scottish batsman hits 25-ball 100 in T20 cricketAlso See
Barring a surprise 3-2 loss to Australia in March, the Indian team has been a dominant force in ODI cricket over the past couple of seasons. A defining factor in this run has been the rise of the spin-bowling duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav. Since their debut, the pair have picked up a combined 159 wickets and have played significant roles in India’s series wins in South Africa and Australia.Chahal is of the opinion that the trust that the pair share has played a big role in their success. “We both know each other for a long time now,” said Chahal at the launch of his website yuzvendrachahal.club.”We bowl in partnership. If he is going first then he tells me which areas I should be looking to hit and I do the same. Mahi bhai (MS Dhoni) also keeps giving his opinion. We never thought about things that we may not be able to do and just took the chance when we got it,” he said.Chahal also said that the experience of other players in the team has been helpful for the pair. This included Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, whose appearances in the Indian limited overs setup have reduced with the rise of the wrist spin duo. “It is unfair to compare us with them. I have not played with Ashwin too many times, but Jaddu pa has never shied from helping me out whenever I have asked him for tips,” said Chahal.”Mahi bhai helps us in figuring out how the wicket is going to play. Along with him there is Virat bhai and Rohit bhai (Rohit Sharma). In our team we have a number of captains and they all respect each other and that has played a big role in the success that Kuldeep and I have enjoyed,” he said.advertisementChahal, like many of his teammates in the Indian team, ended up playing all group matches for his Indian Premier League team Royal Challengers Bangalore. This has led to worries about the fatigue that comes from the hectic schedule of the cash-rich T20 tournament. But Chahal was of the opinion that getting match practice of any form is good for a player going into an event like the World Cup.”You learn more during a match than you ever will in a net session. The players we face in the IPL are not too different from the ones we will face in the World Cup. So if we perform well here then the confidence we gain is always good for us,” he said.Also Read | Perfect Endgame: How MI served revenge cold in IPL 2019 final to CSKAlso Read | Mumbai Indians’ victory parade brings city to a halt as fans celebrate IPL 2019 win
England have been in smashing form, quite literally. With eleven days to go for the start of the ICC World Cup at the traditional home of cricket, the hosts must be happy with their batsmen’s form.In what was a series loaded in favour of the batsmen, England thumping Pakistan in three ODIs is an ominous sign of their rich talent. Mind you, for Pakistan to lose after scoring 340 is a clear sign of how wickets in England will play out this summer.Just at this time last Sunday, Hyderabad witnessed a high voltage IPL final with Mumbai Indians edging out Chennai Super Kings for the title. The celebrations are over for Mumbai and the time has come for the Men in Blue to focus on the big challenge that the World Cup is.The usual hype has begun, where experts, notably past cricketers, are predicting this Indian side led by Virat Kohli to do extremely well. One needs to take all these predictions with a fair amount of salt as conditions in England are not really English, in purely cricketing terms.One is not sure why the men who govern and control world cricket are making ODIs and T20 internationals loaded in favour of the batsmen. This is a trend which began long ago and now you have teams scoring so big, to defend a total of even 350 is not easy.Contrast this with the 1983 World Cup final which India won for the first time under Kapil Dev’s leadership, a total of 183 was a winning score. Progressions of scores in each ODI innings have been rising.advertisementReasons for it are not just batsmen getting better but how the nature of pitches is being altered. If England, where the bowlers’ got plenty of aid in the past, has become a batsman’s paradise, you could be sure this World Cup 50-over format will see batathons’ and bowlers suffering big time.So, would experts still hype India, No.2 in ODI rankings behind England? It’s good to build up the hype but a certain amount of prudence is needed in understanding what is in store in England. The No.4 conundrum for India stands pronounced, though reserve opener KL Rahul says he is ready for even that role.If one goes by the form in the IPL, India openers Rohit Sharma, who was the Mumbai Indians skipper and Shikhar Dhawan of Delhi Capitals, played well. With the Indian cricket board advocating rest and not practice for the players now, it’s important for the Indian top order to really do well in England.There is no doubting the batsmen need to be in peak form right through the competition. The World Cup starts on May 30 but India play their first match on June 5 against strong South Africa. From there till the final on July 14, it’s going to be a long journey.The format of this World Cup is simple in the sense you have to be playing in top gear right through the nine matches in the group stage. It’s like keep winning where the batsmen will have to show a voracious appetite. For the Indian side which boasts of world-class openers and has in Virat Kohli a batsman with a constant hunger for runs, how they keep firing will be important.At a time when the Indian bowling has been talked of as extremely potent with a combination of genuine pace and wily spinners boasting of a good track record, the onus will be on the batsmen to lead the way. India did well in the ODI series in Australia and New Zealand, though the losses at home earlier this year were a bit disconcerting.The best of teams in the World Cup, from England to Australia, and South Africa to West Indies are loaded with explosive batting talent. Pakistan, despite playing less international cricket compared to the other big teams are highly motivated and can do well in England.Along with the hype comes pressure on India, a side which on paper is strong. The last time the World Cup was played in England, two decades ago, conditions were different. That side, led by Mohammad Azharuddin was a potent mix, though they lost in the Super Six stage.It’s wrong to compare two teams of different eras but there is no doubting the current Indian side’s professionalism and fitness. They have come a long way since the eighties and nineties thanks to the demands of non-stop cricket and how the sport today demands peak fitness. There can be no excess baggage and no niggle can be hidden on the field.advertisementAs good wishes pour in for the Indian side from all quarters, one must remember the batting unit faces a huge test. And one man alone – Virat Kohli – cannot be expected to deliver day in and day out.
Former Indian badminton player Jwala Gutta has denied rumours that she may be seen as a participant in the third season of the Telugu version of the controversial reality TV show Bigg Boss.”No Bigg Boss for me… All false rumours,” Gutta tweeted in context to reports that she has been approached for the show, which may be hosted by Nagarjuna.No big boss for me!!!All false rumours!!Gutta Jwala (@Guttajwala) May 25, 2019After finding her feet in the sports arena, Gutta tried her luck in Telugu films with Gunde Jaari Gallanthayyinde. Also read | It’s confirmed! Salman Khan to host Bigg Boss 13Also read | Bigg Boss Tamil 3 trailer out: It’s not just a show, says Kamal Haasan
New Zealand have moved to temper expectations ahead of the Cricket World Cup after their six-wicket victory over India in a warmup match on Saturday, with conditions likely to be more conducive to batting during the tournament.New Zealand skittled India out for 179 in the 40th over at The Oval with only all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja’s 54 saving the tournament favourites from an embarrassingly lower total.Ross Taylor then top scored with 71 as the 2015 finalists coasted to 180-4 in 38 overs.The 35-year-old Taylor, however, said New Zealand had the benefit of exploiting a green-topped pitch early on, which saw them reduce Virat Kohli’s side to 39-4 in the 11th over.”It is a warm-up and you have to take what you want out of it,” Taylor told reporters. “Time out in the middle for most of the batters is crucial.”Taylor added that familiarity with conditions should benefit tournament hosts England, with New Zealand experiencing a similar boost in 2015 when they played all of their pool matches, quarter-final and semi-final at home before the final in Melbourne, which they lost by seven wickets to Australia.”I think that’s what makes England the favourites,” Taylor said. “They know these conditions very well.”But there is a lot of cricket and some good cricket needing to be played before we even think about semi-finals and finals.”If you get off to a good start and get onto a bit of a roll and make the semi-finals then you’re only two wins away from lifting the trophy.”advertisementNice to see swinging conditions: Trent BoultOpening bowler Trent Boult, who took 4-33 off 6.2 overs against India, added that pitches around England and Wales were already starting to look dry, which would aid batters as the tournament progressed.”It was nice to see it swinging around a little bit and I would like to see that everywhere but there are some good wickets around the country … (and) I think the other wickets look quite dry,” Boult said.”The biggest challenge will be when it’s not swinging or nipping around a little bit, then how do we take wickets … (because) we know what early wickets does to any batting side.”New Zealand play West Indies in another warm-up in Bristol while India face Bangladesh in Cardiff, with both games on Tuesday.Also Read | Lower-order runs were good positives: Virat Kohli after loss to NZ in World Cup warm-upAlso Read | Nothing to worry about: Ravindra Jadeja on India’s batting woes after loss to NZAlso See:
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Yuvraj Singh is known for his sense of humour and cheeky comments on his former teammates’ posts on social media but it is not often that he gets a taste of his own medicine as Jasprit Bumrah came up with an epic reply to one of Yuvi’s trolls on Instagram.The banter started when Jasprit Bumrah posted a picture on his Instagram account of himself posing with an anti-acne cream as part of a paid partnership with a brand.”Act on your acne NOW!” Bumrah captioned the picture. Yuvraj replied with, “Yes u have lots of them ! Use it now.”Bumrah, not one to lag behind, got one back with a cheeky reply as he took a dig at Yuvraj’s age.”Yuvi pa I know you have been searching for an anti aging cream to feel young. You’ll soon find the product soon,” replied Bumrah. Bumrah is currently in the middle of the World Cup 2019 where he has already picked up 7 wickets from 4 matches at 26.71.He was adjudged man-of-the-match in India’s narrow 11-run win over Afghanistan in their last game where he bagged a couple of crucial wickets to dent Afghanistan’s chase of 225.Bumrah finished with figures of 2 for 39 in 10 overs as India bowled Afghanistan out for 213 to avoid the biggest upset of the tournament so far. Mohammed Shami also contributed with 4 wickets for India, including a hat-trick in the final over.Yuvraj Singh meanwhile, recently announced his retirement from all forms of international cricket and revealed that he would he making his debut in the 2nd edition of six-team Global T20 Canada to be held in Brampton from July 15. The World Cup-winning all-rounder was picked by Toronto Nationals as its marquee player.advertisementYuvraj will be joined by some big names from world cricket, including New Zealand captain Kane Williamson, Andre Russell, Shahid Afridi, Wahab Riaz, Shakib Al Hasan, Sunil Narine, Faf du Plessis among others.Yuvraj will share the dressing room with India pacer Manpreet Gony, Brendon McCullum and Kieron Pollard at Toronto Nationals.
Australia is enjoying a five-match winning streak at the World Cup and pace spearhead Mitchell Starc feels the loss to India in their third tie was the turning point in the reigning champions’ impressive run into the semifinals.Australia, who are the only team to have qualified for the semifinals, have won seven of their eight games. They crushed trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand by 86 runs on Saturday to consolidate their position at the top of the points table.”Since the India game, we’ve taken wickets through the middle fairly regularly, and whether it’s attacking more or I think the biggest part was the execution,” Starc said after the victory against New Zealand.Australia’s only loss in the World Cup has come at the hands of India, who defeated the five-time champions by 36 runs and Starc believes that loss marked the improvement in their game.”We were all probably a little bit off in that Indian game. I think the turning point was probably that Indian game where we had a good chat as a bowling group and a batting group and we’ve just continued to improve as a whole group of players from that game.”Talking about the win against New Zealand, the 29-year-old left-arm pacer said the best is yet to come for Australia.”We’ve always spoken about peaking towards the back end of the tournament, and we’re still searching for that perfect performance,” Starc said.”We’re not quite there yet. We’re showing glimpses of what we are capable of with the ball and with the bat and in the field, but we have still got room to improve, and that’s exciting for this group.advertisement”We’ve got to play our best game in the semi now and hopefully better than in the final, and that’s what tournament play is all about,” he added.Starc’s 5 for 26 against New Zealand was a record-breaking third career World Cup five-wicket haul. Just five players are now ahead of his haul of 46 World Cup wickets, with none coming close to the mesmeric 12.97 average he boasts with the ball.But the 2015 Player of the Tournament said it wins, more than personal records, that motivates him having lifted the trophy four years ago.”Records don’t mean much if we don’t win the World Cup. I’m just stoked to be playing a part in this group and continue to contribute,” he said.Starc credited captain Aaron Finch for providing the team with the calmness even when things aren’t going in their favor.”A big part of our victories is our calmness and I think that’s probably led by Finchie (Aaron Finch). He’s been fantastic as a captain. I think there’s a real sense of calmness around the whole group, not just from the bowlers but from Finchie to all the fielders.”Even when things are not quite happening for us, it’s still very calm. We still know what we want to do. It goes back to the execution. It’s that clearness as a whole group out on the field is what’s probably instilling that confidence in the bowler to execute what they want to do,” Starc said.Also Read | Australia were too good for us: Trent Boult after New Zealand lossAlso Read | India vs England, World Cup head-to-head: Another Birmingham test for England in 2019Also See
England reached the semi-final of ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 for the first time since 1992 after a dominant 119-run win over New Zealand in Chester-le-Street on Wednesday. The hosts have finished 3rd on the World Cup 2019 points table with 12 points from 9 matches.Hosts England have become the 3rd team after India and Australia to officially make the semi-final stages of the World Cup.ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 points tableEngland were in danger of getting knocked out after losing to Sri Lanka and Australia on the trot last week but they bounced back and came up with all-round efforts against India in their 31-run win in Birmingham on Sunday and handed New Zealand their 3rd successive defeat on Wednesday to storm into the semi-finals.Also Read: How a coin toss can end Pakistan’s World Cup semi-final hopesOn the other hand, Pakistan were looking deflated after their June 16 loss to arch-rivals India in Manchester but they shot back to form with 3 wins on the trot — vs South Africa, New Zealand and Afghanistan. Pakistan, whose campaign had freakish similiarities to their tittle-winning run in 1992, had to depend on India and New Zealand to keep their semi-final hopes alive.However, with both India and New Zealand losing to hosts England in a span of 4 days, Pakistan’s chances of reaching the semi-finals are all but over. It is safe to say Pakistan are facing an improbable task of reaching the World Cup 2019 semi-finals.Here’s how the World Cup 2019 semi-final qualification scenarios look like after England beat New Zealand on Wednesday. advertisement PakistanMatches to play: Bangladesh on July 5 at Lord’s in London.Pakistan are all but out of the semi-final race.Pakistan are placed 5th with 9 points from 8 matches. They have a negative net run rate of -0.792 while New Zealand who are sitting 4th with 11 points from 9 matches have a positive net run rate of +0.175 even after their loss to England.For Pakistan to qualify to the semi-finalPakistan to beat Bangladesh by 311 runs after posting 350orbeat Bangladesh by 316 runs after scoring 400orbeat Bangladesh by 321 runs after scoring 450If Pakistan bowl first, they will be out of the semi-final race even before the frist ball is bowled at Lord’s on Friday.New Zealand Matches to play: NoneNew Zealand can qualify if Bangladesh beat Pakistan on Friday. They will also qualify if Bangladesh lose by a lesser margin than the ones mentioned in the scenarios above.Also Read | MS Dhoni retiring only speculation, no official wordAlso See:
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is defending itself at a trial against more than 300 farmers and other landowners.Those landowners say the agency’s management of the Missouri River has contributed to major flooding in five states, most notably in 2011 that caused billions of dollars in damage including the Siouxland metro area.The civil trial that began March 6th in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in Kansas City, Missouri involves a 2014 lawsuit alleging the Corps has deemphasized flood control along the Missouri and put more emphasis on habitat restoration.The plaintiffs say that’s led to more flooding, including in 2011.The U.S. government counters that authorities never promised to stop all Missouri River flooding.A decision isn’t expected until summer, at the earliest.AP