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“The most dangerous moment comes with victory.” This famous quote by Napoleon Bonaparte is synonymous with the ongoing cricket battle between India and Australia. The four-match Test series, currently level at 1-1, is at a very crucial stage where both sides have had success and many worrying issues as well. India, having been humbled and embarrassed after being bowled out for just 36 runs in the first Test, showed resilience and remarkable tenacity to turn the tables on the Australians in the second Test match. Both sides are now at a stage where the ‘moment of victory’ puts them at a precarious and dangerous stage.
India will need to keep their winning momentum intact, whereas Australia will need to forget their dismal performance in the second Test match. They have to remind themselves of the wonderful moments of the first Test match.
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The beauty of Test cricket is at its peak and the third Test match, to be held in Sydney from January 7, should be a rocking affair. Both India and Australia look evenly poised and well-matched. The bowlers of both sides have had the upper-hand and gritty batting has been the differential factor for a change. Maybe the long stretch of lockdown regulations and the lack of cricket have had an effect on the form and fitness of the batters more than that of the bowlers. One area of the game which has gone down significantly has been catching. India was the major defaulter in the first Test whereas Australia was butter-fingered in the second.
The Indian team’s revival from hitting rock bottom could be one of the most astonishing and mostbet performances by any side in the history of the game. A dejected, destroyed and depleted Indian team, without Mohammed Shami, one of their main bowlers and their most trusted batsman and captain in Virat Kohli, looked to be a side ready for slaughter. A team that had none of their batsmen reach a double-figure in the second innings of the first Test was a bunch that needed a complete change of attitude and approach.
The team’s success can be attributed to the work behind the scenes by the support staff as well as players, who highlighted the newfound confident attitude of the present-day Indian. One was skeptical as to whether this Indian side had that inherent character to get up and fight after having suffered a knock-out punch. For them to do so was a grand moment for Indian cricket.
The Indian think tank needs to be complimented for bringing in four new players in Ravindra Jadeja, Rishabh Pant, and debutants Shubman Gill and Mohammed Siraj. For all of them, sitting on the bench during the first Test match and watching their colleagues being humiliated by the opponents must have been an agonizing experience. Each one was unable to do anything about it at that time but must have been mentally charged to take revenge. I remember having a similar feeling when I was in the reserves and felt helpless when the Indian side was in the same state at that time as well.
One wondered as to whether, without the forceful, aggressive, and over-powering attitude of Virat Kohli, India would be able to stand up to the Australian side. The mantle of leadership was also a point of concern as it was being handed over to Ajinkya Rahane, a quiet, calculating, and entirely different individual. Successful people, as they say, always have two things on their lips: ‘silence and a smile’, and Rahane seems to fall into that category. He follows and practices the Vedanta philosophy of life.
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‘A silent killer’ is another expression that is associated with Rahane. His innings are generally full of deft placements and conventional strokes that opponents, at times, barely realize the runs he notches up effortlessly. This he showcased brilliantly by scoring another century on the famous MCG. His knock laid the foundation stone of India’s victory and his captaincy turned out to be the burial ground for the Australians.
The calmness and teamwork through collective wisdom were for all to see. India needed a quiet, mature approach, and captain Rahane truly epitomized it. The captaincy style of Kohli has its positive points as well, especially when the Indian side is playing at its best. However, for India, the team in the last few years depended so much on their superstar that they needed to stand up without him as well.
India may lose the next Test match or the series, but the win in Melbourne has brought respectability and confidence that could make them into a forceful unit to face any adversaries in the future. This could be the turning point in their quest to becoming the champion side of the first World Test Championship.
Rahane, the certified black-belt practitioner, has broken the back of the Australian batting and bowling unit. If they can subdue Steve Smith a little longer, only David Warner remains a threat amongst the Australian batters, if he plays. The return of Rohit Sharma and the inclusion of KL Rahul would make the Indian batting even stronger and whether Navdeep Saini or T Natrajan is played, the bowling is now a settled line-up. When the two top sides in the cricket world vie for supremacy, cricket is the winner. Australia or India, the battle has just begun! (IANS)
NEW DELHI - India Navy sending four ships for exercises and port visits with the Philippines, Vietnam, Singapore, Indonesia and Australia to strengthen cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region, its navy said Wednesday, as China's maritime power grows in the area.
The Indian ships will spend more than two months in the region, the navy said in a statement.
Commander Vivek Madhwal, the Indian navy spokesman, said four ships will take part.
The ships will also participate in a multilateral exercise, MALABAR-21, along with the Japanese, Australian and U.S. navies, the statement said.
It said the exercises will enhance coordination with friendly countries, based on common maritime interests and a commitment to freedom of navigation.
"Besides regular port calls, the task group will operate in conjunction with friendly navies to build military relations and develop interoperability in the conduct of maritime operations," the statement said.
The U.S., India, Japan and Australia are part of the Quad regional alliance created in response to China's growing economic and military strength. Washington has long viewed New Delhi as a key partner in efforts to blunt increasing Chinese assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific region.
India is also in a continuing standoff with China over their disputed border in the eastern Ladakh region. The countries have stationed tens of thousands of soldiers backed by artillery, tanks and fighter jets along their de facto border, called the Line of Actual Control.
Last year, 20 Indian troops died in a clash with Chinese soldiers involving clubs, stones and fists in a portion of the disputed border. China said it lost four soldiers.(VOA/HP)
The UK government on Thursday announced that it will move India from the red to the amber list on Sunday, in the country's latest update to the 'Red-Amber-Green' traffic light ratings for arrivals into England amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
This means the visit visas for the UK from India are open, in addition to other long-term visas that have remained open. But travellers from India arriving in England can complete a 10-day quarantine at home or in the place they are staying (not mandatorily quarantine in a managed hotel).
The UK government also announced that arrivals from France to England will no longer need to quarantine if they are fully vaccinated. The step aligns France with the rest of the amber list now that the proportion of beta variant cases has fallen, where those who are fully vaccinated with a vaccine authorised and administered in the UK, the US or Europe do not need to quarantine when arriving in England.
This move also simplifies the system to three categories, as well as the green watch list to give travellers notice where green status is at risk.
To continue cautiously reopening international travel, Austria, Germany, Slovenia, Slovakia, Latvia, Romania and Norway will be added to the government's green list, having demonstrated they posed a low risk to UK public health.
Besides India, Bahrain, Qatar and the UAE will also be moved from the red to the amber list, as the situation in these countries has improved.
The data for all countries will be kept under review and the government will not hesitate to take action where a country's epidemiological picture changes, a statement by the UK government said.
Following an assessment of the latest data, Georgia, La Reunion, Mayotte and Mexico will be added to the red list as they present a high public health risk to the UK from known variants of concern, known high-risk variants under investigation or as a result of very high in-country or territory prevalence of Covid-19.
Arrivals from Spain and all its islands are advised to use a PCR test as their pre-departure test wherever possible, as a precaution against the increased prevalence of the virus and variants in the country.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: "We are committed to opening up international travel safely, taking advantage of the gains we've made through our successful vaccination programme, helping connect families, friends and businesses around the world.
"While we must continue to be cautious, today's changes reopen a range of different holiday destinations across the globe, which is good news for both the sector and travelling public."
Since February, anyone who arrives in the UK from a red list country has been required by law to book a stay in a managed quarantine facility for 10 days.
In order to ensure taxpayers are not subsidising the costs of staying in these facilities, which have gone up, the cost will increase from August 12. Alternative payment arrangements remain available to those who genuinely cannot afford to pay and rates remain the same for children up to 12.(IANS/HP)
A Hindu temple in Pakistan's Punjab province was reportedly vandalized by hundreds of people after a nine-year-old Hindu boy, who allegedly urinated at a local seminary, received bail, a media report said on Thursday.
According to the Dawn news report, the incident took place on Wednesday in Bhong town, about 60 km from Rahim Yar Khan city.
Besides the vandalization, the mob also blocked the Sukkur-Multan Motorway (M-5), the report added.
Citing sources, Dawn news said that a case was registered against the minor on July 24 based on a complaint filed by a cleric, Hafiz Muhammad Ibrahim, of the Darul Uloom Arabia Taleemul Quran.
The sources said that "some Hindu elders did tender an apology to the seminary administration saying the accused was a minor and mentally challenged".
But, when a lower court granted him bail a few days ago, some people incited the public in the town on Wednesday and got all shops there closed in protest, the report quoted the sources as further saying.
A video clip showing people wielding clubs and rods storming the temple and smashing its glass doors, windows, lights, and damaging the ceiling fans went viral on social media.
In response, one Twitter user said: "Ganesh Temple, village Bhong in Rahim Yar Khan, Punjab has been ravaged. Another day, another attack on Hindus in Pakistan."
Another said: "Yesterday, the mob ran amok at Temple over minor boy issue who allegedly urinated, the boy said to be mentally handicapped. Hindu community made an apology for the boy — a case registered against the nine-year-old boy. Those vandalized temples, no FIR registered against them."
District police spokesman Ahmed Nawaz Cheema said Rangers had been deployed in the troubled area and the situation was under control.
A small town close to the River Indus and Sindh-Punjab border, Bhong houses a number of gold traders who originally hail from Ghotki and Dehrki (Sindh), according to the Dawn news report.
A ruling PTI member representing the minority said he had been in touch with the local Hindu community and influential Rais family of Bhong since the issue surfaced.