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India has over time become the hub and spokesperson for world cricket. The interest, fan following and hype that one encounters at every corner of the country, of matches in India and overseas, is remarkable.
Cricket, very rightly, has become a religion in India that fortunately has no boundaries, caste or division. This was so evident recently when world cricket lost one of their premier former leg spinners from Pakistan, Abdul Kadir. The heartfelt condolences that followed were sent quite surprisingly from many Indian fans and cricketers. This truly shows how the game is bigger than the bickering and fighting that one is subjected to daily about the feud between India and Pakistan.
Indian cricket is finally back on its shores. The phenomenal success in the West Indies, with a hundred percent point tally, towards the ICC World Test Championship, was just the boost required to rekindle the interest in the hearts of the Indian cricket lovers.
The battle royal against South Africa will start in the picture-perfect setting of one of the prettiest places in Himachal Pradesh – Dharamshala, a place which is known for its scenic beauty and the abode of the great Dalai Lama. The South African side led by their newly appointed captain Quinton de Kock, will definitely not be a push-over for the Indians. The team has some very exciting all-rounders and in Kagiso Rabada, a bowler who can single-handedly win them matches.
South Africa, after their miserable performance in the World Cup 2019 in England, will be looking to redeem their lost image. They do realise that they need to rebuild a side without two of their past legends — Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers. Replacing them will naturally be a humongous task, but one has seen how young sides in the past have taken on the responsibilities and been successful. South Africa will be hoping for something like that.
The three T20I matches will be a good warm-up for the Test series to follow. The wonderful aspect of the World Test Championship is that every match in the next two years is important and teams from all over the world will need to play their best eleven. This will bring seriousness into the selection of not only the team but also in the way every country will approach the game.
Test cricket, in the recent past, somehow, looked like it was being played only for the record books, with very little seriousness about a team or players performances. The very ingredient that makes this sport a spectators delight, is that of a glamorous finale which ends with a glittering trophy and that was missing. This, therefore, diffused the very soul of Test cricket and made the limited-overs version become the aspiration and ultimate desire for not only cricketers but also for the millions of fans following the game.
The impact can be gauged by the way India’s cricket success is only admired and recognized for it’s World Cup win in 1983 and 2011 rather than their phenomenal Test series win in 1971 and many others before and after.
India, have announced their Test squad to play a three-match series from October 2, the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, versus South Africa for the Gandhi-Mandela Trophy. One feels that India have announced their Test squad a bit too soon. The selectors should have seen the form of the bowlers and batsmen not only of the South African side but also of the Indian players. The very basis of playing at home is the advantage that the host side has in picking the squad. Time is one ingredient that has a premium value and for India, to not take advantage of it, could be a folly that they may later regret.
The dropping of K.L. Rahul to accommodate Rohit Sharma as an opener may not be a bad idea. However, success in a white ball limited overs encounter and replicating it in a Test match is a totally different ball game. Rohit has an abundance of talent and it is a joy to watch him batting, but the role of an opener, especially in a Test match is very different from that of the shorter format of the game.
Somehow, one has got carried away because of the success of Virendra Sehwag in the past. The difference between Rohit and Sehwag is in their temperament and in the way they both approach their batting. They are great stroke-players but as different as chalk and cheese.
Indian cricket in the past has had many very good players who have been sacrificed at the top. Most of them proved to be successful for a short while and then later settled down in the middle order. Dilip Vengsarkar and V.V.S. Laxman are two such names. One hopes that Rohit Sharma and the young Shubman Gill do not fall victim to another of the short term moves to thrust them into a position which they will readily agree to play, but maybe will be detrimental to Indian cricket in the long run.
The other talked about spot of the Indian side is that of Rishabh Pant as a wicketkeeper. Pant has shown that he is improving behind the stumps but one is disappointed in the way he approaches his batting. He needs to be nursed and encouraged for the future of Indian cricket. He is quite a phenomenal stroke player who with experience will mature and become more judicious in executing his skills. Pant needs to be given a longer stint as how many can boast of a century in England and Australia in their very first year of Test cricket.
The Dharamsala T20I match should be interesting if weather permits. Winning the toss will be important, but for the Indian die-hard followers, cricket is back where it belongs, “At Home”. (IANS)
The Centre will launch a pilot project on the use of indigenously manufactured drones for delivering medicines in the undulating landscape of Jammu and surrounding areas from Saturday with a focus on vaccines delivery initially. "This is going to be a pilot project for the area. The drone is developed and manufactured entirely by our scientists," Union Minister for Science & Technology, Dr Jitendra Singh told mediapersons. Singh said he himself will be launching the project at Jammu.
The drone is developed by the scientists at Bengaluru's National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL), a constituent of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), an autonomous Society that is headed by the Prime Minister. For now, the delivery would be limited to Covid vaccines and once successful, it would be expanded to be used for regular delivery of medicines in the remote, hilly areas.
The drone is developed by the scientists at Bengaluru's National Aerospace Laboratories (NAL). | Photo by Jason Blackeye on Unsplash
Jammu and surrounding areas are sensitive in terms of the strategic importance. Some months ago, there was an attack on an Army installation using drones. Will the 'drones for vaccines' be permitted in such a case? Allaying fears, a top official from the Ministry of S&T said, "The drones would be deployed by authorised agencies such as hospitals, not anybody can use it, nor would any random person be permitted to use it."
NAL has called the drone as 'Octacopter' and it can fly at an operational altitude of 500 m AGL and at maximum flying speed of 36 kmph. It can be used for a variety of BVLOS applications for last mile delivery like medicines, vaccines, food, postal packets, Human organs (such as heart for heart transplantation) etc. NAL Octacopter is integrated with a powerful on-board embedded computer and latest generation sensors for versatile applications like agricultural pesticide spraying, crop monitoring, mining survey, magnetic geo survey mapping etc., S&T officials had said. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Jammu, Vaccines, Medicines, Deliver, Drones, Centre
Bollywood actor Abhishek Bachchan shares how he feels when people compare him with his father Amitabh Bachchan on the singing reality show 'Sa Re Ga Ma Pa'. He also requests contestant Rajshree Bag to sing a track 'Bahon Mein Chale Aao' featuring his mother Jaya Bachchan.
Abhishek said after looking at the performance of Rajshree, who is often compared with Lata Mangeshkar on the show, that she reminds him of being compared with his father. "Rajshree, whenever I have got the chance to watch the show, I've seen people compare you to Lata didi. It actually reminded me about how people compare me with my father and ask me how I feel about it."
According to him Amitabh Bachchan is a great actor in the industry and this is what he says to everyone making these comparisons. "My answer to them is that there's no greater actor in this film industry than Amitabh Bachchan and if I'm being compared to him, I am sure I must have done something good."
"Similarly, your voice has a different kind of magic like Lata ji and that's why people are comparing your voice with her. I feel you should always take this as a compliment," he concluded. 'Sa Re Ga Ma Pa' airs on Saturday and Sunday on Zee TV. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Abhishek Bachchan, Amitabh Bachchan, reality show, Sa Re Ga Ma Pa, Rajshree Bag
Winters in India have always beckoned for that hot, steaming bowl of tomato and pepper rasam or the mellow, millet based Raab. Certain dishes like sarson ka saag, undhiyu, nimona pulao are winter specialites in the country. Seasonal food has always been an Indian speciality -- we switch our choice in fruits, vegetables, sometimes even grains with the onset of different season. The preference of using specific ingredients during certain climates is visible in our sweets as well. It's common to find local and traditional delicacies made of jaggery, instead of sugar during the winters. Case in point -- the Nolen Gur Rasgulla, a speciality made in Odisha and West Bengal between November to February.
Celebrity chef, Sanjeev Kapoor, strongly advocates this need of eating seasonal produce. He says, "The beauty of our food is in our seasonal usage of fruits and vegetables. If you realise, Gajar ka halwa is made aplenty during winters as this is the season when beautiful red carrots hit the market or mango pickle is made during summer, thanks to its availability. Despite people and sometimes, even me, suggesting that we should eat fresh as well as seasonal fruits and vegetables, we do not know what chemicals are sprayed on them to keep them safe while they are growing. When this produce hits the market, there isn't a certifying agency like the FSSAI that will help people understand what vegetables and fruits are free of pesticides and germs and which ones don't. Hence, the onus lies on us to make them safe for consumption. ITC's Nimwash is a good solution."
When it comes to winters, the Chef recommends eating these fruit and vegetables:
* Purple Mogri -- Mogri or Radish pods are not a common sight throughout the country. But you can spot them during the winters in local markets in northern India where women pick them up to make raitas, curries and stir fries. Rich in magnesium, calcium and copper, the vegetable is known to aid people from digestive problems.
Mogri or Radish pods are not a common sight throughout the country, but you can spot them during the winters | Pixabay
* Sweet Potato -- A re-discovered favourite, Sweet potatoes have created a space for itself in the millennial kitchen. With its diverse addition in burgers, chips and even chat, the root vegetable is filled with nutrients such as fibres and vitamins.
Sweet potatoes have created a space for itself in the millennial kitchen. | Wikimedia Commons
* Avarekalu -- Called Hyacinth beans in English, Avarekalu is a winter speciality in the south that is added to sambhar, saagu, rotis, etc. Bangalore is famed for its Averakalu mela during the winter months, where you can find these beans in dosas, Pani puri and even Jalebis! Thronged by crowds from all over the city, the food fest is a gourmand's delight.
Called Hyacinth beans in English, Avarekalu is a winter speciality in the south that is added to sambhar, saagu, rotis, etc. | Wikimedia Commons
* Amla -- The Indian gooseberry is a common winter fruit found through the country. High in Vitamin C, it is known to be immunity building and extremely beneficial for the skin and hair. There are multiple ways to eat Amla -- it is pickled, made into a fruit preserve called as Murraba or even eaten by sprinkling salt over it.
The Indian gooseberry is a common winter fruit found through the country. | Pixabay
(Article originally published on IANSlife) (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: winter, Sanjeev Kapoor, chef, Indian gooseberry, Sweet Potato, Radish pods