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World Cup 2015: Can India bring back glory?

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cricket world cup 2015 team india

By Harshmeet Singh

Cricket World Cup 2015 is about to begin. Contenders are many but hopes of the defending champion India are high. With many star players either retired or left out, can they pull it through this time too?

cricket world cup 2015 team india

2nd April 2011. An entire country came to a standstill. People cried with joy. Half of the nation was out on the streets at midnight. Strangers danced together and hugged each other. For a generation of cricket lovers who grew up watching black and white photograph of a grinning Kapil Dev holding the World Cup trophy at the Lords’ gallery in 1983, this was a moment to savour.  4 years later, as M.S. Dhoni and his select group of men get ready to defend their title, even the most ardent fans would accept that a repeat of 2011 wouldn’t be anything short of a miracle.

Emergence of cash-rich T20 cricket leagues like IPL and the Big Bash League over the past decade has changed the loyalties of a cricket crazy fan. With the shortest format of the game drawing huge audiences of all age groups into the grounds and the ‘Test cricket’ still being regarded as the real test of a player’s ability, the once glitzy One day International cricket is fast losing significance. However, none of these factors take away the sheen of the Cricket World Cup. With the stage all set and some pulsating contests in store, the 2015 Cricket World cup promises to be a fan’s delight.

Advantage of playing in the home conditions and riveting form of late have placed Australia and New Zealand among the favourites to lift the trophy on 29th March. While Australia are used to starting as ‘favourites’ irrespective of the conditions and current form, New Zealand has never faced such high expectations. For the first time, rather than being referred to as the ‘Dark Horse’, New Zealand is being considered as a real threat to the top teams in the tournament. Their splendid run in 2014 combined with a deadly fast bowling pair of Tim Southee and Trent Boult, and an array of in-form batsman places them in a good position to come out of their ‘perennial semi-finalist’ record and go all the way. Australia, on the other hand, has never been a weak side. Boasting of an enviable combination of destructive batsmen and fearful bowlers, anything less than a runners-up position would be a major disappointment for the Kangaroos.

Just like all the past editions where they have participated, South Africa remains a team to watch out for. They would be hoping to avoid ‘choking’ themselves to death, as they so often manage to do while playing in the world cup. With Dale Steyn – one of the best fast bowlers of all time, and AB de Villiers – the batting genius among their ranks, the world cup is theirs to lose. Among the other teams who can spring in a surprise is Pakistan. Famous for being ‘consistently inconsistent’, the mavericks open their account against India on 15th February. The team would have high hopes from their formidable pace battery and Boom Boom Afridi.

On current form, the reigning world champions India don’t inspire much confidence even in the minds of the most religious fans. A winless two month long tour of Australia wasn’t an ideal preparation camp for the team. The team’s plans of starting the bowling with Stuart Binny sending down balls at mid 120s don’t inspire much confidence either. The team would be pinning its hopes on its formidable batting line up, led by Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina. But expecting them to chase down a target in excess of 350 every single time they take the crease would be too much to ask for. With no Sachin, Yuvraj or Sehwag in the pavilion, it won’t be fair to compare this team to the 2011 world champions. But as a hopeless cricket romantic would imagine, the highly stacked up odds might just be the antidote that gets the Indian juggernaut moving!

Image Credit: vijay chennupati

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Kapil Dev: Trying to give good stories to Kabir Khan for the Biopic

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Kapil Dev
Kapil Dev: Trying to give good stories to Kabir Khan for the Biopic

Mumbai, Oct 24 : Kabir Khan’s most ambitious film “’83” is based on the Indian cricket team’s World Cup victory in 1983. Kapil Dev, who had led the team back then, says he will try to give the filmmaker good stories and information for the movie.

Actor Ranveer Singh will play Kapil Dev on the big screen.

The former star cricketer was here to attend Magic Bus project’s new initiative along with actress Sonam Kapoor.

On the film, Kapil Dev said: “It’s up to the director and producers how they make the film. We will try to give them good stories and give all possible information about that phase.”

Asked who among the current crop of actors from Bollywood fit the casting for the film, he said: “Actors of the Hindi film industry are really good and I feel they shouldn’t be compared with anyone. If you see, in the last 20 to 25 years, we have seen amazing talent in the industry.”

At the event here on Monday, Kapil Dev and Sonam Kapoor interacted with children at an activity-based session at the District Sports Complex Dharavi.

Sonam said there should be more playgrounds for children.

“There are no grounds. I remember I used to study in Arya Vidya Mandir in Juhu, but we used to go to Azad Maidan to play by travelling one hour. So, I hope there will be a lot of grounds for children to play.

“We should give more importance to sports and I am hopeful that things will change slowly and steadily.”(IANS)

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Virat Kohli, Anushka Sharma to tie knot in December this Year?

Anushka and Virat came in the Ad for Manyavar and were looking adorable together. Look at the picture from the ad.

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Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli, Anushka Sharma to tie knot in December this Year?(IANS)
  • Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli may get married in December this year
  • The captain of Indian Cricket team Virat Kohli has stated his unavailability for selection for a Test match and the limited-overs series against Sri Lanka in December due to personal reasons.

The most adorable couple Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli soon be tying Knot

Indian cricketer Virat Kohli and Bollywood actress Anushka Sharma are dating each other for a couple of years and may get hitched this December. As Virat Kohli has confirmed his unavailability on the work in the months of December, it is rumored that he has taken the leave for his marriage with actress Anushka Sharma.

Recently Anushka and Virat came in the Ad for Manyavar and were looking adorable together. In the ad, both were taking few special vows of marriage which seem to appear real soon. This is how they were looking in the ad-

Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli in Mnayavar Advertisement
Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli in Mnayavar Advertisement.Youtube

We will be waiting for the adorable couple to confirm the news of their wedding soon.

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Will the exciting lineup of new IPL Players get to play in the 2019 Cricket World Cup?

The bench strength looks impressive, but it has to be tested sooner than later.

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When will the exciting IPL stars get a chance if others are allowed to consolidate their positions playing at home? Pixabay

-by Veturi Srivatsa

New Delhi, October 23, 2017 :
 So much of cricket is being played around the world — Tests, One-Day Internationals and Twenty20s. The so-called pecking order is going for a toss with each passing series.

India, who got to the No. 1 position in the One-Day Internationals after beating Australia, vacated it for South Africa who went up beating Bangladesh.

Bangladesh are still playing in South Africa, Sri Lanka in the Gulf, home of Pakistan, and New Zealand are in India for a series each in the two shorter formats. Australia are getting ready for the Ashes and the South Africans will be looking forward to settling a score with India.

Every international side is seriously looking to the 2019 World Cup, building their core component, or is it rebuilding with less than two years for the mega event. Some top cricketers around the world are happy playing in the shorter formats to prolong their careers and with an eye on the pay packages.

There was a time good Test cricketers used to move into the One-Day format on the strength of their technique and fitness. Players now look to get into the Test squad on the weight of their performance in the ODIs. Both the players and the selectors are striking a blance between the long duration domestic cricket and the Twenty20 Indian Premier League (IPL).

India are going through a peculiar renaissance of sorts. Players who are thought to be indispensable not long ago are being rested, rotated and dropped whichever way one wants to take the selectors’ and team management’s perspective.

Not one or two players, practically the entire Test attack is banished to domestic cricket. Ravichandran Ashwin, Ajay Jadeja, Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav are playing in the ongoing Ranji Trophy just to keep them in the loop. Jadeja is, with a vengeance, scoring hundreds and taking wickets.

The captain and chief coach Ravi Shastri seem to be calling the shots. Virat Kohli, like his predecessor Mahendra Singh Dhoni, is slowly seeing the back of senior cricketers who he feels are slow coaches in the field, Jadeja being the exception. Both Jadeja and Ashwin had to go out for their inability to take wickets in the middle-overs on a regular basis.

Chinaman Kuldeep Yadav and legspinner Yuzvendra Chahal are providing the variety in the attack and importantly they are taking wickets bowling at any stage of the match. Axar Patel is doing the backup job. If Ashwin and Jadeja are in consideration for 2019, then they should also get to bowl a lot of overs before their fate is decided once and for all.

If there are four players good enough to open the innings, none of them is being considered for a middle-order position. Actually, Lokesh Rahul is the man the team management wants to keep him in the squad. He also prefers to open the innings and he just couldn’t adjust at No.4 behind Kohli. Hardik Pandya was tried at four and looked good in one match and then he became a floater, pushing Dhoni up and down.

Ajinkya Rahane continues to be a stop-gap opener, getting an opportunity whenever Rohit Sharma or Shikhar Dhawan are out through injuries. Strangely, he is not seen as a middle-order bat after an impression was created that he cannot rotate the strike, though it was during his early years in international cricket.

The other middle-order slots are now with Kedar Jadhav and Manish Pandey, both have good performances and the powers that be think the two should to be nursed, particularly Jadhav who is not only a handy bowler but also a decent wicket-keeper in an emergency. Rahul is another who keen keep wickets. Amazingly, the squad to play New Zealand has a regular wicket-keeper, Dinesh Karthik as a batsman. He is also seen as a contender for the No.4 position.

Kohli continues to be the man to hold both the top order and in the middle, more so while chasing. His record is amazing going into his 200th match on Sunday against New Zealand in Mumbai. He has 12 hundreds more than Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly who had 18 each at the very stage of their careers.

Kohli’s faith in Dhoni as his onfield consultant gives a totally different connotation to captaincy. None of the Fab Four or Five ever looked demonstrably carrying the side as Dhoni looks today. The arrangement is working out perfectly fine. The two are pulling the the youngsters in the side with them to give them confidence.

When will the exciting IPL stars get a chance if others are allowed to consolidate their positions playing at home? When will Rishab Pant, Sanju Samson, Shreyas Iyer, Nitish Rana or someone like all-rounder Washington Sundar and fast bowler Mohammad Siraj get a look in?

The bench strength looks impressive, but it has to be tested sooner than later.

(Editorial note : This article has been written by Veturi Srivatsa, a senior journalist and was first published at IANS. The views expressed are personal. He can be reached at sveturi@gmail.com)