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World Cup 2015: Can India bring back glory?

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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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What’s Common To Virat Kohli, Sania Mirza, Rajnikanth And Other Celebs?

Virat Kohli getting his beard insured.

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What's Common To Virat Kohli, Sania Mirza, Rajnikanth And Other Celebs?
What's Common To Virat Kohli, Sania Mirza, Rajnikanth And Other Celebs? Flickr

Life insurance is no big deal, but getting your body parts or other attributes insured is quite wacky. For celebrities, their bodily features serve as their means of livelihood and fame. So, it is only natural that they would be protective of their ‘assets’. With the buzz around Indian skipper, Virat Kohli getting his beard insured, the trend is gaining quite a momentum in India. Though, it has already been in practice in the West, with celebrities like Miley Cyrus (she got her tongue insured), Jennifer Lopez (has her voluptuous booty insured), Daniel Craig (got his whole body insured), and many others popularising the latest fad, Indian celebrities are joining their Western counterparts in protecting their features, too.

John Abraham

The handsome hunk, John Abraham, who gave us a tantalizing butt view in Dostana not only had his female friends ogling but also arrested the attention of an international insurer. They offered to ensure the Bollywood star’s derrière for a whopping Rs 10 crore to which he responded positively. Well, it is an ass-et and most expensive butt in Bollywood

parmanu
The film is jointly produced by JA Entertainment, Zee Studios and Kyta Productions. Flickr

Sunny Deol

Known for his ‘dhai kilo ka haath’, Sunny Deol got his voice and dialogue style copyrighted instead. Because he was disappointed when his voice and dialogue delivery was adopted for mimicry, which far exceeded permissible levels according to him.

Rajnikanth

There is nothing that Rajnikanth can’t do, especially in his films. Speak of Thalaiva and even the earth stands still (pun intended of course). The actor who, even today, has a crazy fan following, has got his voice insured and patented, followed by a petition he filed against a production house for personality right violation.

 Amitabh Bachchan

The Big B, Amitabh Bachchan, got really upset when he found out that the voice artists were using his baritone without the permission to sell certain products that he didn’t quite approve of. So, it was buzzed that Amitabh wants to get his voice copyrighted. Hence, Mr Bachchan got his voice tone insured and patented.

it was buzzed that Amitabh wants to get his voice copyrighted
it was buzzed that Amitabh wants to get his voice copyrighted. flickr

Priyanka Chopra

Everybody is aware of Priyanka Chopra’s pouty smile on which she has drawn up a copyright. As she seems to be of the opinion that her smile is very much her own, and no one has the right to copy it after she discovered the wrong ways of it getting used by doctors promising young girls to achieve ‘Priyanka Chopra Smile’ after necessary surgical tweaking.

Actress Priyanka Chopra attends the Clive Davis and Recording Academy Pre-GRAMMY Gala and GRAMMY Salute to Industry Icons Honoring Jay-Z on January 27, 2018 in New York City.
Actress Priyanka Chopra attends the Clive Davis and Recording Academy Pre-GRAMMY Gala and GRAMMY Salute to Industry Icons Honoring Jay-Z on January 27, 2018 in New York City.
 Mallika Sherawat

Known for her hourglass figure, Mallika Sherawat went a step ahead of all the other Bollywood divas and got her whole body insured. It is also believed that the actress spends hours on her body to keep it flawless.

Sania Mirza

Ace tennis player, Sania Mirza has reportedly got her hands insured, which are her greatest assets. Because tennis is a tough game and it involves a lot of hand movements and mind presence. Plus, we all have seen her create magic by winning trophies for the country.

Lata Mangeshkar

Known as the second nightingale of India, Lata Mangeshkar has given a number of hits and even lent her voice to generations of actresses since 1940s. While the amount remains unknown, it has been confirmed that she has got her melodic voice insured.

Lata Mangeshkar has got her melodic voice insured
Lata Mangeshkar has got her melodic voice insured. Flickr

Vijender Singh

India’s ace pugilist, Vijender Singh got his power-packed hands insured, as those are his main weapons in the game. The decision came after his medal-winning performance in 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Also read: Important for celebrities to speak up, bring change: Deepika Padukone

Rakhi Sawant

The controversial, outspoken actress, dancer, model and host, Rakhi Sawant loves herself more than anything else and everyone is well aware of it. In order to keep herself sexy always, she has apparently insured her derriere. (IANS)