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Showing posts from 2021

India Qualify For The WTC Final Beating England 3-1 In Test Series!

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India have crushed England by an innings and 25 runs in the fourth and last cricket test match at the Motera, Ahmedabad today and won the Test Series 3-1, thus qualifying for the World Test Championship (WTC) Final to be played at Lord’s from 18 th June 2021. India needed to win the Series by at least 2-1 margin and had this match been won by the visitors the Series would have ended in a 2-2 draw in which case Australia would have qualified. There are three priceless innings from the Indians that contributed to this emphatic win at the Motera today. First and foremost, the man-of-the-match Rishabh Pant for his incredible century of 101 in just 118 balls coming in to bat at a time when India had lost 4 wickets for 80 still trailing by 125 runs to England’s first innings total of 205. There was tremendous pressure on him to stick on and at the same time pile up enough runs to help his team come back in the game. Rishabh played against his normal attacking style defending a lot with Rohi

India COVID-19 Vaccination 2.0: Jabs Set To Accelerate With Private Participation!

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The first phase of COVID-19 vaccination in India that started from the 16 th of January 2021 aimed at inoculating around 30 million healthcare sector and frontline workers. Although so far only about half of that target and less for those having double doses has been achieved the Government of India, under pressure to speed up the process allowing participation of the private sector and also in view of the surge in new infections in several states, has decided to usher in the second phase of vaccination that aims at administering the jabs to senior citizens above 60 and people above 45 years of age with comorbidities; as per the earlier estimates this target population will be around 270 million which, of course, targeted all people above 50 with or without comorbidities. The policy decision to allow the private sector come into the picture is the welcome change in Vaccination 2.0 which is bound to accelerate the number of jabs administered, and the process begins from tomorrow, the 1

Motera Pink-Ball Test All Over In Less Than 2 Days As India Crush England By 10 Wickets To Go 2-1 Up!

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The pink ball seems to be finding it very hard to have a footing in India despite the enthusiasm and suspense surrounding it! The first ever day-night Test match using this ball was held in November 2019 at the Eden Gardens, Kolkata between India and Bangladesh, and the much-hyped match was all over in two days and 47 minutes with India crushing the visitors and thousands of spectators wanting more, at least 3 days of cricket. And now, the second pink-ball test to happen at the magnificent new Motera stadium, Ahmedabad is over in even less than 2 days, India crushing England by 10 wickets with the India spinners Axar Patel, after his fiver in his debut test in Chennai, taking 11 wickets (two five-wicket hauls) and Ravichandran Ashwin accounting for total 7 wickets thus becoming the second fastest bowler of the world to take 400 Test wickets. Such short-lived pink-ball tests should also raise some concern for the BCCI: with the kind of crowds coming in to watch a cricket test just think

Back To Roaring Cricket, India Vs England Pink-Ball Third Test Begins At The New Motera Stadium!

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Finally, we are back to watching cricket of the roaring kind, meaning fans in thousands are there once more to cheer on their home team and favorite players. Well, it’s still half-capacity in view of the new normal times! But at the new world-class Motera cricket stadium in Ahmedabad half-capacity means a maximum of 55 thousand spectators which has to be considered mammoth under any circumstances. Allowing that big a crowd just when there has been an alert about a possible second wave of COVID-19 in the country is, however, another matter. Before we start describing the breath-taking stadium let us first narrate the story of the first day of the third Test between India and England.   The visitors seemed to have won a crucial toss, because the hosts have decided to play three spinners, taking in Washington Sundar again in place of Kuldeep Yadav and retaining Axar Patel with R Ashwin as the winning combination in the second Chennai Test. Selecting three spinners was against expectat

Covidiots Threatening Another Wave Of COVID-19 In India?

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  We must first clarify the fact that the term ‘Covidiots’ is a very inclusive one: it not only includes the vast chunks of the citizens representing all the sections who move or eat or gather around in total defiance of all COVID-19 norms, but also the members of the political class who propagate or preach or campaign or oppose or electioneer in total violation of the protocols imposed by themselves on the former in the form of various enforcing governments and authorities. In fact, the latter seems to have inspired the former; ‘if our masters are so blissfully peaceful and normal then why at all should we break our heads?’ Further, the term is also not confined to India only as quite a few nations across the world have demonstrated the possession of such Covidiots in abundance. However, the latter examples should never inspire us, because we are beset with a whole lot of problems that are unique to us and not to them.   It’s really unfortunate that the governments and the authori

COVID-19 Vaccination In India Whither?

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More than a month passed since India launched the world’s largest COVID-19 vaccination drive from the 16 th of January 2021, and so far, not even 10 million people have been vaccinated. India figures last accounting for less than 1% of population vaccinated in the table of nations carrying on inoculation drive, at the moment. The first priority target covers 30 million of healthcare and frontline workers, next 270 million of citizens over the age of fifty and/or people with comorbidities and then the rest of the nearly 1.4 billion population of the country. At the present rate of vaccination, it will take more than 10 years to complete the process. This is absurd even to think on these lines, because we are dealing with a pandemic that can destroy us again thanks to its very clever virus and the variants.   Everything seemed well thought out and prioritized in the beginning: an extreme sense of urgency and the consequent hurry had been shown by the Government of India in getting i

India Vs England Test Cricket: Ashwin And Rohit Star In India’s Mammoth Win, WTC Series Levelled 1-1!

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  India have won the second World Test Championship (WTC) Series cricket Test against England by a mammoth margin of 317 runs just after lunch on the fourth day at the MA Chidambaram stadium in Chennai, and squared the series at 1-1. Chennai was the venue for the first test too that the visitors won by 227 runs. This victory has taken India back to the second position and England back to the fourth in the WTC points table with the hosts needing to win the series 2-1 or 3-1 for an almost secure place in the final to be played in Southampton instead of Lord’s due to the COVID situation in England in June, 2021.   The first thing that comes to the mind about this test is the sterling performance of bowling all-rounder Ravichandran Ashwin who has achieved the distinction of capturing five wickets and a century in the same match, for the third time as per records, and is now among the very few bowling all-rounders of the world of test cricket to have achieved this honor.   He bowled mag

The Age Of The Narratives!

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  In the olden days we used to boast of our democracy as something ‘of the people, for the people and by the people’ where the things like freedom of expression, freedom of faith and beliefs, a secular environment with religious tolerance and peaceful coexistence and above all the prized safeguard of public opinion were all held in the highest of esteem and affection. We were very fond of forming our own opinions and of discussing those with others, not necessarily our supporters or sympathizers, but especially with those having different opinions, and in the process having healthy enlightening debates—anywhere, be it at the college/university campuses or at the favorite restaurants or in the office chambers or on the street corners or at the home addas. And we believed religiously in the strength of public opinion that used to change the destiny of democratic nations, so often.   Opinions used to be just comments or arguments that were amenable to change and further development, a

England Vs India First Test: Joe Root Engineers Collapse Of India’s House Of Star Cards!

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Photo: espncricinfo.com England captain Joe Root did the right things from the very beginning of the first cricket test against India in Chennai: winning the crucial toss and naturally electing to bat on a track that is known to turn from the third or the fourth day; scoring a double ton that helped his team build a mammoth first innings total of 578, neutralizing the three Indian spinners on their home turf; having his spinners and pacers, particularly James Anderson rally around restricting India to 337 which is largely thanks to a few of India’s Australia-resistance heroes, keeper Rishabh Pant, Washington Sundar and Ravichandran Ashwin; being always wary of India’s elusive but documentary batting depth and not risking to bat last on a turning track, and therefore, not enforcing the follow-on; despite having his team out for a paltry 178 in the second innings still allowing his team enjoy a rather amusing target of 420 for India to achieve in just over a day; and having Anderson stri

What The Fish!

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(Continued from the last story on a fish called Sol in Assam!)   Decades back I was working in my hometown on my first job assignment. My office happened to be very near to the riverside and therefore, the local fish market at the jetty that thrived in selling fresh and live fish directly caught from the river was within walking distance. My mother’s constant errand had been to buy some fresh and ‘jumping’ local fish on my way back home from office. I wanted to on many occasions, but every time felt too bored to stroll down to the market and initiate a buying that invariably involved touching and ‘feeling’ the fishes on show.   One day I made a resolve to fulfill her long-standing wish. So, after office hours I went to that local fish market and indulged myself fully in the pre-buying spree of seeing around. Really! The fishes there were very fresh with some of them alive and jumping, literally. There were many choices before me and I had to make up my mind. Unfortunately, I

Morning Shows…The Fish!

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Just when, 7 o’clock in the morning, I was about to get up the rain started. I always loved the sounds made by the raindrops on the tin-sheeted roof of out village home, and was always lulled into sleep, the audio suddenly making the hot summers feel pleasantly cooler. That morning was no exception, and as the audio reached a crescendo I, just a ten-year-old embodiment at that time, rolled over on my side tucking in my knees close to my chest and prepared for some more windfall slumber. But the reality shook me up: that was a school day and the morning occurrence was no justification for skipping the classes.   My cousin, a year older to me, sounded the wake-up call. An errand normally my grandfather used to undertake almost every working morning with painful consistency, that is say, his wake-up calls used to get louder and louder till the target had to succumb to it, with a sullen face or not he never cared about. That morning my grandfather left home very early on business to th