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  1. Less than a month ago, when Gomathi Marimuthu stood atop the Asian Athletics Championships podium after winning the gold medal in the 800-m race in Doha, Qatar, she had a nation of more than 1.3 billion people standing behind her in support. Her story, full of pain and agony, inspired people from all over the world. The tales of her late father, sacrificing his diet just so his daughter could get the nourishment to one day represent India in an international event and make the nation proud, reached every street, every gully of the country and garnered support both financially and emotionally. "When I used to do sports, my father had a leg ailment and he was unable to walk. He had a two-wheeler and that was a big deal for us back then. We did not have good bus facility to go to the city, there was no electricity in my town and the roads weren't good either," the athlete had said in a press conference after the win. "If I woke up at 4 a.m., I could catch the 4.30 bus. So my father would wake me up at 4, sharp, putting an alarm. If my mother was not feeling well, my father only would give me water, boil milk... all these things he would only do," she added. However, her legacy may be in great trouble after the 30-year-old was tested positive in a doping test with a banned steroid at the Asian Athletics Championships in April and now, a four-year-long suspension from the tracks is staring at Marimuthu in the face. © Reuters It is believed that Gomathi was tested positive for yet another doping test almost a month ahead of Doha Asians and during the Federation Cup but the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) seemed to make no news of it. “We have zero tolerance to doping. As far as we are concerned, she is immediately suspended provisionally. She has the right to get her 'B' sample tested. If she is innocent and her 'B' sample is okay, we take her back, otherwise, straight away she is suspended for four years,” says Adille Sumariwalla, the AFI president. “We tested all those who were not in the national camp when they came here for the Federation Cup but the results came late,” said chief national coach Bahadur Singh. “That is also one reason why we have confirmatory trials for the non-National campers.” If Marimuthu does send her 'B' sample for testing and if they also turn out to be positive, not only will the athlete be suspended for four years but she will also be stripped off of her Asian medal, taking away one of three gold medals from the Indian contingent.
  2. Former skipper of the Pakistan cricket team, Shahid Afridi recently released an autobiography titled 'Game Changer', which, to say the least, has to be as controversial as the words that come out of the former cricketer's mouth in his feud with athlete-turned-politician Gautam Gambhir. One of the more interesting and important moments in the book talks about the 2010 match-fixing scandal in which three of Afridi's teammates, namely Salman Butt, Mohammad Amir, and Mohammad Asif were found guilty of taking money to intentionally spoil the game for the Pakistani national team. According to the bowling-allrounder's autobiography, Afridi was aware of the fact that Butt, Amir and Asif had taken huge sums of money from a bookie named Mazhar Majeed, to knowingly and willingly underperform at specific moments during the Test-series versus Team England, in London. The bowlers were to deliver 'no-balls' which would help the betting men win some easy money. © Reuters Apparently, when Afridi took the news to the senior management team, they refused to take action against his teammates and this was why he stepped down from the role of Test captain and retired. It was only later when the undercover reporters from News of the World decided to do a sting operation on Majeed and collected video footage of the bribe being exchanged that London's Scotland Yard arrested the criminal. The footage was also used as evidence by the International Cricket Council (ICC) to find cause to ban the three corrupt cricketers for terms between 5 to 10 years. Butt, Mohammad and Asif, along with Majeed were also sentenced with some jail time. © Reuters However, the treasurer of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Anirudh Chaudhry does not believe in the “honesty” of Afridi's story. In a tweet he says: Actually, once he became aware, he ought to have immediately reported it to the Anti Corruption Unit of the @ICC . How the ACU dealt with the information of him not having reported this would be interesting because it was a failure of his obligation Inder the code. https://t.co/BDUoHuV505 — Anirudh Chaudhry (@AnirudhChaudhry) May 4, 2019 “Actually, once he became aware, he ought to have immediately reported it to the Anti Corruption Unit of the @ICC. How the ACU dealt with the information of him not having reported this would be interesting because it was a failure of his obligation Under (sic) the code.” So, why did Afridi not approach the ACU immediately after Team Pakistan's management team decided against taking any action over his news? I guess we will never know. However, for now, you can live with the fact that one of Afridi's many (many) retirements happened because of a reason.
  3. With the game of cricket getting modernised every year, the supreme body of cricket, the International Cricket Council (ICC), seems to be on their toes to keep up with the demands of the day and age. After a long while, ICC came up with a new set of rules ahead of the upcoming Test season and the maiden Test Championship, on Monday. In further changes ahead of the World Test Championship, the tradition of the coin toss will be replaced by a @Twitter poll, allowing fans at home to decide who bats and bowls! pic.twitter.com/7wOuB8psZJ — ICC (@ICC) April 1, 2019 ICC seems to have gotten too comfortable with their audience that they gave most of their decision making power in the hands of the fans. Inspired by the game of tennis, ICC introduced new terminologies for 'No-balls' and 'Dot balls' to be called 'Faults' and 'Aces'. Two minor changes will be made to cricket terminology with no balls and dot balls to henceforth be known as 'Faults' and 'Aces'. pic.twitter.com/3gFdhO4c59 — ICC (@ICC) April 1, 2019 Another change has been in the scoring, as the runs scored in day/night test matches will be counted as double, creating a new level of excitement for the fans. Runs scored in the evening session of day/night Tests will count double, creating a new and exciting strategic element ðâ2ï¸â£ pic.twitter.com/Hqzzwe8sbY — ICC (@ICC) April 1, 2019 Can you take two wickets in one ball? Well, that will be permitted from now on, as ICC has allowed the bowling team to make a run out happen after catching out a batsman, giving birth to the rule of “Double Wicket Play.” After taking a catch, the fielding team will be permitted to complete a 'Double Wicket Play' by running out the other batsman â pic.twitter.com/1XN6rAT9lD — ICC (@ICC) April 1, 2019 Promoting social media is also high on ICC's priority list, for which they have asked all the teams to write player's Instagram handles on the back of their jerseys. As part of our efforts to make the game more appealing to younger generations, the ICC will be applying both numbers and Instagram handles to kits from the beginning of the World Test Championship. pic.twitter.com/XnvantQfc9 — ICC (@ICC) April 1, 2019 Other than these rules, here are some other which would interest every cricket enthusiast around the world: Should the temperature reach 35°C, the ICC's updated playing conditions will allow all Test players the option to wear shorts âð¡ pic.twitter.com/TEFHahhPkL — ICC (@ICC) April 1, 2019 In a move to bring fans even closer to the sport, broadcasters will have the option to position commentators on the field of play behind the slips cordon ð pic.twitter.com/l8FMdFcCZ9 — ICC (@ICC) April 1, 2019 And finally, should teams be level on the World Test Championship table, the first tie-breaking criteria will be 'Away Runs.' So which of these initiatives are you most looking forward to? ð¤#CricketNotAsYouKnowIt pic.twitter.com/HHxUvxdv7k — ICC (@ICC) April 1, 2019 While it is pleasantly surprising for ICC to take a radical approach towards cricketing rules, we can't help but wonder about their intent on April Fools Day today. What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments section.
  4. 2019 has come bearing good news for both Bollywood actors and film-goers alike. Many A-listers of the Hindi film industry seem to have succeeded in carrying forward their success run from the year gone by, and taken the box office by storm within months of 2019. View this post on Instagram Certified Chhava â #gullyboy A post shared by Ranveer Singh (@ranveersingh) on Feb 7, 2019 at 10:18am PST Be it Ranveer Singh with 'Padmaavat', 'Simmba' and 'Gully Boy', Vicky Kaushal with 'Raazi', 'Manmarziyan' and 'Uri' or Kartik Aaryan with 'Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety' and 'Luka Chuppi', these actors have successfully managed to sway the audience with stellar hits even this year. View this post on Instagram बलिदान परम धरà¥à¤®à¤¾ । ð®ð³ A post shared by Vicky Kaushal (@vickykaushal09) on Jan 4, 2019 at 8:21pm PST However, it seems that Ranbir Kapoor will be the next to join this list of actors who are all set to cheer on their good luck at the box office in 2019, as the 'Sanju' star is all prepped and ready to go for one of this year's most anticipated movies, Ayan Mukerji's directorial trilogy 'Brahmastra'. View this post on Instagram #ranbir #ranbirkapoor #rk #katrinakaif #deepikapadukone #jaggajasoos #duttbiopic #shahrukhkhan #salmankhan #varundhawan #arijitsingh #badboyshah #atifaslam #ranveersingh #shahidkapoor #viratkohli #fawadkhan #aliaabhatt #urvashirautela #anushkasharma #sonamkapoor #dishapatani #lsdtrip #kareenakapoor #justinbiebar #repost #instagram #love #bollywood #brahmastra A post shared by ranbir Kapoor (@__ranbir_kapoor_official__) on Mar 7, 2019 at 5:51pm PST Boasting of a loaded starcast and a director who is highly popular with the young brigade of movie goers in the country, the makers and actors of the fantasy-adventure drama launched the movie's logo last week at the Kumbh mela using 150 drones. View this post on Instagram #ranbir #ranbirkapoor #rk #katrinakaif #deepikapadukone #jaggajasoos #duttbiopic #shahrukhkhan #salmankhan #varundhawan #arijitsingh #badboyshah #atifaslam #ranveersingh #shahidkapoor #viratkohli #fawadkhan #aliaabhatt #urvashirautela #anushkasharma #sonamkapoor #dishapatani #lsdtrip #kareenakapoor #justinbiebar #repost #instagram #love #bollywood #movie A post shared by ranbir Kapoor (@__ranbir_kapoor_official__) on Mar 5, 2019 at 12:40am PST Ever since Ayan Mukerji has taken to Instagram to drop little snippets and details related to the film on his personal account. The most recent addition this inside scoop is Ranbir's photo from an early look test. View this post on Instagram Rumi. First, he was Rumi. Rumi with long hair. This image is from an early look test for the movie. Rumi said, 'Love is the bridge between you and everything...', and that feeling is the foundation we started building the protagonist of this movie on... But then, there was new inspiration, newer thoughts... Dragon became BrahmÄstra, we gave Ranbir a haircut, and Rumi became... Shiva. #brahmastra #shivadiaries #memories #creativeprocess #evolving A post shared by Ayan Mukerji (@ayan_mukerji) on Mar 9, 2019 at 10:48pm PST By Ayan's own admission, Ranbir in the photo was meant to be called Rumi and have a personality that resonated with its namesake. However, over time Rumi changed into Shiva and underwent a makeover that stripped him of this previous persona that surely had close resemblances to Ranbir's 2011 character from 'Rockstar', Janardhan 'Jordan' Jakhar. View this post on Instagram Am I the only one that considers Rockstar is one of the best movies of Bollywood ? . . . I wanted my life to be like that of JANARDAN /JORDAN. The portrayal of childish nature of Janardan and then the drastic change to JORDANIAN nature takes the movie to a whole new level.Though you don't share anything common with the character but somehow you get connected to it .As the movie passes you slowly feel for him and psychologically starts to believe yourself to be the character. His passionate and unconditional love for “HEER” makes the movie more special.There is also a special character which plays an important role in the life of Janardan and that's of “Kharata bhai” who is the owner of the college canteen and also someway the mentor of Janardan.His advice to janardan on singing ”SANGEET TOOTE HUE DIL SE HE NIKAL SAKTA HAY “ became the reason for janardan to become JORDAN. Songs in the movie also played a key role in transformation of the character.We cant imagine the song “Tum Ho” without Mohit chauhan. It is a classic movie and only a section of audience has the capacity of understanding the beauty portrayed in the movie. I would like to end my writing with some beautiful quotes written by RUMI “THE WOUND IS THE PLACE WHERE LIGHT ENTERS YOU “ “OUT BEYOND IDEAS OF WRONG AND RIGHT,THERE IS A FIELD I WILL MEET YOU THERE” #ranbirkapoor #rockstar #ranbirrockstar #ranbirkapoorfan #ranbirkapoorlove #ranbirkapoorlove #imtiaz #imtiazali #rockstarmovie #rumi #bollywood #bollywoodbest #saddahaq #nargisfakhri #nargis #piyushmishra #moviescenes #movierecommendation #movieworld A post shared by Filmy Freak (@filmy.freak) on Aug 6, 2018 at 1:32am PDT According to reports, the first part of the 'Brahmastra' trilogy has been titled Love, and after Ayan's recent insightful message and previously shared photos, it seems that he has decided to make the most of real life couple Ranbir Kapoor and Alia Bhatt's first film collaboration, and play on their new-found love in each other. View this post on Instagram Part 1: Love #brahmastra (P.S.: going to take some getting used to this new Instagram life) A post shared by Ayan Mukerji (@ayan_mukerji) on Mar 4, 2019 at 4:30am PST 'Brahmastra' stars biggies like Ranbir Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Amitabh Bachchan, Nagarjuna, Dimple Kapadia and Mouni Roy, and is all set to hit the theatres on Christmas 2019.
  5. We're all waiting for the release of 'Avengers: Endgame' and are also preparing for probably, permanently, losing a bunch of our favourite characters. But did you know there's another thing we need to prepare for? Our bladder-control, apparently. The runtime of the movie is 3 hours, which is not at all surprising considering that it's a culmination of 22 incredible movies and the final instalment of Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. So basically, the movie has to tackle a lot of things, take care of a lot of different characters and storylines, especially when we think about how they also have to somehow manage to bring back a lot of people (and then kill a lot of them again). But, don't worry, the movie is going to be so awesome that we will end up fighting a battle with our bladder, at least that's what the people who have already watched the movie experienced. Yes, some lucky bastards have already seen the movie while we have to wait till the end of April, but let's ignore that for now. While speaking to Collider about the test screenings, the Russo Brothers said, “I think the studio is down with what the best story is. Right now, we think the movie is playing well and we've had great responses from our test audiences and we're feeling very good about where it is. We're still doing work to it. We're not done with it. Again, this is a culmination film of 22 movies, it's a lot of storytelling to work into it. Emotion is an intrinsic part of that to us. When you have to tell a really complicated story and you want strong emotional moments with the characters, it just requires a certain amount of real estate. This one, in particular, feels like three hours worth of real estate.” Well, that sounds exciting, doesn't it? While talking about the audience's reactions and the possibility of an interval, they said, “We have screened the movie four times for audiences now. For the first three screenings, not a single person got up to go to the bathroom.” So, I just have to say one thing - Excitement? Check. Bladder? Double check. Come at me, Marvel!
  6. There exists a specific set of skills which is required to be mastered by one to actually qualify as a true basketball enthusiast. You need to know the game in and out, be it Russell Westbrook's extremely jazzy jackets or Gerald Green's new 'Spiderman' hairdo. You've got to get in sync with the league's culture. Next, you must practice the essentials of playing the game. In order to shoot that hoop like 'Black Mamba', Kobe Bryant or move around the court like 'The Flash', Dwyane Wade, you must work on your craft. And finally, and probably the most important criterion of the all (are you ready for this?)... Have fun and enjoy the sport while doing all of the above! Basketball is all about fast-paced action which is a unique blend of brute force and finesse, at the epitome of which, is the National Basketball Association or the NBA. The NBA has never been more popular in India, expanding exponentially through cities and towns alike. The league has led to making LeBron James, Stephen Curry and James Harden some of the biggest household names in recent times. Indian fans are not only getting up early in the morning, sometimes, even before the sun is out, to watch their idols compete against each other, but also seem be to extremely interested in getting to know more about them, their lifestyle on and off the court, their history with the league and even their nicknames! But the guys at NBA India expect more from the Indian loyalists and see a lot of potential here. They believe that all the knowledge the league fans have garnered through days and months, should not go to waste. As a means to provide an opportunity to the basketball fans from all over the country to prove their loyalty to the game, a new all-NBA show, Jabong Hoop Wars, is coming to India. Hosted by the absolutely stunning Benafsha Soonawalla, Jabong Hoop Wars will see some of the most influential online celebrities like Nidhi Singh, Shantanu Maheshwari, Priyank Sharma, Aly Goni, Karishma Sharma and Prince Narula make special appearances in every episode. The show is all about churning out the best fans from the lot that the Indian audience has grown to become. If you have what it takes to be called a true basketball enthusiast who has the skills and the knowledge about the league and the sporting culture that revolves around it, Jabong Hoops Wars is meant for you. Great athletes like Lebron James and Kevin Durant had to go through so much of grit and grind and all the challenges put in front of them before actually being worthy of achieving the greatest glory of them all, the NBA championship. Likewise, the show puts forward some of the most creatively thought-out challenges that bring out the best in the contestants by testing their knowledge and skills related to the game and all the fun that happens throughout the year around the NBA, and believe us when we say that the rewards are worth it. The NBA fans in India are no less dedicated to the sport than those anywhere else in the world. All they need is a platform to show their love, support and respect for the game and it seems that their search is finally over.
  7. For a man who was heavily criticised and consistently bashed for his slump in form in 2018, Mahendra Singh Dhoni has made the naysayers eat their own words on the back of a prolific showing in the new year. The ever-reliable cricketer had a brilliant outing in Australia where he produced clinical batting performances that had eluded him the previous year. The 37-year-old smashed three consecutive fifties, wherein two of those paved the way for India's triumph, further helping the visitors to secure a historic bilateral ODI series win. In the three matches he played, Dhoni emerged as the leading run-scorer for India, amassing 193 runs at an average of over 190. Such was his performance with the willow that it eventually earned him the 'Man of the Series' award following India's 2-1 triumph in the series. © AP While his weren't exactly the slambang innings we once associated with Dhoni, his calculated knocks, produced on the back of great composure and temperament, gave us all a glimpse of his new role in the team. With over 10,000 ODI runs to his name, Dhoni is the kind of player that a side needs to bolster their middle-order. And, adapting himself to his new role, Dhoni continues to add value to the Indian team. Following his prolific showing Down Under, the Indian cricketer now gears up for the five-match ODI series against New Zealand. Owing to his return to form, Dhoni is likely to play a pivotal role if India intend to upset the Kiwis in their own backyard. And, ahead of the first ODI at McLean Park, the right-hander has found a new challenge - thanks to Mike Hesson. Preparing to halt India's marauding run, the Kiwis would have surely kept close tabs on Dhoni in a bid to prepare themselves for the Indian middle-order batsman. Thus, there was no surprise to see Hesson being overwhelmed by Dhoni's heroics in Australia. "Runs just shows the value of experience. Most players in the world would have panicked considering the situation Dhoni was in, but he looked calmer than anybody else. It suggests that he has been in this situation many times before and knows how to pace a chase," the New Zealand coach told Cricket Next. © Reuters "Challenge for Dhoni is going to be when the side is batting first, how hard he needs to go. In terms of chasing a total, which is still the hardest thing in cricket, he is a genius," the New Zealand coach added. Dismissed due to an umpiring error in the first ODI, Dhoni took the matters in his own hands with a much-improved showing in Sydney and Melbourne. His unbeaten knock of 54 helped his side in levelling the proceedings in Sydney, while an 87-run innings in Melbourne sealed the game and series for India. With India chasing in all the three ODIs Down Under, Dhoni was seen adapting to the ever-changing match situations and pacing his innings accordingly - something that he has mastered over the years. During a run-chase, cricketers are generally in a better frame of mind as far as their approach is concerned. But, what happens when India are batting first? How would Dhoni go about his business then? He surely doesn't have the luxury of pacing his innings according to the asking-rate. That's the challenge Hesson has pointed out. © Reuters If India bats first, Virat Kohli and his teammates will have to combine together to post a total which they feel is a competitive one. And, that is where Dhoni's presence of mind and experience will come into play as, like Hesson, the fans back home, too, would be eager to see how this old warhorse goes about his business then. It's the test of assumptions and, then, playing accordingly to aid the team's cause. A tricky, but a crucial test nonetheless. Will he take his time, again, to build the innings? Or, we'd see the explosive side of Dhoni that has eluded him in recent times? All those questions might get answered when Team India locks horns with New Zealand in the first ODI at the McLean Park in Napier on 23rd January.
  8. Do you want to take our latest release for a test drive? You already are! We've upgraded our own community for wider testing. A big focus has been on page speed, so you will notice that our community is significantly faster that it was on 4.3 If you need a recap of what was added, take a look at our product updates blog which takes you through the highlights. As this is a pre-beta release, expect some funkiness as we scurry around and tidy up our custom theme wrapper and other areas as we spot them. If you you find a bug, we'd love for you to report it with as much detail as you can muster in the bug report area. We'd love to know what you think, let us know below.
  9. While we thought India's obsession with black magic was a little stifling, here we have Pakistani batsman Haris Sohail claiming he'd been under the spell of the dark arts, after the first test in South Africa. Yes, this sounds exactly how you've read it! Indiatimes Sohail said black magic was the cause behind his knee injury, which he succumbed to during Pakistan's tour in South Africa, after which he was forced to return to his hometown in Pakistan. The batsman has been suffering with a knee injury and he was unable to perform after the first test match of the series. The country is anyway getting flak for losing the series after the first two matches and now to add more insult to injury (injury being the operative word here), their batsman fled the scene while believing unnatural forces were ruining his game and his knee. After returning from South Africa, the batsman did not go to a rehabilitation camp, to take care of the 'issue' but went straight to his hometown, Sialkot, in Pakistan. It has been alleged though that the batsman has been undergoing some amount of mental stress and that could be the reason behind this absurd irrationality. © Twitter The management did not reveal the real reason behind him quitting the series, to the public, as Sohail seemed very anxious about it. In fact, this isn't the first time Sohail has left a match citing superstitious reasons. Back in 2015, while touring New Zealand, Sohail changed rooms in the hotel he was staying at, saying there were supernatural forces present there and was later ruled out due to an injury. Maybe, just maybe Sohail is clairvoyant? Let's not judge him too quickly, shall we? © Twitter Well, he may think someone is using black magic on him at his dreary expense but at the end of the day we suppose he should keep it more real and maybe get the someone to check his injured knee out.
  10. India won the 2018-19 Border-Gavaskar Trophy with a 2-1 lead which makes this series victory the first by any Asian country on Australian soil. After Day 5 of the fourth and final Test match saw no gameplay due to rain and bad light at the Sydney Cricket Ground, the Men in Blue were presented with the trophy at the award ceremony and one could see how much the victory meant to the squad. Loud roars and hugs surrounded the team as Virat Kohli lifted the cup in front of a rather supportive Australian crowd. Jai Hind #TeamIndia ð®ð³ð®ð³ pic.twitter.com/meUaiPq2YJ — BCCI (@BCCI) January 7, 2019 “By far, this is my biggest achievement. Has to be on the top of the pile. When we won the World Cup (in 2011), I was a young player. I saw the others get emotional. This series has given us a different identity as a team. What we've been able to achieve is something really to be proud of,” Kohli expressed to the media in the post-match session. Understandably, when you are not one of the key players of a roster, you do not appreciate enough, the gravity of winning a tournament, let alone a World Cup. Kohli's comments can therefore be overlooked. What cannot be overlooked is the Indian cricket coach Ravi Shastri comparing this victory to the 1983 World Cup victory in England which was the first time ever India as a team lifted the World Cup ever since it came into existence. 'This is bigger than World Cup 1983 win,' an ecstatic Ravi Shastri reacts to India's maiden Test series win in Australia - https://t.co/2IYMtYadxq #AUSvsIND #INDvsAUS pic.twitter.com/feuii9v3jb — DNA (@dna) January 7, 2019 So, was Team India's recent success in Australia bigger than the 1983 win? Here are some facts that will help you figure it out yourself: As mentioned above, it was for the very first time that Team India lifted a World Cup trophy since its inception. It was a win at the biggest stage of them all against the reigning two-time World Cup champions, the Windies which included some of the biggest, most worrisome names of the time like Sir Viv Richards and Andy Roberts. Team India's journey to the final was not exactly made up of cotton candy as they faced elimination just before the semi finals began and had lost two straight games to Australia and the West Indies. The tournament completely transformed Kapil Dev into a legend, whose 175-run innings against Zimbabwe, to prevent India's exit from the tournament, is considered to be one of the performances by any Indian till date. #OnThisDay in 1983, India won the @cricketworldcup! ð®ð³ð pic.twitter.com/sksXdNeghT — Cricket World Cup (@cricketworldcup) June 25, 2018 On the other hand, Virat Kohli's team went against what is considered to be one of the weakest Australian sides without the like of Steve Smith and David Warner (banned for ball-tampering) included in the roster. That is not to say that Team India didn't deserve the Test series victory. With Cheteshwar Pujara and Rishabh Pant coming up big during the series and Jasprit Bumrah's heroics completely justifying the accolades, Team India must relish this historical win. However, when compared to the 1983, this win is nowhere as big as the World Cup.
  11. At a time when India's tour of Australia was announced, not many were interested in the three-match ODI and T20I series, given the visitors' might in limited-overs cricket. While the Australian team - in the absence of Steve Smith and David Warner - looked a bit depleted, they were still expected to give India a run for their money in the four-match Test series. Moreover, India's troubles on overseas tours (notably in Tests) further made it an exciting affair. The first Test in Adelaide saw the likes of Cheteshwar Pujara (123 & 71), Jasprit Bumrah (3-47 & 3-68) and Ravichandran Ashwin (3-57 & 3-92) combining to script India's 31-run triumph. Trailing 0-1 in the series, Australia needed to bounce back to halt India's charge and they did exactly that through a 'Man of the Match' performance by Nathan Lyon (5-67 & 3-39) who played a pivotal role in their emphatic 146-run triumph. With the series evenly poised at 1-1, all eyes were glued on the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), where both the sides were eager to take the lead. But, at a time when the hosts were expected to get put their best foot forward, they, to the sheer disappointment of their fans, stuttered. Thanks to Pujara's ton and Bumrah's six-wicket haul in the first innings, India tightened the noose on the lacklustre home side. In the end, it took a brilliant bowling performance in the second innings for India to seal a 137-run win and take an unassailable 2-1 lead. © Twitter/@BCCI The fourth and final match at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) was the last opportunity for Tim Paine's men to deny Kohli & co a piece of history. But, Pujara's classy 193 and Rishabh Pant's explosive 159 saw India piling up a mammoth 622-run first-innings total and further got the Aussies on the backfoot. In reply, the hosts were bundled out for 300 runs in the first innings and, going for the kill, India became the first team in 30 years to enforce a follow-on on Australia in their own den. Fancying their chances for another win, the visitors would've planned to choke the opposition, but light showers and bad light led to a tame draw at the SCG. © Twitter/@BCCI While a 3-1 victory margin in the four-match series would have undeniably added insult to the injury, the Indian cricket team and their fans would still cherish the distinction of being the first Indian touring party in 71 years to win a Test series on the Australian soil. On the other hand, Kohli also became the first Asian skipper to win four away Test matches in South Africa, England and now Australia in a single calendar year. © Twitter/@BCCI It's needless to say that India's historic triumph in the enemy territory called for major celebrations. In a 'freeze the frame' moment, a proud Kohli brigade was seen taking the 'Lap of Honour' at the SCG with both the Australian and Indian fans in attendance cheering from the stands. MUST WATCH: Virat & Co. celebrate historic win in style ðð®ð³ð®ð³@scg dressing room abuzz with cheers, #TeamIndia thanking their fans & @imVkohli on the proudest moment of his life - @28anand has all bases covered here #AUSvIND Video Link -----> https://t.co/boJL4z7d1O pic.twitter.com/MC82y3cdYF — BCCI (@BCCI) January 7, 2019 For someone who was arguably the best batsman of the series, claiming the honour of leading run-scorer with 521 runs to his name, Pujara was expected to be put in a spot by his teammates who forced the right-hander to shake a leg during their victory lap. And, then, the scenes in the dressing room were completely animated as the support staff and the cricketers got together to bask in the glory of their memorable win. Get those feet tapping. The Bharat Army gave the team a welcome in their own style - and needless to say, #TeamIndia joined in ðð - - @28anand gets us visuals straight from the hotel ðð Watch the full video here ----> https://t.co/a0vlmo5Gmg pic.twitter.com/N8likfSmDN — BCCI (@BCCI) January 7, 2019 But, that wasn't enough, as India's famed 'Bharat Army', too, got their share of fun as they joined the cricketers in their celebrations and made captain Kohli and Pujara dance to the iconic Bollywood song "Mere Desh Ki Dharti".
  12. Despite dominating the fourth Test, the Indian cricket teams and their fans would've surely been disappointed after light drizzle and bad light led to a draw against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG). Though Virat Kohli's men would have ideally liked another win in the series, they'd cherish the fact that the 4th Test draw barely had any repercussions on their 2-1 lead, which eventually allowed them to create history Down Under. Things were a bit anti-climatic in the end, as India had a fair chance of adding insult to the injury with a 3-1 victory margin as they got Australia to follow-on in their own backyard for the first time in 30 years after scoring 622 in their only innings at the SCG. Such was the vulnerability of the hosts' batting line-up, that a full day's play probably could have been enough to win a record three Tests in a single series in Australia, had the heavens not opened up. The tame draw at the SCG did frustrate the players, but there's no denying that Team India and the fans back home savoured their first ever Test series win on Australian soil - something that eluded all of the previous touring parties from the country for the past 71 years. © AP "Firstly, I want to say I've never been more proud of being part of a team, than this one right here. The culture we've built...our transition began right here, where I took as captain, and I can't believe that after four years we've won here. Just one word to say, 'proud', to lead this team and it's an honour and privilege. The boys make the captain look good," Kohli, an elated captain, said after their Test series win. Now, with one of Indian cricket's famous away series wins, Kohli's brigade has arguably etched its name in the history books, right up there with Ajit Wadekar's team that triumphed in West Indies and England in 1971, Kapil Dev's men, who won in England in 1986 and Rahul Dravid & co who also defeated the Englishmen in their own backyard in 2007. Owing to their success, Indian coach Ravi Shastri, too, reiterated on the importance of their latest triumph. “I will tell you how satisfying this is for me. World Cup 1983, World Championship 1985...this is as big or even bigger because this is in the truest format of the game, that is Test cricket,” he said. © BCCL "Past is history, future is a mystery. We have won today after 71 years and I'd like to live in the present. And salute my captain for being the captain of the team that beat Australia for the first time in Australia in a series," Shastri added. While there was no surprise to see Shastri praising his boys, the fans on the social media, once again, took the opportunity to troll the Indian coach with hilarious memes. Many Congrats Team India and fellow Indians. Despite factors like foreign soil, Australia's invincibility at home, unfavorable pitches for our players, Ravi Shastri in the dressing room, our team has done what has never been done before. Hats off !#IndvAus — The-Lying-Lama (@KyaUkhaadLega) January 7, 2019 Pic 1: How Ravi Shastri sees himself right now Pic 2: How we see him #AUSvIND pic.twitter.com/TEGpf2K3az — Corporate Dalit (@CorporateDalit) January 7, 2019 Team India performs well and earns all respect, Ravi Shastri loses whatever's left by giving stupid remarks series after series. Yes, #TeamIndia has done a great job but how fair is it to demean World Cup heroes of 1983? Does he know the diff b/w this Aus Team & 1983's WI Team? https://t.co/1NfALc9xzq — Sir Jadeja (@SirJadeja) January 7, 2019 Another lowblow from Ravi Shastri before ending the press conference. Leaves us all (yet again) with a bad taste in the mouth. Says, "I'd like to thank my media buddies from India for what they've done" while laughing and Kohli giggling from behind #AUSvIND — Sreshth Shah (@sreshthx) January 7, 2019 Ravi Shastri's contribution to Team India's series win in Australia. #INDvAUS #AUSvIND pic.twitter.com/RvgG84TmPz — Krishna (@Atheist_Krishna) January 7, 2019 View from Ravi Shastri's hotel room after the historic win.. #INDvAUS pic.twitter.com/4jXvB0cH2I — Rohit Swain (@rhtswn) January 7, 2019 The only bad thing about a series victory abroad wud be a post match press conference by Ravi Shastri. Hope to God there isn't one . Something's gotta give here. #INDvsAUS — Rajdeep (@morerajdeep) January 7, 2019 How Ravi Shastri helped team India: pic.twitter.com/cisuXKbA7R — ð­ðððððð (@my2bit) January 7, 2019 Ravi shastri going for a long drive after Team india win Test series.ð .#INDvsAUS #BoxingDayTest pic.twitter.com/lvZF9sCfEF — नादान परिà¤à¤¦à¥ð®ð³ (@Gauri_doonite) January 7, 2019 Top 3 scorers of the series from India: 3. Rishabh Pant: 350 runs. 2. Cheteshwar Pujara: 521 runs. 1. Ravi Shastri: 650 bottles.#INDvAUS — Sunil- The cricketer (@1sInto2s) January 7, 2019 Lessons you learn in your #Corporatelife #indvsaus #fakes #Indvsaus #Ravishastri #corpgyan pic.twitter.com/CxeGjtse4E — Jitendra Soni (@jdsoni7) January 7, 2019 #AUSvIND After winning Test series in Australia Ravi Shastri - Alexa play my Fav song. Alexa- pic.twitter.com/WP9mfuNaOT — Shivam Sharma (@Oye_Jahazi) January 7, 2019
  13. While the last match of the Test series between India and Australia wasn't eventful as rain and bad light caused for rather disappointing Days 4 and 5 in Sydney, the Indian Cricket Team were in a comfortable spot as they forced the Aussies with a follow on in the first innings to break yet another record. The Sydney match did not deliver any conclusive results, but the 31-run win in the first Test in Adelaide and the 137-run victory in the third Test in Melbourne guaranteed Virat Kohli and the Men in Blue a 2-1 victory against Tim Paine's Test Squad. This victory in Australia has significance a lot greater than any other Test win as this is for the very first time that India have been able to win a Test series on Australian soil. Ever since Team India began to play Test matches way back in 1947, there have been 12 Test series between the two cricketing titans in Australia out of which eight were won by the Aussies and three were drawn before India finally won the 2018-19 Border-Gavaskar trophy. While the majority of the team performed well, the one man behind India's successful trip Down Under was Cheteshwar Pujara who was named the Man of the Match for the fourth and final Test for scoring a massive 193-run individual score in the first innings and also the Man of the Series for his exceptional batting performance in which he scored a total of 521 runs in 7 innings. Needless to say, India took to Twitter to celebrate the grand victory and showered Kohli's boys with the well-deserved praises. Congratulations. Today, the Indian cricket team wins its first ever Test series in Australia. This is a historic achievement. We are proud of you — Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) January 7, 2019 Congratulations to @imVkohli and his team for reaching one of Indian cricket's final frontiers and winning a test series in Australia for the first time. Gritty batting, marvellous fast bowling and a fine team effort has done us proud. Let's make a habit of it! #PresidentKovind — President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) January 7, 2019 @cheteshwar1 congratulations on the player of the series brother. You deserve it and so much more for all that you have encountered and overcome in Ur career thus far. You broke the Aussie into the ground and how!! ðð½‍âï¸ðªð½Savour this moment!! Lots of love brother! ð¤ #AUSvIND — Robin Aiyuda Uthappa (@robbieuthappa) January 7, 2019 When was the last time you did something for the first time? Historic 1st Test Series win for India in Australia! Superb effort by #TeamIndia ! It may have ended in rain but that's not going to dampen the celebrations! Proud #INDvAUS pic.twitter.com/xVN9OZtye5 — Suresh Rainað®ð³ (@ImRaina) January 7, 2019 THANK YOU! 2-1 ð®ð³ð®ð³ #TeamIndia #AUSvIND pic.twitter.com/syKRSOgaWQ — BCCI (@BCCI) January 7, 2019 Even the Australians didn't hold back on the love: Congratulations to @imVkohli & his Indian Team on winning their first ever series in Australia. They outplayed @CAComms in all departments. Very well deserved. #AUSvIND #pinktest https://t.co/UkEJcrzJ3I — Glenn McGrath (@glennmcgrath11) January 7, 2019 Congratulations team ð®ð³ on a very well played Test Match series 2-1 ðð»ð — Michael Clarke (@MClarke23) January 7, 2019 Congratulations to India for winning the Test series in Australia for the first time ever ðð¼ @Jaspritbumrah93 I was so impressed with your performance throughout this series! Fast,… https://t.co/7fMSNEeJ1q — Mitchell Johnson (@MitchJohnson398) January 7, 2019 A special moment for Team India #AUSvIND pic.twitter.com/1zWAwMh1LE — cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) January 7, 2019
  14. Over the years, we've heard way too many bizarre claims relating to science which won't ever be scientifically accurate in a million years and now, we have a new one to add to the list. G Nageshwar Rao, the Vice Chancellor of Andhra University, claimed that India had the knowledge of stem cell research, test tube fertilisation and guided missiles thousands of years ago, using Mahabharata and Ramayana as examples. Yep, all of that has been in our country for years - in fact, thousands of years - and we never even knew! Well, I guess you learn something new every day. #WATCH: GN Rao,Vice-Chancellor Andhra University at Indian Science Congress y'day in Jalandhar:How come Gandhari gave birth to 100 children?Stem cell research was done 1000 yrs ago in this country,we had 100 Kauravas from one mother because of stem cell&test tube-baby technology. pic.twitter.com/C9nlaYwB7p — ANI (@ANI) January 5, 2019 This all went down at the 106th Indian Science Congress in Jalandhar. He said, “We had hundreds of Kauravas from one mother because of stem cell research and test tube baby technology,” Rao claimed. “It happened a few thousand years ago. This was science in this country...Mahabharat says, 100 eggs were fertilised and put into 100 earthen pots. Are they not test tube babies? Stem cell research in this country was present thousands of years ago.” Did you know that Ravana had 24 types of aircraft of different sizes and capacities and had several airports in Lanka? Yeah, me neither. This scientific breakthrough, obviously, had people on Twitter talking and here's what everyone's saying. Why? Why does India spend money on these jokers to become a joke at global science conferences? @scroll_in: Kauravas were test tube babies, claims Andhra University vice chancellor at Indian Science Congress https://t.co/CVufFPedXl — Raju Narisetti (@raju) January 5, 2019 Apparently. 'Kauravas were test tube babies, Ravana had 24 types of aircrafts,' Andhra University V-C's presentation at Indian Science Congress. This is the obscurantism and superstition that's Modi wants to teach our children in the name of science!https://t.co/R79qWplFns. — Prashant Bhushan (@pbhushan1) January 5, 2019 Normal headlines sound like The Onion headlines. The gift doesn't stop giving. @TheOnion, you need to open a bureau - or an edition - in India: https://t.co/qlYSQaxxdA — Salil Tripathi (@saliltripathi) January 5, 2019 Truly embarrassing. When the lines behind mythology and history blur, and blind nationalism is rewarded, you get these embarrassing "scientific claims" ð¤ðð Kauravas were test tube babies, claims Andhra University vice chancellor at Indian Science Congress https://t.co/0tIbFWWimn via @scroll_in — Neha Sinha (@nehaa_sinha) January 5, 2019 Thank you. Thankyou dear @narendramodi ji, @BJP4India and other parivar family for converting Indian science Congress into Indian comedy show and making us Indians a laughingstock in front of the world. Some outputs are.. - Kauravas were test tube babies -Newton & Einstein are wrong pic.twitter.com/3WeSR7T6aQ — Anand RM (@AnandRM_) January 5, 2019 Very tough. We have tough contenders for nobel prize this year.https://t.co/9uBJsIHJCf — Siona Gogoi (@AtomicBlow) January 5, 2019 Exactly. Ravana's plastic surgeon for his 100 heads was Parvathy, who had advanced skills after Ganesha's head transplant. Why do you think he was such a Shiva bhakth? https://t.co/ld4EukHyoO — Sangita Nambiar (@Sanginamby) January 5, 2019 I'm honestly mad I wasn't there. So, some jewels from #IndianScienceCongress. Andhra Univ VC G Nageshwara Roa said: * Kauravas were born due to testube babies * Ravana had several aircraft of different size and shape. * Rama & Krishna used guided missiles * Dashavtar predates Darwin's Theory of Evolution pic.twitter.com/hPwzelIQpi — Prashant Rangnekar (@prashant85) January 4, 2019 Perfect start. And we have a pumpkin for the weekend at the start of 2019! https://t.co/u5W9GSkCEh — Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) January 5, 2019 We should laugh but we should also be worried. I haven't laughed so hard after so many years! These are the people who would build scientific temperament in our universities. "Kauravas were test tube babies and ravan had 24 different kinds of aircraft" says VC of andhra univ https://t.co/NgLM0nhwpg — Rizwan Alam (@rizwanalam14) January 5, 2019 Completely absent. No comments, simply. In 21st century, when logic and reasoning are simply absent. https://t.co/BDab1uBQGu — Anjali Marar (@LittleMurthy) January 5, 2019
  15. For someone who moved around from city to city in his early teens to make a name for himself, Rishabh Pant is slowly, but surely, living up to his reputation as one of India's most exciting young talents. At the age of 21, the Delhi cricketer has already become India's first-choice wicket-keeper in the longest format and is now being touted as MS Dhoni's successor behind the stumps. In the ongoing tour of Australia, Pant has adequately carried out the responsibilities of India's wicket-keeper and his showing with the willow, too, has impressed cricket pundits and fans alike. Often branded as a limited-overs specialist, the youngster has been busy cutting a sorry figure for his detractors with pivotal batting performances for his side Down Under. Though many slammed him for being too chirpy behind the stumps in the ongoing series, Pant seems to have backed the talk by producing arguably his best knock in the longest format till date. The left-handed batsman picked the bones out of Australian bowling attack on his way to an unbeaten 159 on Day 2 of the ongoing fourth Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground. © AP During his 189-ball knock, Pant smoked 15 fours and a six, scoring at a strike-rate of over 85. If his commendable batting performance enthralled the Indian fans, it further allowed the young gun to break multiple records. His blistering knock helped him break Dhoni's 12-year record of the highest score by an Indian wicket-keeper in an overseas Test. A moment to remember for Rishabh Pant!#AUSvIND | @Domaincomau pic.twitter.com/J8uK3gQPJh — cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) January 4, 2019 Pant was batting on 145 when he smashed Aussie quick Josh Hazlewood over mid-off for a superb boundary to go past the former Indian captain who had scored 148 against Pakistan in Faisalabad in 2006. When it comes to playing in Australia, Pant also became the first Indian wicket-keeper to score a Test hundred Down Under. The previous highest was Farokh Engineer's 89 at Adelaide in 1967. Rishabh Pant explains how he was feeling in the 'nervous nineties' and discusses his century celebration at the SCG #AUSvIND pic.twitter.com/wGjaF3OXPX — cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) January 4, 2019 His unbeaten 159 is also the third-highest score for an Indian wicket-keeper in Tests followed by Dhoni's 224 and Budhi Kunderan's 192. It is also the second-highest for any visiting wicket-keeper in Australia, only behind AB de Villiers' 169 at WACA in 2012-13. Pant also holds the joint record - with Bangladesh's Mushfiqur Rahim (who scored 159 against New Zealand in 2017) - of the highest score by an Asian wicket-keeper outside the sub-continent. © AP Pant is also the first wicket-keeper to boast two Test hundreds as a 21-year-old. And, what makes it furthermore special is the fact that both of his Test tons have come outside Asia - a region where sub-continent cricketers are generally expected to prevail. His masterful innings on the second day has now made him the only Indian wicket-keeper to score a hundred in three of the four SENA (South Africa-England-New Zealand-Australia) countries. A few days ago, he was busy helping Tim Paine's wife Bonnie Maggs increase her Instagram followers by obliging for a photo-op with their kids, but his strokeful innings on Friday would have surely earned him more fans on the social media. After Pujara's brilliant 193, Rishabh Pant has assured that India put the game firmly out of Australia's grip. Very impressed by his temperament today and congratulations to him on his 2nd overseas 100, 1 in Eng and now 1 in Aus, only the 2nd wk after Jeff Dujjon to do so pic.twitter.com/uSg60n98nb — VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) January 4, 2019 Besides baby-sitting Tim Paine's children, Rishabh Pant has taken a record 20 catches and scored 262 runs already as I write this. Not bad for a 21-year-old in his first series Down Under ð — Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) January 4, 2019 hundreds in england & australia in his first few months of test cricket, a bunch of catches and exceptional babysitting skills - rishabh pant has to be among the most productive 21-year olds around #AUSvIND — Gaurav Kalra (@gauravkalra75) January 4, 2019 Since Rishabh Pant made his debut, nobody has made more 90+ scores in Test cricket. #AUSvIND — The Cricket Prof. (@CricProf) January 4, 2019 Very happy for Rishabh Pant, a lovely guy as well as a helluva talent. He's having some sort of a tour #AUSvIND — Daniel Brettig (@danbrettig) January 4, 2019 Rishabh Pant @RishabPant777 you absolute beauty! More runs this series than the great Kohli - incredible consistency and courage - need you in the World Cup squad now #AUSvIND @DelhiCapitals — Parth Jindal (@ParthJindal11) January 4, 2019 Rishabh Pant is undoubtedly a talented player and has been consistent in his game and kept on improving himself. Congratulations to R.Pant sir on scoring a century great innings. — Vijayesh Mokal (@vijayesh_mokal) January 4, 2019
  16. After a dominating 137-run victory in the 3rd Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, BCCI announced the final 13-man squad for the 4th and final Test match of the series scheduled to take place at the SCG in Sydney starting 3rd January 2019. India name 13-man squad for SCG Test: Virat Kohli (C), A Rahane (VC), KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, C Pujara, H Vihari, R Pant, R Jadeja, K Yadav, R Ashwin, M Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav A decision on R Ashwin's availability will be taken on the morning of the Test #AUSvIND pic.twitter.com/4Lji2FExU8 — BCCI (@BCCI) January 2, 2019 A series of developments have taken place in the last two days as Rohit Sharma has gone back home to spend time with his newborn while Ishant Sharma didn't make the cut, despite earlier announcements of him replacing Umesh Yadav were made. Left-arm chinaman, Kuldeep Yadav is also included. Although all-rounder Ravichandran Ashwin, who's recovering from an abdominal injury has been named as one of the final 13, a decision on his availability will be made on Thursday morning just before the match begins. While fans are more or less convinced with the roster, the BCCI is being criticised for selecting out-of-form batsman KL Rahul in the final 13. @imVkohli @BCCI @RaviShastriOfc why kl rahul is included in team again? Do you have some standard left? Is performance any benchmark or just good looks are req for team selection? Everyone has to earn his place, not just being coach's favorite ð ð ð #INDvAUS — PruBaba (@theprashu) January 2, 2019 Where is ishant ? he would have scored more runs than kl rahul ð — arvind (@arvind_1352) January 2, 2019 KL Rahul & Umesh Yadav ðððso we have decided to lose the match. — Aditya ðð(@MyTakeOn_) January 2, 2019 I still don't know why these guys are ignoring Bhuvi he is better bowler than Umesh And considering present form better batsman than Rahul — Anjaneya Durgesh K (@AnjaneyaDurgesh) January 2, 2019 Are you serious. @mvj888 is more deserving than the useless @klrahul11 . Partiality at it's best.ð — ð²Sharad / Patel ð²(@iamsharad98) January 2, 2019 Quite surprised with Indian team selection's decision on inclusion of K L Rahul in 13 man squad !! Has he not been given enough chances ? He needs more polish to perform at the national level ! Half baked dish is harmful for India at this stage. — Pushpinder Singh Sappal (@Pushpin63862765) January 2, 2019 This is seriously shitty team selection. @mvj888 Got a ð¯in practice match at SCG, and just dropped after 2 matches is not given a chance, whereas @klrahul11 Who has been given 19 test innings and has failed (other than one off in England) is preferred ahead. — Saurabh Khatod (@Saurabh105) January 2, 2019 The opposition to KL Rahul's inclusion in the squad may be well justified, as despite being given numerous opportunities to prove his worth, Rahul has failed to perform time and again. Before being dropped from the playing 11 for the 3rd Test, Rahul scored 2 and 44 at Adelaide and 2 and 0 at Perth. The fact that debutant Mayank Agarwal put up more runs than Rahul's combined total in just a single inning, really puts things into perspective. With India leading the series 2-1, the Men in Blue are on the verge of their first ever Test series victory against Australia on their home turf. If included in the final roster, KL Rahul's success or failure would most definitely play a crucial role.
  17. Super-Dad Rohit Sharma was on a flight back home as soon as the news of his wife Ritika Sajdeh being blessed with a baby daughter reached his ears. The news broke out within hours of Team India registering the second win of the four-match series in Melbourne on Sunday. The batsman seemed overjoyed about becoming a father in an interview with retired Australian cricketer, Michael Clarke, before the 3rd Test. "I cannot wait to be a father; it is going to be a game-changing moment in our lives,” Sharma told Clarke. “I am eagerly awaiting the moment of becoming a father. It will be a moment to change our life.” https://t.co/EsLEjyDuI0 We are so happy for you guys @ImRo45 @ritssajdeh â¤ï¸ — Rohit Sharma FanClub (@ImRo45_FC) December 20, 2018 Sharma played a crucial role in the first innings of the 3rd Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground as he scored 63 runs off 114 balls and remained unbeaten till the end. The Men in Blue look to seal their series victory by winning the 4th Test starting 3rd January 2019, however, looks like they will not have the talents of the middle-order batsman to back them up in Sydney. The team is looking at Hardik Pandya, who recently recovered from a severe lower-back injury he suffered in September this year, as a suitable replacement for Sharma. “It would've been great to have him (Rohit) around,” a source told The Times of India. “Tactically, he brings so much to the side and then his batting provides the right kind of balance to the side. But what awaits him is far bigger and more important.” Rohit Sharma will be back in Australia after spending a week with the family to join the ODI squad for a three-match series starting 12th January 2019.
  18. It feels like one of those days when things end on a happy note. Despite rain delaying the commencements on Day 5 of the 3rd Test, Team India wrapped up early to register the second win of the 4-game series and took a 2-1 lead against the Aussies at their home-turf behind the Man of the Match, Jasprit Bumrah, who took 9 wickets in the match and Ravindra Jadeja, with five wickets under his belt. Nobody said that the Indians' trip Down Under would be a cakewalk both on or off the pitch. While the Men in Blue struggled to make runs in the second innings, some of the rather notorious “fans” of Australian cricket made their lives a tad more difficult by barking racially motivated taunts at them. The authorities at the Melbourne Cricket Ground issued formal warnings after chants of 'Show us your visa' roared within the stadium. “Victoria Police and stadium security are monitoring the behaviour of the crowd in that section of the stadium,” announced a Cricket Australia spokesperson post the incident, “and have had several discussions with those fans in that bay to remind them about appropriate crowd behaviour, as per venue entry terms and conditions.” This came later on during the same day when Indian skipper Virat Kohli was being called “a wanker” as he fielded at the boundary during the first innings. Kohli - who has been infamous for getting in trouble for showing 'the finger' to the Australian crowd in the early days of his international career - held his own with utmost grace and replied with a brilliant sense of humour as he took off his cap and bowed before the hostile audience. India captain @imVkohli was greeted with the chant of "#Kohli is a wanker" by the MCG crowd. His response... pic.twitter.com/YUTUh3woIy — Telegraph Sport (@telegraph_sport) December 28, 2018 India defeated the Aussies by 137 runs to gain a 2-1 lead in the series. The 4th Test begins on 3rd January, 2019. Will Kohli's boys be able to take the series 3-1 or will Paine and team make them settle for a tie?
  19. Nothing defines a true gentleman's game like Test cricket and 2018 had ample of it. As the year comes to an end, we recall some of the greatest and most memorable Test matches of 2018 featuring India, South Africa, Australia and Bangladesh: 1. Pakistan vs New Zealand - 1st Test, Abu Dhabi © Reuters New Zealand has been one of the best teams of 2018, as they have just lost one series out of five. Be it Pakistan, England or West Indies, they have defeated them all. Out of all the matches they have played, the best would surely be the one against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi, where the magic of Ajaz Patel helped New Zealand mark a comeback and win the game by 4 runs. This victory of theirs has been recorded as the fifth-closest finish in test history. 2. Bangladesh vs West Indies - 2nd Test, Dhaka Talking of the most underrated team in the cricketing world, Bangladesh definitely tops the list. Over the years, Bangladesh has improved a lot and is now completely ready to face any big team in the world. One such example which shook the entire world was their unbelievable victory of an innings & 184 runs over West Indies last month. Though they won the earlier match also, this was the match that totally changed everyone's perception of them. 3. Pakistan vs Australia - 2nd Test, Abu Dhabi Now, out of all the matches, this one neither had a close game, nor some epic performances, but it still would be one of the most memorable matches only because of one thing, and that is Azhar Ali's runout, which is now one of Test cricket's most farcical dismissals of all time. Despite winning the match by 373 runs, this match will be remembered for ages only because of that one hilarious runout. 4. England vs India - 5th Test, The Oval © Reuters Alastair Cook couldn't have gotten a better closure to his career, than scoring a hundred in the last match he played. The fifth Test match between England and India at The Oval turned out to be an interesting one. It was not only special for Cook, but also for James Anderson who earned the title of 'Most successful bowler the game has ever produced', by taking Mohammed Shami's wicket. © Reuters 5. South Africa vs Australia - 3rd Test, Cape Town Arguably, the most controversial match of 2018 was none other than the third Test between South Africa and Australia in Cape Town. The one which witnessed the shameful act of ball-tampering by the Australian trio of David Warner, Cameron Bancroft and skipper Steve Smith to gain an upper hand in the game.
  20. Owing to his technique and application, Kannanur Lokesh Rahul has, for long, been labelled as one of the highly-rated opening batsmen in India's next generation of cricketers. A tall, elegant right-hander who can also keep wickets if required, Rahul, for a better part of his career, has checked all the boxes across formats. But, when the Karnataka cricketer isn't seen playing his majestic cover drives or cutting a sorry figure for the opposition bowlers with his clean hitting, Rahul has looked absolutely ridiculous on his long walks back to the pavilion - something that has happened more often in the ongoing Test series between India and Australia than the Indian opener or his fans would've liked. © AP After being subject to immense criticism for his mediocre scores (2, 44, 2 and 0 in first two Tests), Rahul was eventually dropped from the third Test alongside his regular opening partner Murali Vijay who has witnessed a similar fate in the four-match series. The absence of Rahul and Vijay gave a much-needed opportunity to Mayank Agarwal who, unlike Prithvi Shaw, had to wait his turn for some game-time. Thanks to India's opening woes in the series, not many would have expected Agarwal to negate the Australian conditions and their seam-bowling threat, let alone give the hosts a solid start - something that was joked upon during the discussion between Australian commentators Kerry O'Keefe and Mark Waugh early on first day's play. But, the young right-hander had other plans. Repaying the faith of the Indian selectors and team management, Agarwal made an impressive start to his Test career with a commendable 76-run knock at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). The right-handed batsman scored the first 17 runs in the innings that came off the bat. And, just like his partner Vihari, even if he didn't really look comfortable against Pat Cummins' short-ball ploy, the Indian debutant appeared confident in his scoring options. © Twitter/@BCCI After notching up his fifty, Agarwal looked destined to clinch a hundred on debut before he gloved a short ball from Cummins down the leg side for Tim Paine to complete a regulation catch right before Tea. While the Karnataka cricketer missed out on what would've been a brilliant hundred, his brilliant innings still earned him the distinction of becoming the top-scoring Indian batsman on Test debut in Australia, surpassing Dattu Phadkar who had scored 51 on his Test debut at the Sydney Cricket Ground in 1947. His gritty knock earned him plaudits from former Indian cricketers and fans alike. But, while many praised his effort on Test debut, others used it as an opportunity to troll Rahul by unleashing hilarious memes on the social media. Close Enough ! Mayank Agarwal to Kl Rahul ðð#BoxingDayTest #BoxingDay #AUSvIND pic.twitter.com/utWueXWXge — Mahipal Singh (@Maahiwords) December 26, 2018 [Mayank Agarwal reaches dressing room] Kohli: Well played Rahane: Well played Bumrah: Well played KL Rahul: Well played. Ye le tere phone me Instagram download kiya hai mast app hai#AusvInd — Jatin (@LogicalBakwaas) December 26, 2018 Half Century for Mayank!ððð Rahul kaa patta cut? ð¶ð»ð» #INDvsAUS #BoxingDayTest Boxing — Akash (@aKaSh1_ViRaTiaN) December 26, 2018 #BoxingDayTest #INDvAUS After Mayank Agarwal performance Murli Vijay and KL Rahul would be thinkingð¤ð¤ðð pic.twitter.com/2v2hWx8z7c — नादान परिà¤à¤¦à¥ð®ð³ (@Gauri_doonite) December 26, 2018 Mayank Agarwal right now to Murali Vijay and KL Rahul.#INDvAUS #MayankAgarwal pic.twitter.com/8pt2pWWwZU — JAI UPADHYAY (@jay_upadhyay14) December 26, 2018 Now that KL Rahul is dropped from the 3rd test and Mayank Agarwal takes his place, can we get this man to retire from the job which he is forced to do and rather do what he does best - Modelling ðð»#AUSvIND #BoxingDayTest #MelbourneTest pic.twitter.com/SJa9sdABDi — ð´ð¿ð¸ð² ð¶ð°ð¼ð´ð ðð»ð (@DespacitoAt399) December 25, 2018 What a inning by Mayank Agarwal on the biggest stage of all...Boxing Day at MCG! ðð¼ How KL Rahul, Murli Vijay, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane are watching Mayank Agarwal's batting...! ð #BoxingDayTest #MCG #INDvsAUS pic.twitter.com/V9rkFI94oE — Vivek Prajapati (@vivek_bunty18) December 26, 2018 Rahul and Vijay applauding Mayank Agarwal's 50 on debut. #INDvsAUS #graciousloserface pic.twitter.com/Hj4wqtFWhn — iErr (@vivekiyer20) December 26, 2018 Meanwhile Mayank to Rahul :#KlRahul #MayankAgarwal#INDvsAUS #AUSvIND pic.twitter.com/exHvC081wH — Kamal Gupta (@kamalgupta_18) December 26, 2018
  21. For a man who was working as a groundsman before impressing a local coach who eventually helped him in landing a job as a professional cricketer, Nathan Lyon has undoubtedly come a long way to establish himself as one of the most effective spinners in the longest version of the game. Making his debut in 2011, Lyon took just four years to become Australia's most successful Test off-spinner of all time, passing Hugh Trumble's tally of 141 wickets. During that phase, while the cricketing world was going gaga over Ravichandran Ashwin, Lyon quietly went about his business, taking key wickets at crucial intervals with his ever-improving spin prowess. Today, he is one of most experienced and key players in the Australian fold, especially in the longest format. And, India's ongoing tour of Australia has once again highlighted how good this 31-year-old offie has been for his country. Playing in two Tests (Adelaide & Perth), Lyon didn't really surprise anyone by emerging as the leading wicket-taker in the four-match series. © AP The Aussie spinner has claimed 16 scalps at an average of 19.43, including two five-wicket hauls. More importantly, if it wasn't for five-wicket haul in the first innings and three more scalps in the second, Australia wouldn't have managed to peg India back with a 146-run triumph in Perth. Going into the third Test which would be crucial for both the sides, the Indian cricket team would be eager to upstage the Australian spinner who has, so far, spelled doom for some of the biggest names in the visiting side. And, while the Indian batting coach Sanjay Bangar will surely be working closely with the batsmen on the Lyon problem, Sourav Ganguly has come up with a special advice for Virat Kohli & co to tackle the offie. “I had thought of sending a text to Kohli but I haven't done it yet. I wanted to tell him that you shouldn't give so many wickets to spinners outside the subcontinent. There is no doubt that Nathan Lyon is a great spinner but so were Shane Warne, Muttiah Muralitharan and Graeme Swann,” Ganguly was quoted as saying by India TV. © AP “They have shown him too much respect by defending a lot of deliveries outside the off-stump. Instead, I feel they should attack him more and look to build towards at least a total in excess of 300-350,” he added. The former Indian skipper was critical of the Indian batsmen and expressed his disappointment at their repeated failures. He further opined that the Indian batsmen, despite touring Australia back in 2014, have not shown any signs of improvement. “For all of India's top order batsmen, this is not their first tour to Australia. They have been there before. Logically their game should improve over the years but from what we saw in Perth, it is difficult to say it has. Barring Kohli and (Cheteshwar) Pujara, none of them are making a lot of runs and this is not good for the team. If India have to win, they will have to do a lot more,” Ganguly said. With the four-match series currently tied at 1-1, Kohli and his men will be eager to take note of Ganguly's advice before locking horns with Australia in the third Test, slated to begin from 26th December at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).
  22. The OnePlus 6T McLaren Edition is probably one of the fastest Android smartphones out there. It's got 10GB of RAM and is powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 845 chipset. However, that is where the smartphone is crippled when it comes to being the fastest smartphone. Apple may have not launched an exciting smartphone this year, however, the company's new A12 Bionic Chipset and iOS 12 are fine-tuned in tandem with each other to give the best performance on a smartphone ever. © OnePlus It's no secret that a smartphone's speed depends not only on RAM but the SoC it's being powered with for optimum speed. Qualcomm's 845 chipsets simply do not have enough juice to take on Apple's proprietary chipset. That has been the story for a few years now; however, the A12 Bionic is simply unbeatable right now as it offers significantly overall improved performance while using less power. © YouTube A Youtube channel by the name of PhoneBuff set out to put the two smartphones against each other. The YouTuber pitted the two smartphones against each other to find out which smartphone is faster. The McLaren Edition of OnePlus 6T offers 10GB of RAM and is one of the first smartphones to offer this configuration in India. What's worthy to note is that the iPhone XS Max has only 4GB of RAM. © Akshay Bhalla_MensXP In the video, we can see that the OnePlus 6T was faster in initial speed tests; however the iPhone managed to beat it in the end when it came to overall performance. The video is proof that it's not only about the RAM as the iPhone XS Max managed to beat a smartphone with 10GB RAM with its measly 4GB RAM under the hood. If you don't believe us, you can watch the video for yourself below and see how the iPhone XS managed to defeat the OP6T McLaren edition.
  23. Last month, when the selectors announced the Indian squad for the T20I series against West Indies and Australia, there was a lot of hue and cry over the exclusion of Mahendra Singh Dhoni - one of the most iconic cricketers in the country. While the fans slammed the Indian team management, Dhoni clarified that he ruled himself out of the two series before throwing his weight behind young Rishabh Pant as his successor behind the stumps. Not many were convinced with Dhoni's prediction about Pant, especially amid the availability of senior wicket-keepers Wriddhiman Saha (currently injured) and Dinesh Karthik still in the fold. However, contrary to popular perception, the team management and captain Virat Kohli placed their faith in fairly inexperienced Pant to come good and the youngster didn't disappoint. Repaying the faith of the selectors and Kohli, Pant, given the ever-changing match situations, added valuable runs (25 & 28) to the Indian total across the two innings at the Adelaide Oval. But, his biggest contribution in India's 31-run triumph in the first Test came from behind the stumps. © AP Proving his predecessor Dhoni right, Pant equalled the world record of most catches taken by a wicket-keeper in a single Test match. The Delhi cricketer took 11 catches against Australia in Adelaide and matched the heroics of Jack Russell and AB de Villiers - both of whom were earlier standing tall with the unique feat. The 21-year-old caught six batsmen - Usman Khawaja, Peter Handscomb, Travis Head, Tim Paine, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood - in the first innings and then took five more catches in the second. Pant equalled the world record for most catches in a single Test in the 101th over when Mohammed Shami got Starc to edge one through to the Indian wicket-keeper. © AP Russell, De Villiers and Pant are now followed by Bob Taylor, Adam Gilchrist and Saha who have taken 10 catches apiece in a single Test match. Pant is now the only Indian at the top of the list, overtaking Saha at the Adelaide Oval. Overall, Pant has already taken 31 catches in six Tests and, should he improve his wicket-keeping skills, the youngster can surely give Saha a run for his money as India's first-choice keeper in the longest version of the game.
  24. Ahead of their much-anticipated tour of Australia, the Indian cricket team knew they had a potential chance of creating history Down Under. While they were heavily favoured in the limited-overs series, the biggest test for the visiting side was undoubtedly the Tests where the hostile conditions posed a major threat for the Indian cricketers. But, contrary to popular perception, the Indian team put their best foot forward in the first Test and showed everyone why they are the No. 1 side in the longest version of the game. Showcasing great temperament and maturity, the visitors checked all the boxes in what eventually turned into a brilliant 31-run win at the Adelaide Oval. If the batsmen appeared responsible against the Aussies, the bowlers showcased versatility as the game progressed through the days. It's needless to say that the Indian side looked convincing in almost every session over a span of five days to eventually script a memorable win. And, as India took a 1-0 lead in the four-match series, skipper Virat Kohli, too, etched his name in the history books. © AP For a man who has witnessed a marauding run this year, Kohli couldn't do much with the willow as he managed to score just 3 & 34 across two innings. But, even if his bat couldn't breathe fire, Kohli, with his impeccable leadership skills, still clinched the unique feat of becoming the first-ever Asian captain to win a Test match in at least South Africa, England and Australia. Kohli-led India, that also became the first Indian side to win an opening Test in a series on the Australian soil, started the year on a promising note when they toured the Proteas. Despite losing the first two Tests in Centurion and Cape Town, the out-of-sorts Kohli brigade made a noticeable comeback and went on to win the third game at Johannesburg. Their next big stop was then in England where Kohli had witnessed a dismal outing back in 2014. As many would have anticipated, India began the Test series poorly, losing the first two games. But, as witnessed in South Africa, the Indian team bounced back in the third Test at Nottingham where an emphatic 203-run win once again proved what this side was capable of. Though Kohli's men lost the Test series 4-1, their outing in English conditions was still far better than those of their predecessors. © Reuters Apart from his team, Kohli himself had a brilliant run in both South Africa and England. Proving his class against the Proteas, Kohli emerged as the highest run-getter amongst the two sides in the Test series, scoring 286 runs in 6 innings at an average of 47.67. In England, Kohli silenced his naysayers by scoring 593 runs in 10 innings at a brilliant average of 59.30, showing how far he has come since his forgettable outing last time around. Though there are still three more Tests to go Down Under and Australia, despite the absence of their stalwarts Steve Smith and David Warner, still pose threat to India, the Kohli brigade, for now, can bask in the glory of a brilliant team effort that has allowed them to take a crucial 1-0 lead in what promises to be an exciting series.
  25. The Prestigious Indian Army has a simple motto for training its cadets: 'we first break you, then make you'. Boys go through gruelling weeks of physical hardship and come out as men fit enough to serve the nation at times of war. Once soldiers are inducted, the Army ensures they are prepared (mentally & physically) to perform at their absolute best, even in extreme circumstances. However, the Army demands certain prerequisites before you can join. The First Physical Test You Need To Clear Is The 1600 M Run. Note: This test is conducted for non-commission entries for the Indian Army, Navy, Air Force and equivalent ranks in Police & Paramilitary forces. © Quora You will get 5 minutes and 45 seconds to cover 1600 M, one second more and you fail. Boys completing the run in 5 minutes 30-45 seconds are taken in Group 2 and allotted 48 marks. For those who complete it in 5 minutes and 30 seconds or less, are taken in Group 1 and allotted 60 marks. The Biggest Mistake Aspirants preparing for this test run for hours trying to increase their stamina. This is an absolute waste of time. There is a simple principle called 'specificity' in exercise science- if you want to get good at 'something' like long jump, do that 'thing' instead of ballet dancing. Passing a 1600 meter run in minimum time is not merely about stamina, it also requires speed and strength. Thus, you need to train accordingly and enhance all those three capabilities. The following training plan will help you to cover 1600M in minimum time and secure you in Group 1 with 60 marks: Workout 1: Run 1600 M In Minimum Time Measure 400M distance and cover its 4 rounds with minimum time. If on the first day it takes you 7 minutes to cover this distance, aim for 6 minutes and 45 seconds the next day and gradually, come down to 5 minutes and 30 seconds and under. Workout 2: 100 M Sprints Maximum Laps Measure 100M distance and sprint as fast as possible. Then walk back slowly, settling your breath and sprint again. Repeat this continuously for 10 minutes. Your goal should be to cover maximum laps in 10 minutes. If on the first day you could do 5 laps in 10 minutes, aim for 6 the next time. Try beating your previous best with each training session. © Quora Workout 3: Full Body High-Intensity Training This workout is for strengthening your muscles to run 1600 M as fast as possible. Start with 10 Burpees, followed by 10 Jump Squats, followed by 10 Box Jumps and at last, 10 Body Weight Lunges (each leg). Rest 5 minutes after this and repeat this cycles four more times. Needless to say, you are not supposed to perform all these workouts in one day itself, as it will simply burn you out. Here is how you have to arrange your training. Day 1 Run 1600 M in minimum time Day 2 Run 100 M sprints maximum laps Day 3 Rest Day 4 Run 1600 M in minimum time Day 5 Full body high-intensity training Day 6 Rest Day 7 Repeat Cycle Important: Rest is a crucial part of this training for boosting recovery. Perform all workouts only once per day for the initial four weeks. From the fifth week onwards, perform all workouts twice per day (morning & evening). Best of luck! Yash Sharma is a former national level Football player, now a Strength Coach, Nutritionist and Natural Bodybuilder. He also runs a YouTube Channel Yash Sharma Fitness via which he aims to educate all the fitness enthusiasts to maximize their gains by methods that are backed by science and applicable easily. Connect with him on YouTube, YashSharmaFitness@gmail.com, Facebook and Instagram.
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