IS THE INDIAN TEAM MISSING VIRAT KOHLI?

Overconfidence to experiments, dissecting Indian cricket team’s shocking display In a Virat Kohli-less India team, it was surprising to see Ajinkya Rahane’s name missing from playing XI in the first ODI against Sri Lanka - even when experiments have looked the norm in recent times. (INDIA vs SRI LANKA FULL COVERAGE) At the HPCA Stadium here, it took just two overs for Rahane’s absence to be felt. That was how long Sri Lanka took to hand the hosts the first jolt. A noisy crowd was silenced as Shikhar Dhawan was adjudged leg before off Angelo Mathews via DRS. If the star opener’s dismissal silenced the home fans, what followed left them in shock. A team of talented players, eyeing to become world beaters, crumbled in conditions aiding swing with bounce on offer. (Read | Dharamsala ODI loss versus Sri Lanka an eye-opener, says skipper Rohit Sharma) In the space of 27 runs, India lost six more wickets. Rohit Sharma, Dinesh Karthik, Manish Pandey, debutant Shreyas Iyer, Hardik Pandya and Bhuvneshwar Kumar were flummoxed as Sri Lanka bowlers breathed fire in seaming conditions. Experimentation group Karthik, Pandey, Iyer and Pandya belong to the ‘experimentation group’ in the Indian cricket team. They are still on trial as India zero...

HAS THE SMOG EPISODE AT KOTLE SHAMED THE CITY?

Kotla Test pollution woes: BCCI’s poor scheduling puts players’ health at risk Pollution levels in Delhi hit alarming levels in November for the second year in a row and threatened to disrupt all outdoor activities, leave alone sports. Yet, the Indian cricket board scheduled the Test against Sri Lanka in the Capital for early December. Surprisingly, the schedule was made only in October. (Kotla Test, Day 2 highlights) On Sunday, top BCCI officials were left red-faced after the second day’s play was halted briefly during the post-lunch session as many Sri Lankan players felt the effects of the haze and smoke that blocked the sun altogether for a while. (Kotla Test, Day 2 scorecard) At one point, it appeared the Sri Lanka camp was reluctant to continue playing, before India skipper Virat Kohli’s declaration salvaged the situation and allowed the Test to continue. The series that has been sharply criticised by Kohli for burdening the players could easily have been tweaked to allot the final Test to another venue. SOURCE - NDTV.COM Masks of shame at the Feroz Shah Kotla in Delhi There is almost nothing Virat Kohli cannot do at the moment. On a day when he scored his sixth Test double-century, braving a back...

IS KIDAMBI SRIKANTH REWRITING INDIAN BADMINTON HISTORY?

KIDAMBI IS NEW KING Indians might still be putting together the jigsaw of getting the fastest tearaway in cricket, but in the meantime, badminton is offering the country some pure, unbridled rush of blood. On Sunday, Kidambi Srikanth beat Japan’s Kenta Nishimoto 21-14, 21-13 in Paris to win the French Open Super Series crown, his fourth Super Series title of the year, further cementing his status as badminton’s King of Pace. “In conditions like where he has won, on fast courts, Srikanth is clearly the best player in the world right now,” coach Pullela Gopichand declared. Srikanth is now only the fourth men’s singles player to win four or more Super Series titles in a calendar year. The 24-year-old’s 2017 titles include two back-to-back wins (that’s 20 matches; 10 unbeaten each time). But it’s his utter dominance in fast courts, playing at an intimidating speed, that has been the feature of his tremendous run this year. There’s no top player Srikanth hasn’t sent packing in the course of the last six months, all on fast courts. He has twice beaten previous World No. 1 Son Wan Ho, effected a stunning turnaround against current World No. 1 and world champion Viktor Axelsen at his...

IS VIRAT KOHLI FROM ANOTHER PLANET?

VIRAT KOHLI CLOSER TO BEING GREATEST! Virat Kohli achieved yet another milestone in his career, completing 9,000 ODI runs during the third and final one-day against New Zealand in Kanpur. His deputy Rohit Sharma too struck his 15th ODI century as India were on course for a massive score. Requiring 83 runs to reach the milestone, Kohli achieved the landmark in his 194th innings and in his 202nd ODI. In the process, the Indian skipper emulated AB de Villiers, who held the record for being the fastest to 9,000 ODI runs. De Villiers had this record earlier this year when he got to the mark in 205 innings (214 matches). Now, Kohli holds the honour of being the fastest scorer of 9,000 runs in ODIs. Things got better for Kohli as he notched up 32nd century and his 2nd of the series as New Zealand struggled to contain the flow of runs. The latest knock was his sixth as skipper, the most by a skipper in ODIs. Ever since his debut year, the Indian captain has never averaged below 40 in a calendar year in ODIs and has scored 1,347 runs at an average of 74.83 this year. Last year, he averaged a...

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