Wednesday, December 13, 2017
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  • ADB lowers India's GDP forecast for FY-18 to 6.7 per cent from 7 per cent.


A Sri Lankan winter?

Visitors a win away from taking series, but match under a cloud13 Dec 2017 | 1:52 AM

MOHALI: Around noon, the gloomy surroundings at the PCA Stadium brightened up a little. For the first time in the day, the sun, though pale, managed to shine through dark clouds. Daljit Singh, the pitch curator, also cheered up a little, for few would know better than him the significance of sunlight while preparing a wicket in cold and wet conditions.

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Subhash Rajta

Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 12

Around noon, the gloomy surroundings at the PCA Stadium brightened up a little. For the first time in the day, the sun, though pale, managed to shine through dark clouds. Daljit Singh, the pitch curator, also cheered up a little, for few would know better than him the significance of sunlight while preparing a wicket in cold and wet conditions. The forecast for tomorrow — partly cloudy, possibility of thunder and lightning — will also have him a little concerned. A little moisture in the wicket, especially in overcast conditions, could make batting an extremely tough preposition, just like it was in Dharamsala.

Given the conditions and the forecast, India opener Shikhar Dhawan probably sensed the wicket won't be easy to bat on, especially the drives. Maybe that's way he opted to polish his pulls and cuts with the tennis ball at the nets. 

Rahane conundrum

Apart from the weather and wicket, the other point of interest would be the composition of the Indian team, especially what the team management decides to do with Ajinkya Rahane. Rahane had to sit out the first ODI at Dharamsala, although the conditions demanded his inclusion in the side. Going by stand-in skipper Rohit Sharma’s explanation for his exclusion – he said Rahane was in the side purely as an opener – it’s highly unlikely that Rahane would feature in the playing XI tomorrow as well, unless the Indian think tank had a rethink on their rather stringent policy regarding Rahane.

Rahane of course had a poor run in the just concluded Test series, but he has been doing quite well in the ODIs. In the ODIs against Australia before the Lanka series, he smashed four half-centuries at the top of the order. Sri Lankan skipper Thisara Perera made no attempt to hide his smile when asked if they were surprised by Rahane’s omission. “I can’t comment much on it except that he’s a good player,” said the Lankan skipper.

Lanka’s big moment

As for Sri Lanka, they find themselves in a rather unusual situation.  Having gone winless against India for a while now, the Lankans have not only snapped the losing streak but also they are just a win away from wrapping up the three-match series. It’s a situation not many would have imagined to see the Lankans in against the rampaging Indian side. “It is a good opportunity to win the series. Not many teams have won a series in India,” said Perera. The Lankan skipper said the prospect of a series win wasn’t putting any pressure on his side. “There’s no pressure. It’s just another game for us. Everyone knows if we win tomorrow, we will win the series. We will give our 200 per cent, the skipper said.

Kaul’s debut?

Will local boy Siddarth Kaul make his debut tomorrow? For Kaul to make the playing XI, India will need to drop either of the two spinners, Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal. Given that conditions are likely to be conducive to pace bowling, Kaul could get a chance. But if India could overlook the conditions in Rahane’s case, it could be much easier in Kaul’s case. Nevertheless, Kaul would be hoping to get his India cap at his home ground.


Mohali numbers

154*  By Virat Kohli is the highest individual score in an ODI at the venue, made against New Zealand in 2016 

5/21 Is the best bowling analysis at the ground, by Makhaya Ntini against Pakistan in 2006

351 Is the highest team score here, by South Africa against the Netherlands in 2011

366 Runs by Sachin Tendulkar, in 7 innings, is the record for most runs by a batsman at the venue

14 Times the team batting first has won here, while 9 ODis were won by the team batting second. The last four ODIs here were won by the team batting second


ODIs in Mohali

India have played 14 ODIs at Mohali, winning 9 and losing 5. India have won 4 of their last 5 ODIs at this venue. India’s record against key opponents:

Opponent Played Ind won

Australia 4 2

Pakistan 3 3

England 2 1

8 Times India have batted first at Mohali, winning 4 of those matches

6 Times India have batted second at the venue, winning 5 times


Ind vs SL at Mohali

India have played Sri Lanka once at the venue, back in 2005. Sri Lanka batted first and were bowled out for 122 in 35.4 overs, and India chased down the target in 20.2 overs

A Sri Lankan winter?Shikhar Dhawan and Ajinkya Rahane during a training session at the PCA Stadium in Mohali on Tuesday. Tribune photos: Vicky Gharu

‘Lifters targeted unfairly by NADA’

13 Dec 2017 | 1:52 AM

NEW DELHI: It seems the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) has decided to target big names in Indian Olympics sports. NADA’s doping control officers (DCOs) have descended twice on the weightlifting team on two successive days to collect their samples.

When Rohit helped a Sri Lankan fan

When Rohit helped a Sri Lankan fan

13 Dec 2017 | 1:52 AM

MOHALI: “How's your friend?” Rohit Sharma asked a little man, who had been screaming words of encouragement for the Indian players, as he walked out of the nets.

Wagner inflicts pain on WI, New Zealand sweep series

Wagner inflicts pain on WI, New Zealand sweep series

13 Dec 2017 | 1:52 AM

HAMILTON: A brutal spell from Neil Wagner, including three wickets and a broken arm, led New Zealand to a comprehensive victory over West Indies today.

No retirement plans for Cook

No retirement plans for Cook

13 Dec 2017 | 1:52 AM

PERTH: Alastair Cook has “no idea” when he will be retiring and is completely focused on beating Australia in his 150th Test this week to keep the Ashes series alive, the former England captain said.

Need for right mix

Need for right mix

13 Dec 2017 | 1:52 AM

BHUBANESWAR: India’s second Hockey World League Final bronze medal in three years did not come in ideal circumstances. From six matches, India won only two – for the third place, they beat a beleaguered Germany, seven of whose players were hit by illness.

Six Russian ice hockey players banned for life

13 Dec 2017 | 1:52 AM

LAUSANNE: The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has banned six Russian female ice hockey players from the Olympics for life over doping allegations linked to the 2014 Sochi Games, the ruling body said here today.

Messi’s brother under house arrest

13 Dec 2017 | 1:52 AM

BUENOS AIRES: Matias Messi, older brother of Barcelona and Argentina star Lionel, has been sentenced to house arrest in Argentina for possession of a weapon, a prosecutor said here on Monday.

Briefly

Father seeks help to bring back footballer's body

13 Dec 2017 | 1:52 AM

NEW DELHI: The father of a 15-year-old footballer from Delhi who drowned at the Glenelg Beach in Australia has requested the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to help bring back his daughter’s body as soon as possible.

Hurt and embarrassed, India seek revenge in Mohali

Hurt and embarrassed, India seek revenge in Mohali

12 Dec 2017 | 11:33 AM

MOHALI: Handed an embarrassing defeat in the inaugural ODI, a wounded India would look to get even against an inspired Sri Lanka in a do-or-die second match, here on Wednesday.

Dhoni shows he’s not done yet

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12 Dec 2017 | 11:50 AM

DHARAMSALA:Every time the whispers over MS Dhoni’s place in the Indian XI tend to get louder, the battle-scarred veteran muffles them with a convincing performance.

Gambhir’s 95 guides Delhi into Ranji semis

Gambhir’s 95 guides Delhi into Ranji semis

12 Dec 2017 | 1:51 AM

VIJAYAWADA:The seasoned Gautam Gambhir struck a fine 95 and powered Delhi to the semifinals of the Ranji Trophy following a seven-wicket victory over Madhya Pradesh here today.

Indian footballer drowns in Australia

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12 Dec 2017 | 1:51 AM

NEW DELHI:A day after her death was confirmed, parents of a football player are still waiting to hear from the authorities, both Indian and Australian, about how she died.

India cancel warm-up tie in South Africa

12 Dec 2017 | 1:51 AM

JOHANNESBURG:Cricket South Africa (CSA) have confirmed that a two-day warm-up match between India and a CSA XI that was scheduled to take place at Boland Park has been called off.

I’m no god, just a simple footballer: Maradona

I’m no god, just a simple footballer: Maradona

12 Dec 2017 | 1:51 AM

KOLKATA:Diego Maradona and modesty don’t go hand in hand, but the Argentine legend today called himself a “simple footballer” and “not the God of football” as his admirers watched, joyfully transfixed, his hand at self deprecation.

Taylor hits record ton, Kiwis set WI record target

Taylor hits record ton, Kiwis set WI record target

12 Dec 2017 | 1:51 AM

HAMILTON:A record-equalling 17th century by Ross Taylor had New Zealand closing in on a series sweep against West Indies at the draw of stumps here today.

Four medals for Indian shooters on final dayasian airgun c’ship

Four medals for Indian shooters on final day

12 Dec 2017 | 1:51 AM

NEW DELHI:Saurabh Chaudhary and Manu Bhaker booked quota places for the 2018 Youth Olympic Games by winning a gold and a silver medal respectively at the 10th Asian Airgun Championship at Wako City, Japan, today.

Bhangra and the pedigree night

Bhangra and the pedigree night

12 Dec 2017 | 1:51 AM

NEW DELHI:The mobile cameras were out at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium and so were the dance moves by some in the aisles amid occasional abusive chants.

Suarez, Messi give Barca win

Suarez, Messi give Barca win

12 Dec 2017 | 1:51 AM

VILAREAL:Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi fired Barcelona to a 2-0 victory over 10-man Villarreal as the leaders won for the first time in three La Liga games to stay five points clear on Sunday while Atletico Madrid edged Real Betis 1-0.

Sindhu wants to end season on a high

12 Dec 2017 | 1:51 AM

NEW DELHI:Olympic silver-medallist PV Sindhu is satisfied with what she has achieved so far this year but wants to cap a successful season with yet another title at the $1 million Dubai World Super Series Final starting on Wednesday.

I am not God of football: Maradona after unveiling statue

I am not God of football: Maradona after unveiling statue

11 Dec 2017 | 8:08 PM

KOLKATA: Maradona and modesty don’t sit well together but the Argentine legend on Monday called himself a “simple footballer” and not the god of football as his admirers watched, joyfully transfixed, his hand at self deprecation.

Afghanistan to play first Test in India, BCCI ignores Pak

Afghanistan to play first Test in India, BCCI ignores Pak

11 Dec 2017 | 6:31 PM

NEW DELHI: The BCCI on Monday rolled out the red carpet for war-ravaged Afghanistan by agreeing to host the country’s maiden Test match but chose to cold-shoulder a cricket-starved Pakistan in its latest Future Tours Programme (FTP).

Al Hasan replaces Rahim as Bangladesh Test captain

Al Hasan replaces Rahim as Bangladesh Test captain

11 Dec 2017 | 11:25 AM

BENGALURU: Bangladesh have named all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan as Test captain in place of Mushfiqur Rahim ahead of the two-match Test series against Sri Lanka in January, the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) said on Sunday.

Up in the hills, India touch new lowsSwinging shocker!

Up in the hills, India touch new lows

11 Dec 2017 | 1:45 AM

DHARAMSALA:It was a day when the Indian ODI team plumbed new depths after a long, long time.

If it swings, Lakmal will get you!

If it swings, Lakmal will get you!

11 Dec 2017 | 1:45 AM

DHARAMSALA:During the Test series against Sri Lanka, the home team had sought South Africa-like wickets to prepare for next-month’s three-Test series in that country.

Early end a relief to crowd

Early end a relief to crowd

11 Dec 2017 | 1:45 AM

DHARAMSALA:The series-opener in Dharamsala did not give the desired result for the Indian team but the fans had every bit of fun under the sun.

Karnataka rout Mumbai, storm into semis

Karnataka rout Mumbai, storm into semis

11 Dec 2017 | 1:45 AM

NAGPUR:Karnataka stormed into the semifinals of the Ranji Trophy after inflicting an innings and 20-run defeat on Mumbai with more than a day to spare in the quarterfinals here today.

Southee, Boult push WI back

11 Dec 2017 | 1:45 AM

HAMILTON:Tim Southee and Trent Boult took centre stage with bat and ball as New Zealand seized command on a rain-affected Day 2 of the second Test against West Indies here today.

Five Indians in main draw of World Squash ChampionshipBriefly

Five Indians in main draw of World Squash Championship

11 Dec 2017 | 1:45 AM

DHAKA: Bangladesh today appointed all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan as Test captain, removing Mushfiqur Rahim from the post ahead of the two-Test home series against Sri Lanka next month.

India win bronze, Germany hearts, Aus gold

India win bronze, Germany hearts, Aus gold

11 Dec 2017 | 2:08 AM

BHUBANESWAR: It was expected to be easy, almost a walkover. In fact, Germany had thought twice before competing. “In the morning, we had a meeting about whether we were going to play for bronze or not,” said captain Mats Grambusch.

Moeen: England players must improve off-field behaviour

11 Dec 2017 | 1:45 AM

PERTH:England’s cricketers must take responsibility for their actions and improve their off-field behaviour or risk turning a younger generation of players away from the game, all-rounder Moeen Ali said here today.

Manchester City beat United 2-1

Manchester City beat United 2-1

11 Dec 2017 | 1:45 AM

LONDON:Manchester City beat Manchester United 2-1 at Old Trafford today to stretch their Premier League lead to 11 points while Liverpool and Everton drew 1-1 in a snow-swept Merseyside derby at Anfield.

asian airgun c’ship

Jitu, Heena shoot bronze

11 Dec 2017 | 1:45 AM

NEW DELHI:Pistol ace Jitu Rai and Heena Sidhu bagged a bronze medal each to continue India’s medal charge at the 10th Asian Airgun Championship in Wako City, Japan, today.

Maradona arrives in ‘City of Joy’ sans fan-frenzy

Maradona arrives in ‘City of Joy’ sans fan-frenzy

10 Dec 2017 | 10:27 PM

KOLKATA: Legendary footballer Diego Maradona finally kept his date with the football-crazy city for a three-day private trip, which was originally scheduled in September.

Sri Lanka end 12-match losing streak, beat India by 7 wickets

Sri Lanka end 12-match losing streak, beat India by 7 wickets

10 Dec 2017 | 7:49 PM

DHARAMSALA: The susceptible technique of Indian batsmen in seamer-friendly conditions was thoroughly exposed as Sri Lanka comfortably beat India by seven wickets in the first ODI of the three-match series.

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