SPORTS & WELLNESS
 

Tougher tests await India
Vaibhav Sharma
S
O finally, India did get their revenge. The star of the show, Virender Sehwag had very clearly stated that the team were in no mood for a repeat of the 2007 debacle, and his power-packed performance meant that there was none. India ultimately cruised home and for all the praise heaped upon Bangladesh for being formidable opponents, they are not, and will in all probability will not be the biggest threats in the group.

WORLD CUP & workouts
As most cricket lovers turn into couch potatoes this World Cup season, hereís how to keep fit while watching the matches
Sachin Kalra
T
HE people of India are very passionate about cricket. It is their passion, addiction and best pastime. And this World Cup season, donít let watching the game put an end to your fitness goals. There are numerous simple yet effective exercises you can do in front of the television set. Itís the perfect way to stay in shape while watching your favourite game.

 





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Tougher tests await India
Vaibhav Sharma

It is Team Indiaís bowling that caused some concern in the match against Bangladesh; (right) Against England, Harbhajan Singh will be hugely responsible for sailing through the middle overs and ensuring no big leakage of runs
It is Team Indiaís bowling that caused some concern in the match against Bangladesh; (right) Against England, Harbhajan Singh will be hugely responsible for sailing through the middle overs and ensuring no big leakage of runs ó Photos: AFP

SO finally, India did get their revenge. The star of the show, Virender Sehwag had very clearly stated that the team were in no mood for a repeat of the 2007 debacle, and his power-packed performance meant that there was none. India ultimately cruised home and for all the praise heaped upon Bangladesh for being formidable opponents, they are not, and will in all probability will not be the biggest threats in the group. Tougher teams, and more gruelling contests await India and it will be interesting to see how the bowlers find their feet.

Against Bangladesh, although Sachin Tendulkar was unfortunate to be run out, still he looked in pretty good touch. Even though he has not called it his last World Cup, it pretty much should be, and the Little Master knows he has to get going for India to go the distance.

Taking up the mantle of the senior pro, who will guide the innings, is surprisingly Virender Sehwag. The Delhi dasher had said before the World Cup that he wanted to carry his bat through the innings, and the composure in his innings of 175 against Bangladesh, had very promising signs. But again, the main test will be when he faces better teams and bowling attacks with more teeth. Sehwag will really have to dig in, or just make sure that he improves his running between the wickets, and doesnít leave Tendulkar stranded.

In Gautam Gambhir, the No. 3 spot looks really settled. Apart from the one shot, the one that ultimately cost him his wicket, Gambhir looked steady, and also in good form. He is a brilliant player of spin, and this is his chance to earn back his reputation as one of the best batsmen in world cricket. Kohli is a real find, and his form over the past 12 months makes him an automatic pick in the middle overs. He, too, will have to make sure that against the likes of England, South Africa and the West Indies, he applies himself more and tries to bat till as late as possible.

The worrying signs in the middle order appear with the indifferent form Yuvraj Singh has had. The stylish left-hander has been struggling to find his flow and verve and this means that he is not among the red-hot prospects for star performances! His bowling though has been a saving grace and he does have the reputation of breaking vital partnerships.

Yusuf Pathan, well, letís just say that he is one of the most dangerous batsmen in the world right now, and every team knows that. Especially in the subcontinent, where the ball will not rise too much, he can be devastating. India will need him to get a good look-in before the business end of the tournament approaches.

It is the bowling that caused some concern against Bangladesh. Ashish Nehra had to sit out with an ankle injury, and though he should be back against England, his fitness has always been a cause of concern. In Sreesanth, the captain always has a gamble at hand and you just donít know what the Kochi Express will deliver.

Zaheer will definitely be the key man, not just with the new ball, but also with the old ball as reverse swing begins to kick in. He is highly rated by all teams and has had the measure of pretty much all big players in world cricket. Even Munaf Patel, with the four-wicket haul against Bangladesh, showed that he could keep it tight and pick up wickets as well. What he lacks in pace, he makes up in accuracy.

Then, of course, is the spin option, and Harbhajan Singh was extremely economical against Bangladesh and that is his forte in the ODIs. Against the likes of England, he will be hugely responsible for sailing through the middle overs and ensuring no big leakage of runs.

There are also the likes of Ravichandran Aswhin and Piyush Chawla, who are set to get a look in somewhere down the line, but how big a role do they play will depend on whether the team goes in for two spinners against the big teams. Chawla had really performed very well in the practice games, and might have an edge over Ashiwn if two spinners do indeed play.

All in all, the team that beat Bangladesh, is pretty much the side that is expected to be serving through the tournament. Against England, there might be a slight change, depending on the availability of Nehra. Otherwise, the team that might be sitting on top of the world has started its journey, but the final destination is still some way off.
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WORLD CUP & workouts
As most cricket lovers turn into couch potatoes this World Cup season, hereís how to keep fit while watching the matches
Sachin Kalra

THE people of India are very passionate about cricket. It is their passion, addiction and best pastime. And this World Cup season, donít let watching the game put an end to your fitness goals. There are numerous simple yet effective exercises you can do in front of the television set. Itís the perfect way to stay in shape while watching your favourite game.

Here are some living room workouts:

STATIONARY BIKE: Most Indian households have this fitness equipment. If you donít have it but have money to spare, this is the right time to invest. Place the cycle in front of your TV set and pedal away while watching your favourite series. It doesnít stop you from watching the matches, and you get to burn a lot of those calories while you are at it. This is a good exercise for all age groups. If you cannot arrange for a cycle, then opt for cycling in the air. Lie down on your back, with your hands tightly stuck to the ground such that the palms are facing down or they can be placed behind the head. Lift your legs, bend your knees and cycle in the air.

JUMPING ROPE: The jumping rope is one of the most beneficial exercises a person can do. It is an unparalleled cardiovascular workout that will tone and strengthen your entire body. Plus, it is extremely enjoyable. Itís a kind of exercise which needs minimum equipments and can easily be combined with TV watching. To help prevent injury, you should avoid skipping on hard floors like tiles or marble, rather you should skip on wooden or carpeted floors for safety. You can place some soft exercising mat in case carpeting is not available. If space is a constraint, leave the rope and just do some jumping on the spot.

JOGGING ON THE SPOT: Jogging in place is safe, easy to do and doesnít require any expensive exercise equipment. The only requirement is a good pair of shoes. Jogging gets the heart rate going as well as the entire body moving. Itís an exercise that lets you start off at your own pace. You can speed up and slow down as your body requires. This exercise burns calories and can help those who do it maintain a healthy body weight. Jogging regularly can also help increase energy and stamina. If your fitness levels donít allow you to jog then you can always walk (like marching) on spot.

STEP UPS: Step-up exercise increases the rate of heartbeat as they make you move your body at a rapid pace. Step-ups are easy to do, can be performed anywhere and by almost everyone. For performing step-up exercises, you need a step platform or a step box that is 4-12 inches high. If you donít have one, then you can use a stool, a low sturdy chair or a very sturdy box to meet the purpose. Stand in front of the chair and then lift one leg up, placing it firmly in the middle of the chair. Using the quad muscle, pull yourself up so that both feet are now on the seat of the chair and your legs are straight. Next, leading with the same foot you first stepped up with, lower yourself back down. Repeat the process again, this time leading with the opposite foot.

You can increase the pace for a higher intensity workout. This exercise requires concentration, so itís better to do it during a commercial break.

TRICEP DIPS: These dips are an effective toning exercise for the triceps muscles. They are easy to do, can be performed anywhere and do not require any specific machine or weights, as they use the personís own body weight for resistance. Start in a sitting position on chair or sofa. Put your arms down on either side, in preparation to support your body weight. Scoot forward until your butt is off the sofa and your arms are supporting your body weight. Scoot your feet out in front, creating a triangle with your body and the sofa. Now, slowly dip straight down as your elbows extend back, beyond you. Push your hands and raise yourself up again. Be careful not to over-extend your elbows.

JUMPING JACKS: The jumping jack workout is a great way to get your heart pumping and it also allows you to focus somewhat on watching TV. The exercise needs you to jump at a fixed position. While you jump, spread your legs wide and touch the hands above your head. Return to the same position with your feet brought together and the arms placed on the sides. A great advice here is that you should not clap while touching the hands over your head. In case, you find it difficult to bring the hands, all the way up, you can lift them halfway up to your sides.

SQUATS: This is a good exercise for your legs and buttocks. Squats may not be fun but they are easy and for the time invested they offer great results. Squats are performed by standing up straight, with both feet shoulder width apart. Proceed to squat down like you are going to sit down on an imaginary chair. The lower you go, the better the benefits. Then, slowly push yourself straight up to complete the move. Make this exercise fun by trying to do maximum reps in an over or commercial break.

CRUNCH: The crunch is one of the most common abdominal exercises. It is an effective and simple abs exercise, which can be performed anywhere and only requires a mat. Lie down on the floor on your back and bend your knees (you can always place your feet on the couch too). Place your hands behind your head. Pull your belly button towards your spine, and flatten your lower back against the floor. Slowly, contract your abdominals, bringing your shoulder blades about one or two inches off the floor. Hold at the top of the movement for a few seconds, and then slowly lower back down. Crunches are a lot like sit-ups, except that instead of lifting your entire back off the floor, you only lift your upper back.

There are a lot of other abdominal exercises you can do like the reverse crunch, leg raises, leg curls, etc.

As long as there is a will there is a way. If you want to exercise you will find a million ways to do so. So, make cricket watching your workout time, too.
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