|SPORTS & WELLNESS|
Of The Czars
Of The Czars
Test cricket is dying. In these fast-paced times, we have neither the time nor the inclination to watch the intricacies of a fabulous sport unfold over the duration of five long-winding (usually boring) days. Yes, Test cricket has travelled a very long way from the time the first ever such match was played in 1877 between England and Australia.
And now, more than a 100 years later (134 years to be precise), we are witnessing the 2000th Test match being played at the home of cricket ó Lordís in London. (Is Lordís really the home of cricket any longer? Now, thatís another story for another time).
Sure, Test cricket has traversed a long journey.`A0But the base, instead of growing, has shrunk. Today, we are left with only four countries that have a strong Test side (India, South Africa, England and Australia). And, nowadays, we cannot even call Australia Ďstrongí. Sri Lanka are formidable only at home. Pakistan are eternally embroiled in some turmoil or controversy. The West Indies and New Zealand hardly have a pool of players. And Bangladesh and Zimbabwe only make up the numbers.
So, it really even isnít clear whether we have enough reason to celebrate Test cricket on this momentous occasion unfolding right now at Lordís. But we will. Celebrate, that is.
Why? Because the good part is that this historic event (2000th Test match) is being played between two stellar sides. (It could have been between Zimbabwe and Bangladesh as well). There is more history involved with it being the 100th Test between these two sides. Glory is at stake, with England having a chance to go to the top of the world Test rankings. Sachin Tendulkar (who has never scored a 50 at Lordís) can reach another big milestone here etc, etc. In that sense, it is a big series.
England have been a steadily improving Test side over these past few years and have now gone past Australia in the all-important ĎAshesí clash. They will be very hard to beat at home and that is the challenge for the number one Test side in the world (India, that is).
So, this series has a lot going for it and close encounters in this one have the power to regenerate interest in Test cricket, at least for the time being.
It is true that a lot of people out there donít like Test cricket any longer. They find it boring. They struggle with the pace. They find it disconcerting ó perhaps they are growing used to watching T20 matches in the IPL and elsewhere. Thatís fine.
People donít need a reason to dislike a particular form of sport. I mean, if you like Formula One, follow F1. If not, then donít. The same goes for womenís basketball, golf, poker, baseball, tennis, whatever. Enjoy what you enjoy. Ignore what you donít like.
But if Test cricket wants to evade the fate of becoming decadent, more teams have to become strong. More Test matches have to become meaningful and competitive. And it doesnít look like thatís happening. The blame for this can lie with the ICC for being a weak body, with just one part of the cricketing world (BCCI) becoming way too strong, or with T20 offering more entertainment, whatever.
So, while Test cricket is slowly on the wane in its popularity and the ICC isnít doing enough to revive and rejuvenate it, this particular Test series between India and England has the potential and ability to produce high-quality matches and at least re-ignite interest and enthusiasm in this form of the game, even if only for a short period of time.
This most probably could be the last Test series in England for the veteran trio of Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar and V. V. S. Laxman. There is a bit of nostalgia involved as well. Dravid made his debut on this very ground in 1996 (and scored 95). Fifteen years later, he is back at the same venue for this memorable match. Dravid, Laxman and Tendulkar have been the glue that has held the Indian middle-order together for as long as we can remember. And now, this firm is about to close shop and could be seen together for the last time in a Test series in England. Of course, they will like to make this one count.
TESTING TIME FOR YUVI
Although Yuvraj Singh made his Test debut in 2003 (vs New Zealand at Mohali), he has so far figured in just 34 matches and has been unable to cement his place in the Indian Test team. Other players like Suresh Raina, who came on the scene much later than Yuvi, have surpassed this Punjab player in the Test squad. Yuvraj, who has a phenomenal ODI and T20 record, has been unable to replicate that same touch in Test cricket. He has a modest average of 35.63 in 34 Tests with three hundreds. This series against England will be crucial for Yuvraj, but he will constantly have to fight for his place in the First XI with Raina.
Virender Sehwag is the only Indian cricketer who has scored a triple hundred in Test matches. In fact, Sehwag has scored two triple hundreds in Tests. His first triple hundred was against Pakistan (309 at Multan) and his second triple hundred came against South Africa (319 at Chennai). Sehwag came close to becoming the only cricketer in the world to have slammed three triple hundreds when he was dismissed for 293 against Sri Lanka at Mumbai. In this series, Sehwag will be sorely missed in the first two Tests, as he is recuperating from an injury. He is expected to join the team for the third Test against England.
MONKEYGATE & MORE
Harbhajan Singh has been the fiery
cricketer for India on the Test match scene. Recently, in the West
Indies, Bhajji reached the landmark of 400 wickets in Test cricket.
Bhajji made his Test debut in 1998 and in the 96 Test matches he has
played so far, Bhajji has been in the limelight for both the right and
wrong reasons. Early in his career, he had to deal with the tag of
'chucking'. Bhajji was also involved in the infamous 'monkeygate'
controversy with Andrew Symonds in the Sydney Test in 2008 and now he
has sued Vijay Mallya for some controversial ad. It appears, you just
cannot keep this Punjab player out of the limelight. ó SN
Novak Djokovic credits a gluten-free diet for improved fitness
was a recent news that read: "Gluten Free Tennis? Is Novak Djokovicís
new gluten free diet behind his winning streak?" Every sportsperson
began to wonder how avoiding gluten could increase stamina. Fortunately,
this story is not just tennis gossip; it is a remarkable opportunity for
critically needed health awareness.
The fact is that Novak Djokovic was actually suffering from gluten sensitivity or celiac disease, which was detected by a particular blood test one year back. Besides him, German tennis star Sabine Lisicki looks to bounce back after collapsing on the verge of a major upset at the French Open; a collapse she attributes to an undiagnosed gluten-sensitivity.
So, the main point to be clarified here is that if a person is not suffering from gluten sensitivity, excluding gluten from his/her diet will make no difference in his/her physical stamina. Now the question is ó Has removing gluten from his diet improved Djokovicís tennis performance? Certainly.
With diagnosis for celiac disease and gluten intolerance growing by leaps and bounds, it's no wonder that the list of celebrities who eat a gluten-free diet continues to grow as well.`A0Like anyone else with gluten-sensitivity, for celebrities and athletes who suffer from this condition, consuming gluten damages the lining of the`A0small intestine`A0and reduces absorption of important nutrients.
Sensitivity & symptoms
Gluten sensitivity is an autoimmune inflammatory disease of the small intestine. It is a condition in which the immune system responds abnormally to a protein called gluten, which can cause damage to the mucosal lining of the small intestine. According to Prof B. R. Thapa, head, paediatric gastroenterology and nutrition, PGI, Chandigarh, "One to two per cent of young adults may suffer from hidden gluten sensitivity, which may have subtle features like lethargy, weakness, not feeling well, irritability, depression, anxiety, poor work performance, increased frequency of stooling, vitamin and mineral deficiency." When fed on a gluten-free diet, their physical activity level becomes better and they become more energetic.
Gluten is the group of
proteins efound in wheat, barley, rye and oats. Gluten is not only
containd in these commonly consumed grains; it is also hidden as an
ingredient in a large number of prepared foods as well as certain
medications and supplements.
Basically, the treatment of celiac disease is gluten-free diets for a lifetime after the diagnosis is conformed. Maintaining a gluten-free diet is a challenging task that may require major lifestyle adjustments. Strict gluten avoidance is recommended since even small amounts can aggravate the disease.
Avoid food containing wheat, rye, barley oats and their products like wheat flour chappati, refined flour (maida), noodles, pastas, bread, bread rolls, pizzas, bread crumbs, soup sticks, semia, dalia, rusk cake, patty, burger, kulcha, nan, upma, biscuits, cutlets, namkeens and all types of sweets, tinned and processed foods.
Go for cereals and their products like rice, maize (makki), bajra, jowar, ragi and its flour, rice flakes, puffed rice, popcorn , rice noodles, rice papad, sago papad etc.
Eat all dals, besan, chana atta, all fruits/fruit juice and vegetables, fresh milk and its products and non-vegetarian foods and all type of fats and oils, condiments and spices.
Avoid icecream, kulfi, softy etc. Avoid barley water, hot chocolate, Complan, Horlics, Protinex, Boost, Bournvita.
The writer is a dietician with the Department of Dietetics, PGI
PANEER PAPDI MASALA
French beans Ĺ cup (50g)
Potato Ĺ cup
Peas Ĺ cup
Tomato (chopped) Ĺ cup
Capsicum (chopped) Ĺ cup
Rice papdi Ĺ cup
Onion Ĺ cup
Cashewnut (split) 5-6
Red chilli powder 1tsp
Turmeric powder a pinch
Garam masala 1tsp
Salt To taste
Boil potatoes and peas. Keep aside. Heat little oil in a round bottomed pan. Add onion, French beans, cooked potatoes, capsicum, papdi and peas. Shallow fry. Remove them. Add paneer and cashewnut, shallow fry them. Heat oil in a pan, add chopped tomato and all vegetables. Add all masalas. Mix well. Add the cubed paneer and cashewnut. Mix well. Garnish with grated cheese.
Energy ó 495 kcal
Protein ó 2