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December 2018
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News Headlines
Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner possible next chief of staff: US media        Sri Lanka PM Mahinda Rajapaksa to resign, says his son after court setback        Rahul Gandhi After Rafale Verdict: "Will Prove PM Helped Anil Ambani"        Author Amitav Ghosh Honoured With 54th Jnanpith Award        Supreme Court sees no wrongdoing in Rafale deal, rules out probe        India bowled a little bit short, Australia pacers could benefit: Border        ISL: FC Goa thrash NorthEast United 5-1        BWF World Tour Finals: PV Sindhu, Sameer Verma Register Easy Wins To Enter Semifinals        Diving legend says HIV-contracted friend inspired him to Olympic gold        India beat Pakistan to reach final of Emerging Teams Asia Cup        Boosting exports key to make India $5-tn economy by 2025: Kant        Prabhu, US Commerce Secretary to discuss trade issues on Feb 14        Ceasefire for key Yemen port agreed at peace talks: UN        Britain's May sees no 'immediate breakthrough' at EU        Poll results prove Ram Temple or communal polarisation doesn't cut ice with people: Sinha        Ashok Gehlot appeals to Cong workers in Raj to maintain peace        Rahul tweets pic with Kamal Nath, Scindia as race for CM moves to Bhopal        Aussies will fight back, but India has upper hand: Ghavri        World Tour Finals: Tough road ahead for Sindhu; Sameer too eyes knockout berth        Govt should consider 100% FDI in multi-brand retail trade: CII report        
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Sports News
Centuries of non-violence from Virat Kohli and Murali Vijay at Kotla
 
(New Delhi, Dec 02, 2017):It was just around the time dusk was slipping into the Kotla and the floodlights glimmered into life. Just five overs remained for the day and the gallery was gradually clearing out. Then the out-stepping audience paused and pondered. On the screen flickered Murali Vijay’s it-can’t-happen-to-me-again gaze. The next frame showed his back foot stranded slenderly outside the crease. He plodded to the pavilion, gazing pensively at the skies – detachedly raising his bat, as if his mind was dwelling elsewhere.

His mind might have been rewinding the whole sequence back and forth. The delicious flight of Lakshan Sandakan, the unexpected wrong one, the instinctive lunge and the forward momentum dragging the back foot out of the crease, crushing his hopes of an elusive Test double hundred. It was the fourth time he was stumped in Tests, but this might have been easily the softest. He was still 45 runs away from the milestone, but this was the second straight chance he’d blown up in the space of a week, after his 128 in Nagpur.

The popular sentiment could be, so what? He had after all scored 155 of the most delectable runs you could see on a contemporary cricket field, or 155 of the most non-violent runs your eyes will behold. He had put his team in a commanding position — 371/4 — with the help of Virat Kohli. Even Vijay himself would have gleefully taken this score if someone had told him that he would score these many runs before the match. But try selling these arguments to a batsman -retrospectively he might feel satisfied, but still there could be a tinge of regret cringing deep in his mind.

The way he batted after completing his hundred made it evident that he had his eyes set on a return bigger than a century or 150. He wasn’t overtly cautious — that too is equally self-detrimental — but was more judicious. But his peculiar problem is not an immediate lapse in focus after reaching three figures, as several other batsmen are prone to, but soon after he goes beyond 120. In fact, as many as six of his 11 hundreds are between 120-150.

Admittedly, he begins to feel a little twitchy, a touch distracted and then a sudden onrushing of madness. It was a trait that irritated former Tamil Nadu coach WV Raman, who used to shout at Vijay, “You scored a hundred, but look where your team is.” But Raman knew that the criticism was only constructive and would stoke his hurt pride. There are also unverified rumours about him instructing the scorers to not move Vijay’s score after he crossed the three-figure mark.

Those words must have been ringing in his mind when he resumed after a lengthy celebration routine — he slipped into a disco move and blew flying kisses at his wife and children, seated in the stand above the dressing room. His face flashed a content, disarming smile. Bland as the Sri Lankan bowling was, he just needed to keep the temptations adrift, and a double hundred was up for grabs.

Starting from scratch

Determined, he began as if he was starting from scratch. Never was there any penchant to impose himself on the bowlers — Kohli any way was doing it at the other end — or the tendency to do something fancy, a cute little reverse-paddle apart. Strangely, it’s a shot he has nuanced post his IPL heyday. Unlike in Nagpur, he didn’t even step out to the spinners. Perera had floated a few invitingly at him, but he was in no mood to fall for those.

A single here and a two there, a couple of measured leaves, a brace of gorgeous cover-driven fours off Perera when the ball was really full (and not even on the rise) and the inscrutable forward defence, he saw through the tricky post-120 phase and shortly reached 150, with a single through cover. His celebration was rather muted. Maybe, because he knew he had perished in the 150s twice. He’d painfully add a third to the list.

Then even in domestic cricket, he hasn’t been a voracious plunderer of double centuries. He has crossed it only three times in 104 non-Test innings. In that sense, he can glance envyingly at the staggering conversion rate of Cheteshwar Pujara and Kohli. Of course, both of them are not exposed as much as Vijay or other openers are to the perils of the new ball, but they have been ruthless in this regard. Pujara has three (and a record 12 in First-Class cricket); Kohli has a remarkable five. And if he bats as comfortably as he had on Saturday, a sixth is round the corner.

But Vijay is a self-confessed optimist. When the disappointment sinks in, he’d see the glass half-full. Or like he had said in Nagpur, “keeping waiting for it.” When, and if it eventually comes, it could be the most glorious of double hundreds.


India bowled a little bit short, Australia pacers could benefit: Border
ISL: FC Goa thrash NorthEast United 5-1
BWF World Tour Finals: PV Sindhu, Sameer Verma Register Easy Wins To Enter Semifinals
Diving legend says HIV-contracted friend inspired him to Olympic gold
India beat Pakistan to reach final of Emerging Teams Asia Cup
Aussies will fight back, but India has upper hand: Ghavri
World Tour Finals: Tough road ahead for Sindhu; Sameer too eyes knockout berth
Shakhtar prepare for home match 700 kilometres from home
AC Milan let Inter off the hook with Torino stalemate
1st Test: India in cruise control as Australia reduced to 104/4 chasing 323
Over 16000 runners take part in Pune Half Marathon
Kohli booed by Australian fans, Head, Ponting critical of crowd behaviour
Pujara, Rahane put India in driver's seat
Indian Super League: Kerala Blasters' Hopes Hanging By A Thread After Defeat Against Pune City
Start is Good, Need to Carry Momentum in World Cup: Sardar Singh
Man Utd fight back again but Arsenal extend unbeaten run in four-goal thriller
Serena, Nadal and Murray all confirmed for Australian Open
Manchester City top World Cup player pay-out table
Luca Modric wins 2018 Ballon d'Or
Why aren't Dhoni, Dhawan playing domestic cricket? Asks Gavaskar
KERALA NEWS
Activist Rehana Fathima, Who Attempted Sabarimala Trek, Arrested Over Facebook Post
 (Kochi, Nov 28, 2018): Model and activist Rehana Fathima, who tried to reach Kerala's Sabarim  
Good news for Keralite Nurses: IELTS cut-off reduced to 6.5
BJP leader K Surendran, 71 others granted bail
Sabarimala protests: Arrests up to 2061, Kerala HC warns police
INTERNATIONAL NEWS
Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner possible next chief of staff: US media
 (Washington, Dec 14, 2018):Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner is on t
Sri Lanka PM Mahinda Rajapaksa to resign, says his son after court setback
Ceasefire for key Yemen port agreed at peace talks: UN
Britain's May sees no 'immediate breakthrough' at EU
NATIONAL NEWS
Rahul Gandhi After Rafale Verdict: "Will Prove PM Helped Anil Ambani"
 (New Delhi, Dec 14, 2018):Hours after the Supreme Court's clean chit to the government on the
Author Amitav Ghosh Honoured With 54th Jnanpith Award
Poll results prove Ram Temple or communal polarisation doesn't cut ice with people: Sinha
Ashok Gehlot appeals to Cong workers in Raj to maintain peace
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