“It’s an adjustment for us. We know that our chemistry will be a bit affected with Jio and Ping’s entry, but I need to do that for our future games,” he said. “The only way we’ll get their timing and chemistry back is for me to play them. It’s a small sacrifice we’re willing to take.”Star seeks to bounce back against fierce rival Ginebra on Sunday. LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH ‘Dehydrated’ Almazan taken to hospital after helping ROS win MOST READ View comments WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Read Next Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Star stared at a 20-point deficit, 32-52, midway in the third quarter but pulled to within three, 72-75, before Jericho Cruz restored order for Rain or Shine.Though the Elasto Painters, once again, brought the lead back up by 11, 88-77, with 1:29 remaining, the Hotshots refused to quit as Malcolm Hill, Paul Lee, and Allein Maliksi kept the team fighting up to the final buzzer.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“You can’t say anything else on how the players fought. It’s just that we’re not making our shots,” Victolero said, putting the spotlight on Star’s 38 percent shooting from the clip. “I also give credit to Rain or Shine’s defense because they were prepared for us.”Victolero also sees the game as a good building block for the Hotshots as they try to bring in Marc Pingris, who is recovering from a hip injury, and Jio Jalalon, who is fresh from Gilas Pilipinas duty in the 2017 Fiba Asia Cup, back in the lineup. Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses Marc Pingris. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netDespite losing for the first time this 2017 PBA Governors’ Cup, Star coach Chito Victolero remains upbeat seeing how his team fought back from a large deficit.“We’re okay. You can see that the players gave their best effort. Even if Rain or Shine led by 20, we still came back. It just so happened that we fell short in the end,” he said in Filipino after the Hotshots’ 88-92 defeat to the Elasto Painters on Sunday.ADVERTISEMENT Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC LATEST STORIES
Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City The Laguna side, which has 26 points from 20 games, is also in pursuit of a Top Four place with league top scorer Jess Melliza expected to lead the charge.The fleet-footed striker from Iloilo has scored 13 goals so far this season, helping Stallion climb back into contention for a spot in the league’s Finals Series, which will see the top four teams battle for places in the finals. Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa MOST READ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. FILE – A standing-room-only crowd watches Ceres-Negros’ match against Malaysia’s Felda United in the AFC Cup. No other place in the country packs as many football fans as Bacolod’s Panaad Stadium. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/STEPHEN TANNational Under-22 coach Marlon Maro gets his baptism of fire as he tries to steer the Davao Aguilas to their first win against no less than AFC Asean zone champion Ceres-Negros on Wednesday in the Philippines Football League at Davao del Norte Sports Complex in Tagum City.Maro, who led the Under-22 Azkals to a couple of victories in the Southeast Asian Games last month, has been called in to replace Australian coach Gary Phillips, on an interim capacity, after the Aguilas went winless in their first 15 games of the inaugural season.ADVERTISEMENT Even with the signing of national team stars Phil and James Younghusband during the transfer window, the Aguilas still couldn’t find a breakthrough victory with their latest defeat coming last Saturday at the hands of the Busmen, 1-3, at Rizal Memorial Stadium.The Aguilas have actually lost their first two meetings with the Busmen, who are in fourth spot with 28 points from 13 matches.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutOver at Rizal Memorial Stadium, Global Cebu seeks to regain second spot when it collides with Stallion Laguna at 4 p.m.With 34 points from 20 matches, the Cebuanos can cut FC Meralco Manila’s lead at the top to just four points with a win, although the Sparks will have two games in hand. LATEST STORIES Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight Read Next Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Unbeaten La Salle welcomes Mbala back vs Adamson E.T. returns to earth, reunites with grown-up Elliott in new ad Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary View comments
Nikki Valdez rushes self to ER due to respiratory tract infection LOOK: Jane De Leon meets fellow ‘Darna’ Marian Rivera Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View comments Pagasa: Kammuri now a typhoon, may enter PAR by weekend MOST READ For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Head coach: Jeff NapaLast Season: 9-9 (6th)Holdovers: Rey Nambatac, Bong Quinto, JP Calvo, Jerrick BalanzaKey Losses: Jom Sollano, Mcjour Luib, Felix AprekuKey Additions: Jeremiah Taladua, Paul Pamulaklakin, Daryl PascualDespite a tumultuous last season, the Letran Knights’ goal has never changed: to return to its rightful throne.ADVERTISEMENT Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Menina leaves Mapua, transfers to NU Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next China furious as Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ LATEST STORIES Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ NCAA Season 93 Preview: Letran Knights884 viewsSportsVentuno Web Player 4.51 “That’s always been the goal. We want to win as many games and get back on top,” said head coach Jeff Napa.Coming off a rough first year, Napa thinks that the team’s youth coupled with the confidence it gained in the offseason will be enough to propel the Knights to a better showing after failing to defend their title and missing the Final Four last season.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool stars“This team is still young, but the young ones we have gained confidence in our buildup and I’m pretty sure they’ll be able to step up for us,” he said.Napa will be banking on the leadership of fifth-year swingman Rey Nambatac, together with Bong Quinto, JP Calvo, and Jerrick Balanza, hoping that the feistiness of the four will rub off on the rest of the crew. “We’re pretty sure that we’ll go all-out. We’ll show our big heart no matter what happens for Letran,” he said. And he’s quite elated that not many people are pegging Letran as a contender this season, using this as motivation to overachieve this year.“Even though a lot of people aren’t paying attention on us, we’ll make a way that they will notice us,” he said.The affable mentor, though, admits that having a youthful Knights squad has its perils, and the main issue is definitely the team’s maturity, a point of concern that he has been doubling down on for the past two months.“The question is how we adopt to the situations during the game. That’s what we’re working on, their maturity, because we know we have the tools. It’s on how we react that I’m worried about,” he said.But Napa has his full confidence that this year’s Letran squad will give nothing but its 100-percent whenever it hits the floor.ADVERTISEMENT Pagasa: Kammuri now a typhoon, may enter PAR by weekend Another vape smoker nabbed in Lucena
View comments Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong protesters Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES Fajardo came two points shy of matching his career-high he set in a loss to Alaska in the 2016 Philippine Cup.Terrence Watson added a double-double with 16 points and 14 rebounds while Chris Ross collected 15 points, six assist and five steals for the Beermen, who trailed by six at the end of the third period.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingThe Picanto had lost their first nine games but played nothing like a winless team against the Grand Slam-seeking Beermen.Kia, led by its explosive import Geron Johnson, kept itself in the game until Alex Cabagnot made a layup to put San Miguel ahead by six, 116-110, with only 15 seconds left. Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Johnson fired 42 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists to offset his 10 turnovers but the Picanto just had no answer for Fajardo as they dropped their 10th consecutive game.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Celebrity chef Gary Rhodes dies at 59 with wife by his side MOST READ Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ La Salle outguns NU for 2-0 start NATO’s aging eye in the sky to get a last overhaul PBA IMAGESJune Mar Fajardo was unstoppable in the fourth quarter and San Miguel Beer edged Kia, 118-112, in the 2017 PBA Governors’ Cup Saturday at Mall of Asia Arena.The reigning three-time MVP scored 20 of his 41 points in the final frame as the Beermen bolstered their bid for a top four finish after climbing to 6-3.ADVERTISEMENT Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims
Sachin TendulkarIn the 21st year of his international career, 37-year-old Sachin Tendulkar has finally won the prestigious Cricketer of The Year award at the annual ICC awards, which were held in Bangalore on Wednesday.Virender Sehwag won the Test Cricketer of The Year award, and was also named in ICC’s nominated Test Team of The Year, which is led by MS Dhoni.ICC awardee Sachin lauds KirstenICC spot: Tendulkar, VVS move upTendulkar, who also won the People’s Choice Award, decided by an online poll, is the second Indian cricketer to be ICC Cricketer of The Year after Dravid in 2004.In the past, Gautam Gambhir (2009) and Rahul Dravid (2004) have won the Test Cricketer award.The Little Master has had a prolific year, whose highpoint was his scoring the first double century — 200 not out against South Africa — in ODI history. South Africa’s talented young batsman AB de Villiers won the ODI Cricketer of The Year, a category in which Tendulkar had also been nominated.Australia’s Ricky Ponting was named captain of the ICC ODI Team of the Year which includes Tendulkar as opener and Dhoni as wicketkeeper.New Zealand’s Brendon McCullum, who scored an unbeaten 116 against Australia in a T20I, has been named the T20 Player of The Year.England’s pace find Steven Finn was named the Emerging Cricketer of the Year, an award which had also been won by Irfan Pathan in 2004.Netherlands allrounder Ryan ten Doeschate won the Associate Player of the Year award.New Zealand have won the ICC Spirit of Cricket Award. Pakistani umpire Aleem Dar has won the Umpire of the Year Award for the second consecutive time.Australian all-rounder Shelley Nitschke won the Woman Cricketer of the Year.advertisement
Snowmen at the Kashmir Snow Festival add to the charmI love beginnings, whether it is a book, movie or a trip. They are so full of promise, and so much more fun than endings. My trip to Kashmir also begins on a wonderful note, but this time I love the ending too. But let’s leave that for later.People back home advise me to reach the airport early to take the window seat, for what I would see would be a view to remember. I’m glad I listened to them. Just a few minutes after leaving Delhi I spot a line of white in the horizon. Confusing the Pir Panjal range with clouds I go on to read my book. But a stray glance outside, and I realise we are already over the grand snow-covered mountains. From top the snow seems absolutely clear, clean and whiter than froth. I’m not going to forget this spectacular sight for a lifetime.Snow cycling is a popular activity at the festivalThis isn’t my first visit to Kashmir, but this time I’m looking forward to spending a White Christmas in Gulmarg. Before I know it we are whizzing across the highway that would take us to our destination. At first it is strange to see that the winter has robbed the tall pines of all their clothes. The bare branches seem as if they are waiting for someone to come and dress them up and make them look appealing. This is not the kind of Kashmir I had visited a decade ago. Yet it has a stark beauty. It seems nothing can ever take away its charm. Barely ten minutes after the hill drive I catch a glimpse of the snow and soon all I can see around me are white mountains. I’m as excited as a child on seeing his favourite toy. Gulmarg makes the prettiest of all pictures with all the meadows covered with a two-feet thick blanket of snow. Getting used to the cold is a tough task, but the hot saffron-flavoured kahwa served at the Royal Park Hotel helps me warm up slightly. Dal Lake at Sringar looks even more stunning at sunsetThat night is my tryst with the bone-chilling winds of Gulmarg. I’m at the ice skating rink for the inauguration of the Kashmir Snow Festival. The line-up for the evening is, quite obviously, skating and night skiing. I watch in awe as skaters glide effortlessly on ice while I can’t even think of standing straight without wondering if I’m getting frostbite. I dig deeper into my pockets, searching for warmth. The skaters, boys of all age groups, sway to wonderful songs. The only thing that keeps me going, besides the kahwa of course, is thinking about my cosy room back at the hotel. Before heading back, however, I have one more thing to do-go and watch skiers slide down the slope. Night skiing has been introduced recently in Gulmarg-the only place in the country to do so. The sight of people skiing gracefully down white slopes under the light of a few lampposts is splendid. For a city bird like me, skiing is a challenging task in the day itself, so I could only imagine how tough it would be at night. These thrilling events make my Christmas Eve memorable. Kashmiri cuisineChristmas mornings are always special, but this one is more so. It’s my first White Christmas and I’m in one of the most stunning places in the country. The sun is out in all its glory as I make my way to Gulmarg Golf Club, the highest in the country, where the official launch of the snow festival is to take place.The day is packed with sweet surprises. As soon as I reach there I spot three snowmen. This is the first time I’m seeing one, and I rush to take pictures. No matter what age you are, a snowman will always delight you. I make my way to a group huddled around a sculpture, and when I reach there I just stop and stare in amazement. It is a snow sculpture of Santa Claus. What more can I ask for on Christmas? Hazratbal MosquePlenty, it seems. Instead of Santa’s sledge there is a snow scooter and I hop on for a ride-a ride to remember. It’s not the easiest thing to do, but I clutch onto the driver and we zoom ahead climbing the slope to reach the top. Getting up is no big deal but getting down seems like a deadly task. As we come down, gaining speed every second I scream at the thought that I may fall down. But then I calm myself and close my eyes, letting the driver do his task. As the ice cold wind kisses my cheek, I feel the speed and adrenalin rush even though I’m a pillion rider. Being ahead would have an altogether different experience. But this isn’t the most thrilling part of the festival. I watch as people play unique games like snow baseball and rugby. The snow cycling competition, with special mountain cycles, is equally enthralling.At lunch my craving of tucking into Kashmiri cuisine is fulfilled and I relish the mouth-watering gushtaba and rista. Gushtaba is pounded meat balls dipped in subtly flavoured yogurt. Rista is small lamb balls in a spicy sauce. Both the dishes are so soft that they just melt in the mouth.Nishat Bagh in Srinagar is an all-season favourite;Going on the gondola is next in line. This is the main attraction for tourists coming to Gulmarg and for obvious reasons-it is one of the highest gondola rides in the world. The gondola terrain is divided into two sections. The first one is till Kongdoor, but the second section till Apharwat peak, which opened last year, takes you to the dizzying height of 13,800 ft. Luckily it is a clear day and I can see right up to the mighty Pir Panjal range, with the imposing Nanga Parwat standing grandly in front. Getting off at Apharwat, it seems as if the world has lost all colours besides the blue of the sky and the white on the peaks. The clear, crisp, chilly air makes me shiver. But it is a sight to behold. With the sky almost within touching distance, the peaks in the backdrop and nothing but whiteness all around I truly believe that I’m in paradise. Many skiers come up till Apharwat and sashay down the slopes all the way to Gulmarg, and on my way down I spot a couple of them joyfully on their way. Snow-covered huts near KongdoorEarly mornings in Gulmarg are a sight to behold, and since it is my last morning I decide to take a walk till the local market. At 8.30a.m. the shops are just opening and the locals are busy keeping themselves warm by sipping piping hot tea and munching on bread. None of them take their hands out of the long phirans. One of them is after me to go for sledging, promising a good rate, but I escape saying I have to head back. I make my way to Prince Vaishno Dhaba yearning for my morning cuppa. While the shop owner is preparing the tea I get talking to him and he shares his tales of woe and wonder. The conversation ranges from terrorism to tourism. As I sip ginger tea I realise how much the people value their land. I’m about to pay him, but he refuses to take money for it, saying “friendship mein chai pila di madam.” I feel goosebumpy with this experience. Gondola ride in Gulmarg is a mustOn the way back to the hotel, I hear music on the road. Some Kashmiri folk singers break out in random dancing on the street and ask me to join in, but I refuse. I stand there and stare at them and then became a little envious. Envious of the fact that they stay here, and envious because they are carefree (at least they seemed to be). But shaking off these negative emotions, I bid farewell to this glorious place and head to Srinagar.After a typical day of sightseeing in Srinagar-Nishat Bagh, Jama Masjid and Hazratbal shrine-it is time for a shikara ride on Dal Lake. The sun is about to retire for the day, but does its usual play with colours before going. The shikaras and the lake look gorgeous bathed in the orange glow. To me Srinagar has never looked prettier than it does on my last evening there.They say everything ends but there are always new beginnings, and I truly believe that. My trip to Kashmir is ending, but it leaves me with a desire and determination of coming back soon to experience another fascinating season in paradise, when the mountains will turn a lush green. I’m returning home with a million memories, and the hope of a new beginning. Fact fileadvertisementadvertisementadvertisementGetting there: Most domestic carriers-JetLite, Air India, SpiceJet, Kingfisher Red, GoAir-operate daily flights from New Delhi to Srinagar. Fare: Rs. 9,000 approx. Gulmarg is two hours away by road.When to go: Throughout the year, but to experience the winter season visit between November and January. PLUS SAYSStayHeeven Resorts: Gupt Ganga Nishat, Srinagar; tel: (0194) 250 0525; www.ahadhotelsandresorts.comRoyal Park Hotel: Gulmarg; tel: (01954) 254 561; www.hotelroyalpark.netEat: Try Kashmiri dishes such as rista, gushtaba and yakhni.Shop: Saffron and kahwa tea leaves from shops at Lal Chowk in Srinagar.See: The gondola ride in Gulmarg should not be missed. In Srinagar, take a shikara ride on the Dal Lake at sunset.Swinging awayFor golfers Kashmir is nothing short of paradise. The stunning golf courses in Srinagar-Royal Spring Golf Course and Kashmir Golf Club-and Gulmarg are counted as among the best in the country. Jammu & Kashmir has been promoting golf in a big way and it is one of the most popular sports in the State. In fact the Gulmarg Golf Club, located at the height of 2,650 m, is the highest golf resort in India and draws thousands of tourists every year. So when you are in Gulmarg don’t forget to try your hands at a round of golf.Scenic KashmirSpend 4 nights/5 days at Gulmarg and Srinagar for Rs. 9,999 per person with stay & sightseeing. Visit www.makemytrip.com for more information.
Things just don’t seem to be going right for the Indian footballers as they gear up for their biggest challenge when they take on Asian powerhouse Australia at the Al Sadd Stadium in Doha at the Asian Cup on Monday.As if fitness problems to star striker and skipper Bhaichung Bhutia weren’t enough, Sushil Kumar Singh – touted to partner Sunil Chhetri in the forward line and one of the two strikers chosen ahead of consistent performer Mohammed Rafi in the initial 23- member squad – has been suspended for two matches by the AFC disciplinary committee for elbowing an opponent during their 2010 AFC Challenge Cup match against DPR Korea on February 21 last year to complicate things further.What is worse is the fact that the team management came to know of this ban only on Saturday night, a sure case of carelessness on the part of the All India Football Federation (AIFF).According to a senior team official, the team management failed to pay heed as they were certain that the AIFF would have informed them of the ban if there was any.”There wasn’t any information about the suspension from the federation. Actually Subrata Paul had been shown a red card in one match against Lebanon, but he was allowed to play some year and a half later without serving any ban. So we though even Sushil’s issue had been settled as both were last matches of the tournament,” he told Mail Today. ” But when the managers met on Saturday, AFC officials showed the Indian management a copy of Sushil’s two- match suspension letter. We later came to know that the AIFF had been sent the letter last April itself.” Elaborating further, a senior player said: ” We had gone for our regular team meeting on Saturday evening and we realised that while Chhetri’s name was there on the board in one striker’s place, the other was blank. On further enquiry we realised that his ban was still in place and he would have to skip the first two matches.advertisement”The move could actually turn to be a blessing in disguise for both Rafi and the Indian team as he will now definitely be playing on Monday and his conversion skills will augur well for us as we take on Australia in what will definitely be the biggest match of our careers.” Thankfully, the dilly- dallying regarding Bhutia’s role in the team – whether he will be registered as a player or an official – came to an end on Sunday when coach Bob Houghton named him in the final list of 23 players who will take part in the Asian Cup.”Bhutia is carrying a calf muscle injury which kept him out for long, and there have been doubts over his participation in the tournament.What worries me is that our captain is injured and we are anxious to give him some playing time,” Houghton said. ” Sushil will be replaced by Rafi and will be on our roster tomorrow.” Defender Gouramangi Singh said that although the Australians are fierce competitors, they like to keep it simple off the field. ” They have been mostly playing cards in the lobby and joking around. But when it comes to training, they are really serious and sweat it out. They don’t give an inch away on the field,” he told Mail Today.NOT MERE PUSHOVERSAlthough India will be the underdogs when they take on Australia, rival captain Lucas Neill has guarded his team from being complacent.”India will be a little bit of a surprise package. We know a few (Indian) names and I’m sure they’ll be better known after the tournament, but we won’t be allowing them to gain their reputations against us,” said Neill.(With inputs from Agencies)
Indian captain Mahendra Singh on Sunday attributed the ODI series loss against South Africa to the batting failure but refused to believe that it will be a cause of worry for his side with the World Cup less than a month away.”I think our batting department did not do well in the ODIs. That was the main reason why we lost the ODI series.But, hopefully with the World Cup coming up all will be set right,” he said at the post-match conference after India lost the fifth and final ODI by 33 runs and the series 2-3.”Throughout the series our batting department has not scored a lot of runs. It is Virat Kohli who has done well and it’s Yusuf down the order who has done well. We really need to perform as a unit.”But it is a matter of one innings or two and some of the batsmen did not get enough preparation time, quality practice sessions. It always plays in your mind but at the end of the day experienced players have gone through a phase like this.It happens in cricket and specially with us as we play 30-35 ODIs a year. So you see the form going up and down in the year. We are used to deal with situations like this,” Dhoni said.Indian top order collapsed while playing rash shots but Dhoni defended his batsmen, saying it was part and parcel of the game.”It is part and parcel of cricket. You get off to a start, 10 overs, 28 runs one wicket then you are asked why was there no hurry? At the end of the day we were suppose to chase close to six runs an over and it is always a difficult task.advertisementYou want to take the opposition on and times you lose wickets and that is what happened in this game,” he said.”At times it really works because if you see Yusuf’s innings, he played a few deliveries and then went after the bowlers. He was really successful that’s his main strength. In a similar way some of the batsmen played their strokes and got out,” he reasoned.Talking about the positives from the series, Dhoni said, “The full tour was good for both the sides. They won the ODI series, we won the T20 and the Test matches were draw. But overall good cricket was played.”The biggest positive out of this game ? when we go to the World Cup ? the last 10 overs we can chase anything if we have got wickets in hand. I think learning is more than just loss of the game,” said Dhoni. .He also felt that bowling at the death had seen a big improvement in the series.”Bowling at the death, it is a big positive for us. The bowlers have done well with the kind of variation they have got. We don’t have express bowlers but we have got bowlers who have got skills. That is what they rely on. In this series it was a very satisfactory performance.”But both the teams were struggling throughout the series when it comes to the middle order performance which meant that both the teams lost quite a few wickets because of which you were not able to see a prolonged slog from both the sides.That may also be a reason. But if we bowl like this in the World Cup, I will be really pleased,” said the Indian captain.Asked if Yusuf’s place has been sealed in the playing XI of the World Cup after his brutal 70-ball 105 today, Dhoni said, “Well there are other batsmen also. You have Yuvraj Singh who can play a similar innings. You have Yusuf Pathan in the lower order who can again do the same thing. It is important that the asking rate is reasonable.”Let’s see, we still have a few days left. Let’s see what the best composition is for that particular game. But he has done really well.”Dhoni defended his decision to field after winning the toss today.”Last time we played, we had a discussion about it more often than not, the Centurion track whatever is there is there initially. After that as the day progresses it gets slightly better and that is what happened in the 2006 series. The wicket was similar, it wasn’t not a very different wicket.”But I think we gave extra room to the opening batsman and the first down batsman because of which they scored at a brisk rate in the first 10 overs. But after that if you see 260-odd runs we should have got that,” he said.advertisementAsked who are the favourites to win the World Cup, Dhoni said, “If any of the side thinks that any other side can?t win the world cup, it is a big mistake they are making. All the top sides in the World have a chance to win the World Cup. It is just about playing consistent cricket.”- With PTI inputs
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra ModiGujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that his state had turned development into a people’s movement to achieve all-round success and expressed confidence that India could emerge as a great power if it adopted the same mantra and set its goals after precisely assessing its strengths.Drawing repeated applause from the audience at the 10th India Today Conclave for his sharp speech as a keynote speaker for the session ‘How India can develop into the next decade’, Modi said Gujarat was now focusing on the service sectors like tourism after achieving success in the industrial and agriculture sectors. Modi also gave an insight into how Gujarat had achieved success in various fields by following an approach that was both forward-looking and integrated.The biggest success of Gujarat, he observed, is that it had proved that success could be achieved by using the same instruments which have been found defective in the past, thus removing the atmosphere of negativity among the people and giving them hope. Modi said the way to India’s future is through education. “Skills get you jobs, but knowledge creates jobs,” Modi pointed out. With this in mind, Gujarat had created separate universities for subjects like petroleum, forensic sciences and for creating teachers. He said the last Vibrant Gujarat Global Investment Summit in Gandhinagar saw participation by representatives of 33 universities from across the world, who interacted with university representatives of Gujarat for starting courses in new disciplines.Gujarat, Modi said, was focusing on the minutest human and social aspects in its developmental planning and revealed that it had also set up a new university for children’s development to shape their future in an age that is fast changing. He said Gujarat had triggered a public movement in 2005 for restoring its skewed sex ratio and after five years its sex ratio had improved to 924 from 820.advertisementSpeaking on Gujarat’s climate change and energy initiatives, Modi said the state was set to emerge as the biggest hub for solar power generation following the robust measures taken by the state Government. The state has a 2,200-km long gas pipeline and there were many villages that are getting domestic gas through the pipeline.After his speech, Modi was not found wanting in repartee when questions were put to him by the audience. Modi, expectedly, found himself being asked about the battering his image has taken following the riots of 2002. Did he hold a meeting of top officials, as alleged, to orchestrate the events? Modi said that the Special Investigative Team had questioned him thoroughly on the riots and he had answered them as well as he could. “The matter is with the Supreme Court and it would be proper now that only the apex court commented on the issue,” he said.Pressed further on whether he could assure that Gujarat would not see a repeat of communal violence, Modi recalled a history of Gujarat being “communally sensitive since 1736”, where not a single month passed without curfew being imposed somewhere in the state. After 2002, he said, there have been no curfews, not a single incidence of communal violence, despite incidents like the attack on Akshardham temple and the Ahmedabad bomb blasts. “This should indicate our determination on ensuring that Gujarat believes in peace and harmony,” Modi said.The question of his image was the subject of some other questions too, though in a different light. Modi was queried whether his spin doctors had consciously tried to change the image, even in sartorial terms, in preparation for a bigger role away from the state, in fact in New Delhi as the prime minister. Modi said that though he had not spent even a minute on image correction, people drew their own inferences and it was up to them to answer the question in whatever way they wanted to. As for prime ministership, he said, “I deal in realities, not in dreams. I am concerned with the realities of my state.”Modi added that much was being made of the western attire he sported at times. “This is not an effort at rebranding myself,” he said. “I used to wear a trouser and shirt when I worked for the party in places like Himachal Pradesh, and I wear those clothes during the cold season in Gujarat.”Asked about how the measures he had so successfully adopted for Gujarat could be replicated in other states, Modi replied that each state had its own priorities and there could be no automatic adoption of Gujarat’s method to redress the ills in other states. But he said states could share their experiences and learn from the best practices that other states adopted to reach development to people.advertisementWhen the subject of corruption was broached, Modi retorted that corruption was in poor health in Gujarat and faced death. But he also added that if Gujarat, using the same institutional systems as in the rest of the country, had bucked corruption’s forward charge, the rest of the country could too.When asked about the need for electoral reforms in the light of the present electoral system breeding corruption, Modi said he didn’t believe clean governance couldn’t be delivered in the present system but there was as dire need for poll reforms. He said the biggest reform that had to be carried out was the holding of state and parliamentary elections simultaneously and at a stipulated time every time.Reminded of how the income tax department had raised questions about his meeting with western investors and how this could be construed as an example of a skewed federal system in India, Modi conceded that though the system has worked for over 60 years, there are encroachments on state turf by the Centre. “Things have changed from the time one political party controlled governance from Panchayat to Parliament and the thought on federalism in India has to factor in the changed circumstances where different powers reigned in states and the Centre,” he said.