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November 2018
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Preparing for Australia tour by watching videos: Shami        India invites Swedish companies to explore investment opportunities        Govt cancels ED officer Rajeshwar Singh's leave        175 dead, over 10,000 affected by Nigeria cholera outbreak        Lankan parties move SC against Parliament dissolution by Prez Sirisena        Delhi pollution: Task forces conducts meetings on WhatsApp for urgent decisions        PM slams Rahul, Sonia for questioning note ban; need no certificate from those on bail        70 per cent turnout in first phase of Chhattisgarh polls: EC        Union Minister Upendra Kushwaha attacks NDA ally Nitish Kumar amid reports of RLSP MLA joining JD(U)        Mining Baron Janardhana Reddy Remanded in Custody Till November 24 for 'Shielding' Ponzi Scam Accused Father-Son        Death toll hits 25 from wildfires at both ends of California        "Nationalism Betrayal Of Patriotism": Emmanuel Macron, Trump By His Side        3rd T20: Dhawan, Pant take Ind to victory, series win        FC Goa beat Kerala Blasters 3-1 in ISL        One killed, several injured in stabbing attack in Melbourne: Police        Journalists beware: After Bloomberg bots, AI news presenter debuts in China        Harmanpreet Kaur’s record century headlines India’s big win over NZ in opener        Mumbai City end NorthEast United’s unbeaten run        Chelsea beat BATE 1-0 in Europa League        Srikanth enters pre-quarterfinals of China Open        
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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.


Preparing for Australia tour by watching videos: Shami
3rd T20: Dhawan, Pant take Ind to victory, series win
FC Goa beat Kerala Blasters 3-1 in ISL
Harmanpreet Kaur’s record century headlines India’s big win over NZ in opener
Mumbai City end NorthEast United’s unbeaten run
Chelsea beat BATE 1-0 in Europa League
Srikanth enters pre-quarterfinals of China Open
Kohli's 'leave India' response to cricket enthusiast creates controversy
Luck assists Bengaluru FC in 2-1 win over Kerala Blasters FC
'Unsettled' Dhawan moves to Daredevils from Sunrisers
Cool Karthik, crafty Pandya secure India's nervy 5-wicket win against Windies
Unseeded Khachanov stuns Djokovic to win Paris Masters
Former India U-19 Bowler Saurabh Netravalkar to Captain United States National Team
Virat Kohli solidifies top spot after reaching 10,000 club; Yuzvendra Chahal enters top-10 among bowlers
Djokovic books place in Paris Masters quarterfinals
Dream start: Real Kashmir stun holders Minerva Punjab in I-League
Indian boxers to get central contracts in 6 months: BFI President
Khaleel Ahmed gets official warning for provocative action
Lopetegui sacked as Madrid manager
India crush West Indies by 224 runs in the fourth ODI
KERALA NEWS
Sabarimala protests: Arrests up to 2061, Kerala HC warns police
 Thiruvananthapuram, OCT 27: As the number of people arrested for allegedly being involved in violent  
Vijayan urges UAE Keralites to back salary challenge
Sabarimala row: Protests against SC verdict continue
Balabhaskar's wife Lakshmi shifted to ICU
INTERNATIONAL NEWS
175 dead, over 10,000 affected by Nigeria cholera outbreak
 Lagos, Nov 12 (AFP) Suspected cholera cases have jumped in northeast Nigeria where Boko Haram violen
Lankan parties move SC against Parliament dissolution by Prez Sirisena
Death toll hits 25 from wildfires at both ends of California
"Nationalism Betrayal Of Patriotism": Emmanuel Macron, Trump By His Side
NATIONAL NEWS
Delhi pollution: Task forces conducts meetings on WhatsApp for urgent decisions
 New Delhi, Nov 12 (PTI) What happens when air pollution levels in the national capital are 'severe'
PM slams Rahul, Sonia for questioning note ban; need no certificate from those on bail
Union Minister Upendra Kushwaha attacks NDA ally Nitish Kumar amid reports of RLSP MLA joining JD(U)
Mining Baron Janardhana Reddy Remanded in Custody Till November 24 for 'Shielding' Ponzi Scam Accused Father-Son
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