sports world

The sports wrap: Won't experiment with team combination, says Virat Kohli, and other top stories

Gujarat beat Mumbai by five wickets to clinch their maiden Ranji Trophy title.

The big story: ‘Yuvraj brought in to ease burden on Dhoni’

India’s new limited-overs skipper Virat Kohli set down the marker ahead of the One-day International series, which begins on January 15. Kohli stated his side will not be experimenting much with team selection with the 2017 Champions Trophy within touching distance.

“We are taking these three games as knockout games in our own heads because we need to prepare for Champions Trophy and we need to be in the right kind of frame because the tournament is like that - it is very competitive and very quick. So we need to be at our best from game one of the series,” Kohli said.

“So, we are not taking these games as trial games. So these three games become all the more crucial. We are not going to be experimenting much with any things. We are going to find the right combinations from game one and then stick to it till the Champions Trophy,” he added.

Kohli also shed light over the logic of recalling Yuvraj Singh back into the squad after a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

“Experience is something we have discussed before picking Yuvi because we cannot leave so much burden on MS (Dhoni) alone in the middle order. I am willing to take up responsibility up the order, but there needs to be one more guy with him (Dhoni) down the order in case the top order doesn’t fire,” Kohli said.

Other top stories

Cricket

  • Gujarat beat 41-time champions Mumbai in the Ranji Trophy final to lift India’s premier domestic competition for the first time. Gujarat skipper led the chase of 312 admirably, scoring a fluent 143 as his team romped home with five wickets to spare in Indore.
  • India and Saurashtra batsman Cheteshwar Pujara will lead the Rest of India squad in the Irani Cup. Squad: Abhinav Mukund, Akhil Herwadkar, Pujara (c), Karun Nair, Manoj Tiwary, Wriddhiman Saha, Kuldeep Yadav, Shahbaz Nadeem, Pankaj Singh, K Vignesh, Siddarth Kaul, Shardul Thakur, Akshay Wakhare, Ishan Kishan, Prashant Chopra.
  • Former India skipper Mohammed Azharuddin’s nomination for being the president of the Hyderabad Cricket Association has been rejected
  • New Zealand fought back in the first Test against Bangladesh on day three at Wellington on the back of Tom Latham’s battling hundred. Latham was unbeaten on 119 at the close of play with the Kiwis at 292/3, still a mammoth 303 runs behind the visitors’ total.
  • Sri Lanka have been asked to follow-on in the third Test against South Africa after getting shot out for a lowly 131 on day three. Things didn’t start well for the Lankans in the second innings either with opener Kaushal Silva departing for a first-ball duck. Angelo Mathews’ side were 13/1 at Lunch, and are behind the Proteas by 282 runs.

Football

  • In the I-League, DSK Shivajians will host giants East Bengal but all eyes will be on the South Indian derby, which sees reigning champions Bengaluru FC hosts newcomers Chennai City FC.
  • After a reported bust-up with coach Antonio Conte, Chelsea striker Diego Costa has set his sights on a big-money move to China, reported The Guardian. The report stated that the Spaniard’s agent Jorge Mendes is in China to broker a deal. Costa has been dropped from the Chelsea matchday squad to face Leicester City.
  • Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho sang his midfielder Paul Pogba’s praises, calling him captaincy material. The Portuguese said that the French midfielder has the “charisma, talent and ambition” to wear the armband.
  • Indian Super League club FC Goa sacked manager Zico, who has managed the club since the inception of the tournament. Despite finishing runners-up in 2015, the Gaurs finished at the bottom of the pile in the previous season.
  • Pere Gratacos, FC Barcelona’s director of institutional relations has been given the boot by the Spanish champions after opining that five-time Ballon D’or winner Lionel Messi would not be as good without his supporting cast, “Leo is one of the most important people in the team, but it’s not just about him. He would not be as good without [Andres] Iniesta, Neymar and company, but Messi is the best,” Gratacos said.

Boxing

  • India women boxers were in fine form in the Nations Cup in Serbia. Former World Championships silver-medalist Sarjubala Devi entered the summit event. Priyanaka Chaudhary, Pooja and Seema Poonia have also reached the final in their respective weight categories.  

Tennis

  • India’s Yuki Bhambri failed to qualify for the main draw in the Australian Open, losing to USA’s Ernesto Escobedo 7-6(2) 2-6 4-6 in the final round of qualifiers  

Wrestling

  • Indian wrestler Narsingh Yadav, who was slapped with a four-year ban before the start of the Rio Olympics, recorded his statement before the Central Bureau of Investigation. Yadav alleged that another wrestler mixed narcotics and banned substances in his meals and drinks, reported ANI.
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As India turns 70, London School of Economics asks some provocative questions

Is India ready to become a global superpower?

Meaningful changes have always been driven by the right, but inconvenient questions. As India completes 70 years of its sovereign journey, we could do two things – celebrate, pay our token tributes and move on, or take the time to reflect and assess if our course needs correction. The ‘India @ 70: LSE India Summit’, the annual flagship summit of the LSE (London School of Economics) South Asia Centre, is posing some fundamental but complex questions that define our future direction as a nation. Through an honest debate – built on new research, applied knowledge and ground realities – with an eclectic mix of thought leaders and industry stalwarts, this summit hopes to create a thought-provoking discourse.

From how relevant (or irrelevant) is our constitutional framework, to how we can beat the global one-upmanship games, from how sincere are business houses in their social responsibility endeavours to why water is so crucial to our very existence as a strong nation, these are some crucial questions that the event will throw up and face head-on, even as it commemorates the 70th anniversary of India’s independence.

Is it time to re-look at constitution and citizenship in India?

The Constitution of India is fundamental to the country’s identity as a democratic power. But notwithstanding its historical authority, is it perhaps time to examine its relevance? The Constitution was drafted at a time when independent India was still a young entity. So granting overwhelming powers to the government may have helped during the early years. But in the current times, they may prove to be more discriminatory than egalitarian. Our constitution borrowed laws from other countries and continues to retain them, while the origin countries have updated them since then. So, do we need a complete overhaul of the constitution? An expert panel led by Dr Mukulika Banerjee of LSE, including political and economic commentator S Gurumurthy, Madhav Khosla of Columbia University, Niraja Gopal Jayal of JNU, Chintan Chandrachud the author of the book Balanced Constitutionalism and sociologist, legal researcher and Director of Council for Social Development Kalpana Kannabiran will seek answers to this.

Is CSR simply forced philanthropy?

While India pioneered the mandatory minimum CSR spend, has it succeeded in driving impact? Corporate social responsibility has many dynamics at play. Are CSR initiatives mere tokenism for compliance? Despite government guidelines and directives, are CSR activities well-thought out initiatives, which are monitored and measured for impact? The CSR stipulations have also spawned the proliferation of ambiguous NGOs. The session, ‘Does forced philanthropy work – CSR in India?” will raise these questions of intent, ethics and integrity. It will be moderated by Professor Harry Barkema and have industry veterans such as Mukund Rajan (Chairman, Tata Council for Community Initiatives), Onkar S Kanwar (Chairman and CEO, Apollo Tyres), Anu Aga (former Chairman, Thermax) and Rahul Bajaj (Chairman, Bajaj Group) on the panel.

Can India punch above its weight to be considered on par with other super-powers?

At 70, can India mobilize its strengths and galvanize into the role of a serious power player on the global stage? The question is related to the whole new perception of India as a dominant power in South Asia rather than as a Third World country, enabled by our foreign policies, defense strategies and a buoyant economy. The country’s status abroad is key in its emergence as a heavyweight but the foreign service officers’ cadre no longer draws top talent. Is India equipped right for its aspirations? The ‘India Abroad: From Third World to Regional Power’ panel will explore India’s foreign policy with Ashley Tellis, Meera Shankar (Former Foreign Secretary), Kanwal Sibal (Former Foreign Secretary), Jayant Prasad and Rakesh Sood.

Are we under-estimating how critical water is in India’s race ahead?

At no other time has water as a natural resource assumed such a big significance. Studies estimate that by 2025 the country will become ‘water–stressed’. While water has been the bone of contention between states and controlling access to water, a source for political power, has water security received the due attention in economic policies and development plans? Relevant to the central issue of water security is also the issue of ‘virtual water’. Virtual water corresponds to the water content (used) in goods and services, bulk of which is in food grains. Through food grain exports, India is a large virtual net exporter of water. In 2014-15, just through export of rice, India exported 10 trillion litres of virtual water. With India’s water security looking grim, are we making the right economic choices? Acclaimed author and academic from the Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi, Amita Bavisar will moderate the session ‘Does India need virtual water?’

Delve into this rich confluence of ideas and more at the ‘India @ 70: LSE India Summit’, presented by Apollo Tyres in association with the British Council and organized by Teamworks Arts during March 29-31, 2017 at the India Habitat Centre, New Delhi. To catch ‘India @ 70’ live online, register here.

At the venue, you could also visit the Partition Museum. Dedicated to the memory of one of the most conflict-ridden chapters in our country’s history, the museum will exhibit a unique archive of rare photographs, letters, press reports and audio recordings from The Partition Museum, Amritsar.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Teamwork Arts and not by the Scroll editorial team.