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Wednesday,04-August-2021

National

Sachin Tendulkar and Virat lead cricket fraternity’s response to counter Rihanna

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With international pop sensation Rihanna trying to bring global attention to the ongoing farmers protest in India, various cricket personalities, including Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli, have joined the ‘India together’ drive by leading the call for unity.

Rihanna on Tuesday night posted a news link on India’s farmers’ protest and tweeted, “why aren’t we talking about this?!” It triggered widespread outrage from Indians questioning Rihanna’s credentials and knowledge about the country’s internal matters.

“India’s sovereignty cannot be compromised. External forces can be spectators but not participants. Indians know India and should decide for India. Let’s remain united as a nation. #IndiaTogether #IndiaAgainstPropaganda,” tweeted Tendulkar.

“Let us all stay united in this hour of disagreements. Farmers are an integral part of our country and I’m sure an amicable solution will be found between all parties to bring about peace and move forward together. #IndiaTogether,” said current India skipper Kohli.

“Reaching a solution that benefits our great nation is of utmost importance right now. Let’s stand together and move forward together towards a better and brighter future. #IndiaTogether #IndiaAgainstPropaganda,” wrote India batsman Shikhar Dhawan.

“We as a country have issues to resolve today and will have issues to resolve tomorrow as well, but that doesn’t mean we create a divide or get perturbed by external forces. Everything can be resolved through amicable and unbiased dialogue. #IndiaAgainstPropaganda #IndiaTogether,” tweeted former India cricketer Suresh Raina.

Former India captain Anil Kumble tweeted: “As the world’s largest democracy, India is more than capable of taking her internal issues to amicable solutions. Onwards and upwards. #IndiaTogether #IndiaAgainstPropaganda.”

“Outside forces have been trying to divide us, rule over us for centuries. But India remains & will thrive come what may! Use your billions, try your best! This is the New India #IndiaTogether #IndiaAgainstPropoganda,” tweeted cricketer-turned-politician Gautam Gambhir.

“India always has a great tradition of diverse views on all subjects. We may not agree with each other all the time but most of us don’t like someone interfering and commentating on our internal matters because we rarely do that. #IndiaTogether #IndiaAgainstPropaganda,” said former India fast bowler RP Singh.

“My country is proud of our farmers and knows how important they are, I trust it will be addressed soon. We don’t need an outsider poking her nose in our internal matters!” tweeted former India spinner Pragyan Ojha.

Apart from Rihanna, Lebanese-American former adult star Mia Khalifa and environmental activist Greta Thunberg had also expressed their concern for the protesting farmers in India.

In response, the Indian government described them as part of “vested interest groups” and their support as “sensationalist social media hashtags and comments” which are “neither accurate nor responsible.”

The Ministry of External Affairs issued a statement saying: “Before rushing to comment on such matters, we would urge that the facts be ascertained, and a proper understanding of the issues at hand be undertaken. The temptation of sensationalist social media hashtags and comments, especially when resorted to by celebrities and others, is neither accurate nor responsible,” the statement said.

The Parliament of India, after a full debate and discussion, passed reformist legislation relating to the agricultural sector, the government explained. “These reforms give expanded market access and provided greater flexibility to farmers. They also pave the way for economically and ecologically sustainable farming.”

The government said that a very small section of farmers in parts of India has some reservations about these reforms.

“Respecting the sentiments of the protesters, the Government of India has initiated a series of talks with their representatives. Union Ministers have been part of the negotiations, and eleven rounds of talks have already been held. The government has even offered to keep the laws on hold, an offer iterated by no less than the Prime Minister of India.”

Farmers have been protesting on the different borders of the national capital since November 26 last year against the three newly enacted contentious farm laws.

The laws, however, have been put on hold by the Supreme Court.

Bollywood

What A Shot! Farah Khan on what’s it like directing M.S. Dhoni

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Choreographer-filmmaker Farah Khan recently directed Indian cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni for a commercial.

Sharing her experience, Farah told IANS: “This is the first time I was meeting him. I can’t tell you how wonderful he is! He is an extremely down to earth person. We had to change his clothes five times during the shoot and he did not complain.”

Recalling Dhoni’s behaviour on the set, she further said: “Within five minutes we were chatting like we know each other for a long time! He also came to my van to have food. It was a pleasure working with him. What a lovely human being he is!”

Just a few days ago, Farah had taken to social media to shower praises on Dhoni after having directed him for the advertisement. Taking to Instagram, she wrote: “Directed @mahi7781 for an ad today .. What an amazing guy.. so punctual, so down to earth, took pics with everyone frm clients to spotboys with a smile..im a fan.”

On the work front, Farah is all set to apper as the judge on the new television programme ‘Zee Comedy Show’, which will air from July 31 on Zee TV.

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National

They have to keep improving and getting better: Rahul Dravid

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Indian head coach Rahul Dravid has said that he was not disappointed by the performance of the young batsmen in the T20I series against Sri Lanka. He believed that the youngsters have to keep getting better in future.

In Thursday’s decider at the R Premadasa Stadium, India managed to get just 81 in the first innings. Sri Lanka chased 82 with seven wickets in hand.

“I’m not disappointed. They are young batters; they have to keep improving and getting better. The Sri Lankan team’s bowling attack is their international bowling attack. They’re missing a few batsmen because of various reasons, but this is a top-quality attack. So, it’s a great opportunity to reflect on these performances, reflect on these conditions, and maybe come up with some slightly better strategies,” said Dravid in the post-match press conference.

Apart from skipper Shikhar Dhawan, India had just four batsmen for the last two T20Is in Ruturaj Gaikwad, Devdutt Padikkal, Sanju Samson and Nitish Rana. Among the four, Samson had the most experience with just seven T20Is.

“Let’s be fair, you don’t get these sorts of conditions very often in T20 cricket. But when you do, I think you need to have a response. You need to be able to play slightly better. They’re all youngsters, we just need to have patience with them, give them more opportunities so that they can develop and grow,” felt Dravid.

He added, “This was a really young team. All of us have had our struggles playing quality bowling, whether it’s spin or pace. Early on in our careers, we’ve all had those struggles and we’ve all had to fight our way through that. None of us have been perfect when we started, whether it’s my generation or any generation for that matter. It needs experience.”

He also pointed out the conditions which are different for the youngsters than him in the playing years, saying that there is a lot to learn about playing on challenging pitches.

“Maybe the one thing that’s slightly different is that when I was starting or was growing up, the pitches in domestic cricket tended to turn a little bit more and spun a bit more. To be honest, some of them were under-prepared. But I don’t think the talent is missing, either in spin bowling or in the batting. We just need a little bit more experience in being able to figure out a few more different kinds of shots when we’re challenged with these kinds of pitches. We just need to figure out a couple of more options. It was tough batting for them (Sri Lankans) as well.”

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National

Focus on Prithvi Shaw and Suryakumar Yadav’s departure to England

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Prithvi Shaw and Suryakumar Yadav’s departure from Sri Lanka to join the Indian Test squad in England may be delayed after they were sent into isolation for being in close contact with Krunal Pandya, who has tested positive for Covid-19 in the island nation.

The two were expected to leave immediately after the culmination of the white ball series in Sri Lanka. The series ends after Thursday night’s third T20I.

“They will travel to England when the formalities are completed,” an official told IANS.

The Indian Test squad in England has already seen three of the players being ruled out. While opener Subman Gill withdrew due to leg injury and has since returned home, off-spin bowling all-rounder Washington Sundar has hurt his finger, and pace bowler Avesh Khan, who was among the standby players, has suffered fracture his left thumb.

As a result, the selectors have pushed Abhimanyu Easwaran into the main squad and have also called up Shaw and Yadav.

The Test series begins on August 4 in Nottingham.

The second Test will be played on August 12-16 at Lord’s, London, the third Test on August 25-29 in Leeds, the fourth Test between September 2 and 6 at the Oval, London, and the fifth and final Test in Manchester from September 10 to 14.

The Indian team had lost the World Test Championship final to New Zealand last month.

After a three-week break, the Indian players moved to Durham for a warm-up match and training.

The team will travel to Nottingham on August 1.

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