Anand Vasu New Delhi May 31, 2019 ISSUE DATE: June 10, 2019UPDATED: May 31, 2019 18:40 IST In the sub-continent, with far less resistance in the air, you can strike the ball early; while playing in England, you need to hold your shots back a touch and play close.The alarm bells rang early: India were not even a credible threat to New Zealand in their first warm-up match of the World Cup, and groans of there we go again’ followed swiftly.After 50-odd days of belting the ball on flat pitches under the blazing sun of the Indian PremierThe alarm bells rang early: India were not even a credible threat to New Zealand in their first warm-up match of the World Cup, and groans of there we go again’ followed swiftly.After 50-odd days of belting the ball on flat pitches under the blazing sun of the Indian Premier League, India encountered a green pitch, some canny swing and seam bowlers and once the top three had been accounted for, it began to look like a procession from the dressing room to the middle and back.Sure there are mitigating factors to consider: it was a practice game, after all, which may have been the only reason Kohli chose to bat first in those conditions. Second, even a cursory look at scores in 50-over internationals in the recent past will tell you that the surfaces are likely to be far more docile when the actual tournament begins. Even as he was leaving India, Kohli underplayed the role conditions might play: White-ball cricket, playing in England, playing an ICC tournament, the conditions are not that different, or that difficult, I’d say, compared to Test cricket, Kohli said, adding that pressure is the most important thing in the World Cup, not the conditions.As for pressure, this is likely to be India’s easiest route to the semi-finals, unless things go remarkably pear-shaped. For the first time since 1992, each team plays every other team in a round-robin league format, which means there are just two do-or-die matches in the tournament. India will know that they can afford to drop two, perhaps even three, matches in the first round and still comfortably make the final four.advertisementTeam India head coach Ravi Shastri, who played in that 1992 World Cup, struck a balance between resting easy and getting overanxious: This format is very challenging. If you look at 2015 and 2019, the gap between teams is much narrower now, said Shastri. Compare Afghanistan in 2015 with how they are now. Or Bangladesh. The good thing, though, is there are nine games (to decide the top four teams) rather than just three or four games where you have to be on the ball from the outset.If managing pressure, as captain Kohli puts it, is really what the key challenge is, then finding your groove early can release some of that pressure. What must the team do to click early on? India, it has been said and repeated often, are heavily reliant on their top three batsmenMessrs (Virat) Kohli, (Shikhar) Dhawan and (Rohit) Sharma. And the weather in England is famously fickle and the conditions are often overcast, which assist seam and swing bowling. India have an untestedif not wobblymiddle order, and if the Top Three go cheaply, the batting begins to look vulnerable.W.V. Raman, former India opener and current coach of the Indian women’s team, explains what quality batsmen do in these conditions: It’s about delaying your response just a touch, he says. When the ball is released, you’ll gauge line and length, but it helps to delay your response a fraction. If the ball does something in the air or off the seam, you can cover for it.Explaining a key difference between sub-continental and English conditions, Raman says: When there is no resistance in the air, or off the pitch, you can strike the ball early… you can play in front of your pad. But in England, where the ball wobbles a bit and can deviate even after pitching, you want to make sure the impact zone is no more than six inches from your body.Coaching manuals emphasise the importance of getting in line with the ball. Raman offers a tweak: Get your body/ leg beside the line of the ball; if you get in line, you’ll lose the leeway to play in certain areas. Should the Indian team want to look at videos to get a clearer picture, and watch men who made this adjustment well, or naturally had it as a part of their game, Raman has a few recommendations: V.V.S. Laxman, A.B. de Villiers, Mark Waugh, Mohammad Azharuddin, Virender Sehwag they could always make proper contact with the ball even if it was moving in the air or off the pitch. That is because of the way they positioned themselves and allowed their arms freedom.India’s current crop of batsmen do enjoy their freedom. If they set themselves up well, they will be good for many more runsand hopefully gift themselves an English summer to remember. ladvertisementYou’ve reached your article limitSign in to keep reading India TodaySign inSign up NOW to get:Premium content on Aaj Tak HD ChannelUnrestricted access to India Today magazine contentGet real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byPrakriti Sharma It’s a different ballgameIndia’s current crop of batsmen do enjoy their freedom. If they set themselves up well, they will be good for many more runs—and hopefully gift themselves an English summer to remember.advertisement
West Des Moines(US): Sen Kamala Harris said Wednesday that busing students should be considered by school districts trying to desegregate their locations not the federal mandate she appeared to support in pointedly criticising rival Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden last week. Harris had a breakthrough moment at the candidates’ first debate when she criticized Biden for his opposition to mandatory school busing when he was a senator in the 1970s. Harris said she benefited from busing as an elementary school student in Berkley, California, in the early 1970s. Also Read – Turkey preparations for Syria offensive ‘completed’ “That’s where the federal government must step in,” Harris said, looking at Biden and winning a burst of applause from the auditorium in Miami. On Wednesday, though, Harris characterized busing as a choice local school districts have, not the responsibility of the federal government. Busing, while not central to the Democratic primary, has become a proxy issue for the debate between Biden and Harris over race as well as broader questions about the 76-year-old former vice president is out of step with his party. Also Read – Imran Khan arrives in China, to meet Prez Xi Jinping After a Democratic Party picnic Wednesday in West Des Moines, Harris was asked by reporters whether she supports federally mandated busing. “I think of busing as being in the toolbox of what is available and what can be used for the goal of desegregating America’s schools,” she responded. Asked to clarify whether she supports federally mandated busing, she replied, “I believe that any tool that is in the toolbox should be considered by a school district.” In a tweet Wednesday, Biden deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield knocked Harris for her response, writing, “It’s disappointing that Senator Harris chose to distort Vice President Biden’s position on busing particularly now that she is tying herself in knots trying not to answer the very question she posed to him!” Harris’ comments Wednesday were far from the indictment she delivered during the debate last week. Under attack on the debate stage, Biden appeared stunned and dismissed Harris’ comments as a mischaracterization of his positions. He has notably begun his remarks to fundraisers by talking about how civil rights spurred his entry into public life more than 45 years ago. To be sure, Biden’s record on busing is complicated. Biden has insisted he only opposed busing ordered by the federal Education Department, and said allowing local governments and school districts to implement busing was “one of the things I argued for” at the time. During an appearance at a conference last week in Chicago, Biden told the audience he “never, never, never, ever opposed voluntary busing.” But Biden was an outspoken opponent of federally mandated busing in the 1970s and ’80s, sponsoring a congressional measure that would have limited funding for federal busing efforts. The issue spilled into Iowa as Harris and Biden returned Wednesday for the first time since the debate. Both will need some success in Iowa’s leadoff nominating caucuses to build momentum heading into South Carolina, the first Southern primary, where they are vying aggressively for a robust African American voting bloc. Biden and Harris also have been aggressively courting members of the Congressional Black Caucus, with Harris edging Biden in endorsements, picking up support from Reps. Bobby Rush of Illinois and Frederica Wilson of Florida. Biden last week landed the support of popular Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. In Iowa, where African Americans are a small minority, endorsements from black leaders are magnified. Harris got the backing of two popular black ministers after her debate performance last week. Appearing Wednesday evening in Waterloo, Iowa’s most densely African American city, Biden received the backing of one of that city’s most influential black ministers.
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