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Bad shots, poor foot work, lack of courage let India down at ICC Test Championship

By Sudhansu R Das 

They are roaring lions at home. They bat with great fashion and score tons in the Indian conditions. When they play on grass top wickets abroad they turn kittens; they push their legs inside the shells like a panic turtle. Their minds stop working and their courage withers. This has exactly happened to the Indian top order batsmen in the ICC Test Championship Final 2023 against Australia held in the historic Oval cricket ground in London. It is not the pitch, not the fury of fast bowlers and not the climate that defeated India, it’s the lack of plan, courage, footwork, application and lack of temperament that gave team India an embarrassing defeat; a bitter memory which millions of Indian fans will love to forget.
Team India lost the final with a huge margin of 209 runs. “The team should not have conceded 469 runs in the first innings had they kept fielders in the deep to stop boundaries”, said Sunil Gavaskar in his interview just after the match, “the team did not prepare well and the batsmen played bad shots when they were supposed to dig in.” What the veteran cricketer said is a learning point for the team management. Why should they play at the top order if they don’t have steely resolve, sound footwork and the courage to attack? The point is when Shardul Thakur and Ravindra Jadeja scored with style, confidence and courage, why the top order failed.
Team India had no definite plan before the big event. Without sound footwork, courage, composure and solid defense, nobody can become a complete batsman. A batsman needs to survive amid strong wind, cold weather and ferocious bowling attack backed by fielding. It is the inner strength that lets a batsman survive and go after the bowlers. The Oval pitch was not bad and the bowling was not that ferocious though the pitch had occasional extra bounce. “The pitch was good”, said Rohit Sharma, “we lost because we played bad shots.”
In the first innings, Rohit Sharma started well with two powerful midwicket pulls and later threw his wicket while playing across trying to flick an in-swing delivery of Cummins; he did not move his front foot an inch. It was a normal short of length in swing delivery which pitched on the off stump. In the second Innings, Rohit Sharma as usual started with fluent drives and pulls; he lost his steam in between. He was LBW while playing a sweep shot of Lyon’s leg spin which pitched on the leg stump; it was a harmless leg spin which could have been played straight at this crucial moment.
The IPL hero, Shubman Gill well left another short of length gentle in-swing ball from Boland which rattled his stumps. Perhaps he thought it was an out swinger and he kept the bat away. Gill cut a sorry figure. It happened in the first innings. In the second innings, Gill was out while playing Boland with a double mind. A gentle delivery on the off stump swinging away took his edge. Pujara gave his wicket in a similar fashion; it was a short of length inswing ball from Green right on the off stump line; Pujara misread it as an out swing and lifted his bat. In the second innings, he was middling well but suddenly he tried to hit Cummins over the wicket keeper and gave an easy catch.
In the first innings, Virat Kohli was caught at the second slip while playing a short pitch delivery from Starc which was moving away from his rib line; Kohli, being a world class batsman could have managed such a delivery. In the second innings, Virat Kohli was well settled and was hitting bowlers at will. He was not knowing the Aussies had laid a trap for him. Boland bowled just short of length outside the off stump. Kohli went for a cover drive and gave a catch at the slip. He was clearly playing away from the line. It was a bad ball from Boland and a good wicket for Australia. Rahane played a gentle out swing of Cummins which pitched little outside the off stump and gave a catch. It was a bad ball from Cummins which gave enough room to Rahane for a cracking boundary.
In the second innings, Starc bowled a short outside the off stump, a bad ball indeed. Rahane went for a lusty hitting and gave an easy catch to the wicket keeper. It was not necessary at all. India expected a responsible long innings from Rahane at this juncture. He threw his wicket.
The Australian team management did extensive research on our batsmen’s technique, temperament, strength and weaknesses. They trained their bowlers where to bowl in the match and it paid off. It has not happened in India. Our veteran players and the former masters give lots of TV interviews but contribute little to improve the flaws in the Indian batting. Australians exploited this situation and were confident of winning the ICC Test Championship Final. They laid traps for every Indian top order; and our top order fell into the trap one by one.
Indian former captain, Mahinder Singh Dhoni was an avid reader of the batman’s foot work flaws, strength and weaknesses. He had a plan for everybody. Rohit Sharma is not like Dhoni and he relies on aggression and not on cool and creative thinking like Dhoni. The grace and style does not work if the batsman does have staying power in tough match situations. The ICC World Cup is nine months away. The team management should hunt for young complete batsmen, good fast bowlers and leg spinners to replace the old players in the team. The team selection should be wise.



हिंदी आलोचना जैसे पिछड़ चुके अनुशासन की जगह हिंदी वैचारिकी का विकास जरूरी

- प्रमोद रंजन*   भारतीय राजनीति में सांप्रदायिक व प्रतिक्रियावादी ताकतों को सत्ता तक पहुंचाने में हिंदी पट्टी का सबसे बड़ा योगदान है। इसका मुख्य कारण हिंदी-पट्टी में कार्यरत समाजवादी व जनपक्षधर हिरावल दस्ते का विचारहीन, अनैतिक और  प्रतिक्रियावादी होते जाना है। अगर हम उपरोक्त बातों को स्वीकार करते हैं, तो कुछ रोचक निष्कर्ष निकलते हैं। हिंदी-जनता और उसके हिरावल दस्ते को विचारहीन और प्रतिक्रियावादी बनने से रोकने की मुख्य ज़िम्मेदारी किसकी थी?

साहित्य बोध में परिवर्तन: सत्तर के दशक में विचारधारा का महत्व बहुत अधिक था

- अजय तिवारी   सत्तर के बाद वाले दशक में जब हम लोग साहित्य में प्रवेश कर रहे थे तब दाढ़ी रखने, बेतरतीबी से कपड़े पहनने और फक्कड़पन का जीवन जीने वाले लोग बेहतर लेखक हुआ करते थे या बेहतर समझे जाते थे। नयी सदी में चिकने-चुपड़े, बने-ठने और खर्चीला जीवन बिताने वाले सम्मान के हक़दार हो चले हैं। यह फ़र्क़ जनवादी उभार और भूमण्डलीय उदारीकरण के बीच का सांस्कृतिक अंतर उजागर करता है। 

How Mahakavi Sri Sri defined political and cultural metamorphosis of Telugu society

By Harsh Thakor  Srirangam Srinivasarao, popularly known as Sri Sri, or called Mahakavi (The Great Poet), held a reputation like no other Telugu poet. Today, on June 15th, we commemorate his 40th death anniversary. Sri Sri transcended heights in revolutionary creativity or exploration, unparalleled, in Telegu poetry, giving it a new dimension. His poems projected the theme or plight of the oppressed people at a scale, rarely penetrated by poets, giving revolutionary poetry it’s soul.

Laxmanpur Bathe massacre: Perfect example of proto-fascist Brahmanical social order

By Harsh Thakor  The massacre at Laxmanpur-Bathe of Jehanabad in Bihar on the night of 1 December in 1997 was a landmark event with distinguishing features .The genocide rightly shook the conscience of the nation in the 50th year of Indian independence. The scale of the carnage was unparalleled in any caste massacre. It was a perfect manifestation of how in essence the so called neo-liberal state was in essence most autocratic. 

एनडीए सरकार में हिन्दू राष्ट्रवाद की दिशा: मुसलमानों का हाशियाकरण जारी रहेगा

- राम पुनियानी*  लोकसभा आमचुनाव में भाजपा के 272 सीटें हासिल करने में विफल रहने के बाद एनडीए एक बार फिर नेपथ्य से मंच के केंद्र में आ गया है. सन 1998 में अटलबिहारी वाजपेई एनडीए सरकार के प्रधानमंत्री बने थे. उस सरकार के कार्यकलापों पर भी भाजपा की राजनीति का ठप्पा था. उस सरकार ने हिंदुत्व के एजेंडे के अनुरूप संविधान की समीक्षा के लिए वेंकटचलैया आयोग नियुक्त किया, पाठ्यपुस्तकों का भगवाकरण किया और ज्योतिषशास्त्र व पौरोहित्य को विषय के रूप में पाठ्यक्रम में जोड़ा. सन 2014 और 2019 में बनी मोदी सरकारें तकनीकी दृष्टि से भले ही एनडीए की सरकारें रही हों मगर चूँकि भाजपा को अपने दम पर बहुमत हासिल था इसलिए अन्य घटक दल साइलेंट मोड में बने रहे और भाजपा ने बिना रोकटोक अपना आक्रामक हिन्दू राष्ट्रवादी एजेंडा लागू किया. इसमें शामिल था राममंदिर का निर्माण और अनुच्छेद 370 का कश्मीर से हटाया जाना. इसके अलावा सरकार की मौन सहमति से गाय और बीफ के नाम पर मुसलमानों की लिंचिंग की गयी और लव जिहाद और न जाने कितने अन्य किस्मों के जिहादों की बातें की गईं.

सदन की सबसे उंची गद्दी पर बैठे यह शख्स मर्यादाओं को अनदेखा कर मुंह फेरता रहा

- मनीष सिंह*   ओम बिड़ला को जब याद किया जाएगा, तो लोगों के जेहन मे भावहीन सूरत उभरेगी। सदन के सबसे उंची गद्दी पर बैठा शख्स, जो संसदीय मर्यादाओं को तार तार होते सदन मे अनजान बनकर  मुंह फेरता रहा।  मावलंकर, आयंगर, सोमनाथ चटर्जी और रवि राय ने जिस कुर्सी की शोभा बढाई, उसे उंचा मयार दिया.. वहीं ओम बिड़ला इस सदन की गरिमा की रक्षा मे अक्षम स्पीकर के रूप मे याद किये जाऐंगे। 

नरेन्द्र मोदी देवत्व की ओर? 1923 में हिटलर ने अपनी तुलना भी ईसा मसीह से की थी

- राम पुनियानी*  समाज के संचालन की प्रजातान्त्रिक प्रणाली को मानव जाति ने एक लम्बे और कठिन संघर्ष के बाद हासिल किया. प्रजातंत्र के आगाज़ के पूर्व के समाजों में राजशाही थी. राजशाही में राजा-सामंतों और पुरोहित वर्ग का गठबंधन हुआ करता था. पुरोहित वर्ग, धर्म की ताकत का प्रतिनिधित्व करता था. राजा को ईश्वर का प्रतिरूप बताया जाता था और उसकी कथनी-करनी को पुरोहित वर्ग हमेशा उचित, न्यायपूर्ण और सही ठहराता था. पुरोहित वर्ग ने बड़ी चतुराई से स्वर्ग (हैवन, जन्नत) और नर्क (हैल, जहन्नुम) के मिथक रचे. राजा-पुरोहित कॉम्बो के आदेशों को सिर-आँखों पर रखने वाला पुण्य (सबाब) करता है और इससे उसे पॉजिटिव पॉइंट मिलते हैं. दूसरी ओर, जो इनके आदेशों का उल्लंघन करता है वह पाप (गुनाह) करता है और उसे नेगेटिव पॉइंट मिलते हैं. व्यक्ति की मृत्यु के बाद नेगेटिव और पॉजिटिव पॉइंटों को जोड़ कर यह तय किया जाता है कि वह नर्क में सड़ेगा या स्वर्ग में आनंद करेगा.