Cheteshwar Pujara is my “biggest inspiration”, says Virat Kohli

Indian Skipper Virat Kohli said that it is his teammate Cheteshwar Pujara who has inspired him to bat for long hours and score big hundreds. He also added that he derives utmost job satisfaction after performing well in Test cricket.

Kohli started Day 2 of the third India -Sri Lanka test on 156 and completed his double ton with an impressive strike rate. With his sixth double ton, Kohli has become the only captain to score six double centuries. He surpassed West Indian legend Brian Lara ‘s record of five test double tons to achieve this feat.

Kohli has equaled Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar for the maximum 200- plus scores for India in tests. While Tendulkar had recorded six double tons, Sehwag had scored four double and two triple centuries. All of Kohli’s six double tons have been scored during the last 17 months. When it comes to total international centuries across formats, the skipper has scored 52 of them.

Kohli also believes that fitness is extremely important for a professional cricketer. He strives to remain in top physical shape in order to make the most of his time on the field.

Indian Navy strengthens its nuclear arsenal; kicks off nuclear submarine project

In an effort to project power and hone combat capabilities on high seas, India will be starting major military exercises. India is also planning to induct six nuclear-powered attack submarines, four nuclear-powered submarines with ballistic missiles and 18 diesel-electric submarines. This is seen as an attempt to counter China’s naval and military activity across the Indo -Pacific region. 

At present, the Navy’s arsenal includes 3 old conventional submarines, one indigenous SSBN in INS Arihant, which was commissioned last year, and an SSN in INS Chakra leased from Russia, which does not have nuclear-tipped missiles. The project was announced by Navy Chief Admiral Sunil Lamba. He stated that the Indian Navy was ready to assume a bigger role in the Indo-Pacific region, under the recent quadrilateral coalition between India, US, Australia, and Japan. The quadrilateral aims to establish ” a free open and prosperous and inclusive Indo Pacific region “. 

The acquisition of a range of submarines, weapon systems and warships has enabled the Navy to tackle a number of traditional and non-traditional security threats, Lamba added.

Sources: The Times of India, Times Now

Smith, Anderson engage in war of words ahead of the second Ashes test

Australian skipper Steve Smith believes that England seamer James Anderson is among the’ biggest sledgers in the game of cricket. Smith also said that Anderson tried to get stuck in his head during the initial phase of his career and that he seemed happy doing so. 

Earlier, Anderson had compared the Aussies to bullies in a column he wrotin the Daily Telegraph. England did not seem amused by comments aimed towards Jonny Bairstow during their second innings. 

During the first test at Brisbane, Anderson picked up two wickets and gave away 77 runs while Smith starred for Australia with an innings of 141 not out. Australia defeated England by ten wickets to take a lead of 1-0 during the five-match series.  

Australians have had a reputation for sledding on the cricket field. However, Smith believes that the Aussies played the Brisbane test in ‘good spirits ‘. He said that it is the responsibility of umpires and match referees to take care of on-field matters. Australia will continue playing ‘good, hard cricket ‘ throughout the series, he added.

India cricket team opposes long tours, demands pay hike

The Indian cricket team has actively opposed long tours. In doing so, they have followed the likes of England, Australia, and South Africa.  

The Indian team management believes that the Future Tours Programme (FTP) should be arranged in such a way that players get enough rest before every series. The issue of cricket scheduling was addressed during a meeting in New Delhi. This meeting involved the Committee of Administrators (CoA) and the team management. Earlier, skipper Virat Kohli had raised concerns about the cricket schedule, stating that it needs to less hectic. The discussion also raised concerns about the lack of practice before matches 

The issue of a pay hike for cricketers was also discussed as skipper Kohli, former skipper MS Dhoni and coach Ravi Shastri met CoA members Vinod Rai and Diana EduljiRai spoke to reporters post the meeting and revealed that the demand for a pay hike has been accepted and sooner than later, Test cricketers will receive a hike of 100 percent or more  

Kohli and Shastri were satisfied with the meeting and held that the discussions were quite ‘reasonable’. 

Pervez Musharraf backs Hafiz Saeed and Lashkar, calls him “biggest supporter”

The former Pakistani President General Pervez Musharraf, has admitted to the involvement of Lashkar-e-Taliban in Kashmir. He added that he has always backed the Pakistani terror outfit to ‘suppress’ the Indian army.  During an interview with Pakistani TV news channel Ary News, Musharraf said that he was the ‘biggest supporter’ of 26/11 mastermind Hafiz Saeed and the LeT. He further added that the LeT also favors him.

The US had named Saeed a terrorist and imposed a bounty of $10 million on him post the 26/11 Mumbai attacks. However, Musharraf denied any involvement of the LeT founder during the attacks. Last week, Saeed had been freed from house arrest by an order of the Lahore High Court.

Earlier in 2002, the LeT had been banned by the Musharraf led Pakistani government. On being asked about the ban, Musharraf said “We had banned LeT because the situation was different at that time. We were moving towards peace and I thought we should reduce ‘mujahids’ (religious warrior) and increase political dialogue and frankly I had very less knowledge about him.”

Sources: Times of India, News18

Rafael Nadal beats Kevin Anderson in straight sets to win US Open 2017

World no 1 Rafael Nadal beat World no 28 Kevin Anderson 6-3 , 6-3 , 6-4 to clinch his 3rd Us open title at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing, New York. This is the 16th grand slam title of his career.

The Spaniard put up a clinical performance as he kept his South African counterpart under tremendous pressure and did not allow him to achieve a single break point.
The title means that he is only three behind longtime rival Roger Federer, who has 19 major titles to his name on the all time men’s grand slam singles list. He also trails only Federer in terms of career appearances in slam finals.
Nadal thanked his uncle and coach, Toni Nadal, who will be stepping aside and shifting his attention towards Nadal’s tennis academy in Spain. Nadal credited Toni saying that ”Probably without him , I will never be playing tennis.” The King of Clay added that Toni is one of the most important people in his life.
”It’s just unbelievable what happened this year, no ?” said a delighted Nadal after winning the Us Open title

Pakistan affirms suspending visits , talks with the US

Pakistan has suspended bilateral visits and talks with the US as a form of protest against Donald Trump’s speech.During his speech, Trump had reprimanded Islamabad while proposing another strategy on Afghanistan.
This was expressed by foreign minister Khawaja Mohammad Asif amid an in-camera session in the Senate on Monday.
As quoted by sources, Asif, as an immediate response had postponed his ministerial visit Washington. Likewise, he also added that the US Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Alice Well’s tour had also been put off.

During an exchange with” Nation”, Pakistani officials revealed that

the nation is not likely to take part in any open converses with Washington before head administrator Shahid Abbasi’s visit to the US for the United Nations General Assembly session. The session is scheduled for the next month.
Pakistan’s Senate has constituted a unique advisory group that will outline its response to what it believes is “bullying on part of the US”.
Besides, Pakistan is also sore at Trump for envisaging a major role for India towards ensuring peace in Afghanistan.
Asif told the senate that the country “envisaged no military role for India in Afghanistan.”He further added, “that India would not be allowed to use Afghan soil to destabilise Pakistan.”