Boost For India Ahead Of T20 World Cup: Virat Kohli Shows Uptick In Strike-Rate, Spin Game In IPL 2nd Half | Cricket News

Star Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB) and India batter Virat Kohli continues to prove his undeniable mettle as a T20 player amid the divisive views by fans, cricket experts and former players, giving Men in Blue a boost ahead of the ICC T20 World Cup 2024, which will take place in West Indies and USA this year from June 1 onwards. Continuing his fine run with the bat and indicating that he can hit big from ball one if needed, Virat played a solid knock of 27 in just 13 balls against Delhi Capitals (DC) on Sunday.

His knock had a four and three massive sixes and a strike rate of over 207. A huge part of this knock was his back-and-forth with compatriot and pacer Ishant Sharma, someone who has been around Virat since his academy days. Both exchanged jokes, shared laughs and tried to get one-up on each other before a fine delivery by Ishant was nicked by Virat straight into the hands of wicketkeeper Abhishek Porel.

In the ongoing season, Virat is the Orange Cap holder for most runs, making 661 runs at an average of 66.10 and a strike rate of 155.16, with a century and five fifties. His best score is 113*. RCB, who has made a remarkable comeback in the tournament with five successive wins after a horrid win-loss record of 1-6 in the first half, will need Virat to be at his best against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in their final league game at Bengaluru on May 18 for a chance at playoffs.

Often being questioned on his strike rate, Virat has swung back at his critics in his signature fashion, ditching boundaries in favour of huge sixes and passing verbal jabs at naysayers during post-inning or match presentations.

In the first six games of the tournament, Virat scored well at a healthy strike rate. He made 319 runs in his first six innings in 225 balls at a strike rate of 141.77. 29 fours and 12 sixes came from Virat’s bat, marking a ratio of 5.4 balls per boundary. He was forced to play the anchor and attacker at the same time as other batters around him struggled for form and rhythm. Virat scored a century and two fifties in these six innings.

The switch flipped in Virat’s batting when they were tasked with chasing 288 runs against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in their seventh game. Though RCB faced a 25-run loss despite a valiant effort, Virat scored 42 in 20 balls, with six fours and two sixes. His strike rate was 210.00.

Since that SRH game, fans have experienced a different Virat. In these next seven innings, Virat scored 342 runs in just 201 balls, with a strike rate going up to a massive 170.14. 27 fours and 21 sixes have come from his bat in these seven innings starting from that SRH game. The balls per boundary ratio has also come down, with 4.1 balls taken to smash one.

An unnoticed positive of Virat’s remarkable run is his six-hitting. He has smashed a total of 33 sixes so far, the second-highest by a batter next to SRH’s Abhishek Sharma (35 sixes). Virat has more sixes than Sunil Narine (32), Travis Head, Heinrich Klaasen and Riyan Parag (31), Australian sensation Jake Fraser McGurk and Shivam Dube (28), Rajat Patidar (27) and Rishabh Pant (25).

This is the only second time Virat has crossed 30 sixes in a single season of IPL, with his highest peak coming in 2016, when he smashed 38 sixes in 16 games. He has one more league game atleast to add more to his tally.

Since that Sunrisers game, Virat’s strike rate against spin, something considered his weakness, has also gone up. In his first six IPL 2024 innings, Virat scored 128 runs in 98 balls against spin, with only four boundaries and seven sixes coming from his bat. He played 28 dot balls against spin and his SR against spin was 130.61.

However, that SRH inning during the chase of 287 runs, sparked a change in his spin game as well. From that knock onwards, Virat has smashed 132 runs in 90 balls against spin, with 11 fours and six sixes coming from his bat. His strike rate also increased to 146.66 against spin and he played 26 dots against the moving ball.

Virat’s overall strike rate against spin in this IPL is 138.29, with 260 runs hit in 188 balls against spin. He has smashed 13 sixes against spin and 15 boundaries. He has played 54 dot balls against spinners.

In the past five seasons, Virat’s overall SR against spin has been: 113.46, 108.08, 100.00, 108.91 and 130.14. His strike rate against spin was at its best in the 2016 season, where he struck at 152.30 and 2015 season, where he scored his runs at 151.21 against spin bowling.

Following his match-winning knock of 92 in just 47 balls against Punjab Kings recently on May 9, Virat had spoken about being more attacking in his approach, bringing out slog sweeps against spinners after a long-time and the idea of self-improvement.

“For me, it is still quality over quantity (on his runs and numbers). More so now, at this stage of my career, heading into 36. The understanding of my game over so many years allows me to practice less, and still stay mentally switched on. And some added challenges in terms of improving your own game. Certain aspects of the game, you want to get better at. It’s an ever-evolving process. I am not a guy who wants to sit around saying ‘this is the way I play’ and not improve on the things I need to,” said Kohli.

Kohli further explained about his slog-sweep shot against the spinners.

“I brought out the slog-sweep to the spinners. It was me mentally putting myself in that situation. I did not practice that at all. I know I can hit it because I have played that shot a lot in the past. So I just felt like I needed to take a bit more risk and for me, that shot was something that I used to hit regularly back in the days. That shot is now allowing me to hit off the backfoot as well. I am always looking to expose that side of the field against the spin. It’s been a massive factor for me in the IPL,” the right-hand batter added.

“It just takes a bit more conviction and put out that thought that props up ‘what if I get out?’. I have been managing to stay ahead of that thought. And that has allowed me to keep my strike rate up in the middle overs and scoring for my team as well,” the Delhi-born player concluded.

This refreshed approach of Virat in T20 cricket, especially against spinners, could just be what India needs on slow surfaces of the Caribbean and it would be interesting if Virat would carry forward his form to the World Cup.

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Indian Stars’ Performance In IPL After T20 WC Squad Selection: Rohit’s Form A Concern, Hardik A Positive | Cricket News

The Indian cricket team’s 15-member squad for the T20 World Cup 2024 to be held in the West Indies and the United States was announced on Tuesday, April 30. Since then, all the 15 players selected for India’s squad for the T20 World Cup have played at least one game for their respective franchises in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 season. Here we take a look at how these Indian players have performed since their selection in the T20 World Cup squad.

Rohit Sharma (captain)
Indian cricket team captain Rohit Sharma has registered a string of low scores since the announcement of the 15-member squad for the T20 World Cup 2024. Mumbai Indians’ star opening batter scored just four runs off five balls against Lucknow Super Giants on the very day the squad was announced. Two days later, Rohit managed 12-ball 11 against Kolkata Knight Riders at Wankhede. The right-handed opener was once again dismissed cheaply as he scored four runs against SunRisers Hyderabad in MI’s previous outing on May 6. Overall, Rohit has scored just 19 runs in three matches since the squad announcement.

Yashasvi Jaiswal
Flamboyant left-handed batter Yashasvi Jaiswal celebrated his inclusion in India’s T20 World Cup 2024 squad with a scintillating fifty against SunRisers Hyderabad. Chasing 202, Rajasthan Royals’ dashing opener slammed 67 off 40 balls, laced with seven fours and two sixes. Despite his brilliant half-century, RR lost the game by just one run in Hyderabad. Meanwhile, Jaiswal scored just four runs against Delhi Capitals in RR’s previous fixture. Since the squad announcement, the 22-year-old has scored 71 runs in two games.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli has been in magnificent form in the ongoing Indian Premier League. Opening the batting for Royal Challengers Bengaluru, Kohli continued his good run after he scored a 27-ball 42 against Gujarat Titans before scoring a 92 against Punjab Kings. But, it also has to be kept in mind that Virat was dropped twice during his stay at the crease. Kohli was also given apt support by Rajat Patidar who scored a half-century to help RCB put 241/7 on the board.

Suryakumar Yadav
India’s swashbuckling batter Suryakumar Yadav has produced some outstanding knocks since the squad announcement for the T20 World Cup. Mumbai Indians’ accomplished batter scored a match-winning hundred against SunRisers Hyderabad in their last game. MI were reduced to 31/3 in 4.1 overs while chasing SRH’s 173/8. Batting at number four, Suryakumar smashed 102 not out off just 51 balls to guide MI to a seven-wicket win at Wankhede. Earlier, the right-handed batter hammered a 35-ball 56 against Kolkata Knight Riders while other MI batters struggled on that night. However, he was dismissed for 10 against Lucknow Super Giants on the day the squad was announced. Overall, Suryakumar has scored 168 runs in three games since the squad announcement.

Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper)
Delhi Capitals captain Rishabh Pant has been one of the standout wicketkeeper-batters in IPL 2024. The hard-hitting southpaw has amassed 413 runs in 12 games at an average of 41.30 and a strike rate of 156.43. He has registered three fifties this season. Since India’s T20 World Cup squad announcement, Pant has featured in just one game against Rajasthan Royals in Delhi. Batting at No.5, the southpaw scored 15 off 13 balls against RR before he fell to Yuzvendra Chahal. His cameo guided DC to a massive 221/8, which they later defended and won by 20 runs.

Sanju Samson (wicket-keeper)
Sanju Samson pipped KL Rahul to be included in India’s 15-member T20 World Cup. Following the announcement, Rajasthan Royals’ captain was dismissed for a duck against SunRisers Hyderabad in Hyderabad. However, Samson soon bounced back against Delhi Capitals in RR’s previous outing. Chasing 222, Samson led from the front as he smashed 86 off just 46 balls which kept RR in the hunt. His knock included eight fours and six maximums. Despite Samson’s brilliant knock, RR fell short by 20 runs.

Hardik Pandya
MI captain Hardik Pandya has produced few impressive bowling performances since the squad announcement for the T20 World Cup. On the day the squad was announced, Hardik was dismissed for a golden duck against Lucknow Super Giants. Defending 144, India’s star all-rounder later bagged the important wickets of KL Rahul and Deepak Hooda to finish with figures of 2/26. Hardik then once again claimed two wickets against Kolkata Knight Riders despite conceding 44 runs in his four overs. In the batting department, he continued to struggle as he scored just one run at Wankhede. In their last game, Hardik took three wickets for 31 runs to help MI restrict SRH to 173/8. MI later chased down the target in 17.2 overs courtesy Suryakumar’s ton.

Shivam Dube
Chennai Super Kings’ Shivam Dube has suffered a shocking loss of form since his inclusion in India’s T20 World Cup squad. The hard-hitting left-hander was dismissed for a duck in the very first ball against Punjab Kings in Chennai before being dismissed for 13-ball 21 against Gujarat in Ahmedabad. On the positive front, Dube dismissed Jonny Bairstow in Chennai to bag his first wicket in IPL 2024, when CSK took on PBKS in Dharamsala.

Ravindra Jadeja
India’s star all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja has had a mixed bag since the announcement of the 15-member squad for T20 World Cup 2024. The 35-year-old scored just two runs off four deliveries and claimed no wickets against Punjab Kings in Chennai. Later in Dharamsala, Jadeja was adjudged the Player of the Match for his all-round performance against Punjab Kings. Jadeja then scored a 10-ball 18 against Gujarat as CSK ended up on the losing side.

Axar Patel
Another spin-bowling all-rounder Axar Patel has contributed with both bat and ball in the only game that he has played since the squad announcement. Batting at No.4, Delhi Capitals’ all-rounder Axar scored 15 off 10 balls against Rajasthan Royals to help his side post 221/8 in their 20 overs. Later, Axar dismissed Jos Buttler to finish with figures of 1/25 to guide the Capitals to a 20-run victory in Delhi.

Kuldeep Yadav
Left-arm wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav has been one of the standout bowlers in IPL 2024. The 29-year-old has bagged 14 wickets in nine matches at an average of 20.64 and an economy of 8.25. Since India’s T20 World Cup squad announcement, Kuldeep has featured in just one game for Delhi Capitals. Defending 222 against RR, Kuldeep dismissed Donovan Ferreira and Ravichandran Ashwin in the 18th over to power DC to a convincing victory in the end.

Yuzvendra Chahal
Following his inclusion in India’s T20 World Cup squad, leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal has been expensive in both the games that he has played since the announcement. SunRisers Hyderabad batters smashed Chahal to all parts of the ground as he conceded 62 runs in his four overs in Hyderabad. Later against Delhi Capitals, Chahal took the important wicket of Rishabh Pant. However, the 33-year-old conceded 48 runs in his four overs.

Jasprit Bumrah
Indian cricket team’s bowling spearhead Jasprit Bumrah has continued his good form even after the squad announcement for the T20 World Cup. Bumrah produced an economical spell of none for 17 against Lucknow Super Giants while defending just 144. Against Kolkata Knight Riders, Bumrah was the wrecker-in-chief for MI as he picked up three wickets for 18 runs in his 3.5 overs to bowl them out for 169. India’s right-arm pacer once again bowled an economical spell against an in-form SunRisers Hyderabad’s batting line-up. Bumrah finished with figures of 1/23. He is the current Purple Cap holder in IPL 2024 with 18 wickets in 12 matches.

Mohammed Siraj
Indian fast bowler Mohammed Siraj has featured in two games since the announcement of the 15-member squad for T20 World Cup 2024. Playing for Royal Challengers Bengaluru, Siraj bowled an impressive spell against last season’s finalist Gujarat Titans at the M.Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on May 4. Siraj finished with figures of 2/29 to help bundle out GT for 147 in 19.3 overs. Siraj then picked up 3 wickets for 43 runs against Punjab Kings in Dharamsala.

Arshdeep Singh
Left-arm pacer Arshdeep Singh has produced a few lacklustre performances since his inclusion in India’s T20 World Cup squad. While Punjab Kings’ star pacer Arshdeep dismissed Chennai Super Kings captain Ruturaj Gaikwad, he conceded 52 runs in his four overs in Chennai. Later in Dharamsala against the same opponents, Arshdeep was once again expensive as he gave away 42 runs in his four overs. Even against RCB, Arshdeep leaked 41 runs in just 3 overs.

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Virat Kohli’s Batting Decoded Ahead Of T20 World Cup 2024: Is He Really Weak Against Spin? | Cricket News

It is that time of the year once again. As the ICC T20 World Cup squad announcement for India comes closer, the discussions around the strike rate and approach of star batter Virat Kohli in T20 cricket are once again at the centre of all possible discussions around the squad, its players and the overall balance of it. Virat is currently leading the IPL 2024 run charts, with 500 runs in 10 matches at an average of 71.42 and a strike rate of over 147, with a century and four half-centuries. His best score is 113*. He is also the highest run-scorer in the league’s history, with 7,763 runs at an average of 38.43 and a strike rate of 131.02. His best score is 113*. Virat has scored eight centuries and 54 fifties.

The superstar batter is also a different beast in ICC T20 World Cups, where he is the leading run-scorer of all-time, with 1,141 runs at an average of 81.50 and a strike rate of 131.30, scoring 13 half-centuries in 27 matches and 25 innings. He also secured the ‘Player of the Tournament’ honours in 2014 and 2016 for his performances. In the tournament, Virat has a history of bringing his absolute A game against Pakistan, during the run-chases and lastly during the knockout games, where he has always scored a half-century.

Despite all the numbers, Virat’s recent T20 form, strike rate and overall approach has produced mixed debates. While many opine that his slightly conservative, anchor-like style that involves calculated risks is irrelevant in modern-day T20s, many cricketers, experts, media and fans still side with the batter because of his tendency to perform under pressure, his ability to accelerate and anchor as per needs and his great statistics. The constant chatter around Virat does call for a look into his numbers.

Let us look into his IPL game this season and in the past, across all the phases and styles of bowling, starting with the middle overs, where the Virat is said to often slow down and take less risks, especially against spin.

Middle overs (7-16 overs): As per ESPNCricinfo, Virat’s middle-overs strike rate in IPL 2024 is 137.17, his highest since his peak year of 2016, which saw him score 973 runs. This year, he has made 214 runs in this phase in 156 balls and dismissed four times, bringing his average to 53.50. 14 of these deliveries have been sent for four while eight were dispatched into the skies for a six. He has played 40 dot balls in this phase this year. His middle-overs strike rate during the years was: 133.96 (2023), 115.21 (2022), 106.53 (2021), 108.10 (2020) and 118.60 (2019). At his peak in 2016, he scored at an SR of 150.76 in middle overs, scoring 490 runs in 325 balls, with 37 fours, 18 sixes and 68 dot balls. Virat was dismissed five times in this phase back in 2016, bringing his average to 98.00.

Against spin-bowling in middle overs this year, Virat has struck at a SR of 138.4. He has scored 144 runs in 104 balls, only dismissed once by spinners in this phase. He has smashed six fours and seven sixes against spin in this phase and played 24 dots. 56 of his runs have come through singles. This strike rate of 138.46 is actually his best in years, having struck at: 110.48 (2023), 105.55 (2022), 101.03 (2021), 105.17 (2020) and 111.53 (2019) over the years against spin in this phase. Even in 2016, his SR in middle-overs against spin was slightly low at 137.23. His all-time high SR against spin in overs 7-15 was back in 2015, scoring at 157.42, making 159 runs in 101 balls, with nine fours, 10 sixes and 28 dot balls. 45 runs came through singles and the rest through doubles and triples.

His pace game in middle overs has declined as compared to last year, when he was striking at 170.58, his all-time high against pace in this phase. This year, his SR against pace is 134.61 in middle overs, having scored 70 in 52 balls, with eight fours, a six, 16 dot balls and 22 runs coming through singles. Even back in 2016, Virat’s SR against pace in this phase was 169.34, scoring 232 runs in 137 balls, with 21 fours, nine sixes, 28 dots and 65 singles. The rest of the runs came through doubles and triples. Other than 2023 and 2016, his SR against pace in middle-overs has never touched 150.

Now, the focus shifts to two of Virat’s strengths, which is the ability to get his team to a blasting start during the power-plays and let loose his arms completely during death overs.

Power-play (1-6 overs):This year in the power-play, Virat has scored at a strike rate of 154.43. He has scored 244 runs in 158 balls, with 29 fours, 10 sixes and 58 dot balls. 54 runs have come through singles and the rest through doubles and triples. Even in the powerplay, Virat’s numbers have shown massive improvement over the years and are in-fact, at an all-time high. In the past five seasons before this, he struck at 136.81, 116.78, 130.27, 109.45 and 138.95.

During his peak year of 2016, his strike rate in power-play was 119.55. He scored 269 runs in 225 balls, with 29 fours and six sixes. He played 87 dots during this phase and took 91 runs through singles and the rest through doubles and triples.

Death overs (17-20 overs):This year, Virat has scored at a rather decent strike rate during the death overs, mostly because he never really got a chance to play much in this phase or he just lacked support at the other end. His SR at death this year is 168.00. He has faced 25 balls and scored 42 runs in this phase this year, with three fours and two sixes. He has played five dots in this phase and taken 12 runs through singles and the rest through doubles and triples.

Last year though, Virat’s death overs strike rate was 216.00, scoring 54 runs in 25 balls, with four boundaries and four sixes. He played five dots, got 10 runs via singles and rest through doubles and triples. During the last five seasons before this, Virat’s strike rate has been at death: 216.00, 115.78, 100.00, 205.88 and 266.66.

Virat’s strike rate at death been his strongest trait, staying above 200 for eight seasons, including numbers of 241.17 in 2016 and 266.66 in 2015.

*Type of bowling

Overall SR against pace:Virat’s overall strike rate against pace in IPL 2024 is 157.69. He has scored 287 runs in 182 runs, with 35 fours, 10 sixes, 61 dots, 65 singles and the rest of the runs through doubles and triples. In the previous five seasons: His SR against pace has been: 163 (his all-time high against pace), 120, 132.19, 135.16, 146.77. Other than in 2024 and 2023, his SR against pace touched 150 on three occasions in 2010, 2016 and 2018.

Overall SR against spin:His strike rate against spin this year has been: 135.66. He has scored 213 runs in 157 balls against spinners this year, with 11 fours, 10 sixes, 42 dots, 79 singles and rest of the runs through doubles and triples. In the past five seasons, Virat’s overall SR against spin has been: 113.46, 108.08, 100.00, 108.91 and 130.14. His strike rate against spin was at its best in the 2016 season, where he struck at 152.30 and 2015 season, where he scored his runs at 151.21 against spin bowling.

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Opinion: Opinion | Lok Sabha Polls Phase 2: Can NDA Maintain Its 2019 Lead? What Numbers Say

As many as 87 seats are set to go to polls on April 26 in the second phase of the Lok Sabha elections. These seats are spread across 13 states: five each in Assam and Bihar, three each in Chhattisgarh and West Bengal, one each in Jammu & Kashmir and Tripura, 14 in Karnataka, 20 in Kerala, six in Madhya Pradesh, eight in Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh, and 13 in Rajasthan. Apart from these, one constituency in Manipur that voted in the previous phase will witness polling this time too in the remaining booths. Meanwhile, elections in Madhya Pradesh’s Betul have been pushed to Phase 3 after the death of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) candidate. 

In effect – three states, Rajasthan, Kerala and Karnataka – account for over half of the seats going to the polls on April 26. While the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) hopes to maintain – if not improve – its tally, the INDIA (Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance) bloc will need to make a dent in the NDA’s numbers to really gain some edge. 

Turnout In 2019

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress are contesting 70 seats each, while the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI-M) is in the fray in 16 in Kerala. The BSP has put up candidates in 74 constituencies, higher than even the BJP and the Congress. 

In terms of turnout, in 2014, these 87 seats recorded 67.3% polling, and in 2019, the voting percentage rose to 70.1%. The decline in turnout in Phase 1 of the elections has been a subject of intense debate, and hence, how much voting the upcoming phase will see will be monitored closely by all. 

The polling numbers will also have to be tracked not only in total but also seat-wise. Seventy-one of these 87 seats saw higher voting percentages in 2019, and of them, the incumbent party lost in 24. On the other hand, the turnout saw a decline in 17 seats, and the winning party from 2014 lost in six constituencies. 

Winning Margins Bigger For BJP

In the previous elections, the BJP won 52 seats, the Congress 18, while other parties and candidates won 17. Adjusting for allies, the NDA secured victory in 61 constituencies, the INDIA bloc in 23, while non-aligned parties got three seats. For the NDA, the winning margins were around 20% in those 61 seats, meaning that the areas are the alliance’s strongholds and a large number of swing votes will be required to sway the results any other way.

Meanwhile, the Congress’s winning margins in 18 seats in the last election were much smaller – around 10%. This means that a swing of just 5% votes in these regions can put the grand old party on the back foot. Non-aligned parties won with an even thinner margin of 5%, and these seats may see cut-throat contests this time.

Assam And Bihar Contests

Of the five seats going to polls in Assam, the BJP won four last time, and the Congress just one. The latter hopes to gain a few this year on the back of the discontent and the consequent polarisation due to the implementation of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA). 

In Bihar’s five seats that will witness polling tomorrow, the Janata Dal (United) (JD-U) won four and the Congress merely one in the 2019 contest. The Mahagathbandhan formation is hoping to bank on the mistrust and anger that Nitish Kumar’s constant flip-flops may have caused amongst certain sections.

Can Karnataka Spring A Surprise?

Fourteen seats are going to the polls in Karnataka tomorrow. Of them, the BJP won 11 in 2019, while the remaining three were netted by the Congress, the Janata Dal (Secular) (JD-S) and an independent. Given the implementation of the ‘guarantees’ by the Siddaramaiah government since it came to power in the state last year, the Congress hopes to make significant gains this time.

The BJP, meanwhile, hopes to neutralise losses due to anti-incumbency by aligning with H.D. Deve Gowda’s JD(S), which has decent clout in Southern Karnataka. 

The Kerala Battlefront

Kerala is going to be an interesting battle. Of the 20 seats going to polls here, the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) had won 19 seats in the previous Lok Sabha election, while the CPI(M) led Left Democratic Front (LDF) could bag only a single constituency. The BJP hopes to make the contest triangular this time in around five seats where it bagged a 20-30% vote share, and finally open its account in the state. High-profile candidates like Anil Antony, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Suresh Gopi and V. Muraleedharan may help it in that endeavour, but the battle remains tough.

However, the main contest is between the UDF and the LDF. The two Communist parties and the Congress, which are friends in Delhi but foes in Kerala, have been attacking each other aggressively. While the LDF has attacked the Congress over Rahul Gandhi’s candidature from Wayanad and not Uttar Pradesh, the latter has questioned why Chief Minister Pinayari Vijayan is not behind bars. The Left has also been raising the CAA issue and the Manipur conflict to woo minorities and win a few seats.

Hat-Trick Bid In Rajasthan, Local Currents In Maharashtra

In Rajasthan, the BJP in 2019 had won all the 13 seats that are going to the polls on April 26. The party hopes to score a hat-trick in the state and win all its 25 Lok Sabha seats again. However, a resurgent Congress and the recent Jat/Rajput ire could put a spanner in the works. 

Meanwhile, in Maharashtra, of the eight seats that are poll-bound, the BJP had won three in 2019, the Shiv Sena four, and an independent candidate one. But since then, three erstwhile Sena MPs have joined the Eknath Shinde faction in recent months. The battle in Maharashtra has heated up, with the crucial question for the state and its voters being who the real Sena and the real Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) are. After the splits in both parties, while the symbols are with the Shinde and Ajit Pawar factions, the family legacy rests with Uddhav and Sharad Pawar. The contest has turned somewhat local, which is not good for any incumbent; a Presidential-style battle is usually beneficial. 

In 2019, the BJP won all the eight seats going to the polls in Uttar Pradesh, except one – Amroha – which was bagged by the BSP. This time, with Mayawati’s party not being a constituent of the INDIA bloc, the BJP hopes to win all of these eight seats. That could be possible but not easy, given that the party’s winning margins in two seats last time, Meerut and Baghpat, were just 4,700 and 23,500 votes, respectively. 

To achieve ‘Mission 370’, the BJP will need a strike rate of 83%. It could touch only 72% in the previous Lok Sabha elections. Can it raise its tally this time?

(Amitabh Tiwari is a political strategist and commentator. In his earlier avatar, he was a corporate and investment banker)

Disclaimer: These are the personal opinions of the author.

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India punishes critics by revoking visas and residency permits

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi often draws crowds of supporters from the Indian diaspora on his foreign visits. But back home, his administration has been revoking visas and residency permits of foreign nationals of Indian origin as well as spouses of Indian citizens. For those denied access or kicked out of India, the experience can be traumatic.


Vanessa Dougnac was at home in her New Delhi apartment on January 18, when she received a hand-delivered envelope that raised her spirits.

The French journalist glanced at the letterhead bearing the insignia of the Indian interior ministry’s Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) and immediately thought this meant good news.

“Then I read the letter. It was totally the opposite. It was really, really bad news,” she recounted. 

Dougnac, 51, had lived in India for a quarter-century, or most of her adult life. For 23 years, she served as the India-based freelance correspondent for a number of French publications. Along the way, she covered stories across the country, married an Indian national, raised a son, and mastered the ropes in the place she came to call home.

But in India, things that were once fairly straightforward were now getting complicated – and stressful.

The official letter, delivered on January 18, informed the veteran French journalist that her Indian residency had been revoked. 

Dougnac had joined the growing list of overseas critics of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist policies being banned from India, according to the New York-based Human Rights Watch.

They are part of the Modi administration’s broader crackdown on Indian citizenship laws, which have snowballed in various forms. But the intent of the “ever-expanding arsenal of laws and policies” is singular: to “target and punish dissenting voices”, said Amnesty International in a statement noting the international human rights contraventions that have increased during Modi’s 10 years in power.

With the upcoming 2024 elections widely predicted to propel Modi into his next decade in power, experts warn that India’s secular democracy is being reshaped as a Hindu-first majoritarian nation intolerant to dissent and minority religious communities. 

Citizenship lies at the heart of the reshaping, with the government pushing through laws and regulations on myriad fronts, upending lives and plunging dissenters into an omnipresent state of dread.

Diaspora with dollars to invest home

Dougnac was one of nearly 4 million people holding an Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card, which comes as a light blue, passport-lookalike and confers on the holder visa and residency rights.

The OCI is a form of permanent residency granted to people of Indian origin and their spouses. © Handout

Since India does not permit dual citizenship, OCI cards are provided for the equivalent of $275 to foreign nationals of Indian origin and the spouses of Indian nationals or OCI card-holders.

The residency status is the latest iteration of a decades-long bid by successive governments to tap into the economic potential of the Indian diaspora, the largest in the world, clocking nearly 18 million in 2020, according to UN figures. It’s also among the wealthiest, with strong ties to the motherland. In 2022, for instance, India’s inward remittances hit a record of almost $108 billion, around 3% of GDP, more than in any other country.

Attracting the diaspora’s dollars without offering citizenship rights historically entails acronyms in India. NRIs (Non-Resident Indians) before the 1990s gave way to PIOs (Person of Indian Origin) before the nomenclature settled on the current OCI. The latest overseas “citizen” of India is a misnomer since holders do not have voting rights or citizenship guarantees. But since the OCI privileges were an improvement on the earlier NRI and PIO categories, few made any fuss.  

That was until the government began tinkering with citizenship and visa regulations after Modi was re-elected in 2019 to a second term in office.

Many acronyms, few rights 

Just months after Modi’s May 2019 re-election, the Indian parliament, dominated by the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), passed a controversial citizenship amendment law, which gained notoriety as the country erupted in what was commonly called “anti-CAA” (Citizenship Amendment Act) protests.

File photo of anti-CAA protests in Shaheen Bagh, New Delhi, taken January 18, 2020.
File photo of anti-CAA protests in Shaheen Bagh, New Delhi, taken January 18, 2020. © Altaf Qadri, AP

The new law, which offers citizenship to non-Muslim migrants and refugees from neighbouring countries, was widely criticised for discriminating against Muslims, an allegation the Modi government denies.

While the anti-CAA protests drew international press coverage, the insertion of a subclause covering OCI cancellations passed largely unnoticed.

As Modi nudged past the half-way mark of his second term, the regulations got tighter. By 2021, the government required its overseas “citizens” to apply for “special permission” to “undertake” research, journalistic, missionary or mountaineering “activities”.

So on January 18, when Dougnac received a letter from the Foreign Regional Registration Office (FRRO), she initially thought she had finally received her journalist permit, which was denied in September 2022, for no stated reason.

For the freelance journalist, the denial of a journalist permit meant a precarious dip in her income and she was eager to get back to work.

But that was not to be. The FRRO letter revoking Dougnac’s OCI instead accused her and her articles of being “malicious” and of harming “the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of India”. The notice put the onus on the freelance journalist, requiring her to respond to why her OCI should not be cancelled. 

Dougnac has launched a petition in the Delhi High Court, adding to the legal appeals and challenges launched by several others in a similar state. But nearly a month after she received her notification, Dougnac was forced to leave the country she had made her home for 25 years and return to France. 

In a statement released February 16, the French journalist noted that it had become “clear that I cannot keep living in India and earning my livelihood. I am fighting these accusations before the competent forums and I have full faith in the legal process. But I can’t afford to wait for its outcome. The proceedings with respect to my OCI status have shattered me,” she noted.

‘Showing animus’ to governments, not country

The list of shattered lives has been increasing over the past few months, perpetuating a climate of fear among overseas Indians. An investigative report published on February 12 by Indian news site Article 14 found that more than 102 OCIs were cancelled under section 7D between 2014 and 2023.

Many targeted OCI-holders prefer not to speak to the press out of fear of scuppering their appeals process and being permanently deprived of the ability to travel to a country where many have families, including aging parents and ailing loved ones.

Some high-profile cases do make the news, such as British-American writer and journalist Aatish Taseer, whose OCI was revoked in 2019, shortly after Time magazine published his excoriating cover story, “India’s Divider in Chief”, on Modi’s brand of Hindutva populism.

Indian authorities said Taseer’s OCI was revoked because he “attempted to conceal” the fact that his biological father was a Pakistani national. The journalist, who was brought up in India by his single mother and wrote a critically acclaimed book in 2009 on his journey to meet his father, Pakistan’s former Punjab governor Salman Taseer – who was assassinated two years after his son’s book was published – dismissed the claim.

The official cancellation explanations for the recent spate of OCI scraps include ill-defined allegations of “showing animus” towards India, or “attempting to destabilise the social fabric” of the country. 

“In some cases, the authorities have openly cited criticism of BJP government policies as evidence to revoke the visa status,” noted Human Rights Watch, citing the case of octogenarian British activist Amrit Wilson, whose OCI was cancelled due to her social media posts on the Kashmir crisis and a 2020-2021 farmers protest movement.

Indian authorities note that governments across the world have the discretion to grant or refuse visas to their countries. It’s a point that Meenakshi Ganguly, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch, acknowledges. “Of course, every government has the right to determine who gets visas or not. But those rights cannot be based on discriminatory ideas,” she noted. “Any democracy relies on a foundational principle of permitting dissent. That is what distinguishes it from authoritarianism. Now all dissent and all ideas may not be accepted by the state. But the fact that those opinions are put forward should not be seen immediately as something that is against the country, it is against government policies, and governments change.”

‘I miss India’

In its attempts to ensure the government does not change after the 2024 general election, the Modi administration has been pushing through key campaign promises that are popular with the BJP’s Hindu nationalist base.

On March 11, just weeks ahead of the elections, the Indian government announced the implementation of the new citizenship law. While parliament approved the CAA in 2019, the Modi government held off on the implementation following deadly protests against a law that was widely viewed as discriminatory against Muslims.

Responding to the move, the US expressed “concern” with a State Department spokesperson noting that Washington is “closely monitoring how this act will be implemented”.

The concern was echoed by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. “As we said in 2019, we are concerned that India’s Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2019 (CAA) is fundamentally discriminatory in nature and in breach of India’s international human rights obligations,” said a spokesperson.

The Modi administration’s response to the expressions of concern was forthright. The citizenship law was an “internal matter”, an Indian foreign ministry spokesperson told reporters in New Delhi, noting that the US State Department’s statement was “misplaced, misinformed and unwarranted”. 

But Ganguly believes the changes in citizenship and residency laws warrant the attention of India’s democratic allies, particularly those measures that affect their own nationals of Indian origins. “It needs attention from foreign governments, because there is a lot of interest in the Indian market and in strategic partnerships. Those are legitimate interests. But when they want to do business with India, foreign governments need to be aware that any claims of partnerships between democracies is seriously undermined if the government is going to be so repressive on freedom of speech and in cracking down on its critics,” she noted.

As India heads for critical elections, Dougnac is in France, watching the coverage from thousands of miles away. “I covered elections in India for 20 years. Now for the first time, I will not be there to cover it. I miss India,” she said. 

While her appeal works its way through the Indian courts, the French journalist confesses she’s still in a state of shock. “Really, it’s too emotional for me,” she confessed. “I led a life filled with adventures and interactions across the subcontinent, and had the opportunity to witness over two decades of India’s history. Now I’m in France, I feel like I’m in exile in my own country.”

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India signs free trade pact with 4 European countries

India and the four-nation European bloc EFTA ink free trade agreement on Sunday, March 10, 2024.
| Photo Credit: X@EFTAsecretariat

India signed a free trade agreement (FTA) with four European countries — Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland — on Sunday, with a goal of reaching $100 billion in investments in India and one million jobs.

The Trade and Economic Partnership Agreement (TEPA) marks the second such full-fledged FTA signed after India’s agreement with the United Arab Emirates, and will see considerable tariff reductions, increase market access, and simplify customs procedures. The EFTA countries, which are separate from the European Union, said that, for the first time, the FTA also included a chapter on commitments to human rights and sustainable development.

The agreement will come into force after ratification by the EFTA states according to their parliamentary procedures, expected possibly by the end of the year.

Investment: commitment or goal?

Touting the clauses on investment as a unique achievement, Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal said that it was “for the first time in the history of the world that we are inking an FTA with a binding commitment to invest $100 billion in India from EFTA countries”.

However, EFTA ministers clarified that the commitment was in fact, a “goal” for both sides, based on the current levels of investment pegged at about $10.7 billion, as well as GDP predictions, and the estimated value of the TEPA. According to the TEPA’s Chapter 7 that deals with “Investment Promotion and Cooperation”, the two sides had shared “objectives” to increase foreign direct investment from EFTA states into India by $50 billion within 10 years and another $50 billion in the next five years. EFTA states would also “aim to facilitate the generation of 1 million jobs within 15 years in India” resulting from those investments.

Periodic assessments

“States cannot decide where companies invest,” Norwegian Trade Minister Jan Christian Vestre told journalists in a briefing, explaining that EFTA would nonetheless “work hard “ to ensure the goals were realised. “It’s about creating the right environment, setting up offices, speaking to our companies and then tracing and tracking development”, he said, adding that the investments by EFTA companies would be assessed periodically.

If the goals are not achieved within 15 years, with a three-year grace period and another two years in negotiations, India will be entitled to withdrawing some of its trade concessions “temporarily”, the agreement says.

Apart from Mr. Vestre, the EFTA Ministers who flew into Delhi for the signing of the agreement were Swiss Federal Councillor Guy Parmelin, Iceland Foreign Affairs Minister Bjarni Benediktsson, and Liechtenstein Foreign Affairs Minister Dominique Hasler.

21 rounds of talks

The final rounds of negotiations went down to the wire, said officials, with both sides holding many rounds of meetings virtually and in-person over the past few months in order to complete the agreement ahead of India’s announcement of parliamentary elections, which is expected later this month. 

Talks for an FTA between India and the EFTA states began in in 2008, and were resumed in 2023, after a decade-long break. The 14-chapter treaty was concluded after 21 rounds of negotiations, including specific chapters on investment, rules of origin, intellectual property rights and sustainable development that were particularly tricky. A breakthrough came in December 2023, as the two sides agreed on putting the investment goals into a separate chapter, and they were able to conclude the agreement, which was cleared by the Union Cabinet on March 7.

In a written message, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called the TEPA a “win-win” agreement for all nations, and said its signing marked a “watershed moment” in ties between India and the European Trading bloc.

Controversial pharma clause

In particular, Swiss negotiators in the EFTA team had bargained hard for a clause on “data exclusivity” for pharma, which was criticised by health activists who claimed that it would, over time, increase the burden on Indian manufacturers of life-saving generic medicines. Indian negotiators rejected its inclusion in the agreement, although the appendix of the TEPA chapter on Intellectual Property Review (IPR) includes a review of the regulatory mechanisms attached to it.

“We would have loved to have included that clause,” State Secretary for Economic Affairs Helene Budliger told The Hindu in an interview on Sunday, calling IPR a “bread and butter issue” for the Swiss economy that depends heavily on research and development revenue. Ms. Budliger said that India had agreed to meet EFTA states “half-way” on the IPR chapter, and rejected the allegations by health activists, including Medecins Sans Frontiers (MSF), that the EFTA states had tried to bully India on the clause. “How could a country of nine million bully a G-20 country of 1.4 billion? We negotiated our position with Indian negotiators, who are very good, “ she added. 

However, the Geneva-based MSF (otherwise known as Doctors without Borders) said that even the review mechanism established under the TEPA agreement could be a problem for patient rights and access to medicines. “The Joint EFTA-India Committee comprising senior government officials will be a form of continuous pressure on India to adopt TRIP-plus [extra measures] like data exclusivity,” MSF Access Campaign’s regional head Leena Menghaney told The Hindu.

The concluded TEPA is expected to increase trade in sectors like pharmaceuticals, medical devices, food products and processing as well as R&D in many areas, raising it from current levels of about $25 billion, with a massive trade deficit of $18.58 billion.

(with inputs from Jacob Koshy)

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Russia-Ukraine War: How Russia and the World Navigate Two Years of Conflict

Two years on, where does the Ukraine war stand?

Russia’s war in Ukraine has entered its third year. What many thought on February 24, 2022 would be a swift Russian military operation against its smaller neighbour has turned out to be the largest land war in Europe since the end of the Second World War. This is no longer about Russia and Ukraine. This is now a proxy conflict between Russia and NATO, a trans-Atlantic nuclear alliance. Two years since the war began, where does it stand today, and how it’s transforming Russia and the world?

If one looks back at the beginning of the war, it’s not difficult to see that President Vladimir Putin made a grave strategic miscalculation when he ordered the invasion of Europe’s second largest country with less than 2,00,000 troops. Mr. Putin probably expected a quick victory, like he did in Georgia in 2008 and Crimea in 2014. But that did not happen.

In 2022, Russians were forced to retreat from Kharkiv and Kherson. The West doubled down on its military and economic support for Ukraine. Russia had declared “demilitarisation” and “denazification” of Ukraine as their objectives. Ukraine wanted to push back the invading troops and recapture the lost territories, including Crimea. The West wanted to use Ukrainian forces to bleed out Russian troops and weaken Russia as a great power. The wheels of war were grinding on. Who is meeting their objectives today?

Ukraine last year launched an ambitious counteroffensive with advances weapons from the West. Their plan was to make swift advances into Russia’s line of defence in the south and destroy Mr. Putin’s land bridge that connects the Donbas with Crimea.

Eight months after counteroffensive began, it’s now evident that the campaign has failed. Gen. Velery Zaluzhnyi, Ukraine’s former commander in chief who was fired by President Zelensky, had called for a mass mobilisation, suggesting that Ukraine was facing acute shortage of fighters on the frontline. They lost many of their West-supplied weapons in the counteroffensive and are waiting for fresh supplies. Ukraine is almost entirely dependent on the West for critical supplies, but aid from the U.S., the single largest supporter of Ukraine, is stuck in Congress amid growing Republican opposition.

On the other side, the Russians are on the offensive. In December, Russia claimed its first victory since the capture of Bakhmut in May when it seized Maryinka. Earlier this month, Ukraine was forced to abandon Avdiivka, a strategically important town in Donetsk. The Russians are now advancing westward in Donetsk and piling up pressure on Ukrainian forces in Krynky, Kherson, in the south.

The message from the battlefield is alarming for Ukraine and its partners in the West.

Editorial |Endless war: On the Russia-Ukraine war

Take a look at the West’s strategy. The West, or NATO to be specific, had taken a two-fold approach towards Ukraine. One was to provide economic and military assistance to Kyiv to keep the fight against Russia going on; and the second leg was to weaken Russia’s economy and war machine through sanctions. With Ukraine’s failed counteroffensive and a changing political climate in Washington with the prospect of a second Trump presidency looming, the first pillar of this policy faces uncertainty, if not absolute peril. The second pillar, sanctions, has hurt Russia badly. Western officials believe that sanctions have deprived Russia of over $430 billion in revenue it would otherwise have gained since the war began. Europe has also curtailed its energy purchases from Russia. Sanctions have also made it difficult for Moscow to acquire critical technologies, including microchips, which are necessary for its defence industry.

But this is not the whole story.

Russia has found several ways to work around sanctions and keep its economy going. When Europe cut energy sales, Russia offered discounted crude oil to big growing economies such as China, India and Brazil. It amassed a ghost fleet of ships to keep sending oil to its new markets without relying on western shipping companies and insurers. It set up shell companies and private corporations operating in its neighbourhood (say Armenia or Turkey) to import dual use technologies which were re-exported to Russia to be used in defence production. China, the world’s second largest economy, ramped up its financial and trade ties with Russia, including the export of dual use technologies. Russia moved away from the dollar to other currencies, mainly the Chinese yuan, for trade, and boosted defence and public spending at home (its defence budget was raised by nearly 70% this year).

Does it mean that everything is going well for Mr. Putin? No it doesn’t.

Since the war began, two countries in its neighbourhood, Sweden and Finland, have joined NATO, expanding the alliance’s border with Russia. Now, if you look at the Baltic Sea, all basin countries, except Russia, are practically NATO members, which makes it look like a NATO lake.

Mr. Putin spent years, after coming to power, to build strong economic ties with Europe, which are now in tatters. Russia’s hold on its immediate neighbourhood is also loosening, which was evident in tensions with Armenia and the latter’s decision to freeze participation in the Moscow-led Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). Russia is also increasingly becoming dependent on China, even though the Kremlin is careful not to upset the sensitivity of New Delhi.

But how does India look at the war?

India’s ties with Russia have multi-dimensions. While the energy aspect of this partnership, which flourished after the war, is seen largely opportunistic, the defence side is structural. India also sees Russia, a Eurasian powerhouse, as an important long-term strategic partner in tackling its continental challenges. But the elephant in the room was China.

Russia’s deepening ties with China triggered different arguments on India’s choices. One section argued that the growing synergy between Russia and China should serve as a wake-up call for India to revisit its Russia policy. Others, including yours truly, argued that India would be wary of pushing Russia deeper into China’s embrace by toeing the anti-Russian Western line.

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar explained India’s thinking on this matter at the Raisina Dialogue recently. The world must give Russia more options, rather than “closing doors” on it and pushing it towards a closer embrace with China, Mr. Jaishankar said. The Minister’s comments underscored India’s concerns about a deepening China-Russia partnership, but his policy prescriptions were nuanced. “What’s happened today with Russia is essentially a lot of doors have been shut to Russia in the West,” he said. “We know the reasons why Russia is turning to parts of the world which are not West. Now, I think it makes sense to give Russia multiple options.”

Meaning, India’s ties with Russia are here to stay and expand, irrespective of what its western partners think of Moscow.

Script and presentation: Stanly Johny

Production: Richard Kujur

Video: Thamodharan B.

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India vs England 5th Test: Preview, Fantasy Picks, Pitch And Weather Reports | Cricket News

The 5th Test of the Anthony de Mello Trophy, 2024 series will be played between India and England (IND vs ENG) at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium, Dharamsala on 7th March 2024 at 09:30 AM IST.

IND vs ENG (India vs England), 5th Test – Match Information

  • Match: India vs England, 5th Test
  • Date: 7th March 2024
  • Time: 09:30 AM IST
  • Venue: Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium, Dharamsala

IND vs ENG (India vs England), 5th Test Preview

India and England have played 4 matches in the series, with India winning 3 games and England emerging triumphant once.

In their previous encounter in this series, Dhruv Jurel was the Man of the Match and Dhruv Jurel scored the highest fantasy points for India with 177 match fantasy points while Joe Root topped the fantasy points leaderboard for England with 179 match fantasy points.

IND vs ENG, Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium, Dharamsala Pitch Report and Weather Conditions

The pitch at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium, Dharamsala will allow good stroke play and the batters will find it easy to bat on the surface. The surface will not allow a lot of assistance to the bowlers and wicket-taking is not going to be easy. The average 1st innings score at this venue in the last 20 matches is 306 runs.

Weather Report for Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium, Dharamsala

The temperature will hover around 14.84 degree Celcius and humidity is expected to be around 45%. Winds at a speed of 2.23 m/s are expected. Cloudy weather is expected during the match, this may help pacers with movement.

Pace or Spin?

Pacers have been very successful at this venue. They have taken 86% of the total wickets at this venue. We would suggest that you pick as many pace bowlers as possible in your team. Based on the stats available, we predict that the pitch will continue to assist the pacers.

IND vs ENG, Head to Head

In the 135 matches played between these 2 teams, batters of both teams have earned the most fantasy points for their respective teams so far.

IND vs ENG Dream11 Prediction:

Yashasvi Bhupendra Kumar Jaiswal

Yashasvi Jaiswal can be a good pick for your Dream11 Team. He has an average of 171 match fantasy points in the last 8 games and a fantasy rating of 10. This player is a top-order opening left-handed batter. In the recent 2 matches, Yashasvi Jaiswal has scored 73, 37, 10, and 214 runs.

Zak Crawley

Zak Crawley is a safe bet for your Fantasy Team. He has an average of 127 match fantasy points in the last 10 games and a fantasy rating of 8.1. This player is a top-order opening batter, who bats right-handed. In the last 3 matches, Zak Crawley has scored 204 runs.

Dhruv Chand Jurel

Dhruv Jurel is a safe bet for your Fantasy Team. He has an average of 78 match fantasy points in the last 2 games and a fantasy rating of 8.1. This player is a batter, who bats right-handed and also keeps wickets. In the last 2 international matches, Dhruv Jurel has scored 90, 39, and 46 runs.

IND vs ENG Dream11 Prediction

Tom William Hartley

Tom Hartley is a very consistent player in terms of fantasy points. He has an average of 106 match fantasy points in the last 4 games and a fantasy rating of 8.1. This player is a slow left-arm orthodox bowler and in the last 2 matches, Tom Hartley has taken 6 wickets.

Jasprit Jasbirsingh Bumrah

Jasprit Bumrah is a safe bet for your Fantasy Team. This player has an average of 125 match fantasy points in the last 10 games and a fantasy rating of 7.8. Jasprit Bumrah is a right-arm fast bowler and in the recently played 2 matches, he has taken 1, 1, 6, and 3 wickets.

Oliver Edward Robinson

Ollie Robinson is a bowler with an average of 107 match fantasy points in the last 10 games, a fantasy rating of 7.6, and is a good to have player for your Fantasy Team. Ollie Robinson bowls right-arm medium-fast and has done well against India in the past.

IND vs ENG Dream11 Prediction:

Ravindrasinh Anirudhsinh Jadeja

Ravindra Jadeja is an all-rounder with an average of 143 match fantasy points in the last 10 games, a fantasy rating of 8.9 and is a safe bet for your Dream11 Fantasy Team. This player is a left-handed batter. In the recently played 2 matches, Ravindra Jadeja has scored 12, 4, and 112 runs. He can also give you some bowling fantasy points, bowling slow left-arm orthodox and in the recent matches has taken 4, 1, 2, and 5 wickets.

Joseph Edward Root

Joe Root is an all-rounder with an average of 127 match fantasy points in the last 10 games, a fantasy rating of 8.5 and is a safe bet for your Dream11 Fantasy Team. Joe Root is a top order right-handed batter. In the recently played 2 matches, he scored 122, 11, 18, and 7 runs. He can also give you some bowling fantasy points, bowling off break and in the recent matches has taken 3 wickets.

Ravichandran Ashwin

Ravichandran Ashwin is a very consistent player in terms of fantasy points. He has an average of 122 match fantasy points in the last 10 games and a fantasy rating of 8.3. This player is an off break bowler and in the recent 2 matches, Ravichandran Ashwin has taken 8 wickets.

IND vs ENG Squad Information

England (ENG) Squad: James Anderson, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Foakes, Mark Wood, Ben Duckett, Ollie Robinson, Dan Lawrence, Ollie Pope, Zak Crawley, Gus Atkinson, Tom Hartley and Shoaib Bashir

India (IND) Squad: Ravindra Jadeja, Rohit Sharma, Ravichandran Ashwin, KL Rahul, KS Bharat, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Sarfaraz Khan, Rajat Patidar, Mukesh Kumar, Mohammed Siraj, Washington Sundar, Shubman Gill, Devdutt Padikkal, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Dhruv Jurel and Akash Deep

IND vs ENG Possible Playing XI

England (ENG) Playing XI: Zak Crawley, Ben Duckett, Ollie Pope, Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes (C) Ben Foakes (WK), Tom Hartley, Mark Wood, James Anderson, Shoaib Bashir

India (IND) Possible Playing XI: Yashasvi Jaiswal, Rohit Sharma, Sarfaraz Khan, Shubman Gill, Rajat Patidar, Dhruv Jurel, Kuldeep Yadav, Akash Deep, Mohammed Siraj, Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin

IND vs ENG Dream11 Team Today

Wicket-Keepers: Dhruv Jurel, Ben Foakes and Jonny Bairstow

Batters: Yashasvi Jaiswal, Zak Crawley, Sarfaraz Khan and Rajat Patidar

All-Rounders: Ravindra Jadeja, Joe Root and Ravichandran Ashwin

Bowler: Mark Wood

Captain: Ravindra Jadeja

Vice-Captain: Dhruv Jurel

IND vs ENG (India vs England), 5th Test Prediction

India have won 3 of the 4 matches in the ongoing series and are favourites to wrap up the fifth Test with another win.

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India vs England Live Score, 3rd Test Day 2: India Rely On Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj For Early Wickets vs England | Cricket News

India vs England 3rd Test Day 2 LIVE Updates: Jasprit Bumrah in action.© AFP

India vs England Live Score, 3rd Test Day 2: Rohit Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja slammed centuries to help India post 445 against England in the first innings in Rajkot. Rohit (131) and Jadeja (112)’s 204-run partnership set the tone for India before debutants Sarfaraz Khan and Dhruv Jurel impressed with solid knocks. Sarfaraz hit 62 while Jurel scored 46 during his crucial partnership with Ravichandran Ashwin (37). Jasprit Bumrah put on a late show in the second session on Day 2, slammming a quickfire 46 to take India close to 450. For England, Mark Wood was the pick of the bowlers with four scalps to his name. (Live Scorecard)

Here are the Live Updates of Day 2 of Third Test between India and England

  • 13:49 (IST)

    India vs England LIVE: England Start From 5/0

    With the first ball of the innings being a no-ball, Jasprit Bumrah looks to test England early on. But, it has to be remembered that Ben Stokes’ men started off with a score of 5/0 and not 0/0 after India were handed a 5-run penalty in the first innings.

  • 13:37 (IST)

    IND vs ENG Live: India all-out!

    India are all out for 445 and Bumrah is the last man to depart. Siraj remains unbeaten on 3. England’s innings to begin shortly

  • 13:30 (IST)

    IND vs ENG Live: Siraj has pulled up!

    Siraj seemed to be in some pain! He is being attended by the physios. Bumrah called Siraj back for the second run. He takes his right pad off and drops to the floor.

    IND: 443/9

  • 13:26 (IST)

    IND vs ENG Live: Bumrah picks out the gap!

    Bumrah takes aerial route, one bounce for four! Easy pickings for India. 450 is well and truly on

  • 13:21 (IST)

    IND vs ENG Live: 450 in sight!

    So, we are down to Bumrah and Siraj! Just over a dozen required to reach 450. Can these two take India to that mark?

    IND: 437/9

  • 13:09 (IST)

    IND vs ENG Live: Bumrah on the charge!

    A six and a four! Take a bow, Bumrah! Struck Hartley for a six, and now it’s Rehan Ahmed’s turn. Only a four though. Stood leg side of the ball and thrashed it over mid-on

    IND: 430/9

  • 12:59 (IST)

    IND vs ENG Live: How unlucky!

    Jurel perishes! Instant response from Rehan after that six from Jurel. Sharp catch from Foakes as Jurel gets a top edge. Rohit applauds the youngster


    Dhruv Jurel c Foakes b Rehan Ahmed 46 (104) 

    IND: 415/9

  • 12:54 (IST)

    IND vs ENG Live: Hammered down the ground!

    Jurel has smoked this straight over long-off. He dances down, gets to the pitch of the floaty 84ks ball on off. Moves to 46

    IND: 415/8

  • 12:53 (IST)

    India vs England Live: Bumrah blocks this!

    Bumrah survives the last ball of the over and Jurel will take the strike next over. 

    IND: 409/8

  • 12:42 (IST)

    India vs England Live: WICKET!

    Anderson makes no mistake as Ashwin holes out! Third time lucky for England as Anderson take one at mid-on

    Ravichandran Ashwin c Anderson b Rehan Ahmed 37 (89)

    IND: 408/8

  • 12:36 (IST)

    India vs England Live: Dropped again!

    Dropped by Stokes at leg slip! Jurel went across and tried to help it along, got it straight to the skipper. Wood can’t believe it that Stokes of all people has dropped this

    IND: 401/7

  • 12:27 (IST)

    India vs England Live: Played fine for four!

    Ashwin tickles it fine! He used the angle and glanced it past leg slip. Ashwin now goes past Jurel

    IND: 398/7

  • 12:23 (IST)

    India vs England Live: Dropped!

    Hit straight to the man at midwicket but Pope drops it! The lack of balance didn’t help and it popped out. Ben Stokes’ reaction tells the whole story

    IND: 394/7

  • 12:21 (IST)

    India vs England Live: Ashwin finds the gap!

    Ashwin punches it off the back foot through the vacant mid-on region. There was plenty of time there and he made the most of it

    IND: 392/7

  • 12:16 (IST)

    India vs England Live: We are back for the second session!

    We are back underway! Jurel resumes on 31 and will keen to get his maiden Test half-century. Ashwin is also going strongly, currently on 25.

  • 11:34 (IST)

    India vs England Live: Lunch taken!

    62 runs and two wickets in 27 overs! A very sluggish session. India are now withing touching distance of 400. Jurel on 31 and Ashwin on 25. It’s lunch time

    IND: 388/7

  • 11:32 (IST)

    India vs England Live: Jurel into the 30s!

    Jurel cuts this fine! He is up on his toes to punch through point off the back foot. Moves into the 30s with that boundary

    IND: 388/7

  • 11:15 (IST)

  • 11:11 (IST)

    India vs England Live: Flicked past fine leg!

    Jurel finds the gap! He steers it just wide of Stokes at leg gully and away for four. 

    IND: 373/7

  • 10:58 (IST)

    India vs England Live: India eye 450!

    Wood replaces Rehan after just three overs for the spinner. India seem to be looking at 450. Right now, they are well short of that. Need a big stand between Jurel and Ashwin 

    IND: 367/7

  • 10:46 (IST)

  • 10:44 (IST)

    India vs England Live: Boundary!

    Crashed into the gap! He clears the coast with his back leg sliding away and drives it through cover

    IND: 358/7

  • 10:31 (IST)

    India vs England Live: Falls just short!

    Jurel tried cutting hard and it falls just short of Wood at backward point. It wasn’t far away from him. 

    IND: 352/7

  • 10:24 (IST)

    India vs England Live: Flicked off the pads!

    Hip-length ball outside of off and Ashwin guides this into the gap. Ashwin clips it nonchalantly and India cross 350

    IND: 352/7

  • 10:12 (IST)

    India vs England Live: Heaved over third man!

    Ramped over the slips! Uses the pace well. Jurel waits, watches and upper cuts this over the third man region for a six

    IND: 346/7

  • 10:08 (IST)

    India vs England Live: Jurel cautious!

    Jurel is taking his time! He gets off the mark after 11 balls. Pushes one towards point and steals a single. He will keep the strike

    IND: 338/7

  • 09:54 (IST)

    India vs England Live: Jadeja is gone!

    Root takes a caught and bowled! He loops this and Jadeja hits it straight at him. Not the sweetest of connection but enought to find Root. England back on top

    Ravindra Jadeja c & b Root 112 (225)

    IND: 331/7

  • 09:45 (IST)

    India vs England Live: Wicket!

    Edged by Kuldeep and it’s a routine catch for Foakes! Anderson goes around the wicket and nicks off India’s nightwatchman

    Kuldeep Yadav c Foakes b Anderson 4 (24)

    IND: 331/6

  • 09:41 (IST)

    India vs England Live: England eye wickets!

    Root from one end and Anderson from the other! England are in attacking mode but Jadeja and Kuldeep have looked solid so far. India need 450 from here, at least

    IND: 330/5 (89)

  • 09:30 (IST)

    India vs England Live: Morning session starts!

    We are underway on Day 2 with Joe Root starting the proceedings. Kuldeep Yadav will face the first ball of the day

    IND: 326/5

  • 09:07 (IST)

  • 08:52 (IST)

    India vs England, 3rd Test Day 2 LIVE: Can Kuldeep Hang On?

    Kuldeep Yadav has worked a lot on his skills with the bat over the last year or so. Having become more technically astute, the chinaman spinner has the opportunity to show his skills with the bat today as he comes out in the middle with Ravindra Jadeja.

  • 08:31 (IST)

    India vs England, 3rd Test Day 2: Ravindra Jadeja, The Master

    Ravindra Jadeja’s numbers at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Rajkot in First Class cricket:

    Matches: 12

    Innings: 17

    Runs: 1564

    Avg: 142.18

    50s/100s: 4/6

    HS: 331

  • 08:24 (IST)

    India vs England, 3rd Test Day 2 LIVE: Sarfaraz Khan Making Headlines

    After a long and excruciating wait, Sarfaraz Khan proved why he belongs to the top level of Indian cricket, making his much-anticipated Test debut in Rajkot. Tears flowed down the cheeks of the batter’s family as he donned the India cap for the first time in his career. A start of what promises to be a fulfilling career.

  • 08:14 (IST)

    India vs England 3rd Test, Day 2 LIVE: All Eyes On Jadeja

    Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the Day 2 of the third Test between India and England. All eyes will be on Ravindra Jadeja who orchestrated a few brilliant partnerships on Day 1 in Rajkot to take India into the driving seat. The all-rounder, who has already scored his century, will be eager to take India to a 400+ total in the first innings today.

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Australia Great’s “Smart Leader” Praise For Ben Stokes Ahead Of 3rd Test Against India | Cricket News

Former Australian cricketer Ian Chappell lauded England skipper Ben Stokes for his captaincy in the first two Tests of the five-match series against India, saying that his aggressive approach and attitude has given the team success and plenty of self-belief to youngsters. Chappell said that Stokes’ leadership has made sure that the five-match series between both rivals is level at 1-1 and still wide open. Chappell said that England’s great belief in Stokes shows on and off the field both and lauded England’s approach of continuously looking for wickets.

“Ben Stokes’ aggressive approach to captaincy may have failed to claim victory in a hard-fought second Test but the five-match series against India is still wide open at 1-1. Much of England’s success has been attributed to Bazball – the desire to score quickly and tactically rattle the opposition – but this is a misnomer. What Stokes has really done is set out to achieve victory from ball one by playing aggressive cricket in all aspects of the game,” said Chappell while writing for ESPNCricinfo.

“Stokes has been extremely smart to adopt such an approach and his aggressive tactics have brought England great success in the win column. It’s an approach that England was extremely slow to adopt but Stokes has shown himself to be a strong-minded and smart leader,” he added.

He also said that Stokes’ captaincy has given the team belief that helps them produce something extra to gain some vital success on field, like a game-changing run-out by Stokes of Ravindra Jadeja, which shifted the game in England’s favour and made India succumb to a 28-run loss.

“The England team has great belief in Stokes and it shows both on and off the field. The team takes wickets because they are continually looking for them, and this challenge is accepted by the bowlers. One of the great benefits of this strategy is that it enthuses the best players, and they are the ones most likely to affect the final result,” said Chappell.

“The team also believe that Stokes’ aggression will help them claim the odd unexpected success. This belief is what generally leads to a team producing something extra that leads to a vital wicket. Stokes’ brilliance in the field helped him produce a run-out at a crucial time in Hyderabad – and it also helped increase team belief,” he added.

Chappell said that Stokes’ attitude has instilled a self-belief in youngsters like Tom Hartley, Rehan Ahmed and Shoaib Bashir successful. The former cricketer also said that Hartley’s 14 runs with the ball and crucial 114 runs in four innings with the bat should make a limited Jack Leach “redundant”.

“Stokes’ attitude has helped the younger players believe in themselves, and this is showing in their bowling performances. The success of young players Tom Hartley, Rehan Ahmed and Shoaib Bashir is no fluke; it epitomises the confidence instilled by Stokes’ approach,” said Chappell.

“Hartley’s success with both bat and ball should make the limited Jack Leach redundant in the Test side. One of England’s weaknesses has been their spin department, but Stokes’ positive approach suddenly means that slow bowling has a number of candidates,” he added.

Chappell also pointed out that Ollie Pope’s success at number three and rise of Harry Brook in the middle-order has made England’s batting stronger and called for England to pick up their strongest teams in future. He also criticised England for not always picking up their best wicketkeeper and not valuing the option of an extra pacer.

“The success of Ollie Pope at No. 3 and the ascent of Harry Brook as a vital middle-order player also means the batting is potentially much stronger. These marked improvements in talent should ensure that in the future England pick their strongest available team for the prevailing conditions. England has erred in the past by not picking their best wicketkeeper and by often shunning the value of extra pace. Injuries to fast bowlers aside, this should be a thing of the past,” he said.

Chappell said that England would benefit if Stokes is able to function as a full-time all-rounder and also fields in the slips, where he is “one of the best”. The former cricketer also said that England should utilise less bouncers to add an “element of surprise”.

“It will help England enormously if Stokes is once again able to function as an allrounder, as his bowling is a distinct weapon. It would also help if he fielded in the slips, especially to the spinners, as he is one of the best in that position,” said Chappell.

“The other area where England could improve is in their use of the bouncer. It’s often an overused ploy, and it must be remembered that the biggest advantage of the bouncer is the element of surprise,” he added.

Chappell also said that Stokes should look at his batting as well and be more proactive.

“One personal area Stokes could look at is his own batting. If he were more proactive at the start of each innings, it would improve his play. Stokes is a very good batter but he’s at his best when he’s looking to score,” said Chappell.

Chappell pointed out that Indian skipper Rohit Sharma is a “good leader” and the return of KL Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja from injuries will boost the team. But he also said that the absence of star batter Virat Kohli due to personal reasons is a blow to the team.

The former cricketer also urged Indian selectors to stop overestimating Shreyas Iyer’s batting and value spinner Kuldeep Yadav.

“India is a strong side and they also have a good leader in Rohit Sharma. They will be greatly strengthened by Ravindra Jadeja’s and KL Rahul’s recovery from injury, but that Virat Kohli will not return for the rest of the series is a blow. Hopefully, the selectors will now stop overestimating Shreyas Iyer’s batting ability and learn to value Kuldeep Yadav’s wicket-taking capability more,” said Chappell.

Chappell said that the current England side looks far better from the Joe Root-led side which landed in India back in 2021 and was destroyed by Indian spinners.

“As the home side India should eventually win a tough series, but it has a real battle on their hands. England under the aggressive leadership of Stokes is a far cry from the poorly captained Joe Root team that capitulated against spin on their last tour of the country,” said Chappell.

“This India versus England contest is shaping up as it should: a tough five-match encounter between two talented sides,” he concluded.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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