India at the Rio Paralympics is more than just medal tally

Shortly after the Rio Olympics got over, now begins the Rio Paralympics. Paralympics is a great pusher for sports played by the disabled. It is an elixir of the courage of the disabled and that disabilities do not stop anyone from achieving what they want. Google has honored the Rio 2016 Paralympics with a Google doodle.

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A total o 19 Indian athletes will feature in 10 discipline at the Rio Paralympics. The Paralympics will see as many as 4300 participants from 23 disciplines. Till date, India won as many as 8 medals that include 2 gold, 3 silvers and 3 bronzes.

India is hoping for a improved medal tally now. Indians will participate in High jump, Archery, Shot put, shooting, Swimming, Javelin throw, Power-lifting, Discus throw, club throw and 1500 runs .

There are several disciplines at the Olympics that will include athletics, boccia, cycling, equestrian, football, goal-ball, judo, para-triathlon, sailing, shooting, swimming table tennis, volleyball. There will also be a lot of games played bound on the wheelchair – basketball, tennis, rugby, canoe-kayak, triathlon.

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Key players to watch out for in Indian Paralympics among men would be Mariyappan thangavelu, Varun Singh Bhati, Sundar Singh Gurjar, Devendra Jhajaria, Rinku Narendar Ranbir, Sandeep, amit Kumar Saroha, Dharambir, Naresh Kumar Sharma, Suyash Narayan Jadhav, Basha Farman, Virender Dhanka, Ankur Dharma,

Among Women important players would be Pooja, Deepa Malik, Karamjyoti Dalal.Though, the Rio Olympics 2016 gave a party time, India did well with just 3 medals. However, the poor medal tally has not been impressive. It is time to see India’s performance at the  held at Rio this year

While medal tally might be important, it goes well with the tag-line from Adidas: ‘Impossible is nothing’ and is a good example of how  people with disabilities too have a chance.The Paralympics is about hope  than about winning.

India Versus West Indies – 1st T20I Review

After an extremely one sided test series which India took 2-0(4), the action shifted to a format which evened the scales. The reigning World T20 champions took on the Men in Blue in the first of the 2 T20I. The last time these two teams had squared up, India suffered an emotional loss at home in the World T20 semifinal. What made this contest more exciting was that it was played in Florida, cricket’s newest market.

India won the toss and as expected, elected to bowl. What followed was nothing short of a brutal carnage. The Windies openers, Charles and Lewis led the hostile takeover as they took the attack to the bowlers from the word go. The very first over of the match bowled by Shami bled 17 runs and there was no looking back. Charles was bludgeoning the ball while Lewis was milking runs at ease. 78 runs from the power play and a whopping 132 from the first 10. If India thought that the storm was over, they were in for a huge surprise. Lewis took a liking for Binny and smacked 5 sixes of his only over, the eleventh of the innings. He completed a well-deserved century before falling to Jadeja. Russell, Pollard and Brathwaite chipped in with useful contributions as West Indies amassed a mammoth 245/6.
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India had to conjure a lot of brilliance to pull off this heist. Rahane fell early courtesy a good low catch by Bravo and when Russell snarled Kohli inside the power play, the writing was on the wall for the Men in Blue. Rohit Sharma and Lokesh Rahul had other plans as they went about their jobs with utmost ease. Sharma was carting the bowlers to heaven and back while Rahul was stamping his increasing authority as a T20 batsman. Both reached their half centuries in good time and more importantly, they didn’t let the required rate get out of hand. Sharma’s departure in the 12th over brought Dhoni to the middle. Rahul was unfazed by the mounting pressure. He kept harassing the West Indian bowlers and completed his century of 46 balls. India did tremendously well to reduce the target to 8 of 6. What then should have been a routine chase especially with a centurion and a well set MSD in the middle turned out to be a nightmare. With 2 needed of 1, Bravo held his nerve as Dhoni was caught by Samuels at short third man to hand West Indies a thrilling 1 run win.
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The action will resume less than 24 hours later as Lauderhill, Florida prepares for another edge of the seat thriller.

India versus Zimbabwe – Series Review

We’re only half way through 2016 and the cricketing fraternity has already witnessed a gargantuan amount of T20 cricket. Indian fans in particular, have been at the heart of this overload. International fixtures against Australia and SriLanka were followed by the Asia Cup which was tweaked to play as a launchpad for the T20 World Cup. The party scene fuelled by the success of Darren Sammy’s men was in turn followed by the onset of the biggest cricketing carnival across the globe, the IPL. The next stop for the Indian Cricket Team was Zimbabwe.

Although fielding a second string side, India went into the series with unmistakable superiority. They had whitewashed Zimbabwe in their last two tours and were heavily expected to do the same. The Indian bowlers struck gold on their first try as Zimbabwe were restricted to a meagre 168 (which was to be their highest total of the series). All the bowlers chipped in with Bumrah running away with 4 wickets. 169 was never going to be enough to test the Indian batting. KL Rahul, in his first ODI, romped his way to a classy century and became the first debutant centurion for India in ODIs. Riding on that knock and a sedate 62* from Ambati Raydu, India trashed Zimbabwe by 9 wickets.

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Makhaya Ntini’s bold statements before the start of the series meant that Zimbabwe were under more pressure to level the series. Unfortunately, their batsmen’s performance dipped further as they were skittled out for just 126. Sean William’s unfortunate injury compounded their problems as Chahal wreaked havoc. The Indian batting flexed their muscles once again as they romped home by 8 wickets.

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The final ODI was a dead rubber. Zimbabwe’s woes worsened as their batting self-destructed once again. It was almost like they wanted to make it progressively easier for the Indians. Bumrah was once again the destroyer in chief as he helped himself to 4 more wickets. Rahul and debutant Faiz Fazal struck half centuries which helped the Men in Blue to a 10 wicket win and a clinical series whitewash.

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A lopsided series raised a lot of questions about the very need for such tours. Though it may not play a pivotal role in the bigger scheme of things, it is always a pleasant feeling for any youngster to represent his country. Such tours give them a taste, though miniscule about how much it takes to succeed on the international scene and the biggest gains from this series are definitely KL Rahul and Jasprit Bumrah.

 

 

 

THE THRONE OF PARIS

The annual tennis calendar can be split into 5 pieces revolving around the four Grand Slams. April marks the start of the second phase and it runs until the end of Roland Garros. For a good part of the last decade, this period witnessed ‘routine’ proceedings. A certain Spanish Bull would go haywire, running through anything and everything in its path. But, with the bull subdued temporarily, the French capital has had a chance to look outside off its most decorated champion. The 2016 French Open has witnessed a lot of stories. The one that matters most will be strung together by an unfathomably dominant Serb and an enviably perseverant Brit at the Philippe Chatrier on Sunday evening.

Heading into the summit clash, both these players have walked contrasting paths. Djokovic has been serenely sublime if not his usual brutally dominant self. Nadal’s withdrawal meant that the World No. 1 had a significantly easier route to the finals. He was hardly tested up until Round 4 where Bautista Agut managed to steal the opening set. The Serbian quickly regrouped to see off the Spaniard and moved into the quarters. Berdych and Thiem were hardly an obstacle as Novak strode into his third consecutive Roland Garros final.

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Murray started the tournament looking like he wanted to leave Paris at the earliest. He dug in deep to erase a 2 set deficit against Stepanek in the first round only to see himself fall 2 sets to 1 behind against local lad Bourgue in the very next round. Somehow, his grit and experience covered for his starting troubles as he avoided an early exit with back to back 5 setters. Since then, he has found his range whilst dispatching Karlovic, Isner, Gasquet and Wawrinka in the process. He was particularly impressive in his semifinal bout against defending champion, Stan Wawrinka where he mixed caution and aggression with considerable ease.

Andy Murray celebrates during the day eleven of the French Open 2016 at Roland Garros on June 1, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Nolwenn Le Gouic/Icon Sport)

This will be their 7th meeting in a Grand Slam final with Djokovic enjoying a 4-2 advantage. Nole hasn’t beaten Murray in a Grand Slam final outside Melbourne but is still the favorite to come out shining. Considering the regal drought of weaknesses in Novak’s game, Murray would be well served by exploiting the mental pressure which surrounds his illustrious counterpart.  The weight of completing a Career Slam is growing with each passing year and somehow Djokovic always finds a way to stutter at the final step. Nadal used this to this advantage in the 2014 en route to a 14th Grand Slam. Though he got back at the Spaniard with a quarterfinal drubbing in 2015, he took his foot off the gas in the final which helped Wawrinka blast him out of the contest. Murray should look to be aggressive and hit the returns as deep as possible. The first set will hold the key as it will be close to impossible to beat Novak after losing the first set.

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Andy Murray during the day eleven of the French Open 2016 at Roland Garros on June 1, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Nolwenn Le Gouic/Icon Sport)

Winning the championship will also give Murray a unique edge over Djokovic. If the Brit comes out smiling, he’ll need just the Australian Open to complete a Career Golden Slam (something which only Rafa and Agassi have achieved in the Open Era).For Djokovic, it’s all in the head. Currently, no one can match his skills on the court. If he can find a way to escape the expectations and speculations surrounding him and play out a normal ‘Novak Djokovic’ match, very few would bet against him. Irrespective of which way the fortunes swing, Roland Garros is all set to have a first time champion for the second year running.