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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Dhoni to lead in ODIs; Pathan, Harbhajan recalled

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Mahendra Singh Dhoni Tuesday replaced Rahul Dravid as captain for the One-day International home series against Australia and Pakistan, while Irfan Pathan and Harbhajan Singh come back to the side.

Dhoni, 26, is currently leading India at the Twenty20 World Championship in South Africa. Dravid, who had opted out of the Twenty20, had made himself unavailable for the captaincy to concentrate on his batting after the recent tour of England.

Announcing a 15-member team for the first three ODIs against Australia at a press conference, cricket board secretary Niranjan Shah said here that Yuvraj Singh, who is senior to Dhoni, would be the vice-captain.

"We thought he was the best man for the job. He is a good (Twenty20) captain and it is the right time to groom him," said Dilip Vengsarkar, chairman of the selection committee.

Referring to speculation that Sachin Tendulkar had declined to lead the ODI team, he said that no one was offered the captaincy before Dhoni was finally picked.

Rohit Sharma, Ajit Agarkar and Munaf Patel, who were part of the team that recently toured England, were dropped for the first three matches.

The three ODIs will be played at Bangalore (Sep 29) Kochi (Oct 2) and Hyderabad (Oct 5).

The team for the remaining four one-dayers will be announced later.

A hard-hitting batsman who can change his game according to the situation, the Ranchi-based Dhoni has played 84 ODIs since making his debut against Bangladesh at Dhaka in 2004 and scored 2,477 runs at 44.23. In 20 Tests, he has scored 1,019 runs at 36.39.

Board president Sharad Pawar, who approved the team, endorsed the choice of Dhoni and the team as a whole.

"Anything that takes the team forward should be welcomed. We also have to see that the young generation is given opportunity and if the captain is also young that's good," he said.

The seven-match One-day International series against Australia will be played from Sep 29 to Oct 17.

The Pakistani team will visit India for five ODIs and three Test matches to be played between Nov 6 and Dec 12.

The captain for the Test series will be named later, said Vengsarkar.

On the recall of left-arm pacer Pathan and off-spinner Harbhajan, both of whom are playing Twenty20 World Championship, he said they have done well to merit a recall.

On Virender Sehwag, who is also playing in South Africa but was again ignored for the ODIs, Vengsarkar said that since the team was only for three matches, "he will get his opportunity" later in the series.

Team: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain/wicket keeper), Yuvraj Singh (vice captain), Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly, Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir, Dinesh Karthik, Robin Uthappa, Irfan Pathan, Harbhajan Singh, Sreesanth, Piyush Chawla, Ramesh Powar, Zaheer Khan and Rudra Pratap Singh.

Australia in India
Tue, Sep 25Australia team arrival
Sat, Sep 29First ODIBangalore
Tue, Oct 2Second ODIKochi
Fri, Oct 5Third ODIHyderabad
Mon, Oct 8Fourth ODIGuwahati
Thu, Oct 11Fifth ODIBaroda
Sun, Oct 14Sixth ODINagpur
Wed, Oct 17Seventh ODIMumbai

Pakistan in India
Fri, Nov 2Pakistan team arrival
Tue, Nov 6First ODIFaridabad
Fri, Nov 9Second ODIMohali
Mon, Nov 12Third ODIKanpur
Thu, Nov 15Fourth ODIGwalior
Sun, Nov 18Fifth ODIJaipur
Thu, Nov 22 - Mon, Nov 26First TestDelhi
Fri, Nov 30 to Tue, Dec 4Second TestKolkata
Sat, Dec 8 - Wed, Dec 12Third TestBangalore

Gaddar exposes himself before Vijayashanti

Revolutionary singer Gaddar, who has a lot of reputation as the champion of the downtrodden, has exposed his intentions to come into politics by joining hands with a political turncoat like A Narendra and a fraud like Vijayashanti.

Gaddar bared his chest and danced along with Vijayashanti on the dais at Osmania University and promised to be a part of the Telangana United Front and lead the Telangana movement. According to sources, the entire show at Osmania University was sponsored by the Congress leaders themselves with behind the screen support from Chief Minister's advisor K V P Ramachandra Rao. And it is an open secret that Narendra, Vijayashanti and Jayaprakash Reddy have the blessings of Y S Rajasekhar Reddy.

So, one wonders what credibility Narendra and Vijayashanti has in the Telangana front. Narendra is able to avoid inquiry by the CBI into the fake passport scandal only because of the support of Pranab Mukherjee through YSR. And Vijayashanti only makes guest appearances once in a while, on the occasions like Bonalu festival and Telangana liberation day. What would Gaddar get by joining hands with them is anybody's guess. Only thing is that Gaddar himself will lose his credibility.

Of KCR and his communal politics

Many people in Telangana believe that Telangana Rashtra Samithi president K Chandrasekhar Rao has an unflinching commitment for Telangana State formation. But many others do not know that gaining immediate political gains is more important to him than achieving separate Statehood for Telangana.

If one were to read between the lines his unusual silent on Telangana Liberation Day on September 17, one can realize that his prime objective was not to recall the glory of erstwhile independent Hyderabad State, but to gain immediate benefit for the TRS in the forthcoming Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation Elections. Hyderabadi Muslims still feel that the end of Nizam rule would mean loss of independence for Muslims and therefore, they do not appreciate the political parties celebrating this Hyderabad liberation day.

And KCR, who is eyeing on GHMC hot seat, does not want to antagonize the Muslims. Therefore, by staying away from Hyderabad Liberation Day celebrations, he wants to woo the Muslim community. He argues that what matters now is not celebrating the past incident, but re-liberating the Telangana from the clutches of Andhra rulers. And he wants the Muslims to take part in regaining their past glory by liberating Telangana. That's KCR and his communal politics!

Idol Manufacturers and Haleem Makers Are Weeping

The Ganesh Chaturdhi has left a lull this time at the idol vendors. Vendors are saying that the sale of idols is very less this ear when compared to previous years.

"Every year we notice 20 percent of growth rate in the sales of Ganesh idols. But this time the sale is tremendously less. We have thousands of idols at us those weren't sold out. The main reason for all this is the recent bomb blast incident in Hyderabad. People haven't shown much interest in many years to celebrate the festival in bigger way. Majority people also took away only smaller size idols this time. Police is also keen in giving permissions for public mandapams and that is another reason for the fewer sales of idols", said an idol maker with dull voice.

Same is being told by a Haleem maker near Charminar. "We are not seeing crowds in big way as we saw in previous years. People are afraid of bomb blasts. We used to enjoy a great customer count with the interest shown by our Hindu brothers towards Haleem. But this time, even Muslims are found in less number when compared to previous years. The macca masjid blasts and lumbini blasts are still frightening many", he said.

Tania Sachdev won the Asian Women's Chess Championship

Tania Sachdev won the Asian Women's Chess Championship on Tuesday i.e. on 11/9/07, at Tehran by beating Chinese Ju Wenjun. She is also a Grandmaster-norm holder. She joined Women Grandmaster (WGM) Club in 2005.

Isn't she cute?

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