The Indian squad for the upcoming Champions Trophy 2017 was finally announced after threats from BCCI to pull out.
India will begin their title defence on June 4 with a game against their arch-rivals Pakistan.
The Indian squad has as much as 9 players from the victorious 2013 campaign.
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Now that IPL is out of the way, focus shifts to the 2017 Champions Trophy, kicking off on June 1 at The Oval, where the hosts take on Bangladesh.
Australia have won the tournament twice and are one of the favourites to lift the trophy. Most Australian players were involved in the two-month-long IPL and have just few days to recuperate before they play their first warm-up game, against the Sri Lankans.
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The recently concluded producer’s council elections in Kollywood was laced with lots of controversies. Like the Nadigar Sangam elections actor Vishal was in the midst of the action surrounding the election. This article is not about the elections and let me conclude by saying that Vishal was elected as the president at the end of it all. The topic I wanted to touch was the press conference the new members of the council had after the win. Vishal who is the president requested the online reviewers to postpone their reviews by few days to help the movie industry.
It was an odd request to be frank. In this day and age, asking few YouTube reviewers to postpone their reviews isn’t going to stop people from voicing their opinions on social media. If Vishal and the new members think that things can be returned back to the olden days with the reviews being postponed, they are living in a dreamland. Let us for example take 90’s as a case study. I am not a movie historian and don’t have statistics but from my experience (Since that’s the decade I am more aware of), there weren’t so many movies releasing every week. We used to wait for big festivals like Pongal, Tamil New Year and Diwali to see big star movies. Only during such big festivals we used to see multiple movies release at one go. Now coming back to the current decade, there are 3-4 movies release every week. It is even hard to keep track of what the movies are and who is acting in it.
The producer’s council should first regulate the amount of movies being made and make sure that the movie they are producing has decent content. Releasing 200+ movies in a year is not going to help the industry. Some movies which release are so amateurish that it is hard to sit through. New producers wanting to enter the industry need to be educated as to how to choose a script before investing a huge sum of money. It is always easy place a blame on a soft target such as YouTube reviewers and call them as a reason for decreasing audience in the theatres but the truth is far from it.
Reviews are personal opinions, people are free to express their opinion in any platform they want. They are the people who go and spend money to watch the film. It’s not like all films are ripped apart, movies like Managaram, 8 thottakal, Bahubali, Aandavan Kattalai, Power Pandi, Pizza, NPNK etc. all got overwhelmingly positive responses from the reviewers. This is the age of good content and if the industry is producing mediocre content, they cannot cry about decreasing audience. I am not talking about piracy here, which is for a completely different topic. People are going to look for review before watching films and that is going to continue. No one is going to stop that. Taking a family of four to the theatre is an expensive ordeal. People would want to make sure that the expense is worthwhile. When we go to a store, the first thing we do before buying a product is to look for reviews. If majority of the users of the product have given positive reviews people purchase that product. In the age of digital media, you are never going to fight that.
If the content is good most of the reviews are going to be favourable. People do look at multiple reviews before making a call and if a movie is good not everyone is going to bad mouth a film. The producers need to get together and think about what they are producing and what content is being screened to the public. If you want people to watch films, reduce the number of movies being produced, produce good content, educate new producers to invest smartly and give the films enough time to publicize their content before release. These would some of the solutions to get the audience to the theatres. By asking reviewers to postpone their reviews, you are basically saying that even if the movie is bad, since we invested, let the people spend the money like they did in the 80’s and 90’s before they found out that the content was horrible. Sorry Vishal, that is not a solution and audience are never going to fall for that.
I still remember the day I landed in the US for the first time. It was January 5th night and there had been heavy snow in Pennsylvania. My international student advisor along with another student whom I had contacted through students association had come to pick me up. I was 22 years old and had never lived away from my parents for more than a month. I was confused, scared and was thousands of miles away from my family.
I did not know to cook, did not know how to manage finances and basically was unfit to stay alone at that time. To top it all, one of my luggage did not make it through on time. That suitcase was the one which had all the food and I was basically afraid of how I was going to manage. I still remember the night I landed and I did not even know how to call my parents to inform them of my safe arrival. The guy who came to pick me up wasn’t very helpful in telling me how to make a call. Mind you this was in 2003, calling to India was still not easy or cheap that it is today. So I just went to sleep without knowing how to inform my parents.
Thankfully my parents called the college and got to know that I had safely arrived. I was lucky that I had my cousins in the US already and they helped me out with the initial calling cards to India. Everyday from the morning after was a learning experience. From learning to cook to managing my own bank account I was Fast tracked to independent living. Even though it was difficult at the start it progressively got easier.
The college life was excellent, I met some wonderful people and I am still in touch with some of them. The 2 years I spent at the university taught me a lot and made me confident of taking care of myself. Once I graduated I did have few months of struggle but I did find a job which I held to the last day I was in the US.
The overall experience in the US was brilliant. The country gave me a lot and I loved every minute of it. I got married when I was in the US. My wife and I travelled a lot and saw lots of beautiful places. We had our first child while we were in the US. Lots of amazing friends and people, the memories would be etched in my mind forever.
It was really sad when I had to leave the country which I called home for 14 years. It was a really hard decision to take. I guess I had reached that tipping point when it did not make sense anymore to continue waiting. It was hard to make that call but I feel it was the right one. 14 years is a long time in a person’s life and I was not getting any younger. America gave me a lot, it was wonderful experience and I enjoyed every bit of it but unfortunately the law makers are stuck in the stone ages.
Things happened too fast and I along with my family moved out at a breakneck speed. It never sank in as I did not even have time to say goodbye to people I know properly. It was good in a way that it happened so fast. The only regret I had was when I moved out of my home where my wife and I stayed for 5 years. The home where my wife and I experienced lots of highs and quite a bit of lows. The home where my wife and I spent hours together talking, watching movies and cooking. It was an emotional moment when I left the keys at the counter and locked the door for one last time.
There is no regret and I would do it all over again in a heart beat. I had wonderful 14 years and I leave with no regrets. Thanks US for everything you gave me and this post was a long time coming. I have moved on to a new country and new life but I carry with me wonderful memories. Bye Bye US, thanks for everything.
Yesterday’s game between KKR and RCB was interrupted by rain. The game was on hold till the rain stopped and the ground was ready for play. The game stopped when RCB were 100/3 in 14.1 overs. After the match resumed, the bowling team just bowled 5 balls and the umpire called for strategic break. Are you kidding me? Why would either team want to strategize when they had just spent about an hour in the dressing room with the coaching staff.
What is there to strategize after just 5 balls when nothing much had changed? If BCCI wants to give an advertising break, why not just call it that? It is funny that BCCI dictates and forces teams to take a break when they don’t want to and thereby cause unnecessary break in play. If BCCI wants to sell airtime to make money they should call the break as advertisement break. If they really want to give the teams a strategic break, it should only be taken when the teams want to take it.
It was extremely funny when teams had just come in after a 45 minute break and within 5 deliveries had to go back in to strategize nothing.
India’s long home season ended with a brilliant series win over touring Australian team. India were brilliant throughout the season and it was a dominant home performance. India also reached the top of the rankings table during the season and have taken a nice lead over the second ranked team. The team had lots of positives over the season which spanned 13 tests none more satisfying than the performances of the pacers. Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami were excellent and provided timely breakthrough’s throughout the season. They both were pacy and kept their intensity whenever they were called up on by the captain. Bhuvneshwar Kumar also was brilliant in the chances he received and pocketed couple of 5 wicket hauls on wickets which assisted him. Ishant Sharma did not play a lot during the home season but he did give his all whenever he made the X1.
The spin combination of Ashwin and Jadeja were devastating throughout the home season. Ashwin was brilliant in West Indies as well when India toured last year for a 4 match test series. Jadeja though kept improving throughout the season and ended up as the number 1 bowler in the world at the end of it. The left-armer was brilliant with the ball and by the end of the season was contributing with the bat as well. The duo was also received good support from Jayanth Yadav and Kuldeep Yadav in the games they made the X1. The biggest positive for India though was the fact that they played as a team throughout and most of the wins were a thorough team efforts. There were many instances of young players stepping up to the challenge and putting in match/series defining performances. Jayanth Yadav’s maiden test hundred against England, Karun Nair’s triple hundred and Kuldeep Yadav’s 4-fer all were extremely important in the context of the match and the series.
The senior members also stepped up to the plate when required. The captain himself was brilliant throughout the season except for the Australian series. Murali Vijay, Ajinkya Rahane, Saha, Ashwin, Jadeja, Lokesh Rahul all made crucial contributions throughout the season. The all-round contributions from Jadeja and Ashwin, gave Kohli the opportunity to play 5 bowlers when required. The solidity which Saha discovered during the home season also gave Kohli a great chance to experiment with the X1.
Now that the home season is done and dusted, the team would know that they are in for much tougher challenges in the coming year or so. Overseas tours are not something new for this bunch. Most of the members from this present team were part of India’s long overseas season from 2013-2015. The team already knows what to expect and would hope to be better prepared this time around. Kohli’s first challenge obviously would be to defend India’s Champions Trophy crown which would be right after the IPL. This Indian team has shown that they could compete on any type of wicket and now they would want to put in more consistent performances overseas. Things are really looking exciting for team India under the leadership of Virat Kohli and as Ashwin had mentioned in his interview, hope he can take India to the newer heights in the coming years.