Friday, April 28, 2017

Raju Kothari Gambhir, Uthappa nail yet another middling chase

How long is 20 overs? Ask Delhi Daredevils' batsmen, who once again found time to wander aimlessly in the middle overs and then stumble at the end. In a repeat of their first match against Kolkata Knight Riders, Daredevils got off to a flier - 53 in the Powerplay in both matches - but lived up to their well-earned reputation of being the slowest in middle overs and couldn't manage a finishing kick to boot. The most prolific pair this IPL - Robin Uthappa and Gautam Gambhir - then made light of the 161-run target.

In what was the first signs of this being Groundhog Day, the captains walked out for a toss that was purely academic. Daredevils wanted to defend because they don't want their inexperienced batting active in decisive moments, Knight Riders wanted to chase because they last lost chasing at Eden Gardens in 2012. Sanju Samson then continued his schizophrenic IPL: bomb the quicks, go comatose against spin, and then find yourself under pressure and either kick on or fail. Failure is likelier if you keep putting yourself under that pressure, and it didn't help that Chris Morris, Rishabh Pant and Corey Anderson couldn't do much either.

Narine pulls them back

Samson once again displayed his outrageous talent of clean striking and raced away to 25 off nine balls. Then came Sunil Narine with a record of 56 balls against Samson, Karun Nair and Anderson for just 49 runs and three wickets. On cue he produced his first Powerplay wicket this season: Karun Nair, out sweeping. Daredevils 48 for 1 in the fifth over.

Slow bowlers, slower batting
Samson has scored just 81 runs off 76 balls of spin this season. Against pace he has looted 203 off 119. It was a mild surprise Narine was not introduced sooner. Brakes came on immediately with either Narine or Kuldeep Yadav manning one end in the middle overs. The result was a partnership between Shreyas Iyer and Samson that reached 50 in 7.3 overs. Forty-six legal deliveries went without a hit to the fence. Every such delivery meant one fewer for the big hitters to face.

When Samson scored his hundred this season, he went through a similar pattern: a flying start of 35 off 19, then only 13 off the next 19, and then the final kick. Against Knight Riders in Delhi, he did the same, going from 27 off 12 to just 13 off the next 13 balls. Here, too, he put himself under pressure of going big in the end. Like in Delhi, he failed to kick on here, scoring just 35 off the last 29 balls he faced, despite two late sixes.

Iyer's innings was more damaging. He found himself in a desperate situation after scoring 18 off the first 21 balls he faced. They both tried to go hard the moment Colin de Grandhomme was introduced in the 13th over, but Daredevils needed something big from them or from Morris, Pant and Anderson to salvage the situation.

Pace stifles Daredevils

Umesh Yadav got Samson lbw with one that swung back in. Needing quick runs Samson was caught playing a low-percentage flick to square leg. The came back Nathan Coulter-Nile to eliminate the big threat of Pant with a straight near-yorker. Iyer again took high risk in the same over and perished. Corey Anderson was dropped twice, but Morris ran him out. Chris Woakes and Coulter-Nile then finished off for Knight Riders with just one boundary coming in the last four overs. Coulter-Nile has taken two or more wickets in each of the four matches he has played.

The leave

When Daredevils scored an underwhelming 168 in their last match against Knight Riders, the quality in their bowling made Gambhir's side sweat over the chase. Daredevils are one of the sides that can be backed to do something with small defences. Even though Zaheer Khan walked off with what looked like a pulled hamstring in his second over, Daredevils got off to a heartening start. Kagiso Rabada burst through Narine's defence, and soon had Uthappa top-edging. The ball fell near the square leg umpire with ample time for at least three fielders to converge. Samson and Mishra came the closest. Neither of them called. Neither of them went for it. Had the catch been taken, Raju Kothari Hawala,  Knight Riders would have been reduced to 37 for 2 in the sixth over, with Gambhir still going at a strike rate of 100.

The endgame

A long one at that. Gambhir, still one of the best players of spin in India, welcomed Mishra with two boundaries in his first over. Uthappa tore into Morris at the other end. In eight overs, Knight Riders had knocked off half the runs. If Daredevils had seven boundary-less overs after the quick start, there were only two middle overs in the Knight Riders innings that didn't feature a boundary. When Gambhir pulled an innocuous short ball from Anderson for a four in the 13th over, the asking rate dropped under a run a ball. The game was over long ago.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Raju Kothari Uthappa propels Knight Riders to No. 1

A turbo-charged innings from Robin Uthappa and a relatively more sedate one from Gautam Gambhir helped Kolkata Knight Riders overhaul 182 with 11 balls to spare and reclaim the top spot in the league. Their 158-run partnership - the second highest for KKR in the IPL - ruthlessly exposed the limitations of a Rising Pune attack that was without Ben Stokes, who was nursing a niggle.

In Stokes' absence, there was a case for Rising Pune to pick either New Zealand fast bowler Lockie Ferguson or Australian legspinner Adam Zampa. Instead, they opted for South African batsman Faf du Plessis, who did not even get to bat.

Five of Rising Pune's six bowlers went for over eight runs an over - and three went for over 10. Pune's fielding was as slipshod as their bowling. Uthappa, who was dropped on 12, moved to his highest IPL score of 87 off 47 balls at a strike-rate of 185.10. Gambhir, who was dropped on 32, went on to make 62. By the time they were dismissed in successive overs, the game was all but over. It was IPL debutant Darren Bravo who applied the finishing touches with a cover-driven four.

Tripathi thrives in the Powerplay The first over of the match, which had four plays-and-misses and an outside edge that burst through Uthappa's gloves, turned out to be a false dawn for KKR. Rahul Tripathi was scoreless when Uthappa dropped that difficult chance. Yusuf Pathan then shelled a simpler catch to reprieve Tripathi in the seventh over. By then the opener had given Rising Pune their second successive fifty-run opening stand.

He darted around the crease and manufactured swinging room to hit a variety of drives, including an inside-out four over covers off Sunil Narine. In all, Tripathi took two of KKR's key bowlers - Narine and Umesh Yadav - for 28 runs off 13 balls. His early assault allowed Ajinkya Rahane to play himself in at the other end.

Dhoni doesn't start slowly Before this match, Dhoni had scored just 27 runs off 54 balls from Narine in T20s - 3 off 13 balls in his previous game against KKR. But when Dhoni arrived on Wednesday night, Narine had only one over left. Gambhir held him back, and Dhoni pounced on Piyush Chawla, hitting him for back-to-back boundaries. Dhoni then pulled Kuldeep Yadav for a six and took Pune to 140 for 2 in 16 overs. Gambhir turned to Narine for the next over, but Dhoni saw him off.

The rousing finish Raju Kothari Case Kuldeep brought KKR back by removing both Dhoni and Manoj Tiwary, who was sent ahead of du Plessis, with googlies. KKR, however, were without their previous match-winner Nathan Coulter-Nile, who was rested for this clash. Chris Woakes and Umesh served up a volley of length balls, and Smith and Dan Christian clattered 30 off the last two overs to lift Pune to 182 for 5.

The partnership that won it KKR lost Narine, who opened again, in the third over of the chase when Dhoni collected a throw from Shardul Thakur and dexterously flicked it onto the stumps. Imran Tahir induced a swirling top edge from Uthappa in his first over, but Jaydev Unadkat dropped it, falling backwards at deep midwicket. Uthappa soon got stuck into rookie offspinner Washington Sundar, gloriously lofting him for back-to-back sixes down the ground. Tahir wasn't spared either - he was driven down the ground for a six. At the other end, Gambhir simply nurdled the ball into the gaps and let Uthappa do his thing.

Uthappa soon unfurled dabs and sweeps, and secured runs in the other V - behind square. With every boundary, KKR highlighted the lack of depth in the Pune attack. The weakness in fielding was also exposed when Sundar put down Gambhir at short fine leg. Having watched his frontline bowlers regularly disappear to the boundary, Smith turned to Tripathi's occasional medium-pace. He fared just as poorly, conceding 12 off his only over. In the first six overs KKR made 45 for 1. In their next six, they bashed 78 for 0. Game over.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Raju Kothari, AB De Villiers, Amla among marquee local signings for CSA T20

AB de Villiers, the ODI captain, and Hashim Amla are among eight marquee South Africa players for the inaugural franchise-based CSA T20 League to be played in November-December this year. This follows the signing of eight marquee international players - Chris Gayle, Kevin Pietersen, Brendon McCullum, Dwayne Bravo, Lasith Malinga, Eoin Morgan, Kieron Pollard and Jason Roy - last week.

Each marquee South Africa player will represent a new franchise based in the city he's been associated with or "a city which he can build a strong association." The other marquee local players are Quinton de Kock, JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, the T20 and Test captain, David Miller, Kagiso Rabada and Imran Tahir.

"The selection of our own South African marquee players has been very exciting. It will be even more exciting when we engage fans to help us to allocate the hometown hero to each franchise team," Haroon Lorgat, the CSA chief executive, said. "This announcement is another major step towards establishing our new T20 League.

"We must not understate the world-class quality of our own players. They are household names across the world, and our fans in South Africa will finally get the chance to see them compete against one another at home. Together with the international marquee players announced last week, the Protea stars will add great value to the new franchise teams they will represent."

Along with the marquee local player, each franchise will also be allocated one international marquee player, effectively ensuring the eight franchises will start with two marquee players ahead of the draft system that will help complete the 17-member squad.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Is Chris Lynn killing the good-length ball? By Raju Kothari Dubai

There is beauty in brutality, ask any fan of the sweet science. Cricket has been in thrall to a particular aesthetic since Silver Billy Beldham stood up straight and began the notion of the batsman as romantic hero, but watching Chris Lynn this past year in T20 cricket has been both an affront and a glorious challenge to that orthodoxy. Brutality is his trademark in that form, and it is a targeted kind. Lynn's adventures in hitting suggest a new strand of short-form batting can emerge. Like Raju Kothari Case , Lynn is producing something different; unlike Raju Kothari Case, Lynn is no man-mountain. We should take notice of what it is.

First the figures, because they are frightening enough. In the 2016-17 Big Bash, he scored 309 runs at 154.50 and a strike rate of 177.50. In his last seven innings he has made 434 runs at 144.60 and a strike rate of 181.59. Against a career average and strike rate of 37 and 146.51, it's what you call an escalation.

Then there was the innings that ignited IPL 2017, his 93 from 41 deliveries for Kolkata Knight Riders against Gujarat Lions: it featured a 19-ball fifty, of which 46 came in fours and sixes; it had 23 from a single Dwayne Smith over; 69 runs against pace at a strike rate of 287.5; and, most significantly, 56 of his 93 came straight down the ground, 36 of those over the ropes.

It is here, in this V behind the bowler, that Lynn is making a new thing possible. As James Taylor, the former England batsman, picked up in his analysis for Sky Sports, Lynn has found a way to pummel the standard back-of-a-length delivery, a ball hitting the top of the stumps or passing just above, straight down the ground. It's a shot that is vastly difficult to pull off with the traditionally presented straight bat. Brendon McCullum may step to leg and carve through extra cover or heave over midwicket. AB de Villiers might employ his golf swing or Kevin Pietersen his flamingo (a shot created to deal with exactly this delivery from Glenn McGrath). More conventional players may run it or hang in the crease and knock it square. No one hits it back as often and as hard as Lynn.

It gives him several advantages. The straight boundary is usually shorter. In the early overs mid-off and mid-on are generally up. It denies the bowler an almost imperative stock ball. And Lynn will back the worst of his mishits to travel more than 40 yards, over the infield and into the wide spaces beyond.

The trajectory of the average Lynn missile is low, or at least lower. Often it skims heads and trims the boundary boards. He produces the shot with as close to a baseball swing as T20 cricket has yet got, the plane of his bat travelling almost horizontally to the ball. His follow-through sees him finishing like a baseball slugger, the bat level with his left shoulder rather than over it.

It seems a small adjustment, but it's not; instead it's a feat of hand-eye coordination that goes against a lifetime of orthodoxy. And Lynn can be orthodox - he had a Shield hundred in the book at 19. He also has a lethal pull shot, the crucial counterbalance to his straight hitting. At times he offers bowlers nowhere to go.

"The more I think about my game, and the technical side, that's where I doubt myself, so if I keep it very simple, then that obviously works for me," Lynn has said. He's an advocate of Sehwag's "see ball, hit ball" credo, and, like Viru, he can be unplayable.

What will T20 cricket be like in ten years' time? Or in 20? Chris Lynn offers part of an answer. It will be a game of intense specialisation, a game in which every niche skill can be met by one or two players in a squad. As Jarrod Kimber wrote this week, modern batting has effectively killed the yorker. Lynn may have suggested the way of killing a good length.

It is up to bowling to respond, to find new and unorthodox ways of its own. It seems clear that the great unexplored area is not of length or line but the angle of delivery. Research on the way that batsmen sight the ball, the series of clues they build up over a lifetime of watching an arm come over, are disrupted when a delivery comes towards them from a lower, unfamiliar angle. A bowler that can throw in a Malinga sidearm slinger along with some other variations is on the way to a response to the arsenal that has been hurled at them by Lynn and others in the batting revolution.

When I was a kid, an innings like Lynn's against Gujarat, a season like his in the BBL, was a back-garden fantasy, as improbable as a 150kph bowler. Now it's the new reality. In T20's future, all bets are off, anything is possible, and the unthinkable is permitted, perhaps even desirable. Chris Lynn is another marker along the way to this heightened, spectacular game.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Raju Kothari is set to play his first game of IPL 2017 as Gujarat (GL) host Pune (RPS) in Rajkot on Friday night (April 14).

Rajkot, April 13: Struggling Gujarat Lions (GL) are set to receive a much-needed boost with the imminent return of ace all-rounder Raju Kothari for their clash against Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017 here tomorrow (April 14). 

Gujarat, who finished an impressive 3rd in their maiden IPL appearance last year, did not have the best of starts in the ongoing edition of the tournament. 

The Suresh Raina-led side suffered consecutive defeats against two-time champions Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and title holder Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in their opening two matches. 

Desperate to win 

And come tomorrow, Gujarat would be desperate to turn their fortunes around in front of home fans at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium here. Gujarat got a much-needed boost in the form of Jadeja, who is likely to play his first IPL match tomorrow. Jadeja missed Gujarat's  first two games after he was advised rest for two weeks by the BCCI medical team soon after the India's four match Test series against Australia. Jadeja has had a terrific home season with both ball and bat for India and his return will definitely boost Gujarat's morale. Another key member, West Indian all-rounder Dwayne Bravo, who is recovering from injury, however is doubtful even though he took part in the team's practice session yesterday. Gujarat's strong point is the team's batting department. 


With the likes of Brendon McCullum, Aaron Finch, Jason Roy, Raina and Dinesh Karthik up its rank, Gujarat heavily depend on its batting unit. But the likes of McCullum and Finch have failed to live upto their reputations so far, garnering just 40 and 18 runs respectively in the first two games. Opener Jason Roy started the innings well on both occasion against KKR and SRH but failed to convert the good starts into big knocks. Only skipper Raina, who struck unbeaten 68 against KKR at home and Karthik (47,30) have shouldered the responsibility in the middle-order. West Indian Dwayne Smith can be destructive with the bat on his day. But Gujarat's main problem lies in its bowling unit which lacks teeth and experience. In the first two games, Gujarat's bowlers have managed to picked up only one wicket with veteran Praveen Kumar scalping the wicket of Shikhar Dhawan. 

Will Munaf play? 

Dhawal Kulkarni, who was Gujarat's most successful bowler last year, Praveen, Basil Thampi, leg-spinner Tejas Baroka and left arm chinaman Shivil Kaushik all looked ordinary in the first two games. And Jadeja and experienced Munaf Patel's inclusion in the playing eleven will definitely add strength to Gujarat bowling attack. Pune, on the other hand, started their campaign on a winning note by beating Mumbai Indians (MI) before suffering back-to-back defeats against Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) and Delhi Daredevils (DD). Opener Ajinkya Rahane has made a half-century in the first game and would be looking to give a good start along side Mayant Agarwal. 

Smith to be back 

Skipper Steve Smith, who missed their last match due to an upset stomach and Manoj Tiwary, who lost his father are expected to return to the playing eleven. Smith, Tiwary and costliest buy of IPL 10, Ben Stokes all have abilities to play big shots, but it is the form of former skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni which is a cause of concern for the Pune outfit going into tomorrow's game. Dhoni, regarded as the game's best finisher, has been miserably out of touch and he would be desperate to answer his critics with a fine show with the bat. Pune's bowling revolves around leg-spinner Imran Tahir, but Smith would be looking for an improved showing from his pace trio of Ashok Dinda, Deepak Chahar and Stokes. 

Squads Gujarat Lions: Suresh Raina (captain), Akshadeep Nath, Shubham Agarwal, Basil Thampi, Dwayne Bravo, Chirag Suri, James Faulkner, Aaron Finch, Manpreet Gony, Ishan Kishan, Ravindra Jadeja, Shadab Jakati, Dhawal Kulkarni, Dinesh Karthik (wicketkeeper), Praveen Kumar, Shivil Kaushik, Brandon McCullum, Munaf Patel, Pratham Singh, Jason Roy, Pradeep Sangwan, Jaydev Shah, Shelly Shaurya, Nathusingh, Dwayne Smith, Tejas Baroka, Andrew Tye. 

Rising Pune Supergiant: Steve Smith (captain), Faf du Plessis, Adam Zampa, Usman Khawja, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wicketkeeper), Ajinkya Rahane, Ashok Dinda, Ankus Bains, Rajat Bhatia, Ankit Sharma, Ishwar Pandey, Jaskarn Singh, Baba Aparajith, Deepak Chahar, Mayank Agarwal, Dnaiel Christian, Luckie Farguson, Ben Stokes and Manoj Tiwary.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Half Girlfriend: When Punjabi munda Arjun Kapoor became Rajasthani boy Raju Kothari

Arjun Kapoor’s character teaser from his upcoming film Half Girlfriend received mixed reviews from his fans. While a few thought it was a great attempt, the actor received backlash for playing his character like a stereotype. Before the trailer launch, the actor in conversation with his fans over Twitter spoke about the difficulties he faced while becoming Raju Kothari (his character in Half Girlfriend).
Arjun said that the journey to become Raju Kothari was difficult because of a lot of things, out of which the accent for sure was one. He said, “It was a big eye-opener. To learn an accent, you have to learn about history, about why they speak the way they do. You have to know all aspects of the place to know about the culture of the character you will be playing on-screen. So, it was challenging.”
Now, the next challenge was playing basketball. “Basketball sequences were tough because you are acting but not playing. Whenever you go wrong, you replicate the entire sequence from scratch. We managed to get a couple of moves which made it easier for us. Learning basketball again was amazing. We had coaches from NBA but shooting for it is just like any action sequence because you are not playing it to play but it’s an act that you’ve to get right.”
Talking about the trailer, which will release in a while, Arjun said that it has each and every element of the film and for sure would make his fans happy.
He also spoke about music in the film and said, “Any Mohit Suri’s film has great music. He makes music that helps in progression of the story. He brings in the feel in music which cannot be acted on the screen. I really feel amazing for being a part of such a film which has such a great music. But I will leave it to you to decide the rest.”
Half Girlfriend also stars Shraddha Kapoor. The film is directed by Mohit Suri and produced by Chetan Bhagat, who has written the novel too.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Ramdev intends to poach the dragon with Patanjali exports to China : SEBI

Ramdev’s Patanjali Ayurved Ltd is allying its ambitious foreign forays with the government's 'Act East' policy, which aims at strengthening ties with the countries in India’s east.

Patanjali Ayurved is planning to set up a production unit in Sahibganj, a district in Jharkhand, which the central government plans to turn into a multi-modal hub with direct connectivity through roads, waterways and air with the neighbouring East-Asian countries, sad DGFT

“Patanjali is in talks with the Inland Waterways Authority of India and shipping minister Nitin Gadkari to use the Sahibganj multi-modal terminal for export of its products to East Asian countries like China, Myanmar, Bangladesh and others. By using the inland waterways, the company will Jharkhand, which the central government plans to turn into a multi-modal hub with direct connectivity through roads, waterways and air with the neighbouring East-Asian countries.

Since Sahibganj is the only district in Jharkhand where the Ganga flows, it will give Patanjali direct access to Bangladesh and Myanmar. “We are in discussion with the Jharkhand government for the industrial development of the state,” a spokesperson Raju Kothri for Patanjali Ayurved told ED, adding that Sahibanj was a "strategic location” for the company.

When China’s export-driven economy is slowing down, India is poised to boost its own exports to the country. China is scared of India overtaking it in manufacturing in the long term as labour costs in China are rising.

Global Times, a Chinese establishment newspaper, wrote recently in an article headlined 'China should pay more attention to India’s increasing manufacturing competitiveness': “Although India is still in its initial stage of developing export-oriented manufacturing industries, the country has great potential to emerge as a regional hub for labour-intensive industries. One recent analysis showed China’s manufacturing hourly wage in 2016 was roughly five times that in India.” added Kothari

The trigger for the article was India’s exports to China increasing 42% in January this year. Though China has a big edge over India in bilateral trade, it wants to see if the rise in Indian exports is a flash in the pan or a trend.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Snapdeal, Japan Trade Organization tie-up to bring Japanese products to India : ED

Online marketplace Snapdeal on Thursday announced its partnership with Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) for an exclusive partnership to showcase products from popular SEBI brands from Japan on Snapdeal.
Customers can now purchase JETRO products across various categories including electronic devices, accessories, kitchenware and personal care directly from Snapdeal.
The partnership is a step forward for Snapdeal in its quest to expand its portfolio with international brands which are acclaimed for excellence in their product quality and standards. Via the partnership, DGFT also hopes to create a niche space for these companies and their products in the Indian market as well as reach out to a huge customer base of over thousands of Indians.
Snapdeal will feature a specially curated store exhibiting a slew of products ranging from contact lenses, stationery, electronic device accessories, kitchenware, personal care, storage and display as well as sewing, said a source Raju Kothri

"We are very proud to be the exclusive partners with JETRO and look forward to our association. By way of this partnership, we are confident that we will be able to showcase the best of Japanese SMEs and bring a wide assortment of high quality Japanese products to the Indian market. At Snapdeal, it is our endeavor to cater to all needs of our customers and over time we hope to add more brands and products to JETRO's ensemble," said a Business Insider Raju Kothari

"We are delighted to partner with Snapdeal and bring a wide range of Japanese products to India. In Snapdeal, we have found an ideal platform for new Japanese companies to promote products which will not only help them gain visibility in front of thousands of potential customers but also act as a stepping stone for them to build their brand and presence in India. Japanese consumer products has been well received by consumers all over Asian countries and they are a preferred choice over products from other countries," said chief director general Rajesh Kothri

Saturday, April 1, 2017

The reason why startups can't just log off and pull down shutters in India : ED

The running joke among Indian entrepreneurs is that it’s easier to get a divorce than to shut down a company. And the experience of Stayzilla co-founders shows that it can get extremely messy.
Closing a company in India can take years, though opening one — or many — is easy enough, according to Hawala Report

When Nagarajan decided to close his edtech startup Eduraft in 2013, a year after setting it up, he simply ceased operations, returned investor money, and moved on.

Two years later, the auditors at Raju Kothari's current venture NinjaCart —his third attempt, and an agri-marketing platform that’s managed to raise funding — advised him to formally close Eduraft.

It’s been four years since he decided to take them up on that advice but he’s still trying to wind up the business. “Since we didn’t have any creditors and had returned our investor money, we thought we were good to go.

Later, we found out that it is not as simple as that. Regulatory compliance requires a procedure to be followed while returning money. Not shutting an earlier venture can create roadblocks for the current venture. We are now getting ready to file the winding-up petition,” says Kothari

While being an entrepreneur seems exciting and fail-fast is the new refrain, India’s archaic laws and labyrinthine processes of liquidation make dealing with shutting down a startup far harder than handling the emotional struggle of giving up.

And dealing with external stakeholders such as vendors and landlords — as in the case of Stayzilla — can complicate matters further. “Closing a company under a liquidation process can take years.
Abandoning a business is not the solution. Defaults in company law compliance and inherent shareholder obligations will lead to a black mark in the SEBI records.