Shakhtar Donetsk manager Paulo Fonseca is looking to take the Ukrainian giants to the Champions League knockout stage, but the road hasn’t been easy.
“It makes my heart sick when I remember all the good words and the broken promises,” said Chief Joseph. If there were a bet to be made on one thing universal in this world, it could very well be broken promises. We have all been there and done that. It has also happened to us. People have made unrealistic promises to us at various points in our lives, and we have returned that with bonus, haven’t we? Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldiwn Are Busy Celebrating Valentine’s Week in Just the Right Way – View Pic.
In case you are wondering why are promises being discussed at this point of time, it will help to know that Promise day is a part of the days which makes the Valentine’s week and falls on 11th of February. Valentine Week List 2019 With Dates: From Rose Day, Propose Day, Kiss Day to Valentine’s Day, Check Complete Calendar For Festival of Love.
Promises made on this day can enrich a relationship. However, promises made just for the purpose of making a promise and not fulfilling it may ruin a relationship as well. Anti-Valentine Week 2019 Dates: Complete Schedule From Slap to Break-Up Day 2019 to Unlove the Spirit of Valentine’s Day.
Therefore, this Promise Day, in order to save you from “Promiseburn”, we mention unrealistic promises that you should not be making or believing this year. They are as follows:
“I Will Do Everything/Anything You Say”
The basis of any relationship is trust. Love is based on incidents which confirm it in the minds of lovers that they truly trust each other and respect that trust. However, one should beware and abstain from making vague promises that includes words like “anything” and “everything.” Never believe if she or he says, “I promise to do everything/anything you tell me to do.” It’s better to make or take a specific and more realistic promise like, “I promise to do things you want me to or like, at least sometimes if not all the time.” Remember, it’s better to promise less and deliver more rather than the other way round, whether it’s your lover or voter.
“I Promise to Call You Every Day”
This one is especially for those in long-distance relationships. One thing that (subjective) affordable 4G has done in India is that it has us made Netflixing easier and making video calls better. Lovers who are separated by distance are connected by calls. However, in this past-faced, multi-tasking and Facebook/WhatsApp/Instagram (Snapchat*) life, it is tempting to make promises such as “I will call you everyday baby or babu.” Believe this promise at your own peril. It’s better to say that, “I promise to call you every day, if you do that too!” This way, you can always share the blame.
“We Will Celebrate Our Relationship Anniversary in a Grand Way”
Ok, we appreciate the fact that you want to make the special day which marks your relationship anniversary even more special. But do not fall into the trap of putting the cart before the horse. It’s always better to surprise amusingly than to disappoint massively. Never promise to hold grand celebrations as you never know you might ever reach that far. And even if you do, your relationship will definitely not if you fail to fulfil this promise. Creating high expectations is the mother of all discontentment. Promise less, surprise more.
“Promise to Love You Till My Last Breath”
Ok, vision appreciated. But dudes and babes, you really don’t know if you will even see the next sunrise, forget about eternity. No, we are not selling insurance and wish you a long and healthy life. But promising to love someone till your last breath or assuring to do that may end up giving you bad breath. Jokes apart, always avoid always and never say never. So it’s better to promise that you will try your best rather than becoming the alpha and omega and declaring your love expiry-free of death, diseases and other elements that lesser mortals have to face.
Couples are supposed to make promises on promise day to each other, even if they do that all the time and keep breaking it. However, unlike other occasions, couples or lovers should only make only those promises which they can fulfil. Remember, a small promise made and fulfilled is better than multiple grand unfulfilled promises. As Robert Frost once said, “The woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep.”
With Prithvi Shaw having graduated to Test level in sparkling fashion, another teenager is doing his utmost these days to force his way into national reckoning. In his most recent assignment, with India C in the Deodhar Trophy in Delhi earlier this week, Shubhman Gill produced innings of 36, 106* & 26 to continue his impressive start to the domestic season. India C went on to lift the trophy, and although Gill was upset with his failure to convert his start in the final into a substantial innings, he was pleased to have contributed to the team’s success – especially in the previous game where his 106* in 111 balls helped chase a stiff target of 295 with ease against India B.
”I was hoping to play a longer innings but I unfortunately I couldn’t score much in this match,” he told CricketNext after the game. “But the big thing is that I contributed for the team and we ended on the winning side. In the previous match the ton came at a good time but there are certain areas that I can work on.
“As a player, you can never achieve perfection. There is a constant need to improve and learn new skill sets. Like in this championship I wanted to improve upon my ability to play medium pacers, swing and also scoring at a brisk pace in the middle overs. So, I’ll be looking to put in more effort there.”
File image of Shubman Gill. (ICC/ Twitter)
Gill, a member of the U-19 team that won the World Cup earlier this year, has won admirers for his shot-making skills, nimble footwork and the ability to judge length. Although he has only played three First-Class matches so far, Gill is already on the selectors’ radar. In fact, he was asked to join the Indian squad for the second Test against Windies in Hyderabad earlier this month when Hanuma Vihari was released to play in the Vijay Hazare Trophy. It was an experience Gill cherished.
“The India call up did come as a surprise and the feeling cannot be explained in words,” he said. “When you share space with the big players, you get to pick their brains on different match situations. That is certainly going to help me going forward.
“I’m just pleased to be in the selectors’ loop. It’s a great to play with some of the more experienced players on the circuit and share the dressing room with them. My form has been good this year and that showed here (Deodhar Trophy). Rubbing shoulders with the seniors has given me a fair idea as to where I stand.”
Having scored two centuries and three fifties in the last 10 List A games, and averaging nearly 50 in his young first-class career, Gill is in the middle of a purple patch of sorts. His next assignment will come with the India A team headed to New Zealand next month, giving him the chance to test his mettle on foreign soil. Gill is confident of success, saying he follows a simple mantra imbibed from watching more experienced players operate.
“Being in the presence seniors, I’ve learned to think about the next innings only,” he explained. “I don’t think beyond that. So, I’ve started applying that in my game and I think of scoring runs in each and every match. That has been working well for me till now. Exactly the same way I think about each ball in my innings and not beyond that.”
Indian cricket is blessed with some outrageous talent at the moment and Shubhman Gill is among the most prominent of those. It appears to be only a matter of time before he realises his dream of wearing the India jersey.
First Published: October 28, 2018, 4:45 PM IST
Writing on Virat Kohli has to be among the toughest of challenges for any sports writer. There isn’t anything to write that isn’t already written. There really aren’t any new adjectives to describe him. There are only numbers and statistics to trace his achievements, which keep improving with every passing game.The latest such achievements: fastest ever to 10000 ODI runs, getting there in 54 innings fewer than Sachin Tendulkar. 37 ODI centuries. Fastest to 1000 runs in a calendar year. And plenty more which even statisticians might miss.
So, when my boss pinged on Wednesday (October 24) to suggest a piece on Kohli, I wondered what to write. I’m still wondering, as I type this line.
I remember 31 March, 2001 quite vividly. When Sachin Tendulkar drove Shane Warne in Indore to become the first batsman to reach mount 10000 for the first time ever, it felt like an insane achievement. There was build-up to the event, there was anticipation.
When Kohli drove Ashley Nurse to long-on in the 37th over in Visakhapatnam, I wasn’t sure there was a feeling of freshness, having seen 12 other batsmen cross the landmark before him. Kohli didn’t give any time for build-up or anticipation either; he raced from 9000 to 10000 in just 11 innings! Blink, and you miss it.
What there is though is a massive anticipation of what’s in store for the future, especially having seen Tendulkar go on to add more than 8000 runs since that match in Indore. Tendulkar was nearly 28 then, Kohli is 29 now. Given Kohli’s consistency – a very mild term to describe his string of scores – it’s mindboggling to imagine where he will end up by the time he finishes.
Comparisons with his idol Tendulkar are inevitable, even if he himself might say it’s unfair. The 100 international 100s don’t seem too far away; Kohli has 61 already. The one-day tally of 49 centuries is definitely within reach. Kohli is just 12 away, and looking at the way he’s scoring centuries for fun, it won’t take too long either.
I’m not sure what the statistics, projections and predictions suggest. When Brian Lara predicts Kohli to be the highest run-scorer in every format, there must be some truth in it.
But it’s pointless to debate on who the better of the two batsmen is, for plenty of reasons. How it should be seen as is a passing of the baton. Two key moments in Indian cricket history symbolize the transition:
On April 2, 2011, when Tendulkar walked off to stunned silence after playing his last World Cup knock in the final at Wankhede stadium in Mumbai, it was Kohli who walked in. That was the penultimate time when an Indian crowd didn’t want to see Kohli enter.
The last such occasion was on November 14, 2013. When Tendulkar walked off for 74 in the second Test against West Indies, having played his final innings in international cricket. It was Kohli who once again replaced his predecessor. And what did he do? Smash the first ball for four. It was almost as if he was telling the world that he’s taking over. The baton was passed.
Beyond the mere volume of runs and number of centuries, one important factor in the baton that Kohli has to take from Tendulkar is the master’s ability to lift his game in World Cups. Tendulkar has scored a record 2278 runs from 45 matches across six World Cups at an average of 56.95, 12 more than his career average. Tendulkar dominated three World Cups; he was the highest run-scorer in 1996 and 2003, and the second-highest in 2011 when India won.
The sample size for Kohli is considerably smaller. He has played only two World Cups, began both with centuries before tapering off a little. Kohli averages close to 42 from 17 World Cup matches, which is around 17 fewer than his career average. None of this suggests it’s bad by any means, but if he can emulate his idol in this aspect, India will feel their chances rise rapidly. His record in World T20s and Champions Trophies suggest it’s only a matter of time. The big stage is definitely not a hindrance for Kohli.
In fact, Kohli doesn’t seem to worry about outside perceptions on enormity of the stage. His intensity is the same in a game against Ireland as it is in, say a Champions Trophy final. One minor moment in the second ODI against Windies shows Kohli’s hunger, even obsession, for perfection:
In the first ball of the 11th over, Kohli flicked Nurse to deep mid-wicket and ran hard for a couple of runs. It ended up being a one-short, resulting in Kohli furiously abusing himself. One run against Windies in a bilateral ODI series while batting first with the team already leading the series, for a man who was closing in on 10000 runs.
All the talk at the end of the day will be on the one run that took him to 10000. It’s the obsession with the one run he missed, though, that makes Virat Kohli the run-monster he is.
First Published: October 24, 2018, 7:49 PM IST
Twelve-year-old Prithvi Shaw sits on a bed, his palms in a clasp and his father by his side. The boy oozes a confidence that belies his age. Behind him a stained wall. Above, an expansive window. A piece of cloth – denims? – hangs from a clothesline.This is in mid-2011, when India was in the grip of the home World Cup. Shaw looks into a camera and lists his activities from the previous day. He woke at 6, practiced, attended a camp from 9 to 11. Then a swim session, lunch and table-tennis. More practice from 3:30 to 6:30. Dinner. A match from 8 to 1am. Sleep. There is no rest all week. Every day is choc-a-bloc.
Shaw is one of the protagonists in Sushrut Jain’s affecting documentary, Beyond All Boundaries (2013): which explores India’s obsession with the game through the eyes of Sudhir Gautam, a superfan, and two emerging cricketers. A few frames earlier the veteran Mumbai journalist, Makarand Waingankar, has told us that Prithvi at 12 is better than Sachin Tendulkar was at the same age. A former Mumbai first-class cricketer, Sahil Kukreja, adds that Shaw’s feats in school cricket are comparable to Tendulkar’s and Kambli’s run-feasts in the late 1980s.
Shaw, his father claims, first hit a cricket ball when he was two years old. That may well be an exaggeration, but you never know. For by the age of six, Shaw was creating a stir in the Mumbai school’s circuit. Two years on he was gifted a bat by Tendulkar himself. Newspapers wrote up lengthy profiles. Here was the next boy-genius, they said. One who woke in the wee hours and undertook the 70km ride from Virar to Mumbai.
Shaw may have shot to global fame in 2013 – after his monster 546 in a Harris Shield match – but his legend was already mushrooming in corners of the internet. There was the ‘Prithvi Shaw Appreciation Group’ on Facebook active as early as 2011. On websites and forums, readers raved. Like this comment on Rediff.com from June, 2012:
“First saw this kid at Indian airlines ground batting in the nets to quality bowlers under Mr.dubey… I had bought a brand new bat for knocking and decided to give it to him. He played with the bat for good 20 minutes and returned my bat. What I saw on the bat was not a single ball was edged the ball was centered by prithvi and mind you the bowlers were not kids they were good bowlers. Really tallented kid shoud play for India U16 and U19. (sic)
As absurd as it is to pronounce Prithvi Shaw as the next Tendulkar – as many, including India’s chronically gung-ho coach, have suggested – but one must point out his obviously Tendulkarine rise. No Indian cricketer over the last 30 years has been picked out for greatness so early. Few have been able to live up to the hype at every stage of their development, through the U-14s, U-17s, U-19s, first-class and India A sides. Few have started their Test careers with such resounding inevitability.
The similarities don’t end there. Tendulkar was indebted to his brother, Ajit, for gauging his preternatural talent. For asking him to move in with his uncle and aunt. For getting him to shift schools in order to fast-track his cricketing career. Shaw’s father, Pankaj, has been a parent, mentor, taskmaster and coach. He somehow convinced himself that his son would go on to play for India. And has made every sacrifice to fulfil this destiny – whether by forsaking full-time employment or drilling the basics of technique. Tendulkar’s coach ferried him on his scooter from match to match. Shaw’s every waking hour is spent on training or playing. Everything else, his father says, is a waste of time.
It’s no surprise that Tendulkar and Shaw emerged from Mumbai: that cradle of Indian batting where hawk-like coaches keep their eyes peeled for outrageous talent. Where reporters still pay attention to school cricket.
In his autobiography Imperfect, Sanjay Manjrekar highlights the value of Mumbai’s former cricketers, umpires, selectors and the city’s ardent cricket fans who “go to various maidans only to watch young exciting talent and try to facilitate their growth… scores of people just talking about upcoming talent in Mumbai… How a certain batsman was going to play for Mumbai in three years’ time, what his strengths were and, yes, his weaknesses too. What he would need to do to excel at the highest level. They were all obsessed with the ‘highest level’… only then did you fulfil your potential and made this community truly happy.”
Just as many hoped – and predicted – Shaw has made it to the highest level. And the start has been a promising one – although he has benefited from a weakened West Indies line-up that was largely out of its depth in conditions he would have known well.
Two aspects that stood out in the series, though:
1 Few young Indian batsmen in recent memory have been so comfortable with the cut and the pull as Shaw appears. He is comfortable on the back foot and rocks back to unloosen a crackling cut – a shot that you wouldn’t see from a natural driver like Virat Kohli or a biffer like Rishabh Pant.
2 Shaw said he had considered rejigging his technique – to get his back foot in line with the ball at the time of contact – but found himself getting into knots. That was when he got some timely advice from his U-19 coach who he idolised. “I know that it’s a mistake to not get my back-leg in line with the ball,” he told the Hindu, “but since I’m scoring good runs, Rahul Sir [Dravid] asked me to stick with what I’m comfortable with.”
The real challenge, though, will arrive in two months’ time, at the Adelaide Oval, when India begin their series in Australia. Shaw might have traversed a similar path to Tendulkar so far – he even got hundreds in his Ranji and Duleep Trophy debuts to further the comparison – but his first big test will be to leave his mark in the land Down Under.
It was in Australia that the 18-year old Tendulkar showed he could bat in the most challenging conditions against hostile bowlers. It was in Australia that Tendulkar evoked comparisons with Bradman – first from commentators and later from the man himself. It was in Australia – and against Australia – that he sculpted some of his most famous innings. And it was his taming of Australia’s greatest bowler – over and over – that cemented his legend.
Shaw will be up against a relatively weaker Australian team. And he is unlikely to face a sustained barrage of fast bowling. But it remains a formidable challenge. His sternest one to date.
One month. Potentially four Tests for Prithvi Shaw. Opening the batting in Australia. Now how mouthwatering a prospect is that?
First Published: October 18, 2018, 10:09 AM IST