Saturday, February 23, 2013

Matches Schedule Recent results

  • Pakistan tour of South Africa 20133rd Test, South Africa vs Pakistan at Centurion
    Feb 22, 2013 (14:00 IST)
  • Australia tour of India 20131st Test, India vs Australia at Chennai
    Feb 22, 2013 (09:30 IST)
  • England tour of New Zealand 20133rd ODI, New Zealand vs England at Auckland
    Feb 23, 2013 (06:30 IST)
  • Zimbabwe tour of West Indies 2013
    2nd ODI, West Indies vs Zimbabwe at St George's, Grenada
    Feb 24, 2013 (19:00 IST)
  • Zimbabwe tour of West Indies 2013
    3rd ODI, West Indies vs Zimbabwe at St George's, Grenada
    Feb 26, 2013 (19:00 IST)

#'Mental strength is about not being afraid to make mistakes'#

Kumar Sangakkara talks about Sri Lanka's problems performing in finals of big tournaments

Interview by Andrew Fidel Fernando
February 23, 2013

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Over the past six years Sri Lanka have been the most consistent team in major world tournaments, reaching the World Cup and World Twenty20 finals twice each. But despite their form during the tournaments, they have lost all those finals comfortably. Kumar Sangakkara, who played in all four matches and was captain in two, talks about the pressure and emotion of playing a major final and suggests a solution for Sri Lanka.

A dejected Mahela Jayawardene with Kumar Sangakkara, Sri Lanka v West Indies, final, World Twenty20, Colombo, October 7, 2012
Sangakkara and Jayawardene after the loss in the World Twenty20 final in 2012: "It could be that you're so afraid of losing in the final that it can actually contribute to you doing badly" © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Kumar Sangakkara
Teams: Sri Lanka
What was the mood like in the dressing room before all the finals, and especially the last one?

The mood has always been very good. We've always been motivated for finals. We haven't made a big deal about talking about the finals, but I've gone in with the approach to the final that we have with the rest of the tournament, so the mood in the camp has always been the same. But in a way you do feel tense, more nervous - you have butterflies in your stomach a bit more that day.

Was there a sense of fear?

No, it's not a sense of fear. We've never had a fear of playing a final. That's what we train for. The one thing we haven't done is express our fears, or whatever our feelings are, fully before a final - especially the day before and the two or three days leading up to the final
What do you put that down to - not talking about those feelings?

I think there are lots of aspects to it. We're not a very expressive people when it comes to our fears. We express a lot of joy. We express various other emotions, but talking about insecurities, fears or personal issues out in the open is not something that we're very used to. It's not something we intentionally do, especially in an environment like sport, where you're supposed to be tough.
It's also not something that we like to talk about because I think sometimes we have that fear that if you talk about it, you might jinx it, or if you talk about it being a final you might change your attitude or the way you think. You've done so well to reach the final, so why do anything differently?

But you know it's a final…

At the back of your head you know it's a final. You know what winning it means. You know what it means for yourself and the team and the people supporting you. Having lost World Cup finals, you know what it is like.
I think one of the most important things that we've got to do is work on better, clearer communication, especially before big games - about exactly how we feel, because how we feel has an impact on what we do on the field and how we approach a game. Before any game or any tournament starts I think we should make it a habit of talking about what it feels for you to play a final, and what it means to the country. What are the fears you have, how happy you feel, what expectations you have. All these emotions that are in turmoil within you, I think that it's good to express them. And talk about the crowd's impressions, the way people have spoken about the team and about the opposition.
I think you need someone to work with the team so they can teach us to channel those emotions and talk about them in a positive way to better performance on the field.

What is the preparation like mentally at the moment?

I think mentally it's always been about practice, and then getting on with the job.

"We're not a very expressive people when it comes to our fears. We express a lot of joy. We express various other emotions, but talking about insecurities, fears or personal issues out in the open is not something that we're very used to"

Playing cricket is a risk and without balanced risk we can't score runs, take wickets or win games. You've got to get a lot of things in place, but if you are not prepared to accept mistakes or criticisms, you don't have a part in the team.
I think mental strength is about being unafraid to make mistakes, unafraid to take that little risk. It's being unafraid to accept the situation for what it is, it's being unafraid to talk about the future, to talk about fear, failure and success. But you need a good professional to guide you to doing that.

Have you talked about that with management?

It's an ongoing discussion. One of the key issues is finding people who are able to communicate fully with the team and who the team can communicate fully with. So it's important to have someone who can speak Sinhalese and Tamil fully. All the boys converse in English and they can get their point across, but when they talk about emotions they have to be comfortable with the language they speak. It is something that we've spoken to management about and they are looking at. Hopefully by the next series.

What's difficult for fans to understand is that the team seems in complete control throughout a campaign - including high-pressure games like semi-finals. But there seems to be a meltdown in finals.

Yeah, I guess it could be the fact that you're so afraid of losing the final that it can actually contribute to you doing badly.
You know, a lot of people in Sri Lanka might say, "Oh the boys should be tough, it's supposed to be like this." We are tough without a doubt, but there are certain ways and certain things we have to do mentally to fully prepare for a big occasion. It could be one reason we look at as to why we haven't won a final.

Before last year's World Twenty20 final, did you feel like the mental baggage from three previous finals played a part?

No, I don't think we spoke about our previous finals. When I was playing I wasn't thinking about the final before. Actually, to be honest with you, I did think it was an opportunity. "We've had three, so maybe this was a great opportunity for us, so let's grab it." You can't be too eager at times so you need to balance that out. We really need to talk about it being a final. The more you try to ignore it, the more you think about it. We need to find a way to deal with it.

When youngsters come into the team, for example, do you and Mahela Jayawardene tell them to think of it as just another game, a club game?

I think the process for them is the same as a club game. If you're good enough to get here, let's spend your first tour really being comfortable with what you're doing, knowing that you've done the hard yards. Don't be too eager but also don't be too scared. You've got to strike that balance mentally, just thinking about what you've got to do.

Kumar Sangakkara receives his runners-up medal, India v Sri Lanka, final, World Cup 2011, Mumbai, April 2, 2011
"You have a period of introspection where you think, 'What's wrong with me? What's wrong with us? Why can't we convert?'" © Getty Images
It's not about getting a hundred. It's about the first 10, 20, 30, and getting those building blocks right. A lot of mistakes young guys make coming into the team are because they're too eager to get a hundred in a game. You need to really understand the game, and how the opposition plays, and what it is you have to do to get to that hundred, and it takes some people six months, a year to do it.
But I think the longer you're in the game, the harder your job becomes, because you're so well known, your game is so well known with your opposition that scoring runs becomes a whole lot harder.

Going back to the finals, have you talked about and debriefed the last final or the previous finals?

We've talked about it among ourselves but never as an exercise of shedding the baggage and moving on. Again, there are professionals who can lead you down that path effectively. It's not something that you learn how to do naturally. You need to do this with big kinds of failures in a way that will help you grow. We need to have a post-final environment where whether you win or lose, there needs to be a debrief at the end of the game.

What does that disappointment feel like?

You feel inadequate, you feel ashamed, you feel like you've let so many people down - not just yourself but your family. And you always think about the people who've watched you play. You feel disappointed, you don't feel any motivation for a while. There are so many feelings that are within you and it's really hard to express all of it. You have a period of introspection where you think, "What's wrong with me? What's wrong with us? Why can't we convert?" We try to find answers and then at one point you reach a stage where [even] if you don't find an answer, you are able to go on in a manner that helps you to perform afterwards. But you know the baggage remains and next time you approach a final, that baggage can make a difference between winning or losing. They are problems we need to address very, very strongly.

Has there been a change in the way you felt in the weeks after the final and the way you think about it now?

No, it feels the same. When you revisit the finals, the feelings always come rushing back and you feel exactly how you felt after the final. You remember and think, "What if? What if you'd done that?" So you keep it, something you'll never forget. It doesn't matter even 20 years after - those emotions will still run through you exactly in that fresh manner that you experienced.

Do you think it may have been better if you had exited earlier in the tournament?

Hope is a very dangerous thing, but it's a very important thing. When you're playing in a final it's not really hope, it's almost a delivered certainty at times, where you think, "This is our game and we are going to win it." When you've done all of that and you lose, it's a much worse feeling than going out earlier in the tournament. When we went out in the first T20 World Cup that we played, we went out in the second round and disappointment was huge but still not as huge as losing a final. There's no comparison between the stages of the tournament. There's a huge difference between the semi-final and the final. It's a very tough place to be, not just for players but even for spectators. The fact that you've come this far. You've won every game so far, so why couldn't you win the most important game?

Mentally, will big tournaments be tougher to approach now?

No, I think the approach is the same. It's a slow build-up. You build momentum throughout the tournament. We just have to wait and see if we will get to a final and see how we feel then.

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets here
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#We need to pack them off within another 30 runs, says Ashwin#

Last Updated: Fri, Feb 22, 2013 20:06 hrs

Source: Press Trust of India

Chennai: India's man of the moment Ravichandran Ashwin feels that Michael Clarke's sureshot dismissal could have reduced Australia's score by at least 70 runs but they need to pack off the visitors within another 30 runs at the start of the second day.

"I think we need to pack them off within another 20-30 runs but we could have reduced their score by 60-70 runs if he'd (Michael Clarke) been given out. But it does happen, it's part of the game," Ashwin told mediapersons about Australian captain being given not out on 39 when TV replays showed that it was a bat-pad catch to forward short-leg fielder.

Ashwin was forthright in stating that he appealed as he was fully confident that Clarke had hit the ball.

"It was clear to me that he hit the ball and that's why we all went up to appeal. At the end of the day, it does happen. And Kumar Dharamasena is himself an off-spinner... We thought he'd give a few dismissals to me, to look at the lighter side," the burly off-spinner, who had figures of 6 for 88 said.

He did admit that the thought of emulating Anil Kumble's feat of getting 10 wickets did cross his mind.

"I'd be lying if I said no! Because the way things were going since the morning, the way the ball was coming out of my hand, I thought OK, actually it's a real possibility here. But in between, I had an injury on my finger and I had to go off the field. That took the momentum out a bit. Henriques and Clarke got in and they batted beautifully after that."

The 26-year-old however snapped back when someone asked him about his dip in form against England.

"See, I honestly think I didn't have a bad series against England. So if that was your opinion, yes you're supposed to have your opinion and I won't barge in on that, but I bowled exactly the same as I bowled against England, but yes today the wickets were coming."

Ashwin feels that people who are sitting outside have a penchant for judging a bowler's form based on the number of wickets he has taken.

"Yes, it does happen. Everyone sitting a distance away tend to say that the wickets column should say something, they say you bowled beautifully. On another day, they end up saying you didn't bowl that well even if you did. So I've got into a mindset where I actually have to put that behind my mind and go about doing what I do best."

The offie denied having done anything different from what he bowled during the series against England.

"I would say no, apart from touching up a few things with my coach, I didn't anything at all. I think I varied my pace at different points on the day. I've got to say this, today's spell is dedicated to my coach Sunil Subramaniam because he identified a small thing and we worked on it for five-six sessions in between the Corporate Trophy and this series."

"The credit goes to him (Subramanium) because it's very easy to spot a mistake, but that mistake's root cause could be somewhere else. But to exactly nail that and to get me out of that is what he did and all credit goes to him. It was about body position and nothing else."

Also Alastair Cook's form was a factor during the last Test series.

"That's the beauty of this game. Suddenly, if someone gets on a roll... the way Cook batted against us, he took the momentum away from us. That was probably the difference between the two teams, how you start the series, how you end up plugging things... He was in superb form."

According to Ashwin, the pitch was a deceptive one as it didn't turn as much as they thought it would.

"The pitch looked very dirty, to be very honest. After the first 5-10 overs, it looked dirty and we thought it was going to spin like a top. You come out and you think it's going to spin a lot. But it actually didn't spin at all, to be honest. I think it’s going to get slow, and hopefully Starc would create some rough for the second innings."

He was sceptical about answering a query as to why other Indian spinners (Harbhajan and Jadeja) weren't as successful as he was.

"See... if I say something, I don't know what's going to be played up! To be very honest, Jadeja bowled very well and he was hitting the mark and we were conceding a few runs on both sides of the wicket here and there, which does happen at Chepauk."

"See, when I come out to this ground, I feel the air talks to me, every person sitting in the stands talks to me, and I feel really comfortable. I know this ground like the back of my hand. There are certain things... that have gone wrong for me and I've learnt from them... you tend to leak runs on both side of the wicket because of the bounce."

Initially, he didn't bowl a lot of deliveries to Clarke and when asked about the reason for it, he said, "No, I think he wanted to keep me fresh at different times of the day, bowl shorter spells. I think I'd bowled 20 overs already in the day, it made sense. I could return fresher when I came back into the attack."

Ashwin discounted the theory that reverse swing could come into effect.

"What I know is that at Chepauk, reverse swing isn't a big factor for the simple reason that it bounces, and it's not like you hit the pad often you get leg befores. They do have four quality seamers, we'll have to wait and watch."

Ashwin went on the defensive when the question of dropping Pragyan Ojha popped up.

"I wish I could answer that. I would have answered that if I knew what the reason is. But the fact that they had a lot of left-handers, we had to play two off-spinners. Even if I were the captain, I would have done the same thing."

The player also differed on the opinion that Indian bowlers didn't attack Clarke a lot during the early part of the innings.

"We had just one fielder on the deep on off-side, when he (Clarke) was batting for the first 50 balls and I don't think you can attack more. After a point of time, you need to be sensible rather than challenge the conditions."

Playing his first Test match at the Chepauk was a big occasion for Ashwin.

"I've played a plenty of IPL games here, 3-4 ODI games too and international Twenty20 too. But all that comes nowhere close to Test matches. For the last two days, I couldn't connect with what was happening. I was in complete awe, smiling all through the last couple of days. The ground looked picturesque. I've never seen Chepauk greener than this, I've never seen Chepauk more beautiful than this. Just had a wonderful day today."

"I was very happy to be part of this Test match and I was actually telling myself that even if this had to be my last Test match, it will be the happiest day of my life," he signed off

#Suryanelli victim seeks probe into PJ Kurien's role#

TNN | Feb 23, 2013, 04.54 AM IST


KOTTAYAM: The Suryanelli rape case victim on Friday filed a petition with Chingavanam police, seekingan investigation of the role of RajyaSabha deputy chairman P J Kurien in the case based on the recent statements of Dharmarajan, the lone convict in the earlier case.

She has named Dharmarajan, Jamal, Unnikrishnan, all accused in the earlier case, and Kurien as respondents in the petition. It was accepted by additional sub inspector K P Thomas, who was present at the station.

Kottayam SP C Rajagopal said police would register a FIR as the case was now under the consideration of the high court following the Supreme Court order and proceed on the petition only after getting legal opinion. Kochi range IG K Padmakumar also said the police had to get legal advice before proceeding with the complaint. "We need to ascertain the legal implications before dealing with the complaint," he said.

The victim says in her petition that a new crime related to the case has come to light following the recent statements of Dharmarajan to a television channel. She has sought an investigation based on the statements, which she claims have revealed a conspiracy among the four respondents. She also wants the video CD of the interview to be considered as important evidence.

The petition says she was not aware of the criminal revision petition filed by Kurien in the high court, following which he was discharged from the case. She was not made party in the revision petition and had come to know about it only recently.

The petition also says that she was forced to approach the police as her complaints were not attended by the chief minister. Besides, she maintains that she is entitled to approach a station house officer based on the Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance, 2013. The victim was accompanied by her parents and legal counsel Anila George, Bhadrakumari and social activist Elizabeth Philip.
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Hyderabad blast probe: #Terror hunt spreads to 3 States#

by FP Staff 

The investigation into the Hyderabad blasts on Thursday have spread to three other States – Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkand – and s dragnet has been spread for three suspects.
Forensic investigation of the blast site suggests that the explosions were set off by improvised explosive devices that used ammonium nitrate, urea, petrol and shrapnel. In the method of planning and the modus operandi, investigators see parallels with the August 2012 blasts in Pune.

CNN-IBN reports that investigators are following up on a raid on a lodge in Hyderabad on 18 January, from where a suspect managed to escape. The suspect had been staying in the lodge under an assumed name and had slipped the net barely a few hours before the place was raided.

The names of three other suspects – belonging to Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand – have emerged; they are  being looked at closely as potential leads by the Nation Investigation Agency and the local police.

Given the similarities with the Pune blasts, investigators are working with other State police forces on active leads. A team of the Delhi Police special cell is now in Hyderabad with details of an alleged Indian Mujahideen operative Syed Maqbool, who had told interrogators after his arrest in October last year that in 2012, he had reconnaitred the Dilsukhnagar area, where the  blasts occured on Thursday.
Maqbool’s interrogation report is now an important source of information for the investigators. Investigators say Maqbool’s interrogation report and similarities with previous blasts suggest that the Indian Mujahideen may have a hand in the twin blasts in Hyderabad but it is too early to conclude as the probe is not over yet.

On Friday, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy stepped up to take responsibility for the blasts. Referring to the alert issued by the Union Home Ministry recently with regard to a possible terror attack, the Chief Minister said that the intelligence information had been sent on 16 February  to all the states. He further asserted that whenever such alerts come from the Central government, the police took cognisance of it and acted on it. Reddy told CNN-IBN  that in his estimation,  terrorists were working to disturb  peace in Hyderabad and the rest of Andhra Pradesh.

The Bharatiya Janata Party, however, accused the government of being soft on terror and demanded that confidence-building measures with Pakistan must be suspended. Speaking at a press conference in Hyderabad, party president Rajnath Singh said the central government was to blame for the blasts as it had failed in providing specific details to the state government.

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‘Five cities were specifically# alerted’#

Marri Ramu
Sandeep Joshi

The Hindu

Saturday,February 23,2013

Hyderabad, Bangalore, Mumbai, Coimbatore, Hubli were on radar

The death toll in Thursday’s twin blasts in Hyderabad rose to 16 on Friday and the condition of five of the 117 injured remained critical, even as investigators intensified efforts to achieve a breakthrough and the police found a detonator at one of the sites.
Thousands of onlookers, besides political leaders, continued to throng the blast sites at Dilsukhnagar, a bustling area in the south-eastern parts of Hyderabad.

Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, accompanied by Andhra Pradesh Governor E.S.L. Narasimhan and Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy, visited the sites on Friday to get firsthand information about the first terror strike in the country after Parliament attack case convict Afzal Guru was executed.

Sources in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said initial leads into the attack pointed to a possible involvement of the Indian Mujahideen as the blasts carried their trademark signature.

Hyderabad, Bangalore, Mumbai, Coimbatore and Hubli, and Gujarat and other parts of Maharashtra were specifically alerted by Central intelligence agencies that terror groups were planning to launch attacks in retaliation to the hanging of Guru, the sources said. 

The entire modus operandi of the blasts such as the use of bicycle, trigger, ammonium nitrate and shrapnels and coordinated attacks in crowded places all pointed to the Indian Mujahideen and the investigating agencies were looking into various terror modules having links to Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh and Darbhanga in Bihar, the sources said.

The agencies were trying to find out whether the attack was planned just after Guru’s hanging, as carrying out a coordinated strike within a few days was a difficult task, the sources said.

Islamabad conference

The MHA and investigating agencies had also taken notice of threats issued to India by the United Jihad Council, a group of various Pakistan-based terror outfits, at its conference held last week in Islamabad to pay tributes to Guru, where they reportedly resolved to “avenge” his hanging.

Top militants of the banned anti-India militant groups like the Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Jaish-e-Mohammed had pledged to step up their anti-India activities after the execution of Ajmal Kasab and Guru.

Amid the chanting of slogans, media reports said, top leaders of the LeT, JeM, Al-Badr Mujahideen, Jamiatul-Mujahideen and Harkat-ul-Mujahideen made anti-India speeches. United Jihad Council chief Syed Salahuddin, who also heads the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen, asked all group members to step up attacks against India, while senior JeM leader Mufti Asghar reportedly said that “we know how to take revenge and we will take revenge.” 

The MHA sources said they were trying to find out whether any sleeper module was activated after this meeting to carry out attacks. 

A general alert was sent to all the States after the hanging of Kasab, but after the execution of Guru, more specific alerts were sent to the five cities and the two States.
Besides a general advisory sent to all the States on February 19, the specific information was shared with the five cities and two States on February 21. 

Though the alerts were not definitive and did not specify the groups involved or possible targets, the police chiefs of these cities were asked to step up vigil. Similarly, other advisories talked about the LeT, JeM, Hizb and the Indian Mujahideen planning to launch terror attacks.