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We never complain when we are given green tops overseas, mindset needs a change: Axar Patel | Cricket News – Times of India

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CHENNAI: Debutant slow left-arm bowler Axar Patel feels that critics of spinner-friendly tracks need to change their mindset as Indian cricket team has never complained about tackling seamer-friendly green tops overseas.
The likes of former England captain Michael Vaughan termed the Chepauk pitch, used for the second Test, as “under-prepared” but India had two centurions with three players scoring half tons across two innings and 180 plus overs.
“If you are talking about pitch, I don’t think any ball hit the helmet. There is normal spin on offer. We are playing on the same track and scoring runs, so I don’t think anyone should have any problems and feel that wicket is like this or that and so on and so forth,” Axar said.

The 27-year-old Gujarat left-arm spinner, whose debut Test is also his 50th international game for India, took a dig at the English commentators and media for their take on the Chepauk surface.
“Also when we go overseas, we never complain while playing on the seaming track and complain that there is more grass on the wicket. I think people need to change their mindset rather than thinking about the wicket,” he said at the end of the third day’s play.

Axar explained that on this track, one needs to hit the deck hard in order to make use of the turn on offer.
“On this wicket, there is help for spinners so you don’t need to do anything extra,” he said.
“When you are putting a bit more effort and body into the ball, then you are getting the ball to spin. When you are hitting the deck hard, then only you are getting the ball to turn.

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In Pics – 2nd Test: India sense win after Ashwin century flattens England on Day 3

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India continued their march towards a series-levelling victory after Ravichandran Ashwin’s scintillating century on a turning track flattened England in the second Test on Monday. (BCCI Photo)

“If you are releasing it slowly, there is not much help for the slow bowlers. So hitting the deck with a decent speed is important and that’s creating difficulty for batsmen. If you bowl slow, then batsmen are moving to back foot and adjusting,” Axar said.
So was India’s batting performance a statement to all those who panned the track?

“When we play, we don’t think that the outside world matters to us and we would like to give a message. We played normal cricket. If it was the fourth day, we would have thought about declaring but it was the third day and we had enough time. We thought we had to bat long,” he spoke about the team’s strategy.
Having already picked up four wickets to Ravichandran Ashwin‘s six in the game so far, the injured Ravindra Jadeja’s stopgap replacement spoke about the respect he has for his senior national and IPL teammate.
“Myself and Ash have played a lot of cricket together and I have learnt a lot over the years about mindset from him. We have different actions and variations, so we generally talk about mindsets and working out various batsmen.”

He was in line for a debut during the first Test but a knee niggle at the eleventh hour led to him being sidelined.
“Actually, I didn’t want to play my first match with a niggle and if I broke down in the middle of the game, that would have put my team in trouble. It wouldn’t have been a good thing and I didn’t want that to happen.
“So it was a conscious decision taken after consulting the physio. I was frustrated but the positive side is I could give my 100 percent in the second match.”



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Photos: Dia Mirza makes first appearance with husband Vaibhav Rekhi after intimate ceremony; distributes sweets on the happy occasion – Times of India

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Congratulations are in order for Bollywood actor Dia Mirza who tied the knot with her businessman beau, Vaibhav Rekhi in an intimate ceremony today.

After their low-key sunset wedding, the actress stepped out hand in hand with her husband and posed by his side for the shutterbugs gathered outside the venue. Dia exchanged wedding vows with Vaibhav at the lawns of her Bell Air apartment in Bandra West.

Photo by Jayesh Ghotkar

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Photo by Jayesh Ghotkar

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Photo by Jayesh Ghotkar

For the special day, Dia opted for a red saree with gold detailing. She kept her jewellery to the minimum by opting for a choker chain, green chooda, a red bindi and a gold maang tikka. Vaibhav contrasted perfectly with an all-white ensemble and a gold turban.

Following the nuptials, Dia stepped out to distribute sweets to the shutterbugs gathered outside her building premises. For the big day, the lawns were adorned with white flowers and glittery sequins.

B-town actress Aditi Rao Hydari and filmmaker Kunal Deshmukh were among the few celebs to attend the ceremony.



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Will live in Pakistan, won’t go abroad, says Maryam Nawaz – Times of India

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LAHORE: Pakistan’s deposed prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s daughter Maryam Nawaz said on Monday that she will not leave the country to join her father in London for her treatment despite the Imran Khan government’s apparent offer to go abroad.
“Even if someone (from the government) comes to my home and offers me to go abroad, I will decline it straightaway,” she said while talking to reporters at her Jati Umra Raiwind residence here.
“I know some ministers are saying that if Maryam is allowed to go abroad the opposition’s movement (against the government) will fizzle out. But let me make it clear that I will not leave my country come what may, and will not seek removal of my name from the no-fly list,” she said.
The PML-N vice president further said that she had to undergo a ‘little surgery’ which is not possible in Pakistan. “But despite this I will not leave Pakistan. I will live and die in my country,” she asserted.
Pakistan Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed has said that the PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif‘s passport will be cancelled on February 16.
Sharif has been living in London since November, 2019 after he was allowed to leave the country for medical treatment.
Adviser to the Prime Minister on Accountability and Interior Mirza Shahzad Akbar said that United Kingdom authorities had been asked to deport the convicted former prime minister from their country.
He said Pakistan had written a letter to the UK to cancel the visa of Sharif which was issued for medical treatment after taking an undertaking.
Prime Minister Imran Khan in October said he would contact British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, if needed, to discuss his deportation and his adviser Akbar wrote a letter to British Home Secretary Priti Patel on October 5 urging her to deport the former premier whom he said is responsible for pillaging the state.
Maryam has alleged that the “selectors” (a reference to the army chief Gen Bajwa and others) are being questioned within the institution regarding imposing inept and incompetent Imran Khan on the nation.
“Now voices are being raised within the institution for imposing this incompetent Imran on the nation who made the lives of the people miserable,” she said and lamented “inhuman statement” of Sheikh Rashid regarding use of water cannon on protesting government employees.
Rashid had said that the government had tested water cannon on the employees. “Tomorrow, this government will say that it is using atomic bomb on the masses to test it,” Maryam said.



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India’s nominee Ajay Mathur to head International Solar Alliance | India News – Times of India

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NEW DELHI: India’s nominee and current director general of TERI, Ajay Mathur, was on Monday elected as new chief of International Solar Alliance (ISA) – an inter-governmental body, set up in 2015 as a joint initiative of India and France to accelerate use of safe, sustainable, and affordable solar energy for all.
A coalition of 73 member countries, ISA, aims to mobilize over USD 1 trillion of investment into solar projects by 2030 through policy and regulatory support, capacity building, and by overcoming perceived investment barriers.
“This is a great honour for me, and I look forward to ISA enabling global solarization,” Mathur told TOI after his election at the first special assembly of the Alliance, held virtually. He will replace the incumbent Upendra Tripathy as new director general of this global body on March 15.
Speaking at the ISA’s special assembly, Mathur, said, “The ISA has a vital role to help establish the infrastructure and ecosystem for a zero-carbon emission future. With strong foundations already in place, my immediate focus is to identify and mobilize the opportunities and capital to accelerate our solarization goals in the interim and long-term.”
Before joining as director general of the new Delhi-based energy and environment thinktank, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), Mathur had headed India’s Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) and served with the Green Climate Fund.
Mathur will head the global body at a time when the ISA has recently decided to open its membership to all UN member countries. Its headquarters is located in Gurgaon, Haryana.
Though the ISA was initially conceived as a coalition of only solar-resource-rich countries (which lie either completely or partly between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn) to address their special energy needs, its extent has now expanded to cover all UN member countries.



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Here’s how M-Town’s real-life couples celebrated Valentine’s Day

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Here’s how your favourite Mollywood star couples celebrated V-Day.



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First Photos: Dia Mirza stuns in a red saree for her intimate wedding to Vaibhav Rekhi – Times of India

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Bollywood actress Dia Mirza played the blushing bride at her wedding to businessman Vaibhav Rekhi on February 15. The bride picked a traditional red saree for her big day as she walked down the aisle with a big smile on her face.

The first photos coming in from the intimate ceremony saw the beauty in a red ensemble with gold detailing. She kept her jewellery to the minimum by opting for a choker chain, green chooda, a red bindi and a gold maang tikka.

Photo by Jayesh Ghotkar

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Photo by Jayesh Ghotkar

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Photo by Jayesh Ghotkar

Dia and Vaibhav exchanged their wedding vows in presence of their families and just a few close friends. Actress Aditi Rao Hydari and filmmaker Kunal Deshmukh were among the few B-town celebs spotted at the wedding.

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Over the weekend, the star had her bridal shower that saw her dress in white, complete with a veil and flowers adorning her hair. Pictures from the private do made their way onto social media just hours before the hush-hush wedding.

Mirza has reportedly been in a relationship with Rekhi for some time, but never went public with their romance. This is the second marriage for both the bride and groom.

While the actress was earlier married to film producer Sahil Sangha, Rekhi was first married to yoga and lifestyle coach Sunaina Rekhi.



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Your protest has brought new ray of hope: Maulana Sajjad Nomani to farmers | India News – Times of India

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NEW DELHI: The ongoing farmers’ protest against the three farm laws has brought a new ray of hope against injustice in the country, Maulana Sajjad Nomani said on Monday.
The spokesperson of All India Muslim Personal Law Board was speaking at the Singhu border, one of the major sites of the farmers’ agitation.
“So many organisations have been, for years, trying to create awareness about the injustices in the country, and this movement has brought a new ray of hope from Kashmir to Kanyakumari.
“Thanks to you and your leadership, who realised that ‘enough is enough’ and decided to raise your voices, we have been reassured that the era of darkness in the country is ending and that justice is not very far away,” Nomani said.
Ever since the farmers’ agitation started in November last year, the Islamic scholar has regularly been extending his support to the movement through his YouTube channel.
On Monday, he said the Muslims of the country were standing behind the farmers in their fight.
“On behalf of the Muslim society, I assure you that we are all standing behind you and support you, and request you to not lose hope and continue this fight.
“It is because of your strength that God has chosen you to lead this movement,” he said.
Criticising the government’s decision to introduce the laws during the difficult period of the pandemic, Nomani said the farmers’ movement was not just a protest against the three laws, but also a “freedom struggle”.
“The three laws ensure that the produce generated out of the blood and sweat of lakhs of Indian farmers gets locked up in the hands of private businessmen.
“The protest is not just a fight against the three laws, but a fight for freedom. The country that became independent after so much struggle, is being made a slave again, but India is not meant to be a slave,” he said.
“The government has constantly been saying that the MSP (Minimum Support Price) was, is and will be there, but why isn’t it making it a written law?” he added.
Farmers, mostly from Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh, have been camping at three Delhi border points — Singhu, Tikri and Ghazipur — for nearly 80 days, demanding a repeal of the three agri laws and a legal guarantee on the minimum support price (MSP).
In the absence of the MSP, the farmers fear they will be left at the mercy of private corporations.
Nomani also warned the protesting farmers against attempts to divide their movement.
“There is a conspiracy to divide this movement, but we should all remain united, because India is a country of love and brotherhood,” Nomani said.



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India vs England: I would love to credit batting coach Vikram Rathour, says Ashwin after fifth Test ton | Cricket News – Times of India

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CHENNAI: Seasoned off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin on Monday credited the Indian team’s batting coach Vikram Rathour for his fiery performances with the willow in recent times.
Amid the chatter around the challenging Chepauk pitch, Ashwin came in at number eight and showed everyone how to bat on a deteriorating surface with an excellent century, putting India on the brink of a series-levelling victory in the second Test against England here.
“I can’t say it’s been happening in the last three days, I have been practising with Vikram Rathore. I would love to credit him with how my batting has come through over the last four-five matches,” Ashwin said at the end of the third day’s play.

This was after his gutsy show with the bat in Australia, where he stood his ground despite hostile fast-bowling by the home team.

He was glad that he shone so bright in front of his home crowd.
“I don’t know when the next Test is going to be here, but I am pleased. Don’t know if I will play another Test in Chennai, and if at all, when…”

Ashwin’s number eleven companion Mohammed Siraj celebrated the senior player’s fifth Test hundred more than the man himself, who had got to a century in the company of Ishant Sharma in the past.
From the other end, Ashwin enjoyed watching Siraj strike a couple of sixes.

“In the past when he’s (Ishant) been with me when I got hundreds at home and once Siraj came, I knew how to approach.
“I was thrilled by his batting and told him to go through the line of the ball. It was amazing to see how excited he was when I got my hundred.
TOI Poll: What will be the result of second India-England Test in Chennai?
“I don’t know what the team is feeling like but I am sure they are thrilled. I can’t thank the crowd enough, they have been very supportive,” Ashwin said.
After the defeat in the series-opener, the team management discussed ways to counter left-arm spinner Jack Leach, according to Ashwin, who was happy that the sweep shots came through well.

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India vs England, 2nd Test: Virat Kohli, Ashwin show how to bat on turning tracks

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Virat Kohli scored 62 classy runs to give a tutorial on how to bat on a turning track (BCCI Photo)

“I will sleep well through the night, that is all that I am thinking.
“Even after the last Test, we spoke about how we are going to counter Leach and probably bring sweep to the game.
“Last time I was sweeping, I was 19 years old, I hit a bit of sweep shots well today. I am thankful the plan has paid off. Sort of had a very good day.”
A day before his magnificent effort with the willow (106 off 148 balls) on a pitch that has tested the skill and temperament of the best of batsmen from both sides, Ashwin returned excellent figures of 5/43 for his 29th five-wicket haul in the format.
Set an imposing target of 482, England were tottering at 53 for three at stumps on the third day, requiring 429 more runs to go 2-0 up in the four-match series.





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Minimum temperatures settle below freezing point across Kashmir | India News – Times of India

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SRINAGAR: The minimum temperature across the Valley settled below the freezing point on Monday even though the mercury went up a bit at a few places in the region, officials said.
Summer capital Srinagar recorded a low of minus 0.3 degrees Celsius Sunday night, slightly up from the previous night’s minus 0.4 degrees Celsius, they said.
Qazigund – the gateway town to the Valley – recorded a minimum of minus 2.8 degrees Celsius, up from the previous night’s minus 3.2 degree Celsius, the officials said.
Pahalgam tourist resort, which also serves as a base camp for the annual Amarnath Yatra in south Kashmir, recorded a low of minus 4.3 degrees Celsius, down from minus 3.8 degrees Celsius the previous night.
Kupwara town, in north Kashmir, recorded a low of minus 2.3 degrees Celsius, while Kokernag, in the south, recorded minus 0.4 degree Celsius.
The minimum temperature in the famous ski-resort of Gulmarg, in north Kashmir, settled at minus 3 degrees Celsius on Sunday night, the officials said.
The Meteorological department office has said the weather is expected to remain mainly dry in the plains of Jammu and Kashmir over the next week.



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​Anasuya Bharadwaj Impresses Fashion Police With Her Sartorial Elegance

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Anasuya Bharadwaj is already touted among the top fashion icons in the industry. The gorgeous diva never fails to impress us with her sartorial choices, because they are relevant, trendy and scream elegance. And most importantly, all of them are steal-worthy.



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