New Delhi: Anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare was discharged from Medanta Medicity on Wednesday. Anna was discharged from the Gurgaon hospital where he was recuperating since he broke his 13-day fast against graft on Sunday. The Lokpal activist will leave for Pune on Wednesday night itself from where he will go to his hometown Ralegan Siddhi on Thursday where a grand welcome awaits him. Anna spent four days in hospital and doctors had earlier said Anna's health is improving. His blood pressure was down to 140/90, his pulse rate was 80 and his temperature was also normal. Dr Naresh Trehan, who's hospital Anna was being treated at, said that the 74-year old's organs were performing reasonably okay and that he was slowly putting on some weight. Anna had lost over seven kilos in 13 days of fasting.
New Delhi: Jim Laker's 19 wickets in one Test is a perpetual cricket record and on Wednesday India's Rahul Dravid may follow suit with a debut and retirement from Twenty20 internationals (T20I) on the same day.
India's struggling batting dwindled further on the eve of their only Twenty20 game against England, when a concussed Gautam Gambhir was ruled out. And with just seven fit batsmen available, Dravid's T20I debut is imminent.
But that's only one part of the news. The other half is that in all probability it will also be Dravid's last T20I, as the 38-year-old debutant is expected to retire from the format on the same day.
Dravid, a Test specialist who ironically has scored India's second fastest ODI fifty, would have never expected to play T20s and ODIs on the England tour. But 'The Wall' will stand tall to answer the call of duty, with the squad falling by the wayside due to injuries.
The T20 swansong will precede Dravid's decision to retire from ODIs after the series against England. He announced that decision on the same day selectors surprised him with an ODI call-up.
"In the short term, I am committed because now I have been picked for the series, but in the long term, I think it is best for me and Indian cricket that I focus on Test cricket," Dravid had said then.
Dravid, though never part of India's T20 setup, has featured in all four editions of the cash-rich Indian Premier League. So to say he is completely alien to the design won't be appropriate. And he gave a glimpse of that in the warm-up game against Leicestershire, where he scored 29 off 31 balls.
But at the age of 38, even if he plays a swashbuckling innings on Wednesday, it will be wrong to judge that India missed out by sidelining Dravid for so long. By doing that, those who praised the Fab Four's decision to leave T20 to youngsters will appear foolhardy.
Rather a honest admission will be that 'Team Man' Dravid is currently indispensable for India in Test cricket. Debut and retirement on the same day may be unique, but not something any cricketer cherishes. Dravid is doing this for India, like he has done a number of times.
New Delhi: Team India was decimated in the Test series versus England and looked as clueless as new born babies with the cricket bats. After the hammering of a lifetime in Tests, Team India has fought back strongly in three tour matches but the real action begins on Wednesday Old Trafford, Manchester.
The upcoming T20 against England provides an opportunity for the Men in Blue to redeem themselves. The team management should carefully select the playing eleven for this match keeping one eye at the upcoming ODI series.
Injuries to Gambhir and Sehwag, has forced the team management to give veteran Rahul Dravid a chance to make his debut in the T20 format at 38 and surprisingly he would call it a day in the shorter format after making his debut. It wouldn’t be surprising if The Wall decides to shed his normal approach and be more aggressive in his batting style.
Selectors should also find this the right match to give opportunities to rookies such as Varun Aaron and Ajinkya Rahane so that they can show off their much talked about skills.
With Virat Kohli tailor made for the shorter format of the game he is a sure shot to bat at No 4. With aggression in batting and fielding it will surely provide much needed energy and enthusiasm to the whole team who's morale is definitely low. Suresh Raina could also find this match as a perfect platform to get back in business after a disastrous outing in the Test series.
Middle-order batsman Rohit Sharma will be one of the key members in the middle order. He has the ability to play an anchor role in the middle and has the ability to shift gear at any given time. The Mumbai Indian batsman is touted as one of the best talents for the future.
In the absence of Harbhajan Singh, MS Dhoni will surely go with R Ashwin and the young off-spinner is one of the vital weapons for Team India. He has the ability to pick wickets and at the same time he is gutsy enough to try variations and can put the breaks on the scoring rate.
With the in-form Praveen Kumar almost a certainty in India's playing eleven, the visitors could use Vinay Kumar as the supporting act from the other end.