india enters semifinal

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The Indian women’s hockey team registered one of its biggest wins in history by starting Monday with a stunning 1-0 win over three-time champions Australia 1-0 to reach their maiden semifinals in women’s hockey at the Olympics in Tokyo.Gurjit Kaur proved to be India’s hero as she scored her maiden Olympic goal in the 22nd minute to put India in the last-4 of the Tokyo Games where they will face either Argentina, Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain or Great Britain.Gurjit scored through a penalty corner, a first for India in this Olympics and the first conceded through a PC by the

India somehow managed to hold on to their lead from there onwards, denying wave after wave of attacks from Australia to complete a hat-trick of wins. Argentina beat Germany 3-0 in the first quarterfinal on Monday.

India managed to save a whopping 8 penalty corners while converted the only one that they got in the match to register one of the most famous wins in Olympic history.

“Very happy with the win, everybody worked very hard for this win. We performed like one team and we are feeling so happy to have qualified for the semifinals. Thank you to all those who supported the Indian women’s team,” an elated Gurjit Kaur said after the match.

“This team is like a family, including the coaching staff. Our entire country supports us and everybody’s prayers are with us.”

This is India’s third win in this Olympic campaign after Ireland (1-0) and South Africa (4-3). They had opened their campaign with three successive defeats against the Netherlands (1-5), Germany (0-2) and Great Britain (1-4).

This is India’s biggest win in women’s hockey as the team is playing in the Olympics only for the third time and had struggled to the knockout rounds, finishing fourth in Pool A.

The Indian women hockey team’s best finish at the Olympics came on debut in Moscow back in 1980 when they ended fourth in the six-team competition.

Earlier on Sunday, the Indian men’s team also reached their first-ever semi-final at the Olympics after registering a stunning Great Britain 3-1 in the quarterfinal. India will take on world champions Belgium in the semifinal on Tuesday.

World Test Championship Final: Day 1 Review

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Well, the actual day 1 got completely washed out due to rain. It was always a looming threat and still is moving forward. But, luckily we got a normal start and a hastened ending to the second day’s play. We saw a lot of action so let’s start talking about it!

The Crucial Toss

New Zealand won the coin flip and decided to field first. Virat Kohli’s luck continued to fail him. In these overcast conditions, both captains would’ve wanted to get the early advantage and bowl first. Ideally, 4 wickets by lunch would’ve been a toss winning captain’s goal. But on the flip side, if you don’t get those early breakthroughs a team could get set, and you really wouldn’t want to bat last. The rain will also play spoil sport in the game every now and again, and batting teams might have to hurry up their scoring rate which also might be extremely difficult to do.

Great Start for India

Rohit Sharma and Shubhman Gill provided just the start needed for India. For both the right handers this is the first time opening in a test match in England. Anytime an opening pair gets their team past 10 overs without any wickets in England, they have done their jobs. The pair lasted 20 overs exactly till Rohit edged one to slips. Shubhman followed after a while, but regardless, the duo did their job.

Quick Wickets Rattle the Ship

Right at the break of the first session, India went from seemingly doing really well to having 2 new batsmen at the crease. With both Pujara and Kohli yet to get off the mark, New Zealand ended the session on an even keel after a tough first hour. After that the second session was all about stabilizing the ship for the Indians.

Some Resilience from the Engine Room

For a while it was the Pujara display of resolute defense. He made his first run after absorbing 35 balls. After that he hit 2 boundaries back to back. King Kohli too opened his account with a boundary, but that remained the only boundary he’d score all day. Pujara fell victim to an in-swinger from Boult after his two boundaries. After that it was all about strong disciplined defensive batting from the captain and vice captain Virat and Rahane.

Weather Playing Spoil Sport Again

It was cloudy all day, but luckily it didn’t rain like it did on the scheduled day 1. Regardless of that, the day did not go as smooth as it should have. The cloud cover ensured that the light was dim and the visibility was why there were constant interruptions in the game. Play was called off a bunch of times because of bad light, and came to a hastened early end at only 64.4 overs. India looks like they are in a good enough position to take advantage of the early partnership starting tomorrow, but right now it looks like it’s anybody’s game.

Top 5 Impact Players for WTC Final

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We all know the stars of modern day cricket that are going to face off in the upcoming mega battle, the World Test Championship Final. Everybody’s eyes would be set at the star batsman Virat Kohli, Kane Williamson, Rohit Sharma, and Ross Taylor, and bowling performances by Southee, Boult, Ishant, and Bumrah.

But a cricket team is made of XI players, all of whom are equally as important to the team’s chances of winning. So today we look at some unlikely players who will impact the game heavily to tilt chances of lifting the mace in their country’s favor. These picks are of players that are probably going to be in their respective team’s playing XI based on recent patterns.

1. Devon Conway

This fresh 29 year old South Africa born left handed opener has been on everyone’s minds since his debut against England recently. He has also been excellent for New Zealand even in the white ball formats. His 200 in his first innings against tough batting conditions and experienced bowling competition showed everyone that he is a force to be reckoned with. He showed no signs of weakness or flaws in his batting and continued on to make an 82 in the second test match as well. He will definitely be one to keep your eye on.

2. Ravindra Jadeja

Although England isn’t known for its spin bowling conditions, but Ravindra Jadeja is going to be an X factor player in any team, any format, and anywhere in the world. Regardless of having only one century in international cricket, he averages more than 50 in test cricket. In the recent times, his performances with the bat have been a big plus for India. Besides, he is the kind of bowler that doesn’t need help from the pitch to get wickets.

3. Kyle Jamieson

By now, everybody knows about this gigantic Kiwi pacer. The young gun fast bowling all rounder made his international career’s debut against India when the men in blue toured New Zealand. He got fifers and fifties in the 2 match test series, and was instrumental in India’s only series setback in the entire WTC cycle. His height gives him definite advantage and the English conditions are right here for his style of bowling.

4. Rishabh Pant

His recent heroics have given him the limelight when it comes to test match cricket, but in the WTC final his role as a wicket keeper will be equally as important. The heavy loaded top order of the Indian batting line-up needs Rishabh Pant’s dynamic style at the bottom to make a difference as well. The southpaw already has a test century in England on his tour there in 2018. Hopes will be high from Rishabh Pant as he prepares to bring some magic to the test championship final.

5. Neil Wagner

Here’s a New Zealand bowler that has been effective for years and years but doesn’t get the credentials as his partners Boult and Southee. Neil Wagner is a short pace bowler who brings in a completely different dynamic than Kyle Jamieson. He has two ways of getting his wickets. If the ball is swinging, he pitches it up and tries to get it into the right handed batsman. If the ball does nothing at all, he bowls consistent and targeted short pitch bowling that produces results as well. He is a very dangerous customer to deal with.

EXERCISES TO INCREASE STAMINA & BUILD ENDURANCE

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With the lockdown gradually being relaxed, I am certain that we will soon be able to run freely and participate in sporting events. Since we have been confined indoors for so long, endurance and stamina of athletes has most definitely suffered. Exercising, eating right and getting the rest your body requires are some of the secrets towards building long-term stamina. 

If you’re looking for ways to enhance stamina through various exercises, keep reading to learn about how you can achieve desired results.

8 Exercises to increase Stamina & build Endurance

#1 Cycling

Cycling is one of the best cross training exercises that provides you with a lot of aerobic advantages. Cycling  improves concentration, builds muscles, improves stamina and strengthens your immune system. 

#2 Jumping jacks

An easy total-body aerobic workout that targets your muscles, lungs and heart. Lunges is a great warm-up exercise that also helps with stress relief, weight loss and muscular toning.

#3 Push-ups

Push-ups are a simple exercise that strengthens the upper body and core. It works a variety of muscles, including the chest, biceps, triceps, shoulder, back and legs. A simple workout, highly effective in boosting stamina.

 #4 Squats

Squats work a large number of muscles. Squats provide a number of advantages, including strengthening muscles, burning fat, aiding weight loss and improving lower body flexibility.

#5 Mountain Climbers

An excellent way to improve cardio endurance, core strength and agility. Mountain climbers work the quadriceps, biceps, deltoids, triceps, hamstrings, obliques and abdominal muscles.

#6 Lunges

Lunges is a powerful strength training exercise for athletes who wish to develop, sculpt, tone their bodies, as well as improve their general fitness and sports performance. This resistance workout is well-known for strengthening your back, hips and legs while also increasing mobility, stability.

#7 Walking

The most simple and adaptable form of exercise is walking. Athletes can modify their walking intensity to suit their fitness level. Walking promotes fitness, cardiac health, mood, endurance, circulation and posture.It relieves you of depression and weariness, decreases pain, prevents weight gain, lowers cancer, chronic disease risk.

#8 Running

Running is the most demanding form of endurance training. Running allows athletes to have control over performance and environmental variables such as running velocity, surface gradient, ambient temperature, wind speed, relative humidity.

In conclusion, increasing your stamina is beneficial while you are building a healthy and stronger version of yourself. Stamina is important for performance and can help you improve your game significantly. Whether you need to run for 90 minutes, 3 sets on a tennis court or finish multiple practice dance routines, one thing is common: you will need a lot of endurance. One size doesn’t not fit all- It’s ideal that you try out the exercises mentioned above and see which ones work best for your body.

Brain Games for Young Athletes to Improve Concentration

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Athletes are always trying to enhance their focus through practice and performance. An athlete’s training routine should include learning how to improve attention and concentration. There are so many distractions in today’s environment, that staying focused on one thing for an extended period of time is difficult. With easy access to mobile phones and other devices that can easily induce distraction, the problem can get even worse. Concentration is more difficult than it appears!

So, how can you sharpen your focus? To help you improve your concentration, there are a variety of brain games you can play. In this article, we’ll go through the top five brain games you can play to boost your concentration span.

#1 Riddles

Riddles help athletes strengthen their memory and attention skills. Riddles can help you enhance your problem-solving skills, vocabulary, general knowledge and communication skills.

#2 Jigsaw Puzzles

The most common type of puzzle available is the conventional jigsaw puzzle. Jigsaw puzzles are available in an infinite number of shapes, sizes, and colors! Many have detailed drawings on them to inspire the puzzle solver to put all the pieces together to view the whole picture. Jigsaw puzzles require solvers to sort through a large number of pieces and arrange each jigsaw component in its appropriate places using only a snippet of the image on the pieces and the entire image on the box. Every day, solving jigsaw puzzles can massively increase your concentration.

#3 Chess

Chess is a game that challenges you to think critically and logically. Chess requires you to use your full brain while playing. This can significantly aid in the process of improving concentration. This game requires you to use your imagination to solve problems. So you will need to focus entirely to perform it well enough to win.

#4 Computer Games & Video Games

Video games and computer games help you improve your cognitive performance. A recent research reveals that strategy-based video games which encourage planning and strategic thinking assists athletes enhance their brain function.

#5 Sudoku

Sudoku puzzles are based on numbers, and finding a digit’s location requires critical thinking. They’re easy to enjoy anyplace because they can be played in a book or on a digital device. Solving this game challenges your mind to quickly absorb multiple tactics and pieces of information. This game encourages you to think quickly and improves your performance in activities that need a lot of concentration and thought.

In conclusion, while reading about how to improve concentration, it’s critical to try out several exercises and reinforce the ones that work best for you. While incorporating a new mental focus approach into your preparation regimen, you should be patient with yourself. It will take some time to adjust to the practice and see the positive benefits, but it will be well worth the effort. These beneficial brain games can assist athletes enhance their focus and drive when competing in a sporting event. Increased focus and mental stamina can aid athletes in recalling and implementing winning techniques on the go. ‘You will get fantastic results if you approach your concentration like a muscle and try to strengthen it’.

Best debut Batting Performances in Test Cricket This Decade

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Test cricket is the hardest and toughest arena for any cricketer. For batsmen, this is where the most technical application and concentration are required. Making good in your very first inning is a great achievement, and we have been blessed to see some great debut performances in the past decade alone.

A lot of people speculated that test cricket might be dying out with the introduction and more promotion of white ball cricket, but recently it has been making a comeback in popularity amongst all kinds of cricket fans. As we get ready for the WTC Final, New Zealand and England have locked horns in a 2 match series which saw the fantastic debut of Devon Conway. Let’s start there!

1. Devon Conway – 200 (347) VS England (2021)

After immigrating from South Africa to New Zealand to advance his cricketing career, Devon Conway has been accumulating experience and skill in the local circuits. Lately for New Zealand in white ball cricket he has been making a lot of noise as well. But his test debut is something that is going to be remembered for a long time.

Right at the cusp of the WTC final, Conway announced himself as a solid opening batsman, a role he has not fulfilled even in domestic cricket. The 29 year old smashed an impressive double against an England with both Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad in their home conditions. He looked pretty impressive throughout the inning without any flaws or misplays.

2. Kyle Mayers – 210* (310) VS Bangladesh (2021)

This is another inning that came from this year only. Kyle Mayer’s double hundred at a square turning track against experienced Bangladesh spinners in the best of their element is said to be one of the best 4th inning batting effort of all time.

Chasing down a steep 395 in very difficult batting conditions against experienced bowlers is no easy task anywhere. Add to that, West Indies were 59-3 when Kyle Mayers and fellow debutant Nkrumah Bonner came to the crease and made a partnership of 216 runs that eventually led to the victory.

3. Shikhar Dhawan – 187 (174) VS Australia (2013)

With 33 fours and 2 sixes, Dhawan’s debut test inning versus a visiting Australia is till date the fastest century by a test debutant. Replacing a stalwart opener like Gautam Gambhir, Shikhar Dhawan made an impact in the red ball game immediately. It is harrowing to see that he couldn’t keep his position in the test team in the years to come, but this inning is etched in the memory of every Indian fan.

Chasing down a 400 plus score in the second innings, India crushed the Australian bowling attack with a magnificent opening partnership between Dhawan and Murli Vijay. India went on to win the match comfortably after that, chasing down a small 135 in the second innings.

Joint Winners to be Announced in Case of Tie or Draw: ICC on WTC Final

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In the build-up to the World Test Championship’s grand finale, ICC has announced that India and New Zealand will be crowned co-champions in case of a tie or draw. Hard-fought 5-day draws are a very common result in a competitive test match between two high-quality sides. This decision was made to avoid confusion and chaos like the 2019 World Cup final, where NZ and ENG tied twice (once in the main game and then the super over).

A reserve day was also has been kept in case there is a loss of time during the allotted 5 days. This could be effective in case of time lost due to rain or similar factors. Even then, the reserve day won’t be used if using traditional methods of making up for time work. These conventional methods include early start and over added to finish late if time allows.

However, this reserve day won’t be used if the time is made up and the match still ends up in a draw. Sometimes batting time and getting through the day for a draw is what defines the character of excellent test match cricket. Giving the bowling team another day to bowl the opposition out would not have been fair, which is why this rule is a good move by ICC. The match referee will be providing updates on lost time to both captains.

The WTC finals will also bring into play the new changes in cricket laws for the first time. These new laws include the close real-time monitoring of short runs by umpires and the new increased height for an LBW zone. The first rule is a little straightforward, but to better understand the second one, you must know that the wicket zone’s height was taken from the center of the bails instead of the top of the bails. This resulted in a lot of haphazard umpire’s call decisions that could have gone either way. With the new rule, the DRS will be much more accurate, fair, and effective.

Another new rule which will come into play from the WTC final is the ability of the fielding team or the batsman in question to ask the umpire whether, according to them, a shot was offered. This rule comes in handy when LBW decisions are given in which the ball is pitching outside the line of the leg stump. Initially, if a shot isn’t offered, it doesn’t matter where the ball pitches. But whether a shot is offered or not can be confusing, and it is the umpire who decides that.

In other news, the Indian team is yet to receive a flight schedule on arriving in the UK. All players of both contingents (men and women) have been vaccinated and are ready to go waiting in Mumbai. Yet, the BCCI is awaiting confirmation from ICC on when to leave. BCCI is also awaiting confirmation from the UK government to allow the family members of the men’s team to travel with them to England. Apart from a few members on the squad, almost every member is traveling with their families.

Best Cricket Games to Entertain you through the Non-Cricketing Season

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The Covid-19 pandemic has ensured that everything we love has been kept on hold or taken away from us. After a period of things seeming to get back to normal, another wave of the virus devastated the nation, and IPL 2021 was the casualty. As a result, we are left with no cricketing action for a good while. Sure, a lot of exciting action is coming up, and if you’re a genuine lover of the game, you’d be looking forward to the ENG vs. NZ test series as well.

But if you’re like me and you like me and use video games to cope with what real life fails to offer, you’d enjoy a good cricket game! I, for once, have grown up playing whatever cricket game was available to me as a kid and emulate what was happening in real cricket in the world.

When it comes to sports video games, cricket might not stand in league with football games, or wrestling games, or even basketball games, for that matter. But it’s my curse that I love only the sport of cricket! Thankfully, you can play some fun as a pass time or devote hours playing a proper test match on your favorite device. So let’s take a look at some of the best cricket games out there!

Real Cricket 20

Developer : Nautilus

Platform : Mobile (Android and iOS)

This game is available on android and IOS. When it comes to the touch screen mobile platform, it cannot get any better than this. This game has the best faces, teams, and cricket-playing options. Nautilus mobile has gone all out on making this gaming experience as close to home as possible. It even has counterfeit IPL team names, with identical realistic jerseys. It is, in fact, very clever how they have avoided any copyright or licensing deals with any cricket boards.

One fun detail is the batting styles and bowling actions, some of which you can recognize instantly (like Jasprit Bumrah, Lasith Malinga, etc.). The attention to detail in some aspects of this game is commendable and much appreciated by the cricket fans who spend both time and money. This game is free to download on Google Play and Apple Store.

EA Cricket 07 and Patches

Developer : EA Sports

Platform : Low Spec Windows PC

If you were a cricket-loving kid growing up in the 2000s, you are much too familiar with S. Tendehar, S. Gungly, and R. Dravia. Cricket 07 by EA Games is one for the nostalgia. Regardless of how old school this game is, the songs, the ashes scenarios, all of it was freaking awesome at the time. Gameplay-wise, this game was a little behind on what’s available today. Basically, if you figured out the timing, you could hit sixes off every ball and take wickets on every ball as well. 

The developers backed off from this game franchise, and neither developed it further or made a new game after that. But the cult following community of this game kept it alive year after year! Every year, you will find a patch that you can download and install that will give you updated teams (both international and franchise) with the best faces and bats. An excellent entertaining game for you to pass your time, but if you’re looking to play a challenging cricket game on your PC, the following recommendation might be for you!

Cricket 19

Developer : Big Ant Studios

Platforms : Windows, Playstation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch

Big Ant Studios has been the only developer who hasn’t given up on cricket games yet. Their franchise of Don Bradman Cricket was an excellent refreshing game, giving you many options to feel the intensity of an actual game. Then they slowly ventured into the Ashes Cricket franchise. Cricket 19 is the successor of the last Ashes branded game, Ashes 17.

This game is tremendous when it comes to photo-realistic graphics of Australian and English cricketers. The community has also worked tirelessly to create entire international and franchise teams with updated rosters and very identical faces that you can download for free! It also features batting styles and bowling actions that cover the likeness of a lot of superstar players. For example, Steve Smith and Glenn Maxwell have tracked their batting styles, and Pat Cummins has tracked his bowling action in a motion-tracking suit.

The gameplay is as good as it gets too. There is advanced control over everything from the intent of the shot to the timing, placement, and footwork. If you fancy yourself as an expert of the game and mimic actual split-second decisions and mental capacity required to win a cricket match, this is the game for you. If you don’t, you can also ease the game up to fit your skillset.

I hope this gets you excited to play a few games yourself! I recently got myself a new gaming controller and have been playing Cricket 19 non-stop. If you’re anything like me, you will enjoy these games as well!

Dani Ceballos announce his departure from Arsenal after two years on loan.

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The midfielder is likely to return to Madrid. But it is unclear if new head coach Zinedine Zidane sees him as part of his plans for next season. Ceballos announced his departure from the Emirates on Instagram. Thanking the club for making him feel like a member of the Gunners family.

The Spaniard also acknowledged that it had been a “complicated year,”. But he claimed he tried tirelessly to give his all for the team in their pursuit of success on the field.

Unfortunately for Arsenal supporters, the club failed to qualify for Europe for the first time in 25 years. Finishing eighth in the Premier League and losing in the Europa League semi-finals.

Ceballos may have mixed feelings about his time in north London. He only scored two goals and provided five assists in all competitions over the last two seasons.

Why Real Madrid was better this season than the last season

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Real Madrid won 2 trophies last season one was Supercopa de España and another one was the league title (La Liga). This season they lost in the semi-final of Supercopa de España against Atletico Bilbao, Lost in the semi-final against Chelsea, lost the title on the last day!
Real Madrid tried their best but Atletico has the last laugh

Real Madrid did a wonderful job even in this season although they lost all three competitions, it was a good season for them.

Three reasons Real Madrid was better this season:

No signing in last 3 windows:

When Manchester United bought Bruno Fernandes for their Arsenal, Manchester United transformed into ruthless Manchester United of Sir Alex Ferguson! In the last 5 years, he was the best signing for any club in the Top 5 league. While Real Madrid signed no players and they still end up at 2nd on the table. They almost win the league

Injuries in the Real Madrid

51 injuries in the team Real Madrid beat Barca twice and once Atletico Madrid (the other one was a draw).
This season Toni Kroos and Luka Modric had more responsibility because the team was struggling with so many injuries and lack of experience.

Luka, Kross, and Benzema were exceptional this season, Nacho and Eder were in their careers best form because Real Madrid never looks like they are playing without their leader Ramos and Varane. Lucas Vasquez and Valverde play a very vital role in the absence of main defensive right-back Carvajal. While Miguel Gutiérrez was the finding of the season.

Dispute in the Club:

Last season Zidane had major disputes with players like Bale, James Rodriguez, and Luka Jovic.
Luka Jovic’s concern was not getting enough time to play. Same with James Rodriguez, so they both left the club. James Rodriguez left last summer for Everton to meet his former coach Carlo Ancelotti. Luka Jovic left on loan to his former club Frankfurt.

Last summer, Bale and Zidane’s dispute was a hot news topic. Bale didn’t play against Manchester City in the Round of 16 of UCL at Etihad.
So Bale went to his former club Spurs on loan. This season there was no dispute between the Coach and his player so it was easy to maintain the players. Even though Real Madrid CF played with 51 injuries, they did well.

Zidane

Zidane might not be the best coach, not even one of the best, but he did a wonderful job in his 2nd time. In Glory time he won 3 consecutive champions league titles. While in his 2nd Without Ronaldo he wins 2 trophies in 2.5 seasons. Madrid won 2 trophies last season one was Supercopa de España and the other one was the league title (La Liga). This season they lost in the semi-final of Supercopa de España against Atletico Bilbao, Lost in the semi-final against Chelsea, lost the title on the last day.

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