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VOL.37 :: NO.31 :: Aug. 02, 2014

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Cover Story
Lord’s grass provides India happy grazing ground
India has found a fresh core and just like how it happened after Kolkata 2001, when V. V. S. Laxman’s 281 humbled Australia and unearthed a new phase, Lord’s 2014 may well spark a new journey for Dhoni’s men, writes K. C. Vijaya Kumar.

Melding into the middle-order
Ajinkya Rahane has a sense of balance, both as a batsman and as an individual, and in Pravin Amre, his coach back home, he has the ideal guide. India can breathe easy, writes K. C. Vijaya Kumar.
The charm of Lord’S
The Lord’s Shop sells merchandise ranging from miniature balls, with Lord’s 200 (yes, Lord’s has turned 200) embossed on it, to T-shirts and cricket books. Maybe the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) can replicate this at leading Indian cricket centres, writes K. C. Vijaya Kumar.
Puzzling facts whizzing round England cricket
It seems that the whole of this vibrant sporting country is suddenly out of form. Please don’t ask me why, writes Ted Corbett.

Brazil 2014: Best XI
Picking a tournament’s best XI is always a tough ask. The abundance of star performers available makes it tough to leave anybody out. It is here that stats come in handy. Yet, they do not explain everything. N. Sudarshan tries the balancing act.
Hindsight… not always right!
Hindsight can make us believe unjustified claims or force us to seek causality where it doesn’t exist. While assessing the non-selection of a few stars at the recently concluded World Cup in Brazil, it was important to be aware of such dangers, writes Priyansh.
‘Special Prize’
Lionel Messi won the ‘Golden Ball’ in Brazil 2014. It could be argued that Messi was the best Argentine player on view at the tournament, but to honour him as the standout player of the event is debatable. The names of other contenders — Colombia’s James Rodriguez or the Netherlands’ Arjen Robben, for example — better fit the bill. By Ashwin Achal.
Superstars who will be missed in 2018
Although Miroslav Klose is yet to make a formal announcement, at 36 it is obvious this was his last World Cup. His swansong has not been a bad one either. With his strike in the 7-1 evisceration of Brazil, Klose became the leading World Cup scorer of all time, his 16-goal record unlikely to be breached by anyone bar Thomas Muller. By Shreedutta Chidananda.
World Cup afterthoughts
The tournament drags on at the expense of star players, not least Lionel Messi, on whom the physical demand became intolerable. That Messi should, at the end, be given the so-called ‘Golden Ball’ seemed more of a consolation prize than a proper decision. By Brian Glanville.

Terry sure that this team will waltz!
“As for this team, there is no doubt it will continue to grow. Potentially, I see all of them still there in 2016. From the point of view of age and physiology, there is no one who couldn’t do it even in 2018,” Terry Walsh, the Indian men’s hockey chief coach, tells Uthra Ganesan.

Formula One
Not the right formula
At a time when the Formula One viewership is dropping alarmingly, the FIA’s initiative for 2015 threatens to alienate the fans even further. By S. Dipak Ragav.

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