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INDW vs AUSW LIVE SCORE: One-off Test Day 1 at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai

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Cricket

India women vs Australia LIVE, One-off Test Day 1: INDW vs AUSW at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai

India women vs Australia women, One-off Test Day 1 LIVE Score Update: Follow live score, updates, ball-by-ball, scorecard of INDW vs AUSW

FirstCricket Staff December 21, 2023 09:14:08 IST India women vs Australia LIVE, One-off Test Day 1: INDW vs AUSW at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai

India women vs Australia women LIVE: INDW host AUSW in a one-off Test at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. Sportzpics

India women vs Australia women Test Day 1 LIVE: Australia have won the toss against India and will bat first at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. Darcie Brown is unavailable for Australia, informs newly appointed skipper Alyssa Healy. Only one change for India fromt he win against England, with Richa Ghosh replacing the injured Shubha Satheesh.

Preview: After beating England, India women’s cricket team will be eager to tick another task in their bucket list heading into the one-off Test against a formidable Australian team, a maiden win in the traditional format.

India have never beaten Australia in any of their 10 Tests spanning over 46 years — home or away — as the Harmanpreet Kaur-led side would know that there could be no better opportunity than now with the pitch favourable to spinners.

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India’s bowling attack, especially offie Deepti Sharma, was ruthless against England as the team clinched a staggering 347-run win at the DY Patil Stadium last week, biggest in terms of runs in women’s Test history, and they would like to reproduce such an outcome against the Aussies too.

In the bowling department, Renuka Singh Thakur is building a reputation of making early inroads with the new ball since her return from injury and fellow-pacer Pooja Vastrakar also warmed-up with a three-wicket burst against England.

India’s batting also looks to be in safe hands with Harmanpreet Kaur (49 and 44 not out), Jemimah Rodrigues (68) and Yastika Bhatia (66) making good impact against England.

However, India would want opener Smriti Mandhana to join the party with a big knock here at the Wankhede Stadium against the Aussies.

Incidentally, it was here at the Wankhede that India and Australia had played their last women’s Test on these shores in February 1984.

The last Test between India and Australia was played two years ago at Carrara, in which Smriti Mandhana’s first-innings 127 helped Women in Blue to secure a draw.

Squads:

India: Harmanpreet Kaur (C), Smriti Mandhana (VC), Jemimah Rodrigues, Shafali Verma, Deepti Sharma, Yastika Bhatia (wk), Richa Ghosh (wk), Sneh Rana, Shubha Satheesh, Harleen Deol, Saika Ishaque, Renuka Singh Thakur, Titas Sadhu, Meghna Singh, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Pooja Vastrakar

Australia: Darcie Brown, Lauren Cheatle, Heather Graham, Ashleigh Gardner, Kim Garth, Alyssa Healy (C & WK), Jess Jonassen, Alana King, Phoebe Litchfield, Tahlia McGrath, Beth Mooney (wk), Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland, Georgia Wareham.

IPL 2024 Auction Analysis: RR bank on Rovman Powell for big runs but are an all-rounder short

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Cricket

IPL 2024 Auction Analysis: Rajasthan Royals bank on Rovman Powell for big runs but lack quality all-rounder

Rajasthan Royals have got the services of Rovman Powell (Rs 7.40 crore) and Shubham Dubey (Rs 5.80 crore) as they turn towards a mix of youth and experience in IPL 2024.

FirstCricket Staff December 21, 2023 04:37:57 IST IPL 2024 Auction Analysis: Rajasthan Royals bank on Rovman Powell for big runs but lack quality all-rounder

Rajasthan Royals narrowly missed out on the IPL playoffs earlier this year. Sportzpics

In the more recent seasons of the Indian Premier League (IPL), Rajasthan Royals (RR) have been rather unfortunate to miss out on the playoffs on multiple occasions, despite boasting of an excellent team on paper. Ever since winning the inaugural IPL in 2008, RR have only reached the final once, in 2022, when they went down to eventual champions Gujarat Titans (GT).

Under Sanju Samson as skipper, RR have been a team synonymous for having a mix of youth and experience in their side. They usually enter an IPL season with an explosive top-order, some fine match-winning all-rounders and probably the best spin attack you would see.

Ahead of the IPL 2024 auction, the Royals had to fill eight slots, including three overseas and a remaining purse of Rs 14.5 crore. Royals filled five of these available total slots, and ended up still having three more slots to fill (none overseas) at the end of the auction.

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Pre-auction gaps

Ahead of the auction in Dubai, one major slot to fill in for RR was their middle-order batting. RR had released the likes of Joe Root and Jason Holder, while trading out Devdutt Padikkal to Lucknow Super Giants (LSG), in place of Avesh Khan.

Holder being released meant that RR needed a good seam-bowler, and this where the acquisition of South Africa’s Nandre Burger (Rs 50 lakh) comes in. As for the middle-order batting, RR have filled that by investing heavily on Rovman Powell (Rs 7.40 crore) and Shubham Dubey (Rs 5.80 crore).

Strengths

Rajasthan Royals were spot on in the acquisition of Powell. He leads Barbados Royals in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) and will be of huge help for the youngsters in the squad.

RR also have brought in Burger as back-up for New Zealand’s Trent Boult, whereas Tom Kohler-Cadmore, a wicketkeeper from England, brings versatility and can bat wherever the team demands him to do so.

RR also have acquired Dubey, a 29-year-old who had a good outing for Vidarbha in the Syed Mushtaq Ali tournament, where he scored 221 runs at a strike rate of 187.

Weaknesses

Rajasthan Royals are missing a quality all-rounder, especially following the departure of Holder. Riyan Parag wasn’t in the best of form in the IPL earlier this year, although he did score 279 runs and take 11 wickets in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. However, Parag is the only all-rounder in the squad and RR lack a reputed all-rounder who can step up at vital moments of a game.

Best buy

Rovman Powell (Rs 7.40 crore) was by far the best buy for Rajasthan Royals. He is a match-winner and knows a thing or two about winning titles in T20 leagues, having led Jamaica Tallawahs to title victory in Caribbean Premier League (CPL) 2022.

Powell will form a vital core of RR’s batting lineup and will hope his presence adds a boost to the same, especially with RR repeatedly having endured low scores in IPL 2023.

Worst buy

While it’s difficult to pick a worst buy from this Rajasthan Royals setup, it could be said that RR could have resisted themselves from buying Tom Kohler-Cadmore for Rs 40 lakh, given the depth in wicketkeeping they already possess. RR already have Sanju Samson, Dhruv Jurel and Jos Buttler as three primary wicketkeeping options, along with Kunal Singh Rathore, who was also retained. RR could have focussed on a prominent all-rounder instead.

Players bought by RR at IPL 2024 Auction: Rovman Powell (Rs 7.4 crore), Shubham Dubey (Rs 5.8 crore), Tom Kohler-Cadmore (Rs 40 lakh), Abid Mushtaq (Rs 20 lakh), Nandre Burger (Rs 50 lakh)

RR full squad: Sanju Samson, Ravichandran Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Prasidh Krishna, Navdeep Saini, Avesh Khan (Traded from LSG), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Kuldeep Sen, Sandeep Sharma, Riyan Parag, Dhruv Jurel, Kunal Singh Rathore, Jos Buttler, Trent Boult, Adam Zampa, Shimron Hetmyer, Donovan Ferreira, Rovman Powell, Shubham Dubey, Tom Kohler-Cadmore, Abid Mushtaq, Nandre Burger

Purse left: Rs 20 lakh

Overseas slots available: 0

Total available slots: 3

IPL 2024 Auction Analysis: SRH to rely on Pat Cummins and Travis Head to rediscover lost glory

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Cricket

IPL 2024 Auction Analysis: Sunrisers Hyderabad to rely on World Cup winners Cummins and Head to rediscover lost glory

Sunrisers Hyderabad secured the services of ODI World Cup winners Pat Cummins (Rs 20.50 crore) and Travis Head (Rs 6.80 crore) sat the IPL 2024 player auction in Dubai, in a bid to rediscover the team’s lost glory.

FirstCricket Staff December 21, 2023 04:40:39 IST IPL 2024 Auction Analysis: Sunrisers Hyderabad to rely on World Cup winners Cummins and Head to rediscover lost glory

Australia skipper Pat Cummins with the Worlds Cup trophy. AP

Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) were  one of the franchises who dominated the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 player auction. SRH were in need of tweaks in the batting and spin bowling departments following the departures of Harry Brook and Adil Rashid. SRH were the second-best in terms of spending at the IPL 2024 auction, having spent a whopping Rs 30.80 crore.

Read: Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and other top buys in IPL 2024 Auction

This was just behind Kolkata Knight Riders’ (KKR) spending of 31.85 crore. One common factor behind the two teams’ spending was an Australia pacer going for more than Rs 20 crore. SRH secured the services of Australia skipper Pat Cummins for Rs 20.50 crore, whereas Mitchell Starc became the most expensive buy in history of the IPL when he was acquired by KKR for Rs 24.75 crore.

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We now take a look at SRH’s pre-auction gaps, best and worst buy among more aspects from the IPL 2024 auction:

Pre-auction gaps

An overseas top-order batter, an overseas pacer and a foreign spinner were on top of SRH’s priority list ahead of the 2024 IPL player auction. Harry Brook had been released by SRH after an underwhelming IPL 2023, and so was his England teammate Adil Rashid, who failed to fill the void left by Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan.

It’s safe to say that SRH have in fact filled in these gaps, with each of them being marquee signings who are proven match winners.

Strengths

Getting in Australia skipper Pat Cummins for a whopping amount of Rs 20.50 crore was a huge boost for Sunrisers Hyderabad, given the fact that SRH were looking for an experienced pacer as a backup for Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Both Bhuvneshwar and T Natarajan have been prone to injuries recently and it was paramount that SRH needed an overseas pacer.

Another World Cup winner Travis Head was also acquired by SRH for Rs 6.80 crore. SRH needed an explosive batting option following Harry Brook’s underwhelming performance and Head might be the perfect answer for that.

SRH lacked a wrist spinner following the departures of Adil Rashid and Akeal Hosein and Sri Lanka’s Wanindu Hasaranga was one of the favourites to go to SRH. Hasaranga, who has previously plied trade for RCB, was acquired for Rs 1.50 crore and might seem as a bargain given his international experience as well as playing across leagues in the world.

Weaknesses

On paper, this new-look SRH side may not have much weaknesses, but one concern is that of Abdul Samad’s place in the playing XI. Samad has endured a few disappointing seasons in the past and the 2023 season was ordinary, having scored 169 runs from nine matches. He has failed to fire on most occasions, and barring an unbeaten 37 against Lucknow Super Giants, there was nothing extraordinary about the Jammu and Kashmir cricketer as he struggled for consistency.

Best buy

SRH made not one, but two best buys, and this is where Australia’s World Cup-winning duo of Cummins and Head comes in. As said before, both are proven match-winners and both need no introductions to what they offer to the table. If SRH are to contend for the title this season, it’s going to be upto this duo to step up and deliver, given that they know a thing or two about winning.

Worst buy

Jaydev Unadkat might have become SRH’s worst buy ahead of IPL 2024. Unadkat, who was bought for Rs 1.60 crore, has not had anything much significant over the last couple of IPL seasons. Lack of game time at LSG and MI in 2023 and 2022 meant that Unadkat would have gone at risk of being unsold, but SRH seems to have put faith in him to perform. Only time will tell when Unadkat gets a game, given SRH’s depth of pacers in the squad including Umran Malik, Bhuvneshwar and Natarajan apart from Cummins.

Players bought by SRH at IPL 2024 Auction: Travis Head (Rs 6.80 crore), Wanindu Hasaranga (Rs 1.50 crore), Pat Cummins (Rs 20.50 crore), Jaydev Unadkat (Rs 1.60 crore), Akash Maharaj Singh (Rs 20 lakh), Jhatavedh Subramanyan (Rs 20 lakh)

SRH full squad: Abdul Samad, Abhishek Sharma, Aiden Markram, Anmolpreet Singh, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Glenn Phillips, Heinrich Klaasen, Marco Jansen, Mayank Agarwal, Mayank Markande, Nitish Kumar Reddy, Rahul Tripathi, Sanvir Singh, Shahbaz Ahamad (T), T. Natarajan, Umran Malik, Upendra Singh Yadav, Washington Sundar, Travis Head, Wanindu Hasaranga, Pat Cummins, Jaydev Unadkat, Akash Maharaj Singh, Jhatavedh Subramanyan

Remaining purse: Rs 3.20 crore

Slots remaining: 0

Countdown to February 8: Why Gen Asim Munir is key to ensuring Nawaz Sharif’s comeback and Pakistan regaining US trust

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Opinion

Countdown to February 8: Why Gen Asim Munir is key to ensuring Nawaz Sharif's comeback and Pakistan regaining US trust

While 2024 would reveal how far US and Pakistan go to revive their relations it is clear that the General Munir visit shows that the former is serious about stabilising its ties with Pakistan

Vivek Katju December 21, 2023 09:03:35 IST Countdown to February 8: Why Gen Asim Munir is key to ensuring Nawaz Sharif's comeback and Pakistan regaining US trust

Pakistan Army chief General Asim Munir. AP

It is now almost certain that elections will be held for the Pakistan National Assembly (NA) as well as the country’s four Provincial Assemblies on 8 February. The Election Commission confirmed the election date after the Supreme Court cleared objections raised by the Lahore High Court against the appointment of civil servants as returning officers for the polls. The Supreme Court has also brushed aside specific grievances with the delimitation exercise. It held that as the election date has been announced these objections cannot be entertained.

After the delimitation exercise the strength of the NA is 336. Of these 266 are to be general seats, 60 seats will be reserved for women and 10 for non-Muslims. The women and non-Muslim seats will be allotted to the parties on the basis of their performance in the general seats.

The allocation of general seats on a provincial basis is thus: Punjab—141, Sindh—61, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa—45, Baluchistan—16 and the Federal Capital area—3. This election, as those in the past, will be won or lost on the basis of the performance of the parties in the general seats. Also, as in the past, Punjab has more seats than the combined number of the other three provinces and the Federal Capital Area; thus, the party which controls Punjab controls Pakistan. This is a permanent feature of Pakistan’s political life.

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Vantage | What Pakistan Army chief can hope to bring back from his US visit

Army chief General Asim Munir will seek to make sure that former prime minister Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) does not succeed in the elections. The events of 9 May when the PTI workers and supporters attacked army installations and the monuments of martyrs have ensured that the gulf between Khan and Munir cannot be bridged. Khan has been in prison since May because he has been charged in a number of cases and the courts have not given him bail. Munir has also purged a large number of senior officers who were believed to have sympathies for Khan. The army is, therefore, firmly under his control.

There have been desertions of leaders from the PTI. As of now, it appears that the army’s desire to finish off the PTI electorally will prevail. With that, the PML(N) of the Sharifs should succeed in the Punjab. Its chances have increased with the return of its leader Nawaz Sharif two months ago from London where he has been since 2019. However, Nawaz Sharif, thrice prime minister in the past is a shadow of the political leader he was. He looks infirm and without vigour. Instead of rousing his supporters and others by giving out a firm programme which will seek to resolve Pakistan’s myriad problems, beginning with its grave economic situation, he is obsessed with the past injustices he and his daughter Maryam Nawaz have had to face. He is railing against his past adversaries, including the army, which manoeuvred the 2018 national elections in favour of Imran Khan.

Nawaz Sharif is relying on Munir to create conditions which will tilt the electoral field in PML(N)’s favour in the polls. It was he who had insisted that Munir should succeed the former army chief General Qamar Bajwa in November 2022 even though there were technical difficulties in his elevation to head the army. Obviously, Nawaz Sharif feels that Munir nurses great grievances against Khan going back to the period when Khan, as prime minister, had pressured Bajwa to oust him from the DG ISI’s post and place Faez Hameed in his place. And, now after the 9 May events there is no way that Munir will countenance the PTI in power. That leaves PML(N) as the only alternative.

The political scene will get heated in the coming weeks. The traditional parties, Bhutto’s PPP, PML(N) Maulana Fazlul Rehman’s JUI(F), and others will go to the electorate to maintain their bases. In this context, Khan’s PTI too will seek to hold on to at least its KP base. In the midst of all this, the army’s position as the ultimate arbiter of Pakistan’s destinies will not be denied. If a recognition of this fact of Pakistan’s national life was needed it has been provided by Munir’s tour of the US which began on 12 December. This visit is significant for Pakistan, of course, but it has implications for India and the region as well.

During his week-long US visit, Munir met with Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin, Deputy National Security Advisor Jonathon Finer, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Charles Brown and the head of the US Central Command General Michael Erik Kurilla. He also interacted with US think tanks and members of the Pakistani diaspora. Munir travelled to New York to meet UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. Clearly, by giving Munir such extensive access the US was intent on sending a message that it considered Pakistan as an important player in the region. It also showed that it had decided to put behind its period of unhappiness with the duplicitous role that Pakistan had played in Afghanistan through its support for the Taliban. That role was responsible, among other reasons for the US’s strategic defeat at the hands of the Taliban in Afghanistan.

During Munir’s visit US spokespersons maintained that their country would deal with whoever the Pakistani people chose as their leader in the coming elections. However, the fact is that there is a coincidence of US and Munir’s interests on Imran Khan. In March 2022 a besieged Khan had blamed the US for wanting him to be ousted from the prime minister’s chair because he had refused to be dictated by US choices regarding the Russian invasion of Ukraine and other foreign policy issues. Earlier, Khan had been especially vocal against the US role in Afghanistan and had hailed the departure of US forces from that country. He had said that the Taliban had broken the chains of slavery. This history between Khan and the US would make it difficult for the US to deal with Khan. Hence, US decision makers would certainly be happy that Munir is trying to ensure Khan’s political demise and driving the PTI to the fringes of Pakistan’s politics.

There have been no public comments on Munir’s conversations with his US interlocutors on Pakistan’s ties with Afghanistan and China. Pakistan-Afghan Taliban relations have reached a low point. Pakistan is unhappy that the Afghan Taliban have not restrained the Tehreek-e-Taliban-e-Pakistan (TTP) from targeting the Pakistan Army. Indeed, on the day Munir reached the US, a group aligned with the TTP attacked a Pakistani army base in Dera Ismail Khan killing 23 Pakistani soldiers. On its part, Pakistan launched a drive to push Afghan refugees without papers—and therefore illegals—into Afghanistan despite the protests of the interim Afghan government.

Neither the US nor Pakistan want an anarchic Afghanistan which becomes a conducive area for terrorist groups to have a free run. Yes, Pakistan wants the Afghan Taliban to allow space for the activities of terrorist groups that are instruments of the Pakistani State but not for those which are, like the TTP, against Islamabad. Ideally, the US and Pakistan would like an ‘inclusive’ government in Kabul but this is unlikely because the Taliban is not willing to cede or share power with any group. It is therefore likely that Munir and his US interlocutors would have agreed for greater bilateral intelligence cooperation on Afghanistan. This will not be easy though because it will be difficult for US intelligence to trust Pakistani intelligence on Afghanistan because of its past track record and the continuing closeness between Pakistan and China.

Notwithstanding the continuing Sino-Pak nexus it is in the US interest to not allow the Chinese to have a free run in Pakistan. it would, at least, like some pockets of influence within the Pakistani establishment and political class. Munir also seems to have reached the conclusion that China alone or along with Pakistan’s traditional Arab donors cannot really pull its economy out of the deep hole in which it finds itself. Hence, a benign US role in putting Pakistan’s economy on an upward trajectory –as distinct from continuing to be on a drip—is needed. It remains to be seen how much the US and Pakistan can cooperate in the economic and commercial areas in view of the inroads that China has made in the Pakistan economy, including through the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

While 2024 would reveal how far US and Pakistan go to revive their relations it is clear that the General Munir visit shows that the former is serious about stabilising its ties with Pakistan. The elimination of Imran Khan’s PTI from the Pakistan political scene would help in that process. Unless the Pakistani electorate throws up surprises in the 8 February elections and General Munir, is unable to control the situation, 2024 will witness US-Pakistan ties moving in a positive direction. That will naturally have implications for India.

The writer is a former Indian diplomat who served as India’s Ambassador to Afghanistan and Myanmar, and as secretary, the Ministry of External Affairs. Views expressed in the above piece are personal and solely that of the author. They do not necessarily reflect Firstpost’s views.

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North Korea’s Kim Jong Un warns of ‘nuclear attack’ if provoked with nukes

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World

North Korea’s Kim Jong Un warns of ‘nuclear attack’ if provoked with nukes

North Korea said this week it had tested its newest ICBM on Monday to gauge the war readiness of its nuclear forces against mounting US hostility

FP Staff December 21, 2023 08:55:12 IST North Korea’s Kim Jong Un warns of ‘nuclear attack’ if provoked with nukes

Kim Jong Un. File Picture

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said Pyongyang would not hesitate to launch a nuclear attack if an enemy provokes it with nuclear weapons, state media reported on Thursday.

Kim made the remark as he met with soldiers working for the military’s missile bureau and congratulated them over Pyongyang’s recent launching drill of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), KCNA news agency said.

He said the test demonstrated the loyalty and strong stand of the armed forces and was “a clear explanation of the offensive counteraction mode and the evolution of the nuclear strategy and doctrine of the DPRK not to hesitate even a nuclear attack when the enemy provoke it with nukes,” KCNA reported.

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DPRK is the abbreviation for the North’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

North Korea said this week it had tested its newest ICBM on Monday to gauge the war readiness of its nuclear forces against mounting US hostility.

The top diplomats of the United States, South Korea and Japan on Wednesday issued a joint statement condemning North Korea’s recent ballistic missile launches and urged Pyongyang to engage in “substantive dialogue without preconditions”.

Kim said Monday’s launch showed the military’s high mobility and rapid attack capability, and called for efforts to further strengthen its combat efficiency, KCNA reported.

In a separate statement, Kim’s sister, Kim Yo Jong, condemned the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for holding a meeting over the ICBM launch, saying it was an exercise of the country’s right to self-defence.

“The UNSC should place heavy responsibility on the irresponsible behaviour and act of the US and the ROK, which have aggravated the tension on the Korean peninsula through all sorts of military provocations all year round,” she said.

ROK stands for South Korea’s official name, the Republic of Korea.

The United States, South Korea and Japan staged a joint air drill involving a US strategic bomber near the Korean peninsula on Wednesday, the latest US strategic asset to be deployed as part of Washington’s pledge with Seoul to boost defence readiness.

INDIA bloc meet: Pitting strong candidate against PM Modi in 2024 elections discussed, say sources

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India

INDIA bloc meet: Pitting strong candidate against PM Modi in 2024 elections discussed, say sources

In the 2014 parliamentary polls, Aam Aadmi Party convener Arvind Kejriwal had fought against Modi from Varanasi, and lost by a margin of 3.37 lakh votes.

FP Staff December 21, 2023 00:12:18 IST INDIA bloc meet: Pitting strong candidate against PM Modi in 2024 elections discussed, say sources

Top leaders of the INDIA bloc at a meeting in Delhi on Tuesday | PTI

During the fourth meeting of the INDIA bloc held on Tuesday, deliberations revolved around countering the BJP in the upcoming 2024 Lok Sabha elections, sources told PTI, adding that pitting a strong joint opposition candidate from Varanasi was also discussed.

Recognising the need for innovative strategies, the opposition parties explored unconventional ideas to challenge the ruling party in the polls.

In the 2014 parliamentary polls, Aam Aadmi Party convener Arvind Kejriwal had fought against Modi from Varanasi, and lost by a margin of 3.37 lakh votes. In 2019, there was a buzz that Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra might fight from Varanasi. However, the Congress fielded Ajay Rai while the Samajwadi Party fielded Shalini Yadav. Modi won the elections bagging over 60 per cent of the votes.

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Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar earlier this month announced that he would hold a rally in Varanasi. However, the rally was cancelled as they could not get permission.

At the INDIA bloc meeting, while seat sharing remained in focus, the leaders also discussed holding joint rallies and public meetings. Meanwhile, amid murmurs about the Bihar CM being upset about Mamata Banerjee’s proposal to make Congress chief Mallikarjun Kharge the prime ministerial face of the opposition alliance, the West Bengal CM said on Wednesday she made the proposal as the question of who would be the face of the alliance had been raised repeatedly.

Speaking to media on Wednesday, Banerjee said, “We proposed Kharge ji’s name because everyone asks for a face, so I made a proposal that if Kharge ji is the face I have no problem, and it was supported by Arvind ji.”Asked if Nitish Kumar was upset over her proposal, she said, “I have no such information”.

Asked about the proposal, Rashtriya Janata Dal MP Manoj Jha said the proposal was shot down by the Congress chief himself, so there is no point in discussing it.

With inputs from PTI.

IND W vs AUS W Only Test: Match details, LIVE streaming and TV coverage

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Cricket

India women vs Australia Test: When and where to watch, live streaming, date, timings, weather and pitch report

Here’s all you need to know ahead of the only Test between India and Australia as far as LIVE streaming is concerned.

FirstCricket Staff December 21, 2023 00:38:13 IST India women vs Australia Test: When and where to watch, live streaming, date, timings, weather and pitch report

India are coming off a 347-run win over England in the one-off women's Test in Mumbai. PTI

Just days after beating England by 347 runs, Harmanpreet Kaur-led India face a tougher challenge against Australia in the one-off women’s Test at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, starting from Thursday (21 December). The hosts will be coming into this game with full of confidence following a stupendous showing against England last week.

It was a game dominated by bowlers, especially Deepti Sharma, who took nine wickets in the match including a five-fer in the first innings. However, the Indian batters did shine in the first innings, with Shubha Satheesh (69), Jemimah Rodrigues (68), Harmanpreet Kaur (49), Yastika Bhatia (66) and Deepti Sharma (67) all getting among the runs to help the hosts post 428. Even Sneh Rana did her bit with a knock of 30.

Skipper Harmanpreet Kaur has only one thing in her mind and that is to go into the game with a winning mentality. “Our approach for this game would be the same as our last match: to go for the win. To continue that approach, if you are batting, it does not mean that you are just staying there. At the same time, you have to get those crucial runs for the team as well,” she said ahead of the game.

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India women vs Australia Test: Harmanpreet Kaur and Co bank on spinners to come good in Mumbai

India are yet to beat Australia in a Test in 10 attempts, but Aussies’ skipper Alyssa Healy has said that India will be tough to beat at home. “India, obviously in their home conditions, are really, really hard to beat. We have had some success over here in the past – do not get me wrong – but the sheer amount of talent in that dressing room, you cannot underestimate at any point in time,”  she said.

The focus, though, will be on Smriti Mandhana. Mandhana has become an integral part of the Team India setup over the years and it was the last time when India played Australia in a women’s Test, when Mandhana scored her only Test century so far.

As far as India’s team news is concerned, Shubha Satheesh injured her finger during the Test against England and remains doubtful for the Australia game, which means it could be either of Richa Ghosh or Harleen Deol who would make the cut in the playing XI.

Australia, meanwhile, could stick to their original playing XI from the Ashes.

Here’s all you need to know ahead of the only Test between India and Australia as far as LIVE streaming is concerned:

When is the only Test match between IND W and AUS W?

The only Test match between IND W and AUS W will be played on Thursday, December 21

When will the only Test between IND W and AUS W start?

The only Test match between IND W and AUS W will start at  9.30 am IST with toss scheduled for 30 minutes prior.

Where will the only Test between IND W and AUS W played?

The only Test match will be played at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai.

Where to watch the live broadcast of only Test match between IND W and AUS W?

The only Test match will be broadcast on the Sports18 Network.

Where can we livestream the only Test between IND W and AUS W?

The only Test match between IND W and AUS W can be live-streamed on the JioCinema app and website.

Squads:

India: Harmanpreet Kaur (C), Smriti Mandhana (VC), Jemimah Rodrigues, Shafali Verma, Deepti Sharma, Yastika Bhatia (wk), Richa Ghosh (wk), Sneh Rana, Shubha Satheesh, Harleen Deol, Saika Ishaque, Renuka Singh Thakur, Titas Sadhu, Meghna Singh, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Pooja Vastrakar

Australia: Darcie Brown, Lauren Cheatle, Heather Graham, Ashleigh Gardner, Kim Garth, Alyssa Healy (C & WK), Jess Jonassen, Alana King, Phoebe Litchfield, Tahlia McGrath, Beth Mooney (wk), Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland, Georgia Wareham.

India Women vs Australia Women: Fixtures, head-to-head, squads and all you need to know

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Firstcricket

India Women vs Australia Women: All you need to know about series – schedule, head to head, live streaming, squads

India enter this series riding high on confidence after their dominant 347-run victory over England in their first home Test since 2014. Debutant Jemimah Rodrigues showcased her prowess in the red-ball format.

FP Trending December 21, 2023 00:46:08 IST India Women vs Australia Women: All you need to know about series - schedule, head to head, live streaming, squads

India women's cricket team will look to clinch their first-ever Test win over Australia. PTI

Nearly four decades in the making, India and Australia will take on one another in a one-off Test match at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, marking the initial phase of a comprehensive multi-format series. After the Test match, three ODIs and three T20Is will follow – a series where all points will be accumulated to determine the ultimate trophy holder.

This Test match will see Alyssa Healy’s inaugural stint as the full-time captain of the Australian team, succeeding Meg Lanning, who retired from international cricket. Healy will lead a formidable 15-player squad during the Test leg.

India enter this series riding high on confidence after their dominant 347-run victory over England in their first home Test since 2014. Debutant Jemimah Rodrigues showcased her prowess in the red-ball format.

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India W vs Australia W – Head to Head in Tests

As far as their historical head-to-head in Test cricket is concerned,, Australia have four victories, while India are yet to secure a win, with 10 matches ending in draws.

Where will IND-W vs AUS-W One-Off Test be telecast?

As far as the live broadcast details are concerned, the India W vs Australia W match will be shown live on the Sports 18 Network.

Where can IND-W vs AUS-W One-Off Test be live streamed?

Live streaming of India W vs Australia W one off Test will be on Jio Cinema.

India W vs Australia W – What is the weather report?

The weather forecast for IND-W vs AUS-W Test match is quite favourable at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. The temperature will be around 34 degrees Celsius with 32% humidity.

India W vs Australia W – Full schedule of series

December 21-24: Test match, Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai

December 28: First ODI, Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai

December 30: Second ODI, Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai

January 2: Third ODI, Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai

January 5: First T20I, DY Patil Stadium, Navi Mumbai

January 7: Second T20I, DY Patil Stadium, Navi Mumbai

January 9: Third T20I, DY Patil Stadium, Navi Mumbai

India W vs Australia W – Full squads for the Test match

Australia squad: Alyssa Healy (c), Tahlia McGrath (vc), Darcie Brown, Lauren Cheatle (Test only), Heather Graham, Ashleigh Gardner, Kim Garth, Grace Harris (T20s only), Jess Jonassen, Alana King, Phoebe Litchfield, Beth Mooney, Ellyse Perry, Megan Schutt, Annabel Sutherland, Georgia Wareham

India Test squad: Harmanpreet Kaur (c), Smriti Mandhana (vc), Jemimah Rodrigues, Shafali Verma, Deepti Sharma, Yastika Bhatia (wk), Richa Ghosh (wk), Sneh Rana, Shubha Satheesh, Harleen Deol, Saika Ishaque, Renuka Singh Thakur, Titas Sadhu, Meghna Singh, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Pooja Vastrakar

India vs South Africa 3rd ODI: Where to watch IND vs SA on TV and LIVE streaming

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Firstcricket

India vs South Africa 3rd ODI: When, where, how to watch IND vs SA, LIVE streaming details

India won the opening game of the series comfortably by eight wickets, only for the Proteas to bounce back and win the next fixture by a similar margin, taking the series to a decider.

FP Trending December 21, 2023 02:16:41 IST India vs South Africa 3rd ODI: When, where, how to watch IND vs SA, LIVE streaming details

India will hope to bounce back from the eight-wicket thrashing at the hands of South Africa in the second ODI in Gqeberha and take the series 2-1. AP

The ODI series between India and South Africa heads into the third match with the series locked at 1-1. The final match of the three-match series is slated to be held at Paarl on Thursday, 21 December.

After a crushing defeat in the first match, South Africa bounced back in some style to draw level in Gqeberha. They first bowled out India for 211 and then chased down the target with 45 balls to spare. Opener Tony de Zorzi played a crucial role, remaining unbeaten on 119, while his partner Reeza Hendricks added 52 to the total.

The series is on the line and both teams need to be at their best, especially, in the first powerplay to take home the silverware.

Here’s all you need to know as far as live coverage of IND vs SA ODI match is concerned:

India vs South Africa 3rd ODI: Live streaming

When is the India vs South Africa 3rd ODI?

The India vs South Africa 3rd ODI match will be played on Thursday, 21 December, 2023.

Where is the India vs South Africa 3rd ODI being played?

The 3rd ODI between India and South Africa will be played at Boland Park in Paarl.

What time does the India vs South Africa 3rd ODI start?

India vs South Africa 3rd ODI will begin at 4:30 PM IST, with the toss scheduled at 4PM.

Which TV channel will broadcast the India vs South Africa 3rd ODI?

India vs South Africa 3rd ODI will be shown live on channels across the Star Sports Network.

How can I stream the India vs South Africa 3rd ODI LIVE?

Live streaming of the India vs South Africa 3rd ODI will be available on Disney+Hotstar app and website.

India vs South Africa: ODI squads

India: Ruturaj Gaikwad, Sai Sudharsan, Tilak Varma, Rajat Patidar, Rinku Singh, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (C & WK), Sanju Samson (WK), Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mukesh Kumar, Avesh Khan, Arshdeep Singh, and Akash Deep

South Africa: Aiden Makram (C), Tony de Zorzi, Reeza Hendricks, David Miller, Rassie van der Dussen, Wiaan Mulder, Andile Phehlukwayo, Heinrich Klaasen (WK), Kyle Verreynne (WK), Keshav Maharaj, Tabraiz Shamsi, Ottniel Baartman, Nandre Burger, Mihlali Mpongwana, Lizaad Williams

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FirstUp: Kejriwal summoned by ED, Delhi HC to hear plea on Rahul, SRK back with Dunki… today’s top stories

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Explainers

FirstUp: ED summons Kejriwal, SRK back with Dunki… today's top stories

Arvind Kejriwal has been summoned by the Enforcement Directorate. The Delhi High Court will hear a plea against Congress’ Rahul Gandhi over revealing the identity of a rape victim. Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan is set to release his new movie Dunki. Here are the big stories set to unfold today

FP Explainers December 21, 2023 07:36:45 IST FirstUp: ED summons Kejriwal, SRK back with Dunki... today's top stories

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has been summoned by the ED.

It’s Thursday.

And there’s a big news day ahead.

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has been summoned by the Enforcement Directorate.

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The Delhi High Court will hear a plea against Congress’ Rahul Gandhi over revealing the identity of a rape victim.

India is set to take on South Africa in the 3rd ODI in a game that will decide the series.

Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan is set to release his new movie Dunki.

Let’s take a look at today’s big-ticket items:

ED summons Kejriwal again

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has been summoned by the Enforcement Directorate for questioning today in connection with the Delhi Excise Policy case.

This will be the second time the ED has summoned Kejriwal.

It earlier summoned the Delhi chief minister on 2 November.

However, Kejriwal did not appear before the agency and instead headed to Madhya Pradesh to campaign for the Assembly polls.

It seems Kejriwal may not turn up again.

He is scheduled to go to an undisclosed place to attend a 10-day Vipassana meditation course from today.

The AAP has said its lawyers are studying the notice and have dubbed the case ‘fake and bogus’.

Delhi HC to hear plea against Rahul

The Delhi High Court will hear a plea against Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for revealing the identity of a rape victim who is a minor.

Rahul met the family of the 9-year-old who was raped and murdered in August 2021 and posted a picture on his social media accounts.

The post was then taken down by Twitter.

The social media website told the court the tweet in question was “geo-blocked” and not available in India.

Twitter’s lawyer also said Rahul’s account was initially suspended by the social media platform but was later restored.

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) had told the court Rahul’s actions violated the law protecting victim’s identities.

India vs SA 3rd Odi

Will India pull off a rare series win in South Africa?

The tourists demolished the hosts in game one in Johannesburg on Sunday – skittling the hosts out for a paltry 116 in their lowest-ever score on home soil.

However, the second ODI witnessed South Africa come back in style.

The Proteas emphatically defeated India by eight wickets courtesy of an unbeaten century from left-handed opener Tony de Zorzi.

This, after they sent the Men in Blue in on a difficult pitch and restricted them to just 211 runs.

Now comes the series decider in Paarl with everything to play for.

Dunki

SRK is back.

And this time, the King of Bollywood, will appear in the comedy-drama Dunki.

The movie directed by Rajkumar Hirani deals with the subject of ‘donkey flights’.

The actor has said the movie is all about loving your country.

“It is my best film… This film will teach you how to love your motherland, parents, and loved ones,” Khan said.

“It deals with going out, finding a future for yourself, but loving your home the most. So, it is about homecoming. You may live anywhere in the world, but (you come back) to your soil,” he added.

This is Khan’s third release of the year – and in a different avatar.

He previously appeared in two back-to-back action blockbusters – Pathaan and Jawan.

Happy b’day Govinda

Happy b’day Govinda!

The man affectionately known as Chi Chi to his fans and fellow actors turns 60 today.

The Bollywood star who has appeared in more than 150 movies is known for his spectacular comic timing and dance moves.

From Dulhe Raja to Coolie No.1, Govinda delivered hit after hit after hit at the box office and charmed millions.

Here’s wishing him a great day and a wonderful year ahead.

With inputs from agencies