Leisure, Lifestyle & Wellness
Shikhar Dhawan unites flamboyance with aggression
The frowns had been rising with each match over India continuing to persist with him despite a slump in form. But hard-hitting opener Shikhar Dhawan has now silenced his critics with his match-winning performances to emerge the leading run-scorer for the defending champions at his debut cricket World Cup.
 
Coming to the mega event after a disastrous tri-series in Australia, Dhawan has looked a transformed batsman as he scored a scintillating ton against the mighty South Africans and later followed up with another century against Ireland. The dashing opener now has amassed 337 runs from six matches, brightening India's chances of retaining the crown.
 
In his short career, the southpaw has already seen several highs and lows. The man who hit the headlines as early as 2004 when he top scored at the Under-19 World Cup, Dhawan's six-year wait to earn the coveted India jersey culminated in a disaster when he managed just a duck in his maiden One-Day International (ODI) against Australia in 2010.
 
Three years on, he stunned all observers including Australia, by stroking his way to the fastest Test century by a debutant, marking the dawn of a new batting star. His Test debut at Mohali was all the more special as the Delhi lad received his cap from none other than legendary Sachin Tendulkar himself.
 
"We have known you as a gutsy player in domestic cricket, now we hope to see you as a gutsy player in international cricket, so show us some guts," the master blaster had said handing him the cap.
 
Smashing Virender Sehwag's record of the fastest ton on Test debut, Dhawan scored a 85-ball hundred en route to a blazing 187 to catch the imagination of the cricket crazy nation. From there on, he has never looked back.
 
The dasher yet again showed his mettle with the bat becoming the Man-of-the-Tournament as India lifted the 2013 Champions Trophy in England. The big stage brought out the best in him as he top scored with 363 runs including two centuries at an astonishing average of 90.75. The conditions in England demanded someone to step up and Dhawan was the one for India.
 
However, he could not retain the momentum in the Test series in England last year, managing a top score of only 37. Such was his lacklustre show that Dhawan was dropped after the first three matches.
 
He had a better outing in the ODIs that followed the Tests, scoring 155 runs from four innings at an average of 51.66. His inconsistency during the recently concluded tour Down Under led to discussions whether he deserved a place in the World Cup squad.
 
But all those doubts now stand dispelled.
 
Facing South African pace trio of Dale Steyn, Vernon Philander and Morne Morkel on a fast and bouncy Melbourne track, Dhawan never looked to be in a spot of bother, middling the ball and smashing it to all parts with ease. He plundered 16 fours and two sixes to amass 137 off 146 balls.
 
His ton against Associate member Ireland was even better, though he was lucky not to make an early exit with John Mooney dropping a caught-and-bowled chance. An 85-ball 100 was a treat to watch not only for thousands who turned up in Hamilton but also for millions watching back home.
 
India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni praised the southpaw's impressive run saying it's important to back players and the left-handed batsman kept believing in himself which was important.
 
"He has prepared well and kept believing in himself. It's important to back players and we try to do it to the extent we can. We always believed in him. But the final step that needs to be taken from the individual. It's those 15 minutes that really changes everything and I am glad he got those 15 minutes," Dhoni had said after the Ireland encounter.
 
Dhawan's rock star performance in the World Cup has rightly matched his flamboyance. Sporting his trademark handlebar moustache and tattooed biceps, he has been in the news both on-and-off the field.
 
Not many may know about the India opener's closeness to Australia. Apart from his glamorous wife Ayesha Mukherjee, a Bengali-British by origin and based in Melbourne, Dhawan owns a house in the city.
 
Much like most successful men, the star credits his wife for his successes.
 
"I owe my success to Ayesha. She taught me that failures teach a person a lot more than success," Dhawan had once said.
 

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COMMENTS

Amol Chavan

2 years ago

I completely disagree with this. Look at his one day scores of 10 matches and you will come to know what is inconsistency. If a player cannot score against Zimbabve and Ireland on batting pitches then what do you expect from him? Also RSA did not attack him on his weakness much. Had it been Australia/NZ/England we could have come to know whether he is an improved one or not. Secondly we have to cross Aus/NZ/RSA to win the world cup. Which in more probability will not happen with Shikhar Dhawan in team. India team has taken the strategy of playing slow in first 10 overs and keep the wickets intact and then accelearate ... I think Murli Vijay was best option for that. Rohit Sharma has probably made all his runs in the world cup... this guy can make 260 when team does not need so many and cannot make 26 or stand up for test matches (first test match against Aus). With Jaddu's bowling looking normal ... I think we better had Yuvi instead of Jaddu... Now with normal bowling making no impact at all ... Jaddu's bowling and Yuvi's bowling is of same grade and then we have to ask ourselves whom do you want to see coming as 6 down for India Jadeja (did not score much) or YUVI?

India's maritime awakening? Modi endorses a Blue Revolution
The three island-nation trip that took Prime Minister Modi to Seychelles, Mauritius and Sri Lanka in mid-March may well mark the beginning of India's long-overdue maritime awakening. For a nation so richly endowed with a distinctive maritime geography, the paradox has been the tenacious indifference, often veering towards inexcusable sea-blindness, that has characterised Delhi's policy orientation as regards the Indian Ocean.
 
However, the very fact that Modi embarked upon such a trip to three strategically important island states in the Indian Ocean which have been long neglected by way of a summit visit reflects a political determination that has the potential to become the beginning of the end of this self-inflicted strategic myopia.
 
In Mauritius, Modi handed over an Indian built offshore patrol vessel (OPV) to that country's Coast Guard and this marks the first such export of a naval ship designed and built in India. Christened the MCGS Barracuda, the 1,350 tonne ship, valued at $50 million was commissioned by Modi on March 12 and his speech at this ceremony could well be described as the most lucid and comprehensive articulation of India's resurrected maritime vision for the Indian Ocean Region (IOR).
 
Highlighting the centrality of a cooperative strategy to manage the vast water body of the Indian Ocean and the role of the smaller island nations, Modi drew attention to the strategic significance of the IOR and noted: "The Indian Ocean is critical to the future of the world. This Ocean bears two-thirds of the world's oil shipments, one-third of its bulk cargo and half of its container traffic. Over three-fourths of its traffic goes to other regions of the world."
 
This overview is familiar to the professionals but what is instructive is the manner in which Modi invoked rich symbolism related to the national flag and endorsed the need for India to embark upon a Blue Revolution. In the course of his remarks at Port Louis, Modi observed: "To me the blue chakra or wheel in India's national flag represents the potential of Blue Revolution or the Ocean Economy. That is how central the ocean economy is to us." The speech writers in the prime minister's stable warrant praise for the manner in which form and substance have been leavened.
 
India has witnessed two seminal revolutions that transformed the profile of the nation and the well-being of its people - namely the Green Revolution that began in 1963 and transformed India from a 'basket-case' to becoming self-sufficient in food production; and later the White Revolution (also referred to as Operation Flood) of 1970 that made India into the world's largest milk producer.
 
The Blue Revolution endorsed by Modi, if realized in its entirety, has the potential to transform India in similar manner and both the normative vision and the policy clarity are laden with deep import. Asserting that the "Indian Ocean Region is at the top of our policy priorities", Modi added that the regional vision "is rooted in advancing cooperation in our region; and, to use our capabilities for the benefit of all in our common maritime home."
 
Five elements prioritize the core security interests of India and yet combine the collective well-being of the IOR. Inter alia, they include: "We will do everything to safeguard our mainland and islands and defend our interests; we will deepen our economic and security cooperation with our friends in the region, especially our maritime neighbours and island states; collective action and cooperation will best advance peace and security in our maritime region; we also seek a more integrated and cooperative future in the region that enhances the prospects for sustainable development for all; and those who live in this region have the primary responsibility for peace, stability and prosperity in the Indian Ocean but we recognize that there are other nations around the world, with strong interests and stakes in the region."
 
This maritime pentagon provides the foundation for the Modi vision of the IOR and is in many ways a logical extension of the modest but relatively still-born 'sagar mala' (ocean garland ) enunciated by former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in August 2003 that sought to revitalize the moribund Indian ports sector and inland connectivity. 
India's comprehensive national power that includes the economic and trade sinews and the military component can be robustly advanced by sustained investment in the maritime sector. This is a well-trodden path taken by many major powers before India and the symbiotic relationship between ship-building, port efficacy and inland cum coastal connectivity lie at the core of such national endeavor.
 
China, which is the most recent of the major powers to focus on the maritime sector, offers many policy cues for India. One of the first priorities is to review and rationalize the myriad ministries and departments that have sectoral and insular responsibility in managing India's maritime assets.
 
This is a subject worthy of immediate cabinet and legislative attention and Modi would be well-advised to fast-track the implementation of the Blue Revolution. Furthermore, the coastal states need to become committed stakeholders in this national endeavor and this in turn will strengthen the federal character of the Indian polity - an often stated Modi objective.
 
The Indian Ocean is not India's ocean alone but the Modi vision is laudable: "We seek a future for the Indian Ocean that lives up to the name of SAGAR - Security and Growth for All in the Region."
 
Acronyms are addictive but the challenge now is to walk the talk and convert rich rhetoric into tangible reality. 
 

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COMMENTS

D S Ranga Rao

2 years ago

What about Pakistan, our dearest enemy and also an Indian Ocean littoral state, in a way? Will it, or, will it be allowed to(by China, our dearest rival in the IOR), keep quiet at our friendly gestures to other littoral states? Whatever may be the future strategic developments in the IOR, Modi deserves fulsome praise for reviving maritime interests not only in India but also in our neighbours.

Vitamin D may help treat age-related diseases
The researchers reviewed evidence that suggests an association between Vitamin D deficiency and chronic diseases associated with aging such as cognitive decline, depression, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes and cancer
 
The sunshine vitamin can be of great help for people during their sunset years as it may play a vital role in the prevention and treatment of diseases associated with ageing, says a study.
 
The researchers reviewed evidence that suggests an association between Vitamin D deficiency and chronic diseases associated with aging such as cognitive decline, depression, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes and cancer.
 
These findings were published in the Journal of Aging and Gerontology.
 
"Vitamin D deficiency is a common, serious medical condition that significantly affects the health and well-being of older adults," said one of the authors Sue Penckofer, professor at Loyola University Chicago Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing (MNSON).
 
When the sun shines on our skin, the skin produces Vitamin D. A diet rich in Vitamin D or the intake of Vitamin D supplements can also cover our need to some extent.
 
Older adults are at risk for Vitamin D deficiency due to diet, reduced time outdoors and poor skin absorption of the nutrient.
 
"Better understanding the relationship between Vitamin D and chronic diseases in older adults and whether treatment of Vitamin D deficiency can prevent or treat these disorders is important given the increasing number of people at risk for these health issues," researcher Meghan Meehan from MNSON said.
 
The Institute of Medicine generally recommends that adults up to 70 years of age take 600 IU of Vitamin D daily and adults over the age of 70 consume 800 IU of the nutrient daily.
 
As the older population continues to grow, universal guidelines for testing and treating Vitamin D deficiency are needed, the study authors concluded.
 
"Research to examine the proper dosing of Vitamin D supplements necessary to prevent the chronic diseases of aging also would have significant benefit for future generations," they added.
 

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