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All the IPL riches and India still do not have a settled middle order

first_imgManish Pandey, Dinesh Karthik, Kedar Jadhav, KL Rahul and Yuvraj Singh are some of the names that have all tried their hand at batting in the middle-order for Team India in the ODI format this year. But the team is yet to find the right combination in the batting lineup.All the above-mentioned players are tried and tested batsmen and have proved their worth in the Indian Premier League. Franchises have shelled out millions of dollars for their services in the IPL but when it comes to the national side, captain Virat Kohli and the team management are still working out its permutations and combinations.Yuvraj Singh is the most experienced player of the lot but his inconsistent run combined with fitness issues meant that he was dropped from the side after the series in West Indies in June this year.Jadhav is the only player who has been a constant feature in the playing XI since he provides the captain with the additional option of part-time spin and often makes crucial breakthrough’s with his street-smart bowling.But frequent changes in the batting order hasn’t helped the 32-year-old. Jadhav has batted in all positions in the middle-order from No. 4-7 depending upon the situation of the game. Out of all the positions he has batted in, No. 6 has suited Jadhav the most as he averages over 63 in that spot having played 12 innings scoring 511 runs including two hundreds and a fifty.The next best bet in the middle order is Pandey but the Karnataka batsman has strangely found himself in and out of the playing XI more often than not. In the two years since he made his ODI debut, Pandey has played just 19 matches and scored 430 runs at an average of 43 with one hundred and two half-centuries.advertisementPandey though, has mostly been drafted into the playing XI when someone or the other gets injured or is unavailable due to some reason. However, this year the team management has stuck with Pandey but he still hasn’t managed to grab a permanent place in the XI.Pandey has played 7 matches this year and scored 169 runs at 42.25 with one half-century. Like Jadhav, India have experimented with Pandey at No. 4, 5 and 6 in the last two years. His average at No. 5 is over 55 while at 6 he averages over 45.Reuters Photo India have also tried Rahul once each at No. 4 and 5 but he failed to make an impression in both innings. In fact this year Rahul’s form in the ODI format has been very poor which is why he was dropped from the squad for the ongoing series against New Zealand.Rahul’s omission has given Karthik an opportunity to make a comeback and cement his place in the team, something which he hasn’t been able to do since he made his debut in 2004. Consistency has deserted the right-hander every time he has been brought into the side.The 32-year-old veteran cricketer made his ODI return after a gap of three years in the ODI series against the West Indies this year where he played two games and scored 2 and 50  not out. In the first ODI against the Black Caps, Karthik made an impressive 37 and sort of bailed the team out of trouble along with Kohli. But once again he failed to convert a start and perished against the run of play.The man who is still holding the middle-order together for India is the ever-reliable MS Dhoni, who has regained his form this year ever since he gave up the limited-overs captaincy in January.Dhoni is averaging over 67 in the 24 ODIs he has played this year scoring 673 runs with one hundred and five fifties. Cricket pundits have been pleading for Dhoni to be sent up the batting order but the team management has been reluctant to do so because if the most-experienced batsman gets out cheaply then it will badly expose the rest of the youngsters coming in after him.Dhoni hasn’t batted above the No. 5 slot this year where in 8 innings he is averaging over 62 with one hundred and three fifties. At No. 6 he has played 7 knocks and is averaging over 78 with two scores of over 50. India have even sent him at No. 7 three times this year where he is averaging 65.The sensational Hardik Pandya has played 24 games this year and is averaging over 41 with four half-centuries. He has been sent up the order as high as No. 4 where he’s played four innings and made 142 runs at 35.50 with a strike rate of over 105. But the 24-year-old has been India’s best bet at No. 7 where he’s played 9 innings and scored 330 runs at over 47 with a strike rate of 125.advertisementPandya is the floater who can be lethal in any position as he possesses the ability to hit sixes and fours at will. Along with Dhoni, Pandya is the only other permanent face in the middle-order.It’s the other three slots which has caused India a headache. Captain Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri are still continuing to experiment with the available options but are reluctant to zero in on a particular combination, which may later go on to hurt India on their foreign tours.last_img read more

Panama drawn into Group G with Belgium

first_imgPanama Panama drawn into World Cup Group G with Belgium and England Jon Arnold Click here to see more stories from this author @ArnoldcommaJon Last updated 1 year ago 00:20 12/2/17 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Roman Torres Panama Rodrigo Arangua Panama World Cup Los Caneleros will have a difficult debut, being grouped with the Red Devils and the Three Lions while facing long journeys throughout Russia Panama will make its debut at the World Cup in Group G alongside Belgium and England.Los Caneleros locked up the third position in CONCACAF qualification in October and are hoping to leave Russia not only having made the first-ever appearance but also having locked up the country’s first-ever World Cup win.To do that, they’ll need good performances in what looks to be a difficult group. Panama starts the World Cup in Sochi against Belgium before traveling to Nizhny Novgorod to meet England and closing out the group stage by facing Tunisia in Saransk. The group requires a fair amount of travel thanks to the opening game in eastern city Sochi.Here are all the groups of #WorldCup2018. What do you think?#WorldCupDraw pic.twitter.com/t0XqgsfwcB— Goal (@goal) December 1, 2017Panama manager Hernan Dario Gomez will bring an experienced team to Russia, albeit one without any World Cup experience. Center backs Felipe Torres and Roman Torres, goalkeeper Jaime Penedo, midfielders Gabriel Gomez and Armando Cooper, and forwards Blas Perez and Luis Tejeda all are 30 or older. Those seven players also make up Panama’s most-capped players all-time for the nation that historically has been more focused on the baseball diamond than the soccer field. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player There is some younger blood Panama can rely on with 20-year-old forward Ismael Diaz and 21-year-old fullback Michael Murillo both pushing to be included on Gomez’s final roster. The hallmark of the team, though, will be the veterans experiencing the spectacle of the World Cup for the first time. Those players will be key against a Belgium team that also can point to plenty of experience and an England squad that will be eager to erase memories of finishing at the bottom of its group at the 2014 tournament in Brazil.Group GThey won’t simply be happy to be there – but they will be pleased to be part of the summer showcase.”It’s been exciting with the country united and everybody supporting the national team. It’s become the pride of the country, so there’s a party in Panama,” Gomez told  Caracol  ahead of the draw.Whether the fans are happy with the draw or not, Panama is headed to Russia and now knows the teams it will face. For now, the party can continue.last_img read more

Canada eyeing implications of US plan to allow imports of prescription drugs

first_imgOTTAWA — Canada’s health minister says the federal government is in touch with U.S. officials to discuss the Trump administration’s plan to allow imports of cheaper prescription drugs from north of the border.In a statement, officials for Ginette Petitpas Taylor are describing the latest display of American interest in Canadian medication as further evidence of Canada’s commitment to more affordable prescription drugs.The statement says Ottawa is constantly monitoring the Canadian drug supply, and will work closely with health experts to better understand the implications for Canadians and avoid any adverse effects on supply or drug costs.The U.S. administration announced today it intends to set up a system that would allow Americans to legally import lower-cost prescription drugs from Canada.A recent spike in U.S. interest in cheaper Canadian medication — it has become a central issue in the American election campaign — prompted more than a dozen organizations to urge Petitpas Taylor to safeguard the Canadian supply.In a letter, the groups say Canada’s drug supply is simply not sufficient to support both the Canadian and the U.S. market.The Canadian Presslast_img read more