Sports

  • Federer The Alternate Reality of Roger Federer

    You can’t blame Roger Federer fans for living in an alternate-reality universe. We undo his mistakes and then wake up knowing that he still lost.

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  • pvsindhu PV Sindhu, the Athlete Who Refuses to Give Up

    With a stunning World Championships gold, the first-ever for an Indian, Sindhu has made an entire country — some still wallowing in the cricket team’s World Cup loss, others in the country’s floundering economy — sit up and dream.

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  • stevesmithashes Steve Smith is Back and It’s Like He Never Left

    After a year in the wilderness, Steve Smith made his return to Test cricket amid adverse conditions, an intimidating crowd, a world-class bowling attack operating at their best, and a batting collapse to steady. The conditions were less than ideal, but Smith’s two centuries made it look like he had never left.

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  • malinga So Long Lasith Malinga, the Oddball of Cricket

    No matter how offensive his action might seem to aesthetes, Lasith Malinga’s success has paved the way for fresh innovation in the art of bowling. Today as he plays his last ODI, he will be remembered for redefining what a fast bowler could be in an era where cricket itself is undergoing tectonic changes.

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  • Can We Please Take a Moment to Cheer for Hima Das?

    Between Jofra Archer's deadly bouncers at Ashes and the shock draw in the Premier League, it’s been a hell of a weekend for sports fans. But amid all this frenzy, there is a soothing balm — and her name is Hima Das. The 19-year-old Assamese track star has quietly picked up six gold medals in as many weeks.

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  • newzealandkanewilliamsonrogerfederer Nobody Remembers the Guy Who Finished Second! They Won’t Say that About Kane Williamson and Roger Federer

    Even after the most heartbreaking of defeats, Kane Williamson’s New Zealand and Roger Federer came across as winners. In a rare sporting moment, the second runners-up were celebrated more than the men who lifted the trophy. It made us realise that sport can exist without a loser.

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  • englandwincwc Why ICC Needs to Reconsider the Boundary Rule After Sunday’s Imperfect World Cup Final

    To decide the winner of a cricket match on the basis of how the runs were scored, is to overlook the fundamental objective of the game – it is about scoring runs, not hitting more boundaries. If the two sides are level on runs, like England and New Zealand were on Sunday, clearing the fence more times than the other does not make one team better.

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  • kanewilliamsonworldcup Kane Williamson: The Monk Who Lost the Cup But Won Over World

    The most natural reaction to losing the World Cup on a technicality would have been of excessive outrage. And no one could have held it against New Zealand captain Kane Williamson were he to be taken over by anguish. It stung deep, but not even an imminent heartbreak was enough for Williamson to get carried away.

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  • slowballworldcup This World Cup Taught Us to Appreciate the Slower Ball More

    The slower ball, once a gimmicky duplicate of spin, has now emerged as a newly conceived weapon of choice. Delightfully unnatural and unpredictable, the slow ball has bamboozled more batsmen in this World Cup than perhaps all the others combined.

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  • indialossworldcup What Team India’s World Cup Defeat Taught Me About Grief and Loss

    For my best friend, who lost his mother recently, the World Cup became an antidote. With every Team India victory, I believed that its only purpose was to make my friend feel again. But when the team crashed out, we sensed an ending. It reminded us that the pain of losing a loved one is real – nobody could, and should, take it away.

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  • jofra-archer In a Team Full of Batsmen, England’s Jofra Archer Shows What a Strike-Bowler is Worth

    Constructing a batting lineup that was the envy of the rest of the world came with a price. England compromised on the quality of bowling, hoping to make up for it by outscoring the opposition. A fearsome bowler who could instill fear into the opposition’s best batsmen was the missing piece in the jigsaw. Enter Jofra Archer.

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  • Meditation-on-Loss Loss and Longing: The Agony of Being a Sports Superfan

    While victories leave us on highs, our lows are the experiences which truly define us. Losses are, after all, about latching on, and letting go. They define us. Which brings us to India’s defeat.

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  • indiasemifinalworldcup Why India’s Semi-Final Loss Feels Like a Familiar Heartbreak

    Although the Men in Blue often win at cricket, irrespective of the format, the failure to win knockout games must sting. The “45 minutes of bad cricket” that Virat Kohli identified as the reason for the defeat to New Zealand was not merely an aberration. Instead, it was another phase of batting failure that has had some part to play in at least four of the five recent knockout losses.

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  • rohitshramacenturyworldcup We All Have World Cup Superstitions… Mine is Hating on Rohit Sharma

    Even for someone who has never been Team Rohit, his impressive World Cup performances are a joy to watch, completely devoid of the vagaries that plagued his batting earlier in his career. The shaky, patchy Rohit Sharma appears to have vanished, replaced by the Hitman who haunts bowlers’ dreams.

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  • jaspritbumrah Jasprit Bumrah and the Art of Finishing Our Long Wait

    I grew up at a time when a victory for India was equated with hitting the ball rather than the stumps. When “Indian fast bowler” was a paradoxical term and a cautionary tale. That’s why Jasprit Bumrah feels like a miracle.

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  • newzealand India vs New Zealand: The Forever Underdogs May Not Be the Team Everyone Wants to Play

    Is it as easy for India to just dismiss Kane Williamson early and that will be the match? Perhaps not. In Trent Boult and Lockie Ferguson, the Kiwis have two pacers who have shared 32 wickets in this World Cup. Add Jimmy Neesham to the mix and you have multiple threats to confront.

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  • ShakibAlHasan The Star of the World Cup So Far Has Been Shakib Al Hasan

    At the end of the league phase, Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan has achieved the rare distinction by becoming the first player to score over 500 runs and bag over 10 wickets in a single World Cup. Regardless of who bags the Man of the Tournament award, Shakib has without a shadow of doubt been the story of this World Cup.

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  • corigauff Turn Away from the World Cup. It’s Time to Watch Venus-Slayer Cori Gauff Play Tennis

    Watching Cori Gauff play at Wimbledon takes me back to the 15-year-old me who crammed for her exams, got tense before her assignments, but also took permission to skip classes just so she could catch a train to the neighbouring city to take part in a tennis tournament. I take one look at Gauff and I wish I was 15 again. I wish I played with sharper intent.

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  • sanjaymanjrekar Why Indian Cricket Fans Love to Hate Sanjay Manjrekar’s Commentary

    During the India versus Bangladesh match, fans took to Twitter to share photos of their televisions on mute while Sanjay Manjrekar was commentating. Like every other storm in a teacup this year, the #SackManjrekar movement has ended up with its own petition on Change.org.

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  • Was Ambati Rayudu Really Given a Raw Deal?

    A year ago, if anyone had told Ambati Rayudu that come the World Cup, he would be sitting at home, disgruntled, hurt, and announcing his retirement, he would have laughed. There are countless players like Rayudu whose sporting dreams remain just dreams, but each unfulfilled dream is different from the other.

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  • meganrapinoe We Should All Be Talking About American Superwoman Megan Rapinoe

    US Women’s National Team star Megan Rapinoe was the woman to watch out for at the FIFA World Cup. She is not just a great player, she’s a symbol of our changing times – a lesbian footballer standing up against Donald Trump and fighting hate. Which is why her legend will spread beyond the field.

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  • Can India Really Win the World Cup with a Shaky Middle Order?

    Should the pattern of India’s top three batsmen firing in every single game break, does India have adequate alternate sources to find runs from? Should the team be worried about its middle order, ahead of the semi-final?

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  • rogerfederer Can Roger Federer Reclaim His Wimbledon Fortress?

    When you think of fortresses, you’d imagine them to be impenetrable. At the French Open, Nadal has been able to achieve that. You couldn’t say that with the same authority for Roger Federer and Wimbledon.

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  • dhoniworldcup For India, MS Dhoni Is a Demigod. It’s Time to Humanise Him

    MS Dhoni is not a cricketer or former captain to many. He’s a demigod whose myth is varnished by his unquestioning, overzealous worshippers. But it’s time to humanise him.

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  • India vs West Indies: Can the Men in Maroon Rise Above the T20 Conditioning?

    The rise of the West Indies as a T20 superpower has been detrimental for the other formats. They can play the big shots, but they cannot sustain for 50 overs. Their World Cup, and indeed all future successes, hinge on the team finding the fine balance between aggression and restraint.

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  • 1983cricketworldcupindia Why My Family Remembers the 1983 World Cup Victory More Fondly than Most

    I still remember what it was like on 25 June, 1983, the day India beat West Indies to win its maiden cricket World Cup, an odd thing to say about an event that occurred before one’s lifetime. But pieced together from anecdotes told over innumerable lunches, I know exactly how it all happened.

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  • There’s Another World Cup Going On! The Women’s Football and It’s Far More Entertaining

    France 2019 has been a revelation. This edition might go down in history as the tournament that raised up women’s football to where it belongs, alongside men’s.

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  • World Cup 2019: Take a Bow Afghanistan, India Won the Match, But You Won the Day

    The World Cup, in its current form, is a tournament informed by a drive to protect the interests of the powerful sides – India, Australia, and England. Yet, they cannot do without the underdogs. In a World Cup shorn of interesting narratives, it was the challenge put forward by Afghanistan on Saturday that lit up the tournament.

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  • What Will It Take for South Africa to Lift the World Cup Curse?

    When something is repeated over and over again, it starts gaining credence. Today, South Africa’s World Cup “curse” is something every youngster coming in with dreams in his eyes, just has to deal with and accept. Maybe it has even become a part of the country’s sporting psyche that cannot be shaken off, no matter what happens.

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  • How My Cricket Coaching Taught Me Skills that School Could Not

    What I learnt in school – the type of soil in Sangli or the Pythagorean theorem – could help me land a great job at TCS or Wipro but not teach me how to handle work pressure or work as a team in a corporate setup. Sport taught me that.

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