~By Krishna Rajit
A lot will be at stake as India take on South Africa in the first test match at Cape Town starting tomorrow. Last month, when India beat Sri Lanka 1-0 in the three Test match series, yet another milestone was unlocked for the Indian captain Virat Kohli. The series win was a record equalling ninth for India which means Kohli, has now equalled former Australian captain Ricky Ponting’s record of the most successive series wins as captain. Under Ponting, Australia won nine straight series’ from 2005 to 2008. For record keepers, England also recorded nine straight series triumphs from 1884 to 1892.
However, South Africa will be a big test for Virat Kohli as a batsman and also as captain. At the present moment Kohli along with Australian captain Steve Smith, England captain Joe Roots and Kiwi captain Williamson are considered the best batsmen around. But in the ongoing Ashes, Roots has not performed to his potential while Smith has done himself and his country proud by scoring profusely. Smith became the first Australia captain since Don Bradman to get three or more centuries in an Ashes series when he reached his century in the second innings of the fourth test at MCG last week. In such a scenario, Kohli will be under pressure to perform. He will be supported by Chateshwar Pujara who is on way to become the “new wall” of Indian cricket, following the retirement of Rahul Dravid. Murali Vijay and Ajiyanke Rahane have a lot to prove on this tour.
But a million dollar question would be how the Indian pace battery will perform against Springboks. Will they get carried away by the bounce and bite offered by the wicket or will they be able to macth up the illustrious line-up of Steyn, Philander, Morkel and Rabada.
It would also be a treat watching Hasim Amla and De Villiers negotiating Indian pace battery as well as spin.
All in all it will be an exciting series, far different from the last few series where India won at home or against weaker teams offshore.
Asian Games: Indian golfer Aditi Ashok wins silver in women’s individual event
Aditi also became the first Indian woman and the second Indian overall to win an individual medal in golf at the Asian Games, trailing only Shiv Kapur.
Aditi Ashok of India on Sunday, October 1, took home the gold in the women’s individual golf competition. At the West Lake International Golf Course, the 25-year-old from Bangalore, Karnataka, placed second with a score of 17-under after shooting rounds of 67-66-61-73.
She lost to Arpichaya Yubol of Thailand, who finished with a score of 19-under and earned silver with rounds of 67-65-69-77. Hyunjo Yoo of South Korea won the bronze medal with a score of 16-under with rounds of 67-67-68-65.
Aditi also became the first Indian woman and the second Indian overall to win an individual medal in golf at the Asian Games, trailing only Shiv Kapur. Kapur won a gold medal at the Asian Games in Busan in 2002.
Pranavi URS Sharath and Avani Prashanth, the other two competitors from India, came in at positions 12 and 17, respectively. However, Ashok, who agonisingly placed fourth at the Olympics in Tokyo two years ago, was unable to lead India to a podium result in the team competition.
In the history of the Asian Games, India has won seven medals in golf (three gold and four silver). The trio of Rahul Bajaj, Abhijit Singh Chadha, Rashid Khan, and Abhinav Lohan won silver in the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou, ending India’s 13-year drought for a golf medal.
In terms of Ashok, since going pro in 2016, she has paved the way for women’s golf in India. Following her T5 finish at the LPGA Founders Cup, Aditi became the first Indian female golfer to join the top 50 in the world rankings, marking a huge step forward in her career.
Ashok started playing golf at a young age. In 2012, 2013 and 2014, she won the National Junior Championship three times in a row. She simultaneously claimed the junior and senior titles in 2014. The Asian Youth Games in 2013, the Youth Olympics, and the Asian Games both in 2014 included only one golfer from India.
Her professional background has also been excellent. She competes on the Ladies European Tour and LPGA Tour, where she has earned US$ 646,044 (about Rs. 15.3 crores). She is also among the top 10 on the Ladies European Tour’s money list after finishing first, second, and third at the start of the season.
India defeats Pakistan to win historic squash gold medal at Asian Games 2023
The triumph helped India win the best-of-three gold medal match 2-1.
Saurav Ghoshal, Abhay Singh, and Mahesh Mangaonkar of India’s men’s squash team completed an incredible comeback to win India’s second squash gold medal at the Asian Games.
After losing the first round, the Indians were down 0-1 before Saurav Ghoshal orchestrated a comeback and Abhay Singh won his best-of-five match by 3-2 in a nail-biter. The triumph helped India win the best-of-three gold medal match 2-1.
After the first two bouts failed to distinguish the two bitter rivals, Abhay Singh faced Noor Zaman in the championship match. The last game of the five-game match between the two superstars was decided by a single point. In the fifth and final game, Abhay was down 8-10 and facing certain defeat. There was no room for error because India could have lost the gold medal with just one point.
However, Abhay showed steely strength to save those two points and go on to win the championship game 12-10. After winning a gold in the 2014 men’s competition, this is India’s second gold medal in squash at the Asiad.
Mahesh Mangaonkar and Saurav Ghoshal played their matches before to Abhay Singh’s match. Mahesh lost three games in a row, which was a devastating setback. Then Ghoshal took matters into his own hands. The renowned Indian talent defeated Muhamad Asim of Pakistan in three straight games, 3-0. After then, Abhay Singh joined the group and contributed to the historic match.
Esha Singh, Palak, and Divya Thadigol, members of the Indian women’s 10m air pistol squad, won silver yesterday in the team competition at the 2018 Asian Games.
Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar, Swapnil Sunil Kusale, and Akhil Sheoran’s men’s squad quickly followed suit by winning gold in the men’s 50m rifle 3P team competition.
After losing 1-2 against Hong Kong in the semifinals, the Indian women’s squash team, comprised of Joshna Chinappa, Tanvi Khanna, and Anahat Singh, won bronze.
Asian Games 2023: India clinched a silver medal in shooting on Day 7
Divya TS of India lost to China by a razor-thin margin in the mixed team final of the 10m air pistol.
On Day 7 of the ongoing Asian Games 2023 in Hangzhou on Saturday, India won a silver medal in the shooting competition. Sarabjot Singh and Divya TS of India lost to China by a razor-thin margin in the mixed team final of the 10m air pistol.
The Indians defeated 14-16 after a thrilling game. Jyothi Yarraji Nithya Ramraj and Murali Sreeshankar have both advanced to the finals of their respective athletic events: the women’s 100m hurdles and the men’s long jump, respectively.
Aditi Ashok, who is in contention for a medal in women’s golf, finished the day in first place in individual round 3. India also won the third round of the women’s team golf competition.
India plays Pakistan in two significant matches as well. Later in the day, the two men’s hockey teams square off against one another in a game that could determine who advances to the semi-finals. The two men’s squash teams will compete for gold in the final.
Olympic bronze medal-winning boxer Lovlina Borgohain also begins her campaign in the women’s 75kg quarterfinal while the Indian men’s badminton team takes on South Korea in the semifinal. Olympic silver medalist Mirabai Chanu competes in the women’s 49 kg weightlifting event as well. She hasn’t received a medal from the Asian Games yet.
In the tennis mixed doubles finals, Liang En-shuo and Huang Tsung-hao of Chinese Taipei will compete against Rohan Bopanna and Rutuja Bhosale.
Meanwhile, Neeraj Chopra, an Olympic gold medallist, said his confidence in his ability to perform well in his upcoming final match on October 4. He said, I’m doing fine. There is a good vibe around here.He further said, his most recent victory was a gold medal in the Asian Games. I’m taking part once again this time, he added.