ICC Champions Trophy: 5 reasons why India lost to Pakistan in the final tie

The beginning of the end for India came right with the call to field first after winning the toss

Companies News : The hopes of more than a billion Indian seemed to have come a cropper on Sunday when their national team was handed a humiliating defeat by arch-rivals Pakistan in the final match of Champions Trophy, 2017. Played at the Oval in London, the match saw India crumbling in their chase of 339 runs and getting bundled out for a lowly 158.

Worse, the debacle for India – their biggest margin of defeat in an ICC tournament yet – came in their first clash with Pakistan in a summit match since 2007. Before this, India’s 125-run loss to Australia in the 2003 World Cup final, at Johannesburg’s New Wanderers Stadium in South Africa, had been their most crushing defeat.

While it was embarrassing for India, the emotions on Pakistan side were those of jubilation that comes with unexpected triumph. At the 8th spot in ODI rankings, Pakistan were the lowest-ranked team at the beginning of Champions Trophy 2017. But the way they downed the favourites like South Africa, Sri Lanka and England, and finally India, will be remembered by cricket enthusiasts for a very long time.

Among the most spectacular takeaways from Sunday’s game were the phenomenal opening spell by left-arm Pakistan pacer Mohammad Amir and the brilliant maiden century by Fakhar Zaman, besides sublime field performance by Sarfraz Ahmed’s boys.

Here are five turning points in the match that took the game away from India:

1. The toss: Banking on India’s recent record of successfully chasing down big targets, India skipper Virat Kohli opted to put Pakistan in to bat first. This, it turns out, would have been a good toss to lose for India, as Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed also said he, too, would have elected to field if he had won the toss.(more)

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Iran warns Pakistan on safeguarding terrorist havens

“If continued, we’ll hit the terrorists’ safe havens anywhere they are,” Iran’s Army chief said

Iran’s Chief of Army Staff Major General Mohammad Baqeri has warned Pakistan that Tehran would not hesitate to strike terrorists’ safe havens if Pakistan fails to control their movement on their border or fails to shut down their bases.

“Unfortunately, Iran’s eastern border regions with Pakistan have become a safe haven for training and equipping terrorists recruited by Saudi Arabia and supported by the United States. We will not tolerate this situation in the joint borders and expect the Pakistani officials to show responsibility, control their borders, arrest terrorists and shut down outlaws’ bases,’ IRNA news agency quoted Major General Baqeri as saying.

“If continued, we will hit the terrorists’ safe havens anywhere they are,” he added.

Also Read : SBI cuts affordable home loan rates to 8.35%, lowest in market

Asserting that enemies are trying to damage the country’s security using all available tools, Major General Baqeri urged the Iranian Armed Forces to promote their scientific skills and equip themselves with sophisticated technologies in order to get prepared for countering various types of threats.

He also praised the sacrifices made by the Iranian Armed Forces to preserve the country’s security.

Lashing out at Islamabad for failing to prevent terror attacks against Iran from its soil, Chairman of the Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Alaeddin Boroujerdi last month had said that the neighbouring country has become a “safe haven” for terrorist cells.Read more

Indian Army weighs fitting reply to LoC beheading. Here are its options

The options: attacks by ground forces on Pak posts, strikes by aircraft, missiles or artillery guns

The army has begun weighing its options to retaliate against Pakistani forces on the Line of Control (LoC), after their troops, employing jihadi extremists, killed and beheaded two Indian soldiers near Poonch on Monday, top generals said.

Business Standard learns the incident took place when an Indian patrol of 8-10 soldiers was checking the border fence, a perilous task involving physically moving along the fence, very close to the LoC, to check that it has not been cut or its electronic sensors damaged.

According to the modus operandi of Pakistani troops on forward LoC posts, the exposed patrol first came under intense fire from automatic weapons, which Pakistani soldiers had stealthily deployed in temporary positions, just across the LoC.

With two Indian jawans injured in the firing, a “border action team (BAT)”, comprising jihadi fighters, darted across the LoC to the border fence. Covered by the Pakistan army’s firing, the jihadis killed the two jawans, beheaded them, and returned to their side of the LoC, bearing the heads as trophies.

The employment of a BAT is a well-rehearsed Pakistani tactic that creates deniability by using jihadis to cross into the Indian side. If any jihadis are killed or captured, the Pakistan army disowns it as an infiltration attempt. Regular soldiers remain on their side of the LoC, firing on Indian posts and patrols to cover the BAT’s move.

A range of retaliatory measures are being weighed by India’s generals, including attacks by ground forces on Pakistani posts, or strikes by aircraft, missiles or massed artillery guns. Read more

11-year-old Pakistani girl writes to Modi, asks him to take steps towards peace, friendship

Aqeedat Naveed congratulated Modi on UP poll victory

Congratulating Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) historic mandate in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly Elections, an eleven year old Pakistani school girl wrote to him saying that he should now focus towards winning more hearts of Indians and Pakistanis alike, by becoming a bridge of peace between the two nations.
In her letter, Aqeedat Naveed highlighted the need for peace between India and Pakistan, and said that Prime Minister Modi can help speed up the process, reports DunyaNews.
“Once my father told me that winning of hearts is a marvelous job. Perhaps you have won the hearts of Indian people, therefore you won the election in UP. But I must tell you if you want to win more Indian and Pakistani hearts, you should take steps towards friendship and peace. Both countries need good relation. Let’s make a peace bridge between India and Pakistan. Let’s decide that we will not buy bullets, will buy books. We will not buy the guns, will buy the medicine for the poor people,” Aqeedat wrote in the two-page letter.
She further emphasised that the choice between peace and conflict lies open for both the nations, and signed off by congratulating the prime minister for the UP polls victory.
The fifth grader, who hails from Lahore, had earlier written a letter to Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj as well on the matter of peace and has also received several responses from officials in New Delhi.

PM likens opposition to Pakistan; attacks Manmohan, Chidambaram, Rahul

Breaking News : In an aggressive speech, with oodles of sarcasm thrown in, more reminiscent of his election campaign speeches in the run up to the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today equated opponents of ‘note ban’ of trying to shield the corrupt, just as Pakistan starts firing on Indian border posts to distract Indian Army so that infiltrators can sneak into Jammu and Kashmir under its cover.

The PM also attacked Congress leadership, particularly former PM Manmohan Singh and Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi. Questioning the former PM’s integrity, Modi expressed surprise that there was no blot on Singh even when he has been part of India’s economic policy think tank since the early-1970s.

The PM was speaking at the foundation laying ceremony of Mahamana Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya Cancer Centre in Varanasi, his Lok Sabha constituency. Modi said when he announced ‘note ban’ decision he didn’t think it was possible that politicians and political parties would be so unashamed as to come out openly to defend the corrupt.

“Now I understand for whose benefit these protests (by the opposition) are taking place,” he said. Apart from likening the opposition to Pakistan, he also said his opponents reminded him of a gang of pickpockets at work at a village or town fair. He said the disruptions in Parliament during the winter session was to alert and protect the corrupt. Modi said when a pickpocket is at work in a village fair his associate distracts the police by misleading them and shouting that the pickpocket has fled in the other direction. “This is exactly the strategy being employed now to protect the corrupt,” the PM said at the event at the Banaras Hindu University.

The PM’s comments come a day after Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi demanded at a public rally in Mehsana in Gujarat that he come clean on allegations that he had received over Rs 40 crore in cash payments from individuals associated with the Sahara India Group and Aditya Birla Group when he was the chief minister of Gujarat. The BJP rubbished the allegations, and said these stem from the Congress Vice President’s frustration at successive electoral defeats.(more)

India ends 2016 as No. 1 ranked ICC Test Team

India have ended the year as the No.1 ranked Test side after posting a 4-0 win over England in the five-match series, which culminated with an innings and 75 runs victory for the home side in Chennai today.

The series win has helped India gain five points and they have moved to 120 points in the last Test team rankings update of 2016, 15 points ahead of second placed Australia.

In contrast, England, which had started the series tied with Australia on 105 points but was ahead on decimal points, have slipped from second to fifth position.

England are now on 101 points, one point behind Pakistan and South Africa, who are both on 102 points each with Pakistan ranked third on decimals points.

This means that four teams are now within four points of each other with the annual cut-off date of April 1, 2017 for the ICC cash awards not far away.

Surgical strikes achieve tactical closure, not strategic detente: Former NATGRID CEO

Surgical strikes achieve tactical closure, not strategic detente: Former NATGRID CEO

Military power is never about the number of troops, tanks, ships or aircrafts. If military power was all a country needed to establish superiority, America would not have been beaten by Vietnam, the Soviet Union would not have been routed by Afghan tribes and the juggernaut that is the Indian Army would not have been held at bay by a few thousand Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka.

A country’s military power is actually determined by a combination of economic realities, governance frameworks, national will and strategic thinking – which work together to deliver a punch worthy of its weight.

Surgical strikes : Comparing India’s military power to Pakistan’s from this perspective actually yields a startling conclusion.

In 1999, Pakistan’s army chief at the time was mid-air when Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif decided to sack him. Denied permission to land in Pakistan and faced with the option of making an emergency landing on Indian soil, the sacked general decided to land in Karachi anyway. He communicated his orders to his military subordinates through the civilian aviation channel and by the time his plane landed, Pervez Musharraf was firmly back in the saddle while Sharif had been toppled off his. That is the power of the Pakistani military.

Now compare the Pakistani army’s swiftness to India’s handling of the Kandahar hijacking in 1999. When the Indian Airlines flight was taken over by terrorists and parked in Amritsar over the course of its long journey, the Indian establishment could not decide between blocking the aircraft’s departure or letting it go. That ambivalence cost India the advantage it had in being able to control events happening on its own turf.Read more.

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