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Fortify India’s Middle Order 

NOTWITHSTANDING its loss in the ICC Cricket World Cup, India was arguably the best side on show. The all-round ability of the team was evident  throughout the tournament till the devastating day. If it had not rained, and the match had finished on the first day without going into the reserve  day, the scale could have tilted towards India.   But all the ifs and buts are now in the past;  India, the favourites to lift the cup, came down crashing on Wednesday. New Zealand Captain  Ken Williamson did a great favour to his team by winning the toss and electing to bat. Perhaps, half the battle was won by New Zealand at the toss itself. The top Indian batting order crumbling unexpectedly sounded  the   death knell for the team, and there was no way the team could recover. Then there was the inexplicable change in the batting order. India’s batting, one felt, revolved around two men: Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli.  When both failed, the writing on the wall  was there to see.  Despite his stupendous knock against Sri Lanka, and a reasonable success in the tournament, K L Rahul does not look like a player who can take the team past the finishing line.  So, when the big guns failed collectively, the middle and lower order did not have it in them to go all the way.  Though Ravindra Jadeja played a superb innings, it was clear from the word go that he had to do too much to carve out an Indian win especially when the ‘finisher’ M S Dhoni looked finished. The best team in the tournament  up to the semifinals, was thus rendered helpless in the knockout fixture. India will now have to look out for  a solid middle order which can bail it out in the time of crisis. There cannot be a makeshift middle order. The team has a wonderful bowling line-up; ironically it is the famed batting which needs to be spruced up.  The Indian team has lost; but not everything is lost. Cricket is a game of glorious uncertainties, and one bad day can send a great team packing. Nothing more, nothing less.


Water Pipelines Ignored

THIS is with reference  to the news report ‘Salcete, Mormugao, Ponda go dry as Selaulim pipeline bursts’ (NT, July 9, 2019). At a time when Goa is experiencing deficit rainfall and water levels in our dams have started rising  slowly, thousands of litres of precious water have gone down the drain after the new Selaulim pipeline burst causing a disruption in water supply to the residents of Ponda, Mormugao and Salcete. Little has been done over the years to solve the problems occur due to the tripping of pumps. ‘Water hammer’ in pipes is one of the major problems  seen on trunk lines with disastrous effects when pressure waves are encountered due to the sudden closure of a valve or tripping of pumps. Pipelines are therefore designed to withstand these pressure surges by installing pressure reducing devices  or a surge tank in the proximity of the pumps to absorb these shocks. It is surprising that the newly laid JICA pipeline has no proper provisions.


They Shamed Goa, Ruined Congress

THE idea that ‘without a Gandhi at the top’ the Congress loses its identity is not at all misconceived! With self-consideration prompting every action, today’s politicians seem to have their own ideas of loyalty. Conformists will no doubt agree with the observation of the Gandhi scion that the Congress must radically transform itself and sacrifice the desire for power to fight a deeper ideological battle. However, with the grand-old party facing existential questions, the modern ‘Turks’ as you may well call them, may not be in a mood to hang around till doomsday, so to speak. No, not in the tiny state of Goa at least! As the people late night were reconciling themselves to the shocking defeat of Team India in the semi-finals of the ICC World Cup 2019, the shameful political drama that enfolded on Wednesday purported to be a complete mockery of the democratic process of the country. The state was rocked by a political tsunami with 10 MLAs led by the Opposition leader ‘merged’ into the ruling BJP, wrecking the Opposition Congress and leaving it with a meager tally of five  in the House. As a vociferous critic of the BJP, Chandrakant ‘Babu’ Kavlekar was seen as that face of the wilting Opposition who could only express anguish over the regular exodus of his party legislators into the saffron party  without being able to do much about it. But it now appears that all these were  part of a more sinister and diabolical plot to finish off the Congress completely in Goa. As much as the Opposition leader  joining the ruling party cannot but be a world record of sorts, the Congress legislators in the state  have set an example for others to emulate in the rest of the country. While the Congress MLAs in Goa have given an example of how remaining out of power could drive many a politician to commit the most atrocious of acts, the Congress in Goa will require the commitment and wherewithal of the few that will be left standing after the ravages of ‘enticements’ and ‘crossovers’ decimates it totally. But is the situation anything better in the rest of the country!.


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