In the worst-ever terror strike in J&K, suicide bomber rams CRPF convoy at Lethpora in Pulwama district, killing more than 40 security personnel

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  • Gully Boy opens to rave reviews and good collections on Valentine's Day
  • Suicide bomber in J&K terror strike identified as Adil Ahmed Dar, a local Class XI dropout who joined Jaish a year ago
  • Referring to the terror strike in J&K, PM Modi says that the sacrifice of the security personnel will not go in vain
  • Opposition parties to meet in 2 weeks to review draft common minimum programme (CMP)
  • Arvind Kejriwal says Congress has all but refused to ally with AAP
  • Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal says SC order on Delhi a blow to democracy
  • SC bench divided on who will control services in Delhi, refers the issue to a larger bench
  • CBDT chairman Sushil Chandra appointed as Election Commissioner
  • Setback to Kejriwal: Supreme Court decides that Anti-Corruption Bureau will stay under the Centre and also gives it the power to set up Inquiry Commissions, two key issues that led to a stand-off between the L-G and the Delhi CM
  • CJI orders inquiry into the issue of tampering with orders on the court's website
  • Anil Ambani admits in court that the deal to sell R-Com's assets to Jio has failed
  • Cable switchover deadline extended to March 31
  • Rahul says Modi committed treason in the Rafale deal and can be jailed for it
  • Fire at Hotel Arpit Palace in Delhi kills 17
  • SC hold ex-interim director of CBI, M Nageshwar Rao gulity of contempt and punishes him by making him sit in the corner of the courtroom till the court rose for the day
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India In New Zealand: Stroll In The Park

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.

In the end, it was as easy as a stroll in the park. All talks of India facing a stiff challenge from full strength and in-form New Zealand team (as opposed to, said some, the depleted Australian team due to the ban on Smith, Warner and Cameroon) were blown to smithereens by the marauding Men in Blue. India won the first three ODIs on the trot and sealed the five-match series easily.

Some commentators have made it a habit to downplay achievements by the Indian team. If India won a Test series and a bilateral ODI series in Australia for the first time, they say it was only possible because the Aussies were not at full strength. Let them travel to New Zealand, they said, and the familiar problem with the moving ball and the bad overseas record will be exposed again.

But these commentators fail to realize that this Indian team has embraced the habit of winning. It is led by a charismatic leader who puts a premium on fitness and has moulded it into a fighting unit that abhors losing. Virat Kohli hates losing and has injected this spirit in the rest of his teammates. The team has experienced players and budding but highly talented youngsters in equal measure and more often than not, someone or the other put his hand up to be counted. More importantly, this team has bowlers who can bowl out any opposition on any surface anywhere in the world.

Having won the series, knowing Kohli and Shastri, the tour selection committee will now give a chance to all the players to get match experience in the remaining two ODIs. Kohli has already been rested by the BCCI for the remainder of the NZ tour. This will be an excellent opportunity for the likes of Shubman Gill to make their mark. Such is the bench strength India possesses that Shikhar Dhawan was spot on when he recently said that competition for places has become quite stiff in the team and no one can take his place for granted.

The Indian team is on a roll and it bodes well for the World Cup ahead. The nucleus of the Cup team will be formed from the present squad with some additions and alterations. Hence it is important that India maintains the winning momentum and important though he is, carries on with it despite Virat Kohli’s absence. The captain himself was confident ahead of bidding goodbye to his mates as he said that he was not worried because the team was in “auto mode”. It is now upon the players to prove him right.

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