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Friday, February 24, 2017

Steve O' Keeffe spins a web ! ~ Dhoni travels by Kriya Yoga Express / Ranchi history

Train no. 18616 ~  Kriya Yoga Express runs 419.7kms from Hatia to Howrah taking 9h 25m for the distance.  It is in news !!The cultivable lands of the place was divided into  Don and Tanr. The don lands are the terraced low lands on which only rice is grown; tanr are the uplands which produce a coarse form of rice, known as gora, millets, pulses and oil-seeds.  Before you read further, this man had played only 4 tests prior to this !

~ a description in an old book about Ranchi.  Jharkhand is a state in eastern India carved out of the southern part of Bihar in Nov.  2000. The state shares its border with the states of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha and West Bengal.  The industrial city of Ranchi is its capital and Dumka its sub capital. Jamshedpur is the largest industrial city in the state, while Dhanbad and Bokaro Steel City are the second and fourth most populous cities respectively. The State has so many mines and accounts a very high %age of the mineral reserves of India, yet is one of the poorest States.

In olden days, Ranchi was a happy hunting ground for the sportsman (!) – meaning those involved in game hunting, killing of animals – as it was a vast reserve of wild animals, many of which have now disappeared.  The name Chutia or Chuta Nagpur [Chota Nagpur] is found in Rennel’s map (1792) and in Hamilton’s Gazetteer (1815) and the latter explains the name stating that the district is distinguished by the term Chuta (little) to distinguish from the other Nagpur possessed by Bhonslah Maratha family –however, some state that the name is probably derived from Chutia, a village close to Ranchi, reputed to be the original home of Nagbani chiefs.
In its historic past, Moghul King Jahangir tried to have complete subjection of this part whence diamonds were said to be found of the value of lakh of rupees each and he directed Ibrahim Khan on his appointment as Governor of Bihar to invade the district and drive away the Maharaja.  Ibrahim invaded Chota Nagpur in 1616, refused to be satisfied with the few diamonds and elephants which the Raja had sent him, fought and took control of the diamond kingdom.  The Raja was captured and sent to Delhi with his diamonds and 23 elephants.   The 45th Chief, Durjan Sal was removed from Delhi to Gwalior and kept confined for 12 years.  Once there was a diamond of which, the jailed Raja pointed out a flaw – but the Court jewelers were at variance. As a test, it was tied to the horn of a ram and made to fight with another ram which had unblemished diamond on its horn.  The former split, while the true diamond remained undamaged.  The Delhi Sultan was so pleased and granted his release and also granted that the other Chiefs imprisoned with him might be set at liberty, if he so desires. 

Jharkhand is set to shine – in  a bid to boost the ‘Make in India’ initiative of Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri. NarendraModi, and to develop high value investment opportunities in the State , the Government of Jharkhand led by  Chief Minister Shri. Raghubar Das organsiedthe maiden ‘Momentum Jharkhand Global Investors Summit’ in Ranchi. The summit’s aim was to establish Jharkhand as a premier Investment destination for both foreign as well as domestic investors.  Addressing the Investor’s summit, Union Minister of Law and justice, Ravi Shankar Prasad,  spoke about the development of the country. The Union Minister stated that 111 crore people in the country have Aadhar cards and also speaking on the digital growth of India, Prasad said that in the last two years 72 mobile manufacturers have come in India. Earlier, asserting that Jharkhand is of strategic importance to Adani Group, Adani Enterprises Managing Director Rajesh Adani said it will invest Rs 20,000 crore in the various sectors including investment of ultra mega power plant. The two-day summit, was  attended by about 6,200 delegates. The summit’s partner countries were Japan, Czech Republic, Tunisia and Mongolia.

On a day Virat Kohli and team began their Test challenge against Australia in Pune, Mahendra Singh Dhoni had a fresh challenge on his hands seemingly oblivious to what's happening in Team India. The man, who impresses to be a great leader but relinquished first Test and later ODI captaincy and now with IPL captaincy too going away, made an impressive mark on people’s mind by choosing to travel with his teammates in a train from Ranchi, checked in at Eden Gardens in Jharkhand jersey, motivating his state team in his usual 'captain cool' manner.  Having given up other Captaincy, he has opted to lead in the upcoming domestic one-dayers for the Vijay Hazare Trophy.Dhoni wore his usual cool demeanour but the intensity was evident as he took out his team under the scorching afternoon sun and began the session in his familiar manner -- a pep-talk followed by playing football.

He rolled his arms bowling off-spin, though IshanKishan is there, MSD would still keep the wickets and none can match his style, especially those runouts – receiving throws and pushing them on to the stumps, without caring to turn his head ! Jharkhand lefthander Virat Singh, who was instrumental in East Zone's recent Syed Mushtaq Ali Twenty20 title triumph, said they were privileged to play under the most successful Indian captain during his Vijay Hazare stint. For him like every other player, the presence of MSD motivates. Dhoni-led Jharkhand will open their campaign against Karnataka at Eden Gardens on February 25.

Last season, Dhoni turned up for Jharkhand in the Vijay Hazare Trophy but not as a captain. This year, he was announced as the captain two days after IPL franchise Rising Pune Supergiants removed him from captaincy. The South Eastern Railway served a very special passenger  when its former employee Mahendra Singh Dhoni preferred to travel by train with his Jharkhand one-day cricket team from Ranchi to Howrah to participate in the Vijay Hazare Trophy.Rewinding the clock back to his struggle days in early 2000s when he was posted as a ticket inspector in Kharagpur, India's most successful captain, Dhoni travelled in second-tier AC of 18616 Kriya Yoga Express.  Reportedly it was not any special coach but the usual 2 AC which was block booked for 23 passengers including MSD.

Thala is unique and rocks all the time. Away in Pune, the ball is not spinning to the like of India !  In Mar 1987, Gavaskar’s farewell test, Shivlal Yadav, Maninder Singh were turning the ball so much and there was Ravi Shastri – yet Iqbal Qasim and Tauseef Ahamed won the match on a turning match by pitching the ball at right places.

The man at the start - Stephen Norman John O'Keefe, born in 1984 in Malaysia has played IPL and knew that it was his big chance, for he has often been bullied, more so, by Shane Warne. He has played 4 tests before, but never more than one in a series. One in Dubai, one in Sydney, one in Pallekele, another in Sydney. So when he saw a pitch that threatened to be a raging turner, he knew the pressure was on to perform. And, having been given the new ball to share with Mitchell Starc, O'Keefe went to lunch on day two with 0 for 23 from seven overs.

This is a pitch on which 15 wickets tumbled on day two, including nine during a frenetic middle session, and on which India managed only 105 in their first innings. Steve O'Keefe ransacked the Indian middle and lower order for six wickets, which all came during a 25-ball spell after lunch. Three of those wickets came in one over, which triggered a stunning collapse during which India lost their last seven wickets for 11 runs, their worst such capitulation in Test history.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

24th Feb 2017.

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