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Four test playing nations. A former World Number One lost its way to experience one of the lowest points in the annals of their sporting history. In recent times, a supremely insurmountable side at home became more prone to defeats. A team famously regarded as the most volatile side to have taken the field endured isolation and wilderness in the Arabian deserts. A team deemed misfit started making significant strides that the world took note of. These are tumultuous yet exciting times for the test playing nations from the subcontinent.

One day, the leaves wither as they turn old. India and Sri Lanka are primarily experiencing this phase. There are more greens on their tree today. Pakistan is almost in a situation where the leaves are about to fall. The cricketing expiry for Misbah and Younus is much closer than what it was yesterday. Take the story of Shivnarine Chanderpaul, for example. The chances of comeback become slim for the veteran sportsmen moment the form slips away. As long as the fire in the lamp withstands the external pressure of the winds, these legendary players can continue writing more pages in their autobiographies.

 

India, now in the Sri Lankan shores, are all set to be challenged in conditions they are more familiar of. Ever since the dramatic 8-0 whitewashes in 2011-12, India showed mild signs of recovery. They have had to reshuffle the batting line up ever since the glorious trinity signed off along with the famous Delhi openers who seem to have lost their mojo. Fortunately, they have managed to construct another batting order which a lot of top ranked test countries can feel jealous about. But that’s about the best part of the segment that the team can feel proud of. As a unit, the losses at South Africa, New Zealand, England and Australia meant that the slide wasn’t arrested. With the one-off Bangladesh test abandoned due to rain, this Lankan tour is the beginning of a two year journey around the rivers and mountains of the sub-continent.

With a new leader and with the Board all set to soon announce the new coach, who would be the man to plot the route map for the future, India’s test resurgence is in tricky waters. The followers of the sport in the mad nation have had a long break since the IPL. Since IPL they have had to endure an ignominious one-day tour of Bangladesh. It has been the longest break for the team for a long time. Kohli has promised that he will play five bowlers thus thrusting more responsibility both on the top and the lower order batsmen. So far, Kohli’s approach as a leader has been all about making the moves to create a positive result. The aggressive attitude now goes a step further to embolden and empower the players with more trust and responsibility. It is time for his players to contribute with a very conscious mindset craving for consistency. With more matches scheduled in the sub-continent, the onus would be on the spinners to take lead with the attack.

On the other side of the border, Pakistan’s resurgence in test cricket has been nothing less than extraordinary. It is no easy task to defend at the adopted home as well as to beat the Lankans in their territory. Significantly, the batsmen contributed crucial runs for their bowlers to pick twenty wickets. After a relentless search for steady batsmen who build their game on temperament, Pakistan seem to have solved the puzzle. Ahmed Shehzad’s ability to convert starts into hundreds has provided a reasonable stability at the top of the order. Shan Masood, is still very young. But he showed enough gumption to convince about his ability and temperament. Asad Shafiq and Azhar Ali have been the biggest finds for Pakistan cricket in recent times. They have been the pillars around whom the game revolves. The best part about the two is that, they emerge from a different school of cricket where calmness and patience are considered as stepping stones for success. Shafiq and Ali have both tasted success and have good knowledge of what it takes to score hundreds in test matches. Between Shafiq and Ali, come the most experienced Pakistani pair of Younus Khan and Misbah Ul Haq. While they both don’t seem to come close to an end with their careers, Pakistan’s fresh approach in ODIs gives a good look into their batting resources when the legends call it a day. That Pakistan completed a rout in Sri Lanka, defeating the hosts in all formats of the game, shows that the team is experiencing a positive growth. After the final T20, there were great scenes of camaraderie and team bonding. Importantly, Pakistan have showed that they enough stomach for challenge and hunger for victory.

The inclusion of Sarfaraz Ahmed in the middle order is the single most powerful addition for their line-up. Teams are prone to produce inconsistent results if they carry a lot of flashy batsmen. Such batsmen will change the complexion of the game within a session or two. Since their approach can’t be tempered, it would be difficult to expect them play a fighting innings. Sarfaraz, amazingly, can play both roles. He has lent fire to the batting order that finally found solidity and method to their game.

While Pakistan need not worry about the fast bowler produce, Saeed Ajmal’s exit from the scene could have spelt dooms for any team. Yasir Shah’s emergence as an attacking leg spinner smoothened the transition. Yasir Shah provides Misbah with both control and strike force. When the batsmen succeed, Shah becomes a bigger prospect for Pakistan’s success. The way he bowled in Sri Lanka on not so friendly surfaces was a display of his stern character and his ability to play according to the conditions.

Pakistan’s biggest challenge, though, is yet to arrive. They have slowly begun to become a strong opponent in home conditions. But just like how the challenge was for India, or for that matter any other subcontinent team, Pakistan’s ability to survive and succeed will be tested on a bigger scale when they play in Australia, South Africa, England and New Zealand.

The latest victim of the Bangladesh assault were the South Africans. Not so long ago, Bangladesh gave both India and Pakistan a rude lesson that told the world that they have finally arrived. While Bangladesh’s resurgence has mostly been in the ODIs, they made some impression when they bowled out South Africa for under 250 and took an important lead in the first test at Dhaka. The promise that Bangladesh have shown in the past six months only makes us believe that the team has matured heads who are ready to act responsibly for team’s success now. At the helm of affairs is Hathurusinghe, who is carving a legacy of his own with this resurgence. The coach has gone the long yards to make his team believe that they definitely can. The likes of Tamim Iqbal, Imrul Kayes, Mahmudullah, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim and Mashrafe Mortaza have absorbed enough quality of international cricket, that they can be the torch bearers for Bangladesh cricket now. These players have shown immense maturity in taking ownership on the field and guiding the younger ones in the best way possible.

Considering the following that Bangladesh have in their backyard, it was going to be impossible for them to never improve. All this while, the stars who are torch bearers today were seeking inspiration to grow bigger. Their heroes never made it big. They got back home defeated again and again.

With Australia touring Bangladesh next, there wouldn’t be a better measure of their progress than testing it against Australia’s Gold Standard.

Sri Lanka have a problem aplenty. It is a mixed scenario that each of India and Pakistan have experienced for a long time. Under Angelo Mathews, this Lankan team is taking baby steps with their resurgence. The best aspect of this resurgence has been the performance of their fast bowlers. The tank is full with quality that Mathews can afford to prepare fast and seaming tracks for their bowlers to achieve desired results. Dhammika Prasad has come of age. Nuwan Pradeep, Suranga Lakmal and Dushmantha Chameera have had their moments. Twenty three year old Chameera, especially, has come for a lot of praise. Along with the captain himself, Sri Lanka’s pace attack are in good shape for the present and for the immediate future.

But their real concerns come with their batsmen. Jayawardane is gone. Dilshan is gone. So will Sangakkara by the end of this month. While the batting has shown odd sparks with Kaushal Silva and Dimuth Karunaratne, Angelo Mathews continues to be the lynch pin in this batting order. The replacements and the next-in-line are the players who have been there with the team earlier. Jehan Mubarak’s and Upul Tharanga’s selections gives away the fact that the older men who were discarded before, continue to be the best of the lot to play test cricket. Sangakkara’s fear in the loss of quality in the first class cricket, is well placed. If the structure can’t produce new talents then there is something wrong that needs to be fixed at the earliest.

The Lankans trust Chandimal and Thirimanne a lot. While they have been impressive in shorter formats, both players need to raise their hands up now to shoulder responsibility. The series against India, is hence going to be very crucial for these two players. If both of them fail to make any mark, the middle order will be in tatters.

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The Politics and The Passion of Euro Visions

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what’s possible in a week? If you dedicated seven days to the achievement of one goal, how ambitious could you make this goal? These were the questions that the multilingual friends Katy and Sara posed themselves when they determined to learn English, to prove that it can be done and anyone can do it with the right methods,learn English in one week.possible in a week? If you dedicated seven days.

They would attempt to liberate themselves from the distractions and responsibilities of modern-day life in order to cram eight hours of study time and I was observing some of the world’s most capable language learners at work.

single-images-4

The language learning expert: Sara

The friends set themselves the challenge of learning a language in a week in order to stretch themselves, and then it was a question of choosing which language to learn. English presented itself as a natural option; there are nigh on 300,000 English speakers in Germany’s capital, and the areas are dotted with stores adorned with signs in English,speakers in Germany’s capital.

TRULY UNDERSTANDING ONE’S ENVIRONMENT REQUIRES ONE TO FIRST UNDERSTAND ENGLISH

The first operational step in the friends learning process was to decorate the entire apartment with sticky notes. This had an almost ceremonial touch to it as the friends delved into dictionaries and proceeded to label everything with its corresponding English name, delved into dictionaries .

Within the space of about an hour it was impossible to carry out any menial task, be it making a coffee or flicking off a light switch, without first being presented with at least three different words related to this action,of about an hour it was impossible to carry.

single-images-6

Sara learning in the park

The importance of the other twin’s presence became immediately apparent as Katy and Sara delegated responsibilities for rooms to decorate with sticky notes. This simple task was augmented by continuous little tests that they would spring on one another, and the fact that they split up their day slightly differently and studied different topics meant that each twin became a source of knowledge for the other.

The most extraordinary moment came towards the end of the week!

The friends simply switched their everyday conversations to English, asking one another if they wanted tea or coffee, were ready to cook dinner or when they were going to leave the house.Katy and Sara had numerous micro-challenges throughout the week.

They then learned the names of fruits and the numbers from one to a billion so that they could visit the English market (although they refrained from purchasing nine hundred thousand kumquats). Displaying their haul after their first functional exchange in English, they beamed with pride and a palpable sense of accomplishment before marching back home to study further.

single-images-7

Katy playing audio lessons

On our second visit to the brother’s apartment 24 hours into the week, we found them sampling dozens of different kinds of English snacks.

Like kids staring at the backs of cereal packs before heading to school, the nutritional information and various special offers and competitions on the packaging were analysed during snack breaks,and various special offers.

There was no moment of complete removal from the language learning process during the eight hours that the friends had allotted to it.

They were constantly using their existing knowledge to support the ever-growing knowledge of English, this being the root of their success.

They then learned the names of fruits and the numbers from one to a billion so that they could visit the English market. Displaying their haul after their first functional exchange in English, they beamed with pride and a palpable sense of accomplishment before marching back home to study further.

YOU WILL LIKELY COME ACROSS WORDS THAT SHARE COMMON ORIGINS WITH YOUR NATIVE TONGUE

The friends spent a lot of time engrossed in books or on their computers and apps, flicking and swiping their way through exercises eagerly, but at other times they were to be found searching busily for English radio stations and write-ups of English football games on the web.

All too often, people enter their weekly language class to converse with their teacher, but then barely have any contact with other speakers and that’s not enough.The old saying that we can solve problems more effectively when we sleep on it may be especially true if the problem we’re trying.

To solve is learning a new language.The friends spent a lot of time engrossed in books or on their computers and apps, flicking and swiping their way through exercises eagerly, but at other times they were to

single-images-7

Motivated Katy out to the library

Researchers from two Swiss universities wanted to know if they could enhance the learning of words from a foreign language by exposing people to the words during non-rapid eye movement sleep the deep, dreamless sleep period that most of us experience during the first few hours of the night.The researchers then re-gathered both groups at 2 am.

To find out, they gathered two groups of study participants, all of whom were native German speakers, and gave them a series of Dutch-to-German word pairs to learn at 10 pm. One group was then instructed to get some sleep, while the other group was kept awake.For the next few hours both groups listened to an audio playback of the word pairs they’d already been exposed to and some they hadn’t yet heard.

The researchers then re-gathered both groups at 2 am and gave them a test of the Dutch words to uncover any differences in learning. And indeed there was a difference:

THE GROUP THAT LISTENED TO THE WORDS DURING SLEEP DID BETTER AT RECALLING THE WORDS THEY’D HEARD

The simple yet potent trick the researchers employed is known as verbal cueing, and this isn’t the first claim made for its success while sleeping. But what makes this study different is that it puts a finer point on the conditions necessary for this trick to actually work namely, it only works when we’ve already been exposed to the verbal cues before we sleep.

single-images-8

Internet is always helpful

The researchers added a techie dimension by conducting electroencephalographic (EEG)recordings of the sleeping participants brains to track neural electrical activity during the learning period.They found that learning the foreign words overlapped.

They found that learning the foreign words overlapped with the appearance of theta brain waves, an intriguing result since theta is the brainwave state often associated with heightened learning while awake (usually we’re in either the high-frequency, high-alertness alpha or beta states while awake, but it’s thought possible to induce theta state slower in frequency than alpha and beta through concentration techniques.

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Politics

Can Britain survive economically after the Brexit implementation?

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The meeting came at a Letter moment, with six weeks before Election Day. The night’s potential impact had the senior advisers to both campaigns losing sleep in recent days. Only Clinton’s should feel comfortable as they crawl under the covers. What remained unclear is whether either candidate had changed voters’ minds or given them permission to firmly link up with a candidate they already leaned toward. Even Trump admitted Clinton is a governing-focused nerd, and Trump’s victory in the Republican primaries was rooted in his eagerness to buck traditional norms for political speech. The meeting came at a Letter moment, with six weeks before Election Day. The The meeting came at a Letter moment, with six weeks before Election Day. The night’s potential impact had the senior advisers to both campaigns losing sleep in recent days. Only Clinton’s should feel comfortable as they crawl under the covers. What remained unclear is whether either candidate had changed voters’ minds or given them permission to firmly link up with a candidate they already leaned toward. Even Trump admitted Clinton is a governing-focused nerd, and Trump’s victory in the Republican primaries was rooted in his eagerness to buck traditional norms for political speech. The meeting came at a Letter moment, with six weeks before Election Day

The meeting came at a Letter moment, with six weeks before Election Day. The night’s potential impact had the senior advisers to both campaigns losing sleep in recent days. Only Clinton’s should feel comfortable as they crawl under the covers. What remained unclear is whether either candidate had changed voters’ minds or given them permission to firmly link up with a candidate they already leaned toward. Even Trump admitted Clinton is a governing-focused nerd, and Trump’s victory in the Republican primaries was rooted in his eagerness to buck traditional norms for political speech. The meeting came at a Letter moment, with six weeks before Election Day. The The meeting came at a Letter moment, with six weeks before Election Day. The night’s potential impact had the senior advisers to both campaigns losing sleep in recent days. Only Clinton’s should feel comfortable as they crawl under the covers. What remained unclear is whether either candidate had changed voters’ minds or given them permission to firmly link up with a candidate they already leaned toward. Even Trump admitted Clinton is a governing-focused nerd, and Trump’s victory in the Republican primaries was rooted in his eagerness to buck traditional norms for political speech. The meeting came at a Letter moment, with six weeks before Election Day

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Politics

Preliminary Features of Russian Ideology

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what’s possible in a week? If you dedicated seven days to the achievement of one goal, how ambitious could you make this goal? These were the questions that the multilingual friends Katy and Sara posed themselves when they determined to learn English, to prove that it can be done and anyone can do it with the right methods,learn English in one week.possible in a week? If you dedicated seven days.

They would attempt to liberate themselves from the distractions and responsibilities of modern-day life in order to cram eight hours of study time and I was observing some of the world’s most capable language learners at work.

single-images-4

The language learning expert: Sara

The friends set themselves the challenge of learning a language in a week in order to stretch themselves, and then it was a question of choosing which language to learn. English presented itself as a natural option; there are nigh on 300,000 English speakers in Germany’s capital, and the areas are dotted with stores adorned with signs in English,speakers in Germany’s capital.

TRULY UNDERSTANDING ONE’S ENVIRONMENT REQUIRES ONE TO FIRST UNDERSTAND ENGLISH

The first operational step in the friends learning process was to decorate the entire apartment with sticky notes. This had an almost ceremonial touch to it as the friends delved into dictionaries and proceeded to label everything with its corresponding English name, delved into dictionaries .

Within the space of about an hour it was impossible to carry out any menial task, be it making a coffee or flicking off a light switch, without first being presented with at least three different words related to this action,of about an hour it was impossible to carry.

single-images-6

Sara learning in the park

The importance of the other twin’s presence became immediately apparent as Katy and Sara delegated responsibilities for rooms to decorate with sticky notes. This simple task was augmented by continuous little tests that they would spring on one another, and the fact that they split up their day slightly differently and studied different topics meant that each twin became a source of knowledge for the other.

The most extraordinary moment came towards the end of the week!

The friends simply switched their everyday conversations to English, asking one another if they wanted tea or coffee, were ready to cook dinner or when they were going to leave the house.Katy and Sara had numerous micro-challenges throughout the week.

They then learned the names of fruits and the numbers from one to a billion so that they could visit the English market (although they refrained from purchasing nine hundred thousand kumquats). Displaying their haul after their first functional exchange in English, they beamed with pride and a palpable sense of accomplishment before marching back home to study further.

single-images-7

Katy playing audio lessons

On our second visit to the brother’s apartment 24 hours into the week, we found them sampling dozens of different kinds of English snacks.

Like kids staring at the backs of cereal packs before heading to school, the nutritional information and various special offers and competitions on the packaging were analysed during snack breaks,and various special offers.

There was no moment of complete removal from the language learning process during the eight hours that the friends had allotted to it.

They were constantly using their existing knowledge to support the ever-growing knowledge of English, this being the root of their success.

They then learned the names of fruits and the numbers from one to a billion so that they could visit the English market. Displaying their haul after their first functional exchange in English, they beamed with pride and a palpable sense of accomplishment before marching back home to study further.

YOU WILL LIKELY COME ACROSS WORDS THAT SHARE COMMON ORIGINS WITH YOUR NATIVE TONGUE

The friends spent a lot of time engrossed in books or on their computers and apps, flicking and swiping their way through exercises eagerly, but at other times they were to be found searching busily for English radio stations and write-ups of English football games on the web.

All too often, people enter their weekly language class to converse with their teacher, but then barely have any contact with other speakers and that’s not enough.The old saying that we can solve problems more effectively when we sleep on it may be especially true if the problem we’re trying.

To solve is learning a new language.The friends spent a lot of time engrossed in books or on their computers and apps, flicking and swiping their way through exercises eagerly, but at other times they were to

single-images-7

Motivated Katy out to the library

Researchers from two Swiss universities wanted to know if they could enhance the learning of words from a foreign language by exposing people to the words during non-rapid eye movement sleep the deep, dreamless sleep period that most of us experience during the first few hours of the night.The researchers then re-gathered both groups at 2 am.

To find out, they gathered two groups of study participants, all of whom were native German speakers, and gave them a series of Dutch-to-German word pairs to learn at 10 pm. One group was then instructed to get some sleep, while the other group was kept awake.For the next few hours both groups listened to an audio playback of the word pairs they’d already been exposed to and some they hadn’t yet heard.

The researchers then re-gathered both groups at 2 am and gave them a test of the Dutch words to uncover any differences in learning. And indeed there was a difference:

THE GROUP THAT LISTENED TO THE WORDS DURING SLEEP DID BETTER AT RECALLING THE WORDS THEY’D HEARD

The simple yet potent trick the researchers employed is known as verbal cueing, and this isn’t the first claim made for its success while sleeping. But what makes this study different is that it puts a finer point on the conditions necessary for this trick to actually work namely, it only works when we’ve already been exposed to the verbal cues before we sleep.

single-images-8

Internet is always helpful

The researchers added a techie dimension by conducting electroencephalographic (EEG)recordings of the sleeping participants brains to track neural electrical activity during the learning period.They found that learning the foreign words overlapped.

They found that learning the foreign words overlapped with the appearance of theta brain waves, an intriguing result since theta is the brainwave state often associated with heightened learning while awake (usually we’re in either the high-frequency, high-alertness alpha or beta states while awake, but it’s thought possible to induce theta state slower in frequency than alpha and beta through concentration techniques.

Continue Reading
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