Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC “If you start messing with seedings and playoffs and then you start talking about, ‘Well, if this team would have played this Western Conference team, what …’“It’s cool to mess around with the All-Star Game — we proved you can do that — but let’s not get too crazy about the playoffs.”James has been to seven straight NBA Finals, winning three titles with the Miami Heat and the Cavaliers.He isn’t concerned about the recent dominance of the West.“In the ’80s you had the Lakers who dominated the league at one point, then you had Boston. In the ’90s you had Chicago.ADVERTISEMENT LOOK: Iya Villania meets ‘Jumanji: The Next Level’ cast in Mexico Families in US enclave in north Mexico hold sad Thanksgiving Read Next Western Conference teams have won three of the last four NBA titles, the Cavaliers the only Eastern interlopers in 2016.The Golden State Warriors won in 2015 and 2017 — beating the Cavs both times — and the San Antonio Spurs won in 2014.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutDuring the All-Star break NBA commissioner Adam Silver said there had been discussions in the league office about changing the format — perhaps by taking the top eight teams from each conference but re-seeding them 1-16 by overall record or, more dramatically, taking the top 16 regular-season teams regardless of conference.“It just changes the landscape of the history of the game,” James said. Pussycat Dolls set for reunion tour after 10-year hiatus AFP official booed out of forum Jarencio lightens up Batang Pier mood amid playoff chase; Elite stay in quarterfinal hunt Google honors food scientist, banana ketchup inventor and war hero Maria Orosa John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Kevin Durant out with Achilles injury; to undergo MRI on Tuesday PLAY LIST 03:12Kevin Durant out with Achilles injury; to undergo MRI on Tuesday01:43Who are Filipinos rooting for in the NBA Finals?02:25Raptors or Warriors? PBA players take their pick of NBA champ01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City MOST READ Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH “San Antonio also had its run. We had our run in the East with Miami, Golden State is having their run.”In discussing possible changes, Silver said the big concern, in his mind, wasn’t tradition but travel — if Eastern and Western teams are facing off in the early rounds.“We are concerned about teams criss-crossing the country in the first round, for example,” he said. “We are just concerned about the overall travel that we would have in the top 16 teams.” /cbb Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LeBron James warms up during the NBA All-Star Game 2018 at Staples Center on February 18, 2018, in Los Angeles, California. AFPLOS ANGELES, United States — Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James thinks the NBA playoffs format is just fine, and talk of tweaking it is misguided.“I think our league has been built the right way as far as when it comes to the post-season,” James said Wednesday after the Cavaliers’ first practice since the All-Star break.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES View comments
View comments MOST READ World’s 50 Best Restaurants launches new drinking and dining guide Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Finals coaches ponder Warriors’ spot among their epic teams Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken On the back of a busy schedule in the Philippines Football League, the Azkals only had two training sessions under coach Thomas Dooley before the battled China in the friendly which also saw the Azkals mentor give newcomer Camelo Tacusalme playing time at centerback.READ: No time to sulk, Azkals look to move on after China rout “I was pretty much lost for words in terms of the result,” said Phil Younghusband. “We were quite embarrassed to be honest, but we have to be positive because there were some good things in the game and also things we need improve on.”Younghusband said the China match showed the gap in level at the moment and how much work should be done for the Azkals, “if thats the level we want to be.”But the Azkals captain stressed that the more important game will be against Tajikistan on Tuesday at Central Republican Stadium in Dushanbe. Another win will keep the Azkals on top of Group H.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken LATEST STORIES FILE — Philippine Azkals vs Nepal in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers. Photo by: Tristan Tamayo/Inquirer.netGUANGZHOU – The heavy 1-8 defeat to China last Wednesday night only cranked up the pressure on the Philippines to secure a victory against Tajikistan in AFC Asian Cup Qualifying in Dushanbe next week.But the Azkals will be missing key personnel for the match as leftback Jeffrey Christiaens and winger Pika Minegishi were omitted from the squad of coach Thomas Dooley before the trip to the Tajik capital via Urumqi last Friday.ADVERTISEMENT What ‘missteps’? Cayetano dares Lacson, Drilon to take lie-detector test: Wala akong kinita sa SEA Games Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ “We never want to be in this position again and we need to take what we learn and not make those same mistakes against Tajikistan,” said Younghusband.“This (loss to China) doesn’t harm our chances of making the Asian Cup. Emotionally and mentally it affects us, but in terms of reaching our goal, it doesn’t affect us. We know that if we can get a good result in Tajikistan that we’re a step closer to reaching our goal.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next 1 dead in Cavite blast, fire WATCH: Firefighters rescue baby seal found in parking garage Christiaens complained of swelling on his knee after the match. Misagh Bahadoran, who scored the lone goal for the Azkals at Tianhe Stadium, initially thought he had reinjured his knee after limping off against China, but tests showed it was only a minor knock, which he can recover from in time for the Tajikistan game.READ: Azkals suffer ’embarrassing’ defeat to ChinaFEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutJames Younghusband sustained a sprain ankle early against China and had to be substituted. The Azkals’ defensive frailties were exposed by China and skipper Phil Younghusband vowed they won’t allow themselves to be caught in the same situation again.“If we play like we did against China then we’ll struggle to get a result in Tajikistan,” said Azkals skipper Phil Younghusband. “Winning Tajikistan was a must before the China game and moreso now because we need to get the result of (China) out of our heads.”
Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ “I started out playing football as my father was a football player back in Nigeria. But basketball was my life and I worked hard. Now that I’ve made it in the NBA it is hard to stay on top so you have to work harder,” Giannis said.He continued: “You have to test your limits and I believe I want to be the best player of all time and I know I can get there.”The 22-year-old added he was determined to help other young people in both Greece and in Africa to get ahead.“I would like to do everything I can to help them have a better life. The Americans gave me a chance to fulfill my dream. If you work hard and believe in your dream you will succeed,” he said.The Antetokounmpo brothers are very popular in Greece and earlier this month drew a standing-room-only crowd of 5,000 spectators during an exhibition game they organized in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES World’s 50 Best Restaurants launches new drinking and dining guide Cayetano to unmask people behind ‘smear campaign’ vs him, SEA Games WATCH: Firefighters rescue baby seal found in parking garage MOST READ “Greece loves us because we are good guys. We promote Greece wherever we go,” Giannis said.Another game by the brothers, who play for the Greek national team, is set for Sunday in Athens and a sell-out crowd of 18,000 is expected.“I know nothing else but Greece. I have never been to Nigeria. You are not born a Greek, you become a Greek,” Giannis said.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Messi’s gritty hometown braces for a glam wedding Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ What ‘missteps’? Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Greek professional basketball players, brothers Giannis (L) and Thanasis Antetokounmpo attend an interview at the Onassis Cultural Centre in Athens on June 24, 2017. AFP PHOTORags to riches NBA All-Star player Giannis Antetokounmpo spoke openly on Saturday of his Nigerian origins and of eking out a living trading on the Athens streets long before his $100 million deal with the Milwaukee Bucks.Giannis appeared on stage at the Onassis Cultural Centre with his 24-year-old brother Thanasis, who plays for the Spanish club MoraBanc Andorra, and they talked about their painful struggle in their early days in Greece where their parents had arrived as immigrants.ADVERTISEMENT 1 dead in Cavite blast, fire “We are the products of two cultures, Greek and Nigerian, and we took the best of both worlds,” Giannis said.“There are many people who have gone through tough times, but you still have to look for the light. Our parents taught us not to be selfish, to be honest and sincere,” Thanasis added.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutThe sons of Nigerian immigrant parents, who came to Greece for a better life, Giannis and Thanasis were born in Athens and grew up selling merchandise in the streets of the capital in order to help their poor family.But basketball changed their lives and last year Giannis signed a $100 million four-year contract with the Bucks. Thanasis also tried his luck in the NBA before joining his Spanish club. View comments
Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netDespite earlier pronouncements that rookies picked in the special Gilas draft are untouchable for two years, a trade clause made by the PBA Board of Governors made the swap between Von Pessumal and Arnold Van Opstal possible.The Commissioner’s Office approved the trade on Monday that sent Pessumal to San Miguel Beer and Van Opstal to GlobalPort.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES LOOK: Jane De Leon meets fellow ‘Darna’ Marian Rivera Racal smothers Gamboa in 2nd half to halt 3-game slide Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Sources close to the situation further corroborated the deal, leading to San Miguel acquiring the sharp-shooting Pessumal from GlobalPort in exchange of the seldom-used center.Despite Van Opstal’s exclusion to the pool, a pronouncement made by no less than national coach Chot Reyes when the PH team practices resumed in June, the Fil-German big man is still part of the provision, allowing the transaction to push through.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsPessumal is an active member of the pool and is set to see action in the 2017 Jones Cup and the 2017 Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.The Beermen hope to parade Pessumal late this conference after he finishes his obligations with the national team. Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Another vape smoker nabbed in Lucena El Nido residents told to vacate beach homes MOST READ View comments Pagasa: Storm intensifies as it nears PAR Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Pagasa: Kammuri now a typhoon, may enter PAR by weekend China furious as Trump signs bills in support of Hong Kong Don’t miss out on the latest news and information.
Even as the chaotic countdown to the Commonwealth Games (CWG) has given way to a blame game, Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) president Mike Fennell has come to the defence of its CEO Mike Hooper. Fennell hit out at the reports in Indian media on Monday over what Hooper had described a “vicious and totally unwarranted attack”. Hooper came under fire for “lashing out” at Delhi’s huge population. Hooper also raised eyebrows when he denied that the CGF was partly to blame for the controversial countdown to the CWG saying the fault lies with India. Hooper’s interview to a New Zealand TV channel that he was neither a construction engineer nor a builder had caused sharp reaction in the Indian media. However, coming to Hooper’s defence, Fennell said the CEO had made no such comment at the meeting. He said he spent the entire morning and early afternoon in meetings with Hooper during which he allegedly made certain comments. Fennell said he can personally attest that at no time did Hooper make any reference at all to the people of India, let alone disparaging ones. He also insisted that neither he nor the CGF has ever demanded a 24-hour dedicated Games lane.
India’s K Ravi Kumar created a new Commonwealth Games record with a total lift of 321kgs as he grabbed gold in the 69-kg category in the weightlifting competition in New Delhi on Wednesday.The Orissa lad proved too good for his opponents as the second best finish was of 308 kgs.Sri Lanka’s Chinthana Vidanage took the silver medal, while Mohd Hafifi Mansor of Malaysia bagged bronze with a total lift of 306 kgs.From the very beginning, Ravi Kumar looked set to dominate the competition as he topped the snatch event with a lift of 146 kgs, which was also a Games record.Hafifi Mansor ended with 137 kgs and the Chinthana Vidanage lifted 134 kgs in snatch.Thereafter, at the clean and jerk event also, the 22-year-old Indian lifted 167 kgs in his very first attempt to put on a total of 313 on board, while his closest two competitors were hovering around 306 to 308 mark, aiming a maximum of 310 kgs.Sri Lanka’s Vidanage created rewrote clean and jerk record when he lifted 174 kgs.But his record could not stand long as Ravi lifted 175 kgs in his third and final attempt.Ravu is now a record holder in all three categories — snatch, clean & jerk and total of the two.The Orissa lad proved too good for his opponents as the second best finish was of 308 kgs.Sri Lanka’s Chinthana Vidanage took the silver medal, while Mohd Hafifi Mansor of Malaysia bagged bronze with a total lift of 306 kgs.From the very beginning, Ravi Kumar looked set to dominate the competition as he topped the snatch event with a lift of 146 kgs, which was also a Games record.advertisementHafifi Mansor ended with 137 kgs and the Chinthana Vidanage lifted 134 kgs in snatch.Thereafter, at the clean and jerk event also, the 22-year-old Indian lifted 167 kgs in his very first attempt to put on a total of 313 on board, while his closest two competitors were hovering around 306 to 308 mark, aiming a maximum of 310 kgs.Sri Lanka’s Vidanage created rewrote clean and jerk record when he lifted 174 kgs.But his record could not stand long as Ravi lifted 175 kgs in his third and final attempt.Ravu is now a record holder in all three categories — snatch, clean & jerk and total of the two.
Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s passion for motor vehicles, especially SUVs and bikes, is well known. And on Saturday, he used his favourite automobile jargon to inform that all his soldiers were ready for Sunday’s battle against Ireland in their another World Cup match.Dhoni said all 15 players, including pacer Ashish Nehra who has been struggling with his fitness so far, were raring to go against a team that has suddenly become the talk of the town after stunning England on Wednesday and is now high on confidence and morale.”We have done the servicing and overhauling of all the ‘cars’ (read players), basically for the race. And if at night there’s no electrical failure then everybody will be available. We will pick the best XI ‘cars’,” Dhoni told reporters after a practice stint at the National Cricket Academy in M Chinnaswamy Stadium.Although Nehra bowled at the nets on Saturday, he came on at the fag end of the team’s two-hour stint, forcing some people to wonder whether he was indeed match fit. When pointedly asked about the Delhi leftarmer’s fitness, Dhoni avoided a direct reply and took refuge in the automobile terminology.India are currently placed third with three points in the seven-team Group B, behind South Africa (four points from two games) and West Indies (four from three), and they need to beat the supposedly minnows Ireland to take a big step towards the quarter-final berth.After Ireland’s win over England, one of the biggest upsets of all time in ODI cricket, all opponents have become wary of Ireland.One more upset win from Ireland and they would be strengthening their case for a spot in the quarterfinals. They will play with a nothing-to-lose-and-everything-togain attitude and that could make them a dangerous opposition.advertisementBut Potterfield said his team would not rest on its past laurels as the second half of the league phase begins with this game (21st of the 42 league matches).Dhoni and his boys too will be on their toes in the day-night affair. India’s fans can take heart from the team’s strong batting display in both their previous matches – against Bangladesh and England.Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar are in great form and the others would be hoping that it rubs off on them too.The bowlers, however, have not been up to the mark. Fielding and catching too needs quick and big improvement to face stronger challenges ahead.England tying the game chasing 339 for a win proves that the bowlers have so far struggled to get all 10 wickets.India and Ireland have played only one ODI so far and Rahul Dravid’s team won that rain-interrupted game by nine wickets via Duckworth-Lewis method in Belfast in 2007.Interestingly, only two players from the 2007 squad, Piyush Chawla and Gautam Gambhir – was batting on 80 as rains intervened – are still part of the present team.On Sunday, however, a new chapter will be written.
Hrithik Roshan’s cool threads in prints and stripes and John Abraham’s white beach-boy ‘ganji’ look-now it’s possible to wear your hunky heartthrob on your sleeve, literally. You can dig into the wardrobe of your favourite celebrity, simply step into his designer shoes or drape yourself in her trademark sari. Welcome,Hrithik Roshan’s cool threads in prints and stripes and John Abraham’s white beach-boy ‘ganji’ look-now it’s possible to wear your hunky heartthrob on your sleeve, literally. You can dig into the wardrobe of your favourite celebrity, simply step into his designer shoes or drape yourself in her trademark sari. Welcome to the world of the emerging brand ambassador, who has gone from playing cursory mannequin to strategic co-creator. Because brand endorsements are no longer just about mind-boggling currency contracts, big-budget photo shoots and well-promoted public appearances. Marketers are using million-dollar celeb smiles, unique personalities and chiselled frames to not just market their wares but also to add to brand equity though sub-brands and co branding stratagems. From creative inputs to marketing mantras, stars are constructively contributing to the development of the brands.Star: Hrithik RoshanSignature Line: The Dhoom 2 dude worked with an in-house design team on a clean and classic collection with shirts in silk and linen, tees and embellished denims.Price: Rs 1,100 onwardsEven as the definition of brand endorsements expands, fashion icons are increasingly turning designers and it’s no wonder that Bollywood is making the most of this new trend. While traditional jewellery designing labels have long been roping in celebrity names like Sunita Kapoor, Manali Vengsarkar, Maheep Kapoor and Farah Khan Ali to design signature lines and add sheen to their brand value, it is Bollywood’s youth brigade which is pushing sports stars to the back benches in the co-creating line-up.So even as Sachin Tendulkar’s co created line of health foods, called Sunfeast Sachin’s Fit Kit, was launched in collaboration with ITC Foods in March, it is Hrithik Roshan’s Signature Line for John Players that is giving fans the chance to dress like the cool Dhoom 2 dude. Classy silk and linen shirts with gel prints and placement embroidery, embellished denims and cargos bring Roshan’s style statement to fans’ wardrobes.Says Atul Chand, vice-president (marketing), ITC’s Lifestyle Retailing, “Brand endorsements by celebrities have been happening in the Indian market for quite some time across product categories. However, if brands are able to create offerings that take the endorser’s personal attributes and infuse that into the product, it makes for a rich blend that can offer more value to consumers.” Chand explains that with the Signature Line, ITC has attempted to take the association between the brand and the ambassador from one of endorsement to one of co-creation. “This has made the association stronger and leaves a lasting impact on consumers. The line enables consumers to access Hrithik’s personal style preferences through John Players,” says Chand.Star: John AbrahamSignature Line: Abraham and Wrangler worked together to bring his trademark comfort quotient into the collection with low-rise jeans, linen shirts and tees for men and racer backs, halters and hoods for the girls.Price: Rs 800 to Rs 4,000And just like Roshan, denim brand Wrangler’s “21st century urban cowboy” John Abraham, too, has launched a premium prt denim line called John Abraham by Wrangler. Darshan Mehta, CEO, Arvind Brands, says, “Testimonial advertising by celebrities has existed for years. Today, evolved consumers understand and know the stars’ life and profile and are looking at a closer brand fit.” The stars, in return, understand that they have a shelf life and they realise that this is an opportunity to create business interest and outlive their shelf life through a brand, believes Mehta.The launch of the sub-brand saw the company’s advertising relations with Abraham change to a business relationship. And it’s obvious that a sound business brain ticks behind the biker boy veneer, when Abraham says, “Consumers today are looking for something less mass, they seek individuality, thereby creating their own style quotient. They are looking for something with a thought behind it and that is what we have hoped to achieve with this line. The collection is a true reflection of my life and what I would wear daily.”Just as Wrangler created a cobrand with country singer George Strait in America, they have created an independent identity for Abraham’s line with a different set-up, packaging, fixtures and look. Besides J-fronted, zip-on straight leg, low-rise denims and funky linen shorts for the boys, girls too can borrow style tips from Abraham’s wardrobe, with denim skirts, racer back tops, halters and hoodies.Star: Celina JaitleySignature Line: The former beauty queen drew inspiration from classic textiles and lace for a range of cocktail saris and Jashn’s designers gave shape to her vision.Price: Rs 10,000 onwardsAnd it is what Bollywood bombshell Celina Jaitley wears in the public eye that has resulted in her bagging a cocreator deal as well. Jaitley, who recently launched her signature line of “cocktail and bridal saris” for Jashn, is wearing her new “visionary” avatar with elan. “I don’t like being termed a mannequin. I’m extending my artistic side with this venture,” says Jaitley, claiming her line sold out in two weeks. “I started the trend of wearing lace saris and then many in Bollywood followed suit. Industry people and fans started noticing my inclination towards saris. Jashn was monitoring this and came up with the idea of creating my own brand,” says Jaitley. “I’m not a designer, I’m a brand. I’m lending my name to a sari that has been designed to my specifications,” clarifies Jaitley who, besides the lace and sequin-splattered saris, is now working on a bridal line and is hoping to salvage Bengali textiles, kantha embroidery, gota and zardozi work. “I want to bring the romance of the’60s back with an entire range of shararas and ghararas,” says Jaitley with enthusiasm.As for the actual designing process, Jaitley believes in working like international brand names such as Jennifer Lopez and Madonna, “who have a certain style statement and a team of designers who bring their vision to life”. Abraham has also partnered with Sally Dayton (Wrangler’s international designer) and Ramneek Walia (its Indian designer) on his collection. “While the line reflects my vision, the designers have lent their creative and style inputs to make this design dream come true,” says Abraham, who is now hoping to take his signature line to foreign shores. “A consumer base exists wherever there is a Bollywood audience,” asserts Mehta.Star: Zayed KhanSignature Line: Khan wanted his funky image to come through in the hip range of 12 styles and showed preference for studs, rivets and metal accents.Price: Rs 1,785 to Rs 2,485Star: Kareena KapoorSignature Line: She added Bollywood bling with a diamond-studded line. The Citizen team combined her love for mother-of-pearl and Swarovski with metallic and leather straps for a separate line.Price: Rs 4,690 onwardsAnd an audience that is willing to shell out big bucks for a piece of their favourite celebrity. Price points for these signature lines are obviously higher than those for the brands’ basic lines. Jaitley explains, “A celebrity’s association adds value and can lift a label from a local entity to a widely recognised brand. Jashn is Lucknow based and is known all over the country today.” Mehta attributes it to the higher quality of imported material used, and superior production values. And even as the new Khan kid on the block, Zayed Khan, recently launched his Rockstar line of funky and cool shoes in collaboration with ID Shoes, and Citizen Watches launched two exclusive ‘diamond’ and ‘fashion’ collections with brand ambassador Kareena Kapoor, here’s a tie-up trend that is on the upswing. So even as Shah Rukh Khan provides design inputs on a signature Monaco Sixty Nine limited edition chronograph for Tag Heuer, we brace ourselves for more business bargains as celebrities turn designers and entrepreneurs and brands attempt to make the most of their starry appeal.advertisementadvertisementadvertisement
With a thumping win over Kochi Tuskers Kerala under their belt, the Delhi Daredevils have received fresh impetus in the IPL campaign just when things seemed to be going awry. The Daredevils would be keen to keep the winning run going when they face the same opponents, this time at the Ferozeshah Kotla here on Monday.Delhi beat Kochi comfortably by 38 runs on Saturday, with skipper Virender Sehwag smashing a 47-ball 80 on a wicket where most of the batsmen struggled on.That the next highest score in the match was 31 shows what a dangerous player Sehwag is. The Daredevils scored 157 and then restricted Kochi to 119 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.Fast bowler Morne Morkel has been by far the most affective among the Delhi bowlers, and he took three for 18 from four overs.All-rounder Irfan Pathan too is fast regaining his form, as his two for 27 against Kochi proved.However, the win didn’t dispel the notion that the Daredevils rely heavily on a few players – especially in batting. Openers Sehwag and David Warner hold the key to their team’s chances as their middle order has been exposed in the fourth edition of the IPL. Apart from Venugopal Rao, no other Daredevils batsman exudes any confidence.Even in bowling, their paceheavy attack is fairly one- dimensional and the lack of any quality spinning options means that Delhi have been forced to opt for green wickets at the Kotla. They were found wanting on a deadslow track in the first few games and then played the last three matches on a greenish surface.advertisementBut after piling on an enormous 231 against Kings XI Punjab, they lost their bearings in the next two games against Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kolkata Knight Riders, failing to either defend or chase on a green track.With three wins out of eight games, the Sehwag- led side is in the wrong half of the points table, and they would want to have another win against their name to ease the pressure that has been mounting on them.For Kochi, the situation isn’t any different as they too have three wins from eight games.After three successive wins against Mumbai Indians, Chennai Super Kings and the Knight Riders, they lost three on the trot and that, coupled with the initial two losses, has put their chances of a play- off spot in peril.The form of the Tuskers batsmen is also a cause for some worry. Opener Brendon McCullum has not got going in recent matches and even skipper Mahela Jayawardene needs to fire with the bat.Apart from Ravindra Jadeja, there are hardly any players in the line-up who the Daredevils bowlers would worry about.The reins of the Kochi bowling are in the hands of pacers RP Singh, Sreesanth and Vinay Kumar who have done fairly well so far. Jadeja is the main spinner, now that Muttiah Muralitharan is not in their first- choice line- up.A lot will depend on the track for the late- night encounter, as has been seen throughout the tournament here. The hosts failed to chase a low target of 149 against Kolkata here the last time and before that, failed to defend 160 against Bangalore.