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Mormon leader defends church teachings

By on January 11, 2020

first_img“I would think that every Christian would welcome this second witness of the reality of Jesus Christ. Strangely, they do not,” Hinckley said at the meeting, which ended last Sunday. SALT LAKE CITY – The president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints defended Mormon teachings during a two-day biannual conference for the denomination. Gordon B. Hinckley said that the church’s central text, the Book of Mormon, is a valid account of Christ’s dealings with ancient Americans. Mormons believe church founder Joseph Smith translated the text from a set of gold plates delivered to him by an angel. Smith said the plates told the history of ancient ancestors of American Indians who migrated to the New World from Israel and were visited by Jesus. last_img read more

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Italy legend Buffon back for Argentina, England swansong

By on January 10, 2020

first_imgBut the 40-year-old Juventus skipper had indicated that he was ready to make a comeback if Di Biagio needed him for the friendlies in England on March 23 and 27.Buffon, who has 175 caps for Italy, will be given a better send off than on the sad night Italy failed to qualify for the World Cup in his last game against Sweden.Mario Balotelli has however been overlooked despite speculation the in-form Nice player would get his first cap since the 2014 World Cup.But Di Biagio opted instead for 20-year-old AC Milan forward Patrick Crutone, who has been one of the stars this season with his club.Both Cutrone and Fiorentina winger Federico Chiesa move up from the Under-21 side with Giacomo Bonaventura getting his first call since November 2016.AC Milan centre-back Alessio Romagnoli however has been ruled out with a muscular problem.The Azzurri are still without a permanent coach after Gian Piero Ventura’s dismissal after the World Cup elimination.Italy squadGoalkeepers: Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus), Gianluigi Donnarumma (Milan), Mattia Perin (Genoa)Defenders: Leonardo Bonucci (AC Milan), Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus), Matteo Darmian (Manchester United), Mattia De Sciglio (Juventus), Gianmarco Ferrari (Sampdoria), Alessandro Florenzi (Roma), Daniele Rugani (Juventus), Leonardo Spinazzola (Atalanta), Davide Zappacosta (Chelsea)Midfielders: Giacomo Bonaventura (AC Milan), Bryan Cristante (Atalanta), Roberto Gagliardini (Inter), Jorge Luiz Frello Jorginho (Napoli), Marco Parolo (Lazio), Lorenzo Pellegrini (Roma), Marco Verratti (Paris Saint Germain)Forwards: Andrea Belotti (Torino), Antonio Candreva (Inter), Patrick Cutrone (AC Milan), Federico Chiesa (Fiorentina), Ciro Immobile (Lazio), Lorenzo Insigne (Napoli), Simone Verdi (Bologna)0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Juventus’ goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon waves at the end of the Italian Serie A football match between Juventus and Atalanta on March 14, 2018 at the Allianz Stadium in Turin © AFP/File / MARCO BERTORELLOROME, Italy, Mar 17 – Italy legend Gianluigi Buffon has been called up by interim coach Luigi Di Biagio for friendlies against England and Argentina later this month.Buffon, 40, had called time on his international career after Italy failed to qualify for the World Cup in Russia, losing a two-legged play-off to Sweden to miss the tournament for the first time in 60 years.last_img read more

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Consumer confidence up

By on December 28, 2019

first_imgNEW YORK – The U.S. economy showed signs of resilience Tuesday, despite rising prices at the gas pump, adding fuel to speculation that the Federal Reserve would continue on its course of raising interest rates. A widely watched barometer of consumer confidence rose in April to its highest level in almost four years, according to a private research group. And sales of previously owned homes edged up slightly in March after rising in February, too. Analysts said that if fuel prices continue to rise and the economy remains buoyant, the Fed may have more reasons to keep tightening credit policy to choke off inflation. The combination of higher interest rates and more expensive fuel could cast a pall on consumer spending, which accounts for two-thirds of all U.S. economic activity. “The increases (in gas prices) looks like it’s hitting a critical level,” said Gary Thayer, chief economist at A.G. Edwards & Sons Inc., pointing out that it will be harder for the recent improvement in the job market to outweigh the concerns about gasoline prices. Meanwhile, the housing market boom that helped fuel consumer confidence for the past few years is limping along. The National Association of Realtors reported Tuesday that sales of existing homes edged up a meager 0.3 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.92 million units. The March increase followed a bigger 5.1 percent jump in February. The two months marked the first advances after five consecutive monthly declines. Stocks slipped after both reports caused investors to be concerned that the Federal Reserve may now have more incentive to raise interest rates beyond the one-quarter of a percentage point, to 5.0 percent, that’s expected in May. The reports give the Fed more confidence “to move rates again” in May and take “a wait-and-see” stance for the rest of the year, said Michael P. Niemira, chief economist at The International Council of Shopping Centers. In Tuesday’s trading, the Dow Jones industrial average dropped 53.07, or 0.5 percent, to 11,283.25. Despite the interest-rate concerns, Tuesday’s consumer sentiment report was an encouraging sign for retailers. Consumer spending perked up in April, following tepid spring sales in February and March.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl eventThe Conference Board said its consumer confidence index rose to 109.6, up from a revised 107.5 in March. April’s reading was the highest since the index touched 110.3 in May 2002. Analysts had expected a reading of 106.4. Confidence has been on an upswing since November in the aftermath of the Gulf hurricanes, except for a sharp dip in February when short-lived pessimism over the labor market soured consumer sentiment. “Improving present-day conditions continue to boost consumers’ spirits,” Lynn Franco, director of The Conference Board Consumer Research Center, said in a statement. “Recent improvements in the labor market have been a major driver behind the rise in confidence in early 2006. Looking ahead, consumers are not as pessimistic as they were last month.” Franco added, however, that “while prices at the pump have yet to impact confidence, further increases could dampen consumers’ mood.” The component of the consumer confidence index that measures how consumers feel now about economic conditions rose to 136.2 from 133.3. Another component, which measures consumers’ outlook over the next six months, improved to 91.9 from 90.3 last month. last_img read more

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‘Paradigm shift’ in Valencia pool

By on December 27, 2019

first_imgAt this time last year, Kasey Hartsock was living in North Carolina, Megan Machynia was still developing her skills in the pool after years of playing soccer, and Kaitlyn Salovich was largely unaware of the magnitude of the rivalry between Valencia and Hart highs. With Valencia losing only Sara Peever to graduation from last year’s second-place girls’ swimming team, the stage was set for the Vikings to challenge the Indians this season for the Foothill League title. Then Valencia coach Kathleen Perdisatt learned about Hartsock – a junior transfer from Southern Pines, N.C. – and two of the Santa Clarita Valley’s most promising freshmen. A “paradigm shift,” in Perdisatt’s words, was about to take place. No longer would the Vikings be competing in Hart’s shadow. No longer would it be only the Indians and Saugus battling it out for Foothill supremacy. And no longer would Valencia be content to simply qualify for the Southern Section Div. I prelims. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinals“I heard that Hart was the thing, and it made me a little nervous, but I thought we had a good chance this year,” said Hartsock, a junior who moved to California when her father got a job in Northridge. “There are a lot of good swimmers at Valencia right now.” Hartsock had heard of the Indians’ impressive tradition – the Indians have won 25 league titles – and first considered Hart before settling on Valencia. “Obviously, Hart was the best team,” said Hartsock, who will compete in the 50-yard freestyle tonight at the Southern Section Div. I finals at Belmont Plaza in Long Beach. “But I liked the people that my parents met, and I thought Valencia would be a good fit. “I don’t understand the Hart rivalry, and it will probably take me years to understand. But I was really confident throughout the season. I thought it was going to be our year.” Hartsock was one of the catalysts in the Vikings’ 91-79 dual meet victory over the Indians, which helped snare a share the league title. Valencia emerged as an elite team this year with the addition of strong sprint freestyler Hartsock, butterfly specialist Machynia and versatile Salovich to a group that returned Michelle Kroll, Katie Boring, Lexy Graham, Erin Donnelly, Tracy Harada and sisters Jasmine and Stephanie Henderson. Their arrival help Perdisatt address needs in individual events and strengthened the Vikings’ 200-yard medley and 400 freestyle relays. “It feels good to know that I’ve chipped in,” said Machynia, who will team tonight with Jasmine Henderson, Graham and Hartsock in the 200 medley relay. “It’s been a whole team effort the entire way.” Machynia, who gave up soccer for swimming when she was 12, has made remarkable progress. The 14-year-old freshman has accelerated her learning curve and has been able fast to compete against the top swimmers in Southern California. “I’m a late bloomer, so it’s all still kind of new to me,” said Machnyia, who led Valencia over Hart in the annual Santa Clarita Relays, rallying the Vikings to win the 200 butterfly relay. “I just try to keep up with all of it. It’s kind of overwhelming, so I’m taking it day by day.” The nucleus of this year’s team returns next season, when the Foothill League will return to Div. II following four seasons in Div. I. The Vikings could immediately become a contender for a divisional title. “We’re just all getting better with each race and gaining more confidence,” said Salovich, who teamed with Hartsock, Kroll and Machynia to finish 17th in the 400 free relay in Wednesday’s prelims, missing the final qualifying spot by 11-hundredths of a second. “Since this was my first year, I didn’t know what to expect. But we have a great team and I’m really excited about (the future).” erik.boal@dailynews.com (818) 713-3607160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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Backlog of 50,000 passport applications causing delays

By on December 22, 2019

first_imgA massive backlog of 50,000 passports has led to lengthy delays for those renewing their passports.The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade estimates a turn around of 20 working days, however this is now taking up to 6 weeks.Fianna Fail TD Charlie McConalogue has said: “If you are planning a holiday this Easter or Summer, please check your passport now.” People who are renewing their passports are advised to do so online, where the current turnaround is approximately ten working days. The online renewal service is only available to those aged 18 and over.To renew your passport online, follow this link: https://passportonline.dfa.ie/If you are travelling in less than 15 working days, you must make an appointment at the Passport Office in Cork or Dublin for an over the counter application.“A lot of stress, money and disappointment can be saved by taking a minute to check your passport now in advance of booking your travel,” Deputy McConalogue added. “It is very important NOT to use the Passport Express postal service if you are travelling inside the next five weeks. I and my office are happy to advise if you need any further assistance.”For more, visit the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s website at www.dfa.ie.Backlog of 50,000 passport applications causing delays was last modified: March 17th, 2018 by Elaine McCalligShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Delaysdepartment of foreign affairsPassportslast_img read more

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Photos: Steph and Ayesha Curry slash price on North Carolina mansion

By on December 20, 2019

first_imgLooks like Steph and Ayesha Curry have a sale lined up for their Waxhaw, N.C. home, after reducing the price to $1.19M from $1.55M, reports Realtor.com. The current status on the home is sale pending.Waxhaw is about 30 miles outside of Charlotte where the Golden State Warriors star grew up and where the first sports couple of the Bay Area married in 2011. It was their first home.The 7,650 square foot home has four bedrooms and five-and-a-half baths. It features a theater room, game room, and …last_img read more

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Farm Science Review expands exhibit area substantially, other improvements

By on December 17, 2019

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Joel PenhorwoodSome may recall the soggy situation at the 2017 Farm Science Review when heavy rains plagued the event and led to swamped areas on the grounds. To address that issue, new water control structures are being installed for an improved visitor experience in case Mother Nature does not cooperate in the future.“We are in the process of a multi-year drainage project we have going on here at the Farm Science Review,” said Garrett Nowak, FSR site manager. “Last year, you may remember we had a little bit of wet weather. Some years, we’re really dry — other years we’re a little damp — it’s just part of being an outdoor farm show. As much as we can address those issues, we try to.“We’re doing over 1,500 feet of drainage this year. Most of that is going to be a new sub-main we’re running almost from the total south end of the exhibit area, all the way to the north and little over 1,500 feet of 12-inch tile under our Hay Street. Hopefully you won’t be able to notice it at show time, but we’re really hoping to move a lot of the water issues that we had noticed last year out of that area. Alongside the roads we have French drains. We have surface inlets now. The same way that you would put tile in a field, we have a similar type of approach here, although we’re really removing surface water as fast as we can. This drainage project will affect about 25% of our exhibitors.”There will be new additions in terms of educational and opportunities to learn about research are always a highlight of the Review as well.“We are adding our new OSU Extension education corral for livestock. The OSU Extension Beef Team is an exhibitor this year,” Nowak said. “We hope to build on that in the future and have a lot more livestock demonstrations, but that’s one of the new things you’ll be able to see this year the Farm Science Review.”The Gwynne Conservation Area will also be buzzing with activity.“Our beehives are new this year. We’ve got 15 hives on site. This is a situation where we’re partnering with the Ohio State Entomology Group,” Nowak said. “We have a three-year project to restore a prairie here on site for pollinators. We’ve got about 10 acres with a mix of four different annual wildflowers for this year and then next year we’ll transition into a perennial wildflower plot. Other things you can see here are the grazing demonstrations and the stream bank restoration project that we did last year.”Nick Zachrich, Farm Science Review manager, has been leading the charge to get the changes in place ahead of this year’s event on Sept. 18, 19, and 20.“There’s always something new to see at Farm Science Review, whether it’s from our exhibitors out here as commercial exhibitors or with our educators in OSU Extension and some of the researchers on site,” Zachrich said. “There are some facility changes we’ve been able to make and updates for this year.”One of the most noticeable changes visitors will see this year is a substantially expanded exhibit area. The eastern fence enclosing the exhibitor area has been removed and a new fence has been added several hundred feet further out, increasing the exhibitor area substantially.This is some of the new, expanded show area at the Review.“Our exhibit area has always been 80 acres since we’ve moved out to this site. We were able to fill that up pretty quickly when we moved out in 1983. We’ve been able to utilize most of our space pretty well. We decided to change it up a little bit and add 20 acres of space that was already part of the facility, so we’re not really adding new space, but we’re adding it to the exhibit area, for a total of 100 acres of exhibits now,” he said. “We have a lot of things that we want to accomplish in moving our fence this year. We moved our fence out to the east just a little bit to meet the parking lot. We had some plots that weren’t being quite utilized the way they were 35 years ago. We also had an issue of not getting a lot of attention to our ride and drives that we wanted to focus on. We’re bringing some activity into that space and to really get some people involved with the ride and drives to be able to test drive some of the new machines that are out there on the market with UTVs, lawnmowers, some compact tractors, and doing some other hands on activities. We decided to go ahead and move those things into this 20 acres. And over the next several years, we’ll try to utilize that a little bit more as far as exhibit space goes with more exhibitors. We usually do have a waiting list for outdoor space, so that’s going to help with that as well.”Included in the space will be ride and drives, crop test plots, and a designated area for antique tractor clubs — all efforts to add more engaging activities.“In this ride and drive space, what we would really like to do is bring some activity and get people involved in what’s going on,” Zachrich said. “We want people to get out and see our field demonstrations. Most of the items are a little bit smaller with UTVs, mowers, and even some ground engagement. There are a lot of things to see and do out in the ride and drive area.”Antique tractor clubs will now have a more up-front viewing area.“Several of them have been participants before and we’ve been able to get a good collection of those this year to really fill that space up with them,” he said. “We also would like to move the handicap parking and accessible vehicle rentals to the same space too. They’ve been in a couple different areas and it became kind of confusing at times, so we’re really trying to improve that for our visitors and put them all in that same location. Whether you’re bringing your own vehicle or you want to rent a vehicle, they’re going to be at gate A.”As far as entering from the parking lot, not to worry — there will just be a shorter distance to walk.“All the entrances will still be at the same locations. The ticket booths will be a little bit closer to the parking lots. As soon as you get inside the fence, you’re going to be inside the show,” Zachrich said.With an expansion to the exhibit area comes the idea of new street names. The Farm Science Review has enjoyed iconic names such as “Corn Ave.” and “Market St.,” at the intersection of which you can find the Ohio Ag Net and Ohio’s Country Journal building. Zachrich and his team said names of any newly added roads are still up in the air.Zachrich also noted the relatively fast turnaround of the project. A team comes together after each year’s Review to talk future changes and the process behind such projects through Ohio State University is extensive and takes time.“There’s a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes. So being able to put this new fence in and have it ready to go was a major accomplishment for us,” he said. “We have a great site staff that’s been doing a lot of great work. There are a lot of things we would like to do to this site. Stay tuned for the next few years and see what we can accomplish.”last_img read more

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Hands On: The Difference Between The iPhone 5S And The iPhone 5

By on December 15, 2019

first_imgRelated Posts The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Tags:#Apple#iPhone#iPhone 5#iPhone 5S center_img Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement taylor hatmaker Today’s the day that the new iPhones have hit the shelves in the U.S. The pricier—and apparently more desired—iPhone 5S is not easy to find today, but after managing to get my hands on one, here’s a quick comparison between the new 5S model and last year’s iPhone 5.First ImpressionsThe iPhone 5S, at first glance, is identical to its forebear. But with a flashy new A7 64-bit chip, the M7 motion co-processor, Apple’s clever Touch ID fingerprint sensor and some powerful photography/video features, its insides bear little resemblance to the iPhone 5. Both phones boast a bright 326-ppi Retina touchscreen, of course, and the new version maintains the dimensions of its predecessor, weighing in at the same 112 grams. In our early testing, we compared a black 16GB iPhone 5S with a white Verizon iPhone 5 (pictured below).AppearanceFrom the front, you could mistake the iPhone 5S for last year’s iPhone 5 if it weren’t for the new home button. The iPhone 5S’s home button has lost the iconic rounded square of past generations in exchange for its nifty new fingerprint sensor. Beyond that, on the back of the device you’ll note that the 5S has a new oblong-shaped dual flash to the right of the lens. The charging port, headphone jack placement, buttons and speaker arrangement remain unchanged. Beyond that, about the only discernable difference is that the iPhone logo has been Jony Ive-ified, featuring the printed “iPhone” logo in a thin font to match iOS 7’s ubiquitous Helvetica Neue Ultra Light typeface.SpeedAs more comprehensive benchmarking comparisons would suggest, the iPhone 5S is noticeably faster than many competitors, easily doubling the speed of last year’s model in many tests. The iPhone 5 is certainly no slouch, but upon activating my device, a “space gray” 16GB iPhone 5S running on AT&T’s network, my first takeaway is whoa… this thing is fast. Granted, any new phone is blazing fast right out of the gate, but the 5S opens apps, loads webpages and executes so quickly it’s hard to imagine a phone actually doing things faster than this. Next to an iPhone 5 over a shared Wi-Fi network, everything happens faster on the 5S. The camera was actually the most notable—it recovers in an instant with no lag at all.CameraHow does the iPhone 5S and its juiced-up camera compare to the iPhone 5? Well, the iPhone 5S’s shooter is noticeably faster, like the phone is in most regards. The 5S, in our testing, seems to snap photos instantly. Burst mode is a cool trick, too—and one unique to the 5S, like the slow-motion video camera. Holding down the home button while shooting yields a ton of photos really, really quickly, but the only use cases we can imagine are tricky-to-capture shots, like maybe at a kid’s football game when objects (and children) are moving, in order to get an in-focus shot.The sample shots below compare the camera’s respective capabilities in a handful of shooting conditions, though we’ve got a more in-depth examination of the 5S’s camera features cooking too. In all of the pictures, we allowed autofocus to do its work rather than manually focusing with a tap like we make a habit of normally.iPhone 5iPhone 5SiPhone 5iPhone 5SiPhone 5iPhone 5SiPhone 5iPhone 5SiPhone 5iPhone 5SiPhone 5iPhone 5SAs you can see, the iPhone 5S performed a bit better under duress in bright- and mixed-light situations. The photos are mostly pretty comparable, though we’ll be testing the 5S camera and its improved flash in more settings to see where (and if) it shines. Bells and whistles like Slow-mo, burst mode and the True Tone flash will likely be its strongest qualities, so we look forward to playing with all of those further.last_img read more

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Lady Bulldogs seek share of lead; UP, TIP part ways

By on November 30, 2019

first_imgDon’t miss out on the latest news and information. Read Next MOST READ WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding Maroons nip Tigers on Desiderio triple; Archers escape BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd PLAY LIST 02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police 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 Games Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients center_img View comments The Lady Stags are sporting a 1-1 record.Earlier at 4 p.m., University of the Philippines will attempt to score its first win in Group B when it takes on Technological Institute of the Philippines.The Lady Maroons, a perennial contender in the UAAP, bowed to the Adamson Lady Falcons, 17-25, 25-21, 19-25,25-19, 15-9, a week ago.On the same day, the TIP Lady Engineers lost to the San Beda Red Spikers, 13-25, 18-25, 27-25, 13-25.Every win counts in the Collegiate Conference, a single round robin tournament that will have the top two teams from the two groups clashing in the crossover semifinals.ADVERTISEMENT E.T. returns to earth, reunites with grown-up Elliott in new ad  NU and San Sebastian collide at 6:30 p.m. on Monday in the PVL Collegiate Conference at Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.Gorayeb, however, has already announced he will not show up, citing personal reasons. Assistant coach Clint Malazo will instead call the shots for the Lady Stags.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutThe Lady Bulldogs won their first game under Castillo, turning back the Lyceum Lady Pirates, 25-17, 25-16, 25-21, last Sept. 3.They will bank on Jaja Santiago anew when they try to grab a second win in as many starts and a share of the Group A lead with the idle Far Eastern U Lady Tamaraws. Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary National University is gunning for its second straight win against San Sebastian in the Premier Volleyball League on Monday but the backstory would be a lot more interesting.San Sebastian coach Roger Gorayeb used to handle NU, until he was replaced by Babes Castillo in the Lady Bulldogs’ camp.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIESlast_img read more

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India aim to keep all-win record intact at Vizag

By on November 28, 2019

first_imgAustralia captain Michael Clarke will be under pressure to perform in the second ODI against India.Back in their happy-hunting ground, an upbeat India will look to take the lead against a wounded and depleted Australia in the second ODI in Visakhapatnam on Tuesday after the series-opener was washed out in Kochi.The three-ODI series has now been reduced to a two-match affair after the first match in Kochi two days ago was abandoned before a ball could be bowled because of heavy rains.Back-to-back losses in the recently-concluded two-Test series have dented the world champion Australia’s pride and they would be looking to get back at the hosts at the Dr Y S Rajasekhara Reddy ADA-VDCA Cricket Stadium.Known for their fighting spirit, Australia have won every one-day series in India since 1998 and the pressure will clearly be on Michael Clarke who had a barren Test series that added fuel to criticism against him.Clarke will lead a side light on experience after regular skipper Ricky Ponting, all-rounder Shane Watson and pacer Mitchell Johnson were rested from the series, while the fast bowling stocks were further thinned by injuries to Shaun Tait, Ryan Harris and Peter Siddle among others.For Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s men, it is all about carrying on the momentum on a ground where India have won all the two matches they have played.It was at the same venue that Dhoni had announced his arrival on the big stage with a 123-ball 148 against Pakistan in what was his fifth ODI on April 5, 2005.advertisementPlaying hard and true, unlike typical Indian wickets, the Vizag strip saw a total of 654 runs scored with India winning comfortably.India followed it with a win over Sri Lanka in the second ODI that the stadium hosted on February 17, 2007.Dhoni did not get a chance to bat then as Yuvraj Singh guided the team home and the Team India skipper would look for another big knock when the match is played here for the first time under lights.Bright and sunny weather here means that the cricket starved crowd of the coastal city in Andhra Pradesh will witness an international match after about four years.Star players including Sachin Tendulkar and Ponting being rested, the series is seen as a battle of upcoming prospects in the two cricketing powerhouses ahead of the ICC World Cup early next year.Dhoni will lead a new-look Indian side in absence of Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir, while the bowling department will see the absence of speedster Zaheer Khan and spinners Harbhajan Singh and Pragyan Ojha.But the team is bolstered by the return of an off-colour but determined Yuvraj Singh, who was dropped for the Asia Cup.The stylish Punjab batsman, not in best of form, will look to find the rhythm at the same venue where he had scored an unbeaten 95 in India’s win over Sri Lanka.With one more series — against New Zealand — coming up, this will perhaps be his last chance to pass the litmus test before the quadrennial extravaganza next year.In the absence of regular openers, the in-form Murali Vijay will start the proceedings with Shikhar Dhawan looking to don Team India colours as well.The line-up may also mark the debut of explosive rookie batsman Saurabh Tiwary who played for Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League.”He has got exposure against the best bowlers in the IPL and CL T20. I think it is an ideal opportunity for us to give him a place in the final XI and let him play the kind of cricket he plays,” Dhoni had said.The side also has the tried and tested trio of Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, who will again be under scrutiny for the middle order slots.With little assistance from the Vizag strip, Indian seamers of Ashish Nehra, Munaf Patel, Praveen Kumar and rookie Vinay Kumar will be tested.In R Ashwin, India have an in-form off-spinner who had a fantastic run in the Twenty20 version helping Chennai Super Kings win the Champions League. It will be a big test for him ahead of the World Cup.Australia too will have a new-look side, with players like David Warner, John Hastings and Mitchell Starc keen to show an aptitude for Indian conditions.”This is great experience for a lot of the guys who haven’t played international cricket especially in India,” said Clarke.”I think India is one of the greatest places to play international cricket, but it is a challenge, it is hard, and this is where the World Cup is going to be as well.advertisement”There’s a lot of guys who’ve been waiting for an opportunity, been doing well in first-class cricket, but now with Watto, Punter and Mitch resting and the other bowlers being injured, it has given the guys an opportunity.”Our preparation is for the World Cup, the selectors pick certain guys to see how they go in these conditions to work out who is going to be in that squad.Warner will be the danger man for India especially on the flat track of Vizag while the Aussie middle-order will be manned by Clarke who will be keen to score runs after forgettable outings in the Test series.last_img read more

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