Carried a pink ball in my kit bag for last three months, don’t know why: Mandhana

India opener Smriti Mandhana familiarised herself with the pink ball by keeping one in her kit bag for the last three months, looking at it on and off while trying to “understand” it.

When the idea struck her, little did Mandhana know that her team would enter its first-ever day/night Test match with just two days of training sessions with the pink ball.

The idea to keep the coloured ball around her worked well for the stylish player, who was batting on a sublime 80 when inclement weather brought an early end to the opening day of their historic Test, against a formidable Australian side here.

India opener Smriti Mandhana familiarised herself with the pink ball by keeping one in her kit bag for the last three months, looking at it on and off while trying to “understand” it.

When the idea struck her, little did Mandhana know that her team would enter its first-ever day/night Test match with just two days of training sessions with the pink ball.

The idea to keep the coloured ball around her worked well for the stylish player, who was batting on a sublime 80 when inclement weather brought an early end to the opening day of their historic Test, against a formidable Australian side here.

“We just had two sessions with pink ball. I was coming from the Hundred (in England) so I didn’t really get much time to play with pink ball, but during Hundred, I just ordered a pink kookaburra ball, just to keep it in my room because I knew that there is going to be a Test match, so that I can just look at the ball and understand.

“I have actually not batted, I batted for just two sessions but the pink ball was there in my kit bag for last two and half, three months. I don’t know why did I carry it, I thought I will have a session but I really didn’t get time to do that,” Mandhana said during a virtual press conference on Thursday.

Mandhana headlined a rain-hit opening day with a career-best knock which had elegance written all over it as the Indian women’s cricket team finished on 132 for 1.

Speaking further on her preparation for the pink ball Test, she said, “I don’t think we had a lot of time to work regarding this, we are just trying. People who are sitting out really helped, they kept me pumped up throughout the day, they contributed in making me focus in the way I did today,” Mandhana said.

The Indian star said her plan was to just play as per merit and not over complicate things.

“I wanted that I just don’t look at the scorecard, was just trying to be as blank and simple, play according to the ball. I didn’t really plan anything.

“Last two days I felt good, felt I was able to bat well. I will try and do that tomorrow because I don’t want to complicate things.”

She is also not thinking about a century, focussing only on batting as well as she can to help the team notch up a good first-innings score.

“Not thinking about triple figure at the moment, the team needs me to bat well and in the process If I get one… I am just watching the ball and reacting.”

Mandhana is relishing being part of a multi-format tour of a tough cricket-playing nation such as Australia.

“I am loving this multi format series, go and bat with few slips and gully so you have to apply yourself, that really tests you.. You have to focus .. switch on and switch off,” she said.

“Test cricket is always about different challenges and we would always want to play as may Tests as possible.”

Hosts Australia decided to put India in to bat after winning the toss but did not enjoy a good start to the game.

“They bowled slightly short in the first 15 overs but made up in the latter stages.
We are used to batting first now but with the kind of wicket it looked like we also would have batted first. But, looking at the scoreboard now, we are happy to bat first.

“The openers have to step up and provide a good base whenever this kind of conditions come up,” Mandhana said.

A strong player on the back foot, Mandhana said batting on matting wickets in her early days contributed to it.

“I think with India being so vast we have different ways of growing up. I played a lot of cricket on matting till I was 15, it bounces a lot more on that.”

She lavished praise on her younger opening partner Shafali Verma (31), with whom Mandhana put on 93 runs for the first wicket.

“In England we had 150-odd run partnership. We just try and back each other, we have good conversations. She was really batting well on this wicket.”

Mandhana seemed to have slowed down in the latter stages of the day but that had nothing to do with the breaks brought on by lightning and rain.

“It was more to do with the field placements and not breaks.”

Australia skipper Meg Lanning admitted that her team could not make most of the conditions.

“I think we bowled a touch too short and allowed them to play a bit more on the back foot. We took a while to adjust to the conditions. We have got a good plan heading into tomorrow and just got to execute them,” Lanning said.

She praised Mandhana for showing “excellent temperament while hitting the bad balls and defending the good ones”.

“She has played extremely well so far, showed how to adapt to this format. But we feel we are still in the game.”

‘Where’s my baby?’: Kareena Kapoor poses with son Jeh’s empty high chair during vacation

Kareena Kapoor Khan is on her birthday vacation with her husband Saif Ali Khan and children Taimur Ali Khan and Jeh Ali Khan. The actor is playing her social media game well and has been sharing sneak peeks from her relax time by the beach. But, we do miss the photos of Jeh, Taimur, and Saif.

On Friday morning, Kareena shared a selfie from her breakfast table. Jeh’s high chair is seen next to her as the actor asks, “Where is my baby?”

On Thursday night too, Kareena posted a selfie with a ‘Sweet Dreams’ sticker.

See latest photos from Kareena Kapoor’s family vacation:

Kareena has not disclosed the location on the family vacation. The Pataudis were in the Maldives just a few weeks back to celebrate Saif Ali Khan’s 51st birthday.

Kareena will turn 41 on September 21 and was spotted with her two sons, Taimur and Jeh, and husband Saif at the Mumbai airport on Wednesday. The actor returned to the sets of Laal Singh Chaddha with Aamir Khan a few days earlier. The film is supposed to release later this year.

After Rajinikanth and Akshay Kumar, Into The Wild With Bear Grylls’ next guest is Ajay Devgn

After special episodes of Into The Wild With Bear Grylls featuring Tamil superstar Rajinikanth and Bollywood’s Akshay Kumar, Discovery has roped in Ajay Devgn for an upcoming episode.

Into The Wild With Bear Grylls is a survival skills reality show that involves Indian celebrities venturing into the wilderness with the famous British survivalist and adventurer. It is similar to Grylls’ other, international show for NBC and National Geographic called Running Wild with Bear Grylls, that has hosted actors Channing Tatum, Ben Stiller, and Michelle Rodriguez, and former US president Barack Obama.

Grylls has hosted PM Narendra Modi as well in a special called Man vs Wild with Bear Grylls and PM Modi in 2019.

Major fire at plywood godown in Kolkata

A major fire broke out at a plywood godown in north Kolkata’s Nimtala Ghat Street area around 7.45 am on Friday. No loss of lives was reported.

Six fire tenders were initially deployed to douse the blaze, and later 10 more were dispatched, said officials, since the godown is located in a congested area and people rushed out of their homes fearing that the fire would spread quickly. According to officials, in the area, there are more than 300 plyboard godowns and warehouses that store wooden materials.

Both Fire Minister Sujit Bose, and Women and Child Development Minister Shashi Panja, the local MLA, visited the spot in the morning. Bose dismissed allegations that it took time to douse the blaze. He said the fire was brought under control with 16 engines in just two hours.

The amount of loss has not yet been ascertained. “The cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained,” said Panja.

Sai Dharam Tej hospitalised after bike accident, Jr NTR wishes ‘speedy recovery’

Actor Sai Dharam Tej met with a bike accident on Friday evening in Hyderabad. The actor, who was admitted to Medicare Hospital, was later shifted to Jubilee Hills Apollo Hospital for treatment. He is currently out of danger. As per a statement from the hospital, Dharam Tej has no major injuries to brain, spine, and vital organs. However, he has sustained soft tissues injuries and a collar bone fracture.

“He is being closely monitored and further evaluation will be done over the next 24 hours. There is no need for any immediate surgical intervention,” an official statement from the hospital read. The news of his accident was shared by actor Chiranjeevi, who also shared the hospital statement to inform Sai Dharam Tej’s fans that he is doing absolutely fine.

“@IamSaiDharamTej met with an accident few hours ago & has suffered minor injuries & bruises. Wish to share with All Fans & Well Wishers that There is absolutely NO cause for Concern or Anxiety. He is recovering under expert medical supervision & shall be back in a couple of days,” the tweet read.

Dharam Tej’s family members were seen visiting him at the hospital. Pawan Kalyan, Pawan Tej and others were seen at the hospital. A fan shared Pawan Kalyan’s video from the hospital in which he can be heard sharing that currently, Sai Dharam Tej is unconscious and under observation.

In a video being shared on Twitter, Allu Arvind shared that the actor is out of danger and will come to consciousness soon.

Producer Sreenivasa Kumar also tweeted a video of an inspector sharing details of how the accident took place. “Sai Dharam Tej’s bike skid due to mud on the road. He is out of danger and is currently receiving treatment,” police said.

As soon as the news of Sai Dharam Tej went viral, many of his friends tweeted wishing him a speedy recovery. Wild Dog actor Ali Reza tweeted, “Just got to know some unfortunate news about Sai Dharam Tej. Let’s pray for his speedy recocvery. Insha Allah.” Manoj Manchu is “glad” that Sai Dharam Tej is out of danger. “Mithrama #SaiDharamTej We all are glad u r out of danger. recover fast mithrama … love you,” the tweet read. Jr NTR tweeted, “Wishing you a speedy recovery brother.”

Sai Dharam Tej is Chiranjeevi and Pawan Kalyan’s nephew. The actor will next be seen in Republic.

Money Heist finds a fan in Ananya Panday: ‘I love Denver and Nairobi, would want to play Tokyo’

We know that Money Heist is a global phenomenon with a fan list comprising of celebrities from across the world. And while we continue to count the notable names, here’s another addition to it from the Bollywood fraternity – Ananya Panday. The actor seems to be up-to-date with the events of Netflix’s crime drama.

Money Heist, originally called La Casa De Papel in Spanish, recently released part one of its fifth and final season. The five-episodes not just received a thumping response from the audience, but also left people emotional with the shocking death of one of its most loved characters. Amid this emotional roller-coaster, Ananya picked her favourite characters from the show.

In the exclusive video, Ananya takes a fun quiz where she chooses Denver “because he’s super hot and I love his personality, his laugh.” Nairobi came a close second who Ananya believes is a very strong woman. While she would wish to play Tokyo, she’d conduct a heist in Goa. “I’d go on a bike like in Dhoom and all. It’d be cool.”

Money Heist 5 part one took off from the cliffhanger from its previous season. After being trapped inside the Bank of Spain for over a 100 hours and losing one of its most loved members – Nairobi, the gang in red jumpsuits is up in arms against the new enemy – the army.

Lead by Sagasta, a commander of the Special Forces of the Spanish Army and joined by Gandia, the soldiers unleash mayhem on the robbers who are all on their own after their main man, The Professor has been kept captive by Alicia Sierra. What follows is a lot of gunshots, bullets and an emotional goodbye.

Money Heist 5 will release its last set of five episodes in the second part, on December 3.