Mumbai: Sri Sri Ayurveda, promoted by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s Art of Living Foundation, has brought on board badminton player PV Sindhu as a brand ambassador for its Ojasvita range, kicking off the association with a new malt flavour in the marketplace. Sindhu’s engagement with Ojasvita will be for two years and Sindhu is expected to do everything that a regular brand endorser does, says Tej Katpitia, chief marketing officer of Sri Sri Ayurveda. This will include not only appearing in advertisements for the brand, but also promoting the product on the ground during special events and occasions. While Katpitia did not indicate the size of the deal, brand experts peg it at Rs 1.5-2 crore for two years. Sindhu’s asking price is estimated to be Rs 75 lakh-1 crore per endorsement per year, putting the Ojastivita endorsement in that bracket, experts said. This may, however, not be the end of the road for Sri Sri as far as celebrity endorsements go. In fact, it may only be the start. “We are not ruling out the possibility of more endorsements in the future depending on our marketing and product plans. At this stage, however, this is the association that we have with Sindhu. Ojasvita is a line of health food drinks from us and we wanted a face that could convey this effectively. Sindhu is an upcoming sportsperson and the fit we felt was perfect. She will able to communicate how effective this product is to the masses,” says Katpitia.
Indore: Ravichandran Ashwin claimed six New Zealand wickets in the first innings of the 3rd Test here on Monday giving yet another example of why he is rated as the best off-spinner in the world currently. By the time the third day ended, Ashwin had completed his 20th five-wicket haul to finish with 6/81 as New Zealand crumbled to 299 all-out, handing India a big 258-run first innings lead. When the stumps were drawn, India had added 18/0, extending their lead to 276 runs although they lost opener Gautam Gambhir who retired after injuring his right shoulder. Ashwin extended Ross Taylor's (0) wretched run of the tour. Playing for the turn, he ended up playing inside the line to edge a catch towards the first slip. Much was expected from Martin Guptill and he was delivering but was unlucky to be run out backing up after BJ Watling's straight drive deflected towards the stumps at the non-strikers end as Ashwin just about managed to get his fingers onto the ball. He scored 72. Luke Ronchi edged was also caught by Rahane at first slip off Ashwin for a duck. From 118/0, the Kiwi ship had sunk to 148/5. James Neesham and Watling attempted a resurrection and succeeded in pushing the score past 200 runs but then Ravindra Jadeja got into the act, ending the latter's 48-ball resistance. Neesham though went on to complete his fourth Test fifty but was a victim of a dubious lbw decision that ended his fluent 71-run knock which gave Ashwin his another five-wicket haul in Tests. And then he polished off the tail with the run out of Patel, in a similar manner to Guptill's and finally added the sixth with the scalp of Trent Boult with India deciding against enforcing the follow-on. Brief scores: India 18/0 and 557/5d lead New Zealand 299 (Guptill 72, Neehsam 71; Ashwin 6/81) by 276 runs.
Indore: India took strong hold of the third Test here against New Zealand after declaring their first innings at 557/5. India captain Virat Kohli scored a double century, his second in Tests and his deputy Ajinkya Rahane scored 188 runs to help India reach the massive total in the first innings. Kohli became the first India captain to score two double centuries in Test cricket. The two batsmen shared a 365-run stand for the fourth wicket, which is the fifth highest for any wicket for India. Kohli was finally dismissed when Jeetan Patel trapped him in front of the wickets for 211. Rahane was caught behind off Boult. Rohit Sharma scored his fifth half-century of the series before Kohli decided to declare. New Zealand survived the nine overs and were 28/0 at stumps.
Hyderabad: Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited, the corporate entity of Vizag Steel has roped in badminton champion and Rio silver medalist PV Sindhu as its brand ambassador. R Ramakrishnan, Director and Co-founder Baseline Ventures, said the deal will see Vizag Steel become the major partner of the athlete. The company will have its brand logo on Sindhu's playing jersey in international and domestic tournaments under the aegis of Badminton World Federation (BWF) and Badminton Association of India. Sindhu, currently amongst the top 10 ranked players in the world is the first Indian female athlete to win an Olympic silver medal at Rio. She is also the first athlete to win back-to-back medals at the World Badminton Championships. The endorsement is one of the many for Sindhu post her Olympics exploits. Speaking on the association, Sindhu said this is one of the many major brand associations that she had signed post Olympics. "Badminton calendar has expanded with at least three major international events happening every month and it is important to choose the right events to improve rankings and also avoid fatigue. An association from a trusted brand certainly helps me concentrate on my game and relieves me of all the off-court concerns," she said. P Madhusudan, CMD, RINL said, both Sindhu and Vizag Steel are priceless assets of India and this bond will make them famous far and wide and do the country proud.
Kolkata: New Zealand batting imploded in the final one hour of play on the fourth day of the second Test against India at Eden Gardens here to give India a comfortable 178-run win and in turn an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three Test series. The spin of Ravindra Jadeja and R Ashwin, in combination with the reverse swing of Mohammed Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar took out the last six New Zealand wickets for a meager 56 runs. The win is India's ninth series win over New Zealand on home soil and it puts India back on top as the No. 1 ICC Test team. The only fight shown was by Tom Latham (74), and once he went, it was just a matter of time before India winded things up. With this victory, India have reclaimed the No 1 spot in the ICC Test rankings. Points gained from victories in the Kanpur and Kolkata Tests saw Virat Kohli's team move past Pakistan and back to the top spot, which it had briefly held onto in August. India will hold onto the numero uno spot when the ICC announces its updated ratings, irrespective of how the Indore Test pans out. India had moved back to No 1 during the Test matches in the West Indies, but slipped down to second following the conclusion of the drawn Pakistan v England series. Going into the India v New Zealand series, Kohli's team was one point behind Pakistan. By beating New Zealand in their 500th Test match, India moved to Kolkata needing to win to reclaim the top spot in the ICC rankings. Pakistan are now at second place, followed by Australia, England, South Africa, New Zealand, West Indies, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. Over the next month, each Test team is involved in a series. Pakistan host West Indies for three Tests in the UAE starting October 13; England play two matches in Bangladesh this month; Sri Lanka play two in Zimbabwe, also in October; and the three-Test Australia v South Africa series starts November 7. After New Zealand leave, England arrive in India for a series featuring five Test matches starting November 9. The third India v New Zealand Test match starts on Friday in Indore. Brief scores: India (316 and 263) beat New Zealand (204 and 197) by 178 runs.
Kanpur: A six wicket haul by R Ashwin propelled India to a massive win in its 500th Test on Monday, giving the host team a 1-0 leg up in the three Test series against New Zealand. New Zealand had six wickets in hand when they started out on the final day of the test, needing 341 runs to close the deal. After reducing the Kiwis to 205-7 at lunch, India claimed the three remaining wickets to clinch the opening Test on the fifth day here. Ravindra Jadeja is the Man of the Match, while Ashwin bagged a total of 10 wickets in both innings, becoming the fastest Indian to scalp 200 wickets. Earlier, paceman Mohammed Shami struck twice after Luke Ronchi gifted away his wicket, reducing New Zealand to 205 for seven at lunch on the fifth day, on Monday. Overnight Kiwi batsmen Ronchi (80) and Mitchell Santner (71) frustrated the Indian bowlers for about 20 overs, adding 65 runs to their overnight total of 93-4 before India struck thrice to position themselves for a massive win in their 500th cricket Test. It was Ronchi, who handed India the opening when he went for a sweep slog against Jadeja and handed a top-edge to Aswhin. The mistake ended his 102-run stand with Santner, who scored his maiden Test fifty. Santner remained solid from one end and defied the Indian bowlers for the next 10 overs with BJ Watling. Together they were involved in a 36-run stand, which was broken by Shami when he trapped the wicket-keeper batsman. In his next over, Shami breached the defence of Mark Craig, who has been ruled out of the series due to a side strain. The two wickets in successive overs, pegged New Zealand back.
Kanpur: In his short Test career, Ravichandran Ashwin has impressed one and all with both bat and ball. On Sunday, the off-spinner achieved yet another milestone when he dismissed New Zealand captain Kane Williamson for his 200th Test wicket - the second fastest ever and the quickest Indian to do so. Ashwin is the second fastest in the world behind Australian Clarrie Grimmett (36 matches). Chasing a daunting 434 to win the first Test that's underway in Kanpur on Day 4, Ashwin got rid of both the New Zealand openers Martin Guptill and Tom Latham in one over. And then just when it looked the visitors were on the road to recovery, the 30-year-old gave them a body blow, trapping their talismanic skipper Williamson for 25 which left them reeling at 43/3. Ashwin is the ninth Indian bowler to record 200 in Tests and also the ninth highest wicket-taker for the country in a list led by current coach Anil Kumble (619). New Zealand were 93/4 at stumps in their second innings on day four after India declared their second innings at 377 for five. New Zealand need another 341 runs with six wickets remaining.
Danang (Vietnam): Japan's Aichi prefecture and its capital city Nagoya were confirmed as co-hosts of the 2026 Asian Games today, adding yet another major event to the country's bulging international sports calendar. The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) formally endorsed the bid after Aichi Prefecture governor Hideaki Ohumra and Nagoya city mayor Takashi Kawamura presented their joint offering to the OCA General Assembly in Danang, which is currently hosting the fifth Asian Beach Games. The OCA had originally planned to choose the 2026 Asian Games host in 2018 but brought the vote forward to provide some stability to the region's crammed sporting calendar which includes three Olympic events over the next eight years. South Korea is already hosting the Winter Olympics at Pyeonchang in 2018, while Tokyo hosts the 2020 Summer Olympics before the winter games go to Beijing in 2022. Held every four years, the 2018 Asian Games have already been awarded to the Indonesian cities of Jakarta and Palembang while the 2022 edition will be held in the Chinese city of Hangzhou. Tokyo is also hosting the next Olympic games in 2020 while Japan will stage the Rugby World Cup in 2019, the Asian Winter Games in 2017 and the world swimming championships in 2021. Japan has hosted the Asian Games twice before, at Tokyo in 1958 and Hiroshima in 1994, and the awarding of the 20th edition in 2026 is the latest in a series of major sporting events heading to the country over the next decade.
Kanpur: The spin duo of Ravindra Jadeja and R Ashwin exploited a turning track to the fullest to bundle out New Zealand for 262 as India took firm control of the first cricket Test by extending their overall lead to 215 here on Saturday. Jadeja (5/73) dismissed three batsmen in one over for a five-wicket haul while R Ashwin (4/93) grabbed four wickets as the Indians spun out New Zealand early into the second session. At draw of stumps, India were 159/1 in their second innings which gave them an overall lead of 215. India lost KL Rahul (38) before Murali Vijay (64) and Cheteshwar Pujara (50) scored briskly to put the hosts in command. New Zealand had started the day at a strong 152 for one but lost four wickets in the morning session. Their last five batsmen were dismissed for just 24 runs in the second session as Indian spinners ruled the roost. While the Kiwis struggled to negotiate spin on a deteriorating track, the Indians were hardly troubled in their second innings with Pujara and Vijay going for their shots. The Kiwi bowlers toiled without success post tea as Vijay and Pujara raised an unbeaten 107-run stand for the second wicket, scoring all these runs in the last session.
New York: World No. 3 Stan Wawrinka managed to wear down No. 1 ranked Serb Novak Djokovic and beat the defending champion 6-7 (1), 6-4, 7-5, 6-3 on Sunday for his first US Open title and third Grand Slam trophy overall. The 31-year-old Wawrinka from Switzerland is the oldest US Open men’s champion since Ken Rosewall was 35 in 1970, and entered Sunday having spent almost exactly twice as much time on court as Djokovic during the course of the tournament- about 18 hours vs. about 9 hours. By breaking in the final game of the second and third sets, and by saving 14 of 17 break points he faced, Wawrinka already had gained the upper hand by the time Djokovic clutched at his left leg and grimaced after missing a forehand while getting broken early in the fourth. Djokovic was granted the unusual chance to have a medical timeout at a time other than a changeover. He removed both shoes and socks so a trainer could help with toe blisters. Wawrinka complained about the 6—minute break, and Djokovic looked over and apologized. Later, Djokovic started limping and received more treatment. Wawrinka has won only five of his 24 career meetings against Djokovic, but has now beaten the 12—time major champion on the way to each of his own Grand Slam titles, including in the 2014 Australian Open quarterfinals and 2015 French Open final. And he did it Sunday by coming back against Djokovic, whose French Open title in June completed a career Grand Slam and made him only the third man and first in nearly a half-century to win four consecutive major tournaments. Think about this- Wawrinka nearly was gone before the end of the US Open’s first week. He was one point from losing in the third round against 64-ranked Dan Evans, but eventually won in five sets. So Sunday’s victory made Wawrinka the first man to win the US Open after saving a match point since yes, that’s right Djokovic in 2011.