IPL qualifier 2: Delhi Capitals’ energy and Chennai Super Kings’ experience on collision course

CSK vs DC IPL 2019

Former aiming for their maiden final, while the Chennai side is a veteran of seven appearances in the summit clash

When the dust around Wednesday’s gripping IPL Eliminator finally settles, it is the Rishabh Pant show that will live on in the memory.

On a tacky, slow pitch, where other batsmen struggled for timing as the game wore on, Pant decided there was only one way he was going to approach the contest. It is this image that will define that see-saw encounter: of Pant walloping muscular sixes into the night sky.

There were some hairy moments at the close but Delhi Capitals eventually made it home: a first playoff win for the franchise after four failed attempts.

Little time to rest

Shreyas Iyer and his overjoyed lot have little time to rest before their next challenge — a meeting with Chennai Super Kings in Friday’s second qualifier at the ACA-VDCA Stadium here. Despite all its troubles against Mumbai Indians, and all of Delhi’s youthful energy, CSK cannot be seen to be the underdog here.

This is a team with three IPL wins and seven final appearances to its name, up against one aiming to reach its first final. There is something to be said for experience — edging knockout games is an art CSK has mastered.

M.S. Dhoni did not mince any words after Monday’s defeat. In familiar conditions, his seasoned top-order let the side down. Suresh Raina and Shane Watson played ill-advised shots against the spin on a slow turner, and CSK simply could not build any momentum.

“When you have experienced players in the side, that’s what you bank upon them [for],” Dhoni remarked, bluntly. “You’re not banking on them for extraordinary fielding.”

No alternative

CSK has persisted with Watson despite his poor form this season; it felt he had turned a corner with that 96 against SRH but he has made scores of 8, 0, 7 and 10 since. With Kedar Jadhav out injured, it would seem CSK has no alternative — outside of trying inexperienced homegrown batsmen — but to trust Watson.

At Chepauk, CSK’s spinners — Harbhajan Singh, Imran Tahir and Ravindra Jadeja — could not quite have the same impact on the game as their Mumbai counterparts, but they will be pleased with how the pitch here behaved in the Eliminator. There was turn on offer, and a total of 162 turned out to be hugely competitive.

“Obviously, Chennai have got good spinners: Jaddu bhai and Tahir bhai and Harbhajan sir are there; so we’ll plan for them,” said Prithvi Shaw. “Everyone understands how they’re bowling because they’ve faced them already, in two-three IPLs.”

Potent spin attack

Delhi has a potent spin attack of its own. Veteran Amit Mishra was superb against SRH (not in his running between the wickets, it must be pointed out), dismissing Martin Guptill en route to figures of one for 16 from four overs. Axar Patel has gone at a shade over seven runs an over this season, while there are options on the bench in Rahul Tewatia and Karnataka’s J. Suchith.

CSK has lost five of its last seven matches, the dominance of the early weeks now feeling like events from a distant past. But among the two games it did win during this trying phase was an 80-run rout of Delhi. Form can change in a heartbeat. With a place in the final, against Mumbai Indians, at stake, neither side can afford to relax.

2020 Volkswagen Passat Revealed . . . in Sketches and Tweets

Exciting though it may appear in these drawings and teasers, the new Passat is evolutionary, not revolutionary.

2020 Volkswagen Passat sketch

UPDATE 1/9/19: Volkswagen showed a bit more of the 2020 Passat on Twitter, giving a glimpse of its five-spoke wheel, Continental all-season tire, and wheel well. VW is also seemingly re-emphasizing its continued commitment to the sedan market. The updated Passat will officially make its debut next week at the Detroit auto show.


View image on Twitter

After letting us drive camouflaged prototypes of its new Passat sedan, Volkswagen has shown us the actual car ahead of its debut early next year. Unfortunately, we can’t share photos of it with you—yet. All we can show you are these manufacturer-provided sketches of the 2020 Passat, which, as you might expect of a designer’s artistic musings, aren’t wholly realistic.

2020 Volkswagen Passat sketch

The basic details are right, such as the headlight and grille designs, the thin taillights, and the elegantly structured roofline. Other aspects of these drawings are a bit fantastical. The production Passat’s wheels, for example, are about 50 percent smaller in relation to the body than those shown here, and the fenders don’t bulge out like a DTM racer’s. You can write off those quad exhaust outlets and gaping front intakes as pure fantasy, too; the intakes’ shapes carry over to the production model (at least the R-Line trim we saw), but they’re filled with dummy plastic mesh that is closed off.

2020 Volkswagen Passat sketch

Volkswagen has softened the outgoing Passat’s boxier elements, and the body sides are slightly less slablike than before. Overall, though, this 2020 iteration looks like its seven-year-old predecessor, if someone had asked the stylists to design it today. That reality matches up with the Passat’s hardware story: It uses the same platform, suspension design, engine, and transmission as before. As we found out after driving the prototypes, it is the same solid-driving if unexciting large sedan it has been for years.

Making up for the car’s evolutionary progression is a host of newly standard equipment. Base Passats will come standard with LED headlights, taillights, and running lights; 17-inch wheels; an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto; and forward-collision warning and blind-spot monitoring. Volkswagen promises that fancier gear such as adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, and a nicer audio system will be standard or available on lower trim levels than before. Full details, including pricing, final specifications, and fuel-economy estimates, are expected to land by the time the 2020 Passat is unveiled at the 2019 Detroit auto show in January.

10% reservation for economically weaker sections likely to face legal hurdle

So far, reservation under the Constitution is only given on the basis of social and educational backwardness, not economic backwardness.

reservation,economically weaker section,legal hurdle
The Narendra Modi government is ready with a Bill to introduce 10% reservation for economically backward sections. The constitution amendment bill will be introduced in parliament today, the last day of the Winter Session.(Reuters/File Photo)

The government’s move to carve out 10% reservation for economically weaker sections (EWS) is beset with legal complications and will likely be tested in the Supreme Court before it can become a reality, believe legal experts.

So far, reservation under the Constitution is only given on the basis of social and educational backwardness, not economic backwardness. The leading case on the issue is a nine-judge bench judgment of the Supreme Court in 1993, called the Indira Sawhney and others vs Union of India case.

The Sawhney judgment caps reservation at 50%, saying, ” Reservation being extreme form of protective measure or affirmative action it should be confined to minority of seats. Even though the Constitution does not lay down any specific bar but the constitutional philosophy being against proportional equality the principle of balancing equality ordains reservation, of any manner, not to exceed 50%”.

The judgment also shuns the idea of reservation on the basis of economic criteria.

Senior advocate Sanjay Hegde said the government proposal would not be able to stand judicial scrutiny. “The SC has already held 50% as the limit to reservation. You can’t amend the constitution beyond the basic structure and equality is part of the basic structure. Creating a fresh reservation in open field, you are violating these limitation on exercise of constitutional power”, said Hegde.

“In the past, reservation has been approved only when given for social and educational backwardness and none of them included economic criteria,” said senior advocate Jaideep Gupta.