indian cricket

Second India-Sri Lanka Twenty20: Hardik Pandya repays skipper MS Dhoni’s faith

Pushed up the order, the 22-year old from Baroda played a vital knock to ensure Sri Lanka were chasing a massive total.

Sixty nine runs does not seem an awful lot, but in Twenty20 cricket, it is as comprehensive a victory as they come. Shocked by the upstarts on a seaming pitch in Pune on Tuesday, India’s power-hitters got their revenge in Ranchi in Friday on a track more to their liking. It was a dominating performance – India were hardly troubled for large sections of the match and their 69-run victory is their third highest margin of victory in all Twenty20 Internationals they have played.

The win followed a similar script as the ones in Australia with all of India’s big names coming to the party. Shikhar Dhawan hit a half-century, Rohit Sharma finished seven runs short of one and Ravichandran Ashwin floored Sri Lanka, returning figures of just 3/14 in his four overs. But captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni will probably get more pleasure out of another player’s performance – youngster Hardik Pandya who was sent up the order and repaid the captain’s confidence with a sparkling 12-ball 27.

Dhoni’s double whammy

It was a typical Dhoni double whammy. During the series in Australia, Dhoni had quite categorically stated that he was not in favour of shuffling the batting line-up, even going on record to say that “[The] experiment word is never there with the Indian team.” Yet on his home ground with thousands baying for him to come in and bat, Dhoni made an unusual move – he promoted Hardik Pandya up the order ahead of both Yuvraj Singh and himself, a move which ultimately paid rich dividends.

Pandya has been in the team for a while now but has hardly got a chance to have a meaningful knock. But thanks to Dhoni’s punt today, the 22-year old Baroda boy finally got his chance. India had got off to a good start, but after the dismissals of the two openers, things had slowed down a bit. Sri Lanka seemed to be employing the middle-over squeeze on India and someone needed to hit out.

Shift of momentum

Pandya played the role perfectly. He immediately injected urgency to proceedings, running hard with Suresh Raina at the other end and converting singles into twos. At a critical juncture at the match when it seemed Sri Lanka might be able to tie India down to a 170 plus score, Pandya slammed two massive sixes to shift the momentum. He may have finished with only 27 but his knock was far more important in the grander scheme of the match.

All-rounders are a vital commodity in cricket which may be the reason why the selectors fast-tracked Pandya into the team, with an eye on the upcoming World Twenty20. But whatever doubt there was about his capabilities should be erased now. Pandya adds a vital finishing link to the Indian squad – a multi-faceted all-rounder who can bowl and can finish off games with power hitting. Twenty20 may be chaotic but India may have found a formula to excel amidst the madness.

Second Twenty20: India (196/6 in 20 overs) beat Sri Lanka (127/9 in 20 overs) by 69 runs.

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Young Indians now like their traditional food with a twist

Indian food with international influences is here to stay.

With twenty-nine states and over 50 ethnic groups, India’s diversity is mind-boggling to most foreigners. This diversity manifests itself across areas from clothing to art and especially to food. With globalisation, growth of international travel and availability of international ingredients, the culinary diversity of India has become progressively richer.

New trends in food are continuously introduced to the Indian palate and are mainly driven by the demands of generation Y. Take the example of schezwan idlis and dosas. These traditional South Indian snacks have been completely transformed by simply adding schezwan sauce to them – creating a dish that is distinctly Indian, but with an international twist. We also have the traditional thepla transformed into thepla tacos – combining the culinary flavours of India and Mexico! And cous cous and quinoa upma – where niche global ingredients are being used to recreate a beloved local dish. Millennials want a true fusion of foreign flavours and ingredients with Indian dishes to create something both Indian and international.

So, what is driving these changes? Is it just the growing need for versatility in the culinary experiences of millennials? Or is it greater exposure to varied cultures and their food habits? It’s a mix of both. Research points to the rising trend to seek out new cuisines that are not only healthy, but are also different and inspired by international flavours.

The global food trend of ‘deconstruction’ where a food item is broken down into its component flavours and then reconstructed using completely different ingredients is also catching on for Indian food. Restaurants like Masala Library (Mumbai), Farzi Café (Delhi, Mumbai and Bengaluru) and Pink Poppadum (Bengaluru) are pushing the boundaries of what traditional Indian food means. Things like a kulcha pizza, dal chaawal cutlet and chutney foam are no longer inconceivable. Food outlets that stock exotic ingredients and brands that sell traditional Indian packaged snacks in entirely new flavours are also becoming more common across cities.

When it comes to the flavours themselves, some have been embraced more than others. Schezwan sauce, as we’ve mentioned, is now so popular that it is sometimes even served with traditional chakna at Indian bars. Our fascination with the spicy red sauce is however slowly being challenged by other flavours. Wasabi introduced to Indian foodies in Japanese restaurants has become a hit among spice loving Indians with its unique kick. Peri Peri, known both for its heat and tanginess, on the other hand was popularised by the famous UK chain Nandos. And finally, there is the barbeque flavour – the condiment has been a big part of India’s love for American fast food.

Another Indian snack that has been infused with international flavours is the beloved aloo bhujia. While the traditional gram-flour bhujia was first produced in 1877 in the princely state of Bikaner in Rajasthan, aloo bhujia came into existence once manufacturers started experimenting with different flavours. Future Consumer Limited’s leading food brand Tasty Treat continues to experiment with the standard aloo bhujia to cater to the evolving consumer tastes. Keeping the popularity of international flavours in mind, Tasty Treat’s has come up with a range of Firangi Bhujia, an infusion of traditional aloo bhujia with four of the most craved international flavours – Wasabi, Peri Peri, Barbeque and Schezwan.

Tasty Treat’s range of Firangi Bhujia has increased the versatility of the traditional aloo bhujia. Many foodies are already trying out different ways to use it as a condiment to give their favourite dish an extra kick. Archana’s Kitchen recommends pairing the schezwan flavoured Firangi Bhujia with manchow soup to add some crunch. Kalyan Karmakar sprinkled the peri peri flavoured Firangi Bhujia over freshly made poha to give a unique taste to a regular breakfast item. Many others have picked a favourite amongst the four flavours, some admiring the smoky flavour of barbeque Firangi Bhujia and some enjoying the fiery taste of the peri peri flavour.

Be it the kick of wasabi in the crunch of bhujia, a bhujia sandwich with peri peri zing, maska pav spiced with schezwan bhujia or barbeque bhujia with a refreshing cold beverage - the new range of Firangi Bhujia manages to balance the novelty of exotic flavours with the familiarity of tradition. To try out Tasty Treat’s Firangi Bhujia, find a store near you.

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This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Tasty Treat and not by the Scroll editorial team.