FINALLY schools in Jammu and Kashmir have begun to bubble with children’s activities. There is an air of expectancy among children, teachers and parents that the year ahead would be peaceful and conducive for acquiring education. The children are keen to pursue their avowed goals and follow their dreams. The Government and security forces have made enough efforts and have taken steps that should lead normalcy of life to get entrenched so that people can begin to live their normal life. Reports from Jammu and Kashmir suggest that the students, after spending several months at home, are happy to be back to their classes. This shows the population in the troubled region is now feeling confident about the manner in which the Government has handled the situation after the special status was ended. So the days of apprehension, the days of terror stalking the streets of Jammu and Kashmir are over. The Government earlier had tried to reopen the schools but people had not gained full confidence and were apprehensive. Now the situation has changed.
FOR Virat Kohli’s men, the loss to hosts New Zealand in the first Test, should be a reality check. The ten-wicket loss comes in the wake of a clean sweep by the hosts earlier in the One-Day series. Hence this loss, a massive one, for a team which is at the top of the chart in world Test cricket, must rankle for two reasons; One, the team is not accustomed to such losses and two, the hosts have bounced back after receiving a sound 3-0 drubbing at the hands of Australia earlier. The loss also must rankle Virat Kohli and his men that they had began the tour with a 5-0 whitewash of the Kiwis in the 20Twenty series. It is likely that two factors must have contributed to this outcome: one, the absence of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan, the two prolific scorers for the team, and two, the loss of form of bowling spearhead Jaspreet Bumrah, coming into the tour after injury lay-off. There is also another factor that cannot be lost sight of -- the cricket board (BCCI) should ponder over whether players are getting overworked playing series after series.