A welcome change

Sportstar is always an incentive to sports persons as it encourages those who have the potential of entering the limelight - P. T. Usha is a case in point.

Sir, — Congratulations for reinventing Sportstar. It is a great surprise to see it in its new avatar sporting a different look that is both glossy and in sync with modern trends. We are able to navigate and read the articles easily. It is a good idea to have the poster as just another page instead of making it available in the `folded' form as was the case earlier. The tabloid is so handy that I am able to fold it and carry it easily. My suggestion is to feature all the pages in the index section inside the tabloid. The index should also indicate the page numbers for `Letters To The Editor' and `Sports Quiz' sections. My cheers once again to your staff and Mr. Garcia for efficiently carrying out a change that is sure to increase the popularity of Sportstar.

P. Krishna, Chennai * * * Always an incentive

Sir, — I have been an ardent reader of The Sportstar since its inception, and of Sport & Pastime before it. When I purchased the first copy of the Sport & Pastime, there was a beeline of eager hostel mates to my room to have a perusal of it.

I am sure The Hindu will not entertain such radical changes unless it is confident that it will benefit the readers. The impact of the changes will be felt only after the release of some issues.

Among the salient features enumerated, `better aesthetics' and `quicker to the market' will definitely enhance its value.

The lowering of the price is a boon and is sure to increase the number of readers. The larger photos promised will have better clarity and will have a happy impression on the onlooker.

Sportstar is always an incentive to sports persons as it encourages those who have the potential of entering the limelight — P. T. Usha is a case in point.

V. Ramamurthi, Tiruchi * * * Two suggestions

Sir, — The new-look Sportstar left me baffled. It would take me sometime to accept Sportstar as a tabloid though you have preserved the core values and tradition. I have been a reader for 15 years. The inclusion of `Then & Now' is informative. I have two suggestions — the colouring of the keywords of the synopsis must be extended to the author's name and the definite article `The' before Sportstar must be restored.

The first-wicket partnership of 410 runs between Virender Sehwag and captain Rahul Dravid is a marvellous feat. Pankaj Roy once said that the 413-run world record partnership (that he set with Vinoo Mankad 50 years ago in Chennai against New Zealand) would be difficult to conquer and it looks as if Roy's words might well come true. The current partnership came in a weather-affected match, which would normally disturb the concentration of the batsmen. Sehwag and Dravid batted with a high degree of concentration and perseverance. It may be disappointing that they missed the world record by a whisker but this is a historic partnership.

P. Kannan, Srivilliputtur (TN). * * * Progressive step

Sir, — How would one feel about visiting one's native place after many years? The emotions would be very much the same, yet the landscape refreshingly different. This, I surmise, would be the sentiment of many old Sportstar fans on seeing its new avatar.

While hoping that the columns of W. V. Raman & Gulu Ezekiel would reappear in the new avatar, I congratulate everyone in the Sportstar family for taking this pro-active and progressive step — all the more laudable when you consider the fact that the relaunch has been done with no competition visible in the horizon.

Suresh Manoharan, Hyderabad * * * Batting bores

Sir, — Pitch controversies apart, the Faisalabad Test produced spectacular individual performances. Mohammad Yousuf, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Shahid Afridi and Kamran Akmal were all at their belligerent best, battering the Indians with the bat. Younis Khan, with a second knock ending only a whisker away from a double hundred, made mincemeat of the Indian attack. No Indian bowler looked threatening other than Rudra Pratap Singh in patches. The wonderful batting of Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Irfan Pathan meant that Sourav Ganguly's place in the side was under pressure. But, Yuvraj Singh reverting to his infamous inconsistency must have given the former Indian skipper a ray of hope.

The Lahore Test also was a happy hunting ground for batsmen. Virender Sehwag and Rahul Dravid would have loved to get past the highest ever Test opening stand between Pankaj Roy and Vinoo Mankad but the `Nawab of Najafgarh' was in too much of a hurry. Weather permitting, Sehwag would have liked to challenge Brian Lara's world record of the highest score in a Test innings. Apart from the batting records, there was nothing in the match. Pitches need to have some scope for bowlers to perform as well. Sourav Ganguly, apart from spectacularly holding on to a catch, did not have much to do in the Lahore Test. This would have been the ideal opportunity for him to score heavily and regain some confidence, which would have eased the pressure on him.

Arjun Chaudhuri, Kolkata

Picture credits: Cover (Irfan Pathan): AFP; Poster (Anil Kumble): Getty Images.