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ICC Test rankings: Virat Kohli reclaims no.1 spot from Steve Smith

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Dubai: India skipper Virat Kohli is back at the top of the batsmen’s list in the ICC Rankings for Test batsmen as Australia’s Steve Smith slipped behind him in the latest update released on Wednesday.

Kohli, who had struck a fine 136 in the Day-Night Kolkata Test against Bangladesh last week to reach 928 points, is now five points clear as Smith’s knock of 36 in the Adelaide Test against Pakistan saw him slip to 923 points from 931 before the match.

The other Indian batsman in top 10 is Ajinkya Rahane at the sixth spot. Meanwhile, opener Mayank Agarwal has moved out of the top 10.

Australia opener David Warner’s epic 335 not out has lifted him 12 places to the fifth position while Marnus Labuschagne is in the top 10 for the first time after being ranked as low as 110th at the start of the year.

Pakistan middle-order batsman Babar Azam has moved up two places to 13th, thanks to his fighting knock of 97 in the first innings, while left-handed opener Shan Masood has gained 10 places to reach a career-best 47th position after striking 68 in the second innings.

England captain Joe Root is back in the top 10 after spending a week outside it, his innings of 226 pulling him up to seventh from 11th. Rory Burns’s second Test century has pushed him into the top 40 for the first time.

For New Zealand, Ross Taylor has gained two places to reach 16th among batsmen and Tim Southee has moved up one place to 13th among bowlers.

In the bowlers’ ranking, fast bowler Mitchell Starc has moved up four places to 14th after grabbing seven wickets in the Adelaide Test.

Left-arm Pakistan fast bowler Shaheen Afridi, one of the stars of the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2018, has moved up 13 places to 49th among bowlers.

West Indies captain Jason Holder’s five wickets have helped him move up one slot to third place with a career-best 830 rating points and he has also consolidated his position at the top of the all-rounders’ list.

Off-spinner Rahkeem Cornwall has broken into the top 50 with a 10-wicket haul while centurion Shamarh Brooks has risen 68 places to 62nd.

National

Choose wisely – go organic this Holi

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With Holi -the festival of colours coming up — everyone is busy buying colours, ‘pichkaris’, and balloons but with increasing environment pollution and severe allergic reactions to synthetic colours, there is a growing awareness among people to opt for organic variants.

“In an approximately Rs 4,500-crore unorganised Holi colour market, the share of the organic variety is miniscule, but growing,” said Madhumita Puri, Founder and Executive Director of Avacayam Naturals, a Delhi-based manufacturer of organic colours.

The adverse effects of synthetic colours was observed in a study titled ‘The Holi Dermatoses’, published in the Indian Journal of Dermatology.
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It found a spate in skin diseases following the spring festival in India.

In the study conducted on 42 patients in Kolkata, 11 patients suffered due to activities related to preparation of colors and 12 reported aggravation of pre-existing dermatoses.

Nearly 60 per cent patients reported itching, while others reported to have suffered from a burning sensation, scaling, redness and watering of the eyes, as per the study.

Treading on a eco-friendly and skin-friendly path, Avacayam Naturals employed differently-abled persons to make organic colours by using waste and used flowers and leaves.

This solves three purposes at one go – generates employment for the disabled, manufactures harmless eco-friendly colours, and there is optimal usage of waste flowers.

Speaking to IANS, Puri said: “For making the colours, we collect used flowers — roses, marigolds, and others — and leaves from temples, weddings, and hotels.”

Avacayam Naturals, one of the programs that Puri started under her “Trash to Cash” scheme, makes four colours: Pink from roses, yellow from yellow marigolds, orange from orange marigolds, and green from leaves.

On being asked if the colours are harmless, she said: “Rather than damaging the environment, they are beneficial as each packet of colour is made from waste flowers which otherwise would dirty the place.”

How are the colours made?
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“After the flowers are collected, the workers sort them in different baskets according to their colour. Then, the petals and seed pods are separated and cut. These are then spread out to dry in a well ventilated space for all the moisture to evaporate.

“After that, they are ground and processed — without adding any chemicals — to be made into colours for people to enjoy,” Puri said, adding that the process of collection, drying, and grinding continues throughout the year but it is only before festivals that they process them into the final product.

“In a year, we manufacture around 20 tonne of pure organic colour, some of which is sold to Walmart India. One kilo of colour is sold between Rs 600 and Rs 1,000.”

When asked about the expiry date of these colours, Puri said: “The product is a dry one and completely natural. We have been testing them since five years now and have not found any deterioration in the quality, fungal infestations, or weevils. So there is no ‘expiry date’ to them.”

Another such manufacturer is Jaipur-based Red Earth which makes colours “exclusively from edible materials and scent them with pure, traditional attars”.

Speaking to IANS, Himanshu Verma, Director-Owner of Red Earth, said: “Every 2-3 years, we change our colour palette… this year we have four colours — Sunahra Dhamaal, Shvet Abeer, Neem Sanrachna, and Gulabi Nagariya — that are inspired by local materials.”

“The colours are curated on the basis of availability of local materials. We use items like camphor, neem, mehendi, multani-mitti, geru powder, arrowroot, flour, and others,” Verma said, adding that 50-60 per cent materials used are edible so that even if someone ingests them by mistake, they will not be as harmful.

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