The Odisha government has confirmed the presence of tigers in three more forests in the State.Movement of the Royal Bengal tigers has been captured by closed-circuit television cameras installed at the Hemgiri forest in Sundargarh and Debrigarh sanctuaries in Sambalpur districts, while indirect evidence such as people hearing tiger roars and cattle killing by big cats have been collected from the Muniguda forest in Rayagada district.These evidence have prompted Forest and Environment Minister Bijoyshree Routray to put the State’s tiger population at around 60.Increasing populationThe Similipal Tiger Reserve in Mayurbhanj and the Satokosia Tiger Reserve in Angul district are two known habitats of the big cat in the State. According to a tiger census conducted by the State government in 2016, there were around 40 tigers in Similipal. The Wildlife Institute of India had estimated the tiger population of Similipal at 28 in 2014.“We believe that the Sunabeda sanctuary in Nuapada district has four big cats. Neither movement of tigers has been captured on camera, nor has any formal tiger census been conducted there. Sunabeda has been a stronghold of the outlawed CPI(Maoist) because of which the tiger census at the sanctuary has been postponed in the past,” said Mr. Routray.More tiger reserves The Minister said sightings of tigers is a sign that a robust ecosystems exists in the State. The government is planning to propose identification and development of Debrigarh and Sunabeda as two new tiger reserves in the State.At present, the State government is focusing on increasing the tiger population in Satkosia reserve. As part of its strategy, six tigers (three pairs) were to be brought from Madhya Pradesh. Two felines have already been released in Satkosia, but resistance from local population in buffer villages has delayed the transportation and release of the other tigers.
Come September 22, India will reach a landmark in Test cricket – the oldest format of the game. India will become only the fourth nation in history to play 500 Test matches and will join the league of ‘extraordinary nations’ with Australia (791), England (976) and the West Indies (517). (Virat Kohli on course to leapfrog MS Dhoni, Sourav Ganguly as India’s most successful Test captain)Since playing in their first Test match in England in 1932, India went on to become one of the most feared teams across the world. In the span of 84 years, the Indian team has achieved the No.1 status in Test cricket, set numerous records, beaten every other team home and away, and has made cricket the most revered sport in the country.As Virat Kohli and Co. take on New Zealand in the landmark Test in Kanpur, we take a look at how India have fared in home and away in their road to 500 Test matches. (India will be too strong for New Zealand, says Brett Lee)While India have improved rapidly in every block of 100 Test matches, their performance in home and away show stark differences.1-100 TESTS: OFF TO A SLOW STARTIn 1-100 Tests, India have won 10, lost 40, drawn 50 with a winning percentage of 10 per cent. In 101-200 Tests, India won 25, lost 32 and drew 43, with a winning percentage of 25 per cent. In 201-300 Tests, there was a dip in their performance as they won 21, lost 26 and drew 52 and 1 match finished as a tie. The winning percentage was 21.advertisementWith the arrival of superstars Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly, VVS Laxman and Anil Kumble, India showed a massive improvement in the next block of 301-400. They won 32, lost 31 and drew 37, with a winning percentage of 32 per cent. (India eye top Test rank in the upcoming home series against New Zealand)That generation of cricketers, also known as the ‘Famous Five’, maintained their dominance throughout and took Indian cricket to greater heights. Later on, the team’s legacy was carried forward by a few other inspirational youngsters such as Virender Sehwag, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Harbhajan Singh and Ravichandran Ashwin and Virat Kohli, who led India to some of the most memorable Test victories both home and away.In the next block of 401-499 Test matches, India won a remarkable 41 matches, lost 28 and drew 30, with a win percentage of 41.41 and created a reputation of being a strong Test nation.But while India became a force to reckon with at home, they also have the reputation of faltering in unfavourable overseas conditions.India have played 248 Tests at home, winning 87 of them and losing on 51 occasions. A total of 109 Tests ended as draw and one match was a tie. The team’s overall win percentage at home comes to 35.08, which is a remarkable achievement.However, the numbers are not impressive when India went on overseas tours. (Virat Kohli, Ravichandran Ashwin key as India look to trounce New Zealand)In 251 away Tests, India won 42 matches, lost 106 while 103 matches ended as a draw, with win percentage of a lowly 16.73.Away wins have been sporadic and infrequent for India, contributing to the team’s poor record. With the gradual exit of the Big Four (Tendulkar, Dravid, Laxman and Ganguly), India found overseas success hard to come by.MORE SUCCESSFUL BUT OUTSIDE WOES CONTINUEIn the last 10 years, India have won only seven out of their 19 away Test series. India have lost their last three Test series in South Africa, lost both their last two series in England, and have suffered heavy defeats in their last two Test series in Australia.As India gear up for their long home season, including 13 Test matches, the hosts may end up winning most of them. However, their poor overseas performances might just take the sheen out of India’s spectacular record at home.