The Rajkot Test was filled with tough lessons for India. But a draw was secured, and the team moves on to Visakhapatnam, its picture postcard beaches and possibly turning pitches.At the most recent international match played at the venue, Amit Mishra picked up five wickets and New Zealand were bowled out for 79 after having been 63 for 2. Before the start of that ODI, the host broadcasters pitch report suggested it would be a belter. Fifty or so overs in, it was turning from one corner to the other.Indias bowlers may not mind a similar setting come Thursday. They tend to work better when theres something in it for them, much the way children are far more inclined to do their chores when they get extra dessert at dinner. Work needs incentive and, often, it is in the form of chocolate cake.They werent too bad in Rajkot. In fact, Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami were able to find reverse swing when it looked like none of Englands bowlers could. They created chances with the new ball on the first day but were let down by their fielders. R Ashwin, often the big brother pulling this bowling attack out of trouble, crafted two fine wickets to redress the dropped catches but from there on; from the second session of the Test, India slowly lost their way.It raised a familiar question. Can Indias bowlers be effective on a good pitch?Its a difficult proposition because the window of opportunity you have is quite small. Say the first half hour when you can expect some sideways movement. Making the batsman play as much as possible in this period is vital. So too is attacking each ones weaknesses. For example, India rarely tried to bounce Moeen Ali when they themselves had success with the ploy before. England were very keen to test Cheteshwar Pujara with the short ball.The other thing when dealing with stubborn pitches is having a clear plan and sticking to it. When the batsman knows there is no seam or swing or spin, when he can trust the pace and bounce, it is only the bowlers discipline that creates doubt: keeping the ball outside off stump if he is susceptible to nicking off, getting closer if he tends to get bowled or lbw. Be boring. Be repetitive. Play on his ego. Induce the mistake. Savour the triumph.India were lacking in this regard. At times, it seemed like they didnt have an idea of what they wanted to do. They were hoping for wickets rather than pushing for them. They were hoping to keep the runs down rather than devising ways to find wickets. They had an in-out field on the second morning in Rajkot. Yet, they conceded 21 boundaries in a single session. This spell of play forced India so far back in the match that it required their five batsmen to bat at their peak not once but twice to save it. Could they have done so had they conceded 537 runs in the first innings away from home? Losing the toss was a mitigating factor, a sizeable one. It meant India had to bowl when the pitch was at its most docile. England too conceded a total of 488. But they made the batsmen take a lot longer to get there. Chris Woakes took the pitch out of the equation with his pace. Stuart Broad was skillful enough to repeatedly hit a crack, which ran length-wise down the pitch, to see if it could give him some natural variation.There are ways to overcome a stubborn pitch. The margin of error is small and it often takes an exceptional effort to succeed but there are ways.Harking back to the Eden Gardens where India clinched the No. 1 Test ranking, Virat Kohli was noticeably chipper. He had won the Test mace a year into full-time captaincy, he had another series victory on his record and the signs pointed to dominance over the entire home season in 2016-17. But the reasons for his happiness were none of those things. The batsmen did well on a seamer-friendly surface. 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RIO DE JANEIRO -- Osea Kolinisau and his world champion Fijians face enormous expectations in the Olympic rugby sevens semifinals.They will face a Japanese team that itself has already far exceeded expectations by reaching the medal rounds.Kolinisau scored a crucial try in Fijis 12-7 win over New Zealand on Wednesday in a quarterfinal match between the two teams widely expected to be playing for gold.Japan played a remarkable role in the tumultuous pool stage that had New Zealand on the verge of failing even to reach the playoffs in rugbys return to the Olympics after 92 years.The upheaval started with Japans stunning 14-12 win over the New Zealanders on Day 1, a result etched in history as the biggest upset in rugby sevens. The Japanese followed that up with a narrow 21-19 loss to Britain and win on Wednesday over Kenya before a 12-7 quarterfinal win over France.No. 2-ranked South Africa had a more conventional run, and overturning an earlier loss to Australia in a 22-5 quarterfinal win to set up a semifinal match against Britain, which needed a try in golden-point extra time from Dan Bibby to edge Argentina 5-0.It leaves the Fijians as favorites to win their countrys first Olympic medal. Kolinisau knows that only one color will satisfy Fiji, where rugby sevens is the national sport.The public back home is a crazy rugby nation, Kolinisau said. Every time the Fiji team comes out, they always expect a win. Weve been under the pump a lot the last few years.We need to treat Rio like the (world) series, not let the Olympics get into our heads.Fiji and Britain are the only unbeaten teams in the tournament. The Fijians haad wins over Brazil and Argentina on the opening day and held off the United States 24-19 in the last of the pool-stage games when quarterfinal positions were still at stake.ddddddddddddWeve got one aim and thats to win gold medal, not silver or bronze, Fiji coach Ben Ryan said. Sometimes its dangerous to set out outcome goals as a coach.But were No. 1 in the world. Were not trying to be arrogant, were saying this is what we want. Silver will be a disappointment as bronze and fourth place.Auckland-born Lomano Lemeki played a pivotal role in Japans run to the semifinals, and said hed probably be the most unpopular Kiwi in the world after playing a part in New Zealands early exit. It doesnt worry him at all, though, given the attention the Japan team is getting for its performance in Rio.Its pretty crazy. Weve been told weve got to turn our phones off between games, he said. I think rugbys starting to get bigger than soccer over there.Japan produced the biggest upset ever at last years Rugby World Cup with a win over South Africa in the group stage in the marquee tournament for the 15-a-side game. Lemeki said that victory helped inspire the team, but he didnt realize just how much.I thought wed come here, win a few games, give it a good go. I thought wed be lucky to make the quarters, let alone the semis, he said. So I dont know whats happened here.Lemeki said all the pressure was now on Fiji, and the Japanese team would play with freedom because every game after the group stage was a bonus. Wholesale Throwback Jerseys Cheap Jerseys Throwback Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys NFL China Cheap NFL Jerseys Outlet Jerseys NFL Cheap Stitched NFL Jerseys ' ' '