Freelancers around the world are busy designing, creating, and building things. We love what you do so much that we’re going to dedicate a day of the week to it.Every Tuesday, we’ll pick a freelancer to highlight. From illustrators to writers, tax consultants to nurses, we want to share your great work.On our Facebook page, share links to your website or images of your work. We’ll feature our favorite on the next Tip o’ the Hat Tuesday.This week, our hats are off to brothers Adam and Ben Toht of The Saline Project for taking animated GIFs to the next level. Learn about their horror-themed, 3D lenticular GIFs and try not to get chills.Want to show off your work? Get yourself to Facebook and tell us what you do, and check back every #HatTipTuesday to see if you got a shout out.GIF via The Saline Project and Fast Company.
It’s Primary Day tomorrow, and many races for New York City public office are neck and neck. We hope you’re planning to vote! This is definitely a race where just one vote could make the difference.Not sure where to vote? Can’t remember if you registered? Here are answers to all the logistical questions about voting in New York.(So now you really don’t have any excuse not to vote. Right?)Find Your Polling PlaceVisit this website, put in your information, and it’ll tell you your polling place. It’s that easy.Are You Registered?Young voter? Just moved here? Need to change your address? Visit this website to see if you’re registered; if you’re not, you must register by October 11 in order to vote in the general election. Register to vote by mailing in this form.Learn About the CandidatesFreelancers Union has interviewed many of the candidates for NYC public office, so that we could let our members know which candidates will fight for freelancer issues in office. Check out the responses on our blog.If you want to see a full list of Democratic and Republican candidates for Mayor, Comptroller, Public Advocate, Borough President, and City Council, visit Decide NYC. They have a very thorough, neutral description of all the candidates.Freelancers Union has endorsed Dan Squadron for Public Advocate. Find out why we endorsed him here.We’ll see you at the polls tomorrow.Image source
Imagine starting a company without spending a cent on marketing, only to find that people wear your product name proudly on hip t-shirts, put your product’s label on their babies, and you have a worldwide fandom who loves you despite (or because of?) your efforts not to talk to anyone.This is the very unusual brand story of David Tran, the maker of Sriracha, a.k.a. Rooster Sauce.Along with solar panels and self-tanning products, hot sauce is one of the 10 fastest growing industries in America. Huy Fong, Tran’s company based in San Francisco, sells over $60 million worth of Sriracha hot sauce (that’s about 20 million bottles) each year.And if that isn’t enough sriracha love, the sauce was also the subject of a dedicated cartoon in The Oatmeal. Now that is fame.It’s highly unlikely our brands will ever achieve Sriracha status. But David Tran can teach entrepreneurs a thing or two about great products and great leadership.1. Love it.In an interview with Quartz, Tran said that his dream “was never to become a billionaire,” but just “to make enough fresh chili sauce so that everyone who wants Huy Fong can have it. Nothing more.”He loved sriracha hot sauce, a traditional hot sauce from Si Racha, Thailand. After being unable to find good hot sauce options, he decided to bring the recipe to the US and sell it to Asian immigrants like himself. Turns out immigrants weren’t the only ones who loved it.We’ve heard it again and again: passion makes good business. Acknowledging your customers’ passion and making the business about their passion makes great business.2. Let your fans do the talking.I’m sure you read that headline and said, “Ugh! If only I were successful enough that I didn’t HAVE to talk about it — but I do!”That is true. You do have to talk about it. But talking about your product or your freelance business selectively to key touchpoints; don’t expect that talking about it excessively on social media channels or putting postcards into peoples’ hands at networking events is going to win you a million fans. Social media and marketing is not always the solution.Sending pitch letters is almost always more effective than starting up a Twitter account just to talk about your business. Syndicating your blog posts with another blog you’ve developed a relationship with can be more effective than constantly sending them out to your same audience on Facebook.We live in an age when authenticity rules. As well it should. Millennials hate brands who try too much or talk too much, and love brands that feel “real,” built by real humans and operated by real humans and especially underappreciated, niche things, even ones with terrible websites and no Facebook page.“Brands are also seen as more authentic by this generation when they are simplistic in the process and ingredients they use,” Nicole Granese wrote in MediaPost. “Millennials especially have a desire for honesty and transparency; they value things that are as close to their real form as possible.” Tran’s sriracha fits the bill. If Millennials aren’t your current customers, they’ll be your future ones.3. Make great partnerships that align with your brand.Tran sources chilis only from one farm: Underwood Farms in Valencia, CA. He’s been sourcing his chilis from here for over 25 years. That farm grows 4,000 acres of red chilis for Sriracha.“From the time they’re picked to the time they’re grounded is about 6 hours,” Craig Underwood told CBS News last week. Tran wouldn’t have it any other way.Demand it outpacing production, and it would be easier (and probably cheaper) for Tran to get his chilis somewhere else. He doesn’t.Having reliable business partners that you can trust is essential when you start your own business. The two businesses support one another, and without Underwood’s chilis, Tran argues that his sriracha wouldn’t be as good.4. Don’t be afraid to go slow and start small.Tran started from nothing, mixing chilis on the streets of Los Angeles in barrels. He came to America from Vietnam as a refugee on a large Taiwanese ship — called “Huy Fong” (which became the name of his company). He built his company without any investors. He was very, very far from an overnight success. It has taken 33 years to get to the point where he is now.Start small. Start slow. Build up relationships over time. Ignore the bloggers and marketers telling you easy ways to get rich quick. Build a business out of real relationships and really good product. Builds brand authenticity and presence that will last.For freelancers, this is why many keep a full-time job before they make the leap into self-employment. Or have several small companies, slowly nurturing each without relying on just one to bring in all your income. Build relationships with other freelancers and other people just starting out.5. Give back.Give back to your customers. Feel grateful for every customer or client.In his interview with CBS News, he told the reporter, “I want to say thanks to the American people. They accept me when I [was a ] refugee. I try to do something to give back to the American people.”No matter how successful you are, I bet that if you carry this attitude of humility and appreciation for your customers, you will only see your business grow.Show your customers how much you appreciate them. Write them personal notes and send them birthday cards and congratulate them on promotions. Great entrepreneurs never forget that their business is their customers, not their product.Anyone else feel a pho craving coming on?
When I visited Portland last year, I saw the future.Collaborative workspaces. Freelancers co-operatives. Independent tech meetups. Urban farmers, bakers and furniture-makers. It’s all happening in Oregon.I came back to Brooklyn and couldn’t stop talking and thinking about it.Portlanders are already living the new economy — connected, collaborative, independent. We call it New Mutualism — and Portland is one of the epicenters.That’s why you’ll be hearing a lot more about Portland from us over the next few months. We’re going to be talking with the Portlanders who are making collaboration work and showing the rest of the country how it’s done.We’ve already got a series of events planned for the Portland freelance community, and we’ll be highlighting individual freelancers and organizations on our blog.We’ll take the best of what’s happening and share it with you in a way that will be useful no matter where you are.This feels like the early stages of something much bigger–a broad network of connected freelance communities.Right now, we’ve got our eyes on Portland — and you should take a look, too.
As multi-talented freelancers, I’m sure you all appreciated Will Ferrell’s expedition into the unknown this week: the drum battle.Seriously, did you see that drum battle!? Who knew that Will Ferrell had such killer chops!After you watch that epic face-off one more time, we thought you might want to check out all that’s happened in freelance-land over this past week. Here’s what you may have missed:Freelance TipsEverything you need to know about freelancing – Master FAQ: Need to know something about freelancing? Need to get inspired? Here is a giant list of things to keep you educated and motivated to live a well-rounded freelance life.The best-paying (and fulfilling) work-from-home job: It’s my firm belief that no matter your education level or your work experience, there is a job out there for you that is fulfilling and sustaining.How to go independent, together: We’re having a special Google+ Hangout with freelance couple, Jordana and Cassius Wright. Join us this Thursday!Is your portfolio turning away clients?: For many creative freelancers, the portfolio is the business. Is your portfolio doing its job?Do deadlines make us stupid?: Do you perform best under stress? A new study might make you think again.A freelancer’s guide to starting a website: So you’ve got a business. Now it’s time to give it a home.4 Tips for maintaining a successful partnership: Just because you’re independent doesn’t mean you have to go it alone.Freelance NewsWho’s counting freelancers? It’s all in the (missing) numbers: The freelance economy is massive – but still invisible.“Culture fit” is #1 factor in hiring process, survey finds: You have the skills. You’re a good communicator. You get an interview, but you don’t get the gig. Why?Women launch more than 1200 businesses a day, according to new report: The rate at which women start businesses has doubled in the past 3 years, according to the 2014 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report commissioned by American Express OPEN.What would you have done differently after graduation?: 33% of Americans wish they had started a business instead of going to college.Work/Life Balance50 ways to get a job that makes good: It’s absolutely possible to find a job that makes money and does good. Here’s how.How not to work on weekends (in GIFs): It’s May, so you no longer have any excuse to stay inside on the weekends doing client work.4 smoothie recipes for healthy, busy freelancers: Why do you need more smoothies in your life? The reasons are countless and convincing.”Worship your intellect…you will end up feeling stupid”, and other advice from David Foster Wallace’s 2005 commencement speech: This month, thousands of students will take their diplomas and leave their graduation ceremonies with one question: “What’s next?”And here’s that epic drum battle again!Photo by Etsai
The faucet dripping, a woman on her cell phone, the siren on the street below — if you’re wincing at the thought of so much noise, you might have leaky sensory gating.Don’t panic! It’s actually not as bad as it sounds, in fact, it might be making you more creative.A recent study by Northwestern University revealed that while people who are easily distracted tend to score lower on tests, they frequently exhibit more real-world creative achievement.The inability to filter is actually a propensity for deploying attention over a larger range of stimuli. This kind of sensitivity, when funneled productively, can make life more rich and meaningful and help produce more nuanced work.Join the Union (it’s free!)Become a memberBut, the downsides to a leaky sensory filter have been well-noted by some of the world’s most creative thinkers. Marcel Proust lined his walls with cork to absorb sound. The inventor, Dr. Yoshiro Nakamatsu , brainstormed in a “calm room” tiled in 24-karat gold. Dr. Nakamatsu said the tiles blocked out television and radio waves that harm the creative process.The jury is still out on whether the ability to filter distractions is a set trait or can be modified depending on the situation, but other studies have indicated that practicing meditation may help balance your response to stimuli and increase creativity.What do you think, Freelancers? How do you balance focus and creativity? Do you see a relationship between the two?I felt a Cleaving in my Mind —As if my Brain had split —I tried to match it — Seam by Seam —But could not make it fit.The thought behind, I strove to joinUnto the thought before —But Sequence ravelled out of SoundLike Balls — upon a Floor.- Emily Dickinson, 938A new soul and media geek, Laura writes about sustainability, technology, poetry and pop culture. Find her @Pennyscientist or on Freelancers Union.
This is a post from a member of the Freelancers Union community. If you’re interested in sharing your expertise, your story, or some advice you think will help a fellow freelancer out, feel free to send your blog post to us here.Working as a full-time employee usually meant that I filed my taxes in the middle of the season, somewhere in mid-February to mid-March. But this past year I was a full-time freelancer and didn’t get around to filing until April 11th. Waiting that long was a huge mistake!This mad dash at the end of tax season is something a lot of freelancers are familiar with. To avoid this in the future, I’ve compiled a list of nearly everything you’ll possibly need to track to get organized and get a better deduction at the end of the 2015 financial year.Home Office DeductionIf you use a separate space in your home consistently and exclusively for running and operating your freelance business, then you’re entitled to the home office tax deduction. The IRS recently added a simplified option to streamline the process for claiming this deduction. Using this method, you can create a standardized deduction of $5 per square foot of your home that’s used for business, up to a maximum of 300 square feet.The best way to prove you use a space exclusively for business throughout the year is by taking pictures, and keeping these images with your tax return folder for filing. The home office deduction is often the first tax deduction that’s contested, so be prepared.Advertising and MarketingMost freelancers don’t spend money on traditional advertising outlets, although we do use business cards and the occasional promo or printed flyer. These days we rely on social media marketing and advertising campaigns on Facebook or email newsletters. Those expenses all count towards the cost of doing business, so start tracking this expenditure now.Contract Labor and WagesAs a freelancer, you probably don’t have employees who are paid a regular salary or wage, but you may work with independent contractors. The amount you pay them throughout the year is considered contract labor and can be deducted as a business expense at the end of the year. And remember, if you paid a contractor over $600, you’re required to have them fill out a 1099 form, and submit a copy of that form to the IRS. Click here for step-by-step instructions on how to file a 1099.Operating ExpensesThis expense category includes things like office equipment, internet charges, paper, pens, office supplies, software to run your business more efficiently, and subscriptions for services and other business related expenses. If you pay for a coworking space, or a cell phone provider for the use of business conference calls, these all qualify under the cost of doing business category.Business InsuranceIf you pay premiums for any insurance that’s not related to health coverage, like business insurance or rental insurance to cover your home office, you’ll qualify for a tax deduction. This also includes liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance costs.Interest on LoansDid you take out any business loans this year? Track the interest you paid towards the loan balance and list this amount on your tax return. You can also include the interest you paid on a credit card for business related expenses.Business PropertyMost freelancers likely won’t have a business property but if you do have a storefront for your small business or rent an office space, then you’ll want to track the amount you paid to a landlord.Join the Union (it’s free!)Become a memberTravel and MileageAny travel expenses you incur while away from your primary residence, for networking or meeting clients, can be deducted on your tax return. Think of things like airfare, lodging, parking fees, and paying a cab driver. Even if you stay an extra few days for pleasure related activities, you can still track the costs of the days when you were conducting business.If you drive a vehicle for business purposes, keep track of all those miles as they can add up to a good mileage deduction at the end of the year. Instead of using a cumbersome logbook, get MileIQ. The app helps you easily track the miles you’ve driven that are related to freelance expenses without the headache of tracking and journaling mileage manually.Taxes and LicensesAny real estate taxes you pay for business property, state and local taxes paid on physical goods sold, or unemployment tax, can all be deducted on your tax return. If you paid real estate taxes on your home and qualify for the home office deduction, you can take a portion of this expense and list it in this category on your tax return.Legal and Professional ServicesAny fees you incur from legal or professional services directly related to running your business are tax deductible. These include fees charged by lawyers, accountants, and bookkeepers. Note that this deduction includes what you pay out to a lawyer to set up your business as a separate entity, filing fees, litigation costs.DepreciationYou don’t have to worry about calculating depreciation (that’s something your accountant or CPA will do for you) but there are a few key things you have to track now to be prepared come tax time. You’ll want to make note of the total price you paid for a piece of equipment (like a printer, camera, or laptop), the date purchased, and how it’s used in your business.Health Insurance PremiumsBecause self-employed freelancers are responsible for their own health insurance, you can deduct the entire cost of your health care insurance premiums, as an above-the-line deduction on your taxes. This only counts if you’re not participating in an employee plan with your spouse.Unpaid InvoicesDid you know that any unpaid invoices, that you counted as income throughout the year, can be taken as a Unpaid Invoices deduction on your tax return? The IRS classifies unpaid invoices as ‘bad debts,’ and this lesser-known deduction is a big deal for us freelancers who have to spend a lot of time and resources chasing down payments we’re owed.The catch is that you can only claim the unpaid invoices tax deduction if you use the accrual method of accounting, meaning you claim income when you earn it, not when you’re actually paid. If you use the cash method of accounting (i.e. you claim income only when you receive payment), you can’t write off bad debt as you would never claim that unreceived income on your taxes.Education Classes and CoursesThroughout the year, I record purchases I make related to running my online blogging business like financial courses, marketing ebooks, business books and DIY design products. Keep track of expenses for any classes, courses, or materials you participate in during the year.The cost of education that adds value to your business or increases your expertise can be deducted on your taxes.Meals and EntertainmentIf you meet clients in person for work related projects, the meals, drinks, coffee, and other entertainment expenses you incur while networking with clients, are all deductible expenses. Keep track of the entire purchase amount because the IRS only allows a 50% deduction to be taken.Other Business ExpensesEverything else from PayPal fees, to yearly website hosting expenses, will go in the Other category on your tax return. Anything that’s considered a cost of doing business should be tracked now so you aren’t scrambling when tax season rolls around.If you’re serious about avoiding tax season stress, do away with the shoebox full of receipts. The best way to start tracking all of these deductions is with self-serve accounting software, or outsource the process to an online bookkeeping service like Bench.The goal is to organize your expenses into categories, track and reconcile your financials on a monthly basis, and ensure your financials are tax ready by the end of the financial year. This will ensure you don’t miss any important tax deductions, file your return well before deadline, and reward yourself with a much lower tax bill.Freelancers Union members get 20% off their first six months with Bench. Click here to claim your discount and start your free trial today.Carrie Smith writes for Bench, the online bookkeeping service that pairs you with a dedicated bookkeeping team and uses simple, elegant software to do your bookkeeping for you. Carrie is also the founder of CarefulCents.com, a blog that helps solopreneurs tackle financial mountains related to running a business.
Not getting paid can be really scary, especially when deadbeat clients make lame excuses or generally disrespect you and your work.For Halloween, share your best bloodchilling client horror story: What’s the worst thing a client has said to you? on Twitter or Facebook with the hashtag #FreelanceIsntFree.Scary, but true. What’s the most frightening thing a client has said to you? #FreelanceIsntFree pic.twitter.com/sxrp0hucq8— Freelancers Union (@freelancersu) October 28, 2015Don’t have a story? Spread some awareness by sharing the frightening facts:77% of freelancers experience client nonpaymentOn average, freelancers lose $6,000 annually due to late or nonpaymentOne study estimated freelancers may be collectively owed 1 billion in unpaid wagesCumulatively, freelancers spend 22,000 hours pursuing unpaid wages annuallyIt’ll be a scream!JOIN THE CAMPAIGN HERE
This is a post from a member of the Freelancers Union community. If you’re interested in sharing your expertise, your story, or some advice you think will help a fellow freelancer out, feel free to send your blog post to us here.Remember Stephen Glass (or the movie based on his misconduct, Shattered Glass)? What about Jayson Blair? These two journalists joined the big leagues of plagiarism when they were caught fabricating stories for the New Republic and the New York Times, respectively. As shocked as we all were (especially that two venerable media institutions could be duped by a couple of charlatans), plagiarism is still alive and well.And that sucks. Stealing always sucks, but stealing other people’s ideas is about as low as you can go. After all, what do each of us humans truly possess other than our health, ideas, intellect, and emotions? Not much.We creatives are especially vulnerable. With our writing, photographs, graphic designs, and other intellectual property on the Internet, stealing copyrighted material has gotten really easy. So don’t be a lazy jerk. Don’t steal. Instead, follow these guidelines to ensure you avoid stealing other people’s work.Accept that original ideas are not the end-all-be-allNewsflash: You do not have to dream up new, mind-blowing ideas every time you sit down to write a blog post. And I don’t think anyone expects you to, either. (Unless you’re Stephen Hawking – then it’s pretty much expected.)Plus, by quoting or citing other sources, it shows that you are well-read, staying current on industry trends, and generally know what you’re talking about. Let’s not forget that the entire point of writing blog posts is to share your knowledge. Well, your knowledge also includes the information you read, absorb and integrate into your work.**Make the future of freelancing better **Become a Freelancers Union member (it’s free!)Quote the sourceIf you truly love the wording in a passage that someone else wrote, quote it. Sometimes, the original wording is more powerful. In this case, you’ll want to do this:“Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.”– Albert EinsteinYou can also get fancy and indent the quote, italicize it, bold it, use a different font for contrast, or apply some other cool treatment so it stands out.Always cite the sourceWhile you were snoozing through English class in elementary school (and probably middle and high school, too), your teacher was arming you with information you’d be using the rest of your life. Like, how to properly cite a source. Remember footnotes and endnotes?Of course, now that we’re all digital, all you have to do is add a link, which you can do in one of three ways:Add a link to the keyword: According to new research on social media usage published by Forrester….Add a link to the name of the source in the sentence: According to new research on social media usage published by Forrester….Add a link to the name of the source after the sentence: According to new research on social media usage, …. (Forrester Research)I would be remiss to add that including outbound links is very good for SEO. Search engines reward blog posts that link to other high-quality, reputable websites.Talk about the source – and why it’s so greatAs I mentioned above, using other sources is a huge positive for your reputation (people will trust that you are on top of trends) and SEO (search engines will trust your website more). So let’s take it one step further, shall we?Talk about why you love this source and their blog post so much (you can even include a link to their site’s home page or the author’s bio page). You’ll earn some nice karma points for spreading the love, and you’ll get on the radar of the blogger or journalist who wrote the original piece. The last time I checked, good karma and a bigger network are both very good things.Has anyone ever stolen your work? What did you do (after you called them a lazy jerk)?Monika Jansen is a copywriter and editor who is happiest pounding out blog posts, website content, and other marketing materials for her clients, who tend to be freelancers, tech companies and small business owners. She is also a blogger for Groupon and Web.com. You can follow her on Twitter (@monikacjansen) or find her on LinkedIn.
Defender Vincent Kompany has been ruled out of Belgium’s upcoming World Cup qualifiers following talks with his club Manchester City, the national team’s manager Roberto Martinez has said.Kompany was initially called up to the squad to face Bosnia and Herzegovina and Cyprus but was sent back to his club having not fully recovered from a calf injury he suffered on national duty against Gibraltar in August.Martinez denied having a club-versus-country row with City, saying they have been monitoring Kompany’s progress and maintained “good communication” with the club.”It’s not a disagreement. We’ve got protocols and a way of working,” Martinez told reporters on Monday.”We’re going to call up the players, the squad was announced on Friday and then we’ve got another two days to have a clear assessment of where the players are.”That’s the situation. Kompany hasn’t been in the squad and hasn’t been able to join in with the activity of the first team. So, it was clear… it was a very good communication with Manchester City.”The Belgium FA confirmed Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku picked up an ankle injury in the Premier League match against Crystal Palace at the weekend.? @RomeluLukaku9 had an IRM (ankle) this afternoon ? No fracture, individual training program will follows. #BIHBEL #BELCYP #RoadtoRussia ???? pic.twitter.com/PBdcXj9Zit- BelgianRedDevils (@BelRedDevils) October 2, 2017The 24-year-old marksman claimed his seventh Premier League goal of the season and played full 90 minutes during the 4-0 win over Palace but is a doubt for Belgium’s qualifier against Bosnia and Herzegovina on Saturday.advertisementA statement released by the national team read: “Romelu Lukaku underwent an MRI scan but no fracture or structural damage has been diagnosed.”The next days he will follow an individual training program. It is however too early to state that he won’t be match fit for the Bosnia and/or Cyprus game.”Martinez’s side, who are on 22 points, have already qualified for next year’s World Cup in Russia as winners of Group H.Open training ??1.200 ???? fans ! ?????????????#BIHBEL #BELCYP #RoadtoRussia pic.twitter.com/x3l9z2B2Fr- BelgianRedDevils (@BelRedDevils) October 2, 2017
As far as leaks go, it looks like one media outlet just hit the motherload. For those wondering what Motorola was planning for 2018, it seems we now have pretty much everything we need to know courtesy Droid Life, which on Tuesday revealed a whole bunch of Moto smartphones that include the Moto X5, Moto G6, Moto G6 Plus, Moto G6 Play, Moto Z3 and Moto Z3 Play along with some of their specifications as well. Fair warning that Droid Life was not able to verify the leaks with a second source so do take them with a pinch of salt.Let’s start with the Moto G6 series that has been known to come out this year since October 201 when tipster Evan Blass tweeted the lineup that includes the Moto G6, Moto G6 Play and Moto G6 Plus. Droid Life has now provided some images that reveal what the G6 series will sport 3D glass on the back, a change in direction from the G5 series’ all metal design. Additionally, the G6 line will take design cues from last year’s Moto X4, most notably the circular ring around the rear camera. Now, the leak mentions 18:9 displays for all the three Moto G6 series smartphone, but the images suggest otherwise as you can see notable bezels on the top and bottom.This Could be the Moto G6, Moto G6 Plus, Moto G6 Play.https://t.co/lUFMbjjRN3 pic.twitter.com/U1cNbfWw7s— Droid Life (@droid_life) January 16, 2018As per the report, the Moto G6 will sport a 5.7-inch 18:9 full-HD+ (1080×2160) display and will be powered by a Snapdragon 450 SoC. It will sport a home button on the bottom that will likely double up as a fingerprint sensor and will house a 3000mAh battery. The Moto G6 will ship with 3GB or 4GB of RAM along with 32GB and 64GB of inbuilt storage, respectively. The dual camera setup on the back will comprise of 12-megapixel and 5-megapixel sensors, while the front will see a 16-megapixel selfie shooter.advertisementALSO READ: Moto E5 leaked image reveals rear mounted fingerprint sensor, expected to launch in April 2018The Moto G6 Plus will sport a larger 5.93-inch display with a full-HD+ resolution. It will be powered by a Snapdragon 630 chipset and will come with similar memory and storage options as the G6 as well as an additional 6GB RAM option. The camera sensors and fingerprint placement are reportedly similar to the G6. It will house a slightly bigger 3200mAh battery compared to the G6. The Moto G6 Play on the other hand gets the biggest capacity at 4000mAh and will see the fingerprint sensor on the Moto logo on the back. The Moto G6 Play will sport a 5.7-inch screen with a 720p resolution, and not much else is known as of now.This Could be the Moto X5, and It Appears to Have an iPhone X-Like Notch.https://t.co/nUhMx2iysq pic.twitter.com/XLSzn1u138— Droid Life (@droid_life) January 16, 2018Next up is the Moto X5, which is arguably the most interesting of all the leaks. The reason being that the X5 could sport an iPhone X-like notch cut out on the top of the display. This is quite surprising and also brings up the question how the Android notifications will work around the notch, if it is indeed true. As far as the rest of the design is concerned, the front will see slim bezels all around for an 18:9 aspect ratio, while the back looks familiar to its predecessor, the Moto X4, as you see the circular watch-like dial around the dual camera setup. As per Droid Life, the Moto X5 will sport a 5.9-inch full-HD+ display. Notably, the handset will sport a total of four cameras (two on the front and two on the back) of unknown specifications.And This Could be the Moto Z3, Moto Z3 Play, and Motorola’s 5G Moto Mod. #motoz3 https://t.co/iYGjZhlTpH pic.twitter.com/pFVO0tvxRj— Droid Life (@droid_life) January 16, 2018Lastly, we arrive at the Moto Z3 and Moto Z3 Play, both of which are also likely to sport full-screen displays. This will help them keep up with the current trend while keeping the same form factor to support past Moto Mods. Both the phones are likely to sport 6-inch full-HD+ displays, but not much else is known about the hardware as of now. Additionally, Droid Life has also leaked an upcoming 5G Moto Mod that will add 5G capabilities to a phone. Since 5G trials have already commenced and is the next phase in mobile connectivity, the Mod will keep help some of Motorola’s phones stay future-ready. We once again mention that these leaks should be taken with a pinch of salt.advertisement
Xiaomi is on a roll in India. You don’t even need research analysis, and sums and figures, any more. Almost everything that it has touched, off late, has had a tendency to magically turn into gold. One of the biggest reasons behind Xiaomi’s sudden — but not very surprising — rise to fame is the way it likes to do things in India. All its products, making their way to India, are seemingly inspired by what consumers — more specifically its Mi fans — want and not by what Xiaomi wants to sell. Take the newly launched Redmi Note 5 and the Redmi Note 5 Pro for instance.While the Redmi Note 5 is successor to the much popular Redmi Note 4, the Redmi Note 5 Pro spiritually succeeds the Redmi Note 3, according to Xiaomi. This means, while the Redmi Note 5 has been designed for those seeking all-round efficiency of last year’s Redmi Note 4, the Redmi Note 5 Pro is meant for those seeking more horsepower under the hood, along side a few extra nuggets that seemingly justify its higher asking price. But more importantly, both the Redmi Note 5 and the Redmi Note 5 Pro mainly exist, because consumers — more specifically its Mi fans — have been wanting them.The Redmi Note 5 Pro is particularly interesting. It’s globally launching in India, which means, India will be the first market to get it. The rest of the world will be getting it later. Not only that, the Redmi Note 5 Pro also marks the global debut of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 636 processor, which means that it will be the first phone in the world to ship with this processor.advertisementThe Snapdragon 636 is notable for bringing Qualcomm’s Kryo 260 CPU cores into the Snapdragon 63X range, bringing more raw CPU power to the mid-range segment. The Kryo 260 CPU inside the Snapdragon 636 can deliver roughly 40 per cent more power than the Snapdragon 630 inside phones like the Moto X4, according to Qualcomm. Additionally, the Snapdragon 636 also crams in a bumped up Adreno 509 GPU that gives it a 10 per cent performance boost over the Adreno 508 inside the Snapdragon 630, Qualcomm adds.The Redmi Note 3, launched in 2016, was the first phone in its price segment to ship with a Snapdragon 650 processor. It was powerful, but, at the same time it also drew flak for its lackluster heat efficiency. The Redmi Note 3 was prone to overheating. Which is why, Xiaomi chose to use a Snapdragon 625 inside the Redmi Note 4. A simple Google search will tell you that the Snapdragon 625 is the first 600-series chipset to be built on the power-efficient 14nm finfet process. The technology essentially allows a processor — the Snapdragon 625 in this case — with multiple cores to hit higher clock speeds without overheating and draining the battery quickly. The Redmi Note 4, no wonder, became a best-seller.But, there was a group of consumers — more specifically Mi fans — that was left wanting on power. The Redmi Note 4 wasn’t enough for that audience. The Redmi Note 5 Pro serves both the purposes: it’s powerful, and also it’s very efficient at heat management. In fact, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that the Redmi Note 5 Pro, with a Snapdragon 636 inside, is the most powerful and the most power efficient phone in its price category. The Redmi Note 5 Pro, more specifically, is powered by a 1.8GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 processor clubbed with up to 6GB of RAM and up to 64GB of storage which is further expandable by up to 128GB via a hybrid micro-SD card slot. Now I’ve been using the Redmi Note 5 Pro for a week now, and let’s just say, it lives up to its reputation.And it’s slick, although I am a little disappointed that the Redmi Note 5 Pro, still ships with Android 7.1.1 Nougat (based MIUI 9) out-of-the-box and it would be sometime before it gets Oreo. Xiaomi, in fact, has remained tight-lipped about Oreo and made no specific mention of it at its Wednesday press conference. We’ll have to wait and watch out on that one.Elsewhere, the Redmi Note 5 Pro is also Xiaomi’s second dual camera phone in India. It comes with a dual camera system on the rear consisting of one 12-megapixel sensor with f/2.2 aperture and another 5-megapixel sensor with f/2.0 aperture. While the primary sensor has a 1.25um size to capture more light, the secondary sensor assists in portrait shots or photos with shallow depth of field. The set-up is different from the one on-board Xiaomi’s Android One-backed Mi A1 where the secondary sensor — in addition to assisting in portrait shots — is also a telephoto lens. The dual camera system, in the Redmi Note 5 Pro, further comes with phase detection autofocus and a dual-LED (dual-tone) flash.advertisementOn the front, the Redmi Note 5 Pro, sports a 20-megapixel camera with LED flash. The front camera is also capable of shooting portraits, although portrait mode courtesy the front cam, is software-based. Moreover, the Redmi Note 5 Pro is also set to get face unlock by the end of March 2018, Xiaomi has announced.The Redmi Note 5 Pro is of course the first big star attraction in Xiaomi’s 2018 portfolio, but, those looking for a tried and tested formula on a budget, also have the Redmi Note 5 to look forward to. The Redmi Note 5 is the successor to the Redmi Note 4 and much like the Redmi Note 4, the Redmi Note 5, is also powered by a 2GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor clubbed with Adreno 506 GPU. It comes with up to 4GB of RAM and up to 64GB of storage which is further expandable by up to 128GB via a hybrid micro-SD card slot.It comes with upgraded cameras. While on the rear, the Redmi Note 5 comes with a 12-megapixel sensor with f/2.2 aperture, phase detection autofocus and a dual-LED (dual-tone) flash, on the front it comes with a 5-megapixel sensor with LED flash.While the Redmi Note 5 is successor to the much popular Redmi Note 4, the Redmi Note 5 Pro spiritually succeeds the Redmi Note 3, according to XiaomiHaving said that, it’s still an incremental upgrade, and should be considered only and only if you’re someone looking to invest in the emerging trend of 2017-18, which is bezel-less screens. In fact, even the Redmi Note 5 Pro, comes with a bezel-less screen. The Redmi Note 5 and the Redmi Note 5 Pro are Xiaomi’s first mainstream bezel-less phones in India. The company, to recall, also sells the Mi Mix 2 in the country, but that’s a more premium offering. Both the Redmi Note 5 and the Redmi Note 5 Pro come with a 5.99-inch ‘full-screen’ FHD+ display with a 2160x1080p resolution and 403ppi pixel density. The quality of the panel on the Redmi Note 5 is slightly inferior in terms of all-round contrast but you’re more likely to overlook this aspect at its low price.Because Xiaomi has shaved off much of the bezels on the top and bottom and also on the sides, the Redmi Note 5 and the Redmi Note 5 Pro occupy a much smaller footprint when in the hands unlike regular 6-inch phones that can be quite a handful. The Redmi Note 5 and the Redmi Note 5 Pro, to that effect, also sport an unusual aspect ratio of 18:9 as against the more traditional 16:9.Design sees marginal change though. If you’ve crossed paths with the Redmi Note 4, you’ll be well at home with the Redmi Note 5 and the Redmi Note 5 Pro. Both the Redmi Note 5 and the Redmi Note 5 Pro come with sleek full-metal bodies and rear mounted fingerprint scanners. There’s 2.5D curved glass on the front and on-screen keys for navigation. Both the phones will be available in as many as four colours: black, gold, rose gold and blue. The Redmi Note 5 Pro, in addition, also gives you vertically aligned dual camera system on the rear, much like the iPhone X, if you’re into that sort of thing.advertisementBoth the phones ship with a massive 4,000mAh battery but there’s still no fast charging. Dual SIM is supported, so is 4G LTE and VoLTE.In typical Xiaomi fashion, both the Redmi Note 5 and the Redmi Note 5 Pro will be available in a number of RAM and storage options. While the base variant of the Redmi Note 5 will ship with 3GB RAM and 32GB storage, the top-end version will come with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage. Unlike the Redmi Note 4 before it, the Redmi Note 5 will not have a 2GB RAM and 16GB storage version. The Redmi Note 5 Pro, meanwhile, will be available in as many as three versions: 3GB RAM and 32GB storage, 4GB RAM and 64GB storage and one with a whopping 6GB RAM and 64GB storage. This will be the first time that Xiaomi will be offering 6GB RAM on a phone under Rs 20,000.While the Redmi Note 5 will sell for Rs 9,999 for base 3GB RAM and 32GB storage, the top-end version of the phone with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage will sell for Rs 11,999. Every Redmi Note 5 will ship with an ultra-slim clear case, Xiaomi has announced. The Redmi Note 5 Pro, will meanwhile, start at Rs 13,999 for the base 4GB RAM and 64GB storage version while the top-end version with 6GB RAM and 64GB storage will be available for buying for Rs 16,999. Both the phones will be available for buying exclusively via Flipkart and Xiaomi’s own online Mi.com/in store from February 22. Watch this space for our full review of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 and the Redmi Note 5 Pro in the days to come.ALSO READ: Xiaomi’s 55-inch Mi TV 4 is slimmer than an iPhone X and offers 4K HDR for just Rs 39,999
Bengaluru, Mar 2 (PTI) After the historic Asia Cup victory in November last year, the Indian womens hockey team has set out for its first tour of the year, to Korea. The 20-member squad, led by Rani along with vice captain Sunita Lakra, today left for Jinchun, Korea where they will play a five-match series with the hosts starting March 5. Under the watchful eyes of chief coach Harendra Singh, the India team was based out of the Sports Authority of India, Bengaluru where 34 players were part of the national camp that focused on fitness, speed and skill development. While the players will compete in Korea between March 5 to 11, the remaining members of the camp will continue to train ahead of their preparations for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. “This is our first event after winning the Asia Cup last year so naturally the team is riding on confidence. The team is upbeat and eager to play our first international tour of the season and Korea can be a tough team to play in their home conditions,” said Rani. The team will be back here on March 13 and will continue with its preparation for the Commonwealth Games. “Korea Tour will help us analyse our game and find out if there are shortcomings in the way we play ahead of the CWG. We have specifically trained on our man-to-man marking, tried different variations in our attack during the camp and we want to execute these strategies against an international team. “We have been playing matches against local men?s team to get tougher too,” added the skipper. In the absence of ace goalkeeper Savita who has been rested for the tour, debutant Swati and Rajani Etimarpu will be put to test. With the experienced Deepika and Poonam Rani returning after a long injury haul, Rani feels the team is a perfect mix. “It is a big boost to have Deepika and Poonam back in the squad. We also have talented youngsters like defender Suman Devi Thoudam, midfielder Udita and forward Lalremsiami. “I think we have a very good mix with a perfect balance of young and experienced players,” Rani said. PTI AH AHadvertisement
The ball-tampering controversy in Australian cricket has found great resonance in India. And the latest is their captain, Steve Smith, stepping down as Rajasthan Royals skipper in the Indian Premier League. Ajinkya Rahane now takes charge.The Aussie woes do not end there as Sunrisers Hyderabad captain David Warner is also facing the heat. This could lead to Shikhar Dhawan taking over the mantle, which means all eight IPL teams this season will have Indian captains.Never before in the history of the T20 league have all teams been led by Indians. There has been a fetish for captains from abroad, but the trend could change. A final word on Warner leading the Hyderabad side will come on Wednesday.As it is, there have been massive changes in the layout of the IPL’s forthcoming edition. Gautam Gambhir, who won two titles with the Kolkata Knight Riders in 2012 and 2014, will lead the Delhi Daredevils for the first time this season. Off-spinner R Ashwin will trade the Chennai Super Kings’ yellow jersey for Kings XI Punjab’s red and will look to turn around their fortunes.Wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik was bought for a whopping Rs 7.40 crore by KKR and was named skipper ahead of the likes of Robin Uthappa and Chris Lynn.Mahendra Singh Dhoni will return to lead the Chennai Super Kings after a gap of two years. The 36-year-old had led CSK to two IPL titles in 2010 and 2011.Rohit Sharma is the only captain to win three titles, all of which came with Mumbai Indians in 2013, 2015 and 2017.advertisementHowever, Virat Kohli will also look to end his title drought as he gears up to lead a new-look Royal Challengers Bangalore side this season.On Monday, Smith, facing severe backlash for his role in the ball-tampering episode in a Test against South Africa, stepped down as Royals captain and was replaced by Rahane.Smith allegedly instructed teammate Cameron Bancroft to tamper with the ball during South Africa’s second innings last week.The under-fire Smith will, however, continue to be part of the franchise for the Twenty20 league starting April 7.”Steve believes given the current circumstances it’s in the best interest of the Rajasthan Royals that he steps down as captain so the team can get ready for the start of the IPL without the ongoing distractions. He would like to extend his gratitude to the BCCI officials and all the fans in India for their constant support,” Rajasthan Royals’ head of cricket Zubin Bharucha said in a statement.The Royals are returning to the IPL after serving a two-year ban for the franchise’s erstwhile top management’s role in the 2013 spot-fixing scandal. The team’s mentor and former skipper Shane Warne is in Cape Town and it is understood that he might have had talked the Australian captain into taking this decision.Sunrisers Hyderabad mentor VVS Laxman said the franchise would wait for Cricket Australia’s decision on Warner. “As far as Sunrisers is concerned, it’s too early for us to comment We will wait for decision of Cricket Australia,” Laxman was quoted saying.Mail Today has learnt that Dhawan has expressed his desire to lead Hyderabad if Warner steps down. “Dhawan is the best man to replace Warner as captain. He wants to lead the team.”
Tejaswini Sawant bagged Silver in women’s 50m Rifle Prone event to give India’s its first medal on Day 8 of the ongoing 2018 Commonwealth Games at Gold Coast.The 37-year-old finished with a total of 618.9 to finish second in the shooting event. Singapore’s ML Veloso took Gold with a Games record of 621 while Scotland’s Seonaid McIntosh won Bronze with a total of 618.1.Young Anjum Moudgil, the other Indian shooter in the fray, finished a lowly 16th with 602.2.A gold medallist at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in 10m air rifle singles and pairs with Avneet Kaur Sidhu events, Tejaswini is also the first Indian to clinch a gold in world championship in 2010.When Delhi hosted the Commonwealth Games eight years ago, the Kohlapur-born shooter won silver in 50 rifle prone singles and bronze in 50 m rifle prone pairs along with Meena Kumari.In the same Games, she also bagged silver in 50 m rifle 3 positions event along with Lajjakumari Goswami.This was India’s 12th medal in shooting. India continue to remain third in the medals’ tally with 25 medals including 12 Gold, 5 Silver and 8 Bronze.#GC2018Shootingfor #TejaswiniSawant in 50m Rifle Prone Finals#CommonwealthGames2018 #GC2018 pic.twitter.com/gNqsSLLe8PDoordarshan Sports (@ddsportschannel) April 12, 2018The medals’ tally is set to soar as Sushil Kumar and two other wrestlers entered final of the discipline on Thursday.Sushi (74kg), the defending champion, scored easy victories over Canada’s Jevon Balfour and Pakistan’s Muhammad Asad Butt by technical superiority before scoring a victory by fall over Australia’s Connor Evans.He will be taking on South Africa’s Johannes Botha in the last summit clash later today.advertisementBabita Phogat (53kg) also made the final and set up a clash with Canada’s Diana Weicker after notching up wins over Nigeria’s Samuel Bose, Sri Lanka’s Deepika Dilhani, and Australia’s Carissa Holland.Rahul Aware (57kg) also had a smooth passage into the final with comprehensive wins over England’s George Ramm, Australia’s Thomas Cicchini and Pakistan’s Muhammad Bilal.He will face Canada’s Steven Takahashi in the final.Kiran (76kg) will compete for the bronze medal after an early loss to nigeria’s Blessing Onyebuchi.
Delhi Daredevils succumbed to a 13-run loss to Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune on Monday.Skipper Shreyas Iyer, who was leading DD for only the second time, was disappointed with the loss, but refused to be disheartened.”Too many runs on the board,” he said at the post match presentation.”We got really close and it is a positive going into the next match. We need to win 6 in the remaining 6 matches and that is the only motivation going forward,” he added.Shane Watson was adjudged the man-of-the-match for his 40-ball 78, and MS Dhoni raced to his second-fastest IPL fifty to help CSK post 211/4 from their 20 overs.Watson though got a lucky break off the first delivery of the match.Watson was trapped LBW by Trent Boult but the on-field umpire turned down a loud appeal by Delhi Daredevils. Skipper Iyer immediately called for a review and it looked like the ball had hit the pad first before hitting the bat. However, for some reason, the TV umpire upheld the on-field umpire’s call.”I would like to complain about the first ball wicket (smiles). It did not go our way and that could have made a massive impact in the match. The way Watson started it totally changed the game,” Iyer said.”Not only me, the whole dressing room and obviously you also think the same – that ball hit the pad first and then the bat (laughs),” the DD skipper said.advertisementAfter posting 211/4, Chennai returned with the ball to restrict Delhi to 198/5 in their allotted 20 overs.Middle-order batsman Rishabh Pant (79 runs off 45 balls;) and Vijay Shankar (54 not out) were the only players who faced the Chennai bowlers valiantly but their innings went in vain as no other batter rose to the occasion and went back cheaply.Big names Colin Munro (26), skipper Iyer (13), who played a huge role in Delhi’s last win and Glenn Maxwell (6) failed to score which resulted in their loss.”We need to point out the mistakes we have done and we will try to bounce back strong. We will be having a meeting with management regarding the team changes. If we try to keep the team stable, we will do well in the upcoming matches,” Iyer said.Delhi Daredevils next face Sunrisers Hyderabad on Saturday at home.
Test cricket is called Test cricket for a reason and there is also a reason why all but two teams have lost their inaugural Test match.Ireland found that out the hard on Day 3 of their inaugural match against Pakistan at the Malahide in Dublin on Sunday.After Day 1 ended with no play possible and Day 2 saw honours being shared relatively evenly, Pakistan stamped their authority on Day 3, as Ireland find themselves following on after being bowled out for a paltry 130 in the first innings.DAY 3: HIGHLIGHTSPakistan had declared their first innings on 310/9, but the pair of Mohammad Abbas and Mohammad Amir wrecking havoc in the Irish ranks.Stumps Day 3- Ireland: 64/0 (26 ov). Ireland trail by 116 runsScorecard: https://t.co/eMBVfXKKYp #IREvPAK pic.twitter.com/X0EBwfh6M7PCB Official (@TheRealPCB) May 13, 2018Leg-spinner Sadab Khan joined in on the fun as the most of the Ireland batsman were chasing shadows, apart from Kevin O’Brien whose fitting 68-ball 40 including five fine stokes to the boundary ropes. Gary Wilson showed exemplary courage and grit as he batted with an injured arm and made a gutsy 33 not out.Abbas was the pick of bowlers as he took four wickets at the cost of 44 runs and Sadab finished with figures of 3/31. Amir too pitched in with two wickets of own.Pakistan enforced the follow-on after for the first time in 16 years, but Ireland though seemed to have learned their lesson.With the help from the Pakistani fielders, both Ireland openers, Ed Joyce (batting on 39) and skipper William Porterfield (unbeaten on 23) being dropped off Mohammad Amir’s bowling.advertisementIreland will resume their second innings at 64-0 and trailing Pakistan by 116 runs.
India failed to defend the women’s Asian Champions Trophy as they lost 0-1 to hosts South Korea in the summit clash on Sunday.South Korea scored the only goal of the match in the 24th minute when Youngsil Lee found the back of the net from a field effort.India’s defence was tested in the early stages as South Korea started the game well, winning possession in the midfield and putting pressure on the opposition.However, India defended their lines well and tried to surprsie the Koreans on counters.South Korea had better chances in the first period but the opening 15 minutes ended goal-less as both the teams failed to find an opening.But the Koreans dominated the second quarter and won three penalty corners in a span of two minutes, but Indian goalkeeper Savita made some good reflex saves to deny the hosts.The Koreans tasted success in the 24th minute when they caught Indian defence on a counter-attack.Mi Hyun Park made a darting run towards the baseline on the right flank and passed the ball across the Indian goal, which was deflected into the back of the net by Lee to give her team the lead.India struggled to build momentum after going behind as the hosts took their one-goal lead into the half-time break.Trailing, the onus was on India to find the equaliser. But South Korea didn’t let the Indian attackers find space inside their striking circle.The hosts sat back in their own half for rest of the match, and looked to hit India on the counters.advertisementThe Koreans came close to scoring again in the 43rd minute when Mi Hyun Park found herself in one-on-one with situation an Indian defender inside the striking circle, but her shot was saved by Savita.Korea had another chance to extend their lead in the 44th minute as they won their fourth penalty corner, but Savita’s heroics continued as she parried away the shot to keep India in the match.It was down to the Indian team to take the initiative in the last quarter as Korea sat deep in their own half and invited India to play long balls.It was a move that favoured the Koreans as they defended their flanks well, and did not allow the Indian attackers to find possession in their striking circle.It was a tense final few minutes for both the sides as India went hard in search of the equaliser and replaced their goalkeeper Savita with an outfield player. But the Koreans’ tight marking in the midfield made sure that they kept their lead intact as India failed to create a goal-scoring opportunity.South Korea lifted the title for the third time after having won it in 2010 and 2011. India, on the other hand, finished second best for the second time after having lost in the final of the 2013 edition to Japan.Indian striker Vandana Katariya was declared player of the tournament while youngster Lalremsiami was named as the upcoming player of the tournament.Besides, striker Navneet Kaur and Vandana Katariya finished as joint top-scorer in the tournament along with China’s Xiaoming Song.(With PTI inputs)
Virat Kohli’s upcoming English county stint with Surrey ahead of India’s tour of England could be curtailed due to fatigue and niggles.The injury concerns were raised after Kohli visited Hinduja hospital on Wednesday afternoon to visit a leading orthopaedic.While it was earlier reported that the India skipper is suffering from a slip disc, reports have now emerged that it is a case of neck sprain and not a slip disc injury.”Yes, Virat has had fatigue issues and this is a case of workload management rather than injury management. But it isn’t a case of slip disc. As of now, we will be monitoring his workload,” the senior official told PTI on condition of anonymity.”We are chalking a plan wherein his county stint will be curtailed. He will play two four-day matches as per the original plan and not the five Royal London Cup (50 over) matches,” he added.In such a case, Kohli may only participate in two first-class matches for Surrey.Kohli had earlier said that his body has started to show signs of fatigue and he has to manage his body carefully in order to prolong his career and stay at the top level.In the past one year, Kohli has played all the nine Tests India has featured in. On top of that, he has played 29 out of 32 ODIs and nine of the 18 T20Is from June 2017 to May 2018.Kohli just finished his Indian Premier League (IPL) season with Royal Challengers Bangalore, after failing to make it to the play-offs for the second straight year. Despite a largely disappointing year for RCB, Kohli scored 530 runs in 14 games, including four fifties.advertisementKohli, for long, had expressed his desire to play county cricket in order to prepare for India’s tour of England, which is set to begin on July 3.Also read – Virat Kohli’s nightmare against spinners in another failed IPL campaignKohli was to miss India’s one-off Test against Afghanistan to fulfill his commitments with Surrey in the English county.”It’s long been an ambition of mine to play county cricket and I’m thankful to Alec Stewart and Surrey for allowing me the opportunity,” Kohli had said after signing up for Surrey.Back in 2014, Kohli had a disastrous time in England. He scored 1, 8, 25, 0, 39, 28, 0, 7, 6 and 20 in the five Tests and finished the series with an average of 13.50.However, he has been in sensational form since. Kohli returned to India and worked on his technique with Sachin Tendulkar. Later that year, he toured Australia and slammed four hundreds in four Tests.Also read – Virat Kohli gutted as RCB crash out: ‘Can’t always depend on de Villiers’The Indian captain has since also scored six double hundreds including four in successive series. Against England in the five-Test series at home, Kohli scored 655 runs and led India to a 4-0 triumph.Kohli was also in top form in South Africa, smashing 871 runs across formats. He was the leading run-scorer in the Test and ODI series.