'Bandon me dum tha' reminisces India's historic win over Australia
(Cricket news) It has been over two years since India won the Border Gavaskar trophy against Australia. India's victory in the Test series is still fresh in the minds of everyone who witnessed the series, especially Indian fans. Voot have released a 4-part docu series which will take the fans on a trip down memory lane. The series not only highlights what people already know but also gives a rare insight on some incidents which went under the radar.
Popular actor Jimmy Shergill is the narrator while Neeraj Pandey is popular for directing the movie MS Dhoni: the untold story is the director. Journalists Peter Lalor and coach Paddy Upton voiced their opinions on what transpired throughout the series. The pair tried to break down why certain things happened and how it affected the end result. Upton who has spent time as the Mental Conditioning and Strategic Leadership Coach of the Indian National cricket team said things about the Indian mentality of performing best when backed against the wall. He also compared the behavior of this Indian side to the history of India in war where they don't attack first but when attacked they always reply with full power.
Journalist Bharat Sudarshan offered his insights on what he saw and observed throughout the series. He narrated one particular incident where he saw Rishabh Pant practicing with pain while talking to himself. Tim Paine and Pat Cummins talked about their mindset in certain situations. Paine talked about how he was irritated and angered that Indian players broke the quarantine rules. He also said that he was frustrated by Ravichandran Ashwin and Hanuma Vihari's antics in the Sydney Test match where they used the same chest pads and wasted time. The then Australian captain also said that the frustration was the reason for his behavior.
Cummins talked about his bowling performances throughout the series. He also said that bowling bouncers to other bowlers is a part and parcel of the game. Ajinkya Rahane talked how running out Virat Kohli haunted him for the rest of the game. He also talked about certain key decisions he made through the series and also the atmosphere in the dressing room. Cheteshwar Pujara highlighted his battle with Nathan Lyon and Josh Hazelwood. He also talked about his mindset in the last two Tests and how he endured several body blows.
Ravichandran Ashwin was witty and funny in describing several incidents. He talked about his game plan against Steve Smith and also his innings at the SCG. He gave an insight into his injury struggles and how he thought that the series was his last chance to prove himself. Hanuma Vihari also talked about the innings at SCG and his injury struggles. Mohammed Siraj touched upon his father's death just before the series, the racism he faced and his performance with the ball. Rishabh Pant talked about his disappointment after being dropped in the first Test. He later explained his mindset while playing with pain and the reason he played attacking cricket.
Washington Sundar talked about his role as a net bowler to eventually being given his Test cap at the Gabba. Every Indian player interviewed praised Ajinkya Rahane's captaincy and also talked about the impact of Virat Kohli's departure. The series will take the fans on a trip down the memory lane and certain moments are bound to give one goosebumps.
Also read: How much will KL Rahul's absence in the England Test affect India?
Hayden, Johnson slam players, Cricket Australia after Langer's resignation as head coach
Melbourne, Feb 5 (Cricket News) A tearful Matthew Hayden has slammed the national players for not publicly supporting Justin Langer in the lead-up to his resignation as Australia's chief coach.
Langer, under whose guidance Australia won the T20 World Cup and the Ashes series 4-0, stepped down on Saturday after facing complaints from players about his coaching style for months.
"If he was waiting for the current Australian cricket team to be presenting a face of care, I dare say they won't be and that's, to me, the real sadness around this," an emotional Hayden told ABC Sport.
Handed the captaincy following Tim Paine's unceremonious exit, Pat Cummins didn't endorse Langer as coach and had insisted that reviewing his suitability for the role was fair in a "high-performance environment".
Hayden was critical of Cummins, who was one of the players who had raised concerns about Langer's coaching style last year and also described the whole evaluation process as unhealthy.
"This was not a healthy process," said the 50-year-old, who had formed a formidable opening pair with Langer during his playing days.
"This was a bloke (Langer) that won the Ashes, stayed back basically in Melbourne for the entire time while this dragged on for a month. The whole thing just reeks of being orchestrated from basically the moment all of this garbage started coming out in the middle of last year.
"You could see that the writing was on the wall. If I had a bet back then that Justin Langer would have retained his spot at the end of his contract, I would have put my whole life's savings on him not doing it." On Friday, Langer had a long meeting with the Board, which offered him a short-term extension but he decided to decline the offer.
Hayden came down heavily on Cricket Australia, saying it along with the players need to be blamed for the way reports of dissatisfaction about Langer's coaching became public.
"It is such a leaking boat, this so-called high-performance culture within cricket. There is no inner sanctum anymore," he said.
Langer was handed the reins of Australian cricket after the infamous ball-tampering scandal in 2018. But Hayden said CA showed no respect for how Langer managed the team in the aftermath of that scandal.
Langer had welcomed Steve Smith and David Warner back into the team after the end of their one-year suspensions in 2019.
"Where would Davey Warner be right now if Justin Langer wasn't the coach? Where would Steve Smith be? Remember when they came back in after their year's suspension … JL spent forever around those two guys." "We, the Australian cricket community, loved Justin because he came in and said, 'No way, what we're going to do is play this game in a manner that is going to make Australians proud again,'" he said.
Following Langer's departure, assistant coach Andrew McDonald has been appointed as the interim coach.
Besides McDonald, Trevor Bayliss, Jason Gillespie, Ricky Ponting, Greg Shipperd and Michael Di Venuto are the other leading candidates to replace Langer as Australia's chief coach.
Former Australian pacer Mitchell Johnson was also left fuming after learning about Langer's resignation.
"You've got to look at some facts and the facts are JL has done an extremely good job. He got the team out of a very dark place," he said.
"I just feel like he has been forced into this. I don't blame him.
"I think the mess that's happened throughout this whole contract debacle has been disgusting and I feel like it has just gotten to him, and I think it is a bit of a token gesture by Cricket Australia."
News Source : PTI
Pacers should play each and every game, don't like them rested: Lee
Muscat, Jan 27 (Cricket News) Former Australia pacer Brett Lee is against the whole concept of workload management for fast bowlers, something that has become a trend amid a packed international calendar.
Besides the hectic schedule, bubble life amid the COVID-19 pandemic has also taken a toll on cricketers, forcing them to switch off from the game.
"I'm against the whole resting rule. I don't like bowlers resting, I like bowlers to play each and every single game," Lee told PTI in an exclusive interaction on the sidelines of the Legends League Cricket here.
Mohammad Shami did not play the white ball series against South Africa in which India were routed 0-3 by an under-strength South Africa.
The selectors have also "rested" the Indian pace duo of Shami and Jasprit Bumrah for the upcoming home series against the West Indies, featuring three ODIs and three T20Is.
But the former Aussie speed gun maintained his stance and said a pacer should be rested only if he has a niggle.
"If they are struggling with an injury then it's fair enough. But what I want to see is pace bowlers, doing all the hard work and playing day in and day out." Talking about India's shocking Test defeat in South Africa, Lee felt it must have been an aberration as it was the same side who beat Australia in Australia and then took the upper hand against England to lead 2-1.
"Look, it happens sometimes. They have been playing some pretty good cricket. The way they played in Australia, beating them on home soil, and then in England...
"Australia are currently right up there, the number one side in the world. But India have been a very good Test side. It was one of those things that South Africa played a really amazing series on their home soil," he said. The back-to-back Test and ODI series losses in South Africa came on the backdrop of the controversy of Virat Kohli quitting captaincy from all formats and his war of words with the BCCI.
Asked whether India suffered because of the off-the-field controversy, Lee chose to stay quiet on the issue.
All praise for Cummins the captain ================== Recently Australia pace spearhead Pat Cummins captained his team to a 4-0 win in the Ashes, seeing off a rocky transition phase after Tim Paine stepped down following a "sexting scandal".
Cummins was the first Australia fast bowler to be named captain since Ray Lindwall led them in one Test against India in 1956 as a stand-in skipper.
"We won 4-0? I think he has done a pretty good job. I think his captaincy has been really, really solid and he was supported by some great people around him," the 45-year-old said of Cummins.
"The issue may have been will Pat Cummins be able to take wickets once he's captain. He has proven he can do that. So I was really happy for him." Luxury to have big pool of fast bowlers in Aussie cricket ================================== Lee was also all praise for their Scott Boland who had a great start to his Test career.
The 32-year-old took 18 wickets in three Ashes games at an average of just 9.55 which included a 6/7 on debut in the Boxing Day Test.
"The great thing about the Australian cricket team is there's a conveyor belt of fast bowlers which is a luxury to have. The Aussies are really playing some pretty good cricket," Lee signed off.
Also Read : Powell and Pooran give West Indies the lead in T20 series
News Source : PTI
On this day a year ago, India conquered fortress Gabba against all the odds
(Cricket news) It's been exactly a year since India defeated Australia at the Gabba to clinch the Border-Gavaskar trophy for the 2nd consecutive time against all the odds. To some Indian fans the match seems like it was yesterday and to some it seems like an eternity ago.
After securing a fighting draw at Sydney to keep the series alive at 1-1, India went to the Gabba with barely 11 players fit. India's lead bowlers Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah and Ravichandran Ashwin were both out of the game. Net bowlers Shardul Thakur, T Natarajan and Washington Sundar were added to the Playing XI. India started the game with absolutely nothing to lose as their main strike bowler with the most experience was Mohammed Siraj who himself had played only two Test matches.
Australia won the toss and elected to bat first. Marnus Labuschagne's century guided Australia to 369 runs in the 1st innings. Matthew Wade, Tim Paine and Cameron Green also contributed with their small cameos. Shardul Thakur, T Natarajan and Washington Sundar picked up their maiden Test wickets and ended the innings with 3 wickets each. Despite their inexperience, Indian bowlers didn't let the Aussies run away with the game. Ajinkya Rahane's captaincy was spot on with good bowling changes and appropriate field setting.
In the 2nd innings India found themselves in deep trouble as they lost 6 wickets for just 180 runs. Sundar and Thakur came out to bat and put together 123 runs for the 7th wicket. India were all out for 336 but it could've been much worse if it hadn't been for the partnership between the two newcomers. Australia came out to bat with a lead of 33 runs. Mohammed Siraj picked up 5 wickets while Shardul Thakur picked up 4 as Australia were all out for 294 runs.
Chasing 328 runs, India were given a good start by Shubman Gill who scored 91 runs off 146 balls. Cheteshwar Pujara occupied the crease 211 balls scoring 56 runs and fought very hard despite being hit by multiple body blows. Rishabh Pant played a match winning knock of 89* supported by Sundar's cameo. India ended up chasing the total with 3 wickets in hand and 18 balls to spare.
India's victory, although fresh in people's memories, has already acquired a legendary status. It has been taken to mythical proportions and deservedly so. Everyone loves a good underdog story and this was the ultimate underdog story where the Indians tackled injuries, bio-bubble, racism and sledging to create history.
Docu series 'Down Underdogs' will leave Indian cricket fans in nostalgic tears
(Cricket news) It's been almost a year since the Indian cricket team against all the odds defeated Australia in an away Test series. Now Sony Sports has released a 4 part docu series on India's triumph where they won 2-1 away against the mighty Australia despite numeral setbacks. The series is available to watch on SonyLiv
In the docu series, viewers will see players Hanuma Vihari, Mohammed Siraj and Marnus Labuschagne talking about their experiences. Former cricketers turned commentators Sunil Gavaskar, Sanjay Manjrekar, Nick Knight, Isa Guha, Vivek Razdan, Lisa Sthalekar, Micheal Clarke, Jason talked about the series and also their own experiences in similar situations. Journalists Harsha Bhogle, Ayaz Memon, Joy Bhattacharjya, Gaurav Kapoor and Rajdeep Sardesai highlighted several points about the series and the historical context of it.
The topic of the documentary was such that fans of Indian cricket would enjoy it regardless of the quality of the end product because it is still fresh in people's mind and the memories of it would trigger the nostalgic factor in people's brain who have experienced the series even if it is through their T.V screens. Each episode focused on the 4 Test matches titled Adelaide Aberration, Melbourne Magic, Sydney Siege and Brisbane Breached.
Throughout the series there were stories and anecdotes about players like Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Siraj, T Natarajan and Washington Sundar. The series brilliantly portrayed important parts of the series like Virat Kohli leaving after the first Test, Ravichandran Ashwin's battle with Steve Smith, Ajinkya Rahane's hundred, India's multiple injury woes, racist abuse, the unexpected debuts of inexperienced Indian players and Tim Paine's sledging.
The main thing missing was that Marnus Labuschagne, Hanuma Vihari and Mohammed Siraj were unable to enlighten the viewers about their mindset during and before the games. What the atmosphere was inside the changing room was not really talked about. The main takeaway from the series was that it depicted the beauty of Test cricket and why it is the best format of the game and must be preserved. Overall the series is definitely a must watch for all the cricket fans. The high drama along with the ebbs and flow of the Test series is highlighted and enhanced in the docu series.
Cummins refuses to speculate on coach Langer's future, says wants to savour Ashes win first
Melbourne, Dec 28 (Cricket News) Australia Test captain Pat Cummins on Tuesday refused to speculate on head coach Justin Langer's future when his contract ends in June next year, simply saying that his team now just wants to "savour" the convincing Ashes victory over England here.
Cummins' statement came three days after Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley refrained from commenting on the issue of Langer's contract extension.
"I think we'll savour this victory today and continue the Ashes," Cummins said when asked about Langer's future.
"I don't think today is the day to speculate on that. We'll all sit down together after this series or whenever his tenure is up. His contract is up for renewal in a few months and we'll deal with that then." Pacer Scott Boland claimed six wickets for seven runs in the second innings of the Boxing Day Test to hand Australia an innings and 14 runs win over England to retain the Ashes. Australia had won the first two Tests by nine wickets and 275 runs at Brisbane and Adelaide respectively.
An ecstatic Langer was also non-committal about his contract extension.
"We'll worry about that later," Langer told Fox Sports.
There were reports of Langer's working style as head coach not going down well with some senior players with the then Test captain Tim Paine, limited-overs skipper Aaron Finch and Cummins having had discussions with CA top bosses on the issue.
In the lead-up to the Boxing Day Test, Langer had expressed his desire to continue guiding the side in all three formats of the game. Hockley, however, had remained non-committal.
Also Read : Mohammad Shami bowling his way to the 200 wicket club
News Source : PTI
Richardson stars as Australia win despite Buttler and Woakes' resilience
Australia defeated England by 275 runs in the 2nd Ashes Test at the Adelaide Oval to take an invaluable 2-0 lead. England now need to win all three of their remaining games to win the Ashes which looks like the most unlikely thing right now. Marnus Labuschagne was named player of the match for his 103 in the first innings followed by a 51 in the 2nd.
England have been completely outplayed in both the Tests and they are heading towards an Ashes whitewash. The most disappointing thing for England would be knowing that this Australian team is nowhere near full strength and came into the tournament with a few question marks. Tim Paine left the captaincy and withdrew from the squad just before the tournament. Pat Cummins was named captain for the first time.
Australia played the 2nd Test without Pat Cummins and Josh Hazelwood. Debutant Micheal Neser along with Jhye Richardson didn't disappoint. Alex Carey is making his debut. All these changes should have affected Australia but they haven't because England haven't been anywhere near international level. England's batting line-up was supposed to be boosted by the return of Ben Stokes but it hasn't. Dawid Malan and Joe Root have looked promising at times but haven't been able to play the big innings. Jos Buttler has been a shadow of the player he is. The keeper did try his level best to rescue the match with his 26 from 207 balls but in the end threw his wicket away as he stepped onto his stumps. Chris Woakes also showed great resilience with his 97 ball 44.
After going wicketless in the first innings, Jhye Richardson picked up a fifer in the second. It will be interesting to see the changes Australia makes in the boxing day Test as Cummins will definitely return to the side while Josh Hazelwood is still doubtful. England are in a lot of trouble at this point. They might give a thought to bringing in Jonny Bairstow and Zak Crawley into the side along with Marko Wood. Apart from Jofra Archer, no other player is missing from the England squad which goes on to show that England's system of running a Test team is going wrong.
Lack of a world class spinner and maybe an opener is proving to be a big problem for Joe Root. Benching Broad and Anderson in the 1st game, playing Pope instead of Bairstow, not playing Mark Wood in the 2nd game are the big decisions that have massively backfired. At this point England would just be hoping that they don't lose the series 5-0. Australia now have a perfect opportunity to whitewash their eternal rivals.
England batters collapse once again as Australia win 1st Ashes Test at the Gabba
(Cricket news) After a massive comeback on day 3, England started day 4 at 220/2 trailing by 58 runs. Australia managed to pick up 8 wickets in less than 77 runs. Nathan Lyon was the star of the show with the figures 4/91. England are in a huge pickle after having a major batting collapse in both the innings.
Root and Malan who led the way yesterday to carve out a brilliant fightback to somewhat get England back into the game were dismissed just 6 overs after the start of day 4. Nathan Lyon got rid of Malan on 82 to pick up his much awaited 400th Test wicket. Joe Root edged Cameron Green's wide late outswinger straight to Carey as he got out on 89. Lyon continued his spell till the 2nd new ball was due and got the wicket of Ollie Pope with a bouncing ball.
Pat Cummins took the new ball and Ben Stokes played all over a leg stump ball as he edged it to Green at gully in a rather comical fashion. Jos Hazelwood got rid of Jos Buttler shortly after with another wide outswinger. Lyon came back into the attack to dismiss Ollie Robinson and Mark Wood. Green got the last wicket of Jack Leech, caught by Carey took a total of 8 catches in the game and broke the record of most catches by a keeper on debut.
Australia needed just 20 runs to win as Alex Carey walked into bat instead of David Warner. The debutant was dismissed by Robinson with 4 runs left. Australia won the game by 9 wickets well inside 4 days. After Malan and Root gave England hope on day 3, it all came crashing down on day 4. England chased too many balls outside off stump which was ultimately their demise. Nathan Lyon bowled well to get his four-fer to answer the critics questioning his selection. England have a lot of thinking to do before the 2nd Test which starts on 16 December at the Adelaide Oval. Stuart Broad and James Anderson should be back but the real question is who do they replace.
Would love to see Paine play again for Australia: Hockley
Melbourne, Dec 9 (Cricket news) Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley has backed Tim Paine to return to country's Test squad, saying he wants to see the former skipper "playing and performing" for Australia again.
Paine took an indefinite mental health break from the game after stepping down as Test captain ahead of the Ashes in the wake of a 'sexting' scandal, which involved him sending inappropriate texts to a female co-worker in 2017.
"Would love to see him play again, for both his state and for Australia," Hockley told SEN.
"We want to see him back out there, playing and performing, as quickly as possible." Paine, who turned 37 on Wednesday, was handed the reins of Australian cricket at a time when the image of the game was in jeopardy following the ball-tampering scandal that happened in Cape Town in 2018.
Following Paine's decision to quit, there were speculations that he might never play for Australia again as the wicketkeeper-batter was expected to retire at the end of this summer.
Cricket Australia also received a lot of flak for the way it handled the issue with Cricket Tasmania chair Andrew Gaggin calling it "appalling" and "the worst since Bill Lawry over 50 years ago." Hockley said it was Paine's call to quit as captain and "that was a decision that the board felt was appropriate" and it was trying to support him.
"The head coach has been down to see him, we've had members of our high performance set up go down to Tassie. The Tasmanian cricket community have put their arms around him," said Hockley, who was appointed chief executive on an interim basis in 2020 before being made permanent a year later.
"We are all very, very concerned - to make sure that Tim is well supported. A lot of respect for Tim for owning his mistake and our job now is to really support him."
Also Read : Captain Cummins grabs maiden Ashes fifer to give massively swing the game Australia's way at the Gabba
news Source : PTI
Alex Carey set to make Test debut and don the gloves in the almighty Ashes at The Gabba
(Cricket news) Australia have added Alex Carey to replace Tim Paine in their squad for the first Ashes. Australian management and captains have trusted Carey by naming him as the lone keeper batter for the big series on his debut.
Tim Paine stepped down as Australia captain and eventually took a mental health break due to the 'sexting scandal'. Carey was always the frontrunner to replace the Tasmanian. The Aussies have chosen him ahead of the experienced Matthew Wade and youngsters Josh Phillipe and Josh Inglis. Carey was always going to be the safe and least controversial option which may be what Australia needed.
Tim Paine's contribution to the team was more as a captain than a gloveman or a batter. Safety behind the wickets and a few runs from Carey would be enough for him to justify his place at least for the 5 match series. Vice captain Steve Smith will have a lot of work to do from the slips. He will be crucial in taking DRS calls and changing the field. Smith will work along with Carey especially when the spinner Nathan Lyon is holding one end while Pat Cummins will be focusing on his bowling.
30-year-old Alex Carey has been playing international white ball cricket for 3 years now. He has an ODI average of 36.45 which isn't bad for someone who bats in the lower middle order. He holds the record for most dismissals in a single Sheffield Shield season with 50 which is a proof of his fine glovework. The South Australian also averages over 50 in his last 2 Sheffield Shield seasons.
Carey doesn't have too big a shoes to fill in but he will be the first one to be criticised if Australia do not perform well. The good news for him is that every single Australian tailender can contribute with the willow and hold the crease at the very least which makes his job a little easier as he will definitely be batting at No. 7. Underwhelming performances in the first two Test matches could see him be dropped for the next 3 especially if Australia does not perform up to standards. Josh Phillipe and Josh Inglis will be knocking at the door.
The first Test kicks off at The Gabba on 8th December where Alex Carey will receive the baggy green cap no. 461.
Not many leg-spinners have Test ambitions these days: Sivaramakrishnan
Mumbai, Dec 1 (Cricket news) Former India player Laxman Sivaramakrishnan on Wednesday rued that the current leg-spinners don't have the ambition to play Test cricket and he partially blamed it on too much stress on reverse swinging the ball these days.
Leg-spinners would form the core of a team's attack in the past. But since the retirement of legendary Shane Warne and Anil Kumble, there has been less impact from leg-spinners in the gruelling Test format.
"I don't see too many leg-spinners have the ambitions to play Test cricket, they're quite happy with playing white-ball cricket. It really pains me," Sivaramakrishnan, himself a former India leg-spinner, said in a virtual interaction.
"I'm really disappointed with the kind of results that the leg-spinners have shown. Basically, because they are only successful in white ball cricket when batters are looking to attack, they get wickets." Sivaramakrishnan, who has played nine Tests and 16 ODIs for India, said the quality of a leg-spinner can be tested only when he plays in a Test with three close-in fielders.
"In modern day cricket, all these leg-spinners have been successful, only because the batters go for big shots, and make the mistake.
"I don't know if I can remember when a leg-spinner played a Test match (for India)." Amit Mishra was the last leg-spinner to play Test cricket for India in 2016.
The story is similar in world cricket too as the likes of Yuzvendra Chahal, Adam Zampa (Australia) and Adil Rashid (England) are mostly preferred in white ball formats.
Blaming it on reversing the ball, he said: "A lot of reverse swing has ruined the careers of some of the spinners overall.
"Because the old ball is now being used for reverse swing and one of the spinners that miss out maybe the leg-spinner. So the onus is on the captain to manage his bowler." Sivaramakrishnan, who made his India debut as a 17-year-old during the tour of West Indies, said the initiative has to come from the cricketer.
"They should have the mindset to bowl even if they go for a boundary, to flight the ball if there's nothing in the pitch then deceive him in the air.
"If the pitches are good, you have to have a lot of variations and to bowl with accuracy and bowl in the right zones. I think the modern day leg-spinners do not have that. I don't see any leg-spinner in the world having that kind of control." He said a leg-spinner has to be ready to bowl long spells, for which he has to do hard practice at the nets.
"If you have to bowl 180 balls, you have to work really really hard. You can't just bowl 30-40 balls and run away." Sivaramakrishnan is part of the Tamil Commentary Panel for the upcoming Ashes Tour on SONY TEN 4 from December 8-January 18, 2022.
He said newly-appointed Australia captain Pat Cummins would have a tough time managing the team and himself during the Ashes.
"Being a bowler, it's not easy for Cummins because he will not only have to manage himself but the other other bowlers." Cummins was named captain for Australia's Ashes defence against England after Tim Paine pulled himself out citing "mental health break" in the wake of his text message scandal.
"He's got a lot of work to do. Generally if the batters does the captaincy, it's a lot easier for the bowlers.
"This particular Australian team under Pat Cummins, how they are going to prove themselves and if they get the Ashes, is a big, big mystery, and we'll have to wait and see," he concluded.
The Ashes get underway at the Gabba in Brisbane on December 8.
Also Read : Leach taking cues from Jadeja clippings ahead of Ashes Down Under
News Source : PTI
Cummins was asked to 'confess' before getting Australia captain job
Melbourne, Nov 28 (Cricket news) Australia's newly-appointed Test captain Pat Cummins has revealed that he was asked to share any secrets he might have had before he was handed the leadership role by the selection panel.
Cummins was made Australia's 47th Test captain ahead of Ashes series after Tim Paine stepped down last week and took an indefinite break from cricket following the 'sexting scandal'.
While Cummins was choosen for the top job, former skipper Steve Smith was handed the vice-captaincy, three years after he was suspended for a year for his role in the ball-tampering scandal that rocked Australian cricket in 2018.
Asked if cricket Australia panel had asked him "anything like a confession" before being appointed as captain, Cummins replied in an affirmative.
"Yeah, there were a couple of questions. I won't go into detail," Cummins told ABC sport during an interview but did not share the details.
"It was a really good open discussion. We talked about a lot of different things. So we both left it feeling really comfortable," said the 28-year-old Cummins.
The five-person panel comprised selectors George Bailey and Tony Dodemaide, former Australia batter and current CA board member Mel Jones, CEO Nick Hockley and chair Richard Freudenstein.
Australia had little time to prepare for the Ashes with the pace trio of Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc lacking in game time in red-ball cricket as they were busy with the ICC T20 World Cup.
However, Australian bowling coach Andrew McDonald said he won't accept any excuse from his pace bowling unit as the opening Test begins on December 8.
"...It was always going to be a shortened prep, and less than ideal switching formats and quarantine and all that stuff," McDonald said during Australia's first practice session on Sunday.
"But I think the art of the modern-day cricketer is to be able to adapt to that. There'll be no excuses from our end and I'm sure there'll be no excuses from England's end either." The members of Australia's Ashes squad, who had participated at the T20 World Cup in UAE, are currently training at their quarantine centre in Gold Coast.
"We've had fantastic facilities up here. The weathe has been challenging at times but we've still been able to get out into the centre. Also, these guys have got a lot of Test experience to draw upon," McDonald told news.com.au.
"So changing formats is something that they've been able to deal with across their careers. I think we'll be really, really, really well-prepared."
Also Read : I only had 12 minutes to get set for the game: Bharat
News Source : PTI
Indian bowlers make incredible comeback to bowl out New Zealand for 296
(Cricket news) Day 3 at Kanpur started with New Zealand in a very good position at 129/0 as they trailed by 216 runs. India took all 10 wickets half an hour before stumps. New Zealand bowled 5 overs before play was called off and managed to get rid of Shubman Gill. India will start day 4 at 14/1 with a lead of 63 runs.
India had a great start to the day as Ishant Sharma and Ravichandran Ashwin bowled from either ends and complemented each other very well. Ashwin was rewarded for his hard work as he picked up the wicket of Will Young who missed his century by 11 runs. Umesh Yadav got the big wicket of Kane Williamson shortly after. Axar Patel then got rid of the experienced Ross Taylor. The pitch kept on producing more and more turn as the day went on.
Axar Patel picked up Henry Nicholas, Tom Latham and Tom Blundell with three ripper deliveries. Latham fell 5 runs short of what would've been a well deserved century. Jadeja joined the act as he got rid of debutant Rachin Ravindra. Axar Patel cleaned up Tim Southee and picked up his 5 Test fifer in just his 4 Test match. Kyle Jamieson scored 22 handy runs before he skied Ashwin's delivery straight into the hands of Axar Patel. Ashwin then cleaned up Will Sommerville to end the Kiwi innings on 296.
Shubman Gill and Mayank Agarwal came into bat with India having a lead of 49 runs. Kyle Jamieson struck on his very first ball to pick up his 50th Test wicket. He clean bowled Gill almost exactly like he did in the first innings. India opted to send in Cheteshwar Pujara instead of a night watchman. Pujara and Agarwal negotiated the rest of the overs as the day ended with India 14/1 in the 2nd innings with a lead of 63 runs.
Wade, Carey, Inglis, Philippe- who will be the perfect Tim Paine replacement?
(Cricket news) Earlier this month Australian skipper Tim Paine officially resigned from his position after a 'Sexting' scandal in 2017. Paine in a statement announced that while his actions did not breach the code of conduct they do not match the standard required to lead the Australian side.
At the time the keeper said that he would be available for selection but it has now been announced that Paine has taken an indefinite break from all forms of cricket. Although there hasn't been any announcement about his absence from the Ashes it is safe to assume that Paine will not be involved in the Tests which start on 8th December. The Australian squad didn't have any other gloveman but will now look to add one or maybe even two in their squad.
Here are the four candidates to replace Tim Paine:
4) Matthew Wade:
Wade is the experienced option and someone who has played a lot of Test cricket very recently. Wade played all 4 Tests against India which was the last Test series the Aussies played. In 36 Tests Wade averages almost 30 with the willow. He had a good T20 World Cup in Abu Dhabi which might give him an edge. The only problem with him is that he is 33 and will only provide a short term solution. Wade has expressed his intentions of hanging up his boots after the next T20 World Cup which is why Justin Langer may choose to go with the younger options.
3) Alex Carey:
Carey is Australia's regular wicket keeper in the ODIs. Although he has been playing International cricket since 2018 he hasn't got the baggy green cap despite good domestic performances mainly because of Tim Paine's captaincy role. Carrey scored 153 runs in 8 Sheffield innings in the last Sheffield Shield tournament with the highest score of 66*.
2) Josh Phillipe:
Josh Phillipe is a T20 sensation already at a mere age of 28. He is the 4th highest run scorer in the 2021/22 Sheffield Shield scoring 434 runs including 1 century and 3 half centuries. It might be too soon for him to don the Aussie whites especially in a series like the Ashes but it wouldn't be a bad call if he is called up as a backup for any of the other 3.
1) Josh Inglis:
Inglis has been on the radar to make his Test debut for quite a while now. He has the most potential from the choices but may not be an instant success. He has scored a plethora of runs in the Sheffield Shield as well as in County cricket. If Australia do pick two players to replace Paine he will definitely be in the squad.
Indian bowlers left frustrated after failing to get a single wicket after 57 overs on day 2
(Cricket News) New Zealand end day two well on top as they are 129 for no loss and trail by 216 runs. Debutant Will Young along with experienced campaigner Tom Latham have built a great platform for New Zealand to get a heavy first innings lead.
The first spell of the morning was the Tim Southee show as he set up Ravindra Jadeja in classic Test match fashion. After swinging four balls away from the left hander, Southee brought one back in and dismantled the stumps. Shreyas Iyer went for an aggressive approach against Kyle Jamieson on the other end to get to his century on debut. Wriddhiman Saha's return to the Test side lasted only 12 balls as Tim Southee dismissed him after scoring just 1 run. Southee then dismissed the centurion Iyer before outwitting Axar Patel to pick up his fifer. Ravichandran Ashwin played a handy knock of 38. Ajaz Patel picked up the final two wickets just after lunch to end the Indian innings at 345.
New Zealand came into bat and went through the day unscathed as both Will Young and Tom Latham scored half centuries. All 5 Indian bowlers caused some discomfort but couldn't pick up a wicket. Ishant Sharma and Umesh Yadav started things off before Rahane went with spin on both ends. The pitch was doing a few things with the occasional ball spinning and keeping low.
Australia name Pat Cummins and Steve Smith as captain and deputy; Tim Paine takes indefinite mental health break
(Cricket news) Pat Cummins has been announced as the 47th Australia Test captain. Cummins has been vice captain since 2019 and therefore was the obvious choice. Steve Smith has been announced as his deputy as Cummins said that he was very determined to give Smith the role.
Cummins' first tour as captain will be the mighty Ashes. There isn't a bilateral Test series more intense than the Ashes. A captaincy change right before a big tournament isn't ideal but such is the situation. Smith has said that he has been a leader for a while and has always contributed to the team but now being given an official position makes things easier.
Cummins has had a very interesting career trajectory. He made his debut way back in 2011 as an 18 year old. Multiple injuries kept him out of the side for almost 6 years. He made a return in 2017 and hasn't looked back since. Cummins has been the best bowler in the longest format of the game for the last 2 years and now he has the added responsibility of being captain.
There are a few disadvantages of having a fast bowler as a captain, the first one being referrals. When Cummins isn't bowling he will be fielding in the outfield which makes it difficult for Cummins to have a say in reviews. That is when Steve Smith comes into play. As a fast bowler who tends to bowl his heart out in long spells it is difficult to manage the workload of captaincy. Cummins has also said that he doesn't plan on taking any breaks from Test cricket in the near future.
Former captain Tim Paine has had a troubled couple of weeks. He has now taken an indefinite break from all forms to focus on his mental health. There hasn't been any official announcement but it is safe to assume that he will not take part in the Ashes. This opens the door for the likes of Alex Carrey, Matthew Wade, Josh Inglis and Josh Phillipe.
Don't see Paine's inclusion in Ashes playing XI as distraction: Lyon
Gold Coast, Nov 25 (Cricket news) Australia spinner Nathan Lyon on Thursday asserted that the inclusion of an under-fire Tim Paine in the playing XI for the Ashes series will not be a distraction for the hosts.
Lyon's comments come after former skipper Ricky Ponting said that Paine's inclusion in the team would "inevitably" be a distraction and the the drama was "not going to go away".
Paine stepped down as Australia's Test skipper last week after it emerged that he had sent unsolicited explicit image of himself along with a string of lewd messages to a female co-worker in 2017, months before he was made captain.
"I don't see it as a distraction at all. At the end of the day, we are professional athletes, we know what we've got to do and how we've got to go about it," Lyon told reporters.
The 34-year-old off-spinner backed Paine, adding that the stumper was the "best keeper in the world".
"The selectors always said they were going to pick the best available XI and in my eyes Tim Paine is the best keeper in the world. I know I want him. This is very selfish from a bowler's point of view, I want the best gloveman behind the stumps. In my eyes that's Tim Paine.
"Everyone will say 'look at his movement around catching the ball', etcetera, but I go off the sound of the gloves when he actually catches the ball," Lyon said.
"If you look at the best keepers in the world and you actually listen to the sound of the ball as it goes into the gloves, I think you can tell that someone's a decent keeper. It's music to my ears." Lyon is confident that Paine has the support of every bowler in the side.
"Every (Test) bowler's relationship with (Paine) is exceptional and Tim Paine is a very lovable guy and a very well-respected guy within the changeroom.
"I think every bowler -- I'm pretty sure I'm speaking on behalf of every bowler (in the Test team) -- we want the best keeper. As I keep saying, I can't say it any more times, Tim is the best keeper in the world.
"Tim made a mistake, he owned it and for me that shows great courage. Tim's got my full support. I'm looking forward to catching up with him as soon as we get out of quarantine up here." Paine is the only specialist wicketkeeper in Australia's 15-man squad to face England in the upcoming Ashes but chairman of selectors George Bailey said he is not final for the first Test starting in Brisbane on December 8.
Talking about his preparation for the series Lyon said: "For me personally, I'm ready to go. The intensity of training here in quarantine has been exceptional, to be honest.
"I wouldn't be concerned if the weather plays a role in our lead up. A big focus for us in quarantine has been when we're training that we're going at close to 100 per cent. "There's been some really good competition out in the middle and throughout the net sessions as well," he added.
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Australia will be without captain for 15 years if it is looking for perfect skipper, says Clarke
Melbourne, Nov 24 (Cricket news) The Australian Test team will be without a captain for the next 15 years if the country's cricket administrators are looking for someone with a "prefect" and unblemished record, feels former skipper Michael Clarke.
Cricket Australia (CA) is set to appoint a new captain after Tim Paine stepped down from the post in the wake of a 'sexting' scandal.
Fast bowling spearhead Pat Cummins has emerged as the frontrunner to succeed Paine and former skipper Steve Smith is also in the reckoning.
Clarke pointed out how Ricky Ponting became one of Australia's greatest captains after overcoming an erratic start to his international career.
"Go back in my time even to Ricky Ponting. If that's the case, he never would have captained Australia," Clarke told 'Big Sports Breakfast'.
"He had a punch up in the middle of a Bourbon & Beefsteak. Are you not going to give him the job because of that? "He's a great example. He's shown you how time, experience, maturity, playing at the highest level and even the captaincy turned him around." Paine is the only specialist wicketkeeper in Australia's 15-man squad to face England in the upcoming Ashes but chairman of selectors George Bailey said he is not final for the first Test starting in Brisbane on December 8.
Clarke admitted that the Australian Test captain needed to be held to a high standard, but he said the team would end up with few options if it has unrealistic expectations.
"Of course, you have to uphold certain standards but are you going to say: 'He can change, he can mature," he said.
"Where is the backing of the player as well? You'll be looking for 15 years (if you want a captain who hasn't done something wrong), we won't have a captain." Clarke said he was still confused as to why Paine resigned over the 2017 incident.
"I don't get it," he said.
"If Cricket Australia were there telling him he had no choice, then he should've stood there and said: 'Listen, that's on you. You guys sack me, go for it but I gave you this information four years ago. I handed it to you, I was open, I was honest, I was straight and I was cleared'.
"Just because it's the public, the rules of engagement are different? I don't think so. It seems to me Cricket Tasmania are saying exactly that, hang on, you cleared him four years ago," Clarke said.
Also Read : He's got the support of all the players: Harris on Paine joining squad ahead of Ashes
News Source : PTI
He's got the support of all the players: Harris on Paine joining squad ahead of Ashes
Brisbane, Nov 24 (Cricket news) Australia batter Marcus Harris is confident that Tim Paine has the support of all the players, saying that the former Test skipper and head coach Justin Langer are yet to address the squad.
Harris also revealed that the playing group found out of Paine's decision to step down just 30 minutes before he faced in the media on Friday.
"There wasn't much time to digest it, but it was a shock," Harris told reporters on Wednesday.
"Tim's obviously been a greater leader around the group, he's always been really good to me and my family - our hearts went out for Tim, and Bonnie, and the kids and his family.
"As long as it's COVID-safe I'll give him a hug," he added.
Paine stepped down as Australia's Test skipper on Friday after it emerged that he had sent unsolicited explicit image of himself along with a string of lewd messages to a female co-worker in 2017, months before he was made captain.
"He's done a really good job in the last few years, under tough circumstances. You'd probably still argue that he's still the best gloveman in the country, and he still played some really important innings last summer against India.
"I know he's got the support of all the players," said Harris, who has played all his 10 Tests under Paine's captaincy.
The Test opener said the players have reached out to the wicketkeeper individually but Langer and Paine haven't addressed the squad directly.
"Probably everyone's spoken to him personally, I sent him a message the other day and spoke to him a little bit. Obviously Painey's a very popular member of the group." Paine, who had gone under the knife to fix a bulging disc in his neck in September, is the only stumper in Australia's 15-player squad for the Ashes, which was announced before he stepped down.
The development comes weeks ahead of the five-Test Ashes series against traditional rivals England. The first Test begins in Brisbane on December 8.
Harris is confident there are several players in the squad who can step up and lead the side.
"People were a bit shocked, but we've got leaders around our group - so it's not ideal, but someone's going to have to step up and lead from the front and there's plenty of people who can do that job." Paine is expected to play an intra-squad match, starting December 1, but there still isn't clarity if he will be included in the playing XI after the recent developments.
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Reinstating Smith as Australia captain will only add to the circus, says Ian Healy
Melbourne, Nov 23 (Cricket news) If Steve Smith is reinstated as captain of the Australian Test squad for the upcoming Ashes following Tim Paine's exit after the sexting scandal it will only "add to the circus", said former wicketkeeper-batter Ian Healy.
Paine had stepped down as Australia's Test skipper on last Friday after it emerged that he had sent unsolicited explicit image of himself along with a string of lewd messages to a female co-worker in 2017, months before he was made captain.
Smith, whom Paine had replaced as captain following the ball-tampering scandal in 2018, has now emerged as one of the candidates for the captaincy role.
However, Healy said making Smith captain again won't help Australian cricket.
"We're going to add to the circus by Steve Smith being appointed after that (the Tim Paine episode)," Healy told Sportsday with Satts and Jase on Tuesday.
"I've got no problems with Steve Smith captaining Australia again; he paid a heavy price for just being a lazy captain, that's about all he was guilty of." Smith along with David Warner and Cameron Bancroft were handed bans by Cricket Australia for their respective roles in the sandpaper gate episode in Cape Town, which rocked Australian cricket in 2018.
"Too many people around there think he was actually in there scratching that ball in South Africa, but if they've forgotten what happened he just wasn't aware enough as captain to pull the reigns in and stop what was going to happen," Healy said.
"That was his (Smith) crime, and he got a year (ban) for it. So, I've got no problems, but I don't think he needs to come in as vice-captain or straight after Paine's indiscretion." On Paine's decision to step down, Healy said, "Paine resigned of his own (choice), Cricket Australia said he could stay and the coach wanted him to stay on, (but) he just didn't want to be a distraction in this circus." Smith, who has scored 7540 runs at an average of 61.8 in 77 Tests, captained Australia in 34 Tests, guiding the team to 18 wins, 10 losses and six draws.
The first Ashes Test begins at Brisbane on December 8.
Also Read : Time is right to make Pat Cummins captain, says Warne
News Source : PTI
Time is right to make Pat Cummins captain, says Warne
Melbourne, Nov 23 (Cricket news) Spin legend Shane Warne has backed Pat Cummins to be Australia's next Test captain, saying the time is right for the pace spearhead to take over the role from Tim Paine.
Paine stepped down from the post on Friday after being investigated by Cricket Australia (CA) for sending explicit messages to a female co-worker in 2017.
Warne feels Cummins, who is the current vice-captain, should be named the captain immediately ahead of the Ashes series.
"For me, the time is right to make Pat Cummins captain, something I thought even before the events of Friday unfolded," Warne wrote in Australia's The Daily Telegraph.
The 28-year-old Cummins, who made his debut in 2011, has snapped 164 wickets in 32 Tests.
"The poster boy, respected and loved the world over, Pat Cummins should now be named captain, and either Matt Wade, Josh Inglis or Alex Carey should get their chance to come in and play Paine's role in the Test team." Warne singled out that Inglis is a "360 degree player" and would be the right man for the wicketkeeping job.
"Inglis gets my vote. He's got silky smooth hands behind the stumps, he's a 360 degree player with the bat and coming off three first class hundreds last season for Western Australia," he wrote.
"He's a great team man who I saw first hand at the London Spirit this year. He's 26. Get him in." The former leg-spinner also empathised with Paine, saying he is just human and shouldn't be judged.
"It was sad to see what happened last Friday on so many levels and the circumstances in which Tim was forced to stand down. I really feel for him, what he's going through, and what his family is going through," Warne wrote.
"I'm not judging him on this incident. Just because Tim is in the public eye doesn't mean he won't make a mistake. Sportspersons are human, they have feelings. Let's stop the judgement. It's not our place to do that." The Ashes begins with the first Test at Brisbane on December 8.
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News Source : PTI
Chief Selector Bailey to 'step aside' from voting on Paine's fate
Melbourne, Nov 23 (Cricket news) Chief selector George Bailey has decided to recuse himself from voting if there is a split decision on whether Tim Paine should be included in the Australian Test side following the 'sexting scandal'.
Paine on last Friday quit Test captaincy ahead of the Ashes series after his four-year-old alleged lewd conversation with a then female colleague came to light recently.
The wicketkeeper batter, however, has expressed his desire to play in the opening Ashes Test in Brisbane starting December 8.
"If the panel was not in agreeance with Tim's position going forward and it was going to come down to a vote, then I would step aside and leave that to Tony and Justin (Langer) to work through," Bailey, who shares a personal and business relationship with Paine, said on the Cricket Etc podcast.
"They're both aware of that." Apart from Bailey, who succeeded Trevor Hohns as head selector earlier this year, coach Justin Langer and Tony Dodemaide are part of the three-man selection panel, which will make the call.
The 36-year-old Paine had undergone an invasive surgery in September for pain in his neck and left arm due to a bulging disc.
He grabbed six catches for Tasmania's second XI in Hobart on Monday after returning to cricket.
If he is ignored for the first Test against England, it could spell the end of his international career.
"One thing Tim's always been pretty good at is the preparation side of things. He is quite meticulous," said Bailey, a former Australia white-ball skipper.
"There is no doubt it is not an ideal preparation, but we'll watch this game and he'll know how he gets through the four days as much as anyone." Cricket Tasmania has slammed Cricket Australia for the treatment meted out to Paine.
"At its meeting on 22 November, 2021, the Cricket Tasmania Board unanimously expressed its continuing support of Tim Paine and condemnation of his treatment by Cricket Australia," it said.
Paine had taken over the captaincy from Steve Smith following the infamous ball-tampering episode in Cape Town in 2018.
Cricket Tasmania chairman Andrew Gaggin backed Paine.
"In conversations I have had in recent days it is clear that the anger amongst the Tasmanian cricket community and general public is palpable," he said.
"Tim Paine has been a beacon for Australian cricket over the past four years and instrumental in salvaging the reputation of the national team after the calamity of Cape Town.
"Yet, at a time when CA should have supported Tim, he was evidently regarded as dispensable. The treatment afforded to the Australian Test captain by Cricket Australia has been appalling, and the worst since Bill Lawry over 50 years ago." Lawry, who captained Australia in 25 Tests, was unceremoniously dumped as skipper and player midway through the 1970-71 Ashes. He came to know about the decision only after it was broadcasted on radio.
"The Cricket Tasmania Board reaffirmed its view that Paine should not have been put in a position where he felt the need to resign over an incident that was determined by an independent inquiry at the time to not be a breach of the Code of Conduct and was a consensual and private exchange that occurred between two mature adults and was not repeated," Gaggin said.
"Cricket Tasmania will continue to support Tim on and off the field, and is very pleased to see his impressive return in the Second XI game Tasmania is currently playing against South Australia."
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News Source : PTI
Smith is one of candidates for Test captaincy after selectors approach CA
Melbourne, Nov 20 (Cricket News) Batting mainstay Steve Smith on Saturday emerged as one of the candidates for Australian Test captaincy after the selectors had reportedly approached the country's cricket board with a proposal to hand over the reins to the former skipper.
Though vice-captain Pat Cummins remains the frontrunner for the top job, Smith is also in the reckoning, the country's cricket board said following the resignation of Tim Paine from the top job.
Paine stepped down from the post on Friday after being investigated by Cricket Australia (CA) for sending explicit messages to a female co-worker in 2017.
Paine succeeded Smith as captain in 2018 after the batter was banned from international cricket for 12 months and suspended from leadership roles for two years for his role in the Cape Town ball-tampering scandal.
"There are a range of candidates who are available for that role, Steve Smith is one of the candidates that is available for the role," said CA chairman Richard Freudenstein during a virtual press conference following Paine's resignation.
Meanwhile, there are also speculations that the senior national team selectors are in favour of appointing Smith as skipper.
"It's understood the selectors were interested in the idea of Smith being able to captain should an injury or similar occur to Tim Paine, with the proposal given the board's approval," sen.com.au ran a story quoting Herald Sun.
The top contender though, remains pace spearhead Cummins.
"However, Smith could be appointed as vice-captain to support Cummins, who would be the first fast bowler to captain Australia since 1956, when Ray Lindwall held the role for a solitary Test.
"Smith was barred from holding a leadership position within the team for two years after the events of Cape Town, with that ban elapsing over a year ago," sen.com.au added on Saturday, a day after the Australian cricket was rocked by the Tim Paine "sexting" scandal.
The messages date back to 2017, months before Paine was recalled to the Test team after a seven-year absence and a joint Cricket Australia and Cricket Tasmania investigation cleared him at the time.
The development came weeks ahead of the five-Test Ashes series against traditional rivals England. The first Test begins in Brisbane on December 8.
Australia's former chairman of selectors Trevor Hohns had said in November that Smith would probably be a contender to succeed Paine.
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Angelo Mathews named in Sri Lanka squad in two Test series against West Indies
(Cricket news) The West Indies tour of Sri Lanka is set to begin from tomorrow as the audience will shift their focus from hard hitting to hard defense and to whites. After early exits from the World Cup, both the teams will now look to end the year with a series win and both the matches will be played at Galle. Sri Lanka will be the favourites as they are the hosts, the visitors have players in form who can take it away from the Lankans.
West Indies have a balanced line up as their top batters and bowlers are present in the squad. Kemar Roach will be the leading pacer, he is the 8th highest wicket taker for the side in Test matches and has 27 wickets this year which is the most for the team. Jason Holder will also play a major part as he has taken 21 wickets this season, Rahkeem Cornwall will be leading the spin attack as he can be a vital lower order batter.
Among the batters, this season’s leading run scorer and captain Kraigg Brathwaite will look to cross the 600 run mark this season as he needs 44 more runs and can pose a threat at Galle. Kyle Mayers has proved himself to be a reliable batter as he has scored 553 runs just three runs below from the captain. Most of the Windies players made their debuts this year, they have been playing well and can gain a lot of experience as they face a tough Sri Lankan side. But the visitors are in form even though they are young and new.
Sri Lanka has a strong batting lineup as compared to their bowlers. Lahiru Thirimanne who is the leading run scorer for the side this season has opted himself out as captain Dimuth Karunaratne will be leading among the batters. Pathum Nissanka and Charith Asalanka were in form during the ICC T20 World Cup and will hope to bring their form. Angelo Mathews will be an influential all rounder to the side as with his experience he can bring a change to the team’s outlook.
Among the bowlers for the Lankan team, spinner Lasith Embuldeniya has taken 19 wickets in 4 matches and pacer Suranga Lakmal has taken 16 in 5 matches. Lahiru Kumara can bring in his pace and swing to trouble the batters but has only played one match this season, Praveen Jayawickrama made a match winning debut as the spinner took 11 wickets in the match against Bangladesh but has not played a match since then. Jayawickrama is the only spinner to take two five wicket hauls for the side this season and both came in that match.
Australia faces captaincy dilemma right before the Ashes after Tim Paine resignation
(Cricket news) Tim Paine has officially resigned from the post of Australia's Test captain after a 'Sexting' scandal in 2017. Paine in a statement announced that his actions does not breach the code of conduct but certainly does not match the image required to lead the Australian side.
There were rumours that the Ashes would be Paine's last series anyway. Now with him not being the captain it is more likely than ever that Paine either retires after the Ashes or is dropped. Paine and Cricket Australia have both confirmed that the player will remain available for selection. Paine will surely play at least the first two Tests as the Aussies haven't named any other wicket keeper in the squad.
Australia lack options in the captaincy department. Pat Cummins was Paine's deputy in previous tours so he would be the obvious choice. Having a fast bowler who will bowl his heart out in long spells isn't ideal to be a captain. Cummins will go off the field for rest during which someone else will have to take over which isn't a good thing. Cummins also plays all three formats of the game, add captaincy to that and his workload becomes too much.
Australia wouldn't be too keen on going back to the Steve Smith and David Warner route after what happened with the sandpaper gate. If these things are ignored then Steve Smith is one of the best captains in the World and would be perfect for the role. Whether Australia use that option is a big question mark.
Another name thrown around is Marnus Labuschagne who may be too young for the role. The batter doesn't even captain his domestic team. His domestic captain is Usman Khawaja who is a good leader but he has just come back in the squad after 2 years away. Whatever option Australia chooses would have loopholes in it. It is important that whoever is chosen captain gets adequate support from the team and takes on the responsibility.
Australia's ideal playing XI for the first Ashes Test at the Gabba
(Cricket news) The most grudge rivalry in cricket is about to kick off down under. Australia and England will go head to head forto head for a classic old school 5 match Test Series. Australia have named a 15 man squad for the first two Tests. Despite the disappointing performance in the last home series against India. There aren't anyaren't any significant changes in the Australian squad. There certainly won't be more than 2 changes in the XI that played in the last Test against India at the Gabba.
Australia's ideal Playing XI:
Openers: David Warner, Marcus Harris
David Warner is a no brainer selection at the top of the order more so after the kind of form he is in. There is an option to go for Usman Khawaja but Marcus Harris is likely to retain his spot. The two left handers have to start well. It is important for Justin Langer that whichever opening combination he chooses works this time around as not having a constant opening partner has affected David Warner's game as well. Marcus Harris is the most likely batter to fit in perfectly with Warner.
Middle order: Marnus Labuschagne, Steven Smith, Usman Khawaja
Labuschagne and Smith will definitely be in the side unless there is an injury to either. The pair will have a lot of responsibility to anchor the Australian innings. Both Smith and Labuschagne unlike the others had a decent series against India as both of them got tons. Labuschagne has been in good knick in the Sheffield Shield as well. Langer and Paine could go for either Usman Khawaja or Travis Head. Khawaja's Sheffield Shield form is two difficult to ignore. The Queensland captain has scored 404 runs in 6 innings which is just a touch better than Head who has 285 runs. Considering Head was given a chance against India in the first two Tests but couldn't capitalise and Khawaja hasn't been given a chance since 2019 suggests that it could be Khawaja who completes the middle order.
All-rounder: Cameron Green
Cameron Green will definitely be in the side as the sole All-rounder. His only competition is perhaps Micheal Nasser but Green will be difficult for any team in the world to keep out. His Sheffield Shield form has been good which is a positive. Batting at no. 6 Green will have a lot of responsibility with the willow. He will have to get a few overs in with the ball as well. The all-rounder had a decent performance with the bat against India but didn't manage to pick up a single wicket which is something he wouldn't want to do again.
Wicket keeper: Tim Paine
The Australian selectors are pretty confident that Tim Paine will be fit enough to don the gloves as they haven't picked another keeper in the squad. Paine will also captain the side for potentially the last time. He had a decent series against India last time around, scoring 204 runs in 7 innings including 2 not outs. His performance with the willow was overshadowed by his antics behind the stumps which he has since apologized for. He will have a job on his side more with the captaincy side of things which doesn't mean that he will get a free pass for his batting and keeping.
Bowlers: Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazelwood, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins
The Aussie bowling quartet is tough to change. The pace trio have been terrific in the T20 World Cup but this will be a different ball game altogether. Lyon on the other hand is one of the best spinners in the world. He will have to do much more with the ball this time around then he did against India. Jhye Richardson and Mitchell Sweepson are other options but it is difficult to see them start the first game unless there is an injury or fatigue to the quicks.
I haven’t heard him talk about not continuing: Waugh on Langer potentially quitting after Ashes
Sydney, Nov 17 (Cricket news) Australian great Steve Waugh feels Justin Langer will continue as the side's head coach beyond the Ashes series, insisting that the former opener is not the one to "back away from a challenge." Waugh's comments came after another former Australia captain Michael Clarke said Langer would step down as coach if Australia add an Ashes victory to the T20 World Cup.
“I talk to him regularly and he’s never spoken to me about stepping down or backing away from a challenge,” Waugh was quoted as saying by 'Sydney Morning Herald'.
Waugh, who played alongside Langer and also worked with him in the Australian set-up in 2019, feels there has been intense scrutiny around the 50-year-old's job.
“His whole career he was up against (it), he was always the player on the edge, the next one to be dropped.
"He's used to being on edge and performing. I think in a lot of ways it motivates him and we've seen when you think he’s down, he comes back and succeeds." Langer, who was appointed as Australia's chief coach in the aftermath of the infamous 2018 ball-tampering scandal, helped deliver the country's maiden T20 World Cup title on Sunday.
Back in the country, he has now turned his attention to the iconic Ashes series, starting December 8.
"Looking forward to the Ashes, that’s one of the highlights as a captain and a coach. To win a series in Australia, he’d be focusing on that. I haven’t heard him talk about not continuing on. He loves a challenge," Waugh said.
The former Test opener's job had been under the scanner since Australia's disappointing loss to India in Tests earlier this year but he was backed by Cricket Australia (CA) chief executive officer Nick Hockley.
There were also reports of a rift in the Australian dressing room between the players and Langer.
Waugh feels the players should take responsibility for wins and losses rather than the coach.
“I’d like to think the players take responsibility for winning and losing, not the coach,” Waugh said.
“When I played cricket, sure, you had the coach, but I know as a player you had to take responsibility for winning or losing. You’re the one out there for six hours a day playing a Test match, not the coach.
“I think there has been far too much emphasis on Justin Langer’s performance rather than the players. Realistically (against) India last year they should have won that series comfortably." Australia lost the Border-Gavaskar Trophy earlier this year to an Indian side that was missing several of its top players, including skipper Virat Kohli.
“India were missing all their stars. We bowled them out for 36 in Adelaide and to lose from there … I don’t think you can point the finger at the coach and say it’s the coach’s fault. It’s great Justin’s won (a T20 World Cup), that can only be a positive. I think there’s been way too much talk about the coach.” Langer, who had guided Australia to an Ashes triumph in 2019 in the UK, is contracted until mid-2022.
Waugh feels Langer will understand if Cricket Australia decide to replace him.
"He would see it as no different to the players. The players get renegotiated pretty much every year,” said the 56-year-old former captain.
“He’s man enough to realise if you don’t perform, you don’t get picked as a player.
“It’s exactly the same thing [as a coach]. He knows there’s no free rides. What he and Tim Paine and Aaron Finch have done since Cape Town has been a pretty amazing transformation."
Also Read : McCullum hails Tim Southee's 'great leadership qualities'
News Source : PTI
I'll be ready if I have to: Cummins on potential captaincy role during Ashes
Brisbane, Nov 17 (Cricket news) Australia vice-captain Pat Cummins on Wednesday said he's ready to juggle his pace workload alongside captaincy if regular Test skipper Tim Paine isn't fit for the start of the Ashes series.
Australia have named a 15-man squad for the opening two Ashes Tests, with skipper Paine, who had gone under the knife to fix a bulging disc in his neck in September, included despite an injury cloud.
"Hopefully Tim will be fine, he's nearing 100 per cent ... but I'll be ready if I have to, but I doubt that," Cummins was quoted as saying by Channel Nine.
The pacer added he could always seek the counsel of experienced players in the side, like former skipper Steve Smith and David Warner, if he found the role tough.
"If I was in the role and I found it tough, at times, there's ten other guys I'd lean on out in the middle.
"You've got people like Smithy and Davey Warner who are incredibly experienced, all the bowlers are experienced and look after themselves pretty well so I'd have no issues handballing it over to other people to help out." The 28-year-old hasn't played a first-class match since February. He also skipped the limited overs tours of West Indies and Bangladesh and second leg of the IPL before featuring in all of Australia's T20 World Cup games.
But Cummins is confident he will be ready for the red-ball series.
"With no games, it gave me the chance to focus on a few different things, so my body feels as good as it has in a couple of years," Cummins said.
"There's no niggles, I feel really fresh and I always love going into a series giving myself the best chance to turn up and, if I have to bowl 50 overs in a Test, I can." Ahead of the series opener, Australia will play one three-day intra-squad match, starting December 1.
Cummins will share pace duties with fellow speedsters Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc, who were all part of the Australian side that won its maiden T20 World Cup on Sunday.
"The benefit of the short spells is that we're really, really fresh. I always feel like it's better to be underdone than overdone coming into a big Test series," he said.
"We've got access to quite a few centre wickets. We'll have three, four, five centre wickets where we try and have relatively big days, bowl a couple of spells on those days, and then we'll be ready to go." The first Test takes place at the Gabba in Brisbane from December 8, followed by the day-night Test at Adelaide Oval from December 16.
Also Read : Jamieson opts out of India T20 series to focus on Tests
News Source :
Paine devastated by Pucovski's latest concussion, says big blow to Australia ahead of Ashes
Hobart, Oct 15 (Cricket news) "Devastated" to hear about the latest concussion endured by Will Puckovski, Australia Test skipper Tim Paine on Friday admitted the setback to the young opener is a "big blow" to the side ahead of the Ashes series in December.
Puckovski was struck on the head during a training session last Tuesday, leading to the 10th concussion of his nascent career.
"It's not ideal, no doubt," Paine told 'SEN Radio'.
"Shattering when I found out. I've spoken to him a bit the last few days, he's improving slowly, I don't think it's as bad as some of the others he's had before.
"But obviously with his history we have to be very careful with anything around the brain. I was devastated to hear that's it happened to him," he added.
The 23-year-old is considered a once-in-a-generation batting talent, averaging 53.51 in first class cricket with six centuries, including a high score of 255 not out.
Paine said the talented right hander was "still hoping to be ready at some stage during the summer, so he's got plenty of support around him and we know how good he is.
The skipper asserted that "there's no need to rush him at the moment." "He's still 22-23 years of age, so he's got a long time in the game if we get it right," he added.
Pucovski had scored 62 on Test debut against India in January but hasn't played since then due to a shoulder injury.
It is unclear if the Victorian will be available for the first Ashes Test, starting December 8 with the skipper saying he would have opened the innings.
"It's a blow, no doubt. In my opinion, he would've partnered David Warner in that first Test match, there's no doubt about that." Marcus Harris has now emerged as a frontrunner to open the innings alongside Warner.
"But Marcus Harris is probably the guy waiting for the opportunity and he’s just come back from a superb six months over in England playing for Leicestershire in county cricket and we know his first-class record has been outstanding for Victoria for a long time.
"He's probably the frontrunner now for that role," Paine added.
Also Read : Pucovski suffers another concussion during training session
News Source : PTI
Tim Paine says Ashes will go ahead, slams Pietersen
Melbourne, Oct 1 (Cricket news) Australia captain Tim Paine on Friday asserted that the upcoming Ashes series against traditional rivals England will go ahead even if some visiting players refuse to tour because of COVID-19 restrictions.
There has been a lot of speculation over the Ashes with many England players including Test captain Joe Root raising concerns over travelling with family members amid strict COVID restrictions Down Under, with some even mulling pulling out of the tour.
But Paine thought otherwise.
"The Ashes are going ahead. The first Test is on 8 December - whether Joe is here or not," Paine told SEN Hobart.
"They all want to come, there's no doubt about it. They're trying to get themselves the best possible conditions they can, but at the end of the day, we all are." Earlier, Root and other members of the England team have expressed doubts over the tour, citing "bubble fatigue" amid the prospect of living under strict restrictions.
Paine added, "It'll be worked out above us and then they'll have a choice whether to get on that plane or not.
"No one is forcing any England player to come. That's the beauty of the world we live in - you have a choice. If you don't want to come, don't come." Paine also asked former England star Kevin Pietersen to let the players decided whether they wish to play in the Ashes or not.
"He (Pietersen) is an expert on everything, there is no doubt about that," Paine said.
"Kev mate, leave it to the players, let them speak. We have not heard one England player come out and say they will not be coming.
"I think it's been beat up and people like Kevin like to get themselves a little bit of exposure in the media whenever they can," added Paine, who is recuperating from a neck surgery and hopes to be fit for the Ashes.
Pietersen had recently taken to Twitter and criticised the Australian quarantine rules, saying players have had enough of staying in bio-secure bubbles and called for lifting of the "ridiculous quarantine rules" in Australia before the Ashes.
The five-match Test series is scheduled to begin from December 8 and continue till January 18. But the fate of the tour remains unclear with several senior English players are considering the possibility of boycotting it, depending on what type of restrictions they have to live in.
Australia plans to ease border and quarantine restrictions by the end of this year, after at least 80 per cent of its adult population receive two COVID-19 vaccination shots.
Officials in the COVID-free states of Western Australia and Queensland have however said they may keep their borders shut for longer period, depending on the situation.
Also Read : 'No way I would go to Ashes': Pietersen calls for lifting of COVID restrictions in Australia
News source : PTI
Paine 'extremely confident' of being fit to lead Australia in opening Ashes Test
Hobart, Sep 17 (Cricket news) Australia red-ball skipper Tim Paine, who went under the knife to fix a bulging disc in his neck earlier this week, is "extremely confident" he will be fit to lead his country in the first Ashes Test against England in December.
The 36-year-old, who had disc replacements on his C-6 and C-7 in the neck, is expected to be under recovery for six weeks while the first Ashes Test is slated to begin at the Gabba from December 8.
"As soon as this six week block is over I think I’ll be good to go. I’m 36 years of age, I’ve done plenty of cricket training and I know my game fairly well," Paine told 'SEN Radio'.
"I'm pretty confident outside of that six-week time frame that I’d be right to go within a week if I needed to be, so that gives me plenty of time.
"I obviously won’t be as fit or as strong as I would like to be, but I think if I’m moving freely then I’ll give a good fist of it," he added.
The wicketkeeper batsman hopes to get in a Shield game before the marquee series.
"It's two and a half months (until the Ashes), and after that six weeks I'll get straight into my cricket and I could be ready anywhere from a week to ten days. December 8 is the first Test, and I’m extremely confident I'll be right to go before then.
"I'll hopefully get a Shield game in for Tassie beforehand, and to be hopefully on the end of a third winning Ashes would be something really special for me and the team." Talking about the procedure, Paine said "I ended up having disc replacements on C-6 and C-7, high up in the neck. Basically, they cut a big hole in my throat, move my voice box over to the side and go in that way.
"I feel like my range is already better and I've just got to make sure the front, where the cut is, heals and I give the disc time to 'take' to the rest of my spine over the next month or so, and then get moving.
"It's a pretty slow process, if I'm totally honest. I'll be (restricted to) walking for the next couple of weeks, and doing a lot of little neck physio-type movements just to try and get the smaller muscles in my neck working again." Paine revealed that bulging disk had led to a loss of strength in his left arm.
"I obviously had a bulging disc pushing on the nerve canal on my spine. I was having a few issues down the left side of my body.
"I was losing a lot of strength in my left arm, and I was getting a lot of sort of nerve pain down the back of my arm." Paine feels going under the knife was the right thing to do.
"I didn't want it to become anything permanent and I think if I left it too long I think there’s a chance that it could. The second one is that I wanted to be playing in the Ashes and playing good.
"I didn’t want it to come good in a month and then continually flaring up in the Ashes, if it had come back as bad as it had been at times there’s no way I would’ve been able to play if it was the morning of a Test match. I didn't want to take that risk." The C6-C7 disc is 6th cervical disc near the lower part of the neck, near the top of the shoulders.
Also read: India's ODI tour of New Zealand postponed to 2022
News source: PTI
Tim Paine to undergo neck surgery before Ashes
Melbourne, Sep 13 (Cricket news) Australia Test captain Tim Paine is set to undergo a surgery on Tuesday to get rid of a nagging neck pain ahead of the Ashes series against England in December.
Paine, 37, exuded confidence of regaining full fitness to lead the Test side in this summer's Ashes.
The surgery is meant to fix a "pinched nerve in his neck", which has halted his pre-season training with Tasmania.
"The consensus of the spinal surgeon and the CA medical team was to have the surgery now which will allow plenty of time to fully prepare for the summer," Paine was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.
"I expect to be able to restart physical activity by the end of this month and be back in full training in October.
"I will be ready to go by the first Test and am very much looking forward to what will be a huge summer.
The first Ashes Test is scheduled to start on December 8 at the Gabba.
Also read: Refrain from delivering aggressive statements: Asghar Afghan to Paine
Paine has had series of surgeries in the past and an injury to his right index finger had almost ended his career before he made an unexpected comeback to the Test side in 2017.
He underwent seven surgeries to fix his finger.
News source: PTI
Refrain from delivering aggressive statements: Asghar Afghan to Paine
Kabul, Sep 12 (Cricket news) Former Afghanistan captain Asghar Afghan has slammed Australia Test skipper Tim Paine for his comments that the war-torn country looks impossible to play in the upcoming T20 World Cup, asking him not to "deliver aggressive statements without knowing the circumstances".
Backing Cricket Australia's decision to scrap the Test against Afghanistan to be played on November 27 in Hobart after the Taliban banned women from playing cricket, Paine had said it's hard to see a team like that being allowed to play in an ICC-sanctioned event.
In an open letter to Paine, Afghan said that his country's team has the right to play not only in the upcoming T20 World Cup but in all ICC organized tournaments/events in accordance with the rules and regulations of ICC.
"...it requires too much of hard work and dedication to reach this level of cricket. For a less privileged cricketing nation as Afghanistan with zero infrastructure and support reaching where we are right now and playing shoulder to shoulder with top 10 countries require sheer determination, passion, and talent.
"Therefore, you should refrain from delivering aggressive statements which would result in isolating the Afghan Cricket," he wrote.
The 34-year-old former captain said cricket is now the No. 1 sport in Afghanistan and is being followed by nearly 30 million Afghans.
"This shows, either you are unaware of the circumstances or talking out of contradiction; in any case, you are mistreating Afghan Cricket and all the gains we have obtained with hardship in the past decade." Soon after forming the interim government, the Taliban banned women from playing cricket or any others sports, casting doubts over Afghanistan men's team Test status.
As per ICC rules, all Test playing nations must have a women's team as well.
Also read: Looks impossible for Afghanistan to play in T20 World Cup: Tim Paine
Afghanistan named its T20 World Cup squad on Thursday with Rashid Khan as the skipper, but the star spinner immediately resigned from captaincy, stating he was not consulted before picking the 15-member side.
All-rounder Mohammad Nabi, who plays for Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL, was then named captain of the team.
The T20 World Cup will be held in the UAE and Oman from October 17 to November 14.
News source: PTI
Looks impossible for Afghanistan to play in T20 World Cup: Tim Paine
Melbourne, Sep 10 (Cricket news): Australia Test captain Tim Paine believes it would be "impossible" for Afghanistan to compete in next month's T20 World Cup as other countries might refuse to play against them following Taliban's ban on women's cricket in the war-ravaged country.
Soon after forming the interim government, the Taliban banned women from playing cricket or any others sports, casting doubts over Afghanistan men's team Test status. As per ICC rules, all Test playing nations must have a women's team as well. Paine backed the decision of Cricket Australia (CA) which all but confirmed on Thursday that the men team's season-opening Test against Afghanistan, slated to start on November 27, will be scrapped due to the Taliban's order.
"I don't think we want to be associated with countries that are taking opportunities or things off literally half their population," Paine was quoted as saying on SEN radio.
"I'd imagine it's impossible (for Afghanistan to take part) if teams are pulling out of playing against them and governments are not letting them travel to our shores.
"How a team like that can be allowed to play in an ICC-sanctioned event is going to be very, very hard to see," he added.
The ICC has flagged it won't discuss the issue until a board meeting in November, although pressure from members could potentially expedite things.
"It's sad. We've heard nothing from the ICC, which is fascinating given there is a T20 World Cup in just over a month's time," Paine said.
Afghanistan named its T20 World Cup squad on Thursday with Rashid Khan as the skipper, but the star spinner immediately resigned from captaincy, stating he was not consulted before picking the 15-member side.
The T20 World Cup will be held in the UAE and Oman from October 17 to November 14.
Also read: Will not host Afghanistan men's team in November if women are not allowed to compete: CA
News source: PTI
Was Team India's victory at Lord's better than the one at the Gabba?
(Cricket news) Apart from the World Test Championship final against New Zealand, the Indian Test team has achieved unparalleled success over the past year. A second consecutive away win against Australia is something which not many teams achieve. India broke Australia's unbeaten record at the Gabba at the beginning of the year with many prominent players out injured. Just a few days ago, India won an almost unwinnable at the Lord's to take a 1-0 series win. Both the victories were significant in their own way, but which one was better? Let's have a look.
At Lord's there was no real pre-match drama. The first game was a draw which India were more likely to win if it wasn't for rain but at the Gabba, India had been bowled out for 36 in the first Test match and then lost their captain. India comfortably won the 2nd Test and then produced a great escape in the 3rd. There was an off the pitch controversy where India refused to travel to the Gabba which set the tone for the match.
If we look at the match itself both the games were balanced after the first innings. It was the 3rd innings where India's opposition took the advantage. At the Gabba, India were never fully struggling in the 4th innings as Shubhman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rishabh Pant and Washington Sundar all contributed with the bat. Whereas at Lord's India were at a heavy disadvantage after Rishabh Pant had been dismissed. The lower order batsmen who didn't have any prior success with the willow got runs out of nowhere. When India declared their innings, a draw looked the most likely result but India's pace quadrant managed to pick up 10 wickets on a flat pitch with 8 overs to spare. The match at Lord's was just a tad better than the one at the Gabba.
In the context of the series the Gabba has a huge significance because the win meant that India won a series in Australia. The significance of the Lord's win will be discovered once the series is over, but a win in the series decider will always feel better.
Also read: How Jasprit Bumrah's 10-ball over to James Anderson influenced India's win at Lord's
The game at Lord's had some very heated battles. Jasprit Bumrah who is usually a very cool customer showed a different side to him. There were verbal exchanges prior to the Gabba match in Sydney where Tim Paine abused Ravichandran Ashwin but at Lord's everyone got into the act. When Ollie Robinson walked into bat in the 4th innings everyone especially Virat Kohli and Mohammed Siraj absolutely flew at him. Bouncers and balls to the body were always accompanied by a few words.
Australia hadn't lost a Test match at the Gabba 1998. The Gabba was called the Australian cricket team's 'Fortress' which India conquered. India became the first team to beat Australia at the Gabba since Viv Richards' West Indies. When it comes to Lord's, it is the Mecca of cricket and a venue where India had only won 3 matches before this one but England's overall record at Lord's wasn't the best. So the significance of breaking Australia's unbeaten streak is very high.
Fight and Grit
At Lord's India won the game against the odds on the final day but India were favourites to win before the game started. During the Gabba victory India were without their captain Virat Kohli. Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma and Mohammed Shami. The bowling attack in particular was inexperienced and had many players playing their first series. At Lord's before the 4th innings, Virat Kohli in the team huddle gave a fiery speech where he said "These 60 overs should feel like hell for them (England batsman)". To do it without Kohli and others at Gabba proved that India can win games with their big boys.
To sum it up, both the wins are better in some parts. The Gabba win showed the world that the Indian Test side can win a game from any situation and the Lord's win further proved the point.
Ricky Ponting backs Australian players to play in rescheduled IPL in UAE, says will be ideal preparation for T20 World Cup in October
Melbourne, Aug 14 (Cricket news) Batting legend Ricky Ponting has backed Australian players to feature in the rescheduled Indian Premier League in the UAE, saying it would be an ideal preparation ahead of T20 World Cup in October.
The IPL will squeeze its remaining 76 games between September 19 and October 15 while the T20 World Cup will be held just after that from October 17 to November 14. Both tournaments will be held in the UAE.
"Those guys that haven't played for three or four months now, they need to get back into the groove of playing high-quality cricket against the best players in the world," Ponting was quoted by cricket.com.au as telling Australia Test captain Tim Paine in a conversation on SEN radio.
"No doubt it's their best preparation to be in those exact conditions, playing in probably the strongest domestic T20 tournament in the world," said Ponting, who will head to Dubai as head coach of IPL side Delhi Capitals.
Fast bowler Pat Cummins, who skipped the West Indies and Bangladesh tours to spend the time with his pregnant fiance, is not expected to return to the IPL with his first child due in the middle of the rescheduled tournament.
"For second half of this season it's going to be really tough to get over there," Cummins said in a vlog on his YouTube channel.
"We'll see how it plays out but at this stage it might be a bit too hard, but with the World Cup straight after that, I'm hoping to be good to go for that." Australia captain Aaron Finch this week had surgery on his right knee to repair cartilage damage he suffered in the West Indies. While the surgery was a success, he faces a 10-week recovery period, which will leave him sidelined right up until Australia's opening match of the Super 12 stage of the World Cup.
Finch has previously said he believed a return to the IPL would be "hard to justify" for players who had skipped the winter tours citing the fatigue and toll of hotel quarantines and bio-secure bubbles.
Riley Meredith, Dan Christian, Moises Henriques, Mitchell Marsh, Adam Zampa, Andrew Tye and Josh Philippe were all part of the side that toured the Caribbean and Bangladesh, and all hold IPL deals.
Marsh and Philippe had opted out of the first stage of the IPL tournament that was held in India.
Nathan Coulter-Nile, Chris Lynn and Ben Cutting - none of whom are in Australia's plans or hold state contracts - are the other Australians with IPL contracts.
Australia's T20 side, which did not have a host of first-choice players, suffered 1-4 series defeats against West Indies and Bangladesh recently, and Ponting said the results underlined the current lack of depth in Australian cricket.
Also read: KL Rahul backs Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane to find form soon; says they know how to turn things around
The Australian side crashed to their lowest-ever T20I total of 62 against Bangladesh in Dhaka a few days ago.
"... whether it was a lack of confidence or a lack of skill or a lack of game awareness in the conditions. Just the lack of know-how and skill in those conditions brought us undone again.
"It's been the Achilles heel for Australian cricket for as long as I can remember. It just goes to show the depth around Australian cricket right now is not where it needs to be.
"The T20 World Cup is not far away (but) with everyone fit and healthy in the UAE, I still think the Australian team can push really hard to win that title that's eluded us," Ponting said.
News source: PTI
Hurt Langer keen to continue as Australia cricket coach despite criticism
Gros Islet (St Lucia), Jul 9 (Cricket news) Hurt by the criticism that has followed him ever since an injury-ravaged India upstaged Australia early this year, coach Justin Langer said most of it confused him.
In January this year, Australia lost the home Test series 1-2 against an under-strength India, who made a heroic comeback under Ajinkya Rahane's leadership after losing the opening match in Adelaide.
The visiting side battled the absence of star batsman and regular skipper Virat Kohli along with a spate of injuries to triumph in the series. Langer and Australia Test skipper Tim Paine drew heavy criticism for floundering tactically against a hampered rival.
"Some of the things I was reading were a bit confusing actually. If I'm completely honest I was really hurt by some of it. The feedback I've been given for three years has been overwhelmingly positive of the role that I've been able to play as a coach," Langer said ahead of the T20 series opener against West Indies here on Saturday.
Australia are currently touring West Indies for a five-match T20 series and three ODIs. Langer admitted that he didn't like losing to India but was committed to his job.
"If the board and the CEO and high performance manager believe I'm the right person to keep leading us forward, absolutely. I absolutely love my job," he said.
"I didn't like losing to India in the amazing series, no one likes losing. I'm absolutely committed, I love my job, I love the Australian cricket team, I love the players and I love Australian cricket.
"They're the things I value most in my life. Hopefully I've done a really good job the last three years, that's been the feedback. Long may that continue." Langer was appointed as Australia's head coach in 2018 on a four-year contract, replacing Darren Lehmann.
The former left-handed opener refused to rate himself as a "great coach", insisting that the team's focus remains on doing well in this year's ICC World T20 in the UAE and the home Ashes series against England starting December.
"We're not a great team yet and that's what we're all aspiring to. Like I'm aspiring to be a great coach," he said.
"I'm not a great coach yet, I'm aspiring to be a great coach. I'm working towards it and I hope all the players are doing the same thing," added the 50-year-old.
Also read: Former cricketer De Silva refutes Ranatunga's second string remark on visiting Indian side
News source: PTI
Cricketer Paine says missing out on WTC final 'bitter pill to swallow'
Sydney, Jul 5 (Cricket news) Missing out on the World Test Championship final was a "bitter pill to swallow", said a frustrated Australia red-ball skipper Tim Paine, who enjoined the match referees to be more consistent while imposing points penalty for slow over rates.
New Zealand were crowned Test champions after notching up an eight-victory over India in Southampton last month.
Australia, who were front runners in the race to reach the WTC final, were docked four points for slow over rate during the Boxing Day Test against India.
The series was Paine and company's last chance to earn WTC points after their tour of South Africa was postponed.
However, India had a home series against England to earn points and Virat Kohli and his men did enough to book a spot alongside New Zealand in the WTC final.
Also read: India, Australia, 15 others express interest to host ICC white-ball events during next cycle
"Bitterly disappointed that we weren’t there (WTC final) because of over rates," Paine told reporters.
"We've always got things in place to try to help out with that, but unfortunately it doesn’t always work. Unfortunately, we’re the team that I think has borne the brunt of it for an over rate." Paine called for more consistency while handing out points penalties.
"There's been a lot of Test match cricket in the last two years where teams haven't bowled their overs and I'm not sure how many teams lost points out of it.
"I think there needs to be a little bit more consistency around it, given now that the prize is so big and a couple of overs can cost you four points.
The wicketkeeper-batsman suggested that Australia was the only team to be docked points for an over rate offence.
"We were behind on our overs, and that's what it is. My thing is just with the consistency. I haven't played in too many days where the full overs have been bowled, and to my knowledge there hasn't been other teams docked points.
"Yeah, it's a bitter pill to swallow when you're the only team that's been docked points and you see it happen Test match after Test match, after Test match." The 36-year-old revealed it was difficult for him to watch the summit clash between India and New Zealand.
"I didn't watch too much of it. I watched the last day. I turned it on excited to watch the first day. I thought I was excited, and then got a bit dirty and didn't watch it." "I tuned in for the last day and it was bloody exciting, it was great cricket to watch."
News source: PTI
Important that Australia build depth in squad like India, says Test skipper Tim Paine
Melbourne, Jun 15 Australia need to emulate India in creating depth in the squad so that top players can be rested and kept fresh, says Test skipper Tim Paine.
India's top cricketers already in England for the WTC final and the subsequent England series but the country announced another 20-man squad, filled with several youngsters, for the white-ball series against Sri Lanka.
Meanwhile, Australia are facing the prospect of its top cricketers opting out of upcoming tour of the West Indies.
Paine feels Australia needs to have youngsters who can step up at the international level, taking the load off senior players.
"It's important now we build depth in our squad so we can cover it. Ideally we don't have guys pulling out of tours but guys who are rested for a reason and we can plan ahead," Paine was quoted as saying by the 'Sydney Morning Herald.' "We're seeing that with India at the moment. They’re getting the balance absolutely spot on because they’ve got a real depth of talent who can step up and play Test cricket.
"We need to get to that stage so we can rest our best players so we can make sure when we’ve got them on the park they’re fresh and playing at their best," Paine added.
Australian cricketers spent 14-days in quarantine in Sydney befrce ore reuniting with their families after the Indian Premier League was suspended last month.
They are again gearing up for limited-overs tour of the West Indies and unconfirmed T20 tour of Bangladesh.
The postponed IPL is set to resume in the UAE during September followed by the T20 World Cup during October and early November after which the players from Down Under will have to quarantine upon returning home.
Australia then play a Test against Afghanistan in late November followed by the Ashes series starting December 8.
According to a media report, Steve Smith, David Warner, Pat Cummins, Glenn Maxwell Marcus Stoinis, Jhye Richardson and Kane Richardson are all expected to miss the West Indies tour.
Paine said those players need support instead of criticism.
"It's certainly an issue, there's no doubt about that. Whether it's seven who are going to pull out, I'm not across all that, but it's certainly going to be one of the challenges of the modern-day player.
"I've seen some past players and commentators comment on it and I think it's a little unfair. Unless you're put in their shoes travelling away and coming back and having to do two weeks [hotel quarantine] either side, it can be quite draining.
"In our set-up in particular we’ve got guys who have done that six or seven times. That’s 14 or 15 weeks out of a year sitting in a hotel room by yourself on top of any really busy schedule," Paine said. News source PTI
India will emerge champions in World Test Championship final: Australia Test skipper Tim Paine
Melbourne, Jun 15 Australia red-ball skipper Tim Paine has no doubt that India will trump New Zealand comfortably to emerge victorious in the inaugural World Test Championship final.
World's top-two Test teams will fight it out for the title at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton from June 18.
"My prediction is, India will win pretty comfortably if they play anywhere near their best," Paine said at a press conference in Brisbane.
Paine had captained Australia against both New Zealand and India.
While Australia beat the Kiwis 3-0 at home in 2019, they suffered a 1-2 defeat against India when Virat Kohli's side travelled Down Under in early 2020.
New Zealand are coming into the match well-prepared, following their 1-0 series-win over hosts England but for Paine, it won't count for much as he believes the win came against a depleted home side.
England did not have all-rounders Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes and Moeen Ali in their line-up apart from missing Jos Buttler, pacer Jofra Archer and wicketkeeper Ben Foakes.
It's a fact which makes him believe that the Ashes series later in the summer would be an altogether different ball game.
"I think New Zealand are a good team, for one, and secondly if we're being realistic I think it's a really different team that we saw England out on the field to what we’re probably going to see in the Ashes… keeping it in perspective it certainly wasn’t England’s strongest team," he said. News source PTI
Australia cricket head coach Justin Langer under pressure to change coaching stye after end of season review
Sydney, May 27 Australia head coach Justin Langer must change his coaching style if wants to continue in his role, an end-of-season review of cricket Down Under has warned.
A source-based report in the 'Sydney Morning Herald' said, the 50-year-old was given a "strong and straightforward" feedback -- taken from 40 players and support staff -- about his coaching style as part of the team's regular end-of-season reviews.
Earlier this year, after an under-strength India came back from behind to hammer Australia 2-1 in their own den, some players had expressed dissatisfaction over Langer's management style because of his intensity and mood swings.
Langer was appointed as the head coach on a four-year contract in 2018 after Darren Lehmann had stepped down in the wake of the ball-tampering scandal.
The players also expressed discontentment towards team manager Gavin Dovey.
Langer's response to the feedback across the rest of the year will decide whether he will be handed a new contract.
"This is effectively identical to the process undertaken before the last World Cup and the 2019 Ashes where the team performed strongly," CA's national teams boss Ben Oliver said in a statement to the publication.
"It's part of our ongoing commitment to on-and off-field improvement and we expect it will have a similar benefit in the team's preparation for the upcoming T20 World Cup and home Ashes," he added.
The report stated that leadership consultant Tim Ford, who oversaw the reintegration of Steve Smith and David Warner to the team two years ago after the ball-tampering bans, also conducted a second review process.
"Ford interviewed players virtually towards the end of the home season, with their responses to be kept anonymous." "...in a wide-ranging review, which checked on player welfare at the end of a difficult season, he asked for their thoughts on the team's values and what needed updating since they last underwent the process with him two years ago." He will handover the findings of the report to team leaders Tim Paine, Pat Cummins and Aaron Finch next week.
"Langer will also receive the feedback from Ford's report though the comments were not as hard as the player review from the end of the season," the media report stated.
Assistant coach Andrew McDonald received good reviews with players, saying he was more approachable.
"In contrast to reports from the dressing room during the Australian summer, players spoke glowingly in public of the mood and team environment under McDonald, whom members of the Test side had gravitated towards due to his more approachable manner." New source PTI
Resurfacing of ball-tampering case doesn't help Smith's case: Taylor on Australia captaincy
Melbourne, May 24 Former Australia skipper Mark Taylor believes the 2018 ball-tampering scandal "won't go away" ever and its recent resurfacing will affect Steve Smith's chances of regaining the Test captaincy.
Smith, who was sacked as skipper and suspended for a year for his role in the plot, has recently expressed his desire to lead Australia again. His captaincy push was also supported by current Test skipper Tim Paine.
However, the episode resurfaced recently when Cameron Bancroft, who was banned for nine months for his role, stated that whether the Australian bowlers knew of the plan to use a sandpaper on the ball during the Cape Town Test against South Africa was "self-explanatory." "It doesn't help. No doubt about it, it doesn't help his case, because he like I'm sure most people involved in the game would like this just to go away; which it won't go away," Taylor told 'Sports Sunday'.
"There's no doubt there's a growing momentum around Steve Smith being a potential captain, no doubt about that." Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and spinner Nathan Lyon, who were all part of the team during the ill-fated series, recently issued a joint statement, calling for an end to "rumour-mongering and innuendo" regarding that episode.
Taylor, too, threw his weight behind the Australian bowling quartet.
"The bleeding obvious to me is they didn't know that it had been doctored. You only have to read what they said during the week," Taylor said.
"If I could just read it out: 'We did not know a foreign substance was taken on to the field to alter the condition of the ball'. And as they said, the two umpires in the game did not change the ball.
"So there was an attempt to change the condition of the ball but they didn't get to do it. The umpire said, 'That ball's still fine, let's get on with it'. So they did not know." Former Australian skipper Michael Clarke had criticised Cricket Australia (CA) for not probing the issue and "sweeping it under the carpet".
Taylor, however, defended the probe given the circumstances.
"The question about whether Cricket Australia did enough three years ago, the answer to that is yes," Taylor said.
"I think we had a four-day window between the end of the Cape Town Test and the start of the fourth Test which was at Johannesburg, to send someone over, do an investigation, make a report and then make some decisions around that. That was obviously to send the three players home and to deal with it then.
"Yes, in an absolute ideal situation, of course not; it would have been great to have six months to do all this. But we had a four-day window and I think in that time, we got it right." Taylor also said that releasing the investigation report would not help matters.
"It's going to be part of the cricket folk history, part of the history you don't want cricket to be known for, it will be there forever." New source PTI
Ball-tampering scandal: Bowlers have 'cleared air' with Bancroft, says Paine
Hobart, May 19 Cameron Bancroft has "cleared the air" with Australian bowlers after creating a flutter by hinting that all of them were aware of the 2018 ball-tampering plot in South Africa, Australia Test skipper Tim Paine said on Wednesday, "looking forward to moving on".
The 2018 scandal was once again in spotlight after Bancroft recently stated that whether the Australian bowlers knew of the plan to use a sandpaper on the ball during the Cape Town Test against South Africa, was "self-explanatory." "I think they're frustrated that it keeps popping up but I think that's part and parcel for everyone who played in that test match," Test skipper Paine was quoted as saying by 'Sydney Morning Herald'.
"Their mood was fine, I think they've spoken to (Bancroft), cleared the air there and I think everyone's looking forward to moving on.
"We're all grown men and those guys have made contact with each other and sorted it out," Paine added.
Bancroft has since then backtracked on his claim, informing Cricket Australia's integrity unit that he has no "significant new information" to share.
After this the bowlers in question -- Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc and spinner Nathan Lyon --, who were all part of the team during the ill-fated series, issued a joint statement on Tuesday to claim innocence and call for an end to "rumour-mongering and innuendo".
The-28-year-old Bancroft reportedly claimed he was left flustered by the unexpected line of questioning and that there was no malice behind his remarks, according to a report.
The trio of Bancroft, then skipper Steve Smith and his deputy David Warner were banned for their roles in the ball tampering scandal.
While Smith and Warner are back in the team after serving their year-long bans, Bancroft, who was suspended for nine months, last played for Australia in 2019.
Paine asserted that Bancroft's recent comments will not jeopardise his chances of returning to the national side.
"We don't pick Test teams on what they say in the media. We pick test teams on how many runs they're scoring and that certainly won't be held against him." News Source : PTI
I certainly wasn't making any excuse: Paine after facing backlash on 'sideshow' comments
Melbourne, May 14 Australia captain Tim Paine on Friday stood by his comments that his team indeed got distracted by India's "sideshow" but clarified that he didn't ever intend to use it as an excuse for their home Test series defeat in January.
A day after receiving online flak from Indian fans for his "side show" comments on Indian team, Paine clarified himself while chatting with former Australian wicketkeeper batsman Adam Gilchrist in a podcast.
"I was asked a number of things, and one of those was talking about the challenges of playing against India. One of them is the distraction they can create," Paine said in the 'Gilly and Goss podcast' on Friday.
"There was a lot of talk that they weren't going to Brisbane. They're always changing gloves and bringing out physios and all that can get on your nerves. Just said that was one of the things that probably distracted me and took my eye of the ball at times." The 36-year-old Paine had said that his team was distracted by the Indian team's "niggling" during the epoch-making Test series early this year which the visitors rallied to win despite being ravaged by injuries.
Soon Paine was trolled on twitter by Indian fans.
"I did say that they simply outplayed us and that they deserved to win but they left that one out. The Indian fans have been slamming me on social media. They say that I'm making excuses again but it's all good fun," Paine said.
"Absolutely, I think anytime an Australian captain speaks publicly is gonna to see the light of the day, there's no doubt about that. Like I said, it was a wide-ranging interview for a long period of time.
"I certainly wasn't making any excuses. I was asked about some of the challenges of the summer, and I said that was one of them for me," he added.
Paine said he doesn't mind getting "a bit of stick" and despite all the criticism he still loves his Indian fans.
"I love Indian fans. I don't mind getting a bit of stick, particularly when you deserve. They ripped me off in the summer when I dropped those catches, that was totally fair.
"I love the passion...I love how much they love cricket. I like how much they interact. For some people it's positive interaction... most of the times they are in to me, but I don't mind that." India prevailed 2-1 in the rubber that went down as one of the greatest bilateral contests of all time. India bounced back from being 36 all out in the opening Test to humble the home side despite, at one time, struggling to put together a fit playing XI.
India sealed the series at Gabba after scripting a record chase of 328 with 19 balls remaining on the final day for a thrilling three-wicket win. News Source : PTI
Paine hints at giving up captaincy if Australia win Ashes, backs Smith to 'get the job again'
Melbourne, May 13 Australian Test captain Tim Paine has hinted at stepping down from the position if his team manages to defeat England in the Ashes series this year and backed former skipper Steve Smith to succeed him.
The 36-year-old Paine has been under intense scrutiny after Australia were beaten 1-2 by an injury-ravaged India in a home Test series earlier this season. Paine said that debacle was partly because his team got distracted by India's "niggling".
Smith was Australia's captain before being forced to step down in 2018 owing to his role in the ball-tampering scandal.
"Obviously I don't make that decision but the time I played with Steve as captain he was excellent. Certainly tactically he is as good as you get," Paine was quoted as saying by news.com.au.
"He's probably a bit like me when I was at the start of my captaincy journey in Tasmania - he was thrown into a very big role at a very, very young age and he probably wasn't quite ready for it.
"But by the time I came in he was growing into that role and getting better and better. Then obviously (in) South Africa events happened and he's not doing it anymore. But yeah I would support him getting that job again," he added, Paine also hinted that he might step down from captaincy if Australia can beat England in the Ashes later this year.
"At least another six Tests," he said referring to the one-off Test against Afghanistan and the five-Test Ashes at home.
"If I feel like the time is right and we've beaten the Poms 5-0, what a way to go out. But it might be a tight series and we might be chasing 300 on the last day and I'm 100 not out and hit the winning runs - and then I might go again." Talking about the India series, which put him under tremendous pressure as captain, Paine said, "...they're very good at niggling you and trying to distract you with stuff that doesn't really matter and there were times in that series where we fell for that." "The classic example was when they said they weren't going to the Gabba so we didn't know where we were going. They're very good at creating these sideshows and we took our eye off the ball," he added.
He was referring to unverified reports which claimed that the visiting side did not want to play the Brisbane Test. The media reports relied on source-based information to make the assertion.
India, however, went to Gabba and scripted a record chase of 328 with 19 balls remaining on the final day for a thrilling three-wicket win, which also sealed the series. News Source : PTI