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Thursday,24-September-2020

International

Cool we got them back but disappointed we didn’t win: Steve Smith on 2019 Ashes

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Australia batsman Steve Smith feels that his team have unfinished business in England from their last Ashes tour. Australia retained the Ashes for the first time since 2001 but the series itself was a draw with the visitors losing the last Test.

“To know that we’d got the Ashes back was pretty special,” he told The Unplayable Podcast’s Ashes Revisited special.

“Unfortunately, we couldn’t win them which is something I’d still like to do.

“It just doesn’t feel the same … you get to the end of the series and we’re there holding up the Ashes but we’d just lost the last Test match, and we actually hadn’t won anything.

“It was cool to get them back, but I was actually more disappointed that we hadn’t won them.”

Smith was the player that most commentators said was the difference between the two sides.

Playing his first Test series since the 2018 ball tampering scandal led to him getting a one-year ban and losing the captaincy, Smith scored a mind numbing 774 runs at an average of 110.57 from four Tests played.

It was an Ashes series aggregate in the UK surpassed only by Don Bradman (974 at 139.14 from five Tests in 1930) and Mark Taylor (839 at 83.9 from six in 1989).

Smith however said that he left The Oval after the final Test with conflicting emotions. “From my personal perspective, I think it’s unfinished business. It’s great to retain the Ashes but it just doesn’t sit right with me when you don’t win it,” he said.

“We drew the series — good, but not great. So I probably left at the end of the fifth Test (feeling) more disappointed than a sense of achievement.”

International

IPL: Mitchell Marsh ruled out, SRH call Jason Holder as replacement

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SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) all-rounder Mitchell Marsh has been ruled out of the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) edition following an ankle injury he sustained during their season opener against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB). He will be replaced by West Indies all-rounder Jason Holder.

“Mitchell Marsh has been ruled out due to injury. We wish him a speedy recovery. Jason Holder will replace him for #Dream11IPL 2020,” Sunrisers Hyderabad said in an official statement on Twitter.

On Monday, Marsh hurt his ankle after bowling just his second delivery of the match against RCB and managed to send down only two more balls before going off the field injured. The Australian later came out to bat at number 10 in SRH’s chase but he was dismissed for a duck after he exaggerated his injury trying to clear the ropes.

Chasing 164 at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium, SRH seemed to be in complete control till the time Jonny Bairstow was at the crease. However, following Bairstow’s dismissal on his individual score of 61, the team suffered a dramatic collapse and eventually fell short of the target by 10 runs.

SRH will next face Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.

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International

IPL: Shubman Gill focal point of KKR batting unit, feels Scott Styris

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Shubman-Gill

Shubman Gill is a “terrific” batsman and is the focal point of the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) batting unit, feels former New Zealand cricketer Scott Styris.

KKR are slated to open their Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 campaign against defending champions Mumbai Indians at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium on Wednesday evening. Gill, 24, has played a total of 27 matches for KKR in which he has amassed 499 runs.

“I’ve been the number one cheerleader since the last 18 months. Since Shubman Gill has been around I can say I’m at the top of that fanboy list and I think Gill is a fabulous cricketer. I think he’s a terrific, talented batsman,” Styris said while speaking on Star Sports show Game Plan.

“Shubman Gill, now with the loss of Robin (Uthappa) and Gautam Gambhir at KKR, is a leader, the focal point of that batting unit. He is best batsman of KKR,” he added.

According to the former Black Caps all-rounder, Gill has a lot more responsibility on his shoulders as compared to other young batsmen like Prithvi Shaw or Devdutt Padikkal in other teams and that could be the only thing which might hold him down.

“…there’s a lot more responsibility on Gill that you don’t see with a lot of those other youngsters and that may be the only thing that holds him down. (He) Just looked great and has played great but he has got the extra responsibility that some of those other players don’t.”

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Focussing on expressing myself & having a lot of fun this IPL: Marcus Stonis

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Australia all-rounder Marcus Stonis, who played an instrumental role in Delhi Capitals’ incredible win over Kings XI Punjab in their opening IPL 2020 encounter, has said that all he wants is to express himself and have a lot of fun throughout this year’s tournament.

On Sunday, Stoinis’ quick-fire 53 off 21 balls with the bat and 2-29 with the ball took the match into an exciting Super Over, where the Delhi Capitals secured the win against Kings XI Punjab.

Having proved to be the game changer in both the innings, Stoinis has said his maturity played a role on the day. “I’ve come in with some confidence through good performances this year, but also maybe putting less responsibility on myself than some other years. Sometimes when you’re young and you’re in a rush, you want to do well and you’re trying so hard.”

“So I think this year I sort of just wanted to express myself and its only one game, so we’ll see, you can turn from a hero to a villain quickly, but yes, my focus is on just having a lot of fun and trust that I’ll be good,” he added.

The 31-year-old all-rounder also said that “going back to basics” has helped him. “I think everyone who plays cricket at this level, the main reason you play it is because you love it. You start playing when you’re a kid, and there’s so much travel, staying away from home and there’s obviously the pressures. But the main reason you do it is because you love what you do. That’s the main ingredient,” he added.

With 17 wickets and 526 runs under his belt in 30 IPL matches, things haven’t always gone according to plan for the Australian, but Stoinis said it is always a rewarding feeling to contribute to wins.

“There are a lot of games, as a professional sportsman, that you go out and you don’t perform as well as you want to. Cricket is that type of game – you sort of get used to underperforming a lot of the time. So when you do perform and you do well for the team, it’s a very rewarding feeling,” he said.

The limited-overs specialist also said that his team has a “really good vibe”. “With Ricky (Ponting) as a coach and as a leader, he sets that standard. We have a good core of young players, with lots of energy and some good experience. We’ve got some good overseas players too. So I think our balance on the whole, makes it an exciting group and we’ve got a good energy around the team,” Stoinis said.

Stoinis will look to maintain his form when Delhi Capitals take on Chennai Super Kings at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Friday.

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