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Sunday,28-February-2021

International

David Warner and Smith need to spend time in the middle: Justin Langer

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David-Warner

Australia head coach Justin Langer on Tuesday admitted that both David Warner and Steve Smith haven’t played enough red-ball cricket over the past one year but he is backing the two to come good in the last two Tests against India by spending time in the middle.

“Davey (David Warner) has played a lot of white-ball cricket, a bit like Steve Smith. He hasn’t played any four-day cricket for about 12 months now. That is not even talking about his injury to groin. So that is something we talked about. He is a master of the game, has played a lot of cricket and his experience will help him through that,” said Langer.

“He has had a good rehab. He might get a little restricted on the field. He might get in that area a little bit fatigued because he hasn’t played Test cricket for a while,” he added.

The head coach, who further said that Smith’s practice sessions in Melbourne were also hampered by the rains, felt that both Warner and Smith need to spend a lot of time in the middle to get into groove.

“Stevey (Steve Smith) always gets the volume up in practice. We were hampered a bit by the weather in Melbourne. We weren’t able to get outdoors unfortunately. It just rained a lot, Stevey has been hitting a lot of balls. He did a lot leading up to it. But, even for the greatest of players, there is nothing that replaces the time in the middle… Davey will be the same, he hasn’t spent much time in the middle…,” said Langer.

So the only way to do that is to concentrate and fight hard and spend time in the middle. It is hard to replicate that (spending time in middle),” he added ahead of the third Test that begins Thursday at the Sydney Cricket Ground and will be telecast live on Sony Ten 1, Sony Ten 3 and Sony Six channels.

International

Super50 Cup: Devon Thomas stars in Leewards win 5th-place playoff

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Devon Thomas made a career-best 117 to guide Leeward Islands Hurricanes to a seven-wicket win over Barbados Pride in the CG Insurance Super50 Cup fifth place playoff.

In his new role as opener, the experienced right-hander dominated the Barbados bowlers as Leewards made 270-3 wickets in reply to 265-7 wickets. They reached the target with nine balls to spare.

Thomas was named the CG Insurance Man-of-the-Match.

Keacy Carty also played well and finished unbeaten on 50 from 72 balls to ensure the brilliant work of Thomas did not go in vain. Captain Jahmar Hamilton, in his first knock since returning from Bangladesh, smashed 37 not out off 25 balls to seal the victory. Close to the end, he hit three towering sixes that disappeared into the stands.

Earlier, Jonathan Carter struck 100 off 121 balls and Shai Hope made 85 off 106 balls as they added 124 for the third wicket after Pride chose to bat first on a good surface. Both fell to fast bowler Quinton Boatswain (3-68). Fast bowler Alzarri Joseph, fresh from his outstanding exploits in Bangladesh, bowled an excellent opening spell and finished with 3-44.

“We limited them to a score we felt we could manage. It was a very good pitch which got better as the day went on so we always felt we could chase down the score. I took it upon myself to do the scoring in the powerplay. We were around 60 after the first 10 overs which is exactly where we wanted to be,” Thomas said.

“After that it was just for me to keep going and build on the very good start. We never eased off and we kept pushing. I felt I was hitting the ball well in the earlier matches but I didn’t carry on. Today, things were in my favour and I was happy I made it count,” he said.

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International

West Indies recall Chris Gayle, Edwards for series vs Sri Lanka

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Swashbuckling batsman Chris Gayle and experienced fast bowler Fidel Edwards have been named in the West Indies T20I squad to play against Sri Lanka, marking their return to the international stage.

Off-spinner Kevin Sinclair earns his first West Indies selection and left-arm spinner Akeal Hosein gets his first T20I call-up as the Cricket West Indies (CWI) selection panel named the West Indies squads for the CG Insurance T20 International Series and CG Insurance One-Day International Series.

The matches will be played at the Coolidge Cricket Ground (CCG) and Sir Vivian Richards Stadium (SVRS).

The T20I matches will be played under floodlights on March 3, 5 and 7. This T20I series will make history as the first full international matches to be played by the official West Indies men’s team at the CCG. The matches will also be the first West Indies T20Is to be played in Antigua since 2013.

West Indies will use these matches to prepare and defend their ICC T20 World Cup title when India hosts the tournament this year.

The CG Insurance ODI Series will be played at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium on March 10, 12 and 14 with the final match scheduled to be a day/night encounter.

The series forms part of the ICC ODI Super League and these three matches provide the opportunity for West Indies to secure their first points as the team tries to qualify automatically for the 2023 ICC World Cup, to be held in India.

“As we build towards the defence of the T20 World Cup, the opportunity is being taken to determine our best team and squad as we go forward. Chris Gayle has performed very well in recent tournaments and the selection panel thinks that he can still add great value to our team. Fidel Edwards has been selected to give the bowling the potent firepower needed,” said CWI lead selector Roger Harper.

“Jason Holder has shown his all-round value in this format in recent times and after missing a few series he will add depth and experience to the squad. Akeal Hosein performed very well in Bangladesh [ODI Series] and had excellent stats in the CPL so this is an opportunity to see how he equips himself in this format. Kevin Sinclair grabbed our attention in the Super50 Cup back in 2019 and has been consistently economical in the last CPL and the current CG Insurance Super50. He will provide an off-spinning option for the team.”

West Indies squads:

T20I: Kieron Pollard (captain), Nicholas Pooran (vice-captain), Fabian Allen, Dwayne Bravo, Fidel Edwards, Andre Fletcher, Chris Gayle, Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein, Evin Lewis, Obed McCoy, Rovman Powell, Lendl Simmons, Kevin Sinclair

ODI: Kieron Pollard (captain), Shai Hope (vice-captain), Fabian Allen, Darren Bravo, Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Evin Lewis, Kyle Mayers, Jason Mohammed, Nicolas Pooran, Romario Shepherd, and Kevin Sinclair

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Indian women’s ODI, T20I teams for series vs S Africa named

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Wicketkeeper Taniya Bhatia from Punjab and Andhra Pradesh-born all-rounder Shikha Pandey do not figure in Indian One-day International (ODI) and T20 squads announced on Saturday. India will play five ODIs and three T20s against South Africa here, beginning March 7.

According to a statement of the Indian cricket board, Himachal Pradesh’s Sushma Verma and uncapped Swetha Verma from Uttar Pradesh are the wicket-keepers in the ODI squad while Sushma and Nuzhat Parveen are the wicket-keepers in the T20 squads, picked by the all-India women’s selection committee.

Mithali Raj is captain of the ODI squad and Harmanpreet Kaur will lead the T20 team.

All eight matches will be played at the Bharat Ratna Shree Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana International Stadium in Gomti Nagar.

Indian squads:

ODIs: Mithali Raj (captain), Smriti Mandhana, Jemimah Rodrigues, Punam Raut, Priya Punia, Yastika Bhatia, Harmanpreet Kaur (vice-captain), D. Hemalatha, Deepti Sharma, Sushma Verma and Swetha Verma (wicket-keepers), Radha Yadav, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Jhulan Goswami, Mansi Joshi, Poonam Yadav, C. Prathyusha, Monica Patel

T20Is: Harmanpreet Kaur (captain), Smriti Mandhana (vice-captain), Shafali Verma, Jemimah Rodrigues, Deepti Sharma, Richa Ghosh, Harleen Deol, Sushma Verma (wicket-keeper), Nuzhat Parveen (wicket-keeper), Ayushi Soni, Arundhati Reddy, Radha Yadav, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Poonam Yadav, Mansi Joshi, Monica Patel, C. Prathyusha, Simran Dil Bahadur

Schedule (all matches in Lucknow):

1st ODI, March 7
2nd ODI, March 9
3rd ODI, March 12
4th ODI, March 14
5th ODI, March 17

1st T20I, March 20
2nd T20I, March 21
3rd T20I, March 23

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