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International

Devdutt Padikkal’s technique similar to that of Hayden: Chris Morris

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Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) opener Devdutt Padikkal’s technique is similar to that of Australia great Matthew Hayden, according to Padikkal’s RCB team mate Chris Morris.

With 343 runs in 11 matches, Padikkal (20) is RCB’s second highest run scorer this season behind captain Virat Kohli and has consistently given them good starts at the top of the order

“Devdutt Padikkal, batting with Aaron Finch, has been incredible. He has got a similar imposing way of batting like Matthew Hayden,” said Morris in a virtual interaction with the media.

“Obviously, he has not got the size of Hayden. Hayden has a huge chest. But definitely, he has got a similar technique and hits the cricket ball. The way he moves on the field, the way he conducts himself all the time. You look at him, he has definitely got something.”

Padikkal has scored three fifties so far this season and has previously garnered praise from Kohli. “I saw him play and told Simon (coach Simon Katich) that this guy has got some serious talent because he’s got reach, a great eye, a great balance,” said Kohli about the time he saw Padikkal bat before the start of the season.

“It’s very difficult for the bowlers to continue bowling same lines and lengths against a lefty. The way he bats…very clean shots. You don’t feel like he is taking risks.”

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David Warner and Marcus Stoinis pull out of The Hundred

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Australian cricketers David Warner and Marcus Stoinis have pulled out of The Hundred dealing a blow to the tournament organised by England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).

The Hundred will run from July 21 to August 21 and was expected to attract a number of stars from across the world.

Warner and Stoinis were contracted by Southern Brave franchise for 100,000 and 80,000 pounds respectively.

“It is obviously disappointing to lose players with the ability of David and Marcus, but the realities of Covid mean there are practicalities that are difficult for some overseas players to overcome,” the ECB told ESPNcricinfo through a statement.

“Replacement overseas players will be signed by Southern Brave, and we look forward to the Hundred showcasing world-class cricket this summer.”

Both Warner and Stoinis are part of the 23-member preliminary Australia squad picked for the tours of the West Indies and Bangladesh. It is likely that the duo, along with Pat Cummins, Steve Smith and Glenn Maxwell, will skip the national assignments as they look to spend time with their families after having spent a lot of time bio-secure environment over the past few months.

Cricket Australia had already added six more players to the preliminary squad expecting withdrawals.

New Zealand woman cricketer Sophie Devine too has made herself unavailable for it.

Sophie, who was picked by Birmingham Phoenix and was replaced at the franchise by world No. 1 woman T20 batter Shafali Verma, has already taken some time off from international cricket.

She had withdrawn from a couple of T20Is and the ODI series against Australia in April.

The all-rounder will return to the Kiwi squad for the three-match T20I series in England in September.

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International

West Indies’s Nkrumah Bonner suffers blow to his head, out of first Test

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West Indies No. 3 batsman Nkrumah Bonner suffered concussion after a sharp bouncer from South Africa pacer Anrich Nortje hit his helmet leading to Keiran Powell taking field as like-for-like replacement on the first day of the first Test.

Bonner, who top-edged the first ball he faced off Nortje as he attempted a hook but deflected the ball onto his helmet, continued batting on Thursday despite getting hit before he was dismissed by Kagiso Rabada for 10.

The 32-year-old right-handed batsman did not appear on the field when the South Africans batted.

“Nkrumah Bonner is currently concussed after receiving a blow to his helmet in the 1st innings — Kieran Powell replaces him in the field #WIvSA,” Windies cricket confirmed on its Twitter handle.

Bonner, who has played four Test matches and scored a century and two half-centuries in his career, will play no further part in the ongoing Test which is a big blow for the host side after it was bowled out for 97 in first innings.

Former West Indies captain Richie Richardson is the match referee for the ongoing Test match.

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Marnus Labuschagne’s 93 not out sends a message to franchises

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Australia batsman Marnus Labuschagne, who was ignored at the Indian Premier League (IPL) mini-auction this year, turned up the heat in England’s T20 Blast competition scoring a career-best unbeaten 93 although his knock could not steer Glamorgan to victory over Gloucestershire.

Labuschagne’s good performance in T20 Blast could pave the way for him to make it to The Hundred competition as a replacement in Southern Brave franchise for either David Warner or Marcus Stoinis, who have pulled out of the tournament.

Labuschagne hit 10 fours and two sixes in his 56-ball innings, but Glamorgan were short by four runs, making 175/9 in 20 overs as against 179/6 by Gloucestershire.

Walking in to bat with the score on 31 for one, Labuschagne stood his ground even as a couple of wickets fell with Glamorgan struggling at 41 for three in 5.2 overs.

He, however, single-handedly took his side close to the total as only wicketkeeper-batsman Chris Cooke could star with a 21-ball 26.

“I am still thinking about where I could have found those extra five runs and taken the game on a little bit more,” Labuschagne told BBC Sport Wales.

“I am evaluating that so I know when I am in that situation again I can get us over the line. Pleasing to get some runs but disappointing not to get us over the line,” he added.

“I never doubted I could get a fifty in T20 cricket but for me it is about winning games with Glamorgan, Australia or Queensland.

“Early on my strokes were not too different (to longer formats) but through the middle of the innings it looks a lot different in terms of targeting the right areas, it is a new and exciting challenge,” he said further.

The South Africa-born Labuschagne is ranked No. 3 in ICC Test rankings for batsmen but his performances in limited-overs cricket have not been of the highest level and that has not attracted the IPL or The Hundred franchises. His current form may force a change in thinking and earn him a contract.

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