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Thursday,13-August-2020

International

Getting back into the groove: Cheteshwar Pujara posts video of net session

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Cheteshwar Pujara has hit the nets early with the Australia tour later this year in mind, and the Test specialist batsman on Saturday posted a video of him batting at the nets on social media.

“Getting back into the groove!#saturdaysession #musictomyears,” Pujara said in a tweet with a video where he is seen driving, pulling and defending the ball with vigour.

Pujara recently shared a photograph of the Indian Test side celebrating their series win in Australia last year and said that he can’t wait to get back among the players in the dressing room.

Pujara last played for India in their second Test against New Zealand in Christchurch in March.

The 2018/19 series was the first time any Asian side managed to beat Australia Down Under in a Test series. Pujara was India’s best batsman, finishing as the highest scorer in the series with 521 runs at an average of 74.42. India then went on to win the subsequent ODI series as well to end the tour on a high.

With a shadow of doubt hanging over the T20 World Cup that is scheduled to be held in Australia later in the year, India’s next series seems to be a Test series in Australia itself.

Cricket Australia earlier confirmed the schedule for the four-match Test series which is set to begin on December 3. The matches will be played at the Gabba, Adelaide Oval, Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) and the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).

Pujara last played for India in their second Test against New Zealand in Christchurch. This was also incidentally the last match that India played at all with their first ODI match against South Africa at home washed out and the rest of the series being postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

International

I do feel I’ve got a lot more to give: Dom Sibley

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England openers Dom Sibley

England opener Dom Sibley is hungry for more runs and does not want to rest on his bright start to the Test career.

After 10 Tests, Sibley averages 39.50 with the bat, scoring two hundreds, with his second coming in the second Test against the West Indies earlier this summer.

“If you’d have said to me that after 10 Test matches, I’d be averaging 40, with two Test match hundreds, I’d be pleased but, at the same time, I do feel I’ve got a lot more to give,” Sibley told reporters as quoted by Sky Sports.

“I feel like I’ve let opportunities slip to maybe score four or five hundreds. I know that might sound greedy, or unrealistic, but that’s the way I’m thinking, trying to build on what I’m doing, take the positives and score a few more big scores this summer.”

Sibley returned scores of 8 and 36 in England’s first Test against Pakistan at the Old Trafford last week.

“They’re (Pakistan) a very good attack,” said Sibley. “They’ve got a bit of everything; (Mohammad) Abbas, who is very accurate, left-arm angle (Shaheen Afridi), the youngster who has got some pace (Naseem Shah) and a world-class spinner (Yasir Shah).

“It does feel tough at times. There are periods where bowlers bowl well at you and you do feel like ‘I’m not sure how I’m going to score against this guy’ but it’s just a case of getting through that. As people always say, batting does get easier.

“I’m starting to feel more comfortable every time I go out to bat; there are some amazing bowlers out there but I’ll always back myself,” he added.

England, who enjoy a 1-0 lead in the ongoing three-match series, will take on Pakistan in the second Test from Thursday at the Ageas Bowl.

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International

Rashid Khan has got all the tricks in his bag: Brett Lee

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Former Australian pacer Brett Lee feels Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan will be the one to look out for in this year’s edition of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) which starts from August 18.

CPL will be the first major T20 league to begin during the ongoing health crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 33-match tournament will be played in Trinidad & Tobago with all the matches being held across two stadiums.

“I’m going to go with Rashid Khan. He’s got all the tricks in his bag – a beautiful ‘wrong un, great temperament and I think these wickets will definitely suit him, playing in the UAE,” Lee said while speaking on Star Sports show Cricket Connected.

“He knows that country back to front, he has played a lot of cricket there. I think he will really do well over there. He’s a wonderful guy as well, so Rashid Khan’s my pick.”

Former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar picked Chris Lynn as his man in the CPL. “But I like Chris Lynn, you know. There’s a kind of a sledgehammer kind of power that he has in his batting.”

“This time round, actually, CSK may not play Imran Tahir as much because you know, you can only play so many foreigners. Now, they have got Piyush Chawla. Imran Tahir might just sit out. So, my pick will be Chris Lynn.”

Rashid’s story in international cricket is nothing short of a fairy tale. One of the most prolific leg-spinners in the world, the 21-year-old was snapped by defending champions Barbados Tridents for the eighth edition and will be among the star attractions in the league.

Rashid, who made his international debut in 2015, has been an integral part of the Sunrisers Hyderabad squad in the Indian Premier League (IPL). Returning to competitive action due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the lethal Afghan leggie, who also has the knack of stemming the run flow at any given point of time, can use his time in the Caribbean to get back his rhythm and pocket a few wickets under his belt which will be vital to raise his confidence when he boards the flight to UAE for the 13th IPL edition.

Lynn, on the other hand, has been a lethal exponent in T20 leagues across the world. The 30-year-old, who will ply his trade for St Kitts & Nevis Patriots, is expected to unleash a flurry of wild shots in the tournament, a nightmare for any bowling attack.

After being released by Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), Lynn was picked up by defending champions Mumbai Indians for his base price of Rs 2 crore for this year’s IPL edition slated to start from September 19.

The CPL matches will be broadcast live from 7 pm on Star Sports network.

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England replace Ben Stokes with uncapped Robinson in 14-man squad for 2nd Test

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England have called up uncapped fast bowler Ollie Robinson as replacement for all-rounder Ben Stokes in the 14-man squad for their upcoming second Test against Pakistan. The match starts on Thursday with England leading the three-match series 1-0.

“Sussex seamer Ollie Robinson is added to the squad for the first time replacing Durham all-rounder Ben Stokes, who left the biosecure bubble after the first Test for family reasons,” the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said in its statement on Wednesday.

The ECB however did not reveal who will be vice-captain of the team in place of Stokes. Additionally, the rest of the squad remains unchanged from the first Test.

Stokes will fly out to New Zealand and will therefore miss England’s final two Tests against Pakistan at the Ageas Bowl starting August 13 and August 21. England had earlier dramatically won the first Test on Saturday to go 1-0 up in the three-match series.

“England all-rounder Ben Stokes will miss the remainder of the #raisethebat Test series against Pakistan for family reasons,” the ECB statement said. “Stokes will leave the UK later this week and travel to New Zealand. He will miss England’s two Test matches against Pakistan at the Ageas Bowl starting August 13 and August 21.

England’s 14-man squad for second Test: Joe Root (Captain), James Anderson, Jofra Archer, Dominic Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Sam Curran, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Dom Sibley, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

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