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Sunday,28-February-2021

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

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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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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