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Sunday,28-February-2021

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Jasprit Bumrah racing against time to get fit for Gabba Test after abdominal strain

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India pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah has suffered from abdominal strain ahead of the fourth and final Test against Australia that begins at The Gabba from Friday.

Bumrah was seen holding his stomach during the third Test which ended in a draw at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on Monday and had undergone for scans.

While speculation is rife that he won’t play the final Test, a BCCI official told IANS that there has been no confirmation on his availability. “There is no confirmation on it yet,” said the official when asked about Bumrah’s availability.

The team landed in Brisbane on Tuesday afternoon and will assess his injury over the next couple of days.

The right-arm pacer has three days to recover and the Indian team will do its best to ensure his availability for the final Test as his absence following the pullout of Umesh Yadav (injured in second Test), Mohammed Shami (injured in first Test) and Ishant Sharma (who didn’t travel at all to Australia), will mean that the visitors will be forced to field a very inexperienced pace attack at The Gabba.

Mohammed Siraj (two Tests), Navdeep Saini (one Test) have both made debut in the ongoing series while Shardul Thakur on the bench has played just one Test in his career. Left-arm fast bowler T Natarajan is yet to play a Test. Kartik Tyagi is also there but as a net bowler. He is yet to play any form of international cricket and has played just two first-class matches.

Bumrah has been the most overworked pace bowler in both camps, having bowled 117.4 overs in the Test series. Overall, on the Australia tour, he has bowled 169.1 overs (including 22 in the warm-up fixture and 29.3 in ODIs). This follows 60 overs he bowled in the Indian Premier League (IPL) before coming to Australia.

The right-arm pace bowler had suffered a lower back injury late last year. He did not play an international after August, 2019 and made his international return only in January 2020.

The series is currently tied at 1-1 with Australia winning the first Test in Adelaide while India registering win in the second match in Melbourne.

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SunRisers Hyderabad’s David Warner looking ahead to IPL 2021

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SunRisers Hyderabad’s David Warner is already looking forward to the next edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and leading the franchise again, even though the dates of the T20 tournament are yet to be announced.

“One of my things to do is lead this unbelievable franchise @sunrisershyd the entire team from fans, Owners, staff, players and ground staff. We have always had an amazing bunch of people be apart [sic] of the franchise and I am looking forward to the coming season. #orangearmy #cricket #india,” he wrote on Instagram.

Warner, 34, captained SunRisers to the IPL title in 2016, when his team defeated Royal Challengers Bangalore by eight runs in the final played in Bengaluru.

A hard-hitting Australian opening batsman, Warner was laid low by a groin injury during the recent series against India in Australia. He is planning to return to action on March 4 in a domestic match.

“Just to clarify a comment I made on commentary last night, that “My Groin”will need on going treatment and will have an annoying pain for at least 6-9 months. I am returning to play for NSW on the 4th March 2021 [sic],” Warner tweeted on February 23.

Warner has played 86 Tests, 128 ODIs, and 81 T20 Internationals.

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Jasprit Bumrah released from Indian Test squad on his request: BCCI

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Fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah has been released from the Indian team on his request, the Indian cricket board announced on Saturday.

“Bumrah made a request to BCCI [Board of Control for Cricket in India] to be released from India’s squad ahead of the fourth Test owing to personal reasons. Accordingly, the fast bowler has been released and he will not be available for selection for the fourth Test [against England],” said a BCCI statement.

The fourth Test begins here on March 4.

“There will be no addition to India’s squad for the final Test,” the BCCI said.

The BCCI, however, did not mention the reason for Bumrah’s release.

On a Motera pitch that assisted spinners, Bumrah was asked to bowl only six overs in the first innings of third Test and he didn’t take any wicket. In the second innings, neither he nor Ishant Sharma, the other fast bowler, bowled a single over.

India won the match by 10 wickets, and now lead the four-Test match series 2-1.

Squad for 4th Test: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), KL Rahul, Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant and Wriddhiman Saha (wicket-keepers), R Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav

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Surprisingly, Ravi Shastri indulges in ‘banter’ on social media

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The Indian cricket team’s landslide win over England in the third Test match seems to have allowed coach Ravi Shastri to indulge in humour on social media. In a rare reply to a tweet, Shastri on Saturday wrote “love the banter” on his handle.

The tweet has a reference to India’s 10-wicket win over England in the third Test in Ahmedabad, Gujarat – a ‘dry’ state where liquor is prohibited. The win was registered inside two days of the five-day match, allowing players three days to practice and indulge in other activities.

It all started with a meme on social media. It carried a smiling photo of Shastri with these words attributed to the former India captain: “you thought I’d stay in a dry state for 5 days?” The reference was to the prohibition in Gujarat.

But whoever made the meme probably forgot that the next Test match will also be played in Ahmedabad, starting on March 4, so Shastri would have to stay put in the bio bubble in the city.

Well-known writer and author Shobhaa De, 73, tweeted the meme, along with the word “smart!” and tagged former India captain Shastri.

Surprisingly, Shastri, 58, reacted. “Love the banter ! Feels good to bring some smiles in these tough times,” he tweeted in reply.

Shastri, a successful all-rounder, played 80 Tests and scored 3,830 runs and captured 151 wickets. In 150 One-day Internationals, the left-arm spinner bagged 129 wickets and scored 3,108 runs.

After retirement, Shastri switched to television commentary and has had a few stints as coach of the Indian team.

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