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The Ashes: England keen to ruin Australia’s perfect pink-ball record



England might not have beaten Australia in a pink-ball Test, but the Joe Root-led side will have to overcome its disappointment of losing the first Test by nine wickets and make a fresh start when the second Ashes Test begins at the Adelaide Oval on Thursday (December 16).

Australia have a perfect record in day-night Tests, winning all eight they have played so far, while the tourists, by contrast, have won one and lost three of the four day-nighters they have played so far. To add to the uphill task for Root is the fact that England have not won a Test in Australia since 2010/11, losing 10 of their past 11 games in the format Down Under.

Still, the side will go into the match with plenty of optimism as senior pros James Anderson and Stuart Broad, who have taken over 1100 Test wickets among themselves, are fit and expected to return for the clash. Not to forget that both Root and Dawid Malan were in good nick in The Gabba Gabba Test, notching fine half-centuries, while Haseeb Hameed and Ollie Pope each produced encouraging innings.

Of course, Australia will go into the match on a high but injury to key pace bowler Josh Hazlewood, would have dampened their spirits. With the ball, every member of their attack performed in Brisbane, and with the bat there was plenty to be happy about right from batting stalwart David Warner’s 94 to Travis Head’s fine ton.

If the hosts maintain similar standards at the Adelaide Oval, they will be hard to beat.

England’s Ashes campaign got off to the roughest of starts at The Gabba, slumping to a nine-wicket loss inside four days. Root’s decision to bat first on a green wicket under cloudy skies was a bold one that came back to bite the tourists immediately as Mitchell Starc bowled Rory Burns around his legs first ball.

Before lunch on day one they were four down and coming back from there was always going to be difficult. With Pat Cummins taking five wickets on his captaincy debut, England were bowled out before the end of the day for 147.

Australia piled on 425 runs in reply, with Warner cashing in on some early fortune to make 94, before Head (152) belted a century in a session to all but take England out of the match.

Root’s team actually looked set to make it a contest from there, sitting in the healthy position of 223/2 at one point in their second innings with eyes on setting Australia a significant target. Unfortunately for the tourists, after Malan (82) and Root’s (89) 162-run stand was ended, there was little resistance. Nathan Lyon’s long wait for Test wicket No.400 came to an end and for good measure he took another three before the end of the innings, leaving Australia needing just 20 runs to win.

Things didn’t go so well for England in their last day-night Test against Australia either. In 2017 when they met at Adelaide Oval in a pink ball affair, England went down by 120 runs.

Australia captain Pat Cummins has confirmed that Jhye Richardson will come in place of the injured Hazlewood, who has been ruled out with a side strain. Richardson has been a force in Australia’s domestic cricket picking up 23 wickets at 13.43 this summer.

Cummins also backed Warner to play through the pain barrier after he suffered bruised ribs in the first Test during his innings of 94.

Despite it being the batting that misfired in the first Test, England’s main dilemma is the make-up of their attack. Chris Woakes, Mark Wood and Ollie Robinson were impressive at The Gabba but with Anderson and Broad both tipped to return for the second Test, one of them will have to make way.

Besides Jack Leach bleeding runs (1/102) in the first Test has added to England’s headache and it remains to be seen if the tourists keep the faith in their main spinner.

Australia XI: David Warner, Marcus Harris, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey (wk), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Jhye Richardson, Nathan Lyon.

Possible England XI: Haseeb Hameed, Rory Burns, Dawid Malan, Joe Root (c), Ben Stokes, Ollie Pope, Jos Buttler, Chris Woakes/Ollie Robinson, Mark Wood, Stuart Broad, James Anderson.


PM Narendra Modi Lays Foundation Stone For Rs.451 Crore International Cricket Stadium In Varanasi 




India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for the new International Cricket Stadium in Varanasi on September 23rd (Saturday). The likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Ravi Shastri, Dilip Vengsarkar, and Sunil Gavaskar were also present for the ceremony. The Prime Minister also went on to present an Indian team jersey to Tendulkar.

The state government, led by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, has remitted a whopping ₹121 crore for the purpose of land acquisition, while the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) shall put in ₹330 crore from their side for the iconic stadium’s construction. Some of the notable features that the stadium would have are trishul-shaped floodlights, drum-shaped media center, and crescent moon-shaped roof.

Meanwhile, the stone-laying ceremony witnessed some of the most top figures from the BCCI, including President Roger Binny, Vice-President Rajiv Shukla, and Secretary Jay Shah. This will also be the third international stadium in Uttar Pradesh, with Kanpur and Lucknow already having one.

“The sportspersons here will benefit from the construction of an international stadium” – Narendra Modi

Speaking at the ceremony, Modi stated that sports are no longer prohibited by the elders, unlike before, as it acts as an incentive in several ways. He said, as quoted by The Indian Express:

“This stadium in the city of ‘Mahadev’ will be dedicated to ‘Mahadev’ himself. The sportspersons here will benefit from the construction of an international stadium in Kashi. There was a time when parents used to scold their children for playing sports, but that is no longer true. When sports infrastructure is built in an area, it acts as an incentive not just for young sporting talent but also spurs the local economy.”

The stadium has a seating capacity of approximately 30000 and the construction of the same is likely to finish by December 2025.

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Legends Including Sachin Tendulkar And Ravi Shastri Leave For Varanasi For Foundation Stone Laying Ceremony For New International Stadium In UP




Legendary Indian cricketers Sachin Tendulkar, Ravi Shastri, Sunil Gavaskar, and Dilip Vengsarkar on Saturday headed for Varanasi for the foundation stone laying ceremony of the international cricket stadium in Uttar Pradesh.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to lay the foundation stone of the International Cricket Stadium in Uttar Pradesh’s Varanasi on Saturday afternoon.

The Uttar Pradesh government led by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has spent Rs 121 crores on land acquisition for the construction of the International Cricket Stadium in Varanasi. Moreover, the BCCI will spend Rs 330 crores on the stadium’s construction.

The former India head coach Shashti on Saturday took to social media ‘X’, formerly known as Twitter, and wrote in a post, “Varanasi bound. Great to be amongst Greats and colleagues for Mumbai and India. Just a few international runs and wickets there. Pic of a lifetime. Gr8 memories.”

The thematic architecture of this stadium draws inspiration from Lord Shiva, with designs developed for crescent-shaped roof covers, trident-shaped floodlights, ghat steps-based seating, and Bilvipatra-shaped metallic sheets on the facade. The stadium will have a capacity of 30,000 spectators.
Veteran players like Tendulkar, Gavaskar, Shastri, Vengsarkar will be present at the foundation stone laying ceremony.

Uttar Pradesh to have its 3rd international stadium:

The event will also have the presence of key figures from the BCCI, including President Roger Binny, Vice President Rajiv Shukla, and Secretary Jay Shah, the release stated. Furthermore, many veteran players are expected to attend the foundation stone laying ceremony. After Kanpur and Lucknow, this will be Uttar Pradesh’s third international cricket stadium. 

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IND vs AUS: ‘Always Well Looked After And Well Protected’ As David Warner Feeling ‘Great’ To Be Back In India




The Australian cricket team has landed in India ahead of what will be their final dress rehearsal for the 2023 World Cup. Veteran Australian opener David Warner took to his official Instagram handle and expressed their gratefulness at landing in India. He also thanked GMR Aerocity for making their transit easy.

Warner will be one of the few players most in focus ahead of the ODI series, especially due to his inconsistency in the preceding rubber against South Africa. The left-hander made only two fifty-plus scores in five innings and threw away starts consistently.

The five-time World Champions will be keen to get back in the groove after missing an opportunity to win the series in South Africa despite a 2-0 lead. The middle-order batters, including Alex Carey and Marcus Stoinis will be under pressure for consistently failing against the Proteas. With Steve Smith back in the side and Australia set to field a full-strength attack, they should be in a good stead.

The 36-year-old took to his Instagram handle and wrote:

“Always great to be welcomed back to india. We are always well looked after and well protected. Thanks so much. @gmraerocity always makes our transits so easy.”

Australia won the three-game ODI series in India earlier this year:

Pat Cummins and co. should draw confidence from their success against the Men in Blue in their backyard earlier this year under the captaincy of Steve Smith. Nevertheless, India are an in-form team, having won the Asia Cup 2023.

However, the men’s team’s chief selector Chief selector Ajit Agarkar has announced resting Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli for the first two ODIs. KL Rahul will captain India in Mohali and Indore,

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