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Saturday,19-June-2021

International

Top Aussie cricketers David Warner and Smith could fly back: Report

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Steve-Smith

Top Australian cricketers, including David Warner and Steve Smith, could soon be flying back to Australia from India as all eyes are set on Australia’s National Security Committee of Cabinet meeting on Tuesday which would discuss a reduction or even a complete ban of flights from India.

According to a report in 9News early Tuesday morning, “Australian cricketers including David Warner and Steve Smith are now hoping to be flown home to India before borders shut.”

Warner is leading SunRisers Hyderabad while Steve Smith is batting for Delhi Capitals.

“We have got 30 players, coaches and commentators that are very keen to get out of India naturally given the deteriorating situation that they are facing health-wise right across the country,” added the report.

There were 17 Australian players participating in the Indian Premier League out of which three – Adam Zampa, Kane Richardson (both Royal Challengers Bangalore) and Andrew Tye (Rajasthan Royals) have already returned home. Tye told cricket.com.au that he doesn’t want to get locked out of the country.

There are coaches like Ricky Ponting (Delhi Capitals), David Hussey (Kolkata Knight Riders) and Simon Katich (Royal Challengers Bangalore) as well as commentators Brett Lee, Michael Slater and Matthew Hayden.

The report added that there are talks of bringing the players back on a chartered plane. The 9News report claimed that there are talks over that and a suggestion for it has been ‘bandied’ but nothing has been finalised.

Cricket Australia though told IANS that there are no plans of having a chartered plan for the players at this point.

The other option being discussed is quarantine in a third country before reaching Australia.

“I’m just going to wait and see how that plays out. Worst comes to worst, we’ll have to quarantine in Dubai for a couple of weeks before we can fly home. But I’m sure it will get sorted,” Aussie pacer Nathan Coulter-Nile, who is with Mumbai Indians, told cricket.com.au.

Coulter-Nile, however, remains adamant on staying back.

But that may not be possible if a complete ban on flights from India is discussed and put in place.

Nine Media and news.com.au have been reporting that a complete ban on flights will also be discussed in the National Security Committee of Cabinet meeting.

International

WTC final: India lose openers, go to lunch at 69/2

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India were 69 for two at lunch on the second day of the World Test Championship final against New Zealand here at the Hampshire Bowl on Saturday.

Openers Rohit Sharma (34 off 68 balls) and Shubman Gill (28 off 64 balls) made a solid start, helping India reach 62 without loss in 20 overs as New Zealand bowlers struggled for the ideal line.

But then Kyle Jamieson provided the breakthrough on the first ball of his sixth over, having Sharma caught at third slip.

Gill followed over four overs later, nicking one from left-armer Neil Wagner to wicketkeeper BJ Watling.

The first day was washed out. New Zealand won the toss on the second day and elected to bowl.

Brief scores (at lunch): India 69/2 in 28 overs (R Sharma 34, S Gill 28, N Wagner 1/5, K Jamieson 1/10) vs New Zealand.

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International

WTC final: New Zealand win toss, elect to bowl

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New Zealand won the toss and elected to bowl in the World Test Championship final against India here at the Hampshire Bowl on Saturday.

India have stuck to the playing eleven they had announced on Thursday. While India are going in with two spinners and three pace bowlers, the Kiwis have four pacers and no spinner in their attack.

The toss took place on the second day after the first day’s play was washed out due to rain. As many as 98 overs are scheduled to be bowled on Saturday. The Test will run into the reserve day on June 23.

Teams:

India: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (captain), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (wicketkeeper), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah

New Zealand: Tom Latham, Devon Conway, Kane Williamson (captain), Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, BJ Watling (wicketkeeper), Colin de Grandhomme, Kyle Jamieson, Neil Wagner, Tim Southee, Trent Boult.

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Sri Lanka middle order big worry for coach Mickey Arthur

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Sri Lanka cricket coach Mickey Arthur is worried about the lack of depth in the middle order as his team gears up to take on England in six white-ball matches, beginning with a T20 International in Cardiff on June 23.

The three-match ODI series will commence on June 29 and conclude on July 4.

“In Bangladesh, we got caught a little bit through the middle overs and that’s one area where we’ve focused hard on in our practice and preparation (in England). It’s about the intensity required through that middle period. Our strike rotation and intensity at the crease are really areas that we’ve worked on in this training block,” said Arthur, who has been with the team since February 2020.

Sri Lanka had lost the ODI series against Bangladesh 2-1 in May with all the matches being played at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium.

Arthur feels that one of the major reasons for the middle-order not clicking is shortage of players for the No. 4, 5, 6 slots, with far too many batsmen vying for top-order slots.

“We’ve reclassified guys’ roles. We’ve got a lot of players who can bat Nos. 1, 2 and 3, but we didn’t have many guys who could bat 4, 5 and 6. We’ve consolidated that here in our training session (in England). One of two players has had to change the roles that we’ve had before. We can’t be top-heavy and have no one who can bat in the middle and finish for us,” Arthur told cricinfo.com.

“We’ve knuckled down on the roles of each guy and set the scenarios up in the nets to replicate that. I’ve got a clear plan on who’s going to drop into the middle. If you look at Kusal (Perera), Avishka (Fernando) and Danushka (Gunathilaka) at 1, 2 and 3, that’s pretty good. We need to drill down and get 4, 5 and 6 batting comfortably within their roles as well, so that those middle overs — when we need to rotate strike — we’ve actually practiced it and the people we’ve sent into those positions can handle it.”

“We’ve got to settle down on a batting order as soon as we can. We can’t be jumping around having players bat in so many positions because that just creates confusion. Each position is so different.”

Sri Lanka cricket coach Mickey Arthur is worried about the lack of depth in the middle order as his team gears up to take on England in six white-ball matches, beginning with a T20 International in Cardiff on June 23.

The three-match ODI series will commence on June 29 and conclude on July 4.

“In Bangladesh, we got caught a little bit through the middle overs and that’s one area where we’ve focused hard on in our practice and preparation (in England). It’s about the intensity required through that middle period. Our strike rotation and intensity at the crease are really areas that we’ve worked on in this training block,” said Arthur, who has been with the team since February 2020.

Sri Lanka had lost the ODI series against Bangladesh 2-1 in May with all the matches being played at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium.

Arthur feels that one of the major reasons for the middle-order not clicking is shortage of players for the No. 4, 5, 6 slots, with far too many batsmen vying for top-order slots.

“We’ve reclassified guys’ roles. We’ve got a lot of players who can bat Nos. 1, 2 and 3, but we didn’t have many guys who could bat 4, 5 and 6. We’ve consolidated that here in our training session (in England). One of two players has had to change the roles that we’ve had before. We can’t be top-heavy and have no one who can bat in the middle and finish for us,” Arthur told cricinfo.com.

“We’ve knuckled down on the roles of each guy and set the scenarios up in the nets to replicate that. I’ve got a clear plan on who’s going to drop into the middle. If you look at Kusal (Perera), Avishka (Fernando) and Danushka (Gunathilaka) at 1, 2 and 3, that’s pretty good. We need to drill down and get 4, 5 and 6 batting comfortably within their roles as well, so that those middle overs — when we need to rotate strike — we’ve actually practiced it and the people we’ve sent into those positions can handle it.”

“We’ve got to settle down on a batting order as soon as we can. We can’t be jumping around having players bat in so many positions because that just creates confusion. Each position is so different.”

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