Category: _lmsid:a0Vd000000Fg6BMEAZ

England Announce Test and ODI Squads for Windi…

After a successful tour against Sri Lanka, England have named an unchanged squad ahead of the three-match Test series against Windies in January.

While all-rounder Joe Denly keeps his place in the squad, England have persisted with the spin trio of Jack Leach, Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid, who achieved massive success against Sri Lanka.

Wicket-keeper Ben Foakes, who was the man of the series in Sri Lanka and with a Test hundred to his name on debut, is likely to don the gloves whereas Olly Pope has missed out despite decent returns against Pakistan ‘A’ in the UAE.

James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Sam Curran and Chris Woakes have all been included, and the pace quartet will hope for more assistance from the wickets in the Caribbean than they did in Sri Lanka.

Along with the Tests, England have also named their ODI squad for the five-match series, with Denly keeping his place. Eoin Morgan will lead the side which includes the likes of fast-bowler Mark Wood along with openers Alex Hales and Jason Roy.

David Willey makes a comeback after an absence of six months through injury while Liam Plunkett is also selected after missing three of the five Sri Lanka ODIs.

The squad for the three T20Is will be announced later.

Test squad: Joe Root ©, Moeen Ali, Jimmy Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Joe Denly, Ben Foakes, Keaton Jennings, Jack Leach, Adil Rashid, Ben Stokes, Olly Stone, Chris Woakes

ODI squad: Eoin Morgan ©, Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Tom Curran, Joe Denly, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, David Willey, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood

ICC Suspends Akila Dananjaya From Bowling Afte…

In yet another major jolt to Sri Lankan cricket, Akila Dananjaya has been suspended from bowling in international cricket with immediate effect after an independent assessment found his action to be illegal, the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced on Monday (December 10).

The ICC further stated that the assessment has found all of Dananjaya’s deliveries to be exceeding the 15 degrees level of tolerance permitted under the regulations.

“In accordance with Article 11.1 of the ICC Regulations For The Review of Bowlers Reported with Suspect Illegal Bowling Actions, Dananjaya’s international suspension will also be recognised and enforced by all National Cricket Federations for domestic cricket events played in their own jurisdiction,” read the ICC release.

“However, according to Article 11.5 of the Regulations and with the consent of the Sri Lanka Cricket, Dananjaya may be able to bowl in domestic cricket events played under the auspices of the SLC.”

The 25-year-old can apply for reassessment after correcting his bowling action in accordance to the permitted laws.

Dananjaya was first reported during the first Test between England and Sri Lanka in Galle that the visitors won by 211 runs. He played the first two games of the series before sitting out of the final one, returning 10 wickets which included match figures of 8/195 in the second Test as England swept the three-match series 3-0. The off-spinner was to undergo an independent assessment within 14 days of first being reported, which he did on November 23 at the National Cricket Centre in Brisbane.

Dananjaya’s suspension could not have come at a worse time for the Sri Lankans who have laid low due to a string of poor performances in all forms of the game recently. The off-spinner has been a permanent fixture for his side in all three formats, slowly becoming a mainstay of the team. In all, Dananjaya has returned an impressive 27 wickets in 5 Tests at 24.25, 46 wickets in 30 ODIs at 26.93 and 14 wickets in 16 T20Is at 30.35.

With Rangana Herath’s retirement last month, Dananjaya was being looked upon as Dilruwan Perera’s partner in the Test circuit. But recent developments have thrown a spanner in Sri Lanka’s works, whose spin cupboard is suddenly looking pretty barren.

‘Hills’ or ‘Flats’ – Bat Flip To Replace Coin …

Cricket Australia has decided to replace the traditional coin toss with a ‘bat flip’ for the upcoming season of the Big Bash League.

Instead of the regular ‘heads’ or ‘tails’, captains will call either ‘hills’ or ‘flats’ to determine who has won the toss.

“For me it’s a great moment which reflects what BBL is about,” Cricket Australia’s head of Big Bash League Kim McConnie said of the bat flip, which is the more commonly used method in backyard cricket.

“Some people don’t like change but I’d also challenge people to say when was the last time anyone watched the coin toss or really focused on it to a great extent?

"Now we are making it much more relevant to families – we are creating a moment which is much more fitting with kids.”

McConnie further added that a modified bat will be used to ensure that the probability of both outcomes will be equal.

“You’d be surprised at the science that’s gone into this. It is a specially weighted bat to make sure that it is 50-50.

"I’ve got it from great authority at our [bat maker] Kookaburra that this is a tested and weighted bat to deliver that equity.”

The eighth edition of the BBL gets underway with defending champions Adelaide Strikers up taking on the Brisbane Heat at The Gabba on December 19.

India vs Australia: Adelaide Moments That Made…

The much-anticipated Test series between India and Australia got underway in Adelaide from December 6 and as expected, fit its billing. The first Test had everything that a cricket fan would have asked for – a one-handed stunner, a breathtaking run out, defiance from batsmen, some good old-fashioned banter between the sides and a thrilling end.

Here we pick up some of the best moments of the opening Test including a few gems from both on and off the field.

Rishabh Pant’s quirkiness behind the stumps leaves everyone in splits

Rishabh Pant’s first taste of Test cricket Down Under turned out to be one to remember. While he displayed his big-hitting prowess with the bat in the two innings, albeit briefly, he also equalled the world record of 11 catches in a Test, joining England’s Jack Russell and South Africa’s AB de Villiers.

However, that was not the only thing that got him in the limelight. While wicket-keeper’s are essentially known to be chirpy, Pant’s chirpiness was in its full bloom in the first Test in Adelaide as he brought out his full repertoire in a bid to unsettle the Australians from behind the stumps.

With jibes such as ‘Everyone is not Cheteshwar Pujara’ to Usman Khawaja, ‘No intent of winning this match’ to Tim Paine, ‘Let’s see some sixes, come on Patty!’ and ‘They are not putting away even the bad balls’ to Pat Cummins when the Australia No. 8 was stage a brave fight on the final day of the Test, Pant certainly managed to capture a lot of the attention.

Virat Kohli got the moves!

That Virat Kohli does not refrain from showing off some of his dance moves is no secret. Plenty of his jigs at various events and functions are well documented.

And it seems like the Indian captain has brought some of those moves to Australia as well. As intermittent rain during the third day of the first Test caused lots of frustrations, Kohli decided to keep his spirits up by breaking into an impromptu jig of his own while fielding in the slip region.

The clip soon made its way to Twitter and not just Indian but also the Australian fans loved Kohli’s nifty footwork.

Shane Warne, then in one of the post-match shows for Fox Cricket left Kohli in splits and a little red-faced when he showed the Indian captain the video which had gone viral.

Cummins’ freak run out gets him offers from Major League Baseball

The opening day of the first Test had everything. A screamer by Khawaja, an Indian collapse, Pujara’s defiance and to end the proceedings on Day 1 a run out which Adam Gilchrist labelled the “best run out ever!”

With Pujara looking solid as ever on 123 and No.10 Mohammad Shami with him, he went for a quick run on the penultimate delivery of the 88th over and would have made it if not for Cummins’ brilliance.

The fast bowler, stationed at mid-on swooped on the ball and mid-air threw the stumps at the non-striker’s end down to find Pujara short of his crease. The clip quickly went viral across social media websites even capturing the attention of Major League Baseball’s official website who ran an article on how the Australian quick would be a good fit for the sport.

The article stated that Cummins’ effort in the field “translated almost perfectly to baseball” and called him a “potential future MLB third baseman”.

That Khawaja Screamer!

The name Virat Kohli was almost on everybody’s lips in the build-up to the four-match Test series and for good measure. The Indian captain is the No.1 batsman in the world at the moment and was the second-highest run-scorer last time that India were on Australian shores.

Therefore, it was essential Australia got the prised scalp of Kohli nice and early. They did so in the morning session of the first Test itself but with a lot of help from fielder Khawaja. Wafting at a wide delivery from Cummins, Kohli got a thick edge that looked like piercing the gap between slips and gully.

But, Khawaja, at gully had other plans. He flung himself to the right sticking his left paw out to complete an absolute screamer of a catch which will surely be talked about a lot in the years to come.

The catch even left Ricky Ponting, one of the best fielders of all time to stand up and salute.

Warne’s astounding predictions leave fellow commentators in shock and awe

Spin wizard Shane Warne has in his time setup many a batsman with his guile and more so with some astute cricketing sense.

Now having retired from all forms of the game, the former leg-spinner has taken up duties as a cricket commentator and even from the commentary box those cricketing brains are as sharp as ever.

During the fourth day of the first Test, Warne from the commentary box got his predictions right, not once, not twice but three times leaving his co-commentators and viewers stunned.

When Ashwin won’t shake Rohit’s hands

With the Indian batsmen firing in the second innings and setting a formidable 323-run target for Australia to chase, the hosts knew they would be against it in the final session. Things worsened for them when R Ashwin got rid of Aaron Finch early to help India go into tea on the fourth day on a high.

But who knew this moment of celebration would lead to one of the funniest few seconds of the Test. While the players were walking back to the dressing room for tea, Rohit came upto Ashwin in order to shake his hand.

Ashwin, seemingly busy with talking to someone else failed to notice poor Rohit, who had held his hand for a few seconds only to realise that the handshake was not coming.

As it is with social media the clip soon reached Twitter and memes started doing the rounds along with a few conspiracy theories.

India vs Australia | Ishant Will be ‘Obsessed’…

As India celebrated a 31-run victory against Australia in the first Test in Adelaide, captain Virat Kohli shed light on how while the rest of the dressing room was in a joyous mood, Ishant Sharma was rather cross with himself.

The reason was that with Australia at 279-9 and Nathan Lyon on strike, Sharma thundered a delivery into his pads and jumped in appeal, only to turn around and realize that he had bowled a no-ball.

At that stage, Australia needed 44 more runs to win, and while the hosts only added twelve more runs before the final wicket was picked up, Sharma was angry with himself for bowling a no-ball at such a crucial juncture.

“Ishant is the most pissed off right now,” Kohli said speaking after the match. “We are all very happy celebrating but he was really, really angry with himself.

“I asked him why and he said ‘you can’t afford to bowl a no-ball, being the senior guy, having played so many games and in a crunch situation. And the umpire probably would have given that out.

“Guys take ownership of these things. Obviously, you can commit mistakes, but as long as the attitude is right you look to correct those mistakes. So this incident that has happened, I’m sure Ishant is going to be obsessed about not doing it again.

“That is the most you can ask for any player that is playing for their country and certainly the right attitude to have.”

The win in Adelaide marked the first time in history that India had won the first Test match of a tour of Australia. The second Test will commence in Perth from December 14th.

India vs Australia: Ponting Against Changes to…

Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting said that Tim Paine and the Australian management should stick to the same XI and the batting order for the second Test against India. The 43-year-old reckoned that making any change just one Test into the series would be an overreaction to the Adelaide defeat.

He further asserted that the team should stick with Aaron Finch as an opener and resist the urge to move him down the order after just one Test.

“Why wouldn’t they do that (move Finch down the order) for this game if that’s their best line-up?” Ponting told when asked about Finch’s position.

“I just think that’d be really reactionary. The selectors have made a decision, or whoever is setting the batting order, that they think Aaron Finch is the right guy to be opening the batting for Australia.

“When you start moving guys around, it just creates more uncertainty. Finch would potentially train differently next week than he had this week because he’s not opening (and) Usman has to train differently because he is opening.

“Little things like that would come into their minds. If I was them, I’d be tempted to keep it the same way.”

Former Test spinner Shane Warne backed all-rounder Marcus Stoinis to be handed a debut in Perth, replacing Peter Handscomb, but Ponting was against the change.

“I’d have to leave it like it is,” he said. “They decided that was their strongest line-up going into this week and opinion shouldn’t change on the back of one game.”

While India have triumphed in the opening Test, Ponting said that the new-look Perth pitch, another drop in wicket, should give the Australians an edge in the second Test, which starts on Friday.

“I think Perth will definitely suit our guys a lot more than the Indian players, but the Aussies need to bounce back pretty quickly,” he said.

“They played pretty poorly this week and got within 30 runs. And that’s not saying India played at their absolute best either, but they’re absolutely capable.

“There’s some positives to take from it but they’ve also got to take a good hard look at what they’ve done through this game and make sure they do it a lot better.”

India vs Australia | Vasu: India Learn to Win …

Virat Kohli was still in his trouser whites when the team walked off the Adelaide Oval dulled to make the leisurely stroll over the river Torrens to their hotel. It was that kind of moment, that kind of end to a Test match when you wanted to cling to the feeling and slow time down temporarily, savouring the experience of a famous win.

India’s win seemed utterly inevitable overnight and the excitement was dulled a touch by how un-Australian this Australian team was. Without David Warner and Steve Smith, without the gnarling and snivelling on the field, without the mental disintegration and mind games off it, this just seemed a touch too easy.

The achievement was going to be no less staggering, given that no Indian team has ever won their first Test of a series in Australia, it was going to make Kohli the first Asian captain to record wins in South Africa, England and Australia and it was going to make India the first team to win a Test in each of these countries in a calendar year.

So, historic, but not necessarily that big a deal, right? Dead wrong. The Australia that turned up on the final day may not have had the skill of its predecessors but it lacked nothing in heart. It was an exceptionally Australian performance, one in which every wicket had to be earned, every partnership not merely broken but prised out. With pressure the wedge was driven in, with precision it was hammered deep, and then with skill it was blasted apart.

R Ashwin put in a virtuoso performance, bowling 52.5 overs that gave his captain control and calm, conceding only 92 runs in the process and picking up three crucial wickets. On a final day pitch that eased up surprisingly, improving with every passing hour, making crease occupation easier and easier, the off spinner deployed variations with subtlety and skill. Not variations in the sense that the carom balls and leg breaks came every over, but the most clever use of angles, flight and ball speed to work batsmen over, set them up and finally harvest their wickets.

Mohammed Shami gave up the desire to be a thoroughbred barreling down the final straight, swapping instead into workhorse mode, asking more questions of the batsmen than Amitabh Bachchan on Kaun Banega Crorepati. He used the shorter ball — not the spongy bouncer that was easily left alone — but one that ensured that batsmen could not plonk the foot down the pitch without thinking twice, to great effect. He built passages of play, as an author might chapters in a novel, each over a thing of beauty on its own and collectively so much more.

Ishant Sharma, who was mocked for his historically poor statistics, including the fact that he had the worst numbers for any quick bowler who had sent down 2000 balls, becoming a butt of jokes in Australian newspapers, bowled as though he was playing his 88th Test. To paraphrase Shane Warne, this was not the Ishant who had played the same Test 88 times. The embarrassment and cricketing criminality of overstepping when sending down a potentially wicket-taking ball was nakedly painful, showing his team-mates and the world just how badly he felt at having let himself down. Here was a bowler who cared, and one who wanted to play his part in the team’s plans, and contribute to a victory, not someone who was bowling for a five-wicket haul.

Jasprit Bumrah, who begins his run up like he is sauntering down Adelaide’s Henley Beach on a Sunday morning and ends it with all the explosiveness of Jan Zelezny sending his javelin spearing through the air, did not for a moment look like he was on his first Test tour of Australia. He knew what length to bowl, what lines to attack and which batsman to harass. He completed a bowling trio that Australia’s batsmen simply could not resist for the pressure was relentless and the pace unrelenting.

If the bowlers came through once more, and they have been bankers in this bumper Indian Test season, it is only fair to give some credit to their ally, the wicketkeeper. In only his sixth Test, Rishabh Pant equalled the record for most catches in a Test, drawing level with Jack Russell and AB de Villiers. He let two catches go, and was not the cleanest behind the stumps, but this was not a day to look at what might have been.

In recent times, India have come away from too many away Tests believing that that they played well, they were competitive, they were better than their predecessors but were on the wrong end of the result. On an Adelaide Monday that will be remembered for years from now, the record was straight. India had learnt how to win abroad when it mattered.

India vs Australia: You Don’t Have to Talk Rub…

Australian captain Tim Paine says he’s proud of the way his team not only fought hard against India but played in the right spirit as they put on a friendlier face after the ball-tampering scandal.

The opening Test in Adelaide was the first at home for Australia since the cheating row blew up in South Africa last March, leading to bans for then skipper Steve Smith and his deputy David Warner.

A scathing review into the scandal criticised Australian cricketers for “playing the mongrel” against opponents and in response the team produced a players’ pact vowing to tone down their infamous abrasive attitude.

Both teams shook hands before and after the match as a mark of respect and Paine said his team showed you didn’t have to “carry on like a pork chop” to be competitive in a match that went to the wire.

India eventually won by 31 runs on the fifth day to take momentum into the next Test in Perth starting Friday.

“We played in good spirits. I don’t know about the Indians, we didn’t pay attention to them and we won’t be for the whole series,” he said Monday.

“We can only concentrate on the brand and the style of cricket that we want to play.

"From a cricket point of view, we have some areas to tighten up and I thought today was a nice snapshot of how we want to go about it.

"We fought really hard and never gave up, and you don’t have to talk rubbish and carry on a like a pork chop to prove that.”

No Niggles

The Australians came face-to-face in Adelaide with famously combative Indian skipper Virat Kohli, who thrives on the verbal banter and has never been shy of riling the opposition.

But while he celebrated wickets enthusiastically, there were few, if any, niggles between the teams during the highly competitive game.

Paine pointed to the experienced foursome of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon as showing the type of never-say-die, but fair, commitment he wants in the team.

They all bowled consistently and for long periods, and added valuable runs on Monday in the improbable chase of a winning target of 323, eventually going down by 31 runs.

“Our whole bowling attack, your see those four together and you can see how much it means to them playing for Australia, whether they’ve got the bat, ball or in the field,” he said.

“You can’t question their commitment. They have a red hot crack every single ball.

"That’s what we’re building to, that’s the style of cricket we want to play.

"They’re obviously some of our more experienced players and I think the more they do that the more it will rub off on the rest of the group. I couldn’t question any of those guys.”

India vs Australia: Kohli Savours ‘Very Specia…

Virat Kohli said on Monday it was “very special” to captain India to their first Test win in Australia for a decade and gave his side crucial momentum in their bid for a maiden series victory.

The visitors won a tightly-contested opening Test in Adelaide by 31 runs on the fifth day after setting Australia a target of 323, which would have been a record run chase at the ground.

It was a big breakthrough for Kohli’s men, with their last triumph on Australian soil at the WACA Ground in Perth in 2008. In Adelaide, their sole previous win was in 2003.

“Obviously it’s a great feeling. We’ve never taken a lead in a series in Australia, something that for us is a huge boost,” he said.

“And it’s given us the right momentum that we needed to play a big series like this and it’s something that we’ve had to work hard for.

"Any Test victory is special because you work hard over five days, and then the physical and the mental toil and the emotion of it all comes together in a result is a very special feeling.”

Kohli, who has long led India’s batting charge with admirable consistency across all three formats but failed to fire in Adelaide, said he believed his team collectively were better than Australia and deserved to win.

The victory was built on Cheteshwar Pujara’s first innings 123 and his second innings 71, while wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant took a world record-equalling 11 catches.

“It was priceless from Pujara, we were down and out at lunch on day one. His grit and determination brought us back in it,” said Kohli.

“We always knew that runs on the board would make the home side tentative. Any lead was gold and we got 15. In the second innings again, he and Rahane batted well.”

Asked if thought 323 would be enough to win, Kohli said his middle and lower order could have done better after a 5-25 collapse at the end of the second innings.

“We could have added another 30-35 runs more which could have taken the game totally beyond Australia,” he said.

“So these are things that we have to think about going to Perth, but if someone had told me before the series that I would be 1-0 up as soon we started the series, I would have taken it with both hands.”

The second Test starts on Friday in Perth, with Melbourne and Sydney to follow.

Ravi Shastri’s Local Lingo Sparks Social Media…

The first Test between India and Australia at Adelaide went down to the wire. Chasing 323, the hosts were on the brink of losing multiple times but their lower order kept fighting to have people on the edge of their seats until Josh Hazlewood was dismissed by R Ashwin to give India a 31-run win.

Speaking to official broadcasters Sony after the game, India’s head coach Ravi Shastri credited his four bowlers for sticking to the task and not letting up on the intensity.

“I thought the bowlers were brilliant in the first innings,” he said. “Defending 250, the discipline was magnificent. They’ve worked on it, and it’s not come in overnight. As a bowling unit, when you show that discipline, it doesn’t matter which side you play against you will be successful. They need to have to rest now before the Perth Test where the track will have something for them.”

When former Indian captain Sunil Gavaskar reminded India’s coach about the hashtag which was being used by the broadcaster – which translates to "don’t let go of the opposition" – Shastri didn’t mince his words in reply.

Shastri admitted that he was relieved that the bowlers got the job done to see India win the first Test of a series in Australia for the very first time but also used a very colourful term to describe how he felt when the hosts looked like making a fist of things.

His comments drove social media nuts.