Spinners Ashton Agar and Steve O’Keefe have joined Australia’s squad for the third Test in Sydney, but the final make-up of the XI remains a mystery three days out from the match. The one certainty is that Australia will use their fourth No.6 of the Test summer, with Mitchell Marsh, Callum Ferguson and Nic Maddinson all having been dropped after struggling in the position. Continue reading
South African cricket would like its players to make a collective New Year’s resolution for 2017: we will stay. Continue reading
Despite the best efforts of Sean Abbott – who avenged his mauling by Travis Head here last New Year – the Adelaide Strikers saw in 2017 in style by comfortably defending their modest total of 152 with an outstanding bowling display that gave them their first win of the Big Bash League in a match that was attended by 45,741 fans. Continue reading
The PCB has decided to take legal action against the BCCI for not agreeing to play two of Pakistan’s home series and not fulfilling the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) they had signed in 2014. The PCB will seek compensation from the Indian board and also confirmed that Pakistan would not tour India next year as scheduled in the FTP because the cycle of bilateral fixtures had to start with Pakistan as hosts. Continue reading
Ninety-somethings from Kane Williamson and Neil Broom ensured New Zealand whitewashed Bangladesh with a crushing eight-wicket victory in the third ODI in Nelson. Their fluent 179-run stand, which came after Martill Guptill had retired hurt on 6 because of a hamstring strain, helped the hosts ace their chase of 237 with 52 balls to spare. Continue reading
Asian teams have always been pretty poor travelling anywhere outside Asia. Pakistan was the best travelers till 2000 came. SL have mostly been poor outside, except for a couple of wins here and there, heck they are yet to win a match in India!! India considerably improved from 2000 – 2010. Continue reading
Australia have dropped Nic Maddinson for next week’s Sydney Test, while left-arm spinners Steve O’Keefe and Ashton Agar have been included in a 13-man squad.
Agar, the wunderkind of the 2013 Ashes tour, merited a place on the strength of 16 well-priced Sheffield Shield wickets in the first half of the season, including 10 against New South Wales at the SCG. O’Keefe has been the favoured left-arm option for some time, but must now prove his ability to stay fit for the lengths of time required following a string of calf issues.
“We wanted a left-armer to go away from all their right-handers as well to give us options,” Australia’s coach Darren Lehmann said of Agar. “He got 10 in Sydney [Sheffield Shield game]. He has improved, we get feedback from JL [Justin Langer] and the guys have been watching him, they’ve been impressed with him. The hardest thing we’ve got at the moment is no Shield cricket, so you go with a bit of BBL form as well. So they’re not bowling as much as we’d like, but before that he was doing really well.
Australia squad for Sydney
David Warner, Matt Renshaw, Usman Khawaja, Steven Smith (capt), Peter Handscomb, Hilton Cartwright, Ashton Agar, Matthew Wade (wk), Mitchell Starc, Steve O’Keefe, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood, Jackson Bird
In: Steve O’Keefe, Ashton Agar
Out: Nic Maddinson, Chadd Sayers
“[O’Keefe’s] got to be fit and he’s playing now, so that’s the main thing. He wouldn’t want too many more injuries, he’d want to make sure he’s playing cricket. That’s the greatest thing we have now, young players coming through that are fit and ready to go. He did a really good job in Sri Lanka for us before he got injured. He knows he has got to be fit and ready to play each and every game.”
Lehmann spoke warmly of Nathan Lyon following his strong display on the final day of the MCG Test, particularly the greater consistency shown by Australia’s most prolific offspin bowler. “I thought he was outstanding,” Lehmann said. “He bowled consistent line and length, which was up and down in the previous few Test matches, and he got through the middle order, so pleased for him.
“I was just pleased the way he bowled today, more so than fourth innings winning the game, bowling that consistent line and length we’ve been after all summer. Three or four balls an over had been there, but today was a lot better.”
Allrounder Hilton Cartwright has been retained in the squad, but there was no room for swing bowler Chadd Sayers, who had been part of the squad for the first two Tests against Pakistan. Lehmann said that Cartwright and Agar would both be under consideration in an all-round role.
“If you play two spinners you normally need an allrounder, so that’s what we’re looking at,” he said. “Agar’s a genuine [allrounder], yeah. He has made Shield hundreds, and batted well in that Test match at 11, and has certainly got the talent to be a batting allrounder or a spinning allrounder, either way.”
Maddinson was axed after struggling for impact in the first three Tests of his career, with scores of 0, 1, 4 and 22 in his four Test innings so far. “He has still got a bright future,” Lehmann said. “I thought he batted really well this game, he would’ve liked a bigger score. I thought he played well, got a start and could have gone on big and put pressure on the selectors.”
Rather than recalling Shaun Marsh, Lehmann said the selectors had chosen to keep him playing T20 matches while retaining the services of the young Queensland opening batsman Matt Renshaw. “We decided to keep [Marsh] playing BBL,” Lehmann said. “Matt has done a reasonable job for us in the Test matches, so we’re going to go with that same opening combination for the last one.”
Brendon McCullum and Chris Lynn made a mockery of the 174-run target set in front of them by Hobart Hurricanes as the duo scored 109 in 8.5 overs to propel Brisbane Heat to a seven-wicket win at The Gabba in Brisbane in the Big Bash League game on Friday (December 30). Continue reading
Misbah-ul-Haq, Pakistan captain, has revealed he is contemplating retiring immediately from international cricket after his team’s shock innings and 18-run defeat against Australia at the MCG.
Attempting to save the second Test and negotiate 68 overs on a flat MCG wicket, Pakistan collapsed to be dismissed for 163 in the 54th over. It was Pakistan’s 11th straight Test loss in Australia and they have still never tasted a series victory Down Under with the third Test in Sydney starting January 3 now a dead rubber. Continue reading
The faintest of hopes that Sri Lanka had going into the final day hinged on Angelo Mathews. The skipper had to bat long and bat deep with Dhananjaya de Silva and the lower order to keep his side in the hunt but all it took South Africa was 70 minutes on Friday (December 30) to get rid of the last five wickets and win the first Test by 206 runs in Port Elizabeth. Continue reading