Melbourne [Australia], February 10 (ANI): Australian tennis star Nick Kyrgios fought hard to snatch a win from the jaws of defeat in the ongoing Australian Open on Wednesday.
Kyrgios defeated France’s Ugo Humbert (5-7, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6, 6-4) in a match that lasted for whooping 205 minutes. Kyrgios didn’t have a great start as he lost the first set but sealed the second one comfortably.
However, the Australian tennis star suffered a set back as Humbert thrashed him in the third set (3-6). Kyrgios then survived two match points to stage an incredible comeback and won the match which went down to the wire.
Earlier in the day, world number one Novak Djokovic and US Open champion Dominic Thiem both progressed to the third round of the tournament.
Djokovic outclassed America’s Frances Tiafoe 6-3, 6-7, 7-6 (2), 6-3 to win the second-round match at the Rod Laver Arena while Thiem defeated Germany’s Dominik Koepfer in three straight sets 6-4, 6-0, 6-2 in one hour and 39 minutes.
Also, American tennis star Serena Williams and Japanese tennis player Naomi Osaka progressed to the third round of the Australian Open on Wednesday.
While Williams outclassed Serbia’s Nina Stojanovic 6-3, 6-0 in the second round and she wrapped up an easy straight-sets victory, the third-seeded Osaka defeated France’s Caroline Garcia in two straight sets (6-2, 6-3) in the match that lasted for 61 minutes. (ANI)
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All this moaning, groaning about the pitch has to stop: Sir Vivian Richards
On English cricketers slamming the Ahmedabad wicket, the West Indian legend feels that batters need to prepare themselves for these conditions rather than complaining about the spinning conditions.
Amid debate over the third Test pitch, West Indies great Vivian Richards slammed England for complaining about the spinning wicket and added that he wants to see a similar track in the final Test of the series.
India had managed to defeat England within two days in the pink-ball Test. The match saw both India and England batsmen failing to shine and getting out to balls that didn’t turn and skidded through from the spinners. But critics have looked to blame the pitch for the failure of the batsmen. India batsman Rohit Sharma clarified that he did not think the pitch had any demons. Even skipper Virat Kohli was vocal about the dreadful batting display from the two teams. Spinner Ravichandran Ashwin also echoed the sentiments.
Further, Richards also feels that batters need to prepare themselves for these conditions rather than complaining about the spinning conditions.
“I’ve been asked questions recently about the Test match that was played in India… the second and third Test match against England. And I am a little confused about the question really because there seems to be a lot of moaning and groaning about the wicket that they were playing on. I just felt that the ones who are moaning, in my opinion, should realise that there are times that you’re going to get a seaming track, a ball that is basically jumping off a good length and everyone thinks that’s a problem for batters,” Richards said in a video posted on his Facebook page.
“But now you’ve seen the other side, and this is why I think it was given the name Test match cricket, because of the test of the mind and will and everything else that goes with it when you’re competing. And the complaints have been that the wicket is spinning too much and all that sorts of stuff. This is another side of the arc guys. People seem to forget that if you’re going to India, you should expect that. You are going to spin land.“Rather than the moaning and groaning, especially just recently how quickly that Test match was over. It gives England an opportunity and a chance to assess things, to believe that for some reason the wicket that they’re going to encounter in the fourth Test is going to be the same. If I was India or I had anything to do with the preparations of the wicket, I would bring in very much the same,” Richards added.
One of the living legends of the game Richards went on to praise the Indian side and said England should come out of their comfort zone and they have to face the spin.
“Ever since that first Test match, England were in their comfort zone. They have now been taken out of their comfort zone at present and they have got to find ways and means to cope with what they are going to encounter. Spin in all part of the game, this is what a Test match brings.,” he said.
“I just believe all the moaning and groaning has got to stop and just see the classical side of things in terms of the Indian armoury. And from where I’m sitting, it’s good to see,” the West Indian signed off.
NZ vs Aus: Visitors set to make changes in third T20I, confirms McDonald
Wellington [New Zealand], March 2 (ANI): Australia is set to make a few changes in the upcoming third T20I of the five-match series, assistant coach Andrew McDonald confirmed on Tuesday.
Australia are 0-2 down in the five-match series and the visitors need to win the third T20I to stay in the series. The third match would be played on Wednesday in Wellington.
Wellington’s Sky Stadium will be hosting the final three T20Is between Australia and New Zealand and the visitors are likely to include Ashton Turner or D’Arcy Short in their starting XI.
All-rounder Ashton Agar can be left out of the team as he has conceded 50 runs from five overs bowled in the first T20Is against New Zealand.
“We haven’t got those middle overs right. That may be a reason for us to reinforce that area or make some changes that potentially strengthen that area with both bat and ball. They’ve played spin well at this stage. Agar has played two games in the last three and a half months as well so he’s going to be better every game that he plays,” cricket.com.au quoted McDonald as saying.
“Zampa at this stage hasn’t gotten into the games but his quality over the last two years suggests that the next game he probably will have an impact. It is an area that we do need to improve in if we’re going to compete and beat this Kiwi side,” he added.
Short or Tuner would give strength to Australia’s batting while Jason Behrendorff, Andrew Tye, and the uncapped Riley Meredith are also in the squad to give depth to the fast-bowling.
McDonald also said it was a huge positive that the series was being played out in Wellington rather than heading north to Auckland, which is in New Zealand’s Level 3 restrictions.
“We feel for those in Auckland going back into lockdown and Eden Park is a great ground to play and it would have been a fantastic atmosphere, so probably a loss in terms of the big crowd. In terms of us not having to quarantine on the way home in the current landscape is a huge positive,” said McDonald.
Australia squad: Aaron Finch (c), Ashton Agar, Jason Behrendorff, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Ben McDermott, Riley Meredith, Josh Philippe, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Daniel Sams, Tanveer Sangha, D’Arcy Short, Marcus Stoinis, Ashton Turner, Andrew Tye, Matthew Wade, Adam Zampa. (ANI)
WI vs SL: Can bat at any position, I’ll still be the best, says Gayle
St John’s [Antigua], March 2 (ANI): West Indies batsman Chris Gayle has said that he is ready to bat at any position in the upcoming T20I series against Sri Lanka and he added that no matter where he bats, he will try to be the best at that position.
Gayle had batted at the number three spot for the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Kings XI Punjab (now Punjab Kings) in IPL 2020 as regular openers KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal were in great form.
“It seems like I’m the number three specialist now. It was a role that the coach, Anil Kumble, asked me to play. He did mention it before the IPL actually started, which I had no problem with, and then eventually, when I actually got the chance, they wanted my experience at number three because Mayank Agarwal and KL Rahul were going great guns at the time,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Gayle as saying.
“It’s not a problem. I’m good at playing spin, I’m as good at playing fast bowlers as anyone as I’m an opener. But with West Indies cricket, whatever role they want me to play, I’m willing to play that particular role. We haven’t fully discussed it but I’ll get a bit of a heads up and work out what to look forward to in this particular series and down into the World Cup. If it’s opening, I’m ready, number three, number five- I’m pretty much flexible. I will still be the best number five in the world, best number three in the world,” he added.
This is the first time that Gayle has been included in the West Indies since the 2019 World Cup. The left-handed batsman also admitted that he had considered walking away from international cricket and that he had planned to focus on franchise cricket.
“I thought about actually walking away from the game and then people said: No, don’t do it, don’t do it. Stay and play as long as possible. So I decided I’m actually going to continue playing. I wasn’t actually thinking down this road. I was like, I’m going to play franchise cricket, entertaining people as much as possible, and whatever is left to offer within the game from Chris Gayle, I want to exploit around the world,” said Gayle.
“When I got the call and they asked if I’m willing and interested, I said: Yes, I want to play for West Indies’. That’s where my heart is. I’m never going to turn down anything pertaining to West Indies cricket at this particular time. So I came back from Pakistan to be a part of the set-up leading into the World Cup so we can have unity within the group, and then hopefully we can win this T20 trophy,” he added.
Gayle also said that he wants to win the T20 World Cup slated to be held this year in India. Gayle is one of eight men who won both the 2012 and 2016 T20 World Cup for the West Indies.
“I know being back, it might be a little bit of attention, but I don’t want it to go in that regard, to be honest with you. We’re looking at things from a team point of view. Pollard is a very strong captain and we have a lot of very, very good-quality players within the team. I want to win the series. I want to get off to a good start. It’s really good to be back. Hopefully, I can perform, help the team, and put the team in a winning position,” said Gayle.
“I want to accomplish, starting off by winning the series, but the bigger picture is actually to get three T20 titles under my belt. That’s actually the goal I’m setting in my head by winning the T20 World Cup. We have quite a few series coming up and we have a lot of cricket leading up to that. We’ll try and take as much as possible out of these series coming up,” he added. (ANI)
Trescothick trying to accept touring life after England appointment
London [UK], March 2 (ANI): Former England batsman Marcus Trescothick has confirmed that he would be ready to jump back to travelling life but he added that is still trying to accept the long trips usually undertaken by England players and support staff.
This remark of Trescothick came as he was named as England and Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB) elite batting coach. This job profile would ask the former England batsman to be on tour with various England teams as well as working with players.
“It’s an ongoing process for me. I think I’ve learned to adapt and progress where I’ve gone. I’ve gradually built it from a couple of days in Spain, to then going to Spain for a week. Then I did two weeks in Abu Dhabi,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Trescothick as saying.
“I’m gradually cutting my teeth on it just to get more confident. Every trip that I do, the more I realise how much I enjoyed the touring life. But that’s not to say I’m ready to jump back in and do six weeks or two months or three months away. That’s not what I’m ready for yet. And we’ve discussed that,” he added.
Trescothick’s international career had come to an early end due to his issues with anxiety and depression. This issues appeared to be exacerbated by periods away from home, the former England batsman had revealed earlier.
“Do I know how much touring I will do? Not exactly. We have discussed it and I’m ready to jump back on and do bits and pieces. Do I want to do three months in a row? No, I don’t. I’m building up to that sort of point. The little journeys I’ve done for a couple of weeks here or a month there: that works really well,” said Trescothick.
“I said I would do three, four, five weeks, I’m open to all that. It’s gradually getting easier for me. My kids are growing up and are less dependent on me and I’ve grown more and more confident to deal with it,” he added.
As part of his new role, Trescothick is also expected to work with players at U19 and Lions level as well. Trescothick was due to arrive in India last week with the England limited-overs party, he pulled out due to a family bereavement. (ANI)
WI vs SL: Hetmyer, Chase fit to be available for Tests
St John’s [Antigua], March 2 (ANI): Batsman Shimron Hetmyer and all-rounder Roston Chase will be available for the West Indies for the upcoming Test series against Sri Lanka after the duo met the minimum fitness requirement standard of the Cricket West Indies (CWI).
Hetmyer and Chase are among the four players who were deemed unavailable for the upcoming T20I and ODI series against Sri Lanka, along with fast bowlers Sheldon Cottrell and Oshane Thomas.
Jimmy Adams, CWI’s director of cricket has now confirmed that Chase and Hetmyer have met the fitness standard and they would be available for selection for the upcoming Test series against Sri Lanka.
“Two of those four players have since met the minimum standard: Roston Chase and Shimron Hetmyer. They would be now available for the next selection meeting before the Test matches coming up later in March,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Adams as saying.
On Sunday, Cricket West Indies (CWI) selection panel had named 26 players to participate in a “Best v Best” four-day practice match in preparation for the upcoming Test series against Sri Lanka.
The match will be held on March 8-11 at the Coolidge Cricket Ground (CCG) ahead of the two-Test matches which will be played at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, in Antigua.
Several members of the West Indies Test team which beat Bangladesh in the recent series have been named for the match, while other recent Test squad players are participating in the three-match ODI series from March 10-14.
“The ‘Best v Best’ game is firstly part of our preparation for the Test series against Sri Lanka. It gives the players who performed well in the last West Indies Championship an opportunity to showcase their skills, playing against each other, which we expect to be very competitive and put forward a case for themselves.
Squad A: Kraigg Brathwaite (captain), Shamarh Brooks, Rahkeem Cornwall, Joshua Da Silva, Derval Green, Keon Harding, Shimron Hetmyer, Kavem Hodge, Paul Palmer Jr, Veerasammy Permaul, Kieran Powell, Preston McSween, Jayden Seales.
Squad B: Roston Chase (captain), Sunil Ambris, Nkrumah Bonner, Jermaine Blackwood, John Campbell, Jahmar Hamilton, Chemar Holder, Imran Khan, Marquino Mindley, Shayne Moseley, Raymon Reifer, Nial Smith, Jomel Warrican.
Kemar Roach and Shannon Gabriel have been rested for this match due to their workload management. The Test series between West Indies and Sri Lanka will begin on March 21.
Before the Test series, West Indies and Sri Lanka will be locking horns in three T20Is, beginning March 3. (ANI)
Warner named in NSW squad for match against South Australia
Sydney [Australia], March 2 (ANI): Opening batsman David Warner on Tuesday was named in New South Wales’ (NSW) squad for the upcoming Marsh ODI Cup match against South Australia.
Warner will be returning to cricket for the NSW Blues on Thursday after six weeks recovering from a groin injury.
The left-handed batsman will be taking the place of Daniel Hughes, who has a shoulder complaint, while Nick Larkin comes in for Steve Smith, who is still rehabbing his elbow injury.
Pat Cummins will again captain the One Day Cup squad that won their season opener against Victoria at North Sydney Oval last month by 59 runs. Blues head coach Phil Jaques said it was pleasing to see Warner back after some time off the park.
“We all know Davey’s quality as a player in all formats and it’s great to see him back for the Blues for this game. He has worked really hard on his rehab and has been great around the group when he’s been at training,” said Jacques in an official release.
“It will be fantastic to have his experience around the team over the coming weeks,” he added.
Warner had played the last two Tests against India while still being hampered by the groin injury he sustained in the ODI series at the end of November 2020.
Speaking on commentary during the first T20I between New Zealand-Australia, Warner said that how he expects to feel the effects of the injury for up to nine months.
NSW’s team for the next round of the Marsh Sheffield Shield, scheduled to start in Adelaide on Saturday will be named later this week.
NSW Blues Marsh One-Day Cup squad, Round 2 v. South Australia, Adelaide Oval, Thursday March 4 (D/N):
New South Wales squad Pat Cummins (capt), Sean Abbott, Harry Conway, Oliver Davies, Ben Dwarshuis, Jack Edwards, Liam Hatcher, Matthew Gilkes, Moises Henriques, Nick Larkin, Nathan Lyon, Kurtis Patterson, David Warner. (ANI)
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