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Du Plessis, Stirling and Ali Khan join PSL 6

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Lahore [Pakistan], February 15 (ANI): A total of five foreign players’ replacements have been made in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) teams that will take the field for the upcoming edition at the National Stadium Karachi and Gaddafi Stadium Lahore from Saturday, February 20.
The teams made replacement picks for the players who have either become fully or partially unavailable due to international cricket commitments. South Africa star Faf du Plessis who represented Peshawar Zalmi in the PSL 2020 play-offs last November makes a return to the league as a partial replacement player in the Quetta Gladiators outfit in place of West Indian Chris Gayle.
Australia leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed who has represented Gladiators in the earlier PSL seasons replaces New Zealand batsman Colin Munro in the Islamabad United squad. Munro would be unavailable for United due to the prevailing Covid-19 related managed isolation space challenges in New Zealand.
United have also included USA fast bowler Ali Khan as a replacement for England’s Reece Topley who has been included in England’s T20I squad on their ongoing tour of India.
Ireland batsman Paul Stirling is the third replacement in the United squad in place of England fast bowler Chris Jordan who has also been included in the T20I squad for the series against India.
England batsman Tom-Kohler Cadmore who represented Gladiators in the 2018 season will replace compatriot Liam Livingstone in the Zalmi squad with Livingstone also set to be part of England’s T20I team in India. (ANI)

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Ind vs Eng: Pitch was nice to bat on, there were no demons, says Rohit

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Ahmedabad (Gujarat) [India], February 25 (ANI): After registering an emphatic ten-wicket win over England in the third Test at the Narendra Modi Stadium, Rohit Sharma on Thursday said that most batsmen from both teams got out on straight balls and it was not a case of pitch misbehaving a lot.
Riding on brilliant spells of spin bowling from Axar Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin, India registered a comprehensive 10-wicket win over England in the pink-ball Test to go 2-1 up in the four-match series. In the end, English skipper Joe Root winning the toss and batting first meant nothing as the visitors were completely outplayed in the game.
India was bundled out for 145 in the first innings and Rohit Sharma was the top-scorer for the hosts as he played a knock of 66 runs with the help of 11 fours.
“To be honest, I did not do anything different, when you are playing on a pitch like that, you need to have intent and you need to look to score runs. You just cannot keep blocking. The oddball might turn, the oddball might just skid on the stumps if you play for the turn. It is important to keep that intent and try to use your feet and try to do as many things as possible to try and stay ahead of the bowlers. You just need to be slightly ahead of the bowlers at times and it is about finding ways to score runs,” said Rohit during a virtual press conference on Thursday.
“All I was trying to do was to look for ways to score runs. My intent was not to survive, my intent was to score runs while respecting the good balls. That’s all I tried to do. The pitch was interesting, the oddball was coming in and some were turning. When you bat on a wicket like this, you need to have a clear mindset. Pitch didn’t do anything, honestly speaking, if I can recollect, most of the batsmen got out on straighter deliveries, we also as a batting unit, made a lot of mistakes while batting. We also did not bat well in the first innings, the pitch did not have demons, there is nothing like that,” he added.
Further elaborating on his point, Rohit said: “It was a nice pitch to bat on, once you are in, you can score runs as you saw. You just need to apply yourself and keep concentrating in order to score runs. If you look at the Chennai Test match, the second Test, it was turning hell of a lot than it did here. A lot of the batters got runs there in the second Test, in this Test, we need to be honest to ourselves and accept that we did not bat well.”
“In Chennai, it had a lot more to offer than this, we batted well on that wicket. We learn from our mistakes, guys applied themselves, Ashwin got 100 in the second innings of the second Test, Ajinkya got 50, Virat got 60-odd. If you apply yourselves, you can score runs. We accept as a batting unit, that we did not bat as well we would have liked to in this Test. We just need to take it to ourselves and we need to get back to the drawing board,” he added.
Chasing 49 for a win, India raced home with 10 wickets in the bag as Rohit Sharma (25) and Shubman Gill (15) looked in a hurry to finish proceedings. Rohit finished it off in style by sending Root into the mid-wicket stands. The win has taken India one step closer to the final of the World Test Championship.
But the star of the show was hometown boy Axar as he finished with 11 wickets in the game (six in the first innings and five in the second). Senior partner Ashwin wasn’t to be left too far behind as he picked four wickets to finish with 7 in the game.
Interestingly, the off-spinner also became the second-fastest to 400 Test wickets during England’s second innings when he trapped Jofra Archer plumb in front. (ANI)

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Ind vs Eng, 3rd Test: Want the wicket to remain same for final Test, says Axar

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Ahmedabad (Gujarat) [India], February 25 (ANI): After guiding India to a comprehensive 10-wicket win in the third Test against England, Axar Patel said he would want the wicket to remain the same for the fourth and final Test of the series.
Axar finished with 11 wickets in the game (six in the first innings and five in the second). Senior partner Ashwin wasn’t to be left too far behind as he picked four wickets to finish with 7 in the game.
“When it happens, it feels so easy. I am not thinking much. I want to continue this form. I am happy that if I am not contributing with the bat, I am doing it with the ball. My strength is to bowl wicket-to-wicket and not give batsmen room,” Axar said after the match.
“The mindset of batters is they play out couple of maidens, they either go for a sweep or try to hit over the infield. They call me Wasim bhai (Wasim Akram) because they feel my arm ball is very lethal. Ajju Bhai (Ajinkya Rahane) called me that and Pant has picked it up. I would want this wicket to remain the same for the final Test as well as I am picking up wickets,” he added.
England is out of the race for a place in the final of the ICC World Test Championship after losing the third Test against India.
England, who are now 2-1 down in the four-match series, needed to win the four-match series 3-1 to play the final against New Zealand. England has dropped to 64.1 percentage points on the points table, which is now led by India with 71 percentage points.
New Zealand is assured of a place in the final with 70 percentage points. India need to either win or draw the last Test to stay ahead of Australia, who is in third place with 69.2 percentage points. (ANI)

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Ind vs Eng, 3rd Test: Bizzare that 21 of the 30 wickets fell to straight balls, says Kohli

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Ahmedabad (Gujarat) [India], February 25 (ANI): While critics did raise eyebrows with the pink-ball Test between India and England at the Narendra Modi Stadium ending in two days, India skipper Virat Kohli brought forward a relevant point that the quality of batting was to be blamed as most of the batsmen got out to balls that didn’t turn.
“To be honest, I don’t think the quality of batting was up to standards. We were 100 for 3 and then got bowled out for less than 150. It was just the odd ball turning and it was a good wicket to bat in the first innings. It was bizzare that 21 of the 30 wickets fell to straight balls, Test cricket is about trusting your defence. Lack of application ensured it was a quick finish,” he explained at the end of the game.
With the spin bowlers doing the maximum work, Kohli said that the pacers in the team were joking as they weren’t being given the ball by the captain.
“(Jasprit) Bumrah said I am getting work load management while playing. Ishant (Sharma) said I am playing my 100th game and still don’t get to bowl. I have never experienced this before. A bizzare game which got over in 2 days,” he said.
Commenting on third Test hero Axar Patel, Kohli said: “Bowls it quicker and from a bigger height as well. I don’t know what it is with Gujarat and producing so many left-arm spinners. You just cannot sweep this guy but you also can’t keep defending as he would just keep bowling at you. If the wicket has something in it, Axar is very lethal.”
The skipper also praised spin spearhead R Ashwin as he reached 400 Test wickets on Thursday. “I think we need to stand up and take notice of what Ashwin has done. In Tests, he is a modern day legend. As a captain, I am so pleased he is in my team. We have to be ready for the hard grind. Few days extra off with a hectic schedule is welcoming,” he signed off. (ANI)

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Ind vs Eng, 3rd Test: I think it sums up the wicket, if I am getting a fifer, says Root

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Ahmedabad (Gujarat) [India], February 25 (ANI): The pitch at the Narendra Modi Stadium has raised quite a few eyebrows as the third Test between India and England finished in two days. And while England skipper Joe Root didn’t directly criticise the wicket, he said that him bagging a fifer summed things up.
“I think it sums up the wicket, if I am getting a fifer. Congratulations to Ishant (Sharma) for 100 Tests and (Ravichandran) Ashwin for 400 Test wickets,” he said at the end of the game.
Root was also critical of the effort of the English batsmen in the first innings as they won the toss, looked on top at 74/2 before throwing it away.
“We were 70 for 2. But we didn’t really capitalise on it. 250 on that wicket would have made it different. We will come back using this hurt and come back as a better team,” the England captain said.
Commenting on the ball and how it skidded on, making it difficult for the batsmen, Root said: “The plastic coating on the ball gathered pace off the wicket. It was high-quality bowling as well. Both sides struggled on that wicket. We don’t define ourselves on a performance like this. We shouldn’t have any baggage from the previous games going into the last game. We have seen with the ball in hand, we can pick up wickets.”
Riding on brilliant spells of spin bowling from Axar Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin, India registered a comprehensive 10-wicket win over England to go 2-1 up in the four-match series. In the end, English skipper Joe Root winning the toss and batting first meant nothing as the visitors were completely outplayed in the game.
Chasing 49 for a win, India raced home with 10 wickets in the bag as Rohit Sharma (25) and Shubman Gill (15) looked in a hurry to finish proceedings. Rohit finished it off in style by sending Root into the mid-wicket stands. But the star of the show was hometown boy Axar as he finished with 11 wickets in the game (six in the first innings and five in the second). Senior partner Ashwin wasn’t to be left too far behind as he picked four wickets to finish with 7 in the game. (ANI)

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WTC: India claim top spot, England out of contention for place in final

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Ahmedabad (Gujarat) [India], February 25 (ANI): England is out of the race for a place in the final of the ICC World Test Championship after losing the third Test against India at the Narendra Modi Stadium here on Thursday.
England, who are now 2-1 down in the four-match series, needed to win the four-match series 3-1 to play the final against New Zealand. England has dropped to 64.1 percentage points on the points table, which is now led by India with 71 percentage points.
New Zealand is assured of a place in the final with 70 percentage points. India need to either win or draw the last Test to stay ahead of Australia, who is in third place with 69.2 percentage points.
Riding on brilliant spells of spin bowling from Axar Patel and Ravichandran Ashwin, India registered a comprehensive 10-wicket win over England in the pink-ball Test to go 2-1 up in the four-match series. In the end, English skipper Joe Root winning the toss and batting first meant nothing as the visitors were completely outplayed in the game.
Chasing 49 for a win, India raced home with 10 wickets in the bag as Rohit Sharma (25) and Shubman Gill (15) looked in a hurry to finish proceedings. Rohit finished it off in style by sending Root into the mid-wicket stands.
But the star of the show was hometown boy Axar as he finished with 11 wickets in the game (six in the first innings and five in the second). Senior partner Ashwin wasn’t to be left too far behind as he picked four wickets to finish with 7 in the game. (ANI)

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Had a chat with Shastri and Kohli in Australia, they felt I was bowling well, says Ashwin

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Ahmedabad (Gujarat) [India], February 25 (ANI): Axar Patel might have stolen the show in the pink-ball Test at the Narendra Modi Stadium, but senior partner Ravichandran Ashwin constantly guided him as the duo spun a web over the English batsmen. While Axar had 11 wickets to show for his efforts, Ashwin finished with 7 to enter the 400-wicket club.
Ashwin overtook New Zealand legend Richard Hadlee and South Africa’s Dale Steyn to become the second-fastest to reach 400 wickets. The pacers had taken 80 Tests while Ashwin scalped his 400th wicket in only his 77th match. Muttiah Muralitharan had reached the milestone in 72 games. Ashwin is also the fourth Indian bowler in the club after Kapil Dev, Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh.
Speaking after the game, Ashwin said that it was a pleasant experience to enter the club and said that the spinners bowled well to ensure India ended on the winning side.
“Pleasant experience (on reaching 400 Test wickets). Good that it happened in a winning cause. We were worried after getting bowled out for 145, didn’t think we didn’t have many runs on the board. We then bowled beautifully on a wicket assisting us,” he said.
Ashwin has been bowling well in recent times, but the spinner said that he wasn’t sure that he would start in the series against Australia. “At the start of the Australian tour, I didn’t think I would be starting, but then (Ravindra) Jadeja broke down and it might have had to happen.
“I think my bowling is coming beautifully, I thought I was bowling well in the IPL. In Australia, I had a chat with Ravi (Shastri) and Virat (Kohli), they felt I was bowling well. I worked a lot on my fitness, this body is aging, it has looked upwards for me since the lockdown. I have been having a lot of chats recently — it’s incredibly difficult watching the game from the dressing-room, you don’t know how things work. We lost the first Test and it’s extra special to come back and win,” he pointed.
Asked on the road ahead, Ashwin said: “People are asking the same question. I want to keep improving, that’s what motivates me a lot.” (ANI)

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