IPL 2021 Auction: DC will look to acquire some back-up players, says Kaif - The Daily Guardian
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IPL 2021 Auction: DC will look to acquire some back-up players, says Kaif

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New Delhi [India], February 17 (ANI): Having made their maiden Indian Premier League (IPL) final in 2020, Delhi Capitals will look to further strengthen their side as they gear up for the mini-auction scheduled to go ahead on Thursday in Chennai.
Delhi Capitals retained its core squad in January 2021, while releasing as many as six players for the upcoming season. Going into the auction, with a total of eight vacancies, including three overseas slots, Delhi Capitals’ assistant coaches Mohammad Kaif and Pravin Amre expressed that the runner-up of the previous edition will look to bid for the possible back-ups for their retained core unit.
“We already have our main core unit who played in the last season. We have released a few players, so we will be looking to fill those gaps. I think flexibility is the key in the auction. One can have all the plans for the auction, but things can change on the auction table. We have to take spontaneous decisions. Our main players have been playing continuously and there are no fitness issues as well. So, we’ll be looking to acquire some back-up players in tomorrow’s auction,” said Kaif.
Commenting on the current squad, Delhi Capitals’ assistant coach Pravin Amre said: “I must say the owners and the Head Coach have done a great job by retaining the core unit of this team who played the final in 2020. To be honest, if we are asked to play tomorrow also, we have a playing XI ready with us, so I think that’s the successful planning, and that’s what we learned from other teams also, who back their core for a long time.”
“This team actually played great cricket last year, and everyone, not only management, but they won the hearts of DC fans also. I think that’s the reason why they deserve to be here as a unit,” he added.
Amre also added that the Delhi Capitals team management has a well-defined plan heading into the IPL auction 2021.

“We are in a clear frame of mind about what we are going to do on the auction table. We are not desperate to go behind only one player, who can come and fit in the playing XI, that’s not the case for us. The IPL is a tough tournament, anything can happen with key players, like injury or other reasons, so that’s why we should have that back-up for each and every one. So, that’s the area we are looking to target going into the auction,” said Amre.
Delhi Capitals retained players: Shikhar Dhawan, Prithvi Shaw, Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant, Shreyas Iyer, Axar Patel, Amit Mishra, Ishant Sharma, Ravichandran Ashwin, Lalit Yadav, Avesh Khan, Praveen Dubey, Kagiso Rabada, Anrich Nortje, Marcus Stoinis, Shimron Hetmyer, Chris Woakes.
The franchise had also traded Daniel Sams and Harshal Patel to Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in January this year. (ANI)

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NZ vs Aus: Visitors set to make changes in third T20I, confirms McDonald

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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)

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WI vs SL: Can bat at any position, I’ll still be the best, says Gayle

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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)

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Trescothick trying to accept touring life after England appointment

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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)

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WI vs SL: Hetmyer, Chase fit to be available for Tests

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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)

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Warner named in NSW squad for match against South Australia

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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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Harmeet Desai, Manika Batra off to winning start as Indian paddlers return to action with WTT Contender Doha

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Doha [Qatar], March 1 (ANI): Indian table tennis icons Manika Batra and Harmeet Desai started the 2021 season on a winning note as they earned straight-set victories in their respective qualifying round-2 matches at the World Table Tennis (WTT) Contender Doha on Monday.
The 2018 Commonwealth Games gold medalist Batra registered a 12-10, 14-12, 11-8 victory against her Spanish opponent Sofia-Xuan Zhang in the women’s singles while World No. 73 Desai notched up an easy 11-5, 12-10, 11-6 win against compatriot Anthony Amalraj to progress into the third round of men’s singles qualifiers.
Meanwhile, Sutirtha Mukherjee, Mudit Dani and Diya Chitale suffered defeats in their respective singles qualifying round matches.
Two-time national champion Mukherjee failed to get the better of Ukraine’s Tetyana Bilenko 5-11, 3-11, 12-10, 9-11 while Dani, who is ranked 200, was up against World No. 85 Olah Benedek. He grabbed one game against his relatively higher-ranked Finnish opponent before going down 8-11, 6-11, 11-8, 6-11.
Chitale started off well against Romania’s Irina Ciobanu with a game lead. However she couldn’t capitalize on the momentum and lost the match 11-8, 9-11, 3-11, 8-11 against the World No. 98.
Achanta Sharath Kamal and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran have received direct entries into the men’s singles main draw while 10 other Indians are playing in the qualifiers at the WTT Contender Doha.
The tournament, which kicks off the 2021 season, is also the first international tournament Indian players are participating in after the lockdown. (ANI)

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