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England cricketer Joe Root.

England Test skipper Joe Root feels seam bowling will play a big part in the upcoming Test series against Sri Lanka which gets underway from Thursday.

Root, who has scored 7,823 Test runs, wants a collective effort from his bowlers in bundling out Sri Lanka rather than one or two players doing all the “donkey work” for England. “Seam will play a big part, whether that is building pressure or roughing batsman up for a period of time so the spinners can come into the game. With the weather around, it’s quite tacky, so that might open the door for some of the seamers,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Root as saying.

“Collectively, it’s really important that we look at trying to take 20 wickets as a whole bowling group and we don’t focus on one or two individuals to do all of the donkey work for us,” he added.

Root said that spinning tracks in Sri Lanka will throw challenges to the visiting team but they are adapting to the conditions quickly.

“That is one of the biggest challenges of coming and playing in Sri Lanka or in the sub-continent. The rhythm of the game is so different to play in English conditions. You face a lot more spin and a lot more double-spin from both ends and that’s part and parcel of playing in this part of the world,” the England skipper said as per the audio shared by ECB.

“It is really important that guys are ready for that and not just the rhythm of the game but the amount of spin and how quickly that can happen. That all things we have discussed at lengths as a batsmen group and as a team. Last time, it felt like whoever adapted quickest grabbed those big moments in the game. Hopefully, we can repeat that this time around,” he added.

For Sri Lanka, all-rounder Angelo Matthews and pacer Nuwan Pradeep have been added to the squad for the Test series.

Mathews was originally named in the Sri Lankan squad for the two Tests in South Africa but later withdrawn after he suffered a hamstring injury in the domestic T20 competition.

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Goals from Dipanda Dicka and Lalrindika Ralte helped Real Kashmir beat Chennai City 2-0 in the I-League at the Mohun Bagan Ground on Friday. Chennai dominated possession throughout the game but were unable to break through the Kashmir defence.

Dicka scored in the 16th minute in a move that started with Chennai losing the ball in their defensive area by Lukman Adefemi. The Nigerian took the ball to the byline before cutting it back to find Dicka, who hit it first time past the Chennai goalkeeper.

Chennai got a chance to level the scores in the 38th minute off a corner that was sent in by Mohammed Iqbal. He found a completely unmarked Elvedin Skrijelj but the Serbian ended up heading the ball wide.

Dicka seemed to have doubled Real Kashmir’s lead in the 64th minute with a rather spectacular effort but he was ruled offside which meant that the goal didn’t count. Full Abhash Thapa sent in a cross while Dicka had his back to goal. The Cameroonian however, swivelled around and volleyed the ball into the goal the first time.

Dicka eventually provided the second goal as substitute Ralte scored after a lovely one-two with the former in the 85th minute.

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Athletic Club Bilbao shocked Real Madrid 2-1 in the Spanish Super Cup semi-final and booked a place in Sunday’s final against Barcelona.

Two goals from Bilbao striker Raul Garcia earned the Basque side a well-deserved win in only their second game under the direction of new coach Marcelino Garcia Toral, reports Xinhua news agency.

Real Madrid began brightly with Hazard seeing a shot saved by Unai Simon before he was closed down by the Bilbao defense after a neat pass from Casemiro.

But Bilbao, known as “The Lions”, struck first when Raul Garcia opened the scoring in the 18th minute When Lucas Vazquez’s pass from the back was intercepted by Dani Garcia, who slid the ball through for Raul Garcia to beat Courtois with a right-footed shot.

Madrid defender Lucas Vazquez misread the flight of a cross from Anda Capa and then pulled down Inigo Martinez to concede a penalty, which Garcia dispatched high into Courtois’ goal on 38 minutes.

Real Madrid tried to up the pace in the second half as Bilbao sat deeper, but Bilbao keeper Unai Simon hardly had to make a save as two stunning efforts from Marco Arsenio bounced back off the woodwork.

Karim Benzema pulled a goal back for Madrid after a long VAR check with 15 minutes left to play. Madrid had Courtois to thank for a great save to stop Asier Villalibtre from adding a third for Bilbao.

Bilbao was able to manage the closing minutes well despite a six minutes of injury time and they and not Madrid will now face Barca for the first title of the season.

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Skipper Joe Root led from the front as he hit a scintillating century to put England in firm control on the second day of the first Test against Sri Lanka at the Galle International Stadium on Friday.

At stumps, England’s score reads 320/4, with Root (168) and Jos Buttler’s (7) partnership interrupted by rain. With play ending early, England’s lead reads 185 runs with six wickets in the bag. Resuming the innings at 127/2, England witnessed a poor start as Jonny Bairstow was sent back to the pavilion by Lasith Embuldeniya in the second over of the day. Captain Root was then joined by Dan Lawrence.

The duo played brilliantly and took the team over the 200-run mark, with Root completing his 18th Test century. Soon after that, Lawrence scored his fifty as England grew in confidence against a home-team attack that lacked bite. The duo stitched a 173-run partnership before Dilruwan Perera removed Lawrence (73).

Jos Buttler then came out to bat, however, a few overs later, rain hampered the game. Due to persistent rain, play did not resume and England will now resume day three from 320/4.

On the opening day, England bowlers put on a stunning show as Sri Lanka were bundled out for just 135. Dom Bess picked five wickets while Stuart Broad scalped three wickets.

Brief Scores: Sri Lanka 135 (Dinesh Chandimal 28; Dom Bess 5/30); England 320/4 (Joe Root 168*, Dan Lawrence 73, Lasith Embuldeniya 3/131)

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Karsan Ghavri



The injury of many Indian players has opened the way for new fast bowlers who bowled brilliantly in the Gabba Test. This match is also going to prove to be a huge learning experience for them. They have to work on their line and accuracy as they can put the batsmen in trouble. If they could bowl out Australia within 350 runs, there will be hope for Team India. For this, it is necessary to wrap up the Australia innings as soon as possible on the second day. Also, to restrict them is important. Our bowlers should stay strict to their good line and length on the second day morning and bowling will have to be done according to the set field. It should be that if the two slips, gully, and point are placed, the bowling should be outside the off stump. In this field, bowling at leg stump can prove to be costly for the team. I think the coaches will also tell them Australian batsmen’s weak links.

Debutant bowler T. Natrajan is very lucky to get a chance in Brisbane. This will also give him enough time to establish himself. This bowler can do 20 to 25 overs a day. He has a yorker, a slower one, and a very good variety and this is the need of the time. If a bowler has a good outswing, then he should also have the capability of inswing.

If Shardul Thakur gets regular opportunities, he can prove to be a very useful player in the team. In addition to his swing bowling, he can score 30 to 40 runs in the lower order. At what length our bowlers have to bowl, this is the most important aspect. Navdeep Saini is also a good prospect. His muscles were stretched today. Although fitness is very important for every player in the team, for fast bowlers, its importance is even more. Today`s bowlers should learn from Kapil Dev. His fitness level was very high. Usually, he did not go to the gym and use to do cricket related exercises. Today, I see that coaches advise children not to bowl more than 40 balls a day to which I do not agree. I would say that a fast bowler should bowl at least 80 to 100 balls daily. This will increase their stamina. I also see a lot of potential in Mohammed Siraj. At this level, he can continuously improve his bowling. All four of our bowlers can learn a lot from the three fast bowlers of Australia who have taken 30 to 35 dismissals behind the wickets in the last three Tests. This is due to the strict line outside the off-stump and they have put a lot of emphasis on the catches at slip, gully, and bowler’s follow-through. Bowling on one corridor brings good results. I am confident that our bowlers will take care of all these things on the second day.

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SYDNEY: Some spectators at the Gabba on Friday called India bowlers Mohammed Siraj and Washington Sundar “bloody grub” on the first day of the fourth Test against Australia, less than a week after racist abuse allegations directed at the bowler during the third Test in Sydney.

A report in Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) on Friday quoted a spectator as saying that speedster Siraj was repeatedly abused by vocal spectators in Section 215 and 216 of the stadium when he was fielding there. A video posted on twitter by the SMH reporter also shows spectators shouting out Siraj’s name before calling out “you bloody grub”.

The report said: “At one point, a man in that section was heard yelling, ‘Siraj, give us a wave, give us a wave, give us a wave. Siraj, you bloody grub’.”

Siraj can be seen turning around and waving towards the stand at which point the spectators let out a cheer.‘Grub’, an Australian slang, is used for a person who is unclean or who has messy habits.

According to the spectator quoted in the newspaper report, debutant off-spinner Sundar was also subjected to the same chat from the unruly section. This is not the first instance of Indian players being targetted by spectators. During the drawn third Test in Sydney, Siraj and fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah had complained of facing racial abuse.

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India’s young guns hang on despite Labuschagne century on Day 1

At Stumps, Australia reached 274/5 after 87 overs, with skipper Tim Paine and Cameron Green remaining unbeaten at 38 and 28 respectively. Labuschagne starred with the bat scoring 108, with the help of nine fours.



Marnus Labuschagne on Friday once again lived a charmed life as he went on to score a brilliant hundred to help Australia have a slight edge over India on Day One of the fourth and final Test at The Gabba.

At Stumps, Australia reached 274/5 after 87 overs, with skipper Tim Paine and Cameron Green remaining unbeaten at 38 and 28 respectively.

For the hosts, Labuschagne starred with the bat scoring 108, with the help of nine fours, while Matthew Wade and Steve Smith also made notable contributions of 45 and 36 respectively.

Earlier, electing to bat, the hosts didn’t get off to a good start as both David Warner and Marcus Harris went back to the dressing room with just 17 runs on the scoreboard against a very inexperienced Indian bowling line-up.

Warner was the first wicket to fall as he got caught in the slips in the very first over of the innings bowled by Mohammed Siraj. Rohit Sharma took a good, low catch at second slip to send the left-handed batsman back in the Australian dressing room at his individual score of just 1.

Harris, playing his first match of the series as he replaced injured Will Pucovski, then tried to stitch a partnership with Labuschagne but got out on the first ball bowled by Shardul Thakur in the ninth over. At his individual score of 5, Harris was caught as square leg by Washington Sundar.

Right-arm India pacer Navdeep Saini was taken for scans after he complained of pain in his groin on the opening day of the fourth and final Test against Australia at The Gabba, the Board of Control for Cricket in India has informed.

The 28-year-old, playing only his second Test, was seen in a lot of discomfort, holding onto his thighs, after his follow-through as he bowled the fifth delivery of the 36th over during Australia’s first innings in the post-lunch session. Incidentally, it was the same delivery on which skipper Ajinkya Rahane dropped Marnus Labuschagne at gully.

Labuschagne and Smith took control over the innings and stitched a useful partnership as Australia went into the Lunch break without losing any further wickets.

Resuming the second session at 65/2, both Smith and Labuschagne scored freely and collected boundaries whenever the Indian bowlers erred in their line and lengths.

However, just when Australia looked to be in control, debutant off-spinner Washington Sundar claimed the big wicket of Smith at his individual score of 36, getting the prolific batsman caught at short mid-wicket by Sharma.

India could’ve got their fourth wicket soon after that had skipper Ajinkya Rahane not dropped the catch of Labuschagne at gully against Navdeep Saini. What added to the wounds of the Indian team was that Saini suffered injury in his groin after that incident in the 36th over and was taken off the field, only to be send for scans later in the day.

Wade, who came to bat after the fall of Smith’s wicket, started off slowly but once he got set, the left-handed batsman stitched a brilliant partnership with Labuschagne. The pair added 113 runs before Wade became the first Test scalp of T Natarajan in the final session of the day.

Natarajan, playing his first Test, then removed Labuschagne and brought India back into the game.

Brief scores: Australia 274/5 at Stumps on Day One (Marnus Labuschagne 108, Matthew Wade 45; T Natarajan 2/63)

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