Bangkok [Thailand], January 29 (ANI): India shuttler Kidambi Srikanth bowed out of the ongoing BWF World Tour Finals after losing his third match of the tournament to Hong Kong’s Angus Ng Ka Long on Friday.
Angus defeated Srikanth 21-12, 18-21, 19-21 in the thrilling match which lasted for 65 minutes. The Indian shuttler scummed to the defeat in a similar fashion as he did in his first two games. Srikanth won the opening set but lost the last two in a draining three-game tie to bow out of the tournament.
In the first set, Srikanth registered a comfortable win over Angus but the Indian shuttler lost the last two sets despite fighting hard and taking the game down to the wire.
On Thursday, Srikanth fought hard but couldn’t turn the match in his favour as he was defeated by Taiwan’s Wang Tzu-Wei in his second group-stage match of the tournament.
Wang defeated Srikanth 21-19, 9-21, 19-21 in a match that lasted for 78 minutes. Srikanth began the match very well with a lead of 4-2 but Wang made a comeback to square off the points at 8-8, however, the Indian shuttler continued his fine form and pocketed the first game (21-19).
In the second game, Wang dominated the proceeding and bagged the set (9-21) quite comfortably. The Taiwanese badminton player maintained dominance in the game and took a three-point lead in the decider and eventually sealed the match.
In his first encounter of World Tour Finals earlier this week, Srikanth had a similar outing as he was defeated by Denmark’s Anders Antonsen.
The entire match lasted for one hour and 17 minutes. Srikanth came out all guns blazing in the first game and he did not give his opponent any chance, wrapping up the game 21-15 inside 22 minutes.
In the second game, Antonsen managed to change his fortunes around. With the winning momentum on his side, Antonsen capitalised in the third game and he walked away with a victory in the match. (ANI)
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Ind vs Eng: Axar Patel was the best bowler in 3rd Test, says Harbhajan
Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], March 3 (ANI): Ahead of the fourth and final Test of the series against England, former India spinner Harbhajan Singh heaped praise on all-rounder Axar Patel for the way he bowled in the pink-ball Test at the Narendra Modi Stadium last week.
The hosts registered a comprehensive 10-wicket win over England in the third Test and took the 2-1 lead in the series. India is now eyeing the World Test Championship final spot in the last game of the series.
India only need to draw the final Test against Joe Root’s men in order to seal a spot in the WTC final. Axar, playing in just his second Test, scalped 11 wickets in the day-night Test to spin a web over the Englishmen.
According to Harbhajan, it is the bowler who should be credited for turning the ball even if the pitch had something for the spinner.
Speaking exclusively on Star Sports’ show Cricket Connected, Harbhajan said, “At the beginning of our journey, the spinners are taught to hit the stump — the ball should hit the stump after the spin. If the wicket has spin then the bowler needs to judge how much spin is required, and if you’re missing the stumps constantly then it’s the bowler’s fault. If there is a spinning track or any other track, there is always a challenge to bowl.
“The most difficult balls were the ones where the batsman had to face with the bat and I believe Axar Patel was the best bowler in this game because the batsman had to play every ball and Axar himself didn’t know whether the ball will spin or not,” he added.
In the ongoing series, Rohit Sharma, Axar and Ravichandran Ashwin have been the standout performers and now in the fourth Test, skipper Virat Kohli would look to come to the party and end his century-drought.
Kohli had last scored a century way back in 2019 in a day-night Test against Bangladesh at the Eden Gardens.
The fourth Test of the series will be played at the Narendra Modi Stadium from Thursday. (ANI)
WTC: Will be watching with interest, hopefully England can do the job for us, says McDonald
Wellington [New Zealand], March 3 (ANI): Australia assistant coach Andrew McDonald has said that his side would be watching the fourth Test between India and England with keen interest and he added that everyone on his side is hopeful of the Three Lions defeating India.
If England manage to defeat India in the fourth and final Test of the series, then Australia would qualify for the final of the World Test Championship (WTC). However, if India win or draw the match, then Australia would qualify for the final.
“There’s a bit of self-interest there for us. We’ll be hoping they can do the job there. It’s going to be difficult for them, no doubt, some of the surfaces have been conducive to spin bowling and probably India’s strengths in their ability to play spin as well. We wish them well. See what unfolds, it’s out of our hands but we’ll be watching along with interest,” ESPNCricinfo quoted McDonald as saying.
“Think most people have been watching that series with some great interest in terms of the conditions and the short nature of the Tests has been very interesting to watch from afar,” he added.
Opening batsman David Warner is also hopeful of England defeating India, but he added that he would not be barracking for the visitors.
“I won’t be barracking for England. From a cricket perspective, we’d like to see a draw [in the series]. It would be ideal for us to make the World Test Championship final and if that happens it’s a great result for us,” said Warner.
However, even if England manage to defeat India in the fourth and final Test, Australia might not qualify for the World Test Championship (WTC) final.
If England win the last Test against India, then Australia was to qualify for the WTC final. But, the International Cricket Council (ICC) is now looking to bring forward Cricket South Africa’s (CSA) formal complaint against Cricket Australia (CA) should the latter qualify for the WTC final, reported Sydney Morning Herald.
Earlier this year, Australia postponed its three Tests tour of South Africa due to the Covid-19 pandemic and as a result, CSA lodged a formal complaint with the ICC, seeking financial compensation and deduction in WTC points for Australia.
As per a report in Sydney Morning Herald, if the ICC decides to deduct points from Australia then the side would be eliminated from the WTC even if England was to win the final Test against India. Cricket Australia has been given the time until the end of this week to meet the deadline set by the ICC to inform whether the matter can be resolved through good faith negotiations.
If that is not the case, then the matter would be transferred from the dispute committee of the ICC and it would be given to an independent panel and they would be deciding whether Cricket Australia was within its right to postpone the series in South Africa. (ANI)
NZ vs Aus: Riley Meredith makes T20I debut, Zampa playing 100th game for Oz
Wellington [New Zealand], March 3 (ANI): Australia handed a debut cap to Hobart Hurricanes and Tasmania pacer Riley Meredith in the third T20I against New Zealand while spinner Adam Zampa is playing his 100th game for the country.
Meredith received his cap from national selector George Bailey after heroics in the recent edition of the Big Bash League (BBL). He became the 97th international T20 player after fellow BBL star Josh Philippe, who earned his maiden T20I cap in the series opener.
Meredith was picked up by Punjab Kings for Rs 8 crore in the Indian Premier League (IPL) mini players auction last month.
The 24-year-old had listed his base price as Rs 40 lakh heading into the auction. Delhi Capitals and Punjab Kings had a bidding war for Meredith, but in the end, the pacer was picked up by Preity Zinta’s franchise.
New Zealand won the toss and decided to bowl against Australia. Visitors made only one change as Meredith replaced Daniel Sams in the playing XI.
On the other hand, New Zealand introduced batsman Mark Chapman in place of Mitchell Santner, who was ruled out of the third T20I.
Earlier in the day, New Zealand Cricket informed that Santner had a “head-cold” and “he is self-isolating as a precautionary measure while awaiting the results of a COVID test”. Pacer Adam Milne was added to the squad as cover for the spinner.
New Zealand playing XI: Martin Guptill, Tim Seifert (wk), Kane Williamson (c), Devon Conway, Glenn Phillips, Jimmy Neesham, Mark Chapman, Kyle Jamieson, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Trent Boult.
Australia playing XI: Aaron Finch (c), Josh Philippe, Matthew Wade (wk), Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Marsh, Ashton Agar, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Adam Zampa, Riley Meredith. (ANI)
Ben Cox to stay with Worcestershire until end of 2023 season
London [UK], March 3 (ANI): Wicketkeeper-batsman Ben Cox has signed a two-year contract extension with English county Worcestershire, the club has announced.
Cox, who had one year remaining on his current deal, has committed his future at New Road until the end of the 2023 season. The 29-year-old is optimistic he will be part of a squad challenging for honours after the big strides he made in red-ball cricket last summer alongside his recent white-ball success.
“This club means the world to me, being a Worcestershire boy, and it means a hell of a lot to commit for another three years to the club. If you had asked me when I made my debut that you would have had a 15-year career, and the club had offered you a benefit year, I would have snapped your hand off,” said Cox in an official release.
“I’m over the moon to get things sorted for another three years, and I will still have more to give at the end of this contract, which excites me in itself. Fitness is always something I hold high regard too, so, as I get older, I don’t see that changing, and I just want to keep doing the best I can be every-time I go onto the field for Worcestershire,” he added.
Cox, who made his debut for the club in 2009, reached 500 dismissals in his career last summer — including 343 in first-class cricket. The 29-year-old has also scored 4,764 first-class runs. In white-ball cricket, he played a significant part in Worcestershire Rapids 2018 T20 Blast triumph with the man of the match performances in the semi-final and final at Edgbaston.
Worcestershire chairman Fanos Hira said: “It is pleasing that Ben will be with us until at least 2023. He is an impressive, popular player who has performed at a high level as a wicketkeeper since making his debut as a local schoolboy. He has the ability, ambition, desire and potential to improve further.” (ANI)
4th Test: India face last hurdle to WTC final, England look to spoil the party
Ahmedabad [India], March 3 (ANI): While the debate over the pitch has taken the centre stage in the ongoing Test series between India and England, Virat Kohli’s men will be setting their eyes on only one thing — securing a spot in the World Test Championship (WTC) final — when they take the field for the fourth and final Test which begins here at the Narendra Modi Stadium from Thursday.
India only needs to draw the final Test against Joe Root’s men in order to seal a spot in the WTC final where will then take on New Zealand at the Lord’s from June 18-22.
The hosts will be riding on the confidence following their back to back wins in the last two Tests after suffering a massive 227-run defeat in the first game in Chennai.
In the last Test played with the pink ball in Ahmedabad, India registered a 10-wicket win within two days.
Bowlers from both sides delivered stand-out performances in the game as 30 wickets fell within a little over five sessions in the third Test. On the other hand, almost all the batsmen, barring Rohit Sharma and Zak Crawley, were found wanting as they struggled against the turning and skidding balls. The pitch for the fourth Test is expected to once again assist the spinners, thus making it more difficult for the visitors.
If England, somehow, manages to win the final Test and thereby draw the series, the WTC final will then be contested between New Zealand and Australia.
Other motivation for the England team going into the final Test would be to gain some much-needed confidence ahead of the limited-overs leg of the tour.
Root has already said that if his side manages to win the final Test then it would be one of his greatest achievements as a captain.
“You look at India’s record at home in recent times and it’s incredible. So, for us to come away with a drawn series would be a really good achievement, especially off the back of the last two games. We’ve had two challenging weeks but that doesn’t define us as a team. We need to look at this as a real opportunity to do something special. It would be a brilliant achievement to leave here two-all. It would be a monumental effort from this group of players. So there are loads to play for,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Root as saying.
“It would certainly be up there with my greatest achievements as captain. The progress we’ve made over the last couple of years has been really pleasing, especially away from home. If we end up winning this game it’d be four wins out of six Tests on this tour. It would be a phenomenal achievement from the players to have found a way in some very foreign and difficult conditions. So it’s a great motivator for us as a side and I’d be extremely proud of everyone involved if we managed to do that,” he added.
India: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, KL Rahul, Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Wriddhiman Saha (wicket-keeper), R Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Ishant Sharma, Md. Siraj, Umesh Yadav.
England: Joe Root (captain), James Anderson, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow, Dominic Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Zak Crawley, Ben Foakes (wicket-keeper), Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Ollie Pope, Dom Sibley, Ben Stokes, Olly Stone, Mark Wood. (ANI)
Wouldn’t have done that: Warner on playing Tests against India with injury
Sydney [Australia], March 3 (ANI): Australia opener David Warner admitted that he “would not have” played with the injury in the Test series against India which extended his return back to the field.
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.
“I made the call to play those Test matches, felt like I needed to be out there and help the guys. Looking back in hindsight I probably wouldn’t have done that, where I am with the injury it put me back a little bit,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Warner as saying.
“If I’m thinking about myself I probably would have said no, but I did what I felt was best for the team and me being out there opening the batting was I felt the best thing for the team,” he added.
On Tuesday, Warner was named in New South Wales’ (NSW) squad for the upcoming Marsh ODI Cup match against South Australia.
The opening batsman will be returning to cricket for the NSW Blues on Thursday after six weeks recovering from a groin injury.
Warner 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. (ANI)
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