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Friday, January 1, 2021

more International Cricket - India takes on Australia at Sydney 2020

Covid statistics are alarming ~ 60578423 affected globally !  .. USA it is 128,51,208 with 180830 cases reported yesterday; India 92,66,705;  Brazil 61,66,606; France 21,69,336; Russia 21,44,229  … while that is top 5 – New Zealand has an envious story – new cases reported during past 24 hours 1; total active cases 60 !

The Indian men's cricket team, who stayed away from international cricket for more than eight months due to coronavirus crises, will return to action playing Australia in the opening One-Day International (ODI) of the three-match series tomorrow on November 27 at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG).

Expectations naturally run very high ! - In the absence of Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal is likely to partner Shikhar Dhawan at the top of the order with KL Rahul continuing to keep wicket and bat at No. 5. If India pick both Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah, they will have to choose between Navdeep Saini's pace and Shardul Thakur's lower-order batting for the third seamer's role. Also, Chahal's IPL form may help him edge out Kuldeep Yadav for the lone wristspinner's slot.

IPL was very interesting but may not the guidebook of form and class ….  A great player by every standards Glenn Maxwell had an horror tournament with  average of 15.42, a strike rate barely scraping above a run-a-ball, and no sixes in 106 balls. .. yet he could be a tormentor just as India looks to Hardik Pandya.  Hardeek  didn't bowl a ball right through IPL 2020, and while that didn't necessarily hurt the Mumbai Indians' campaign, it could upset India's ODI balance given none of their other batsmen is a viable sixth bowling option. Pandya was in terrific hitting form right through the IPL, but he may have to show a little more versatility as a top-six batsman in ODI cricket.  

Virat Kohli will continue to lead the Men in Blue in the 50-over format, while KL Rahul will serve as his deputy in the absence of regular vice-captain Rohit Sharma. Australia's blueprint to topple Virat Kohli has been revealed, with the host nation set to relentlessly attack India's master batsman when the two nations open the international summer at the SCG on Friday. In a year like no other, the tourists and those Australians who had been in the Indian Premier League emerged from a fortnight of quarantine at 4pm on Thursday and now prepare to step into battle less than 24 hours later. While they have been able to train in a bio-secure bubble, it's been far from a normal routine heading into the first of three one-day internationals.

Indian captain Virat Kohli has said that the entire episode surrounding Rohit Sharma's injury has been "very confusing", exacerbated by a "lot of uncertainty and lack of clarity". Speaking on the eve of India's ODI series opener against Australia, Kohli said that ideally both Rohit and fast bowler Ishant Sharma should have been in Australia to complete recovery from their respective injuries which would have allowed them to play in the Test leg of the tour. Both players were ruled out of the first two Tests of the four-match Border-Gavaskar Trophy, which is scheduled to start with the day-night Test in Adelaide on December 17.

Miles closer, another Asian team, Pakistan is touring New Zealand. .. ..but - six members of Pakistan's touring contingent in New Zealand have tested positive for Covid-19. According to an NZC release, four are new cases, while two of the positive results have been deemed "historical". It is unclear whether the six who tested positive are players or other members of Pakistan's touring party. The results are from tests conducted upon Pakistan's arrival in New Zealand on November 24. Each member of the squad will have to undergo a minimum of four tests while in managed isolation.

The six who tested positive have been moved to a different floor of the managed isolation facility in Christchurch where Pakistan are currently based. The team will not be able to train until investigations are completed, and their 14-day quarantine period has been reset, meaning it begins afresh. NZC also revealed that some members of the Pakistan contingent had "contravened protocols" on day one of their managed isolation. "We will be having discussions with the tourists to assist them in understanding the requirements," the release said.  

Pakistan Cricket Board CEO Wasim Khan was told by the New Zealand government that one more breach of New Zealand's Covid-19 protocols by the Pakistan squad would result in the entire travelling party being deported. In a WhatsApp voice message to the travelling players which ESPNcricinfo has obtained, the PCB CEO addressed his players candidly, telling them being sent back home would be "hugely embarrassing". "Boys, I spoke to the New Zealand government and they told us there were three or four breaches of protocols," Wasim Khan said in the voice note. "They have a zero-tolerance policy and they've given us a final warning. We understand that this is a difficult time for you, and you went through similar conditions in England. It's not easy. But this is a matter of the nation's respect and credibility. Observe these 14 days and then you'll have the freedom to go to restaurants and roam about freely. They have told me in clear terms that if we commit one more breach, they'll send us home."

The Pakistan squad is due to play three T20s and two Tests in New Zealand, and landed in Auckland on a chartered flight with special permission obtained from the New Zealand government. They moved on to Christchurch, where they were set to undergo 14 days of strict isolation. The arrangements, however, got off to a rocky start when six players returned positive Covid-19 tests upon landing in New Zealand; the PCB had claimed there were no positive tests in the travelling party in Lahore, from where the team flew. The six players were moved into a separate isolation facility.

More significantly, New Zealand Cricket issued a statement revealing several players had breached quarantine regulations, and that the team would be put on a "final warning". It prompted a rebuke from New Zealand's director general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield, who said it was "a privilege to come to New Zealand to play sport, but in return teams must stick to the rules that are designed to keep Covid-19 out of our communities".

Interesting !

With regards – S.Sampathkumar


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