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Nasser Hussain. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
Nasser Hussain. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
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Nasser Hussain Feels England Made A Tactical Blunder By Not Including Spinner Jack Leach

Nasser Hussain believes England made a tactical blunder by not including left-arm spinner Jack Leach in the playing XI for the Edgbaston Test. According to the former England skipper, since the Edgbaston pitch is a flat one, the hosts needed variety to make an impression on the New Zealand batsmen without Kane Williamson.

Responding to England’s first-innings total of 303, New Zealand ended Day 2 of the second Test at 229 for 3. It could have been worse for England had Dan Lawrence not dismissed Will Young (82) just before stumps. Earlier, opener Devon Conway, the double centurion in his debut Test-the 1st Test vs England again thwarted the English attack, making a well-made 80.

Jack Leach Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian
Jack Leach Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian

Nasser Hussain Wanted A Spiner At Edgbaston And Expressed Surprise At Jack Leach’s Omission

In his column for the Daily Mail, former England skipper turned commentator Nasser Hussain wrote that England needed a frontline spinner in the second Test to compete against a strong Kiwi batting line-up.

He explained:“I did not think that at Lord’s, where there is always something in for seamers. But whenever I have come to Edgbaston I’ve always wanted a spinner because of the conditions we’ve seen in this game. So I’d have found a way to get Jack Leach in the side. If he doesn’t play here, it’s difficult to see just where he will play Test cricket.”

Nasser Hussain expressed his surprise at England’s bowling line-up, pointing out that managing director Ashley Giles (a left-arm spinner during his playing days) and spin coach Jeetan Patel should have known better. The former skipper added that part-time spinner Joe Root cannot be considered as England’s main spinner.

Nasser Hussain (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
Nasser Hussain (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

He wrote: “Yes, Joe Root is a good off-spinner but it is an indictment on the slow bowling options in our country if he is now considered England’s best spin option. He is already England’s captain and best batsman, so it’s asking a lot for him to shoulder the spin load too. It’s an area of our game where we continue to struggle.”

“Perhaps England’s thinking is connected with two left-armers in the New Zealand attack, in Trent Boult and Neil Wagner, and the fact Stuart Broad is doing a lot of his bowling from round the wicket. That will create rough outside the right-hander’s off-stump for Root. But just look at the weather. It’s going to be very hot for the last three days, and it’s going to get harder for an all-seam attack.”

Devon Conway, who cemented his place in the side with 200 on debut in the series opener at Lord’s, produced another valuable, though not chance-less, innings of 80. And, while he would have been disappointed not to press on to triple figures again, a gutsy 82 from Will Young – in the side as a replacement for injured captain Kane Williamson – mitigated the damage.
Stuart Broad bowled superbly for his 2 for 22 from 15 overs, including six maidens, but he was the only England bowler to reap any reward for his considerable efforts – until Will Young’s dismissal by part-time off-spinner Dan Lawrence on the last ball of the day.

Nasser Hussain: Stuart Broad Was The Pick Of The England Pace Attack

Even though England could only claim three wickets on a tough Day 2, Nasser Hussain felt that the pacers did a reasonable job. He picked Stuart Broad (2/22) as the best of the lot. Stuart Broad went past Courtney Walsh (520) on the list of leading Test wicket-takers on Friday.

Praising England’s faster men, Nasser Hussain wrote: “That’s not to say England’s seamers didn’t bowl well — even though Olly Stone struggled to maintain control as the day went on — and there was much more swing on offer once they persuaded the umpires to change the ball. The old one was doing nothing. Broad was the pick of the attack. “

England's Stuart Broad. (Photo by Jon Super / POOL / AFP)
England’s Stuart Broad. (Photo by Jon Super / POOL / AFP)

“His new-ball spell was exceptional and he was excellent after tea when he got that changed ball. Perhaps seeing sides struggle against the Dukes’ ball in England has made us expect wickets to come much more cheaply than this. But Test cricket is tough and that’s why you need proper variety in every attack.”

Resuming the day on 258 for 7, England was all out for 303 in 101 overs. Left-arm pacer Trent Boult claimed 4 for 85 for New Zealand. The Kiwis lost Tom Latham (6) early, but the 80s from Devon Conway and Will Young gave the visitors the upper hand.

New Zealand 229 for 3 (Conway 80, Young 82, Taylor 46*, Broad 2-22) trail England 303 (Lawrence 81*, Burns 81, Boult 4-85) by 74 runs at Stumps on Day 2

Dom Bess dominated the bowling for England against India Image Credit: PTI
Dom Bess dominated the bowling for England against India Image Credit: PTI
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David Lloyd Feels For Dom Bess And Reckons England Shouldn’t Have Picked Him

David Lloyd has questioned the England team management over picking spinner Dom Bess for the fourth Test against India. The former cricketer-turned-commentator opined that skipper Joe Root is a better bowler than the off-spinner at the moment.

Dom Bess went wicketless in India’s 1st innings in the fourth Test, conceding 71 runs in 17 overs at an economy rate of 4.2- the highest amongst the English bowlers. Part-time bowler Joe Root, on the other hand, gave away 56 runs in his 18 overs. The England captain also picked up a five-for in the 3rd pink-ball Test.

David Lloyd
David Lloyd. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

David Lloyd: England Should Not Have Picked Dom Bess

Writing in his column for the Daily Mail, David Lloyd said Dom Bess looked extremely nervous with the ball in hand in the 4th Test. In the 1st Test though he picked wickets of Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara, Rishabh Pant in the 1st innings, and Washington Sundar in the 2nd innings.

“I feel for Dom Bess. He’s got the yips and I can tell you from personal experience that it’s not nice. You’re in a state of confusion and forget how to let the ball go. The only good thing is that it goes as quickly as it comes, but England should not have picked Bess. What made them think he had solved his problem of bowling full tosses? Joe Root is a better bowler than Bess at the moment,” David Lloyd wrote.

Dominic Bess of England
Dominic Bess of England. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Dom Bess played the first Test in Chennai against India, with the off-spinner returning with figures of 5-126 for the match. However, he couldn’t stop the flow of runs and was dropped for the next 2 Tests.

Dom Bess Will Be Better With These Experiences Going Forward: Jeetan Patel

England’s spin bowling coach Jeetan Patel acknowledged that Dom Bess didn’t have the best of outings on Day 2 of the fourth Test. Speaking after the day’s play, Jeetan Patel explained that the 23-year-old is still on a learning curve.

“There’s still room for him to improve, like everyone in this group, he’s very young and he’s still learning how to bowl with a red ball at Test level, which is very difficult. He will be better with these experiences going forward,” Patel said in a virtual press conference.

Jeetan Patel
Jeetan Patel. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

England will be looking to wrap up the Indian innings as soon as possible on Day 3. India scored 365 in their first innings taking a lead of 160 runs over England who scored 205. Rishabh Pant and Washington Sundar were the leading run-scorers in India’s 1st innings scoring 101 and 96 not out respectively. Ben Stokes picked 4 scalps while James Anderson accounted for 3 wickets. Jack Leach picked 2 wickets and Dom Bess and Joe Root went wicketless.

Jeetan Patel
Jeetan Patel - GETTY IMAGES
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England Didn’t Expect The Ball To Turn As Early As It Did In The 3rd Test: Jeetan Patel

Jeetan Patel, England’s spin bowling coach has also admitted that the visitors England did not expect spin to play a part so early in the 3rd Test match and that is the reason behind picking the playing XI with more seamers.

28 out of 30 wickets fell to spinners in the 3rd Test at Ahmedabad. England team management got their strategy wrong as they went in with three seamers on turning tracks.

Jeetan Patel
Jeetan Patel OISIN KENIRY/INPHO

Jeetan Patel: England Expected To Get Spinning Surfaces But Didn’t Expect To Spin From 1st Day Itself

The third recently concluded Test between India and England has thrown open a big controversy regarding the pitch. The match got finished inside two days with India comprehensively outplaying England by 10 wickets after dismissing them to less than 120 in both innings.

It was turning track with Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Joe Root, and Jack Leach bamboozling the batsmen. Jeetan Patel said if England had scored 200 or above in the 1st innings, the match could have been different.

“Look, it is India, it is Asia. We expect to get spinning surfaces, maybe we did not expect to take a spin as early as it did and hence the line-up we picked. It was a tough pitch to play on and we got on the wrong side of it. In the first innings when we won the toss, 112 was not going to be enough on any surface — spinning, flat, or seaming. We were excited when we bowled India out for 140-odd. But again it did not click in the second innings. If we had scored 200 or 230 in the first innings, the game could have been different,” Jeetan Patel said at a virtual press conference on Monday.

Axar Patel | Pankaj Nangia/ Sportzpics for BCCI
Axar Patel | Pankaj Nangia/ Sportzpics for BCCI

Man of Match Axar Patel took 11 wickets in both the innings combined as he is on a dream run taking 18 wickets in his first two Tests averaging a meagre 9.44. Ravichandran Ashwin, though, is the leading wicket-taker with 24 wickets in 3 Tests. The Indian spin trio of Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, and Washington Sundar combined to pick 19 England wickets in the 3rd Test at Ahmedabad.

India smartly included three spinners in starting XI, while England banked on one front-line spinner in Jack Leach, which, in hindsight, did not work in the best of interests for Joe Root’s team. After bagging a maiden five-wicket-haul on his Test debut at Chennai, Axar Patel was unplayable and finished with 11 wickets in the match – 6/38 in the first innings and 5/32 in the second – as India bundled out England for 112 and 81 in the two innings.

Jeetan Patel: England Had A Plan Which Didn’t Work As The Pink Ball Reacted Differently

Only 140.2 overs were bowled over the 4 innings overall as the Pink-ball Test in Ahmedabad ended in a little over 5 sessions. This was the first time England lost a Test-inside 2 days since 1912 as the Test became the shortest completed Test since 1935.

“The Pink ball reacted differently and it did not go the way we thought it would go. We had a plan but it did not quite work. The pink ball had so many unknowns really and how it will react in terms of the wicket we did not know. You are never sure how things are going to play in Asia.” Jeetan Patel said.

Joe Root celebrates taking the wicket of Rishabh Pant with his first ball (Pic: BCCI)
Joe Root celebrates taking the wicket of Rishabh Pant with his first ball (Pic: BCCI)

For England, part-time spinner Joe Root picked 5 scalps giving away only 8 runs in 6.2 overs. Notably, Joe Root-led England played Jack Leach as their only frontline spinner while India played 3 spinners in Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, and Washington Sundar.

Despite Jack Leach picking 16 scalps overall in 3 Tests averaging 26.75, Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel are ahead of him in terms of both average and wickets. Among others, England’s spinner Moeen Ali was sent home despite picking 8 scalps in the only Test as part of England’s rotation policy while spinner Dom Bess wasn’t picked in the last 2 Tests despite impressive bowling as he picked up 5 scalps in 34 overs in the 1st Test.

Jeetan Patel
Jeetan Patel. Getty
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England Appoint Jeetan Patel As Spin Consultant For T20I Series Against New Zealand

England has appointed former New Zealand off-spinner Jeetan Patel as a spin consultant for the upcoming five-match T20I series against the Kiwis. Patel has been given permission to miss the first three matches of New Zealand’s championship season by Wellington.

Meanwhile, Jeetan Patel had hung his boots in 2014 as he wanted to focus his energy on County cricket. Patel went on to play 24 Test matches for the Black Caps in which he scalped 65 wickets. The off-spinner also played 44 One Day Internationals in which he took 50 wickets. Patel snared 13 wickets in the 10 T20I matches.

England Appoint Jeetan Patel As Spin Consultant For T20I Series Against New Zealand 1
Jeetan Patel. Image Courtesy: Getty Images

Patel will like to stand tall to the promise shown.

The off-spinner ended this year’s County Championship with 64 wickets at an average of 26.75. Patel has been in fine form in County cricket and he would like to transpire the same confidence in his coaching. The five-match T20I series will kickstart in Christchurch on 1st November.

Meanwhile, England and New Zealand had played one of the best World Cup finals. The match ended in a tie and so did the Super Over but England was adjudged the winners as they had hit more boundaries in their innings. This absurd rule from the International Cricket Council drew a lot of flak from all around the globe.

England, Mickey Arthur, Ottis Gibson, Gary Kirsten
England cricket team (Image Credit: Google)

Consequently, the governing body has decided to completely scrape off the rule. Now there will be a Super Over until one team has won it in major ICC events.

On the other hand, the second T20I between the two sides will take place on the 3rd of November at Wellington. The third T20I will be played at Saxton Oval on 5th November. The fourth and final T20I match will take place on 8th and 10th November at McLean and Eden Park respectively.

After the conclusion of the T20I series, there will two-match Test series between the two teams. Meanwhile, this series will be the first assignment for newly appointed coach Chris Silverwood.

Jeetan Patel named as the New Captain of Warwickshire

Former New Zealand spinner Jeetan Patel has been named as the new captain of the Warwickshire’s first-class and one-day captain. Patel, who joined the club in 2009, has been their overseas player across all the formats since 2012 and has won three trophies with the club namely, the County Championship in 2012, the T20 Blast in 2014, and Royal London Cup in 2016. However, Grant Elliot will lead the Birmingham Bears in the NatWest T20 Blast.

Image result for jeetan patel

Warwickshire is going through some tough times as they were relegated from the top flight of the County Championship last season. There former captain and former England international Ian Bell also stepped down from captaincy towards the end of the season. Initially, he was replaced by his England team-mate Jonathan Trott before Patel was named as the captain.

Image result for ashley giles warwickshire

“We’re thrilled to have Jeetan returning to the club in April as our captain. He’s a true Bear, who has won all three domestic competitions at the club, and sets exceptionally high standards on and off the pitch,” Ashley Giles, Warwickshire’s director of sport was heard saying.

The former England cricketer Giles further added Patel is perfect to lead the side and build a platform for more success in future. The 37-year-old Patel is also mentoring the young spin bowlers in the squad.

Image result for jeetan patel warwickshire

Patel is glad to return to Edgbaston and believes that it’s a great pleasure to lead the side in 2018.

“It’s all about looking forward now though and working hard with the current group of players to try to create something special for the club and supporters in the years ahead. Last season was a difficult one but every club goes through transitions, and the important thing is how people react. The challenge is there for us to rebuild and go again,” an elated Patel admitted.

Image result for dom sibley warwickshire

Dom Sibley was named as the vice-captain of the squad after his arrival from Surrey earlier in August. The 22-year-old Sibley made an immediate impact with 191 runs in seven T20 games to help the Bears to the Final of the T20 Blast, and he also scored 310 runs in six County Championship appearances.

Jeetan Patel. Image Courtesy: Getty Images

Jeetan Patel Announces International Retirement

New Zealand off-spinner Jeetan Patel, on Thursday (22), announced his international retirement on the same day his former national and state teammate Luke Ronchi brought down curtains on his international career too.

The 37-year-old, who made his New Zealand debut in a One-Day International against Zimbabwe in 2005, is currently playing for English county, Warwickshire.

The left-arm spinner’s final international appearance came during New Zealand’s ODI defeat to Bangladesh in Dublin last month. He was in the Champions Trophy squad but did not play a single game, as he ended his international career with 24 Tests and 43 ODIs, taking 65 and 49 wickets in both the formats, respectively.

Patel’s New Zealand career looked as good as over when he turned down a West Indies tour spot to play for Warwickshire in England. However, his international career got an unexpected boost when he received a surprise call from the selectors to replace the injured Craig during New Zealand’s tour of India last year. He made an immediate impact, taking a couple of wickets in the first innings before scoring 47 in the Kolkata Test. He was ignored for the series against Pakistan and Bangladesh but was recalled for the three-Test series against South Africa and justified his selection by finishing the series as New Zealand’s leading wicket-taker.

The final Test of the series in Hamilton where South Africa managed to escape with a draw due to rain was Patel’s final Test appearance.

The off-spinner, who was named one of Wisden’s five cricketers of the year in 2015, intends to continue representing Wellington in domestic cricket.

Grant Elliott Signs Kolpak Deal, Calls Time On His International Career

The New Zealand all-rounder Grant Elliott has called time on his international career as he has signed the Kolpak deal with Birmingham Bears, for the Natwest Blast. The 38-year-old all-rounder will join his former teammates Jeetan Patel and Colin de Grandhomme in the team.

Elliot, who is still remembered for his heroics in the semi-final of the 2015 World Cup against his native South African team, has already announced his retirement from ODIs last year and is not a member of the T20I side as well. So, him taking the Kolpak route is not surprising and Board wouldn’t consider it as an opportunity which has slipped from their hands.

Ashley Giles, the Warwickshire’s director of sport said,

“Grant has proven himself as a match-winner on the biggest stage. He top scored in the final and semi-final of the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2015 and he has a wealth of T20 experience, having played in several of the world’s leading competitions.

“Securing Grant, and the earlier addition of Colin de Grandhomme, gives us the additional batting firepower that we wanted to complement a strong top order. He also gives us even more options with the ball and has good experience of English conditions.

“As a teammate of Jeetan, we know that Grant has great character and he will play an important role in developing the younger members of the squad. He will be a proud Bear and we look forward to welcoming him to Edgbaston in July.”

The decision was announced by Elliot himself as he took to twitter to made this news public as he tweeted –

Elliot, in his nine years of international career, played a total of five Tests, 83 ODIs and 16 T20Is for New Zealand. He may not be tagged as a legendary player for the Kiwis but will always be remembered for taking his team to the finals of 2015 World Cup final in the final over of the innings of the semi-final game.

New Zealand vs South Africa 2017, 1st Test, Day 4: Hosts Peg Back Visitors In Dunedin Test

Owing to bad light on Day 4 of first Test of the three-match series, South Africa lead by 191 runs in the second innings against New Zealand, as they were 224/6 with eight overs remaining when stumps were called.

Skipper Faf du Plessis remained unbeaten on 56 off 155 while Vernon Philander was on one.

New Zealand bowled with accurate line and length and didn’t allow the visitors to score freely, as they picked quick wickets in the final hour. Neil Wagner, Jeetan Patel grabbed two scalps each while Mitchell Santner picked one.

Although, it was a mixed day for New Zealand, who did not seem to have luck with DRS as they missed crucial chances in the first half of the game.

The visitors added 186 runs to their overall total of 224, as they could hardly push their run- rate to 2.20 per over in 102 overs during their second innings at the University of Oval.

Temba Bavuma (6 off 23 balls) and wicket-keeper batsman Quinton de Kock (4 off 10 balls) were dismissed cheaply by Santner and Jeetan respectively.

However, the hosts received a blow when their premier fast-bowler Trent Boult suffered an upper leg injury and did not eventually take the field after tea session.

Dean Elgar, who scored a fine hundred in the first innings, scored 89 off 249 balls in the second innings before being dismissed by Jeetan Patel as he was caught by skipper Kane Williamson.

However, Elgar survived when he was given caught behind on 73, but DRS saved him to add 16 to his total.

Alongside du Plessis, Elgar put on 80 runs for the fourth wicket.

After lunch session, Wagner claimed JP Duminy LBW on 39 off 91 balls.

Earlier, after starting from the overnight score of 38/1, the Proteas added a run on the chilly morning of the fourth day in Dunedin when Hashim Amla departed on the bowling of Neil Wagner at the mid-wicket region.

Brief Scores: 1st Test, Day 4 in Dunedin

South Africa 2nd Innings: 224 for six – Dean Elgar 89 (249 balls), Faf Du Plessis 56* off 155 balls

Proteas lead by 191 with four wickets in hand

Neil Wagner 2 for 57 in 27 Overs
Jeetan Patel 2 for 72 in 36 Overs

New Zealand vs South Africa 2017: Jeetan Patel, Neesham Back In Test Squad, Henry, Brownlie Dropped

Jeetan Patel and Jimmy Neesham have been brought back to the Test circuit whereas Matt Henry and Dean Brownlie have been dropped for the first Test match against South Africa. Both Henry and Brownlie will now head to domestic cricket and will play Day/Night domestic fixture next week.

Selector Gavin Larsen said that it is the variety of spin that Patel offers, which is the reason he has been included in the squad for the first Test,

“Jeetan brings the ability to spin the ball away from the left-handers, which complements our other spinner in Mitchell Santner nicely,” said Larsen.

“He brings a huge amount of experience to the team and gives us the balance of having two front-line spin options.”

Neil Wagner was deemed fit to participate in the Test match and while announcing the squad, Larsen confirmed that Wagner is cleared to take part in the game. Along with that, he also praised Jimmy Neesham for his recent form, which has been the primary reason behind his comeback,

“Jimmy has impressed so far this summer and we’ve seen improvement in his game. He gives us another option and is also very familiar with the conditions at University of Otago Oval.

“Having Neil back and available is fantastic news for us. Neil’s been our leading wicket-taker in recent times and is a key player for us.”

“He’s worked extremely hard to get himself ready for the series and we expect him to be fit and ready to go come the first Test.”

As reported earlier, there was no place for senior batsman Martin Guptill, who was dropped from the Test squad last year after an abysmal show in India.

The first Test of the series will kick off on March 8 before both the teams face each other again in Wellington and Hamilton from March 16 and 25 respectively.

Martin Guptill, Jeetan Patel Return To New Zealand Squad For Hamilton ODI Against South Africa

New Zealand have called up opening batsman Martin Guptill (who has recovered from a hamstring injury) for the fourth One-Day International game against South Africa at Hamilton on Wednesday, alongside off-spinner Jeetan Patel and wicket-keeper batsman Luke Ronchi.

The decision came after the hosts were bundled out for just 112 in 32.2 overs in the third ODI, to go down 2-1 in the five-match series.

“He’s [Tom Latham] come off a great series in India where he was our best player and he hasn’t quite reached those heights yet. It’s good to have Martin back to give us some options at the top,” Kiwis’ coach Mike Hesson was quoted as saying by Stuff.co.nz.

The 30-year-old Auckland born Guptill last played an ODI against Australia, where he scored 61 on January 30 before being ruled out of the second and third ODI of the Chappell-Hadlee series.

“It’s more about the strength of the hamstring and the running at top speed,” Hesson added.

The 36-year-old Wellington born spinner Jeetan has also been inducted into the squad after he was one of the panel members for a radio commentary at home for the ongoing series.

He last played an ODI against Bangladesh at Nelson on December 31, 2016.

According to Kiwi coach Mike Hesson, the 35-year-old Dannevirke-born Ronchi is expected to takeover the gloves from Tom Latham in the must-win game. Ronchi is likely to bat at number five.

“Whether we go with the two allrounders which we have done, and slot Luke in a little higher, we’ve got options we’d like to explore,” Hesson remarked.

In 76 ODIs, Ronchi has amassed 1,206 runs. He has taken 97 catches and affected 10 stumpings so far.

“We talked at the start of the series about giving both keepers [Latham and Ronchi] an opportunity. We’ve given Tom the first three so Luke’s likely to get an opportunity there,” Hesson said.

In Wellington, New Zealand lost the third ODI by 159 runs which was also their heaviest defeat in terms of runs against the Proteas in ODIs.

“In Hamilton we adapted pretty well last time and we’ll have to do the same again,” Hesson concluded.

New Zealand Squad For Fourth ODI: Kane Williamson (C), Martin Guptill, Tom Latham, Ross Taylor, Neil Broom, Dean Brownlie, Jimmy Neesham, Luke Ronchi, Mitchell Santner, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Jeetan Patel, Ish Sodhi