Marnus Labuschagne

Kane Richardson © AFP
Kane Richardson © AFP
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Kane Richardson Ruled Out Of Pakistan Tour Due To Hamstring Injury; To Be Replaced By Ben Dwarshuis

Kane Richardson has been ruled out of Australia’s limited-overs tour of Pakistan due to a hamstring injury and will be replaced by New South Wales left-arm pacer Ben Dwarshuis.
Kane Richardson, who was the most experienced pace bowler in an already depleted squad, aggravated the injury during training in Melbourne ahead of the team’s departure to Lahore.
Kane Richardson will miss the tour of Pakistan Getty Images
Kane Richardson will miss the tour of Pakistan Getty Images

Kane Richardson Ruled Out Of Pakistan Tour, Ben Dwarshuis Replaced Him

Australia will field one of their most inexperienced pace attacks in more than 50 years of one-day international cricket after a hamstring injury ruled Kane Richardson out of their limited-overs tour of Pakistan.

“Although the injury is considered minor it was decided the long trip to Pakistan along with four games in eight days and short turnarounds it was in Kane Richardson’s best interests to remain home,” a Cricket Australia statement said.
Ben Dwarshuis
Ben Dwarshuis Image Source: Google
Ben Dwarshuis, who also plays for Sydney Sixers, is uncapped at the international level but was previously part of Australia’s T20 squad during a tri-series in 2017-18 and has been part of the IPL. If he features in the ODI side during the three-match series, it would come after just nine List A matches for New South Wales.
Kane Richardson’s absence leaves the pace attack to be led by Jason Behrendorff and Sean Abbott alongside Nathan Ellis, supplemented by all-rounders Mitchell Marsh, Cameron Green and Marcus Stoinis.

Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood And Pat Cummins Have Been Rested For White Ball Series Against Pakistan

Multi-format quicks Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins have been rested for the white-ball portion of the tour. Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins are both part of the upcoming IPL. Captain Aaron Finch was confident the squad still had the depth to compete in Pakistan.
“One thing that will help is the guys have played a lot of T20 cricket,” he said. “They’re quite inexperienced for Australia but I think playing T20 cricket will help them in that regard. There’s a lot of skill in the group and guys that have been around one-day cricket for a long time domestically as well.
Australia's Mitchell Starc
Australia’s Mitchell Starc  Image Credit: AFP
“Having a lot of a lot of faith in their own ability is really important. When you have got guys like Abbott, he’s been around for a long time [and] Behrendorff. They’ve played a lot of state cricket, so I think it’ll be fine.”
With 11 ODIs to his name, Jason Behrendorff will now be the most experienced leader of a pace group completed by Sean Abbott (two ODIs), Nathan Ellis and now Ben Dwarshuis (both yet to debut).
Australia only played three ODIs last year – on the tour of West Indies – with home matches this season against New Zealand postponed due to Covid-19 border restrictions. They have won all three of their series in the ODI Super League with 2-1 victories over England (away) and India (home) alongside the West Indies’ success.
The Pakistan tour will be the fourth time in the past five years that Australia will embark on a one-day campaign without at least one of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins in their squad, with two of those previous instances resulting in a 0-5 series defeat.
Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschagne and Travis Head have been included in Australia’s white-ball squad for the upcoming limited-overs tour of Pakistan. Limited overs specialist Glenn Maxwell will also skip the white ball series, with the veteran all-rounder taking time off for his wedding.
Australia ODI and T20 squad: Aaron Finch (c), Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey, Ben Dwarshuis, Nathan Ellis, Cameron Green, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Marnus Labuschagne, Mitchell Marsh, Ben McDermott, Steve Smith, Marcus Stoinis, Adam Zampa
Babar Azam (Pic Source: Twitter)
Babar Azam (Pic Source: Twitter)
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Babar Azam’s 196 Highest By A Captain In The 4th Innings

Babar Azam, the Pakistan skipper scored a career-best 196 against Australia in the 2nd Test and left behind quite a few big legendary batters such as Don Bradman, Virat Kohli, Ricky Ponting and Jacques Kallis in an elite list.

A day after Babar Azam scored his sixth Test century after a hiatus of about 2 years, the Pakistan captain went in to convert it into his highest score. With Pakistan battling to save the Karachi Test against Australia, Babar Azam led from the front and produced a fine knock of 196 to deny the visitors what looked like a potential win.

Pakistan captain Babar Azam scored 196 (PCB)
Pakistan captain Babar Azam scored 196 (PCB)

Babar Azam Denies Australia Win; Scores 196 Which Becomes The Highest By A Skipper In The 4th Innings

Babar Azam stood in the way of Australia achieving win, and although opener Abdullah Shafique and keeper Mohammad Rizwan played their parts, the fact that Pakistan will head into the final Test with the series levelled at 0-0 is primarily because of their captain’s resistance.

When the fifth and final day commenced, Pakistan needed to pull off a record chase of 506 runs with eight wickets remaining. But Babar Azam stood tall like a wall, bringing up his first Test hundred in over two years and then doubling it in the final session.

With Australia managing to pick up two more wickets in the day and reducing Pakistan to 277/4, it seemed as if another batting collapse was inevitable. But Babar Azam batted splendidly to deny Australia and produced a fighting knock in the fourth innings of a Test match.

Babar Azam may have missed out on a maiden Test double, he went to the top of an elusive list. His knock is now the highest by a captain in the fourth innings of a Test match. In the process, Babar Azam left behind the likes of Don Bradman, Virat Kohli and Ricky Ponting, whose best while batting in the fourth innings were 173 not out, 156 and 141 respectively.

Abdullah Shafique broke into the Pakistan Test side despite very little first-class experience AFP/Getty Images
Abdullah Shafique broke into the Pakistan Test side despite very little first-class experience AFP/Getty Images

Babar Azam also leaves behind the legendary Brian Lara, whose highest score in the fourth innings of a Test match is an unbeaten 153. Not many gave Pakistan a chance when Day 5 got underway, especially how they crumbled in the first innings, losing eight for 88 to be eventually bowled out for 148.

In the second innings, however, Babar Azam gutted it out, first with Abdullah Shafique, who built on his phenomenal form in the series to score 96. Abdullah Shafique missed out on a hundred with Australia captain Pat Cummins picking up his wicket to give the team a breakthrough.

Mohammad Rizwan Also Scored A Ton

As Pat Cummins then knocked over Fawad Alam, it allowed Australia to put their foot inside the door but, Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan produced a century partnership. Babar Azam’s marathon knock ended when he edged Nathan Lyon to Marnus Labuschagne at first slip, much to the dismay of the crowd that had come in to see their captain breach the 200-run mark.

Pakistan's wicket-keeper batsman Mohammad Rizwan. Photo: Mohammad Rizwan's Twitter account
Pakistan’s wicket-keeper batsman Mohammad Rizwan. Photo: Mohammad Rizwan’s Twitter account

Babar Azam looked like joining the likes of Pakistan greats Javed Miandad and Younis Khan in another elusive list but it wasn’t to be. Babar Azam’s wicket was followed by Faheem Ashraf’s dismissal the next ball.

Sajid Khan struck a couple of boundaries but once Nathan Lyon removed him to leave Pakistan on 414/7 with eight overs left, things looked bleak for the home team. But, Mohammad Rizwan held one end with Nauman Ali and deservingly scored a century to help Pakistan to a draw. Against all the odds, the hosts batted through 171.4 overs, finishing 63 short of the target.

Pakistan finished their marathon second innings at 443 for 7 with Mohammad Rizwan unbeaten on 104 and Nauman Ali on 0 off 18 balls.

Australia 556 for 9 dec (Khawaja 160, Carey 93, Ashraf 2-55) and 97 for 2 dec (Khawaja 44*, Labuschagne 44, Afridi 1-21) drew with Pakistan 148 (Babar 36, Starc 3-29) and 443 for 7 (Babar 196, Rizwan 104*, Lyon 4-112)

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Mitchell Starc Reckons Abrasive Nature Of Karachi Pitch Helped Reverse Swing As Pakistan Was Dismissed For Paltry 148

Mitchell Starc, Australia pacer on Monday said the abrasive nature of the Karachi pitch helped him and Pat Cummins gain substantial reverse swing as the visitors bowled out Pakistan for 148 runs in the second Test.

Asked in a media interaction why Australian bowlers didn’t get much reverse swing in the first Test in Rawalpindi, Mitchell Starc said for one they didn’t expect the pitch in Karachi to deteriorate so quickly.

Mitchell Starc celebrates after dismissing a Pakistan batsman. (Photo credit: AFP)
Mitchell Starc celebrates after dismissing a Pakistan batsman. (Photo credit: AFP)

Mitchell Starc: The Track Is Abrasive And Will Encourage Spinners And Cracks Helped Ball To Reverse Swing

Mitchell Starc led the Australian pace attack with three wickets to put the visitors in the driving seat on day three of the second Test against Pakistan in Karachi. The lanky left-arm pacer used reverse swing to devastating effect, taking 3-29 as Pakistan were bundled out for a paltry 148 in reply to Australia’s mammoth first innings of 556-9 declared.

“This track is much more abrasive and the wicket footholds will also encourage the spinners in next two days. I feel there are more cracks on this abrasive wicket and this has played a big part in us achieving reverse swing.”

“Another factor is that the square and practice wickets here are also dry and basically mud and the weather is also warmer and more dry compared to Pindi so that has helped us reverse the ball both ways.”

Usman Khawaja. Getty Images.
Usman Khawaja. Getty Images.

Mitchell Starc also said that before coming to Pakistan for their first Test tour in 24 years, Australia had done their homework and had some thorough discussions and gone through all the scenarios they expected to face here.

“In Melbourne before flying out here we spent one full day only on bowling reverse swing because in the Ashes series mostly we had the new and hard ball and didn’t get many opportunities for reversing the ball.”

The Australian veteran said he would give full credit to the Australian batters to set up a big total and put their team in the box seat over the next two days. Usman Khawaja anchored Australia’s innings with a fine knock of 160 before Alex Carey‘s counter-attacking knock of 93 propelled the visitors to a total of 556/9 declared in the first innings.

Pakistan were then dismissed for 148 and Australia declared their 2nd innings at 97/2 with Marnus Labuschagne dismissed for 44 and Usman Khawaja remaining unbeaten on 44.

Mitchell Starc: Pat Cummins Decided Not To Enforce Follow-On As Australia Didn’t Want To Bat Last

Mitchell Starc also said that captain Pat Cummins had not discussed anything with him before deciding not to enforce the follow on on Monday.

“I think probably because of the position we found ourselves in we had a lot of scenarios before us and mainly we don’t want to bat last on this pitch.”

Asked when was the last time he had seen the ball reverse as it did in Karachi, Mitchell Starc said it happened a couple of times, probably in the series against India.

To a question, Mitchell Starc who took three wickets and missed out on a hat trick, added: “We are searching to improve our record in the subcontinent and in away series and we have as a group had a lot of discussion and thorough conversations in lead up to this series and even after the Pindi Test on how to do this.”

Pat Cummins Credit: AAP
Pat Cummins Credit: AAP

Pat Cummins resisted enforcing the follow-on after rampant quick Mitchell Starc delivered a reverse swing masterclass against a hapless Pakistan batting order to power Australia into an almost impregnable position in the second Test. Despite a big 408-run lead, Australia did not enforce the follow-on. On 4th day, Australia declared their second innings on 97 for two, setting Pakistan a mammoth 506-run target to win the second Test.

Pakistan’s daunting task of staving off a second Test defeat started badly with the wicket of opener Imam-ul-Haq after Australia declared their second innings earlier than expected on the 4th day. Abdullah Shafique and Azhar Ali dug in until lunch at the start of a huge task to save the game. Needing to survive 172 overs, Pakistan were 18/1 at lunch with Abdullah Shafique 14 not out and Azhar Ali unbeaten on 3 from 47 balls.

Pakistan 148 and 18 for 1 need 488 more runs to beat Australia 556 for 9 dec and 97 for 2 dec

A fan managed to breach the security to enter the field and click selfie with Virat Kohli during Day 2 play of second Test in Bengaluru. AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi
A fan managed to breach the security to enter the field and click selfie with Virat Kohli during Day 2 play of second Test in Bengaluru. AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi
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IND vs SL: Jasprit Bumrah Reacts To Security Breach On Day 2 Of The Pink Ball Test

Jasprit Bumrah reacted to the security breach following the end of the play on Day 2. Towards the close of day’s play of the ongoing second Test between India and Sri Lanka on Sunday at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru, three fans breached security to enter the ground and two of them even managed to take a selfie with former India captain Virat Kohli before being whisked away by security.

The incident happened in the sixth over of Sri Lanka’s chase in the second innings when visiting player Kusal Mendis was been attended by the team physio after being hit by a lethal delivery from Mohammed Shami.

On seeing an opportunity, three fans entered the ground. Two of them managed to reach Virat Kohli, who was standing at the slip position. One of them took out his mobile and asked Virat Kohli for a selfie and much to their surprise, the 33-year-old obliged.

Jasprit Bumrah reacts to fans breaching security to take selfie with Virat Kohli
Jasprit Bumrah reacts to fans breaching security to take a selfie with Virat Kohli

Jasprit Bumrah: Security Concern An Issue

Talking about the incident, Jasprit Bumrah expressed his concern over the security breach and feels that it has increasingly been an issue.

“That is something we don’t control, obviously the security concern is an issue. Suddenly, we realized that there were intruders but thankfully the officials intervened. We don’t know what to say about that, the craze of the game is very high and the fans get emotional sometimes,” he said.

Jasprit Bumrah and Virat Kohli. (Photo by Daniel Kalisz – CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images)
Jasprit Bumrah and Virat Kohli. (Photo by Daniel Kalisz – CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images)

This wasn’t the only time in this series when such an incident was noticed. Earlier in the Mohali Test, one of the fans had managed to enter the ground before being caught by the officials.

In an attempt to see their favourite cricketer up close and get a chance to click a picture with Virat Kohli, three fans entered the ground and started running towards the players and came close to Virat Kohli, who was fielding at slips. And to everyone’s surprise, Virat Kohli obliged to click the picture.

Shreyas Iyer Hits 2nd Fifty Of The 2nd Test While Rishabh Pant Hits Quickest Fifty By An Indian As India Are In Drivers’ Seat

Talking about the game, it was another action-packed day of the pink-ball Test in Bengaluru. A record of 16 wickets had fallen on day 1 and 14 others fell on the second day. Indian bowlers required 35 deliveries to pick the remaining four wickets and bundle Sri Lanka for just 109. Rishabh Pant‘s record half-century and Shreyas Iyer’s astounding 67 helped India set a mighty target of 447 runs.

The Indian pacer Jasprit Bumrah picked up his maiden five-wicket haul in a Test match on home soil.

India's Shreyas Iyer celebrates scoring fifty runs during the first day of the second cricket test match between India and Sri Lanka in Bengaluru, India, Saturday, March 12, 2022. (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)
India’s Shreyas Iyer celebrates scoring fifty runs during the first day of the second cricket test match between India and Sri Lanka in Bengaluru, India, Saturday, March 12, 2022. (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi)

Shreyas Iyer scored an extraordinary 92 in the first innings against Sri Lanka on a tricky Bengaluru track on Saturday and an evening later followed it up with a second half-century (67) in the same Test. Shreyas Iyer, who is playing his first Day-Night Test for India, managed to score half-centuries in both the innings of the Test and hence became the first Indian cricketer to do so.

Overall, he is the fourth cricketer to score fifty or more in both the innings after West Indies batter Darren Bravo (87 & 116 against Pakistan in Dubai, 2016), Australia’s Steve Smith (130 & 63 against Pakistan in Brisbane, 2016) and Marnus Labuschagne, who is the only batter to do this twice in his career – 143 & 50 against New Zealand in 2019 Perth Test and 103 & 51 against England in Adelaide last year.

Rashid Latif Screengrab: YouTube
Rashid Latif Screengrab: YouTube
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Rashid Latif Reckons Pakistan Are Playing Test Series Against Australia To Market Themselves

Rashid Latif said that Pakistan had a good opportunity to ‘market’ themselves in the first Test against Australia. Pakistan played out a dull draw against Australia in the first Test in Rawalpindi.

The condition of the pitch came under the scanner with many former Pakistan cricketers criticizing the lifeless surface at Rawalpindi, which saw only 14 wickets falling through the course of five days. Former captains Shahid Afridi and Salman Butt also criticized the Pakistan side’s intent, while legendary former Pakistan skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq hoped for better surfaces in the remaining two games of the series.

Pakistan vs Australia
Pakistan vs Australia Image Credits: Twitter

Rashid Latif Reckons Pakistan Are Playing The Series To Market Themselves But ‘Rawalpindi Pitch’ Harmed Cricket

On his official YouTube channel, former Pakistan wicketkeeper-batter Rashid Latif also talked about the match in detail and insisted that Pakistan are not doing a good job in marketing their cricket.

“This series is different. This is not a series that we’re playing for winning. This is a series we are playing to market ourselves. Even if it goes 3-0, I would want that a 100 product is marketed as 150 product. But in the Rawalpindi Test, we sold a 100 product for 5, and it harmed our cricket,” Rashid Latif said.

Rashid Latif file image. (Photo: IANS)
Rashid Latif file image. (Photo: IANS)

Rashid Latif further pointed out that Australia had sent their no.1 team to Pakistan in a tour that is happening for the first time in 24 years, and Pakistan need to capitalize on the opportunity.

“Australia sent their no.1 team after 24 years, they’re coming straight after beating England 4-0. Their batters are in their top-10 in the rankings, so are their bowlers. We would’ve wanted to play good cricket, winning or losing is a different thing. We would’ve wanted to attract people around the world,” said the former Pakistan cricketer Rashid Latif.

“India, for example, are known for their turning pitches and many label them as lions at their own home. Sri Lankan pitches still support both batters and bowlers. We had a good opportunity with the pitch in Pindi. It is a brilliant pitch, it assists seam and there’s enough for batters as well,” said the former Pakistan cricketer Rashid Latif.

The first Test between Pakistan and Australia ended in a dull draw in Rawalpindi. Pakistan, batting first, declared their first innings on 476/4 before bowling the visitors out on 459. However, there wasn’t much time left in the game to induce a result after the Australian innings ended. The Pakistan openers, both of whom were unbeaten, batted the entire fifth day to ensure a draw.

Nauman Ali Took 6 Scalps While Imam-ul-Haq Scored Tons In Both Innings

Left-arm spinner Nauman Ali took a career-best 6-107 on the grassless pitch to give Pakistan a 17-run first-innings lead. Imam-ul-Haq followed his 157 in the first innings total of 476-4 declared with an unbeaten 111 in his first test since November 2019.

Imam-ul-Haq @ AFP
Imam-ul-Haq @ AFP

Imam-ul-Haq’s opening partner, Abdullah Shafique, also prospered to record his maiden test hundred and was unbeaten on 136 when Pakistan finished the fifth and final day on 252-0 in its second innings, leading by 269 runs.

A combined total of 1,187 runs were scored for just 14 wickets as the famed Australian pace trio of Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood – with 674 Test wickets between them before this match – got just one more.

Pakistan 476 for 4 dec (Azhar 185, Imam 157, Shafique 44, Cummins 1-62, Lyon 1-161) and 252 for 0 (Shafique 136*, Imam 111*) drew with Australia 459 (Khawaja 97, Labuschagne 90, Smith 78, Nauman 6-107)

In the 2nd Test, Australia have scored more than 150 losing 2 wickets. Usman Khawaja has scored an unbeaten fifty while Marnus Labuschagne was run out without opening his account. Usman Khawaja and Steve Smith have steadied Australia’s ship against Pakistan on Day 1 of the ongoing second Test at the National Stadium in Karachi.

David Warner missed out on his fifty while Marnus Labuschagne was run-out on a duck. Earlier, Australia won the toss and elected to bat first.

Pakistan vs Australia Dream11 Prediction, Fantasy Cricket Tips, Dream11 Team
Pakistan vs Australia Dream11 Prediction, Fantasy Cricket Tips, Dream11 Team. Image Credits: Twitter
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Shahid Afridi Insisted That Pakistan’s Priority Was Not To Lose 1st Test Against Australia

Shahid Afridi spoke in detail about the pitch condition and the mindset with which Pakistan played in the first Test against Australia in Rawalpindi. The first Test between Pakistan and Australia ended in a dull draw in Rawalpindi on Tuesday. Opting to bat on a run-filled surface, Pakistan had made 476-4 before declaring their first innings at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium.

By the time they bowled out Australia for 459 on the final day, the chances of any team winning the contest had evaporated. Pakistan decided to bat on allowing Imam-ul-Haq, who went into the match without a century in his previous 11 tests, to score his second hundred of the contest.

Imam-ul-Haq @ AFP
Imam-ul-Haq @ AFP

Shahid Afridi: Bottom-line Of Pakistan Was Not To Lose The 1st Test

Many in the cricket fraternity were critical of the pitch conditions and former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi also joined the debate, insisting that the hosts’ priority was to not lose the game.

“They didn’t think about Australia, the bottomline was ‘we shouldn’t lose’. But in the next two Tests in Lahore and Karachi, they have to make good pitches. You have to take advantage of your home series, or else when you go to Australia, you’re going to struggle,” Shahid Afridi said.

Shahid Afridi played in 27 Tests, 398 ODIs and 99 T20Is for Pakistan.© AFP
Shahid Afridi played in 27 Tests, 398 ODIs and 99 T20Is for Pakistan.© AFP

Left-arm spinner Nauman Ali took a career-best 6-107 on the grassless pitch to give Pakistan a 17-run, first-innings lead. Imam-ul-Haq followed his 157 in the first innings total of 476-4 declared with an unbeaten 111 in his first test since November 2019.

His opening partner, Abdullah Shafique, also prospered to record his maiden test hundred and was unbeaten on 136 when Pakistan finished the fifth and final day on 252-0 in its second innings, leading by 269 runs.

Shahid Afridi: Team Combination Of 7 Batters And 4 Bowlers Wrong And Won’t Work Everytime

The former Pakistan captain also criticised Babar Azam and the team management for not being more aggressive with their team combination on such a surface, further warning the side that fast bowlers can take a serious hit if the team continues to play with a defensive combination (7 batters, 4 bowlers).

“Our bowling strength is so good. Our fast bowlers can bowl out this Australian side. And it isn’t as if our batters cannot play the Aussie bowlers. Cricket has grown over the past many years, it is time we grow as well. If you want people to count you among the likes of South Africa, England, Australia, New Zealand, you need to stay positive,” said Shahid Afridi.

Azhar Ali AFP
Azhar Ali AFP

“I’ve been playing for long and I know it is there since the start (the combination of seven batters and four bowlers). Six genuine batsmen are enough in any team, then you have an all-rounder and bowlers. But we always play with this combination (7-4).

“This isn’t going to work. Our batsmen are in form. If you are making pitches like these, you will have to play bowlers or else these fast bowlers will be at the risk of injuries.”

Australia’s top four, including Usman Khawaja, David Warner, Marnus Labuschagne, and Steve Smith missed out on well-deserving centuries while Pakistan’s Azhar Ali top-scored with 185 in the first innings and Imam-ul-Haq scored tons in both innings. Abdullah Shafique, also prospered to record his maiden test hundred.

Pakistan 476 for 4 dec (Azhar 185, Imam 157, Shafique 44, Cummins 1-62, Lyon 1-161) and 252 for 0 (Shafique 136*, Imam 111*) drew with Australia 459 (Khawaja 97, Labuschagne 90, Smith 78, Nauman 6-107)

Wasim Jaffer (Credits: Twitter)
Wasim Jaffer (Credits: Twitter)
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Wasim Jaffer Upset With Lifeless Pitch In The 1st Test Between Australia And Pakistan

Wasim Jaffer, a former Indian opener is upset with the ongoing Test between Pakistan and Australia as he feels it is a bad advertisement for the format.

The former Punjab Kings batting coach Wasim Jaffer believes instead of over rates, lifeless pitches are a threat to Test cricket.

Wasim Jaffer. Image Credits: Twitter
Wasim Jaffer. Image Credits: Twitter

Imam-ul-Haq Scores Ton In Both Innings In The Drawn 1st Test

The visitors Australia’s bowling line-up toiled for 162 overs after losing the toss as Pakistan accumulated 476-4, batting for two days. Azhar Ali top-scored with 185 and shared a mammoth stand of 208 with Imam-ul-Haq, who made his maiden Test hundred.

In reply, Australia received a brilliant start as Usman Khawaja and David Warner put together an opening stand of 185. However, the top four, including Usman Khawaja, David Warner, Marnus Labuschagne, and Steve Smith missed out on well-deserving centuries.

Imam-ul-Haq @ AFP
Imam-ul-Haq @ AFP

Australia’s innings was wrapped up in the first four overs of the day when it was all out for 459 after resuming on 449-7. Left-arm spinner Nauman Ali took a career-best 6-107 on the grassless pitch to give Pakistan a 17-run, first-innings lead.

Imam-ul-Haq followed his 157 in the first innings total of 476-4 declared with an unbeaten 111 in his first test since November 2019. Imam-ul-Haq’s opening partner, Abdullah Shafique, also prospered to record his maiden test hundred and was unbeaten on 136 when Pakistan finished the fifth and final day on 252-0 in its second innings, leading by 269 runs.

Wasim Jaffer Reckons Biggest Threat To Tests Are Dead Pitches

Wasim Jaffer, an active former cricketer on social media, took a dig at the Test by saying it is surprising to see teams lose points in the World Test Championship cycle due to over rates despite most Tests finishing in four days. Instead, the 44-year old tweeted that such high-scoring games are unhealthy for the format.

“I find it amusing when Test matches get over inside four days yet teams lose WTC points for overrate. The biggest threat to Test cricket is not overrate. Tests rarely go to day 5 anyway nowadays. The biggest threat to Test cricket is dead pitches. Dead pitch = Dead game,” Wasim Jaffer wrote on Twitter.

Pat Cummins Credit: AAP
Pat Cummins Credit: AAP

It is fair to say that Australia and Pakistan – two teams with gun bowling line-ups, will want to forget this Test. Skipper Pat Cummins, Nathan Lyon and Marnus Labuschagne picked up a wicket each in the first innings. As for the home side, left-arm spinner Nauman Ali picked 6 scalps.

Australia are touring Pakistan for the first time in 24 years and are into the first segment of the visit. Last time out, Mark Taylor and Steve Waugh led the triumphant Australians in 1998 in Tests and ODIs, respectively.

The Test ended 21 overs early after both teams agreed to mercifully put this match out of its misery. Pakistan racked up an astounding 728 for 4 for the entire match, as Australia unsuccessfully resorted to using nine bowlers, including rarely tried Usman Khawaja with the last over of the match.
Pakistan 476 for 4 dec (Azhar 185, Imam 157, Shafique 44, Cummins 1-62, Lyon 1-161) and 252 for 0 (Shafique 136*, Imam 111*) drew with Australia 459 (Khawaja 97, Labuschagne 90, Smith 78, Nauman 6-107)
England’s Ollie Robinson Photograph: Andrew Couldridge/Action Images/Reuters
England’s Ollie Robinson Photograph: Andrew Couldridge/Action Images/Reuters
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Ollie Robinson Must Improve His Fitness Says Bowling Coach; England 188 In Reply To Australia’s 303

Ollie Robinson must improve his fitness to deal with the demands of Test cricket, bowling coach Jon Lewis said after the 28-year-old suffered a back spasm on the opening day of the final Ashes Test against Australia on Friday.

Ollie Robinson took two early wickets in Hobart, sending back David Warner and Steve Smith for a duck, but later sustained the back problem that limited his bowling to eight overs.

Ollie Robinson PA Images via Getty Images
Ollie Robinson PA Images via Getty Images

Ollie Robinson Must Improve His Fitness: Jon Lewis

Australia, who enjoy an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-Test series, ended the first day of the pink-ball contest on 241-6. Ollie Robinson has taken 37 wickets in eight Tests for England since his debut against New Zealand at Lord’s in June last year. Jon Lewis said the team was hoping Ollie Robinson could recover overnight and return to bowling on Saturday.
“(His fitness) is something he needs to improve”, Lewis said. “He’s got a record of playing a lot of games of county cricket but international cricket is of higher intensity and you play it all year round.
Travis Head of Australia scores a century during day one of the Fifth Test in the Ashes series between Australia and England Image Source : GETTY
Travis Head of Australia scores a century during day one of the Fifth Test in the Ashes series between Australia and England Image Source: GETTY
“So he’s got to get used to understanding what it takes to be a full-time year-round international cricketer and playing that extra day, five days of Test cricket. Those things can come and go so we’re hoping with treatment overnight he can come back tomorrow and be free enough to bowl.”
Australia resumed innings on 241 for 6 on the second day of the 5th Ashes Test in Hobart. The rain and bad weather forced early stumps on Friday (1st Day) after Travis Head’s rapid hundred and a gritty half-century from Cameron Green put the host in a comfortable position.

Pat Cummins Picks 4 Scalps To Restrict England to 188 After Travis Head’s 101 See Australia Cross 300 Run Mark

Travis Head, who scored 152 in the opening test at Brisbane and missed the previous Test for Covid-19, counterpunched England’s early success with an aggressive 101 off 113 balls in the day-night test as Australia came back strongly after losing the toss. Cameron Green contributed an authoritative 74 and Marnus Labuschagne scored a rapid 44 before the rain arrived around half an hour after tea and prevented further play.
Pat Cummins Credit: AAP
Pat Cummins Credit: AAP
Mitchell Starc took 3 scalps while Pat Cummins picked 4 as England was bowled out at 188 after Australia was bowled out for 303. Chris Woakes’ 36, Joe Root’s 34, and debutant Sam Billings’ 29 were England’s notable contributors with the bat in hand.
Jofra Archer made his Test debut at Lord’s against Australia last year. (Source: Reuters)
Jofra Archer made his Test debut at Lord’s against Australia last year. (Source: Reuters)
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Jofra Archer Feared The Bouncer Bowled To Steve Smith In 2019 Ashes Could Have Resulted In His Death

Jofra Archer, the England pacer feared his aggressive bowling to Australian veteran batsman and ex-skipper Steve Smith in the second Test of the 2019 Ashes series could have resulted in the latter’s death. Jofra Archer claimed the cricketing fraternity couldn’t afford another casualty on the field after Philip Hughes’s death by a similar bouncer.

The duel between Jofra Archer and Steve Smith was one of the most riveting in Test cricket history. Jofra Archer, who debuted in the format in that match, unsettled the ace Test batter with plenty of short-pitched balls, including a nasty one that felled Steve Smith in the first innings. He copped a blow to his head, resulting in a concussion.

Jofra Archer - GETTY IMAGES
Jofra Archer – GETTY IMAGES

Jofra Archer: Obviously Another Cricket Related Death Isn’t Wanted

Jofra Archer said the blows could especially hurt players in England due to the cold weather. The 26-year old cited having fears of another cricket-related death when Steve Smith went down.

Australia’s Steve Smith was given the all-clear after being forced to retire hurt when he was struck by a short ball from England fast bowler Jofra Archer on the fourth day of the second Ashes Test at Lord’s in August 2019.

Steve Smith was on 80 when he was hit on the neck by test debutant Jofra Archer, who bowled a hostile spell from the Pavilion End during which his deliveries reached speeds of well over 90 miles per hour.

Steve Smith, who made 144 and 142 in Australia’s emphatic victory in the first test, had defied the England attack again as the touring side replied to the hosts’ first-innings total of 258.

“I think in England personally when the ball hits you it can feel a lot worse than it is because sometimes it’s a bit cold and I thought it was that until I actually saw him roll … when he went down and then he rolled on his back, I went ‘oh dear,’ you know.

“I thought it was very serious, but he came out and he batted again. Obviously you don’t ever want a cricket related death. There was one already and there’s no need for another one. It’s hard enough trying to get the kids to come and play cricket.”

Steve Smith (Image Credit: Twitter)
Steve Smith (Image Credit: Twitter)

Although Steve Smith returned to bat in the first innings after sustaining a concussion, he couldn’t do so in the second. The 32-year old also missed the third Test at Headingley as England won a thrilling game by a wicket. Former Australia batsman Phillip Hughes died after being struck by a bouncer in the neck during a first-class match in Sydney in 2014.

Australia successfully applied for a concussion substitute, bringing in Marnus Labuschagne as a replacement for Steve Smith, who suffered a delayed concussion after copping a blow to his neck during a fiery Jofra Archer spell.

Jofra Archer Praised Steve Smith’s Resilience In The 2019 England Ashes Tour As He Failed To Dismiss The Batsmen Even Once

Jofra Archer, who failed to dismiss Steve Smith even once throughout the series, hailed his resilience and concentration. Although he relished the challenge, the right-arm pacer felt he wasn’t meant to dismiss Steve Smith.

“I know they say he’s tough as nails anyway, but I don’t think he would have come out to bat again if he wasn’t. Just his resilience. You are putting yourself out there and risking everything for your team. Honestly, throughout that whole series, I just think his wicket wasn’t for me. There were a few top edges that could have gone to hand. But I just enjoyed the challenge.”

Jofra Archer bouncer Steven Smith
Jofra Archer bouncer to Steve Smith (Image Credit: Twitter)

Steve Smith enjoyed a highly productive Ashes series, mustering 774 runs in four Tests at 110.57. The former Australian skipper’s monumental efforts were instrumental in Australia retaining the urn. His scores read 144, 142, 92, 211, 82, 80, and 23 in that series.

Interestingly, Marnus Labuschagne, the concussion substitute has an impressive average of 61.21 in 19 Tests amassing 1959 runs already while Steve Smith is one step ahead of him, averaging 61.39 in 78 Tests amassing 7552 runs. After Don Bradman‘s 99.94 average, Australian Adam Voges is 2nd best averaging 61.87 in 20 Tests followed by the Steve Smith-Marnus Labuschagne duo.

Jofra Archer has been ruled out of all cricket for the rest of the year 2021 following a recurrence of a stress fracture in his right elbow. Jofra Archer, the England fast bowler, was forced home from the tour of India at the start of the year and subsequently forced to pull out of the IPL 2021 due to pain in the elbow. He underwent surgery to remove a bone fragment from the elbow in May.
The ECB has announced he will play no part in the Test series against visitors India, the 2021 T20 World Cup, or the Ashes 2021/22. He has only played six Tests, three ODIs, and 11 T20Is since he was first troubled by the problem. In 13 Tests, he has 42 scalps and he has 30 scalps in 17 ODIs and 14 scalps in 12 T20Is.
Nathan Lyon
Nathan Lyon
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Ashes 2021-22: Yet To Sink In After Reaching 400-Wicket Milestone, Says Nathan Lyon

Nathan Lyon, Australia’s off-spinner said reaching the milestone of 400 Test wickets in Saturday’s big 1st Ashes Test 2021/22 win and joining cricket’s greats had not yet sunk in.

A classical off-spinner, the 34-year-old removed Dawid Malan for 82 on the fourth day of the first Test against England to write his name in Australian sporting history.

Nathan Lyon Photograph: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images
Nathan Lyon Photograph: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Nathan Lyon: It’s Been Very Rewarding To Reach 400 Wicket Milestone

Australia has drawn first blood in the Ashes after taking an emphatic 1-0 lead after just three and a half days of the first Test at the Gabba. The hosts were set a target of just 20 to win the match after lunch following yet another batting collapse from England which saw the final eight wickets fall for just 74 runs.

Speaking immediately after playing a central role in Australia’s nine-wicket victory at the Gabba, Lyon said: “It hasn’t really hit me yet to be honest. No doubt I’ll get my phone and call my family and friends, and that will probably hit a little bit closer to home, I guess. But it’s something that I’m very proud of, there’s no doubt about that. It’s been some hard toil to get it, but it’s very rewarding, that’s for sure.”

Dawid Malan Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images
Dawid Malan Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images

Ahead of the Test, Nathan Lyon had nominated England captain Joe Root as the scalp he would like as his 400th, given they have played so much against each other. He had to make do with Dawid Malan, with Marnus Labuschagne taking the catch at silly mid-off.

Nathan Lyon Is Australia’s Most Important Bowler: Pat Cummins

Nathan Lyon, in his 101st Test and after a decade on the team, became just the 16th player worldwide to achieve the feat and only the third Australian after Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath. Sri Lankan legend Muttiah Muralitharan tops the all-time Test wicket-takers with 800 wickets, followed by Shane Warne on 708.

England star Jimmy Anderson is third on 632 scalps but was overlooked for the Brisbane Test, as was fellow paceman Stuart Broad, who is sixth on the list with 524. Nathan Lyon took 4-91 in the second innings to move to 403 wickets overall. Next in his sights is West Indies’ great Curtly Ambrose, who has 405 wickets.

Pat Cummins Credit: AAP
Pat Cummins Credit: AAP

Australian captain Pat Cummins stressed how important Nathan Lyon was to the team.

“He’s our most important bowler, not just for wicket-taking, but you saw how many overs he bowled yesterday,” Cummins said.

“He went for two and a half an over for 20 overs on a hot day.”

Nathan Lyon had been stuck on 399 Test wickets for 326 days and had to bowl 208 deliveries before finally reaching the milestone. England’s Dawid Malan fell bat-pad early on the fourth morning to help Nathan Lyon become the 17th Test bowler to reach 400 scalps.

Nathan Lyon took four wickets on the fourth morning, including that of Dawid Malan’s for his 400th to start the rot prior to the new ball being taken, while Cameron Green claimed the prized scalp of Joe Root for 89 as England lost 8 for 74 to be bowled out for 297 and set Australia just 20 runs to win.

His 401st wicket took just 11 more deliveries to get, bamboozling Ollie Pope with sharp bounce and turn as he tried to cut a ball that pitched wide off. It only took 37 more to reach 403 as Ollie Robinson gifted Nathan Lyon his wicket with an attempted reverse sweep while Mark Wood was bowled by a full ball that drifted and dropped under the bat.

Australia 425 and 1 for 20 (Harris 9*, Robinson 1-13) beat England 147 and 297 (Root 89, Malan 82, Lyon 4-91) by nine wickets

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