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Pat Cummins appears favourite to take over the vacant Test captaincy with the Ashes series looming. Credit: AAP
Pat Cummins appears favourite to take over the vacant Test captaincy with the Ashes series looming. Credit: AAP
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Pat Cummins: Tim Paine Still Well Respected Despite Scandal

Pat Cummins, the newly appointed Test skipper believes Tim Paine’s decision to relinquish the captaincy is a credit to his leadership skills. Tim Paine stepped down as captain last week in the wake of a highly publicized sexting scandal in 2017-2018, that emerged and announced on Friday that he would take no part in the Ashes 2021/22.

Pat Cummins, who had served as Australia’s vice-captain since 2019, said he had spoken to Tim Paine on the morning he has been crowned his successor.

Australia Captain Tim Paine has stepped down from the role (Mike Egerton/PA) (PA Archive)
Australia captain Tim Paine has stepped down from the role (Mike Egerton/PA) (PA Archive)

Pat Cummins Spoke To Tim Paine And The Former Skipper Said He Didn’t Want The Scandal To Cause Distraction

Tim Paine, the former Australia Test skipper has taken a “leave of absence from all forms of cricket” following his resignation as captain for the side ahead of the Ashes 2021/22. Tim Paine had announced his resignation last week following a ‘sexting scandal’ with a former Cricket Tasmania colleague in 2017.

Cricket Tasmania on Friday released a statement on Tim Paine’s absence from the Marsh One-Day Cup match against Western Australia, stating his indefinite break from cricket.

“When I spoke to (Paine) this morning, he wanted to make it really clear that part of his decision of taking a break was that he didn’t want (the sexting scandal) to be a distraction,” Cummins told reporters on Friday.

“That’s probably another tick for his leadership and how highly he thinks of the team.”

Pat Cummins said his time as Tim Paine’s deputy had left him in good stead to take the reins.

“He’s been incredible for me, especially since being vice-captain” Cummins said.

Tim Paine is likely to be replaced behind the stumps by either Josh Inglis or Alex Carey. Picture Eddie Safarik
Tim Paine is likely to be replaced behind the stumps by either Josh Inglis or Alex Carey. Picture Eddie Safarik

“I feel like I’m really well-equipped. I’ve had a good few years of training. I think (the transition) will be pretty seamless. There’s absolutely no issue among the boys.”

Pat Cummins and Steve Smith, who returns to a leadership role as vice-captain, said Tim Paine had lost none of the admiration of his peers.

“We really feel for Tim and his family. He’s just a really loved, well-respected leader of our team,” Cummins said.

“We love him. We hope that we see him back in the team soon and we just wish him all the best. He’s obviously going through a tough time.”

England and Australia will lock horns in the five-match Ashes, beginning December 8 at the Gabba, Brisbane. Tim Paine’s mental health break means he will unavailable at least for the first game of Ashes. Matthew Wade, Josh Inglis, and Alex Carey are the candidates to replace Tim Paine.

Steve Smith Empathized With Tim Paine

Steve Smith, who vacated the captaincy following the notorious ball-tampering saga in Cape Town, said he empathized with Tim Paine. Steve Smith captained Australia in 34 Tests prior to 2018, in which he guided them to 18 victories, 10 defeats, and six draws.

“Having been through some tough times myself, I urge him to take care of himself and be really kind to himself,” he said.

“My thoughts are with him and his family.”

Pat Cummins and Steve Smith will lead the Aussies in the Ashes from next month. Picture: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images
Pat Cummins and Steve Smith will lead the Aussies in the Ashes from next month. Picture: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

For Pat Cummins, the fallout from Tim Paine’s sexting scandal proved a timely reminder of the high standards to which leaders in the Test cricket team are held.

“That’s really hit home in the last few days,” he said.

“A lot of the pressure and the responsibility of being perfect is unreasonable. I think it’s too much to ask of anyone. I think you’ve got to have permission to grow.”

Pat Cummins is the first pace bowler to captain the Test side since Ray Lindwall in 1956, and while he said there would be challenges in managing the workload, he planned to learn from and turn to veteran Steve Smith and his teammates for guidance.

“There’s going to be times where I’m out in the middle, it’s a hot day, I’m in the middle of a spell and I need to turn to people for advice, for tactics, for experience,” Cummins said.

“That’s one of the main reasons why I wanted Steve to be vice-captain. I think it potentially could look different from how you’ve seen partnerships work in the past. It’s going to be a really collaborative approach.”

Tim Paine has led his country to 11 wins, four draws, and eight defeats. Under his leadership, Australia had retained the Ashes and won 11 of 23 matches but had lost two successive home Test series to India. He had scored 1534 runs in 35 Tests averaging 32.64 with 9 fifties but is yet to score a ton although he has 150 catches and 7 stumpings besides his name.

Australia named paceman Pat Cummins as their Test cricket captain and Steve Smith as vice-captain Friday after a sexting scandal led Tim Paine to resign last week, just ahead of the Ashes. Pat Cummins becomes the 47th captain of the Australian men’s Test team while Steve Smith returns to a key leadership role, having been forced to stand down as skipper for his part in the “Sandpaper-gate” ball-tampering scandal of 2018.

Australia Captain Tim Paine has stepped down from the role (Mike Egerton/PA) (PA Archive)
Australia Captain Tim Paine has stepped down from the role (Mike Egerton/PA) (PA Archive)
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Tim Paine Takes A Leave Of Absence From All Forms Of Cricket After Resigning As Skipper Ahead Of Ashes 2021/22

Tim Paine, the former Australia Test skipper has taken a “leave of absence from all forms of cricket” following his resignation as captain for the side ahead of the Ashes 2021/22.

Tim Paine had announced his resignation last week following a ‘sexting scandal’ with a former Cricket Tasmania colleague in 2017. Cricket Tasmania on Friday released a statement on Tim Paine’s absence from the Marsh One-Day Cup match against Western Australia.

Tim Paine takes leave of absence from all forms of cricket  |  Photo Credit: AP
Tim Paine takes leave of absence from all forms of cricket  |  Photo Credit: AP

Tim Paine Takes A Leave Of Absence From All Forms Of Cricket For The Foreseeable Future: Cricket Tasmania Statement

Former Australia Test skipper Tim Paine has taken a “leave of absence from all forms of cricket” following his resignation as captain for the side ahead of the Ashes.

“Following discussions over the last 24 hours,  Paine has advised Cricket Tasmania that he will be taking a leave of absence from all forms of cricket for the foreseeable future, ” Cricket Tasmania said in a statement.

Ashes Urn Photo: cricket.com.au
Ashes Urn Photo: cricket.com.au

“Tim’s decision makes him unavailable for selection for today’s Marsh One-Day Cup match against Western Australia. His place in the squad will be taken by Charlie Wakim. Cricket Tasmania will continue to support Tim and his family both professionally and personally over the summer,” it added.

England and Australia will lock horns in the five-match Ashes, beginning December 8 at the Gabba, Brisbane. Tim Paine’s mental health break means he will unavailable at least for the first game of Ashes. Matthew Wade, Josh Inglis, and Alex Carey are the candidates to replace Tim Paine.

Pat Cummins Named Australia’s New Test Skipper, Steve Smith Deputy

Last week, Cricket Australia (CA) chairman Richard Freudenstein pointed out that he cannot speak about what happened in 2018 but if it would have had happened in 2021, the governing body would not have made the same decision on Tim Paine.

Steve Smith and Pat Cummins
Steve Smith and Pat Cummins

Tim Paine has led his country to 11 wins, four draws, and eight defeats. Under his leadership, Australia had retained the Ashes and won 11 of 23 matches but had lost two successive home Test series to India. He had scored 1534 runs in 35 Tests averaging 32.64 with 9 fifties but is yet to score a ton although he has 150 catches and 7 stumpings besides his name.

Australia named paceman Pat Cummins as their Test cricket captain and Steve Smith as vice-captain Friday after a sexting scandal led Tim Paine to resign last week, just ahead of the Ashes. Pat Cummins becomes the 47th captain of the Australian men’s Test team while Steve Smith returns to a key leadership role, having been forced to stand down as skipper for his part in the “Sandpaper-gate” ball-tampering scandal of 2018.

Pat Cummins appears favourite to take over the vacant Test captaincy with the Ashes series looming. Credit: AAP
Pat Cummins appears favourite to take over the vacant Test captaincy with the Ashes series looming. Credit: AAP
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Pat Cummins And Steve Smith Interviewed By CA Panel For Test Leadership Roles

A Cricket Australia panel has interviewed Pat Cummins and Steve Smith for the positions of captain and vice-captain of the Australian Test team.

This brings Cricket Australia a step closer to unveiling star fast bowler Pat Cummins as Australia’s 47th Test captain and returning Steve Smith to a leadership position for the first time since the Cape Town ball-tampering scandal.

Steve Smith and Pat Cummins
Steve Smith and Pat Cummins

Pat Cummins and Steve Smith Interviewed For Captaincy Roles By Cricket Australia After Tim Paine Stepped Down As Skipper

The interviews follow the dramatic resignation of Tim Paine from the captaincy when his exchange of lewd text messages with a former Cricket Tasmania staffer was revealed last Friday. The pair appeared by video link before a committee comprising selectors George Bailey and Tony Dodemaide, chief executive Nick Hockley, chair Richard Freudenstein and board member Mel Jones.

Australia Test skipper Tim Paine (Photo | AP)
Australia Test skipper Tim Paine (Photo | AP)

Pat Cummins and Steve Smith are at a quarantined training camp on the Gold Coast ahead of the first Ashes Test in Brisbane. Pat Cummins and Steve Smith have been widely seen as a standout leadership duo, given that as a former captain himself, Steve Smith will be capable of stepping in whenever Pat Cummins is forced to rest because of the rigours and injury risks of fast bowling.

Steve Smith May Be Made Vice-Captain As He Would Return To A Leadership Role For The First Time Since Sandpaper Gate Scandal In 2018

If Steve Smith is indeed made the vice-captain, then he would return to a leadership role for the first time since the Sandpaper Gate in 2018. Steve Smith captained Australia in 34 Tests prior to 2018, in which he guided them to 18 victories, 10 defeats, and six draws.

Pat Cummins and Steve Smith appeared before a committee comprising selectors George Bailey and Tony Dodemaide, chief executive Nick Hockley, chair Richard Freudenstein and board member Mel Jones. Australia head coach Justin Langer is not a part of the Cricket Australia (CA) panel to pick the next Test skipper.

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

Fast bowler Pat Cummins is favourite to replace Tim Paine as Test captain ahead of the Ashes series, which starts in Brisbane on December 8. The front runner for the top job in Australian cricket is vice-captain and pacer Pat Cummins, while former captain Steve Smith has previously expressed his desire to lead the side again.

Following Tim Paine’s resignation from the Test captaincy,  doubts have been cast over his role in the side, with many calling for him to be dropped. Matthew Wade, Josh Inglis, and Alex Carey are the candidates to replace Tim Paine if he isn’t allowed to play.

Australia Test skipper Tim Paine (Photo | AP)
Australia Test skipper Tim Paine (Photo | AP)
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The Treatment Afforded To Tim Paine By Cricket Australia Has Been Appalling: Cricket Tasmania Chairman Andrew Gaggin

Cricket Tasmania chairman Andrew Gaggin has condemned Cricket Australia’s “appalling” treatment of Tim Paine, saying he should never have been put in a position where he felt he had to resign as Australia’s Test captain.

Last Friday, Tim Paine stood down from the role after sexually explicit text messages he sent to a female former colleague at Cricket Tasmania in 2017 were leaked to the media.

Cricket Tasmania Chairman Andrew Gaggin has slammed Cricket Australia for their treatment of former captain Tim Paine. Picture: NIKKI DAVIS-JONES
Cricket Tasmania Chairman Andrew Gaggin has slammed Cricket Australia for their treatment of former captain Tim Paine. Picture: NIKKI DAVIS-JONES

Cricket Tasmania Chairman Andrew Gaggin: Treatment Afforded To Australian Test Captain Tim Paine By Cricket Australia Is Appalling

The 36-year-old wicketkeeper, who has represented Tasmania since the 2005/06 season, had been exonerated by a Cricket Australia integrity review into the matter soon after becoming Test captain in 2018.

“In conversations, I have had in recent days it is clear that the anger amongst the Tasmania cricket community and the general public is palpable,” Gaggin said in a statement on Tuesday.

“Tim Paine has been a beacon for Australian cricket over the past four years and instrumental in salvaging the reputation of the national team after the calamity of Cape Town.

Cricket Tasmania condemns ‘appalling’ treatment of Tim Paine (Reuters Photo)
Cricket Tasmania condemns ‘appalling’ treatment of Tim Paine (Reuters Photo)

“The treatment afforded to the Australian Test captain by Cricket Australia has been appalling, and the worst since Bill Lawry over 50 years ago.”

Bill Lawry was notoriously sacked as Australia captain and dropped from the team ahead of the final Test of the 1970/71 Ashes series, only discovering his fate when informed by reporters. After Tim Paine’s resignation, Cricket Tasmania said that the former female employee had complained to them about the messages only after she had been charged with stealing from the organization.

Despite relinquishing the captaincy, Tim Paine still wants to be considered for selection as wicketkeeper for the opening Ashes Test in Brisbane on December 8. The decision will be made by a three-man selection panel comprising George Bailey, coach Justin Langer, and the recently appointed Tony Dodemaide.

Pat Cummins Frontrunner To Replace Tim Paine As Test Skipper

On Saturday, Cricket Australia chair Richard Freudenstein said that the current leadership team would have sacked Tim Paine had they been in charge in 2018.

“At a time when CA should have supported Tim, he was evidently regarded as dispensable,” Gaggin continued.

Pat Cummins appears favourite to take over the vacant Test captaincy with the Ashes series looming. Credit: AAP
Pat Cummins appears favourite to take over the vacant Test captaincy with the Ashes series looming. Credit: AAP

“The Cricket Tasmania board reaffirmed its view that Paine should not have been put in a position where he felt the need to resign over an incident that was determined by an independent inquiry at the time to not be a breach of the code of conduct and was a consensual and private exchange that occurred between two mature adults and was not repeated.”

Fast bowler Pat Cummins is favourite to replace Tim Paine as Test captain ahead of the Ashes series, which starts in Brisbane on December 8. The front runner for the top job in Australian cricket is vice-captain and bowler Pat Cummins, while former captain Steve Smith has previously expressed his desire to lead the side again.

In 2018 Cricket Australia investigated the sexting incident but cleared Tim Paine of any wrongdoing after they deemed, he had not breached the code of conduct.

Following Tim Paine’s resignation from the Test captaincy,  doubts have been cast over his role in the side, with many calling for him to be dropped. Matthew Wade, Josh Inglis, and Alex Carey are the candidates to replace Tim Paine if he isn’t allowed to play.

File image of Pat Cummins | Andrew Boyers/Reuters
File image of Pat Cummins | Andrew Boyers/Reuters
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Australia Will Take Confidence Into Ashes After Winning Maiden T20I World Cup: Pat Cummins

Australia is absolutely “buzzing” after clinching their maiden T20I World Cup title defeating New Zealand in the final. It will bring that confidence into their Ashes 2021/22 series against England, fast bowler Pat Cummins said on Wednesday.

Australia beat New Zealand by eight wickets in the T20 decider on Sunday and has six players from the championship-winning outfit in their Ashes squad.

Australia- Aaron Finch's team beat New Zealand in the final to win their maiden T20 World Cup title (ICC)
Australia- Aaron Finch’s team beat New Zealand in the final to win their maiden T20 World Cup title (ICC)

Australia Will Take Confidence From Winning T20I World Cup 2021: Pat Cummins

Pat Cummins, who, along with fellow quicks Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood, shared in the triumph in Dubai, said capturing the elusive title was a huge spur for the home summer.

“Absolutely, I think we’ll take confidence from it,” vice-captain Cummins told reporters on Wednesday. “It’s a different format but you saw somebody like (batter) Davey Warner, player of the tournament, that’s going to have huge confidence for him going into the summer.”

Australia’s Pat Cummins celebrates during a match against England in the 2019 Ashes, in London. File photograph: Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs
Australia’s Pat Cummins celebrates during a match against England in the 2019 Ashes, in London. File photograph: Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs

“As an Australian side, I think we all probably felt like we’ve underperformed a little bit in the last few years, haven’t won as many games as we’d probably expect. So to get back out and win a title on the world stage … it can be era-defining for a side. So everyone’s just absolutely buzzing, really excited for what’s next.”

Australia has not played a test since losing to India at the Gabba in January, which saw the hosts fall to a 2-1 series defeat as the tour to South Africa and the one-off Test against Afghanistan didn’t happen. As a result, the World Cup-winning players arrived home on Tuesday and have little time to get accustomed to red-ball cricket.

Currently undergoing a two-week COVID-19 quarantine in southern Queensland, they are able to train with each other during their isolation but will have only one three-day warmup match with other squad players in Brisbane before the Dec. 8 Ashes opener at the Gabba.

Pat Cummins Feels Fresh, And There’s No Niggles

Pat Cummins played down concerns that Australia might be underprepared.

“I always feel it’s better to be underdone than overdone coming into a big Test series,” he said.

“My body feels as good as it has in a couple of years. There’s no niggles, I feel really fresh. I think we’ve given ourselves the best chance to bowl plenty of overs and do well this summer.”

Usman Khawaja of Australia celebrates scoring his century (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)
Usman Khawaja of Australia celebrates scoring his century (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Veteran Usman Khawaja and middle-order batsman Travis Head were recalled to Australia’s squad for the opening two Ashes Tests against England Wednesday, with incumbent number five Matthew Wade axed. Michael Neser and Jhye Richardson were also in the 15-man line-up as back-up for the fast-bowling attack of Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, and Josh Hazlewood after the shock retirement of James Pattinson last month.

Marcus Harris, as expected, got the nod in the absence of concussion-hit Will Pucovski and is expected to open alongside David Warner, fresh from his exploits in helping Australia win the Twenty20 World Cup on Sunday. But there was no place for his fellow World Cup standout performer and Man of the final Mitchell Marsh, despite calls for the all-rounder to be given another chance at Test level.

Usman Khawaja, who has scored 2877 runs in 44 Tests at an average of 40.66, has not played for Australia since August 2019. Usman Khwaja had since played 44 Test, 40 ODI, and 9 T20I matches for Australia.

Australia’s Pat Cummins celebrates during a match against England in the 2019 Ashes, in London. File photograph: Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs
Australia’s Pat Cummins celebrates during a match against England in the 2019 Ashes, in London. File photograph: Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs
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Pat Cummins Feels He Is As Fresh As He Has Ever Felt Before Ashes 2021/22

Pat Cummins, an Australia vice-captain, feels he is as fresh as he has ever felt coming into a Test series but says he would be surprised if Australia persists with the same four-man pace attack throughout all five Ashes Tests, something they did against India last summer, in a losing cause.
Pat Cummins has returned to Australia and is into hotel quarantine on the Gold Coast on Tuesday with the majority of the triumphant 2021 T20I World Cup-winning squad to begin their Ashes 2021/22 preparation. He hasn’t played a first-class match since February 2021.
Since April, Pat Cummins has only featured in seven T20Is, having opted out of the limited-overs tours to the Caribbean and Bangladesh during Australia’s winter. He also missed the second half of the IPL 2021 prior to the World Cup to be home for the birth of his son.
File image of Pat Cummins | Andrew Boyers/Reuters
File image of Pat Cummins | Andrew Boyers/Reuters.

Pat Cummins Said There’s No Niggles As He Feels Fresh For Ashes 2021/22

Australia will only have one three-day intra-squad match to prepare for the first Ashes Test starting December 8, but Pat Cummins has no concerns about his personal preparation.
“My body feels as good as it has in a couple of years. There’s no niggles,” Pat Cummins said. “I think the first, I guess, benefit of the short spells is we’re all feeling really fresh. I always feel like it’s better to be underdone than overdone coming into a big Test series.
“For now it’s just trying to work back from that day one, get a few good bowls in, I think. We’ve got access to quite a few center wickets. So we’ll have three, four, five center wickets where we try and have relatively big days, you know, bowl a couple of spells on those days. And we’ll be ready to go. And we had a similar prep last year and all felt really good going into that Adelaide first Test, ” Pat Cummins said.
Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, and Mitchell Starc played all four Tests against India last year, but the plan backfired as the trio tired on the final days in Sydney and Brisbane and were unable to bowl out India in either game as the visitors produced a famous come-from-behind series win.
Australia rotated their bowlers heavily in the 2019 Ashes series, using Peter Siddle and James Pattinson as specialists in those conditions. Pat Cummins was the only one of the five Australian fast bowlers used in that series to play all five Tests, and he expects that there will be some rotation again this summer.
“When someone’s I guess rested it is normally more to it than just purely workload,” Pat Cummins said. “There’s always niggles and small little injuries that we’re dealing with, basically after every single Test match.”
“The great thing is we’ve got a huge stable of fast bowlers. So yeah, I don’t think it’ll be a huge issue if someone’s not able to get up for a Test or someone’s just red-lining a little bit. Someone else can slot in.”
“I’d be surprised if the same four bowlers were used for all five Tests. That’s pretty rare, especially the five-Test match summer. But I certainly won’t be putting my hand up to be rested unless I’ve got something going wrong.”
Michael Neser | Getty
Michael Neser | Getty Images.
Jhye Richardson is firming as a certainty to play a part in the upcoming Ashes series, having not played a Test match since 2019 when he dislocated his shoulder in the lead-up to the 2019 World Cup and the then Ashes tour. In recent years, Michael Neser has also been a constant presence in Australia’s Test squads and could also make his Test debut this summer despite coming off a hamstring injury.
“I think both can slot in really well,” Cummins said. “It might be like-for-like maybe in some regards. I’d say probably Jhye, especially last week, I only saw a little bit but apparently, he bowled beautifully up here at the Gabba.”
“It’s really great to see him back around the squad. He was on the verge of a World Cup and an Ashes series a couple of years ago before having a shoulder injury, so it’s great to see him get back and bowling well, fully fit, and hopefully he kind of starts off where he left off against Sri Lanka a few years ago.”
Michael Neser and Jhye Richardson were in the 15-man line-up as back-up for the fast-bowling attack of Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, and Josh Hazlewood after the shock retirement of James Pattinson last month.

George Bailey Impressed By Jhye Richardson’s Form

The 15-man Ashes squad for the first two Tests, as well as an Australia A squad, was announced on Wednesday. Chairman of selectors George Bailey was also impressed by Jhye Richardson’s form leading into the Ashes series following his Player of the Match performance for Western Australia against Queensland at the Gabba last week, where he took eight wickets, including 5 for 23 from 22.2 overs in the second innings.
“Getting pretty excited by Jhye,” Bailey said. “One physically, I think he looks as strong as I’ve seen ever seen him.”
Jhye Richardson
Jhye Richardson. Image Credits: Twitter.
“He’s had a couple of niggles, and he’s worked his way back from those so he’s starting to build some resilience into his body, still a young body.

“I think he’s worked his way into the last three shield games quite nicely, but one particular spell I think it was the morning of day [three], a really impressive spell early on, I think he ended up ended up getting the wickets of Marnus [Labuschagne] and Joe Burns, who both commented that it was it was impressive quality.”

Veteran Usman Khawaja and middle-order batsman Travis Head were recalled to Australia’s squad for the opening two Ashes Tests against England Wednesday, with incumbent number five Matthew Wade axed. Marcus Harris, as expected, got the nod in the absence of concussion-hit Will Pucovski and is expected to open alongside David Warner. But there was no place for his fellow World Cup standout performer in the final — Mitchell Marsh.

Australia squad: Tim Paine (capt), Pat Cummins, Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Michael Neser, Jhye Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, David Warner

India's Jasprit Bumrah reacts during their ICC T20 World Cup match against Scotland in Dubai, UAE on November 5, 2021. | AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi
India's Jasprit Bumrah reacts during their ICC T20 World Cup match against Scotland in Dubai, UAE on November 5, 2021. | AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi
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Brad Hogg Includes Jasprit Bumrah In His XI Of 2021 T20I World Cup

Brad Hogg, former Australian wrist-spinner, has named his team of the tournament following the culmination of the T20 World Cup 2021. The competition in the UAE saw the Australian men’s team lift the trophy for the first time ever after overcoming their neighbours New Zealand in the final.

Players from Team India have hardly featured in the list of top players in the tournament following their early exit. While Indian openers Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul were among the runs, they were far behind the other openers of other teams in terms of consistency.

Brad Hogg was a part of two World Cup-winning Australian teams; 2003 and 2007 © Getty Images
Brad Hogg was a part of two World Cup-winning Australian teams; 2003 and 2007 © Getty Images.

Brad Hogg Finally Found An Indian In The Form Of Pacer Jasprit Bumrah, Who Fitted In His Best XI Of The T20I World Cup 2021

Brad Hogg, though managed to include one Indian in his team, and it was in the form of pacer Jasprit Bumrah.

While speaking on his YouTube channel, Hogg said: “Finally found an Indian that could fit in my team. Jasprit Bumrah, obviously a very good new-ball bowler, can bowl in the middle overs with spin at the other end, it is sometimes a nice combination to have in those middle overs. He is also one of the best death bowlers going around in World Cricket at the moment.”

India's Jasprit Bumrah in action during the 2019 ICC World Cup | AFP / Dibyangshu Sarkar
India’s Jasprit Bumrah in action during the 2019 ICC World Cup | AFP / Dibyangshu Sarkar

Jasprit Bumrah was one of the few positives to emerge for India in an otherwise disappointing tournament where they were ousted from the group stage. The Indian bowling unit had their task cut out for them since they had to defend below-par totals against top sides like New Zealand and Pakistan.

Jasprit Bumrah took 7 wickets with an economy of 5.08 in the Super 12s stage of the tournament. Apart from the Indian pacer, Brad Hogg also included Trent Boult of New Zealand and Australia’s Josh Hazlewood as pacers.

Babar Azam Leads Brad Hogg’s Team Of The Tournament

Brad Hogg named Pakistan skipper Babar Azam as his team’s opening batsman and captain. He lauded the player for setting a platform for Pakistan across all their matches and leading his side perfectly.

Brad Hogg said: “Babar Azam will captain the team and open the batting as well. He has done a fantastic job by being able to control the innings. He also led his troops perfectly.”

Babar Azam
Babar Azam (Photo by Aamir QURESHI / AFP via Getty Images)
He also selected five Australians in his team, including player of the tournament David Warner, and Matthew Wade as the wicket-keeper of the team. David Warner was the 2nd highest scorer as he amassed 289 runs averaging 48.16 in a list headed by Pakistan’s Babar Azam, who amassed 303 runs averaging 60.6.
David Warner’s 49 of 30 in the semi-final against Pakistan and 53 of 38 in the final against New Zealand were the key performances behind Australia winning T20 World Cup for the first time.
Australia’s all-rounder Mitchell Marsh amassed 185 runs averaging 61.66. Proteas batsman Aiden Markram amassed 162 runs averaging 54. Australian spinner Adam Zampa and Kiwi pacer Trent Boult picked 13 scalps each. Another Australian pacer Josh Hazlewood picked 11 scalps. Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan picked 8 scalps.
While Australia’s Matthew Wade played a key role in Australia’s win against Pakistan in the semi-final, Mitchell Marsh played a match-winning role in the final. Mitchell Marsh was named Player of the Match for his unbeaten 77 off 50 balls in the final against New Zealand. It was the sixth half-century of his T20I career, all coming in 2021.
Gautam Gambhir. Photo Credit: Getty Images.
Gautam Gambhir. Photo Credit: Getty Images.
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Gautam Gambhir Reflects Upon Australia And New Zealand Rivalry

Gautam Gambhir reflects upon the rivalry in the Oceania continent as the T20I World cup 2021 tournament culminates with the Trans-Tasman neighbours Australia and New Zealand vying for the trophy in the final on Sunday night. He reflects on where does this rivalry stand compared to sub-continent Asian giants India and Pakistan.

Australia doesn’t have a reason to change their XI with Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Marsh, and Marcus Stoinis providing them with a fifth bowler and Matthew Wade at No. 7, making it a reasonably deep batting line-up.

New Zealand will have to make at least one change after Devon Conway broke his hand when striking his bat in frustration at his dismissal. They are unlikely to change the balance of the side, though, with five full-time bowlers and James Neesham at No. 6. Tim Seifert is the likely replacement for Conway.

Gautam Gambhir AFP
Gautam Gambhir AFP

Gautam Gambhir: New Zealand – Australia Rivalry Isn’t As Fierce As The One Between India-Pakistan

New Zealand and Australia will face each other in the much-awaited finale of the 2021 T20 World Cup in a bid to grab their first world title in this format in international cricket. Out of the 14 matches contested between the two sides, nine have been won by the Aaron Finch-led side, while New Zealand has been on the winning side only four times. One match ended in a tie.

“It is difficult to notice the cricketing rivalry between Australia and New Zealand. Like India and Pakistan, they are neighbours too. Like Indians and Pakistanis, Aussies and Kiwis hate losing to each other. While Wikipedia has a page on ‘India Pakistan Cricket Rivalry’, it is more widespread for Aussies and Kiwis,” Gautam Gambhir wrote in his column.

Encouraged by their cricket, rugby union, rugby league, and netball contests, their Wikipedia address is ‘Australia-New Zealand Sports Rivalries’.

“By no means is the rivalry as fierce as the one between India and Pakistan. Have you wondered why? Are they not cynical enough to create lop-sided advertising campaigns to sell their products riding on what is essentially a cricket match? Or is it economics of the major stakeholders? I have a few thoughts which may not be in the order of relevance but largely my chain of theories.”

India and Pakistan rarely play against each other but have a heated rivalry. (Photo by Tharaka Basnayaka/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
India and Pakistan rarely play against each other but have a heated rivalry. (Photo by Tharaka Basnayaka/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

India met Pakistan in their opening match of the T20 World Cup in the UAE. The Babar Azam-led Pakistan put up an inspiring show to hammer Virat Kohli’s India by 10 wickets.

“History of India and Pakistan seems to be at the base of the sporting rivalry. Since 1947 we have fought four times and have had numerous skirmishes on the border. This has seeped into sports too, cricket being the frontrunner,” said Gautam Gambhir.

“I sometimes feel that India-Pakistan rivalry has become an industry in itself, which keeps many other verticals warm. No one seems to be in a hurry to reduce the jingoism volume on this one as it generates revenue,” he added.

Shaheen Shah Afridi ran through Team India’s top-order after he got rid of Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul in his opening spell. Then he came back to dismiss Virat Kohli, who scored a half-century. He finished with 3-31 after dismissing India’s top scorer, skipper Virat Kohli for 57 in a total of 151-7 in 20 overs.

But in the end, the target of 152 was not enough as Pakistan openers Mohammad Rizwan and Babar Azam scored 79*, and 68*, respectively, to win the match for their team by 10 wickets with 13 balls to spare.

Gautam Gambhir Backs New Zealand To Win 2021 T20I World Cup

Gautam Gambhir went on to point out the sheer numbers in terms of population that fuel the Indo-Pak cricket rivalry even further and incomparable to any other.

“The combined population of Australia and New Zealand is around three crores while here we are catering to 22 crore in Pakistan and approximately 140 crore at home. The database is chalk and cheese. Even if 10 percent of population of India and Pakistan are engaged, we are talking to five times more the combined number of Australia and New Zealand,” Gautam Gambhir wrote.

“Then there is a small matter of emotions from Indians and Pakistanis. I am not suggesting that Aussie and Kiwis are heartless but we can’t say, “bad luck” or “well played” and share a post-match drink,” the T20 and ODI World Cup winner said.

New Zealand's Kane Williamson celebrates with the trophy and teammates after winning the final of the ICC World Test Championship. Photograph: John Sibley/Reuters
New Zealand’s Kane Williamson celebrates with the trophy and teammates after winning the final of the ICC World Test Championship. Photograph: John Sibley/Reuters

“It is not only Virat Kohli but most of India wears their heart on their sleeve. Let’s accept it that we are poor losers and that is what that marketing guy exploits when he sucks us into high-pitched, biased promotional campaigns.

“My friends living in Australia tell me that life has been normal for them. Their major worry is how to stay awake as the final begins around midnight their time,” said Gautam Gambhir.

Coming to the T20 World Cup final on Sunday night, Gautam Gambhir went on to back New Zealand.

“I want New Zealand to win as I like their brand of cricket,” said Gautam Gambhir.

Skipper Kane Williamson will aim to reduce that gap and win his second title of the season, having won the World Test Championship (WTC) after beating India in the final earlier this year. Australia has been the more dominant side in recent history, having won all the last four clashes.

The last time New Zealand won a T20I against Australia was in Dharamsala in the 2016 edition of the T20 World Cup staged in India.

Pakistan pacer Hasan Ali | AFP
Pakistan pacer Hasan Ali | AFP
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Hasan Ali Issues Apology To Pakistan Fans After Dropping Catch And Returning With Figures Of 0/44 In 4 Overs Against Australia

Hasan Ali has apologized to fans after Pakistan’s heartbreaking loss in the semi-final of the ongoing ICC T20I World Cup against Australia. Pacer Hasan Ali was trolled by fans for dropping a crucial catch of Matthew Wade in the T20 World Cup semifinal between Pakistan and Australia.

Pakistan skipper Babar Azam had backed pacer Hasan Ali to deliver the goods for the Green Army at the T20 World Cup. However, the struggling pacer failed to repay the team’s faith in the second semi-final of the showpiece event against Aaron Finch’s Australia on Thursday. Hasan Ali’s costly mistake had paved the way for Matthew Wade to punish Pakistan as the Finch-led Australian side secure their berth in the T20 World Cup final.

Pakistan pacer Hasan Ali. Pic: Getty Images
Pakistan pacer Hasan Ali. Pic: Getty Images

Hasan Ali Apologized To Fans After Pakistan’s Heartbreaking Loss In Semi-Final

In the aftermath of Pakistan’s heart-breaking defeat to Australia, Hasan Ali was subjected to online abuse as the out-of-form speedster faced the wrath of Pakistani fans on social media. In what turned out to be the final over of the match, Hasan Ali dropped an easy catch of Australia batter Matthew Wade, who then smoked three sixes in three balls to win the match for his team.

On Saturday, the speed merchant of the Babar Azam-led side issued an apology to Pakistani fans after the national team’s exit from the 2021 edition of the ICC T20 World Cup.  Taking to Twitter, the pacer shared a lengthy note and vowed to serve the Pakistan cricket team at the highest level.

“I know you all are upset because my performance didn’t meet your expectations … but [you] are not more disappointed than me. Don’t change your expectations from me. I want to serve [the] Pakistan cricket at the highest level possible, so back to hard work. This patch will make stronger,” Ali wrote in his post on the microblogging site. 

Hasan Ali’s latest tweet has come after several members of the cricket fraternity extended their support to the Pakistani cricketer following Pakistan’s T20 World Cup exit in the hands of Australia. Keeper Matthew Wade after the dropped catch subsequently smacked Pakistan pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi for three sixes as Australia won with an over to spare. Marcus Stoinis (40*) and Matthew Wade (41*) took Australia over the line in a pulsating finish in Dubai against Pakistan.

Hasan Ali Went Wicket Less And Leaked 44 Runs Besides Dropping The Crucial Catch Of Matthew Wade

From legendary Indian opener, Virender Sehwag to former Pakistani skipper Wasim Akram, a host of cricketing stalwarts had comforted Hasan Ali and called out trolls for solely blaming the pacer for Pakistan’s five-wicket defeat at Dubai.

Hasan Ali Dropped Catch (Photo Source: Getty Images)
Hasan Ali Dropped Catch (Photo Source: Getty Images)

Hasan Ali, who scripted Pakistan’s memorable win over Team India in the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 final, had a forgetful show with the ball against Australia on Thursday. The Pakistani pacer went wicket-less and leaked 44 runs from the four overs he bowled in the high-scoring thriller against Australia. He also dropped the crucial catch of an on-song Matthew Wade in the 19th and penultimate over which propelled Australia to a thrilling win over Pakistan.

Hasan Ali, who had a poor World Cup, was expensive in the knockout clash as well. He went for 44 in his four overs and did not claim a wicket. More significantly, he dropped Matthew Wade during a crucial stage in the match. Hasan Ali, 27, has played 15 Tests, 57 ODIs, and 47 T20Is, where he picked 63, 89, and 57 wickets, respectively. In addition, he has picked 5 scalps in T20I WC, averaging a high 41.4 at an economy rate of 9, playing 6 games.

Pakistan pacer Hasan Ali. Pic: Getty Images
Pakistan pacer Hasan Ali. Pic: Getty Images
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Shoaib Akhtar: Hasan Ali Should Strengthen His Body

Shoaib Akhtar, former Pakistan pacer has mooted that current Pakistan pacer Hasan Ali needs to strengthen his body and needs to have a strong will in order to make a comeback. Hasan Ali endured one of his worst nights in the Pakistani jersey against Australia in the second T20 World Cup 2021 semi-final. The 27-year old went wicketless and even dropped a game-changing catch of Matthew Wade during Pakistan’s loss to Australia.

Having conceded 44 runs in four wicketless overs, Hasan Ali had more disappointment to face in the closing stages of the tightly-contested encounter in Dubai. As soon as the match was over, Hasan Ali received a lot of backlash and outrage from fans. Since then, several players have come out in support of the Pakistani pacer and the latest to join the bandwagon is Pakistani veteran Shoaib Akhtar.

Pakistan pacer Hasan Ali | AFP
Pakistan pacer Hasan Ali | AFP

Shoaib Akhtar: Hasan Ali Should Strengthen His Body And Bring Back His Pace

Shoaib Akhtar, in his YouTube video, asked Hasan Ali to put in a lot of effort in his bowling so as to achieve a strong comeback after his dismal performance against the Aussie unit. Shoaib Akhtar, while acknowledging that Hasan Ali didn’t bowl well enough on the slow Dubai surface. He advised that Hasan Ali should strengthen his body and bowl quicker. Shoaib Akhtar also pleaded with Hasan Ali not to get demoralized for his poor performance.

Shoaib Akhtar said:  “I know Hasan Ali did not bowl well. He has a weak body and lacks pace. He did not have the nip to beat the batsmen on these slow wickets. He did not have that variety. He needs to think about what he needs to do now.”

”Strengthen his body and bring back his pace.He needs to put in a lot of effort again. He should not get demoralized. He needs to make a strong comeback and for a strong comeback he needs a strong body and for that he needs a strong will. He should gather all of this and I wish him the best of luck,” Akhtar added.

Matthew Wade
Matthew Wade (PA AAP)

The former cricketer-turned-expert also lamented regarding the outward pressure and hassle players receive from fans on social media. His statement came in the wake of constant outrage lashing out by fans towards Hasan Ali who didn’t do well in the semi-final. Shoaib Akhtar extended his support to pacer Hasan Ali and entreated Pakistan fans not to use bad or dirty comments on social media.

While lamenting that a lot of players get demoralized due to the outrage they face on social media, Shoaib Akhtar said: “In this era of social media, there is utmost pressure on the players. I am telling you this from my personal experience that it’s not easy. A lot of players get demoralized. I request you not to demoralize these players and please avoid the bad and dirty comments. Just show your character that God has given you.”

David Warner smashed a 30-ball 49 during Australia’s record 177-run chase in the second semi-final of the T20 World Cup 2021 against Pakistan. His knock, along with the efforts of Marcus Stoinis and Matthew Wade, helped the Kangaroos book a berth in the final of the global event against New Zealand.

Marcus Stoinis, along with Matthew Wade, put on 81 runs for the 6th wicket in just 6.3 overs to take their side over the line in the memorable semi-finals against Pakistan, who was unbeaten in the group stage. Marcus Stoinis smashed 40 not-out, while Matthew Wade hit 41* off 17 balls.

Shoaib Akhtar Urges Fans Not To Abuse Hasan Ali Or Anyone Else After Pakistan Lost The Semi-Final

Shoaib Akhtar, who has 444 international wickets to his name, also mentioned that as cricketers, it’s well within their rights to have their say on a particular cricketer.  However, he also requested the audience of the game not to hit “below the belt” and use foul language against anyone.

Hasan Ali, 27, has played 15 Tests, 57 ODIs, and 47 T20Is, where he picked 63, 89, and 57 wickets, respectively. In addition, he has picked 5 scalps in 2021 T20I WC, averaging a high 41.4 at an economy rate of 9, playing 6 games.

“As a cricketer to another cricketer we can say a lot of things because we’ve played the game. But as the audience, I would request you not to hit below the belt and not abuse Hasan Ali or anyone else,” Akhtar concluded.

Following Pakistan’s defeat in the T20 World Cup 2021 semi-finals, the Men in Green are set to tour Bangladesh for a 3-match T20I and a 2-match Test series. The T20Is will begin from November 19, whereas the two-match Test series will commence from November 26.

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