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Manchester Test: The message on the scoreboard after the fifth Test was called off PA Photos/Getty Images
Manchester Test: The message on the scoreboard after the fifth Test was called off PA Photos/Getty Images

Old Trafford May Miss Out On Hosting The Rescheduled 5th Test Between England And India

Old Trafford cricket stadium in Manchester could miss out on hosting the rescheduled Test between England and India next due to scheduling conflicts.

Reports suggest that the rescheduled Test could be taking place at the same time as England’s white-ball matches against South Africa.

Old Trafford Cricket Ground
Old Trafford Cricket Ground (Photo | AP)

Old Trafford May Not Be The Venue For The Rescheduled Test

The fifth Test match between England and India was cancelled in Manchester in early September. The BCCI and ECB held several rounds of discussion to find a way to play the Test match. However, the outbreak of COVID-19 in the Indian team contingent forced the decision of calling off the game.

“An agreement in principle has been reached with India over completing the aborted series next year, after the tourists refused to play at the 11th hour last month due to concerns over Covid. However, the deciding Test will take place elsewhere due to scheduling issues at Old Trafford,” said a report on Thursday.

India vs England (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
India vs England (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
In the four matches prior to the Manchester Test fixture at Old Trafford, India had led the series 2-1. The opening Test at Trent Bridge was drawn before India won the next clash at Lord’s. England inflicted India an innings defeat in the third Test at Headingley, but the visitors rallied to win the fourth Test at the Oval.

Lancashire Unable To Commit To Put The Test In The Narrow Window Available

County cricket side Lancashire had reportedly lost more than one million pounds through hospitality income when the fifth and last Test between England and India was cancelled.

The final Test was called off just two hours before the start of play due to a COVID-19 outbreak scare in the Indian camp after assistant physiotherapist Yogesh Parmar tested positive. However, it is understood that they have opened talks with the ECB about receiving compensation, which will be forthcoming.

“It is understood Lancashire were unable to commit to putting on the Test in the narrow window available. Old Trafford is already due to host a one-day international between England and South Africa on July 24 while the Old Trafford club are also expected to stage several gigs next summer. While the ECB have yet to finalise a date with their Indian counterparts, it is likely there will be some overlap between the Test match and England’s one-day series against South Africa,” further said the report.

India vs England
India vs England- Image Credit: Twitter

India is scheduled to tour England for three ODIs and as many T20Is from July 1 to 14. England’s home series against South Africa begins on July 19. After the series concludes on July 31, it will be immediately followed by the second edition of the Hundred.

With a limited time period for the match to take place and an ODI game between South Africa-England set to take place in Manchester on 24th June, and various music gigs scheduled to take, Lancashire has refused to commit to hosting the game. Although the two boards have agreed to play a rescheduled Test match, there is still no clarity on whether that match will be the series’ fifth match or a stand-alone event.

Both teams are awaiting the International Cricket Council‘s (ICC) verdict on the implication of the postponed game on the WTC. It remains to be seen whether India will be forced to forfeit the game, or the game will be counted as abandoned, or whether ICC allows the fifth game to be played next year.  If the series ends as thing stands now, India will be declared winners by a 2-1 margin.

Jason Roy, ICC World Cup 2019, England, Headingley
Photo Credit: Getty Images.

You Always Get Pumped Up To Play Australia; It Will Be Another Good Contest: Jason Roy

Raring to go, Jason Roy, who was the part of 2019 World Cup-winning England squad maintained hosts as a team will be ready to deliver against Australia – and they had a decent record, of late. He further added that they won’t show any complacency whatsoever against high-quality Australia.

Meanwhile, Roy is expecting a healthy contest while praising Australia being as a top-notch unit. Animated Roy reiterated that it is always thrilling to play against Australia.

“This Australia side has a huge amount of class and it will be another good contest, which is why it is so important to stay in the moment – this is all about how we go about our business now.

“But it is always exciting to play against the Aussies; you always get pumped up and I guess I must have been back then,” Roy wrote in his column for Sky Sports.

Fit Jason Roy makes a return in ODIs:

Jason Roy, Sanjay Manjrekar, ICC World Cup 2019
Photo Credit: Getty Images.

The two world-class teams will face off in the first One-day International (ODI) on September 11 (Friday) in Manchester after the Three Lions clinched the three-match T20I series 2-1. At the same time, Roy’s return had bolstered the squad.

Interestingly, the impending 50-over series is the part of the World Cup Super League considering the 2023 World Cup.

England have won as many as two matches to take a lead on the points table after beating Ireland in July-August.

In recent times, England had delivered goods against Australia following remarkable team effort owing to the consistent contributions from the members.

Jason Roy on England record:

Jason Roy
Photo Credit: Getty Images.

In 2018, England had thrashed Australia 5-0 in the ODI series, which eventually saw Australia being whitewashed for the first time in a five-match series. Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid had played a significant role to make it possible in 2018.

Roy asserted that they play series to produce remarkable moments for the team.

“I know our recent record against Australia has been written and spoken about a lot recently, including the 2018 whitewash, but oddly it is not a series I have thought about a huge amount, mainly because most of the series we play produce memorable moments for the team,” Jason Roy said.

The 30-year-old Durban-born Roy has made his international debut in 2014. He had a decent record in ODIs in which he averages 41.2 after playing 90 matches.

Roy has 18 half-centuries and nine tons under his belt. He featured in 35 T20s and five Tests.

Shahid Afridi Returns Backs To Pakistan Leaving LPL 2020 In Midway
Shahid Afridi. Image Credit: Twitter.

England vs Pakistan 2020: Former Great Cricketers React To Pakistan Loss In The First Test

England cricketers Jos Buttler and Chris Woakes‘ wonderful partnership became the nightmare for Azhar Ali-led Pakistan Test team in the first Test match in Manchester. Pakistan were the predicted winners but England has always bamboozled the oppositions. They chase down the 277 runs target in the fourth innings which was deemed to be tough to get at a pitch like Old Trafford. But Joe Root-led England set the examples of making impossible possible and so they did on the fourth day. 

Notably, Buttler and Woakes had struggled to score runs in the last month Test series against West Indies. Also, in the first innings against Pakistan, they can not do much with the bat. The wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler had also a forgettable experience behind the stumps, leaving two crucial catches and one stumping. He left the catch of Shan Massod at 46 who went on to score 156 runs. On the other hand, allrounder Chris Woakes had performed amazingly with the ball but had failed to even touch 20 runs mark in his last four Test innings. Nevertheless, on the fourth day of the Test match, the duo got under the skin of Pakistan’s bowler.

Jos Buttler, Chris Woakes
Jos Buttler and Chris Woakes. Image Credit: Getty Images.

In the second session, England were battling at 117 for five. The visitors had almost the game in their hand because they had got the wicket of Joe Root, Ben Stokes and Ollie Pope. But who knew that Jos Buttler and Chris Woakes were yet to show their best skills. 

Pakistan’s unfortunate loss:

Pakistan tour of England, first test
Captain Azhar Ali. (Credits – Twitter)

Pakistan could not control runs because of their lousy fielding and failing to capitalise on the opportunities. They had two times missed the catch of Buttler. However, finally, spin bowler Yasir Shah gave breakthroughs to the team. He broke the 139-runs partnership of Buttler and Woakes, picking the wicket of the wicketkeeper-batsman at 75 runs (seven fours and one six). But it was too late. The host needed only 21 runs to win that match. Woakes scored most of those match-winning runs and remained not out on 84 runs, guiding his team to unbelievable victory. 

The Green Army lost the deserving match by three wickets. Their defeat had not only stunned them but the former great cricketers Shahid Afridi, Michael Vaughan and Mohammad Yousuf. 

Here is the reaction of former cricketers on Pakistan’s defeat: 

michael vaughan, Pakistan tour of England 2020
Michael Vaughan. Image Credit: Twitter.

Shahid Afridi, who had earlier posted the picture of him enjoying watching the game, was also disappointed with Pakistan’s bowling attack. He said that ‘such opportunities can not be wasted’. 

Former England captain Michael Vaughan was amazed to see his countrymen getting the lead in the three-match Test series. 

Meanwhile, the second match of the series will be played at Southampton from 13th August.

Joe Root, Ben Stokes, England vs West Indies second Test match
Joe Root and Ben Stokes. Image Credit: Getty Images.

England vs West Indies 2020: Host Hopeful As Joe Root Returns For Second Test

England Test captain Joe Root has returned to lead the team in the second Test match against West Indies after attending his second childbirth. He was absent in the inaugural Test match where England faced defeat by four wickets under the stand-in captain Ben Stokes.

Joe Root absence in Southampton had costed team. He contributes to building strong and long innings which was absent in England during the first Test match. The host could not survive in front of West Indies bowling attack comprising of Jason Holder, Shanon Gabriel. However, his return will give hope to England to keep the series alive.

Joe Root, England vs West Indies 2020
Joe Root. Twitter

England coach Chris Silverwood is also hopeful to see the Test captain back in the field and lead his team to victory in the do or die match.

“We’re all desperate to see Joe do really well. But obviously he’s under pressure a little bit,” Silverwood said.

Joe Root might replace Joe Denly in the squad:

England vs West Indies 2020: Host Hopeful As Joe Root Returns For Second Test 1
Joe Denly (Photo by Philip Brown/Popperfoto)

The top-order batsman Joe Denly struggled to set up himself in the field at Ages Bowl. He gave up his wickets easily as he scored 47 runs in two innings. So, he is likely to be dropped from playing XI after the skippers’ come back.

Meanwhile, the young Zak Crawley had impressed with his temperament to play the most extended format of the game. Having made the debut last year in November, he played the fifth Test of his career against West Indies and was the leading scorer for his team. His 76 run knock in the second innings gave the stability to the team in the middle. However, his contribution fell short for the team. Silverwood also heaped the praise on the youngster’s batting.

“Zak is improving constantly. I think he certainly showed maturity and the innings he played was very good.”

The second Test match will be played from 16 July at Old Trafford in Manchester

Manchester United
Manchester United Credits: Twitter

Manchester United Urge Fans To Stay Away From The Old Trafford Stadium

One of the most followed clubs of the Premier League, Manchester United, has urged its fans to stay away from Old Trafford, their home stadium. Manchester United has pleaded this to its fans as football in England eyes return after the onslaught of the coronavirus pandemic for almost about 2 months.  In a meeting on Monday, all the Premier League clubs have agreed to resume training from Tuesday (May 19).

Premier League CEO, Richard Masters says they expect to have the first batch of COVID-19 test results by 2 pm on Tuesday and training can start to begin once that happens. Masters also stated there remains flexibility over the league resuming on June 12, and players’ fitness levels will be taken into consideration when that decision is made.

Premier League
Premier League Credits: Twitter

Now that official confirmation has been made by the PremierLeague, Manchester United has issued a statement urging the fans to stay away from Old Trafford.

Manchester United Urge Fans To Stay Away From Old Trafford

Manchester United wrote to season ticket holders to say “we share your disappointment that you will not be able to watch United in person from within the stadium, but we would encourage you to give your continued loyal support from the comfort and safety of your home.”

Manchester United
Manchester United Credits: Getty Images
Clubs are pushing to be allowed to play at their usual stadiums rather than in neutral venues as the police wanted. United is asking fans for their co-operation not to travel to any stadiums at which we are playing on matchdays.

Premier League Training Guidelines To Remain Strict

In preparation for training in small groups to resume, Premier League clubs have been:

  • Disinfecting all training equipment including balls at their training grounds.
  • Delivering training kit to players so they can arrive ready to train.
  • Marking out designated parking spaces for players with gaps of three spaces between each car.
  • Allocating players to different groups of four or five in which they will train on designated pitches.
  • Drawing up lists of staggered arrival times for different players.
  • Drawing up lists of club employees who will be allowed at the training ground.

Players are aware of the strict rules which will be in place for phase one training. That means no tackling or spitting and maintaining social distancing from everyone else at all times.

Premier League
Premier League Credits: Getty Images

Many players are believed to be encouraged by what they saw after watching games being played again in the Bundesliga this weekend. German clubs began training in small groups from April 8 with their first round of league fixtures starting on May 16.

Also Read:  Serie A Restart Postponed Until June 14, Italian Football Federation Announces Postponement

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Trent Boult
Photo Credit: Getty Images.

ICC World Cup 2019: I Think We Are Good Enough to Beat Anyone – Trent Boult

New Zealand speedster Trent Boult is confident that they could deliver against any team following an 18-run win over India in the first semi-final on Wednesday (July 11). Also, Boult expressed delight in playing their final in London. He added whoever will emerge as an opponent they will relish it.

“We’re just excited about playing in a World Cup final at Lord’s – it doesn’t get bigger than that and whoever we play, we’ll just enjoy it,” Boult said after the game.

Boult had bowled superbly which further saw him conceding 42 runs in his quota of 10 overs. Boult, who had bowled two maiden overs, has managed to dismiss Virat Kohli, before getting rid of dangerous Ravindra Jadeja 77.

The pace spearhead Boult had done exceedingly well. The left-arm paceman has managed to bag 17 wickets in nine matches which also included two four-wicket hauls.

While chasing a target of 240, India lost their top order at the score of five which particularly saw Matt Henry dismissing Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul.

When India were reeling at 92 for six, Jadeja alongside MS Dhoni 50 (72) had stitched a crucial 116-run partnership before Boult broke the threatening partnership.

Dhoni, Jadeja absorbed pressure: Trent Boult

Ravindra Jadeja
Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Boult has also praised Dhoni and Jadeja who had absorbed the pressure-cooker situation. He added it is a good feeling to come good.

“They absorbed the pressure nicely and anything can happen with Dhoni and Jadeja at the crease, so it’s just nice to come out on the right side,” Boult added.

Also, Martin Guptill‘s brilliance on the field had brought an end to Dhoni’s cautious knock of 72-ball 50.

The 29-year-old pacer Boult maintained they’ve had enjoyed their time. He also asserted that the ball was moving, which helped them to put pressure on Team India.

“It was mayhem out there with the new ball. It was a dream start for us and great fun to be a part of. We knew our best balls are good enough for anyone. So it was nice to get the ball moving around and really put the pressure on them,” Boult added.

India Player Ratings, ICC World Cup 2019
Photo Credit: Getty Images.

With the thrilling win over Men in Blue, it is their second consecutive time to play the World Cup final at iconic Lord’s on July 14. Pertinently, the game extended to two days due to inclement weather.

Bout asserted that on their day, they can beat anyone.

“I think we are good enough to beat anyone. Every side is stacked with good players. But we can wait to be out there on the big dance, this means everything to the side,” Boult concluded.

On Tuesday, rain halted the play when Kiwis were 211 for five in 46.1 overs. However, the game resumed on Wednesday (July 11). The Black Caps post a modest total of 239 for eight in 50 allotted overs.

India Player Ratings, ICC World Cup 2019
Photo Credit: Getty Images.

ICC World Cup 2019: India Player Ratings

India as a unit had done an exceptional job at the ongoing ICC World Cup 2019. Openers have done an incredible job with Rohit Sharma emerging as a highlight of the tournament. Also, Jasprit Bumrah had done his job for what he has been known now.

Moreover, Virat Kohli had played some outstanding innings while leading from the front. Mohammed Shami had further bowled his heart out.

All in all, India had all the ingredients to win the World Cup, but the Black Caps had bowled remarkably well.

Here’s how we have rated Team India Players at the ICC World Cup 2019.

Rohit Sharma: Rating points – 9/10

Rohit Sharma,
Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Rohit Sharma has been in a rich vein of a form before Matt Henry got rid of the prolific run-getter on a single digit. The world-class opening batsman has given his best to help his team to make it to the semis.

In nine innings, Rohit has slammed five tons which included a back-to-back three centuries ahead of the first semi-final.

He has accumulated 648 runs at an average of 81 with his strike-rate of 98.33.

KL Rahul: Rating Points – 6.5/10

India's Predicted Playing XI
Photo Credit: Reuters.

KL Rahul had done a brilliant job at the top despite India losing Shikhar Dhawan after just two games. Rahul, who batted initially at No. 4 opened innings alongside Rohit Sharma.

Rohit had played some brilliant strokes to keep the scoring board ticking after a cautious start. Also, he at times failed to convert those starts, but overall he had shaped up good to lay a solid foundation at the top in most of the fixtures for India.

India vs New Zealand, Weather Report, Manchester, ICC World Cup 2019
Photo Credit: Getty Images.

ICC World Cup 2019: India vs New Zealand, Manchester – Weather Report

At the fag end of New Zealand’s innings in the first semi-final clash of the ICC World Cup 2019 against India, the scenes looked grim as skies opened up only to see spectators and players witnessing a heavy downpour. On Tuesday, the intermittent rain has further suspended the play which will begin in a couple of hours on its reserve day. However, despite the overcast conditions, the weather forecast is pretty much promising for Wednesday.

At that particular situation when rain stopped play, Ross Taylor, who upped the ante which also saw Kiwis posting 211 for five in 46.1 overs. Taylor will resume his innings after scoring 85-ball 67. On the other hand, Tom Latham has faced four deliveries for three runs.

Earlier, Kane Williamson-led side won the toss and opted to bat first. Indian bowlers had kept things tight. Hence, it urther saw them picking wickets at the regular intervals by not letting Kiwis batsmen go off the hook.

With light showers expected in the early morning, the hourly prediction is not reflecting anything much, which could possibly halt the game. But again, English weather has been unpredictable this summer with ODI showpiece going on.

Earlier, in the league stage fixtures, at least four games were affected by rain.

Around 4:00 PM, the prediction of light showers increase further. However, there’re slim chances of any heavy rain.

Weather Report, Manchester:

India vs New Zealand, Weather Report, ICC World Cup 2019
A picturesque view of Manchester ground. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

The precipitation is recorded between 20-35 per cent. Besides, it further exceeds 45 per cent before things clear a bit in between in the noon.

Despite a cloudy day, the game will begin at 3:00 PM (10:30 BST).

The temperature will hover around 22 degrees Celcius with the minimum temperature reading as 15 degrees. By going this, it’s an enticing atmosphere for the marquee clash.

Meanwhile, if the rain will interrupt the game again, then the Duckworth Lewis (DLS) method will be introduced in the semi-final. Also, if the rain will play spoilsport throughout the reserve day, then on the basis on most wins in the league stage, India will face either Australia or England in the finale at Lord’s on July 14.

Virat Kohli, ICC World Cup 2019
Photo Credit: Getty Images.

ICC World Cup 2019, India vs New Zealand: Decision Making Will be Crucial – Virat Kohli

So far, Virat Kohli has been outstanding as a captain while leading his team for the first time at the World Cup. In the ICC World Cup 2019, Kohli had set an example as an astute leader while taking a cue from his former skipper and teammate, MS Dhoni. Kohli, who’s the second leading run-getter for India, is ready for the semi-final clash against New Zealand in Manchester.

Both teams will wrestle off in the first semi-final at the Old Trafford on Tuesday (July 9). Meanwhile, Kohli in the pre-game press conference has maintained that the team members are relaxed and they had a great time.

Earlier, India had left a strong impact in the tournament by winning their first game on June 5 in Southampton by thrashing Faf du Plessis-led South Africa. Also, the Men in Blue had done a remarkable job by performing regularly.

The team is relaxed: Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli, ICC World Cup 2019, Moeen Ali
Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Kohli’s deputy Rohit Sharma is having an imperious run with the bat. The star batsman had slammed five tons at the ongoing World Cup while featuring in eight matches. Also, their game against Kiwis ended on a no-result due to a wet outfield.

At the start of 2019, New Zealand hosted India in the limited-overs series. The visitors had clinched the ODI series 4-1.

Interestingly, for the last two matches, Rohit has led India as Kohli was rested for the games. And in that particular series, Mohammed Shami had won the Man of the Series.

While speaking about Kane Williamson’s and his captaincy back in 2008 when they led their respective Under-19 teams in Malaysia, Kohli maintained it’s good to be here (in the UK).

The star batsman Kohli also maintained that he would let Williamson know about the same.

“When we meet tomorrow I’ll remind him. It’s nice to realise that 11 yrs after, we’re captaining our respective nations again in a senior World Cup,” Kohli revealed in a pre-match presser in Manchester.

Also, while reminiscing about the memories, Kohli asserted that he didn’t anticipate it. Adding, the players from that batch had further made it to their respective national teams.

“A lot of players from that World Cup from our batch, from their batch, from other teams as well, made it to their national teams & are still playing. I think it is a really nice memory. Neither me nor him could have ever anticipated that one day this will happen,” Kohli added.

Kohli also stressed that whoever would be able to handle the pressure will on its day, will end up doing well.


Kohli on decision making:

Virat Kohli, ICC World Cup 2019, Afghanistan
Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Kohli conceded that both teams had enough experience of playing such contests. He also cited that Kiwis were semi-finalists in the previous edition. In 2015, the Black Caps lost to Australia at the MCG.

Kohli further remarked that the team is a ‘quality side’. And he believes the ‘decision making’ has a major role to play for the much-awaited semi-final.

“Decision making will be crucial. Both teams are experienced enough to have played these games. New Zealand was in the finals last time and they know how to play knock out games. They have had a wonderful World Cup again so they’re a quality side,” Kohli said.

With both Williamson and Kohli leading their teams, it’s interesting to see the star batters making it to another semi-final face-off.

Virat Kohli
Image Credit: Google

ICC World Cup 2019: India vs New Zealand, Old Trafford – Match Prediction

India and New Zealand are set to lock horns at Old Trafford in Manchester on Tuesday (July 9). Also, the light rain has been predicted for the much-awaited semi-final clash with India thoroughly enjoying their show at the ICC World Cup 2019. Before shedding light on the match prediction, there is plenty to address.

Virender Sehwag, Stephen Fleming
Photo Credit: Getty Images.

For India, Rohit Sharma has been remarkable with the bat. Also, KL Rahul has equally contributed with the bat by scoring according to the situation. The right-handed batsman Rohit has accumulated 647 runs at an average of 92.43. He has slammed five tons at the ongoing World Cup.

In the bowling, Jasprit Bumrah is third on the list of most wicket-takers with 17 wickets in eight matches.

Earlier, India had suffered only defeat in the league stage fixture which came against hosts England on June 30. However, they had returned stronger to thump Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

On the other side, the Black Caps went on to lose the last three matches ahead of the 1st semi-final.

Kane Williamson had led from the front by scoring the bulk of runs. Besides, Lockie Ferguson has done exceedingly well to snare 17 wickets before missing a crucial game against England.

All in all, it is going to be an enticing battle given to the availability of marquee players in both line-ups.

India finished on the top of team standings with 15 points in nine matches, whereas Kiwis had claimed 11 points in as many games to make its name based on better run-rate.

Overall, India has played as a unit to crush opponents despite Afghanistan giving a scare to the World No. 1 ODI side.

On the other hand, Kiwis had faltered following a good start at the tournament. However, they would be relying on their prominent faces to put up a good fight against India.

India vs New Zealand, Old Trafford – Match Prediction:

Manchester, India, New Zealand, ICC World Cup 2019, Rain
Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Despite spinners looking bit off-colour on the friendly conditions, of late, the Men in Blue skipper Kohli has backed their players to put up a grand show. As of now, only the middle-order has been a cause of concern for India. However, their top-order has done a remarkable job by scoring runs against most of the opponents.

With India winning against most of the opponents, they’re highly likely they will seal the clash. On the other side, Kiwis could give a tough time to the Men in Blue.

The team winning the toss would decide to bat first given to the slowish nature of the surface. However, both teams will get a fresh strip for the semi-final, but the pressure of chasing will also have an impact.

In conclusion, we could expect a first innings total of 315-plus in Manchester.

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