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“I Have Signed Up For The IPL Auction”– Pat Cummins

Australia Test skipper Pat Cummins has confirmed his availability for the upcoming IPL season as he has signed up for the IPL mega auction to be held in the second week of February.

There were reports that Australian pace battery might opt out of the upcoming IPL season to manage their heavy workload in the next year or so. Australia will travel to Pakistan in March-April for a full-fledged series to play 3 Tests, 3 ODIs, and one T20I. So it will be interesting to see if the IPL franchises show interest in Australian pacers.

Pat Cummins (Kolkata Knight Riders) IPL 2021
Pat Cummins[photo: Twitter]

KKR picked Pat Cummins with a price of ₹15.5 crores ahead of IPL 2020

However, Australia Test skipper Pat Cummins left it to the individual’s choice whether he wants to play the mega league or not.

“I’ve signed up for the auction at this stage. I’ll probably have a bit more of a think about it before that auction date. At this stage, I plan to do the IPL. I have no advice for anyone else. I think you’ve got to be aware of (workloads), it could be a lot of time on the road, some people manage that better than others,” said Cummins as quoted by Cricket Australia.

"I Have Signed Up For The IPL Auction"– Pat Cummins 1
Photo Credit: Getty Images.

“You have to know what you’re signing up for. It could be a long-ish winter but the last couple of winters have been quiet at home. The traditional tours are still a little way away, it will be bubbles for a little bit longer. Everyone has to be aware of it,” he added.

Cummins had a great time as his first assignment as Test captain as Australia dominated England to win the series by 4-0 and he himself was the leading wicket-taker in the series as he picked 21 wickets in 4 matches with an average of 18.04. He missed the second test match at Adelaide as he was identified as close contact of a Covid-19 positive case.

Also read: Ben Stokes Likely To Opt Out Of IPL Mega Auction

The 28-year old made a big headline in the IPL auction ahead of the 2020 season when Kolkata Knight Riders picked him with a whopping price of ₹15.5 crores. He picked 21 wickets in 21 games in the last two seasons.

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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)

Tim Paine’s Brother Slammed Cricket Australia For Not Letting Him Play A Farewell Test In Hometown Hobart

Tim Paine’s brother Nick Paine, has slammed the Australian cricket board after their Ashes win over rivals England. They won the series 4-0 after winning the fifth and final Test in Hobart.

Meanwhile, Tim Paine is out of cricket at the moment after he was stripped of the captaincy following his sexting scandal with a Cricket Tasmania co-worker in 2017. What followed was some tough reaction from the public and the Australian Cricket Board after which he had to move away from the game for the time being.

Tim Paine, left, with brother Nick Paine, centre, and fellow Tasmanian cricketer Matthew Wade.(Twitter: China Paine)
Tim Paine, left, with brother Nick Paine, center, and fellow Tasmanian cricketer Matthew Wade. (Twitter: China Paine)

Tim Paine’s Brother Nick Paine Said His Brother Deserved Proper Send-Off On His Home Ground In Front Of His Family, Friends, And Supporters

Tim Paine was handed over the captaincy in 2018 post the infamous ball-tampering scandal in Cape Town Test in 2018. Without the likes of Steve Smith and David Warner, the keeper worked hard behind regrouping the team and the players to form a strong team again.

Taking to Twitter, Nick Paine, Tim Paine’s brother said that it was tough to watch the Australian team rejoicing in the absence of Tim Paine. He also said that the keeper deserved a farewell game at his home ground in Hobart.

“Pretty hard to watch this knowing full well that one of the key people in resurrecting the reputation of Cricket Australia and this team was shafted by that very same organisation because of a personal mistake he made nearly 4 years ago,.He deserved this send off on his home ground in front of his family, friends and his long time supporters,” Nick Paine tweeted.

Tim Paine, Pat Cummins, Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne. Image: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images
Tim Paine, Pat Cummins, Steve Smith, and Marnus Labuschagne. Image: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

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.

Nick Paine mentioned that he could not bear the scenes out there at Hobart following the Ashes victory as his brother had done a lot of work in rebuilding the reputation of Australian cricket after the 2018 Ball-tampering scandal. He also noted that the 37-year-old deserved to get a farewell in his home ground (Hobart).

Nick Paine Slams Cricket Australia For Showing Double Standards For Local Player Tim Paine

Nick Paine further had a shoutout to Cricket Australia and slammed the organization of showing double standards in Tim Paine’s case.

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

“It’s just a real shame that one mistake in life (that the person was cleared and exonerated by an inquiry) can end a kids dream but then for others who make then, they come back and it’s all ok an in a way forgotten. Double standards from an organisation that clearly doesn’t have the back of its people.A local boy on his local ground in front of his people. Gut wrenching stuff,” he added.

Tim Paine has so far played 35 Tests, 35 ODIs, and 12 T20 internationals for Australia scoring over 2500 runs across formats. The keeper 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.

In Ashes 2021/22, Travis Head top-scored with 357 runs in 6 innings averaging 59.5. Skipper pacer Pat Cummins was the highest wicket-taker with 21 scalps averaging 18.05.

Ashes Urn Photo:
Ashes Urn Photo:

WV Raman Criticized Former England Skippers For Blaming IPL For Ashes 2021/22 Defeat

WV Raman took a dig against pundits and ex-England players who claimed the Indian Premier League (IPL) to be the reason behind the dismal show by England in Ashes.

Joe Root-led England was thrashed 4-0 in the five-match series, losing the final Test at Hobart by 146 runs after a dramatic batting collapse.

Joe Root. File Photo
Joe Root. File Photo

WV Raman Criticized Former England Skippers For Blaming IPL For Ashes Defeat As The Hundred Won’t Help Them Win The WTC Either

Former India cricketer WV Raman in a series of tweets slammed the performance by England, calling it “shambolic”. WV Raman also took a dig against former England captains for particularly attacking the IPL, stating that “we are to assume that The Hundred will help them win WTC.”

After England’s defeat in the final 5th Test at Hobart, former England captain David Gower slammed the England players for preferring the Indian Premier League over the country. David Gower noted that Joe Root is not getting enough support from his teammates.

“Joe Root finds himself with people unavailable, because where are they? The IPL. What good is that for English Test cricket?! This is the oldest, more important form of the game, we need to defend it,” he said.

WV Raman PC: Twitter
WV Raman PC: Twitter

Meanwhile, Australian great Ian Chappell feels the just-concluded Test series between India and South Africa involved the kind of emotion that the lop-sided Ashes lacked completely. Beaten comprehensively in the three-match series opener, South Africa bounced back in style to claim the rubber 2-1 after convincing victories in the second and third Test against their fancied opponents.

“South Africa surprisingly defeated India in an old-fashioned dogfight that included some enthralling cricket. It also involved ample emotion of the sort that has notably been missing from an Ashes contest that has been surprisingly uncontroversial so far,” Chappell wrote in his column.

The former Australia captain added, “The South Africa series featured bowling domination on pitches that were probably too much in favour of the fielding side, but there was also some exquisite batting.” 

Australia’s seamers, sparked by an electric Cameron Green spell, ran through England to win the fifth and final Test in Hobart by 146 runs inside three days and seal the Ashes 4-0.

Cameron Green, Scott Boland, And Pat Cummins Took 3 Wickets Apiece To Dismiss England For 124

Despite Mark Wood’s best efforts to keep his side in the contest with a six-wicket haul that contained England’s target to 271, the tourist was found sorely wanting as they lost 10 wickets for 56 runs in 22.5 overs.
Cameron Green (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
Cameron Green (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
Rory Burns and Zak Crawley started the chase brightly enough, but once Cameron Green dismissed Rory Burns on the stroke of tea, they collapsed to be all out for 124. Cameron Green finished with 3 for 21, while Scott Boland and Pat Cummins also took three wickets apiece in a dominant display by Australia.

Australia 303 (Head 101, Green 74) and 155 (Carey 48, Wood 6-37) beat England 188 (Cummins 4-45) and 124 (Boland 3-18, Green 3-21, Cummins 3-42) by 146 runs

Justin Langer. (Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images)
Justin Langer. (Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images)

It Would Be Nice To Have Clarity Over Justin Langer’s Contract – Pat Cummins

Australia Test captain Pat Cummins said that Justin Langer should be given clarity over his future as Australia coach. Langer’s contract will be expired in June 2022 but there are rumours floating around his future though ex-Australian players came out in full support for his teammate.

Though Justin Langer made it clear that he loves his job as Australia coach and would like to continue with the team, there is silence from Cricket Australia’s side.

Justin Langer
Justin Langer

Justin Langer’s contract will expire in June 2022

Speaking on the second day of the Ashes, captain Pat Cummins made a diplomatic statement however he urged CA to clear things out as soon as possible.

That’s above my pay grade. We’ll wait and see, it’d be nice to have clarity for everyone, but he’s been doing a fantastic job, we absolutely love JL. He’s been really great through the World Cup and the Ashes. Honestly, it’s not been a talking point at all within the camp. The plan has always been to chat about it after the Ashes, so the powers that be, I’m sure, will chat at some stage. But he’s been fantastic for us and the boys love having him around.” Pat Cummins said.
Under the guidance of Justin Langer, Australia retained the Ashes in England for the first time since 2001. Also, Australia won their maiden Men’s T20 World Cup title last under his coaching as well.
CA chief executive Nick Hockley hasn’t made any official statement yet, though there are speculations that both parties will discuss things post the Ashes.
Earlier Australia’s legendary captain Steve Waugh also urged Cricket Australia to make things clear about his future. Steve Waugh also worked with the team in Ashes 2019 when Langer asked him to join the team as a consultant.
“Position in doubt? Influenced the culture and character of the team after the Cape Town debacle. Coached the team to a winning World Cup 20/20 and now to a commanding Ashes victory. Time to put the rumours and innuendo to rest. #respect #culture #character” Steve Waugh posted on his Instagram page.
England’s Ollie Robinson Photograph: Andrew Couldridge/Action Images/Reuters
England’s Ollie Robinson Photograph: Andrew Couldridge/Action Images/Reuters

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.
usman khawaja

Usman Khawaja To Open, Marcus Harris Misses Out For Hobart Test

Australian left-handed batter Usman Khawaja will retain his place in the XI for the final Test match at Hobart. However, he has been promoted to open the innings replacing Marcus Harris. Travis Head, who missed out on the fourth test match due to Covid-19, will return to no.5.

Notable that Khawaja scored twin hundreds at Sydney in his return to Test Cricket. It was his first test match in the last 16 months. Khawaja’s promotion means Marcus Harris will miss out who scored 179 runs with an average of 29.83.

Usman Khawaja.
Usman Khawaja. Getty Images.

Khawaja’s batting average as a Test opener is 96.80

“I think he (Harris) knew it was coming, The message to ‘Harry’ is that we think he’s going really well, it’s tough on him. It’s not too often that someone comes in and gets two hundreds in the same game. I thought Marcus has been really good, he’s been growing with each game. He was a huge part of why we won that MCG Test. He’s certainly part of the future, we’ll keep investing him,” Pat Cummins spoke to the media on the match eve.

The opening position is not something new for Khawaja as he had phenomenal success at top of the order. Khawaja, as an opener, scored 484 runs in 7 innings with an average of 96.80 which included 2 hundreds. He scored a hundred as an opener in the pink-ball Test against South Africa in Adelaide 2016.

Meanwhile, there are some doubts over Scott Boland’s availability for the pink ball Test at Hobart as the fast bowler is still recovering from his rib injury. Boland landed awkwardly on his ribs during the first innings of the Sydney Test. Boland had a sensational start to his Test career as he picked 14 wickets in 2 Tests with an average of 8.64 which included the figures of 6/7 in his debut Test match.

Usman Khawaja To Open, Marcus Harris Misses Out For Hobart Test 2
Scott Boland. Getty Images.

However, Cummins stated that both Jhye Richardson and Michael Neser are fit and available for the selection in case Boland misses out.

“Scotty’s ribs are the only factor, He’ll give that a go, if he’s not in then Jhye and Michael Neser are both fit. We’ll work that out this arvo. Jhye coming off a five-for in the pink ball (means) he’s probably the next one (in) but we’ll have that conversation when we need to,” Cummins told reporters.

“It’s a pretty tight turnaround between Tests. We think he (Boland) should be right but he’ll just have another bowl in the nets.” he added.

Australia is currently leading the series by 3-0 as the Sydney test ended on a thrilling draw when Anderson and Broad denied them the final wicket to avoid the possibility of a whitewash.

Also read It’s Certainly On The Table – Mitchell Starc On His Participation In IPL Mega Auction

Zak Crawley. (Image Credits: Getty)
Zak Crawley. (Image Credits: Getty)

Ricky Ponting Impressed With Zak Crawley’s 77 In 2nd Innings Of The 4th Test

Ricky Ponting has predicted a bright future for England’s opener Zak Crawley after an impressive knock in the second innings of the Sydney Test. The former Aussie captain praised Zak Crawley’s attitude and his intent to put pressure on pacers Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins.

Zak Crawley, who replaced Rory Burns in the third Test, showed character in the second innings in the 4th Test at Sydney. The right-handed opening batter crafted a stroke-filled 77 as England pulled off a thrilling draw. The 23-year old also top-scored for the tourists in the fourth innings en route to his 77.

Zak Crawley-Twitter
Zak Crawley-Twitter

Ricky Ponting: Zak Crawley Showed The Mettle, Fight, And Intent

Ricky Ponting believes Zak Crawley’s positive inning has ensured his spot for some more time.

Observing how the youngster pounced on anything worth hitting a boundary, Ponting stated: “One innings like that for a struggling English team that are devoid of what looks to be a lot of batting talent, he probably locks himself in for another couple of years of Test cricket on the back of one innings. He showed the mettle, he showed the fight, he showed the intent.”

Ricky Ponting. Image- Twitter
Ricky Ponting. Image- Twitter

Ricky Ponting added: “He was happy to try and put a bit of pressure back on Cummins and Starc. If they overpitched, he whacked it down on the ground and if they were a fraction short, he was good enough to pull them through midwicket. I liked what I saw and, more importantly, I liked the attitude.”

The visitors clung on for a draw as Australia attempted to win their fourth Test on the trot in Sydney. Zak Crawley, who said he was confident of scoring a hundred before the Sydney Test, struck 13 boundaries in his innings. England avoided a 4-0 result in the fourth innings and dashed Australia’s hopes of a clean sweep.

England batted for 102 overs to save the 4th Test. England lost the first match by 9 wickets at the Gabba, the second game by 275 runs at Adelaide Oval, and the third game by an innings and 14 runs at Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Ricky Ponting: Zak Crawley Has To Work On His Technical Difficulties To Cement His Place In England XI

However, the Tasmanian feels the Kent batter must restore consistency, given his returns have dropped since scoring 267 against Pakistan in 2020. He stressed that opener Zak Crawley must work on his technical difficulties to sustain his place in England XI.

Zak Crawley made a promising start to his career with a stellar 267 against Pakistan at Southampton. Although he averaged 52.73 amassing 580 runs in 7 Tests in 2020, his average dipped to a low in 2021, where he averaged a mere 10.81 managing only 173 runs in 8 Tests. He will want to silence his critics in 2022.

Ponting added: “He’ll have some technical things he’s got to work through. The fact that he made 267 in one Test against Pakistan and then it’s taken him another 18 innings to get his next 267 runs in Test cricket says that he’s had struggles.”

Ricky Ponting. (Image Credits: Getty)
Ricky Ponting. (Image Credits: Getty)

Ricky Ponting added: “As long as you know what your limitations are and know what you can and can’t do, he will be OK. If that’s the way that he’s going to bat then he’s just got to understand that the off-drive is going to be a really hard shot for him to play.”

The fifth Test, a day-night affair, in Hobart starts on the 15th of January. England will have their task cut out in the final Test. With a 275-run win over England in the second Ashes Test in Adelaide, Australia had earlier extended their perfect record in day-night Tests, winning all nine they have played so far. Australia played six of those of nine at the Adelaide Oval, including two against England.

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

Mike Hussey Praised Pat Cummins’ Captaincy In 4th Ashes Test-‘Almost Got The Job Done’

Mike Hussey, the former Australia batter hailed Pat Cummins’ captaincy after the fourth Ashes 2021/22 Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) ended in a draw. England batted for 102 overs to save the 4th Test. England lost the first match by 9 wickets at the Gabba, the second game by 275 runs at Adelaide Oval, and the third game by an innings and 14 runs at Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Australia had England nine wickets down with two overs to go, but Stuart Broad and James Anderson managed to hang on and deny the hosts a win. Usman Khawaja’s remarkable Player of the Match performance, with centuries in both innings, ensured Australia was the only team that could win the match.

Mike Hussey BCCI/IPL
Mike Hussey BCCI/IPL

Mike Hussey: Tactically Speaking, Pat Cummins Did A Good Job As Skipper

Mike Hussey, however, said Australian pacer Pat Cummins did well as captain and nearly got the job done.

The 46-year-old said: “I thought he was very good. I would give him a very good mark out of 10. I think the way he rang the changes today, he changed the bowlers around from different ends. I thought his field positioning was excellent as well. Almost got the job done.”

Mike Hussey said the only question was whether Pat Cummins may have made the choice to declare earlier in their second innings to give the bowlers more time to knock England over, but admitted that tactically, he was spot on.

“The only thing is, if he had the chance again, would he have maybe declared perhaps half an hour earlier? They had plenty of runs on the board for that pitch. England were always going to struggle to get that many. But tactically speaking, he did a very, very good job,” Mike Hussey elaborated.

Pat Cummins Credit: AAP
Pat Cummins Credit: AAP

He also praised how Pat Cummins handled his bowling while also captaining the side. Mike Hussey noted that while he didn’t pick up a wicket for a while in the second innings, he came back to bowl a brilliant spell, dismissing Jos Buttler and Mark Wood in the same over.

“Cummins didn’t pick up a wicket in the second innings for quite a period of time and I was wondering if he was juggling in his mind between his captaincy side of things and the bowling side of things. But then, he was able to compartmentalise that, come back on for that amazing spell. He saw the moment and seized the moment.”

Australia skipper Pat Cummins defended his decision to delay a team declaration after being denied a fourth straight Test win by plucky England in Sydney on Sunday. The battered English team defended desperately in the final overs to cling on for a draw with just one wicket left– and end Australia’s quest for a five-Test series whitewash ahead of this week’s final Hobart match. Australia declared at 265 for six, leaving the tourists with a massive 388 runs to win.

Mike Hussey: Scott Boland Is A Captain’s Dream

Aussie pacer Scott Boland followed up his brilliant performance in the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne with yet another good showing at the SCG. The pacer returned figures of 4/36 in England’s first innings and 3/30 in their second essay. Having made his Test debut at 32, Scott Boland is a late entrant into the international arena, but Mike Hussey said he had the advantage of experience and knowing his best game.

“I think the advantage he’s got is he has played a lot of First-Class Cricket. He has a great understanding of his game and what he needs to do to have success. Quite often when young players come into the Test match arena, they are still trying to find out what their best game looks like and what it feels like.”

Scott Boland. Getty Images.
Scott Boland. Getty Images.

Mike Hussey went on to lavish praise on the fast bowler, saying: “Scott Boland has been around for a long time, he’s had a lot of success. He thoroughly deserved his opportunity to play for Australia. And what a performance it’s been in his first two Test matches. The showing in Melbourne, he showed that it wasn’t just a flash in the pan and he can back it up with another fantastic performance.”

In conclusion, the southpaw said: “He’s a captain’s dream. He’s so disciplined with his line and length. I think he’s the most accurate bowler that’s ever played for Australia.”

Scott Boland surprised himself with a sensational debut at his home ground. The Victorian pacer returned with figures of 4-1-7-6 as Australia bowled England out for 68 in the second innings of the 3rd Test to retain the Ashes urn. He received the Johnny Mullagh medal as a player of the match in front of his home crowd. With Australia leading the Ashes 3-0, the final Test in Hobart is set to begin on January 14.

Ricky Ponting. Image- Twitter
Ricky Ponting. Image- Twitter

Ben Stokes Only Person Who Can Take Over As England Test Skipper After Ashes 2021/22 Series Loss – Ricky Ponting

Ben Stokes, England’s all-rounder is the only player who can replace Joe Root as Test captain and turn their fortunes around following the team’s meek surrender in the Ashes 2021/22 series, former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting said on Saturday.

Joe Root has come under intense pressure since England lost the third Test last week as Australia took an unassailable 3-0 Ashes lead. The visitors managed to save the fourth Test by a whisker with 1 wicket remaining, needing to chase a target of 388 on the final day in Sydney.

Ben Stokes, Joe Root ECB Twitter
Ben Stokes, Joe Root ECB Twitter

Ben Stokes Only Person Who Can Take Over As England Test Skipper From Joe Root: Australia Ex-Skipper Ricky Ponting

Ben Stokes is the only man who can be the captain of England’s Test side, believes former Australia skipper Ricky Ponting. He added that Ben Stokes could improve his own game with the leadership thrust to him. With England’s Test fortunes crumbling under current captain Joe Root, questions have been asked on whether a change in captaincy will revive the team in the longest format of the game.

“The only person that can take over is Ben Stokes,” Ricky Ponting told Cricket Australia’s website.

“I think Stokes would actually grow as a player if he was the captain of that side. I think with a bit of extra responsibility, he might become an even better player and that might have a good impact on the rest of the team.”

Ricky Ponting (Image Credit: Twitter)
Ricky Ponting (Image Credit: Twitter)

“I don’t know Stokes that well, but if I was trying to change the face of English cricket and trying to give a bit more of a heartbeat and a bit more soul, then I think he’d be the one that I’d be looking at to lead the team.”

Joe Root-led England has performed terribly and has already lost the 5-match Ashes series by losing the first three games. England lost the first match by 9 wickets at the Gabba, the second game by 275 runs at Adelaide Oval, and the third game by an innings and 14 runs at Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Ben Stokes States He Has No Ambition To Be England Captain

Ben Stokes, who scored 66 runs in the first innings of the fourth Test as he battled through a left side strain, has also been considered a viable option to replace Joe Root by former England skipper Mike Atherton. However, Ben Stokes said before the fourth Test that he has no ambition to be captain and backed Joe Root to remain in the England role despite calls for the Yorkshireman to stand down.

Ben Stokes, England all-rounder
Ben Stokes, England all-rounder (Photo | AP)

Australia, 3-0 up, having dominated the game, had their dreams of a whitewash shattered as England finally salvaged something from the wreck of this Ashes tour with Jack Leach, Stuart Broad, and James Anderson surviving 64 balls under floodlights to secure a thrilling draw at the SCG.

Jack Leach and Stuart Broad faced 52 of them, most of which were against Pat Cummins, Scott Boland, and Mitchell Starc before bad light forced Australia to turn to Steve Smith and he almost became a hero with the ball. He prized out Jack Leach, his first Test scalp since 2016, caught at slip after England’s spinner had battled well for 34 balls without error.

Stuart Broad and James Anderson survived six balls each from Nathan Lyon and Steve Smith respectively and England’s veterans held on. It was only the second time in Ashes history a team had saved a game nine-down in the fourth innings, the first being the famous 2005 draw at Manchester.

High-quality half-centuries from Zak Crawley and Ben Stokes and a brave 105-ball 41 from Jonny Bairstow had earlier put England in a position to save the Test.

England 294 (Bairstow 113, Stokes 66, Boland 4-36) and 9 for 270 (Crawley 77, Stokes 60, Boland 3-30) drew with Australia 8 for 416 dec (Khawaja 137, Smith 67, Broad 5-101) and 6 for 265 declared (Khawaja 101*, Green 74, Leach 4-84)

Michael Vaughan. (Image Credits: Getty)
Michael Vaughan. (Image Credits: Getty)

Michael Vaughan In Favour Of Zak Crawley Being Given A Longer Run In Tests After His Impressive 77 In 2nd Innings Of 4th Test

Michael Vaughan, the former England captain on Sunday said that opening batter Zak Crawley can seriously play and he needs to be given a consistent run in the Three Lions squad.

Michael Vaughan’s remarks came as Zak Crawley impressed one and all with his 77-run knock in the second innings of the ongoing fourth Ashes Test here at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Michael Vaughan (Image Credit: Twitter)
Michael Vaughan (Image Credit: Twitter)

Michael Vaughan: Zak Crawley Needs To Be Given A Long Run In England’s Test Team

Opener Zak Crawley replaced Rory Burns in the English Test team after the poor batting technique and performance of the latter in the first few Ashes games. Meanwhile, Zak Crawley scored just 18 runs in the first innings of the Sydney Cricket Ground Ashes Test, however, in the second innings he looked amazing and smashed brilliant 77 runs off 100 balls including 13 boundaries.

Zak Crawley made a promising start to his career with a stellar 267 against Pakistan at Southampton. Although he averaged 52.73 amassing 580 runs in 7 Tests in 2020, his average dipped to a low in 2021, where he averaged a mere 10.81 managing only 173 runs in 8 Tests. He will want to silence his critics in 2022.

“Zak Crawley can seriously play … Not many positives from this Tour but he is certainly one who needs to be given a long run in this Test team,” tweeted Michael Vaughan.

Zak Crawley-Twitter
Zak Crawley-Twitter

Former Australia all-rounder Tom Moody replied to Michael Vaughan’s tweet and stated that young talent needs to be given an opportunity to grow in Test cricket. He also mentioned the name of Ollie Pope and opined he needs to be given more opportunities.

To this tweet, former Australia all-rounder Tom Moody replied: “I’d agree with you, once you identify the young talent they need the opportunity to grow into test cricket, Ollie Pope is the other.”

Defending a target of 388, Australia is only two wickets away from beating England in the ongoing fourth Ashes Test at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Sunday. Zak Crawley scored a fine 77 while Ben Stokes also scored a fighting fifty.

Scott Boland has taken 3 scalps while Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon have taken two wickets each and Cameron Green also bagged a wicket, so far.  England is presently 247/8 chasing a stiff 388. England needs a further 141 runs to win with 2 wickets remaining.

Usman Khawaja Scored Centuries In Both Innings

Usman Khawaja scored his second century of the match to place Australia in a commanding position. The Pakistan-born Usman Khawaja has been in imperious form in his comeback from a 30-month Test exile, hitting 137 in the first innings before adding an unbeaten 101 to break English hearts.

Usman Khawaja celebrates making 100 runs against England during the fourth day of their Ashes cricket test match in Sydney.(AP)
Usman Khawaja celebrates making 100 runs against England during the fourth day of their Ashes cricket test match in Sydney. (AP) 

His domineering 179-run partnership with youngster Cameron Green set up a late declaration and left a beleaguered England having to defy history with a formidable target of 388.

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