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Steven Smith

Shane Warne
Shane Warne

Shane Warne Picked His Ideal Australian Playing XI For The 1st Ashes Test

Shane Warne has picked his ideal Australian playing XI for the 1st Test match. Shane Warne feels that Marcus Harris and David Warner should open the batting for the Australian side.

The duo of Marnus Labuschagne and Steven Smith will occupy the No.3 and No.4 positions in the batting lineup. Travis Head and Cameron Green will walk in at No.5 and No.6 in Shane Warne’s Australian playing XI.

Shane Warne - Getty Images
Shane Warne – Getty Images

Shane Warne Picked His Ideal Australian Playing 11 For The 1st Ashes Test Starting December 8; The Former Spinner Picked Josh Inglis Instead Of Alex Carey.

The hugely awaited Ashes series between Australia and England is scheduled to begin in less than a week’s time. The two teams will lock horns in the 1st Test at The Gabba in Brisbane on 8th December 2021. Reports have stated that Alex Carey is all set to make his Test debut for the kangaroos in the 1st Test. However, Shane Warne has not picked Alex Carey in his XI. Instead, the leg-spin bowling wizard has opted for Josh Inglis as his wicket-keeper.

Alex Carey--Getty Images
Alex Carey–Getty Images

The Australian side has announced its final 15-member squad for the 1st and 2nd Ashes Test matches against visitors England. It has been confirmed that wicketkeeper-batsman Alex Carey will be making his Test debut for the kangaroos. The 1st Test is scheduled to commence on 8th December 2021. The previous Ashes series between England and Australia ended in a 2-2 draw.

Shane Warne Picked Pacers Pat Cummins, Jhye Richardson, And Josh Hazlewood Besides Spinner Nathan Lyon, Leaving Out Pacer Mitchell Starc

The bowling attack will comprise 3 fast bowlers and 1 spinner. The 3 pacers who will take the field for the Aussies for the 1st Test, according to Shane Warne, are skipper Pat Cummins, Jhye Richardson, and Josh Hazlewood. The lone spinner’s spot in the side will be taken up by veteran spinner Nathan Lyon.

Mitchell Starc (Image Credit: Twitter)
Mitchell Starc (Image Credit: Twitter)

Shane Warne is arguably the greatest bowler to have played for the Australian side in Test match cricket. The spin wizard Shane Warne picked up a staggering 708 wickets in his Test career and scalped a stunning 37 five-wicket hauls in the whites. He retired from the game in the year 2007.

Usman Khawaja has been recalled to Australia‘s 15-man squad to face England in the 2021-22 Ashes series, while Alex Carey was a late addition after regular skipper Tim Paine stepped away from the sport to take an “indefinite mental health break”.

Shane Warne’s Australia playing XI for 1st Ashes Test: David Warner, Marcus Harris, Marnus Labuschagne, Steven Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Josh Inglis, Pat Cummins (C), Jhye Richardson, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood

Australia squad for 1st and 2nd Test: Pat Cummins (C), Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Michael Neser, Jhye Richardson, Steve Smith (VC), Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, David Warner


Ricky Ponting Questions Depth Around Australia Cricket After 1-4 Series Loss To West Indies And Bangladesh

Ricky Ponting has questioned the depth in Australian cricket after the poor T20 results on the recent tours of West Indies and Bangladesh but believes the team can still pose a challenge for the forthcoming 2021 T20I World Cup if their strongest side is available.
Australia ended the twin tours with a 2-8 scoreline losing both the series by a margin of 1-4 across the two T20 contests which was capped off by being skittled for 62, which was their lowest T20 total, in the final match in Dhaka.
Delhi Capitals head coach Ricky Ponting (Photo | IPL Twitter)
Delhi Capitals head coach Ricky Ponting (Photo | IPL Twitter)

Ricky Ponting: Depth Around Australia Cricket Is Not Where It Needs To Be

While Ricky Ponting acknowledged the conditions were challenging in Bangladesh, he was concerned that performances got worse as the matches went on. Only Mitchell Marsh emerged with an enhanced reputation with the bat although the bowling attack largely performed creditably.
“The lack of knowhow and skill in those conditions brought us undone again,” Ricky Ponting told Tim Paine on the Test captain’s SEN radio show.
“It’s been the achilles heel for Australian cricket for as long as I can remember – more so in Test cricket, but we’ve always found a way to be very competitive in Sri Lanka and India in white-ball cricket. Just goes to show the depth around Australia cricket is not where it needs to be so there’s some work to do there.”
“The T20 World Cup is not far away so hopefully we get all the boys fit and healthy because I still think with everyone fit and healthy in the UAE that the Australian team can push really hard to win the title. Let’s keep our fingers crossed we can put our strongest XI on the field.”
Mitchell Marsh cut loose in the Powerplay
Mitchell Marsh cut loose in the Powerplay © Getty Images
Captain Aaron Finch was ruled out of the Bangladesh series with a knee injury which meant Australia was missing up to eight players who could be considered among first picks including David Warner, Steven Smith, Glenn Maxwell, and Marcus Stoinis from the batting order.
“There were a lot of names not there…but it almost seemed they got worse during that series,” Ricky Ponting said. “There’s no doubt those conditions were really difficult, but that’s the worry for me.
“They’ve been there long enough and done some training on wickets you’d have thought were quite similar to what they played on yet the further the series went, whether a lack of confidence or skill or game awareness, I’m sure they would have been shattered.”
Australian allrounder Mitchell Marsh played three ODIs and five T20Is against West Indies last month. In the T20Is, Mitchell Marsh scored 219 runs with a strike rate of 152.08 and took eight wickets with an economy rate of 6.76, making him the lead run-scorer and wicket-taker for Australia in the series. He was the leading run-scorer against Bangladesh too scoring 156 runs in 5 T20I games averaging 31.2.

Ricky Ponting Waiting For Confirmation On Whether Injured Steve Smith Is Available In The IPL 2021 And T20I World Cup

Ricky Ponting, the head coach of Delhi Capitals, said he was still waiting for confirmation on whether he would have experienced batsman Steve Smith, who is recovering from an elbow injury, and Marcus Stoinis available but sees it as their best opportunity to be tuned up for the World Cup.
“There’s no doubt it’s their best preparation, in those exact conditions playing probably the strongest domestic T20 tournament in the world,” he said. “I’m not saying it just because I want some of the Australian players there with Delhi, but it sounds like our domestic season will be pushed back so they’ll be no domestic cricket here before the T20 World Cup, so preparation wise it’s spot on.”
Steve Smith Image Source : TWITTER/DELHICAPITALS
Steve Smith Image Source: TWITTER/DELHICAPITALS.
“Not sure if they’ll be any restrictions on the bowlers going there, there may well be, but certainly the guys like Smith, Davey, Maxi, Stoinis who have been out of cricket for three or fourth months they need to get back into the groove.”
The country’s seven top cricketers including the likes of David Warner, Pat Cummins, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Marcus Stoinis, and Daniel Sams have pulled out from the upcoming West Indies series and Bangladesh series.
Star batsman Steve Smith was also not included in the squad as he is yet to fully recover from an elbow injury that flared up during the IPL. It now seems likely that a number of the Australia players will prepare for the World Cup by returning to the IPL for its resumption next month although Pat Cummins is not expected to be available due to the birth of his first child.
James Anderson
James Anderson (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)

James Anderson Likened Bowling To Marnus Labuschagne As If To “Impress A Girl At A Nightclub”

James Anderson, veteran England seamer dismissed Marnus Labuschagne in a County match and pulled off one of the best one-liners that will leave even one of the most intense MCC members in splits. He likened bowling to the Australian to impress a girl at a nightclub.

James Anderson is not the only one who feels the same way about Marcus Labuschagne. He has been in supreme form and reached his peak here in England back in 2019 Ashes but James Anderson wasn’t there due to an injury.

James Anderson
James Anderson is set to play his fifth Ashes series later this year.© AFP

James Anderson Never Bowled At Marnus Labuschagne Before And Said A Good Impression Should Be Created To Get His Wicket

But James Anderson secretly relished having a go at the Australian batsman and finally, he got his chance when Lancashire took on Glamorgan.

“You want to create a good impression and stamp your authority on that battle. It’s nice to get the first blow in. I’d never bowled at him before,” James Anderson told BBC Podcast ‘Tailenders’.

Then came the punch: “It’s like when you see a girl at a club and you try to play it cool. You want her to be impressed. You start dancing to the Stone Roses while your shoes stick to the floor.”

James Anderson
James Anderson  had Marnus Labuschagne caught behind for 12 during Lancashire’s draw with Glamorgan Getty Images

The 38-year-old James Anderson, who is the highest wicket-taker among fast bowlers in Test cricket, is set to play in his fifth Ashes series come December. James Anderson missed almost all of the last Ashes series in 2019 because of a calf injury, managing only four overs on the first morning of the first Test.

Marnus Labuschagne came into the Australia side as a concussion replacement for Steve Smith midway through the second Test at Lord’s. Since that point, only England captain Joe Root has made more runs in Tests than 26-year-old Marnus Labuschagne.

Marnus Labuschagne Feels For Australian Players Playing In IPL 2021

Marnus Labuschagne has expressed concerns for Australian players who are featuring in the IPL 2021 even as India battles a record surge in daily coronavirus cases. The daily coronavirus count in India touched a new high with over 3.7 lakh fresh cases reported.

A host of Australian cricketers and one match official including Andre Tye, Kane Richardson, Adam Zampa, and umpire Paul Reiffel have already left IPL 2021. India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has taken a break while umpire Nitin Menon has also left for home after his mother and wife were tested positive for the deadly virus.

“You obviously feel for them,” Labuschagne told Sky Sports. “But I haven’t spoken to too many guys that are feeling unsafe. It’s more about getting back into Australia and what does that look like. I just hope that they stay safe and get back to Australia safely whenever they do.”

Marnus Labuschagne
Marnus Labuschagne (Photo by Lee Warren/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

A mass exodus of Australian players, coaches, and support staff to the Maldives is the expected remedy to a dilemma created by the postponement of the 2021 IPL and the current closure of the Australian border to citizens currently in India during its rampant Covid-19 outbreak. There are close to 40 Australians in the IPL bubble comprising players, coaching staff, and commentators.

The likes of Pat Cummins, Steven Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Ricky Ponting, and Simon Katich are expected to join the commentator Michael Slater, who had already headed to the Maldives as a temporary post in the wake of bans on entry to Australian citizens who have recently been in India, a state of play that will exist until at least May 15.

Chris Morris
Chris Morris

Chris Morris Sold To Rajasthan Royals For INR 16.25 Crores

Chris Morris became the most expensive buy ever in the history of the Indian Premier League with a price tag of INR 16.25 crores as Rajasthan Royals went all-out for the all-rounder at the IPL 2021 Auction in Chennai on Thursday.

With a base price of just INR 75 lakhs, Chris Morris invited a huge battle that saw Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Punjab Kings, and the Rajasthan Royals fighting for the Protea all-rounder. Rajasthan Royals eventually got the 33-year-old for the highest ever amount in the IPL auction, surpassing Yuvraj Singh’s record of INR 16 crore in 2015.

Chris Morris of RCB. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)
Chris Morris of RCB. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

Chris Morris Entered IPL 2021 Auction With A Base Price Of INR 75 Lakhs

It indeed was a massive surprise that the Royal Challengers Bangalore had decided to release Chris Morris. South African all-rounder Chris Morris, who entered the IPL 2021 auction with a base price of INR 75 lakhs, was injured in the initial phases of the tournament held in UAE in the year 2020.

Chris Morris
Photo Credit: Getty Images.

However, he became one of the vital players for the side and justified the purchase amount of INR 10 crores. Chris Morris featured in nine matches and took 11 wickets at 19.09 while maintaining an economy rate of 6.63. While the 33-year old did not get enough chances with the bat, he kept a strike rate of 161.90, delivering some lusty blows.

Chris Morris was one of the most impressive bowlers in IPL and RCB releasing him ahead of the auction came as a huge surprise. The South African all-rounder became one of the million-dollar buys yet again in the IPL 2021 auction due to his all-around abilities.

Chris Morris has impressive IPL statistics as he has 79 wickets from 70 matches at 24.29 with three four-wicket hauls alongside a decent economy rate of 7.81.

Glenn Maxwell And Jhye Richardson Attracts Bid Of INR 14 Crore And Above

Glenn Maxwell was sold to Royal Challengers Bangalore for INR 14.25 Crore but Chris Morris was sold at an even higher price to Rajasthan Royals for a steep INR 16.25 crore creating new records as the most expensive buy ever in the history of IPL since 2008. Amongst others, Steven Smith was sold to Delhi Capitals for INR 2.2 Crores while Shakib Al Hasan was sold to KKR for INR 3.2 Crore, and Moeen Ali attracted a bid of exactly INR 7 Crore and was sold to CSK.

Shivam Dube was sold at INR 4.4 Crore to Rajasthan while Punjab Kings bought Dawid Malan for a base price of INR 1.5 Crore. Adam Milne was bought by MI. The likes of Kusal Perera, Sam Billings, Kedar Jadhav, Jason Roy, and Evin Lewis went unsold. Mustafizur Rahman, Piyush Chawla, Jhye Richardson, Umesh Yadav, and Nathan Counter Nile were sold.

Glenn Maxwell. Image Credits: Twitter
Glenn Maxwell. Image Credits: Twitter

India all-rounder Shivam Duve was also in huge demand and went to Rajasthan Royals for Rs 4.40 crore. While there were some big signings, there were some big names that remained unsold including Jason Roy, Alex Hales, Kedar Jadhav, Aaron Finch, Evinn Lewis, among others. Punjab Kings spent big on Jhye Richardson, buying him for a whopping Rs 14 crore.

Nathan Coulter-Nile went to defending champions Mumbai Indians for Rs 5 crore, who also picked up Piyush Chawla for Rs 2.40 crore. Umesh Yadav was picked by Delhi Capitals for his base price of Rs 1 crore.

Glenn Maxwell
Glenn Maxwell

Glenn Maxwell Sold To RCB For INR 14.25 Crore Despite Poor IPL 2020

Glenn Maxwell was sold to Royal Challengers Bangalore for INR 14.25 Crore but Chris Morris was sold to Rajasthan Royals for a steep INR 16.25 crore creating new records as the most expensive buys ever in the history of IPL since 2008. Among others, Steven Smith was sold to Delhi Capitals for INR 2.2 Crores while Shakib Al Hasan was sold to KKR for INR 3.2 Crore, and Moeen Ali attracted a bid of exactly INR 7 Crore and was sold to CSK.

Shivam Dube was sold at INR 4.4 Crore to Rajasthan while Punjab Kings bought Dawid Malan for a base price of INR 1.5 Crore. Adam Milne was bought by MI. The likes of Kusal Perera, Sam Billings, Kedar Jadhav, Jason Roy, and Evin Lewis went unsold. Mustafizutr Rahman, Piyush Chawla, Jhye Richardson, Umesh Yadav, and Nathan Counter Nile were sold.

Chris Morris (M) Sold To Rajasthan Royals For INR 16.25 Crores
Chris Morris (M) Sold To Rajasthan Royals For INR 16.25 Crores(Credits: Twitter)

Glenn Maxwell Sold To Bangalore For INR 14.25 Crore After Receiving Bid Of INR 10.75 Crores In IPL 2020 Auction

Glenn Maxwell is one of the players on the auction list who will enter the IPL 2021 auction with a base price of INR 2 crores. Glenn Maxwell has been inconsistent in the past few seasons of IPL, and there were doubts that he will be amongst the most in-demand but the auction proved otherwise. Glenn Maxwell represented Kings XI Punjab in IPL 2020 and endured a forgettable edition after receiving a bid of INR 10.75 crores.

Glenn Maxwell. Image Credits: Twitter
Glenn Maxwell. Image Credits: Twitter

The right-handed batsman managed to amass only 108 runs in 13 games at a pathetic average of 15.43 with a strike rate of 101.89 and failed even to hit a single six. However, the 32-year old did well in the limited-over games for Australia after IPL. The Victorian’s form was also decent in BBL 2020-21, managing 379 runs in 14 matches at 31.38.

Glenn Maxwell’s Performance In IPL 2020 Was Criticized But He Attracted Bidding Wars From CSK And RCB In IPL 2021 Auctions

Glenn Maxwell’s performance in IPL 2020 came under heavy criticism as plenty of experts questioned the hype behind him and doubted reasons as to why the franchise shell out hefty bucks. But he shut all his critics when he carted the ball to all parts of the ground during the Australian summer against India.

The 32-year old hammered boundaries at will against the likes of pacers Jasprit Bumrah, and Mohammed Shami, and spinners Yuzvendra Chahal, and Ravindra Jadeja.

Glenn Maxwell plays a reverse sweep for six during his Australia vs India first ODI innings. (Getty)
Glenn Maxwell plays a reverse sweep for six during his Australia vs India first ODI innings. (Getty)

The Victorian is also a handy option with the ball and a terrific fielder besides his batting exploits, who could take outstanding catches and effect game-changing and breathtaking run-outs. All these factors make him an unpredictable prospect as he attracted bidding wars from Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore before being sold to RCB.

Glenn Maxwell scored 167 runs in 3 ODI games averaging 83.5 at a strike rate of 194.19 which is pretty impressive and 78 runs in 3 T20Is averaging 26 at a strike rate of 150 in the 3 ODI and 3 T20Is against India.


Top 6 Batsmen With Most International Centuries Against India

Century is one of happiest moments for a batsman. The top-class batsmen always try to play big three-digit knocks and this insistence gets higher against the challenging side in challenging conditions.

The Indian national cricket team has evolved as a challenging side with the time progress. Every batsman feels great after scoring a century against India. There are six cricketers who have recorded at least 10 international centuries against the Indian team.

Top six batsmen with most international centuries against India

Mahela Jayawardene (Sri Lanka) – 10 centuries

Top 6 Batsmen With Most International Centuries Against India 1

Former Sri Lankan cricketer Mahela Jayawardene hit a total of 10 international centuries against India during his career. After playing 110 international matches against India (1997-2014), Jayawardene scored 4563 runs in 117 innings with an average 42.25. Apart from his 10 international centuries against the Indian team, the right-handed batsman also hit 25 half-centuries against this team.

Against India, Jayawardene hit 6 Test centuries and 4 ODI centuries. However, as a captain, the right-handed batsman hit only one Test century against this team. His highest score against the Indian team was 275 runs during Ahmedabad Test in November 2009, which is still the only Test double-century for Sri Lanka in India.

Format Number of centuries against India
Test 6
Steve Smith. Image Credit: Getty Images.

Australia vs India 2020: Steven Smith Was Unsure Of Playing Sydney ODI

Steven Smith, the Australian batsman, has revealed that he suffered a “bad dose of vertigo” ahead of the second one-dayer against India — and was not sure of playing the second ODI in which he struck a series-clinching hundred.

Steven Smith’s quick-fire 62-ball-100, before being dismissed on 104 off 64 balls, propelled Australia to a mammoth 389 for four in the second ODI, which they defended easily to secure a decisive 2-0 lead in the ODI series.

Steven Smith
Steven Smith (Image Credit: Twitter)

Steven Smith Didn’t Even Know He Was Playing For Having Bad Dose Of Vertigo And Praised Team Doctor

Steven Smith had earlier scored 105 off 66 balls in the 1st ODI with the company of skipper Aaron Finch who scored 114 as Australia scored 374/6 to win by 66 runs. In the second ODI, Steve Smith scored his second successive ton.

However, the former skipper said he “didn’t look great there for a while”.

“I didn’t know I was playing today. I had a really bad dose of vertigo this morning and I was struggling until … I came down early to have a hit and a bit of a run around,” Smith told after receiving his second successive Man of the match award.

Marnus Labuschagne
Marnus Labuschagne. Image Credit: Getty Images.

“The doctor, I think he performed six Epley maneuvers on me this morning and got the crystals out of my ears and I was struggling for a bit,” he said.

“Just pleased to be able to get out here and play another good innings and help the team.”

Steven Smith shared a 138-run partnership with Marnus Labuschagne before Glenn Maxwell smashed an unbeaten 63 off 29 balls to take Australia to a formidable total, their second successive score in excess of 350.

Steven Smith Scores Century As All The Top 5 Batsmen Scores In Excess Of 50

Steven Smith also took a superb catch to dismiss Shreyas Iyer during Indian innings on Sunday.

Like the first ODI, where Australia managed 374/6 , the openers David Warner(83) and Aaron Finch(60) forged another century opening stand. Marnus Labuschagne too scored 70, and Glenn Maxwell remained unbeaten on 63 off 29 balls as Australia went on to score their highest ODI total against India breaking the 1st ODI record. India managed 338/9 in reply with Virat Kohli top-scoring with 89 and KL Rahul contributing with 76.

Steven Smith
Steven Smith-Photo Credit: Getty Images.

For the 3rd time, there were five 50 plus scores in ODI innings after Pakistan vs Zimbabwe in Karachi in 2008, Australia vs India in Jaipur in 2013 and Australia vs India in Sydney in 2020.

Steven Smith has scored five successive fifty-plus scores against India since 2019. In the 2019 World Cup, he hit 69. He followed that up with scores of 98 and 131 in January this year.

And now, after scoring two more tons, he has accumulated 507 runs in this phase at an average of 101.4. In 20 ODIs, he has racked up 1,116 runs against India at a staggering average of 65.64. The right-handed batsman has scored 676 runs at home against India averaging 75.11.

Steven Smith
Australia's Steven Smith. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Steven Smith Looking Pretty Scary For Opposition: Glenn Maxwell

Steven Smith, in red hot form, is looking “pretty scary” for the opposition teams, acknowledged Australia all-rounder Glenn Maxwell after his teammate scored his second successive century against India on 29th November.

Steven Smith’s quick-fire 104-run knock off 64 balls with 14 fours and 2 sixes propelled Australia to a mammoth 389 for four in the second ODI, which they defended easily to secure an unassailable 2-0 lead in the ODI series.

Steven Smith
Steven Smith. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Steven Smith Placing The Ball As Well As Anyone Around The World: Glenn Maxwell

Steven Smith had scored 105 in the first ODI too which Australia won by 66 runs before his 104 in the second ODI helped Australia beat India by 51 runs.

“As he said the other day, he has found his hands, he is looking pretty scary at the moment for opposition teams. He is placing the ball as well as anyone around the world. When he puts the foot down, he goes and goes hard,” Glenn Maxwell said at the virtual post-match press conference, facilitated by official broadcasters Sony Networks.

David Warner and Steven Smith
David Warner and Steven Smith. Image Courtesy: Getty Images

“He is picking his spots. He is calculated (on the off-side) and he has got so much time at the moment. A lot of time, you judge him by the way he starts his innings and he just started by hitting the middle of the bat consistently.”

India’s bowlers particularly Navdeep Saini and Yuzvendra Chahal were poor, to say the least. In the first ODI, they conceded more than 8 runs per over. In the second ODI, pacer Navdeep Saini conceded 70 runs in 7 overs at an economy rate of 10 per over. Both Yuzvendra Chahal and Jasprit Bumrah conceded 7.9 runs per over in 2nd ODI.

Glenn Maxwell Felt Nice To Sort Of getting Bit Of Momentum In ODI And Credited Opening Partnership

Glenn Maxwell, who himself contributed in Australia’s second successive 350 plus total with his unbeaten 63 off only 29 balls, said it was great to get a bit of momentum in ODI cricket but also credited performing top-order for his success which made his role much easier. He, like Steven Smith, didn’t live up to expectations in IPL but found their lost touch in bilateral ODI series against India.

“I suppose it comes down to situations and conditions. And Sydney has been a place where I have had a bit of success in the past, a great wicket to bat on, there is always a lot of space out there and I’m trying to find that short boundary.

“But yes, it is been nice to sort of get bit of momentum in ODI cricket. Sometimes it is not easy to find consistency in the long road, but when the top-order is doing their job as well as they are at the moment, that makes my role a lot easier down (at the) bottom,” he said.

Glenn Maxwell
Glenn Maxwell. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

Glenn Maxwell also said the opening partnership between David Warner and Aaron Finch has been no less than sensational. In both matches, they had laid the foundation for the middle order to build a huge total on board.

Asked was it a perfect template to build a 50-overs innings, Glenn Maxwell said, “Yes it certainly has, when you have got a guy like Steve Smith coming in and getting 100 of 62 balls, it’s pretty special to watch and it feels like we are just setting the platform beautifully, weathering that early storm and that opening partnership has just been sensational for us.”

David Warner and Aaron Finch put together a partnership of 142 runs for the first wicket in 2nd ODI after 1st wicket partnership of 156 runs in the first ODI. Glenn Maxwell scored 45 off 19 balls in the 1st ODI too.

Australian captain Steve Smith looks on during a press conference at the Adelaide Oval in Adelaide , Thursday, Nov. 26, 2015. New Zealand play Australia in the third and final Trans-Tasman test match tomorrow which will also be the first ever day/night International Test match played. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt) NO ARCHIVING

Steve Smith Should Be Given Indian Citizenship – Aakash Chopra

Steve Smith, an Australian batsman, scored a brisk 105 off 66 balls with the help of 11 fours and 4 sixes partnered skipper Aaron Finch who scored 114 as Australia posted a daunting target of 365 for India to win in the 1st ODI at Sydney. He was struggling to find the rhythm in IPL 2020 scoring 311 runs in 14 games averaging a below-par 25.91.

While leading Rajasthan Royals in IPL, he failed to produce match-winning performances for his team scoring only 3 fifties. However, keeping all that aside, he is back with the utmost style and elegance in the international arena. In the first ODI against India in Sydney, he kicked off the bilateral series with an impressive brisk century.

Steven Smith.
Steven Smith.- Image credit: Getty Images.

Steve Smith Scores Ton As Aakash Chopra Jokingly Wants Him To Be Offered Indian Citizenship

Steve Smith smashed the Indian bowlers in all the directions to set up Australia’s quest for a series victory perfectly. Even Indian star pacer like Jasprit Bumrah wasn’t spared when he started wreaking havoc. Jasprit Bumrah, Navdeep Saini and spinner Yuzvendra Chahal conceded more than 7 runs per over. Former Indian opener and cricket analyst Aakash Chopra jokingly said that Steve Smith should be given Indian citizenship, given his fondness for the country.

Aakash Chopra
Aakash Chopra. Photo Credit: BCCI/IPL.

Steve Smith averages 63.25 against India in 19 ODIs, amassing 1012 runs. He scored 4 hundreds against India which is his most against a single opponent in ODIs. The batsman was in stellar form and only got dismissed in the final over of Australia’s innings. His brilliant knock turned out to be the third fastest ODI ton by an Australian batsman.

Steve Smith Was Disappointed With His Batting Throughout IPL 2020

Regarding his dismal form in IPL 2020, Steve Smith smashed two half-centuries in the first two games played at Sharjah and lost his rhythm thereafter. He was only able to gather 192 runs in the next 12 matches he played for RR. On the eve of the ODI series, Steve Smith stated that he is unhappy with his IPL 2020 campaign but has ‘found his hands’ at practise net sessions.  His actions replicated his words as he created havoc in the first ODI itself.

Steven Smith
Steven Smith (Image Credit: BCCI/IPL)

“I was pretty disappointed with my batting throughout the IPL. For my sort of standards, I wasn’t consistent enough. I did play a few innings here and there but not consistently. I think in the last few days, people who know me well, said that I have found my hands and I am excited about it. So I plan to have a few more hits at the nets and get started in a few days time,” said Smith in a virtual press conference recently.

2020 is turning out to be a great year in ODIs for Steve Smith as he has 457 runs averaging 65.29 in 8 ODIs with 2 tons and as many fifties. It will be however seen whether India bounce back hard in the next two remaining ODIs in 29th November at Sydney and 2nd December at Canberra.


Rohan Gavaskar: Australia Will Start Favorites In 4-Match Test Series

Rohan Gavaskar said that the return of the Australian duo of Steve Smith and David Warner tilts the balance slightly in favour of Australia particularly when Virat Kohli will only be available for the first Test match after being granted paternity leave by the BCCI.

Kohli will be a part of limited-overs series but will miss the last 3 Tests of this tour to be beside his wife Anushka Sharma as the couple expects their first child in January.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli

Rohan Gavaskar: Return Of Steve Smith And David Warner Makes Australia Different As They Start Favorites

In an exclusive interview to Hindustan Times, former Indian cricketer Rohan Gavaskar discussed the matter that the series is more an individual battle while also throwing light on the importance of an India-Australia series. Australia will eye revenge after being humbled by India the last time they met in Tests in 2018-2019 in Australia.

“Absolutely it (the return of Steve Smith and David Warner) just adds so much more to the Australian side,” said Gavaskar.

“Last time we went to Australia as favourites. I don’t think anybody was surprised by the result. This time around, Steve Smith and David Warner, two of the best batsmen of the world returning to their side will make it different. Australia will start as favorites,” Gavaskar said highlighting India’s historic 2-1 win in the 2018-19 tour.

David Warner and Steven Smith.
David Warner and Steven Smith. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

The former left-handed middle-order batsman, who is the son of legendary opener Sunil Gavaskar and incidentally made his international debut in an ODI in Australia back in 2004, however, was quick to add that a balanced Indian side will provide a spectacle for the viewers. Rohan Gavaskar featured in only 11 ODIs where he scored 151 runs and picked a solitary wicket.

“We are a fantastic side. The balance of bowling and batting that India have will make it a great series. Over the last 10-12 years that is the rivalry that most cricket fans look for,” Gavaskar said.

Indian side in Tests will comprise of batsmen Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane while the limited-overs side will see likes of batsmen Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan.

Rohan Gavaskar: Indian Batsmen Capable Of Handling Pace And Bounce In Australia

Rohan Gavaskar was asked to further explain why the discussion is centred on two players Virat Kohli and Steve Smith as the series is looked at as a face-off between the two modern-day greats, he answered positively mentioning that fans should stick together and enjoy both of the exceptional players batting showcasing their skills.

“I’m going to go with something that you said. You called Steve Smith the Virat Kohli of Australia and not the other away around so I’m gonna with that. But I would actually say why are we hell-bent on saying A is better than B. We’ve got two exceptional players out there, showcasing their skills, entertaining us, why can’t we sit back and enjoy both of them bat,” he added.

Rohan Gavaskar
Rohan Gavaskar

Talking about Indian batting it out against a pace battery comprising Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood, Rohan Gavaskar said that India have enough quality in their batting line-up to cope the Aussie pacers in their own backyard.

“Indian batsmen are very much capable of handling pace and bounce in Australia. The conditions might favour them a bit but this Indian side is top class. I’ve got absolutely no doubt in mind that they’ve got the skills, both mental and physical to handle to whatever is thrown at them in different conditions,” he said.

India will play three ODIs and three T20Is before the four-match Test series of Border-Gavaskar trophy kickstarts with the first-ever day-night Test between the two sides at Adelaide on December 17. India have played only one day-night Test before this tour, which was against Bangladesh at home. So, the upcoming day-night Test match against the hosts Australia will be India’s first overseas day-night pink ball Test.

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