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Stuart Broad

MS Dhoni (BCCI/IPL)
MS Dhoni (BCCI/IPL)
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Harbhajan Singh Picks MS Dhoni To Lead His All-Time T20 XI

Harbhajan Singh, a veteran Indian spinner, has picked MS Dhoni as his all-time T20 XI skipper. The now 40-year-old MS Dhoni started his T20I career, guiding Team India to glory in the inaugural edition of the T20 World Cup in South Africa in 2007, a year before IPL started. Thereafter, he helped his IPL franchise Chennai Super Kings win the Indian Premier League four times and the Champions League T20 a couple of times as well.

As his openers, Harbhajan Singh picked India’s Rohit Sharma and West Indies’ Chris Gayle. Then, for the No.3 slot, the Turbanator went for England’s Jos Buttler. He said that Jos Buttler is reliable and has the ability to dictate terms after getting set.

Harbhajan Singh. (Twitter/KKRiders)
Harbhajan Singh. (Twitter/KKRiders)

Harbhajan Singh: Jos Buttler Is A Reliable Batsman

Jos Buttler has scored in excess of 250 every time since making his IPL debut in 2016. While he had to leave IPL 2019 midway to join the England team for the World Cup 2019 preparations, he made an impact during his eight-game stint, scoring 311 runs, following his 548-run season in IPL 2018.

The right-hander scored 328 runs in the IPL 2020 and 254 runs in 7 games in the India leg of IPL 2021 that included a ton-his career-best 124 before opting out of the UAE leg IPL 2021.

Rajasthan Royals wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler in action in IPL 2019. - AFP
Rajasthan Royals wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler in action in IPL 2019. – AFP

“He is a very reliable batsman and someone who can control the game once he gets set,” Harbhajan was quoted as saying.

At No.4, Harbhajan Singh picked Shane Watson, who retired from all forms of cricket in November 2020. Back in 2016, after the World T20 in India, Shane Watson bid adieu to international cricket. However, Harbhajan Singh said that Shane Watson had the potential to put in all-around performances and help his team win matches.

“Being an all-rounder, he has won many matches through his batting ability and has won games with the ball as well,” he stated.

In IPL 2020, held entirely in UAE, Shane Watson scored 299 runs from 11 matches averaging 29.9 at a strike rate of 121.05. CSK finished their campaign in seventh place with 12 points from 14 matches, and it was the first time they couldn’t reach the playoffs.

Harbhajan Singh: Kieron Pollard Can Be Moved Up And Down The Batting Order As Per Demands Of The Situation

Harbhajan Singh went for South Africa’s AB de Villiers, India’s MS Dhoni, West Indies’ Dwayne Bravo, and Kieron Pollard at No. 5, 6, 7, and 8 respectively. However, the veteran said that Kieron Pollard could also be slotted up the order if the situation demands so.

“The batting order can be altered and Pollard could be moved up and down the order depending on the needs of the side. Any T20 team is incomplete without Pollard,” Harbhajan added.

Kieron Pollard(Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)
Kieron Pollard(Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

He also picked the wily Sunil Narine, who has plied his trade in numerous T20 leagues around the world. Next, Harbhajan Singh went for Lasith Malinga and Jasprit Bumrah as his two specialist fast bowlers. Lasith Malinga is the leading wicket-taker in the history of the IPL, having racked up 170 wickets at an economy rate of 7.14. Jasprit Bumrah, on the other hand, is the Indian pace spearhead across formats.

Indian skipper Virat Kohli and Pakistani batter Babar Azam, who doesn’t feature in IPL, were not picked by Harbhajan Singh in his all-time T20I playing XI. Another surprise exclusion is Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan, who has the best economic rate in IPL. Also, missing was the 2011 ODI World cup and 2007 T20I World cup hero Yuvraj Singh, who hit 6 maximums in an over against England’s Stuart Broad in the 2007 T20I World Cup.

Harbhajan Singh’s T20 XI 

Rohit Sharma, Chris Gayle, Jos Buttler, Shane Watson, AB de Villiers, MS Dhoni (c &wk), Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard, Sunil Narine, Lasith Malinga, Jasprit Bumrah

Yuvraj Singh celebrates after guiding India to victory against Australia in the quarter-finals of the 2011 ODI World Cup | AFP / Manan Vatsyayana
Yuvraj Singh celebrates after guiding India to victory against Australia in the quarter-finals of the 2011 ODI World Cup | AFP / Manan Vatsyayana
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India Has The Same Depth As Mumbai Indians: Yuvraj Singh

Yuvraj Singh, the former India all-rounder, and 2007 T20I and 2011 ODI World Cup hero, feels the current Indian squad for the 2021 T20I World Cup is looking balanced and strong, and the team has a good chance of adding a second World T20 trophy after 2007 to their decorated cabinet.

Warm-up games are instead used to gauge individual players and how good they are feeling about themselves and are usually not precise parameters to judge the form of a team. However, they do offer an insight into how confident a certain outfit is. Considering the two warm-up matches that India has played are anything to go by, the Men in Blue could well be the team to beat in this edition of the T20 World Cup.

File image of Yuvraj Singh | Oli Scarff/AFP
File image of Yuvraj Singh | Oli Scarff/AFP

Yuvraj Singh: T20I Format Is Very Unpredictable, But India Has The Same Depth As Mumbai Indians

India pummelled England and then Australia in the warm-up games and are now all set to begin their ICC World T20 campaign against arch-rivals Pakistan on Sunday. Team India won the inaugural World T20 title in 2007, under Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s leadership. This edition, meanwhile, will be the T20I captaincy swansong for current skipper Virat Kohli who will retire as skipper from T20Is after the conclusion of the T20I WC.

Questions arise whether Virat Kohli, who has a junior ICC title to his name (ICC Under-19 World Cup win in 2008), win his maiden senior ICC trophy and become the second Indian captain to take India to the T20 World Cup title.

“It is not only about the captain; the whole team needs to perform. Then only you can win the title. I feel India has a great T20 side but the T20 format is very unpredictable. One session of five overs can take away the game,” Yuvraj Singh said.

KL Rahul And Rohit Sharma (Image Credit: Twitter)
KL Rahul And Rohit Sharma (Image Credit: Twitter)

“I feel Team India has the same depth as Mumbai Indians. They have 5,6,7 and 8 as allrounders. The left-right combinations. Hardik, Krunal, Pollard are there. They have depth in their batting. They have allrounders. We do have a side like that.

“If you look at Jadeja, Hardik, and Rishabh, we have a strong side. New guys are also coming in. We have a strong batting lineup. We have all-rounders. We have a strong batting lineup till number 8 and we have a mix of extra bowlers,” the 39 year old further said.

One crucial aspect of this World Cup is that it is being played in the UAE, where the pitches are generally slower and do assist spin. In that context, sub-continental teams might have the upper hand over other opposition. But, on the other hand, any team with quality spinners and a variety of them should feel rather confident about themselves.

“I feel we (India) have a very good chance. The UAE wickets can get slow in the second half. So, spinners come in very handy. So, we have a really good, balanced side,” Yuvraj Singh, who was part of the MS Dhoni-led 2007 T20 World Cup-winning team and scored 148 runs in 6 matches at an average of 29.60, further said.

In a warm-up game, India thumped Australia by nine wickets with Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, and Suryakumar Yadav (38), all getting some runs under their belts. Australia’s bowlers captured only one wicket, with spinner Ashton Agar removing opener KL Rahul for 39. Rohit Sharma (60 retired off 41) showed sublime touch alongside opening partner KL Rahul (39 off 31) as India chased down Australia’s 152 for five in 17.5 overs.

Against England, chasing a target of 189, India reached 192 for three in 19 overs. Openers KL Rahul and Ishan Kishan were in brilliant form. KL Rahul smashed 51 off 24 deliveries, and Ishan Kishan retired after playing a knock of 70 runs off 46 balls.

Yuvraj Singh: Hitting Six Sixes Of Stuart Broad A Historic Moment And Greatest Memory Of Career

Yuvraj Singh is one of the biggest match-winners Indian cricket has ever produced. He played multiple unforgettable knocks in his career. But the one thing that he will forever be synonymous with will be hitting 6 sixes in an over-off England pacer Stuart Broad.

“We just smile at each other (when they meet). The good thing was that the monkey was off my back because two weeks before that match, I got hit for five sixes in an ODI match vs England. I had bowled the 50th over. Getting hit for five sixes and then hitting sixes was a big relief doing against the same country (England).

“The monkey was off my back and it is obviously one of the greatest memories,” Yuvraj Singh, who scored over 11,000 runs and took 148 wickets in international cricket across all formats told TimesofIndia.com.

Stuart Broad and Yuvraj Singh. (Getty Images)
Stuart Broad and Yuvraj Singh. (Getty Images)

“I realised the importance of that memory over the years because every time September 19 comes, people start celebrating that moment. It is one of the historic moments of my career and I will always cherish that,” Yuvraj Singh, who played 40 Tests, 304 ODIs, and 58 T20Is between 2000 and 2019, signed off.

During the 2007 T20 World Cup, Yuvraj Singh took Stuart Broad to the cleaners in the 19th over of the Indian innings, whacking him for 6 sixes and taking India’s total past the 200-run mark. India defeated England by 18 runs in that game.

Yuvraj Singh featured in two World Cup wins for India (T20 World Cup in 2007 and ODI World Cup in 2011). In the 2007 T20 World Cup, Yuvraj Singh scored only 148 runs in the tournament, with two fifties. But he got those runs at a strike rate close to 195. In the tournament, his 12-ball half-century against England remains the fastest fifty in international cricket as he hit 6 sixes in one over off Stuart Broad.

With 362 runs at an average of 90.5 and 15 wickets at an average of 25.13, he was a key player in India’s second ODI World Cup Win after a hiatus of 28 years, and deservingly won the Player of the Tournament award.

England, PTI
England, PTI
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England Picked A Relatively Predictable Squad For The Ashes 2021/22: Nasser Hussain

Nasser Hussain, the former England cricketer, said England has not taken any risks selecting the Australia-bound squad and picked a relatively predictable squad for the upcoming Ashes 2021/22 on Australian soil. On Sunday, October 10, the Three Lions England named a 17-member team for the five-match Test series, starting December 8 with the opening game at The Gabba in Brisbane.

One of England’s prolific captains, Nasser Hussain, said that the visitors could have gone in with fast bowler Saqib Mahmood and leg-spinner Matt Parkinson or Mason Crane. Saqib Mahmood has already played limited-overs cricket for the national team and conjured praises for bowling well against Pakistan earlier this year.

Nasser Hussain. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
Nasser Hussain. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Nasser Hussain: Surprised To See Saqib Mahmood And Matt Parkinson Overlooked

Nasser Hussain said that Saqib Mahmood would have been a perfect fit after Jofra Archer and Olly Stone missed the bus due to injuries sustained. The veteran former batsman and commentator said that the Three Lions could have picked a leg-spinner to add variety in their bowling attack.

“England have picked a very predictable Ashes squad, avoiding selecting any uncapped players and refusing to take any kind of risk. The two surprises for me were overlooking Saqib Mahmood and Matt Parkinson.”

Saqib Mahmood AFP via Getty Images
Saqib Mahmood AFP via Getty Images

“Saqib would have given a different element to the attack in Australian conditions with his skiddy reverse swing, in the absence of Jofra Archer and Olly Stone’s pace,” Hussain wrote on Daily Mail.

“And I would have gone for Parkinson’s leg-spin instead of Dom Bess. I would have liked a bit of wrist spin available to me as captain — if not Parkinson, then Mason Crane,” he stated.

Saqib Mahmood claimed nine wickets at 13.66 in England’s 3-0 series win in the ODIs against Pakistan in July, after being called up as part of an emergency squad following a Covid outbreak in England’s original party, and retained his place for the subsequent T20I series, where he picked up a further four wickets at 28.00.

The squad has a tried and trusted feel, with no uncapped test players selected. That means potential selections such as Lancashire trio Liam Livingstone, Matt Parkinson, and Saqib Mahmood have all been overlooked.

Nasser Hussain Would’ve Selected Liam Livingstone

Nasser Hussain also said that he would’ve selected Liam Livingstone, who has already scored a T20I century out of 11 international games. As per Nasser Hussain, the right-handed batter exudes confidence similar to that of Kevin Pietersen and Ben Stokes. He has played 3 ODIs and 8 T20Is in his brief international career, amassing 278 runs.

“I’d also have taken a punt on Liam Livingstone, an in-your-face, confident cricketer in the mould of Kevin Pietersen and Ben Stokes. He’s someone who could take the attack to the opposition from his natural, middle-order position,” Hussain added.

Nasser Hussain also feared that all-rounder Ben Stokes’ absence will give England massive headaches regarding setting the right combinations. The Brits haven’t won a Test match in Australia since 2011, and it will need an arduous task for them to turn over the hosts in their own den.

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

England have named their strongest available squad for the Ashes tour to Australia as all-rounders. Ben Stokes and Sam Curran missed out, but seamer Stuart Broad was included despite the calf injury he picked up in the Test series against India. Ben Stokes was unavailable as he continues his indefinite break to focus on his mental health while recovering from a second operation on a broken finger.

Sam Curran was omitted due to a stress fracture in his lower back. There were no uncapped players in the 17-member squad, including recalls for batsman Zak Crawley and spinner Dom Bess. Fast bowler Jofra Archer was also unavailable after he suffered a recurrence of a stress fracture in his elbow, and Olly Stone was ruled out with a back injury. Moeen Ali had retired from Tests.

England’s full squad for The Ashes: Joe Root (captain), James Anderson, Jonathan Bairstow, Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Rory Burns, Jos Buttler, Zak Crawley, Haseeb Hameed, Dan Lawrence, Jack Leach, Dawid Malan, Craig Overton, Ollie Pope, Ollie Robinson, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood.

England, PTI
England, PTI
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Ashes 2021/22 Is Set To Go Ahead With England’s Players Aggreging To Tour Australia

Ashes 2021/22 is set to go ahead this summer with England’s players reportedly agreeing to tour in a move that will green-light the A$200 million series. England’s Test specialists cricketers spoke with Cricket Australia (CA) bosses again on Tuesday evening, to thrash out their concerns over strict Covid-19 protocols for Ashes 2021/22.

Players have been given until the end of this week to make a decision by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), with the team only set to tour if an adequate number of front-liner players agree to travel. However, those fears have now seemingly been allayed with the report that captain Joe Root has led a group of players committing to the series.

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

Ashes 2021/22 Is Set To Go Ahead Without Moeen Ali, Ben Stokes, And Jofra Archer Missing And Jos Buttler Doubtful

According to the report, wicketkeeper Jos Buttler could be the only England player not to agree to tour. He had previously indicated his concerns over the Ashes 2021/22  tour and potential time away from family. Allrounder Moeen Ali will be unavailable after he recently retired from Tests, while all-rounder Ben Stokes is taking a break from the game, and pacer Jofra Archer is out injured.

Moeen Ali has played the last of his 64 Tests for England AFP/Getty Images
Moeen Ali has played the last of his 64 Tests for England AFP/Getty Images

Cricket Australia is yet to officially be informed about the development but will no doubt be breathing a massive sigh of relief given the magnitude of the decision of players. In a series of two separate meetings with England players in recent days, it’s understood fears over snap lockdowns and quarantine conditions in Australia for families were the chief concerns.

Nick Hockley Stressed Conditions In Australia Were Improving

But CA CEO Nick Hockley stressed to England players that conditions in Australia before Ashes 2021/22 were improving, with the country’s vaccination rate on the rise. Likewise, it’s believed a move to have a second group of England’s players’ families arrive before Christmas to quarantine in Melbourne has also been crucial.

Players had feared that families would only be able to arrive with them in November, meaning a hard quarantine before a long tour. But the move to let a second group into Victoria would be welcome news, given they do not need to spend as much time away from home.

Cricket Australia's CEO Nick Hockley Image Source: Getty Images AsiaPac
Cricket Australia’s CEO Nick Hockley Image Source: Getty Images AsiaPac

There could be some freedoms for families in regional Victoria. That deal is not officially over the line with the state government, but would be in line with the road map out of COVID-19 as Victoria edges closer to 70 and 80 percent double dosage rates.

The last concern for CA will now be the Perth Test, with officials adamant they will be granted clearance to play in Western Australia just days after being in Sydney. If that doesn’t eventually happen, Canberra or Hobart could seize their first-ever Ashes Test. Alternatively, the match could be held as a second fixture at the SCG or MCG.

Test specialists James Anderson and Stuart Broad have publicly stated they are prepared to tour Australia for Ashes 2021/22, as have youngsters Dan Lawrence and Ollie Pope.

Andrew Strauss
Andrew Strauss
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The Ashes 2021/22 Need To Go Ahead: Andrew Strauss

Andrew Strauss, the former England captain has advised England players to board the plane for the Ashes tour if selected. England’s participation in the Ashes series has been a debatable issue in the last few months due to players’ concerns with the strict quarantine measures in Australia. Notably, the Australian government refused to relax the stringent quarantine protocols for the England players and their families.

It is understood that England’s key players, including captain Joe Root, will decide on their availability shortly. England’s multi-format players, such as Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow, Mark Wood, Sam Curran, and Chris Woakes wouldn’t be willing to spend up about four months away from their families as they will fly to Australia straight from the UAE, where the T20 World Cup will be held. Some of the players will also participate in the second half of the IPL 2021.

Andrew Strauss. (Image Credits: Twitter)
Andrew Strauss. (Image Credits: Twitter)

Andrew Strauss: The Ashes Need To Go Ahead

However, Andrew Strauss earmarked the Ashes as the most significant event in the Test calendar and all the stakeholders need to make it happen by making compromises.

“To me, the Ashes need to go ahead. We are learning to live with Covid in this country and Australia is in a slightly different place. But the Ashes means a lot to a lot of people, and some of them are people that are going through a tough time themselves. There is a way of making it happen and I think we are moving in the right direction. I think there will be accommodations made and that families will get out there.”

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

While Andrew Strauss stated he understands every player’s plight, he added that they must not pull out of an Ashes tour, if selected. He trusts both cricketing boards to find a workable solution for everyone.

“Personally, I think if you are selected on an Ashes tour, you should go. An Ashes tour is not the one to pull out of, in my opinion. But I understand that everyone sees things slightly differently. But I think that between Cricket Australia, the Australian government and the ECB, they will find a way that works for both the players and their families.”

Australian Test captain Tim Paine believes the Ashes 2021/22 will take place, irrespective of which set of English players decide to board the plane. He copped flak from the England fans for his lack of empathy and consideration.

Andrew Strauss: England Should Not Be Over Dependant On James Anderson And Stuart Broad

Andrew Strauss further said the tourists would have a daunting task even if all their key players are available. He expressed concerns about the batting unit which failed against New Zealand and India and thinks James Anderson and Stuart Broad cannot be overly relied on to help England regain the urn.

James Anderson
James Anderson (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)

The 44-year old added: “I think we are going to have to play a lot better than we did this summer, put it that way. Our top order needs to function better than it has done for a long time. Playing against the new ball in Australia is a very tough thing to do. There will be a lot of responsibility on our bowling attack. Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad will have a role to play but we can’t just rely on them to win us the Ashes.”

The hosts are the current holders of the Ashes as Tim Paine’s men retained the urn in England in 2019.

Stuart Broad confirmed that he will be part of the Ashes 2021/22 tour if his fitness permits him to play but added that England’s players still need more details about the Covid-19 restrictions they will undergo in Australia.

It is expected that some of England’s multi-format players will withdraw from the trip regardless of the final protocols that are put in place but Stuart Broad, who is a single-format player and could even have an outside chance of captaining the side if Joe Root isn’t available, has committed to being there.

Rajasthan Royals wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler in action in IPL 2019. - AFP
Rajasthan Royals wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler in action in IPL 2019. - AFP
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Jos Buttler Would Pull Out Of Ashes 2021/22 If His Family Is Unable To Join Him

Jos Buttler, England vice-captain has insisted again he will miss the upcoming Ashes tour if his family are unable to join him in Australia. Wicketkeeper Jos Buttler will fly out to the United Arab Emirates next week as a member of England’s squad for the forthcoming T20 World Cup.

But whether the wicketkeeper-batsman also features in the upcoming five-Test Ashes series is doubtful amidst questions over the severity of Covid-19 restrictions at Australia confronting Joe Root’s men. England players are still awaiting specific details about quarantine, bubble, and entry regulations, although there are reports that information will be available this weekend.

Jos Buttler. Image-Twitter
Jos Buttler. Image-Twitter

Jos Buttler Would Pull Out Of Ashes If His Family Is Unable To Join Him

But in the meantime, even Test skipper Joe Root has been unable to commit fully to touring Australia for one of the showpiece events in the global cricket calendar. Jos Buttler, having just become a father for the second time, wants to know as many details as possible before making himself available for the tour.

But asked Wednesday if an Ashes series where his family were unable to join him for even part of the tour represented a red line, the 31-year-old replied: “Yes, definitely for myself. If I had to do a World Cup and an Ashes — four, five months without seeing my family — I wouldn’t be comfortable doing that.”

“We’re still waiting for more information, as soon as possible,” he said when speaking at Sixes Cricket Club, where he was unveiled as the official ambassador of Booking.com’s sponsorship of the T20 World Cup. Hopefully in the next few days there’ll be more information. As soon as you get that it makes it easier to know what decision you’re making.”

England batsman Jos Buttler
England batsman Jos Buttler (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Buttler, yet to play in an overseas Ashes, added: “The ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board) and Cricket Australia will be working very hard together to make it as good as possible. It’s tough to make a decision when you don’t have all the answers. In Covid times, there is always going to be some sort of question that is difficult to answer. It could be changeable, it would be naive not to say so in the times we’re living in, but you want to go there with as many assurances as possible.”

The England opener played the entire IPL 2021 phase 1 but decided against returning for Phase 2 citing bubble fatigue and the birth of his second child. Rajasthan Royals’ wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler hit the top gear against Sunrisers Hyderabad by smashing 124 off 64 balls in an IPL 2021 match, just a few days before BCCI suspended the tournament due to Covid-19 threat.

Stuart Broad confirmed that he will be part of the Ashes tour if his fitness permits him to play but added that England’s players still need more details about the Covid-19 restrictions they will undergo in Australia. The pacer was ruled out of the recently concluded India Test series after playing the first Test when he suffered a calf injury.

Ian Watmore: There Are Issues For CA To Sort Out Ashes Plan With Their Government

Meanwhile, ECB chairman Ian Watmore said he was prepared for more twists and turns ahead of the scheduled Ashes opener in Brisbane on December 8.

“There is no simple date it must be decided by, apart from when that plane goes to Australia,” Watmore told the Daily Mail.

ECB Chairman Ian Watmore
ECB Chairman Ian Watmore | OyeYeah News
“There are issues for CA to sort out with their government and for the federal government to sort out with state governments. We’re working hard to provide an environment in which our players and their families want to go and perform to their best. If Australia can deliver that, great, if not we may have to have more challenging discussions.”

England vice-captain Jos Buttler has made it clear that he would not be traveling to Australia for the Ashes series starting 8 December without his family.  It is to mention that Jos Buttler and his wife Louise Webber were blessed with a baby girl on 5 September. Therefore, it seems that the stumper intends to spend more time with his family.

The first Australia vs England Test match will be contested at Brisbane’s Gabba from 8-12 December whereas, the 2nd Test match will be at the Adelaide Oval from 16-20 December and it will be a Day-Night affair. The iconic Boxing Day and New Year’s Tests will be played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (26-30 December) and Sydney Cricket Ground (5-9 January) respectively, with the final Test scheduled for Perth’s Optus Stadium (14-18 January).

England's Stuart Broad holds the ball to celebrate taking 500 wickets Martin Rickett/Pool via AP
England's Stuart Broad holds the ball to celebrate taking 500 wickets Martin Rickett/Pool via AP
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Stuart Broad Confirms He Will Be A Part Of The Ashes 2021/22 Tour If Fitness Permits Him

Stuart Broad confirmed that he will be part of the Ashes 2021/22 tour if his fitness permits him to play but added that England’s players still need more details about the Covid-19 restrictions they will undergo in Australia.

It is expected that some multi-format players will withdraw from the trip regardless of the final protocols that are put in place but Stuart Broad, who is a single-format player and could even have an outside chance of captaining the side if Joe Root isn’t available, has committed to being there. The pacer was ruled out of the recently concluded India Test series after playing the first Test when he suffered a calf injury.

Joe Root
Joe Root Photograph: Sri Lanka Cricket

Stuart Broad Would Be Happy To Get On A Plane To Australia In November

England players have expressed serious concerns about the quarantine and bio-bubble protocols being put in place for the team when they tour Australia for the gruelling Ashes series, and there are speculations that some key players might pull out of the tour. Stuart Broad – a veteran of 149 Tests and who has taken a whopping 524 wickets opened up on the matter.

“If you ask me if I would be happy to get on a plane to Australia in November, I would say yes,” Stuart Broad said in his Mail on Sunday column. “I am working tirelessly to get there. I don’t feel there will be a postponement. In my mind, it is 100 percent clear that an England team of some description will embark on the tour.”

“It is now just a couple of weeks away from a squad being selected but players can’t sign up to something unless they know what they are signing up for,” Stuart Broad said

England's Stuart Broad. (Photo by Jon Super / POOL / AFP)
England’s Stuart Broad(Photo by Jon Super / POOL / AFP)

Extensive negotiations are continuing between the two boards- ECB and CA to try and find compromises to maintain quarantine norms and living arrangements during the two-month trip with Australia continuing to battle significant Covid-19 outbreaks in Victoria and New South Wales, although there remains hope that restrictions will be eased by November end.

England’s multi-format players, such as Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow, Mark Wood, Sam Curran, and Chris Woakes wouldn’t be willing to spend up about four months away from their families as they will fly to Australia straight from the UAE, where the T20 World Cup will be held. Some of the players will also participate in the second half of the IPL 2021. There is also a prospect of a postponed Ashes tour. Australia is the defending holders of the Ashes going into the series, having won in 2017–18 with the 2019 Ashes series ending in a draw.

Stuart Broad: ECB Informed Cricketers With Available Minimal Details Of Australia’s Plans For Ashes 2021/22

However, the final conditions of the tour largely rest with what Cricket Australia is able to negotiate with the federal and state governments in Australia. The biggest challenge is finding biosecure plans that allow the tour to move around the country.

“The ECB have tried to keep us as informed as possible with the information that they are getting from Cricket Australia,” Stuart Broad said. “It’s just that minimal detail has been available. I don’t think anyone can say hand on heart that we won’t be living in a bubble out there and that will be extremely challenging.”

The conditions of the initial 14-day quarantine period have been one of the key areas of discussion between the two boards. The England squad may be housed in a resort on the Gold Coast with a greater degree of freedom, although it may be limited to a period of training each day. India was permitted the same last season.

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

Recently the India Women’s squad, and the majority of the women Australia players, had to undergo two weeks hard quarantine in Brisbane ahead of their multi-format series.

“With the situation, Australia is in — with their own citizens struggling to get into the country — I am not thinking we will just be able to fly in with no quarantining, as if we are living a normal life, because the world is not a normal place at the moment,” Stuart Broad said.

“We need to be in a situation where we are allowed to train for between two and three hours a day. An international bowler rarely goes two weeks in a year without bowling,” Stuart Broad said.
While doubts about whether families will be able to travel have receded, there remain concerns about the conditions of their length of the quarantine period. The possibility of reducing the quarantine period for the squad, which will be entirely double vaccinated, had been raised. 14 days quarantine period is the federal government policy norm throughout the pandemic, so it would appear an unlikely concession.

Late last week a glimmer of a solution had emerged when the New South Wales government, who last season helped rescue the India Test tour by providing the necessary quarantine and training facilities, announced a trial program for a reduced seven-day home quarantine program that would begin in late September as part of the plan to open up international borders. However, progress would have to move quickly for it to be an option for the Ashes.

The Ashes between England and Australia is set to commence on December 8 in Brisbane.

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England Pacer James Anderson Hopes Manchester Test Will Be Played Again

England pacer James Anderson on Sunday said he hopes the Manchester Test against India will be played at some point and the fast bowler will get to feature in the game at his home ground.

The fifth Test match between England and India was cancelled in Manchester on Friday. 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.

James Anderson
James Anderson (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)

England Pacer James Anderson Hopes Manchester Test Will Be Played Again And He Will Play Another Int’l Match At His Home Ground

James Anderson felt gutted for the Lancashire fans but is hopeful of playing another international game at his home ground. Ahead of the fifth and final Test against England, physio Yogesh Parmar tested positive for COVID-19 in Manchester. This had led to Team India’s training session for Thursday afternoon being cancelled.

“It’s such a shame the summer of international cricket ended this way. I’m gutted for everyone at @lancashirecricket, for the fans who paid for tickets/trains/hotels, for both sets of supporters that wanted to see the finish this series deserved,” Anderson said in his Instagram post.

James Anderson
James Anderson. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

“I hope it will be played again at some point and I hope I will get to play another international game at my home ground that I love so much,” he added.

The 39-year-old bowler rued the anticlimactic end to the summer cricket season and offered words of support to hosts Lancashire country cricket club as well as fans who had travelled to the stadium. Even at the age of 39, he doesn’t seem to lose his magic and showed his calibre outright in the last Test series against India. James Anderson picked 15 wickets against India across four Tests with an average of 24.66.

James Anderson, who is the leading wicket-taker of England in Test cricket, said his family won’t be travelling with him to Australia as his children will have to be present in England for their education.

There will be a lot of hectic moments for England players who will be travelling to both UAE for the T20 World Cup (and IPL 2021) and later Australia as they will have to be under various COVID-19 bubbles and compel to strict quarantine rules of the respective country. James Anderson, who only plays red-ball cricket for England, said he will manage somehow but expressed concern over his teammates who would be participating in both the tours.

England Was Trailing By 2-1 When The Manchester Test Was Abandoned Without A Ball Being Bowled

In the four matches prior to the Manchester fixture, 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.

India vs England (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
India vs England (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has offered to ECB a rescheduling of the cancelled 5th Test match which was scheduled to be played at Manchester from Friday.

England’s James Anderson became the first seam bowler to reach 600 Test wickets, reaching the milestone in a gloomy last session of a rain-hit final day of the third Test against Pakistan. He is now the first bowler to possess 400 wickets in England, and the second bowler – after Muttiah Muralitharan – to have claimed as many wickets in his home country.

James Anderson is one of only two England bowlers – the other being Stuart Broad – to have taken more than 300 wickets at home in Test matches. Fred Trueman is third in the list of highest wicket-takers in England, with 229 wickets. Among the leading wicket-takers at home, Anil Kumble is third, with 350, followed by Stuart Broad (341 wickets), and Shane Warne (319 wickets).

A snarling James Anderson is congratulated on his five-fer by Chris Woakes (Getty)
A snarling James Anderson is congratulated on his five-fer by Chris Woakes (Getty)
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James Anderson May Miss 4th Test While Chris Woakes Set To Replace Sam Curran

James Anderson is the highest wicket-taker in Test cricket when it comes to pacers. James Anderson has been phenomenal against India in the series, taking 13 wickets at 16.25 and a strike rate of 47.7. The England Test veteran has taken a whopping 30 wickets at 19.79 this year alone, including two five-wicket hauls.

The battle between India skipper Virat Kohli and James Anderson may not take place in the fourth Test at The Oval as the veteran England pace bowler could be rested and return only for the fifth Test in Manchester.

James Anderson
James Anderson (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)

James Anderson May Be Rested And Could Return For The 5th Test In Manchester

The quick turnaround in the last three Test matches – to be played within three weeks – is forcing both the teams to rotate bowlers. While India has already made it clear, the English team could also go that way.

“What I don’t want to do is break them. We’ve got a lot of cricket in front of us. The Tests are coming thick and fast now. Back-to-back, it is difficult,” said England head coach Chris Silverwood to the media while pointing out the workload of his two new-ball bowlers, James Anderson and Ollie Robinson.

Chris Silverwood
Chris Silverwood Getty Images

At the age of 39, James Anderson has already bowled more overs in the first three Tests than any of the Indian seamers has bowled. He has bowled 116.3 which is just two balls less than Ollie Robinson (116.5), who has bowled the most in the series.

“These guys are giving everything, every day when we are out on the field and we have got to make sure we are looking after them. But I won’t be making any decisions or judgments right now,” he added.

James Anderson though had made it clear prior to the series that he wants to play every Test match in the series. Even though he had niggle in the lead-up to the second Test at Lord’s, he turned up to perform. He was unplayable in the first innings of the third Test at Headingley.

England’s frontline pacer James Anderson might be advised to rest for the fourth Test between England and India to be held at The Oval from September 2. The 39-year-old’s workload management has always been one of England’s top priorities so he may miss out on the Oval Test.

Chris Woakes May Replace Out Of Form Sam Curran In The 4th Test

But considering England have a long summer during the Ashes series Down Under and with Jofra Archer under an injury cloud, England may rest James Anderson for one of the next two Tests as part of workload management. With the last Test to be played at James Anderson’s home ground at Old Trafford in Manchester from September 10, it is likely that the England team management will play him there rather than at The Oval.

England’s Chris Woakes Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian
England’s Chris Woakes Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian

Chris Silverwood, though, admitted it will be hard to convince James Anderson to miss the fourth Test. England also faces a problem as their left-arm pace bowler Sam Curran is not performing well and is leaking runs whenever he has been brought on to bowl with the old ball. He may be replaced by Chris Woakes, who is fit again and has been added to the England squad.

James Anderson claimed his 400th wicket at home by dismissing Ajinkya Rahane during the morning session(4th day) of the 3rd Test. He is now the first bowler to possess 400 wickets in England, and the second bowler – after Muttiah Muralitharan – to have claimed as many wickets in his home country. James Anderson is one of only two England bowlers – the other being Stuart Broad – to have taken more than 300 wickets at home in Test matches.

Fred Trueman is third in the list of highest wicket-takers in England, with 229 wickets. Among the leading wicket-takers at home, Indian spinner Anil Kumble is third, with 350, followed by England pacer Stuart Broad (341 wickets), and Australian leg spinner Shane Warne (319 wickets).

Ollie Robinson PA Images via Getty Images
Ollie Robinson PA Images via Getty Images
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Ollie Robinson Felt Great To Open Bowling With James Anderson

Ollie Robinson, England pacer on Saturday said his legendary teammate James Anderson helped him in tweaking his wobble grip ball technique and it gave him a perfect result in the third Test against India.

Ollie Robinson exploited the second new ball on the fourth morning en route splendid bowling figures of 26-6-65-5 as England drew level in the five-match series with an innings and 76 runs win.

England’s Ollie Robinson Photograph: Andrew Couldridge/Action Images/Reuters
England’s Ollie Robinson. Photograph: Andrew Couldridge/Action Images/Reuters

Ollie Robinson Felt Great To Open Bowling With James Anderson

Ollie Robinson was named player of the match as England completed an innings-and-76-run victory in the third LV= Insurance Test at Leeds. He claimed 7 for 81 in the match, including 5 for 65 in the second innings

“I noticed Jimmy holding his wobble grip slightly differently. I was holding it from the other side so I spoke to him and just tried to practice it in the nets,” Robinson told reporters after his man-of-the-match performance.

“It went quite nicely, so I tried it in the game and it worked quite well. It’s something I need to practice a bit more. This learning opportunity is invaluable for me at this stage in my career and luckily it came off today. Obviously, it’s great to open the bowling with Jimmy and build pressure on both ends. I enjoyed it and hopefully, I can continue.”

Cheteshwar Pujara
Cheteshwar Pujara[photo: Twitter]
India collapsed from 215 for two to 278 all out on Day 4 of the 3rd Test. England began the proceedings with the second new ball and it all began with Ollie Robinson dismissing Cheteshwar Pujara on his overnight score of 91. Out-of-form India skipper Virat Kohli got to his first fifty of the series but only to be dismissed by Ollie Robinson that triggered a stunning collapse.

“It feels like a very special day, I don’t quite feel like it’s settled in yet. For me, it’s one of the great days in my cricket career, to get my first Test win is really special.”

On taking the prized scalp of Kohli, he said: “It is an amazing feeling. The crowds here were unbelievable. The noise when we got Kohli out was deafening, just an unbelievable experience and feeling to get that wicket.”

Ollie Robinson was named player of the match as England completed an innings-and-76-run victory in the third LV= Insurance Test at Leeds. He claimed 7 for 81 in the match, including 5 for 65 in the second innings.
With James Anderson and Stuart Broad coming towards the end and Jofra Archer facing an uncertain future, in Test cricket at least, Ollie Robinson’s emergence gives England great reassurance for the future. Ollie Robinson took 4 for 25 in eight metronomic overs on the fourth and final morning.

Ollie Robinson Trying His Best To Become A Better Person

Not long ago, the Sussex pacer had doubts over his fate in England cricket as he was suspended for offensive old racist tweets following his spectacular Test debut against New Zealand in June. After his apology, the Sussex seamer earned a recall for the Trent Bridge Test where he grabbed his maiden fifer.

“It’s off the back of quite a few hard years, I’ve had to work hard to get here and do a lot of extra to get here so to get the rewards in the last four four Test matches has been very pleasing,” the 27-year-old said.

Craig Overton celebrates a wicket Getty Images
Craig Overton celebrates a wicket Getty Images

“When you are performing obviously the scrutiny is off you a little bit. It (the racist tweet episode) is still quite fresh in my memory and I’m trying to work on becoming a better person.”

Ollie Robinson, England’s best bowler in the second innings, claimed 5 for 65 – a second career five-for in just his fourth Test. Craig Overton took two wickets to wipe out the tail and seal the match. Moeen Ali produced a big-spinning beauty to get a wicket of his own, and James Anderson was unlucky to wind up with just one dismissal to his name – he’d been all over Virat Kohli in his first spell.

England 432 (Root 121, Malan 70, Hameed 68, Burns 61, Shami 4-95) beat India 78 (Sharma 19, Anderson 3-6, Overton 3-14) and 278 (Pujara 91, Sharma 59, Kohli 55, Robinson 5-65) by an innings and 76 runs

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