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Will Young

Tom Latham is an underrated weapon for the Black Caps. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
HAMILTON, NEW ZEALAND - NOVEMBER 29: Tom Latham of New Zealand bats during day 1 of the second Test match between New Zealand and England at Seddon Park on November 29, 2019 in Hamilton, New Zealand. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
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Tom Latham Leads New Zealand To First Series Win In The UK Since 1999

Tom Latham led the New Zealand team to a memorable 1-0 Test series triumph in the two-match series against hosts England, in the absence of injured Kane Williamson, which is their first in the UK since 1999.

Tom Latham, New Zealand vice-captain on Sunday said of their challengers for the World Test Championship crown, describing the Virat-Kohli unit as a “completely different side” from vanquished England.

New Zealand's Tom Latham, left, holds the winners' trophy as he stands with teammate Kane Williamson after their win in the second cricket test match against England at Edgbaston. (Photo | AP)
New Zealand’s Tom Latham holds the winners’ trophy.  (Photo | AP)

Tom Latham: India Has Got A Fantastic Set Of Bowlers And Quality Batsmen

Kane Williamson (elbow), BJ Watling (back), and Mitchel Santner (finger) were ruled out before the toss in the 2nd Test through injury and were replaced by Will Young, Tom Blundell, and Ajaz Patel. Trent Boult and Matt Henry shared the new ball in place of Tim Southee and Kyle Jamieson, while Daryl Mitchell replaced Colin de Grandhomme at number seven as New Zealand made as many as 6 changes from the 1st Test.

Asked where does he see the biggest danger from India coming, Latham said, “All around the board.”

“They’ve got a fantastic set of bowlers, a lot of quality batsmen that have scored runs in different conditions all round the world. They were over here a few years ago and played really well, so we know we’ll have to play well to beat them.”

Ishant Sharma (Photo by Dibyangshu SARKAR / AFP)
Ishant Sharma (Photo by Dibyangshu SARKAR / AFP)

While the team celebrated a fine series triumph, Tom Latham said the focus will shift to India in two days’ time.

“The preparation has been great but it’s important that we do shift our focus and adapt to a completely different side,” he said at the post-match press conference.

Ishant Sharma(3/36) and Rishabh Pant have been some of the best performers in the ongoing India intra-squad practice match in Southampton before the WTC final. Openers Shubman Gill (85 off 135 balls) and Rishabh Pant (121* off 94 balls) shone with the bat. Ravindra Jadeja scored an unbeaten 54 off 76 balls in India’s intra-squad practice match at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton. With the ball, Mohammed Siraj impressed with figures of 2/22 on the third day of the four-day practice match.

The duo of Henry Nicholls and Devon Conway are in terrific form of late. Henry Nicholls who has a Test career average of 43.4 has averaged 47.3 in 2020 and 65.5 in 2021 amassing more than 500 runs combined in the last two years. Devon Conway, who cemented his place in the side with 200 on debut in the series opener at Lord’s, produced another valuable inning of 80 in the 2nd Test against England.

Tom Latham Stresses On Celebrating Since It Was Their First Test Series Win Since 1999 In England

Tom Latham said that India’s performances on their tour of England in 2018 — albeit in a 4-1 series defeat — showed that they would be tough to beat at the Ageas Bowl. The inaugural WTC final is scheduled to be held in Southampton from June 18-23. With the match finishing in under four days, the Kiwis will get a day extra to rest and prepare for the India challenge.

“Great to put the feet up for a day, the big challenge coming up but looking forward to celebrating, haven’t won here since 1999, so celebrate tonight and then look forward,” Latham said.

“Great support from Kiwis, the English, and also back home. The atmosphere was amazing.”

New Zealand batsman Tom Latham acknowledges the crowd after reaching his century (Photo: AFP)
New Zealand batsman Tom Latham acknowledges the crowd after reaching his century (Photo: AFP)

New Zealand won the match by eight wickets and when asked what he would rate higher — a series triumph in England or a victory in the WTC final — Tom Latham said both.

“Both sounds pretty good. From our point of view, it was about coming here and focusing on these first two Test matches against England and trying to continue doing what we’ve been doing over a couple of years now.

“Now that we’ve ticked them off, it’s important that our focus shifts to India in a couple of days. It’s a fantastic achievement from the group. I think it’s important that we celebrate with each other. It hasn’t been done since ’99. It’s certainly an achievement that’s worth celebrating.”

“For us to come here as a group, it was about trying to play our brand of cricket and I thought we did that really well over the four days and got our rewards at the end.”

New Zealand’s first Test series win in England in 22 years moved them back to the top of the ICC rankings ahead of India. This was England’s first home Test series defeat since 2014.

Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)
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Ravichandran Ashwin Explains Why He Is Successful Against The Left Handers

Ravichandran Ashwin has bagged more than 200 wickets of left-handers in Test cricket and he has explained why he is so successful against the southpaws.

The senior India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin loves bowling to the left-handers. He is known to trouble the southpaws with challenging lines and lengths and uses his variations to great effect.

Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Ravichandran Ashwin Thinks His Success Against Left-Handers Is Due To Challenging Both Sides Of Batsman’s Edge

In an interview with Sportstar, he revealed that he has enjoyed great success against them as he challenges both sides of the bat. In the history of Test cricket, he is the only bowler to dismiss left-handers more than 200 times. In the upcoming ICC World Test Championship (WTC) final against Kane Williamson’s New Zealand, he will be up against the likes of in-form batsmen Tom Latham, Devon Conway, and Henry Nicholls.

“I would like to think that it is because I challenge both sides of the edge. I get a batsman out through the inside edge and the outside and get the slip, short leg, and silly point in the play. I think that is one of the reasons the left-handers find it difficult. Also, I change the angle; I go over the wicket and to the extremes for around the stumps also. So challenging both sides of the bat gives me the edge,” explained Ravichandran Ashwin.

Devon Conway celebrates his century on debut PA Images via Getty Images
Devon Conway celebrates his century on debut PA Images via Getty Images

The duo of Henry Nicholls and Devon Conway are in terrific form of late. Henry Nicholls who has a Test career average of 43.4 has averaged 47.3 in 2020 and 65.5 in 2021 amassing more than 500 runs combined in the last two years. Devon Conway, who cemented his place in the side with 200 on debut in the series opener at Lord’s, produced another valuable inning of 80 in the 2nd Test against England.

Ravichandran Ashwin: New Zealand Is A Fantastic Team Having Quality Cricketers

Responding to whether the Kiwis will enjoy an advantage of Virat Kohli-led India because of their two-match Test series against England prior to the finale, Ravichandran Ashwin added that the Black Caps are a fantastic team.

“We have played well to get to the World Test Championship final, and we are deservedly there. They are a fantastic team and have a lot of exciting cricketers. The fact that they would have played a couple of Test matches before the final will be good preparation for them. So we have to adapt; use our experience, and be ready,” said Ravichandran Ashwin.

Tim Southee
Tim Southee

Virat Kohli-led India’s batsmen haven’t quite proved themselves yet against the swinging ball and their techniques were exposed on the New Zealand tour in 2020.

Meanwhile, the Kiwi pace attack of Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Kyle Jamieson, and Neil Wagner has time and again displayed its ability to extract any purchase from the pitch and would be raring to do the same at Southampton. The inaugural WTC final will take place at the Rose Bowl in Southampton, beginning on June 18.

Kane Williamson (elbow), BJ Watling (back), and Mitchel Santner (finger) were ruled out before the toss in the 2nd Test through injury and were replaced by Will Young, Tom Blundell, and Ajaz Patel. Trent Boult and Matt Henry shared the new ball in place of Tim Southee and Kyle Jamieson, while Daryl Mitchell replaced Colin de Grandhomme at number seven as New Zealand made as many as 6 changes from the 1st Test.

A devastating opening spell from Matt Henry backed up by Neil Wagner and later Ajaz Patel snuffed out England’s hopes on the third day of the ongoing second Test at Edgbaston. England was left reeling at 3 for 30 as Matt Henry tore through their top order on either side of tea and by the close, they were nine down and just 37 runs ahead.
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 Wants ICC To Look Into The Soft Signal Rule

Stuart Broad wants ICC to look into the matter of the soft signal after a controversial call during the ongoing England and New Zealand Test match. The debate on whether soft signals should be banned from the game keeps coming up.

The topic gained attention during the recent limited-overs T20I series between India and England when Suryakumar Yadav was given out contentiously when the fielder Dawid Malan at the boundary rope (fine-leg) seemed to touch the ball while taking a clean catch.

Dawid Malan claimed the catch, but replays showed that he might have grassed it. Suryakumar Yadav was eventually ruled out which raised a furore over how the on-field umpire can give a decision (read ‘soft signal’) when he does not have a clear sight of the incident in real-time.

England's Dawid Malan successfully takes the catch to dismiss India's Suryakumar Yadav. (Photo by Jewel SAMAD / AFP)
England’s Dawid Malan successfully takes the catch to dismiss India batsman Suryakumar Yadav. (Photo by Jewel SAMAD / AFP)

Stuart Broad: One Can See From England Players Reaction That Devon Conway Was Caught But It Was Not To Be

Now, Stuart Broad seems to be one of the many voices to suggest a complete stop on soft signal following a controversial moment on the second day of the ongoing Test against New Zealand at Edgbaston. The incident occurred when the home team was desperate to get the wicket of in-form batsman Devon Conway.

Stuart Broad induced an edge from the batsman and he was confident that fielder Zak Crawley had taken a clean catch. But the on-field umpires were unsure whether the catch was caught perfectly and hence they went upstairs with a soft signal of not out being given to the TV umpire Michael Gough.

As with the soft signals, if the on-field umpires give not out then there should be conclusive evidence for the TV umpire to overturn the decision.  In Devon Conway’s case, the umpires failed to find any evidence and Michael Gough eventually stuck with the soft signal thereby ruling Devon Conway not out.

Devon Conway celebrates his century on debut PA Images via Getty Images
Devon Conway celebrates his century on debut PA Images via Getty Images

The southpaw went on to score 80 runs and put the visitors in ascendancy. Stuart Broad was not impressed by this verdict and has asked the ICC to make do with this rule of the soft signal.

“You can see from our reaction on the field that we thought it was out,” Broad told Sky Sports before play on the third day.

“Zak thought he had his fingers under the ball and you only have to look at Joe Root’s reaction at first slip and James Bracey’s reaction behind the stumps – who are a yard away from it – to know that that ball has carried.”

Devon Conway, who cemented his place in the side with 200 on debut in the series opener at Lord’s, produced another valuable, though not chance-less, innings of 80. And, while he would have been disappointed not to press on to triple figures again, a gutsy 82 from Will Young – in the side as a replacement for injured captain Kane Williamson – mitigated the damage.

Stuart Broad Empathized With The Umpires On The Soft Signal Rule

The veteran right-arm pacer though supported the umpires by saying that it’s their job to send upstairs if they are not sure about the catch taken cleanly. Stuart Broad felt the umpires are always put in these tricky situations and he feels for them.

“It’s actually the ruling that’s putting the umpires in a really difficult situation. It’s having to get a soft signal. You’re going upstairs because you’re not sure whether it’s carried or not. So then to have to give an opinion whether you think it has, puts the umpire in a really tricky position. Then the third umpire’s hands are tied a little bit with whatever that on-field call is,” the fast bowler said.

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

Having resumed on 229 for 3, still, 74 runs behind, New Zealand lost their remaining seven wickets for 96 runs, but that wasn’t quick enough for England, who collapsed to 76 for 7 still nine runs adrift, only clawing their way ahead via an eighth-wicket partnership between Mark Wood and Olly Stone.

The home side was left reeling at 3 for 30 as Matt Henry tore through their top order on either side of tea and by the close, they were nine down and just 37 runs ahead,

England 303 and 122 for 9 (Wood 29, Wagner 3-18, Henry 3-36) lead New Zealand 388 (Young 82, Conway 80, Taylor 80, Broad 4-48) by 37 runs

Nasser Hussain. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
Nasser Hussain. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
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Nasser Hussain Feels England Made A Tactical Blunder By Not Including Spinner Jack Leach

Nasser Hussain believes England made a tactical blunder by not including left-arm spinner Jack Leach in the playing XI for the Edgbaston Test. According to the former England skipper, since the Edgbaston pitch is a flat one, the hosts needed variety to make an impression on the New Zealand batsmen without Kane Williamson.

Responding to England’s first-innings total of 303, New Zealand ended Day 2 of the second Test at 229 for 3. It could have been worse for England had Dan Lawrence not dismissed Will Young (82) just before stumps. Earlier, opener Devon Conway, the double centurion in his debut Test-the 1st Test vs England again thwarted the English attack, making a well-made 80.

Jack Leach Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian
Jack Leach Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian

Nasser Hussain Wanted A Spiner At Edgbaston And Expressed Surprise At Jack Leach’s Omission

In his column for the Daily Mail, former England skipper turned commentator Nasser Hussain wrote that England needed a frontline spinner in the second Test to compete against a strong Kiwi batting line-up.

He explained:“I did not think that at Lord’s, where there is always something in for seamers. But whenever I have come to Edgbaston I’ve always wanted a spinner because of the conditions we’ve seen in this game. So I’d have found a way to get Jack Leach in the side. If he doesn’t play here, it’s difficult to see just where he will play Test cricket.”

Nasser Hussain expressed his surprise at England’s bowling line-up, pointing out that managing director Ashley Giles (a left-arm spinner during his playing days) and spin coach Jeetan Patel should have known better. The former skipper added that part-time spinner Joe Root cannot be considered as England’s main spinner.

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

He wrote: “Yes, Joe Root is a good off-spinner but it is an indictment on the slow bowling options in our country if he is now considered England’s best spin option. He is already England’s captain and best batsman, so it’s asking a lot for him to shoulder the spin load too. It’s an area of our game where we continue to struggle.”

“Perhaps England’s thinking is connected with two left-armers in the New Zealand attack, in Trent Boult and Neil Wagner, and the fact Stuart Broad is doing a lot of his bowling from round the wicket. That will create rough outside the right-hander’s off-stump for Root. But just look at the weather. It’s going to be very hot for the last three days, and it’s going to get harder for an all-seam attack.”

Devon Conway, who cemented his place in the side with 200 on debut in the series opener at Lord’s, produced another valuable, though not chance-less, innings of 80. And, while he would have been disappointed not to press on to triple figures again, a gutsy 82 from Will Young – in the side as a replacement for injured captain Kane Williamson – mitigated the damage.
Stuart Broad bowled superbly for his 2 for 22 from 15 overs, including six maidens, but he was the only England bowler to reap any reward for his considerable efforts – until Will Young’s dismissal by part-time off-spinner Dan Lawrence on the last ball of the day.

Nasser Hussain: Stuart Broad Was The Pick Of The England Pace Attack

Even though England could only claim three wickets on a tough Day 2, Nasser Hussain felt that the pacers did a reasonable job. He picked Stuart Broad (2/22) as the best of the lot. Stuart Broad went past Courtney Walsh (520) on the list of leading Test wicket-takers on Friday.

Praising England’s faster men, Nasser Hussain wrote: “That’s not to say England’s seamers didn’t bowl well — even though Olly Stone struggled to maintain control as the day went on — and there was much more swing on offer once they persuaded the umpires to change the ball. The old one was doing nothing. Broad was the pick of the attack. “

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

“His new-ball spell was exceptional and he was excellent after tea when he got that changed ball. Perhaps seeing sides struggle against the Dukes’ ball in England has made us expect wickets to come much more cheaply than this. But Test cricket is tough and that’s why you need proper variety in every attack.”

Resuming the day on 258 for 7, England was all out for 303 in 101 overs. Left-arm pacer Trent Boult claimed 4 for 85 for New Zealand. The Kiwis lost Tom Latham (6) early, but the 80s from Devon Conway and Will Young gave the visitors the upper hand.

New Zealand 229 for 3 (Conway 80, Young 82, Taylor 46*, Broad 2-22) trail England 303 (Lawrence 81*, Burns 81, Boult 4-85) by 74 runs at Stumps on Day 2

Finn Allen Twitter
Finn Allen Twitter
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Finn Allen Gets Maiden Call-up For T20I Series Against Bangladesh

Finn Allen has been handed his first New Zealand call-up for the T20I series against Bangladesh, in a squad missing six IPL-bound players, while Adam Milne is in line for a return to international cricket after more than two years out of the side with a variety of injuries.

Will Young, who has made his Test and ODI debuts this season, is also included in the T20I squad for the first time and Lockie Ferguson is set for his comeback following the back injury that has kept him sidelined since December.

Finn Allen MARTY MELVILLE/PHOTOSPORT
Finn Allen MARTY MELVILLE/PHOTOSPORT

Finn Allen Has Skills To Succeed At The Next Level: Selector Gavin Larsen

The side will be captained by Tim Southee with Kane Williamson, who has sat out the ODI series with an elbow injury, given a break before heading to the IPL along with Trent Boult, Mitchell Santner, Kyle Jamieson, Jimmy Neesham, and Tim Seifert.

Finn Allen (Royal Challengers Bangalore), Adam Milne (Mumbai Indians), and Lockie Ferguson (Kolkata Knight Riders) will head to India for IPL 2021 straight after the conclusion of the series against Bangladesh. The 21-year-old Finn Allen has been one of the breakout stars of the domestic season where he plundered 512 runs in the Super Smash for Wellington.

Adam Milne hasn't played for New Zealand since November 2018
Adam Milne hasn’t played for New Zealand since November 2018 © Getty

“It’s especially an exciting time for Finn, who will be getting his first taste of the Black Caps environment,” selector Gavin Larsen said. “His Super Smash campaign with the Firebirds was nothing short of outstanding and we believe he has the skills to succeed at the next level. We’re delighted to see Lockie and Adam return after working really hard to get back to this point. They are two of the premier fast bowlers in world cricket and it’s fantastic to be able to call on their services, in what is shaping as a big year of T20 cricket.”

“It’s certainly been a season like no other and once again we’ve had to be pragmatic in our approach,” Larsen said.

“The six guys who will miss this series are incumbents in our T20 side and the decision to give them some time at home with family before they embark on a long stint in India was principally made with their welfare in mind.”

“We’re also very aware of the need to give others opportunities in a World Cup year and it’s great to be able to introduce Finn and Will to the set-up, as well as welcome back Lockie and Adam. Tim’s a great leader in any Black Caps side, we’ve seen how well he’s slipped into the T20 captain’s position in the past and we look forward to him continuing to grow in the role.”

Gavin Larsen of New Zealand
Gavin Larsen of New Zealand Mandatory Credit: Mike Hewitt /Allsport

“Devon’s wicketkeeping skills are a real asset to have in a squad and we’re keen to ensure he has some international experience in this role to provide us with another option going forward.”

The Royal Challengers Bangalore had earlier signed uncapped New Zealand wicketkeeper-batsman Finn Allen as a like-for-like replacement for Josh Philippe who will miss the entire IPL 2021 for personal reasons.

Finn Allen, who had initially found no takers in the auction last month, had listed his base price at INR 20 lakh – identical to that of Josh Philippe who was snapped up by the Royal Challengers at the IPL 2020 auction. Like him, Finn Allen can open the batting and keep wickets if needed.

Will Young, New Zealand
Wil Young with Kane Williamson. Photo Credit: Getty Images.
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Shoulder Surgery Puts Will Young in Doubt for Remainder of the Season

An exciting New Zealand batsman Will Young has decided to undergo right shoulder surgery despite being a reserve player for the ICC World Cup 2019. Thus, he is highly-likely going to be out of action for the remainder of the year.

“There’s a huge amount of ‘ifs’ going all the way to England as batting cover – you might get added to the squad if something bad happens to one of the top batsmen, but you’re not even guaranteed there to get a game. So, there were too many ‘ifs’ to play through the pain and go down that route,” Young told Radio Sport.

Young damaged his shoulder in April while partaking in the training camp in Lincoln. Instead of risking himself, Young has taken a bold decision to undergo the knife.

However, the rehabilitation procedure will take a minimum of six months – to allow Young to hit the ground running.

He is high-likely set to miss the Sri Lanka tour apart from home series against Australia.

During his interview, Young revealed he is facing a problem with his ‘throwing shoulder’. He added he is continuously battling through the pain.

Young stated that the MRI revealed things aren’t looking good. Adding, he discussed with Kiwis head coach Gary Stead apart from the physios. Thus, he has reached a conclusion to opt for the surgery.

“My throwing shoulder isn’t really where it needs to be, I’ve been in quite a lot of pain throwing. I had an MRI scan the day before. I flew out to Australia and the results weren’t good. And I’ve done some damage in there that requires surgery. I’ve had a chat to [coach Gary Stead] and the physios and the doctors and we’ve come to the conclusion that surgery will be required on my shoulder,” Young said.

Concurrently, Young is the part of New Zealand XI squad facing Australia at the Allan Border Field in Brisbane. The teams are facing off in the three-match series as hosts are preparing for the World Cup 2019.

Young wants to sort things at the earliest:

Will Young, New Zealand
Young has been improving with every game. Photo Credit: Getty Images.

However, even though batting through the problem, Young has managed to score 60 in the first of the three-match warm-up fixtures against Australia’s senior team.

“So, after these games in Australia, I’m going to be returning home to get that surgery done as soon as possible. And to start the lengthy rehab process – which is something I’m not looking forward to and is hugely gutting. Just after it was announced that I was getting a contract,” Young added.

Earlier, Young missed on to make the Test debut against Bangladesh, in the third and final Test of the home-bound in Christchurch. But the Test was called off due to the barbaric attack in the city which left at least 50 dead and over dozens injured in two separate mosque incidents.

Thus, the Test series came to a premature end with Kiwis winning both of their games.

The 26-year-old uncapped cricketer has represented domestic team – Central District.

While emerging as a prominent batsman that subsequently put him among the list of contracted players, Will further is among 20 leading players in New Zealand.

Young has featured in 69 first-class matches apart from 56 List A fixtures. Also, he has played 65 Twenty20s so far.