Trent Boult and Colin de Grandhomme will travel to Australia with the New Zealand squad after making "good progress" following their injuries.

Boult and De Grandhomme missed the drawn second Test against England due to rib and abdominal injuries respectively.

However, the pair will fly to Perth – where the first Test against Australia begins on Thursday – with the rest of the Black Caps squad, it was confirmed.

"Trent Boult and Colin de Grandhomme are both making good progress with their injuries and successfully trained today at Bay Oval," the Black Caps wrote on Twitter on Friday.

"The pair will travel with the team to Perth tomorrow."

New Zealand recorded a 1-0 series win over England and face Australia in three Tests, beginning with the clash in Perth.

Melbourne will host the Boxing Day Test before the teams meet in Sydney beginning January 3.

Football Federation Australia (FFA) confirmed the appointment of James Johnson as its new chief executive officer on Friday.

Johnson, most recently the senior vice-president of external affairs with the City Football Group (CFG), is replacing David Gallop as chief and will begin in the role in January.

He has previously held positions with FIFA – as head of professional football and senior manager member associations – and the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) as director of international relations and development.

"Having run a domestic and international executive search, and in a strong field of candidates, we have no doubt James is the right person for the role. We are thrilled that he is coming back to Australia at this important time for the game," FFA chairman Chris Nikou said in a statement.

"Football is in James' soul. He has demonstrated that he is a collaborative leader and team player and brings global and local experience and networks to the FFA. Importantly he also understands the importance of developmental pathways and the grassroots of the code having on the ground experience representing Australia as a member of the 1999 U-17 'Joeys' national team and having risen through the ranks of football in Queensland in the 1990s.

"He is one of the few leaders in the sport who has spent his playing and executive career within the various stakeholder groups associated with football and in this time of change we think that matters.

"James has inarguably made a meaningful contribution to the code globally. A lawyer by training, throughout his executive career, James has been at the centre of many major industry negotiations, managing multi-stakeholder situations and projects including currently representing Manchester City Football Club [MCFC] within the Union of European Football Associations [UEFA] and European Clubs Association [ECA] bodies in the ongoing reforms to the competition format, match calendar, financial distribution model and qualification pathway to the UEFA Champions League.

"In 2016, James received international recognition when Leaders™ listed him as one of its 'Leaders under 40' across all sports. He is also considered as having played a meaningful role in supporting the global leagues to form the World Leagues Forum."

Raelene Castle insisted Rugby Australia (RA) did not back down in the Israel Folau case, saying settling was the best financial decision for the governing body.

Folau and RA reached a confidential agreement on Wednesday and issued corresponding apologies after an end to their legal dispute.

The 30-year-old was sacked by RA for what the body said was a "high-level breach" of its code after he posted hell awaits "drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolaters" on Instagram. He had been warned over previous online posts in 2018.

After reports Folau would be paid eight million Australian dollars in damages – something Castle dismissed as "wildly inaccurate" – the RA chief executive defended the decision to settle.

"We didn't back down. We needed to give the game cost certainty," she told a news conference on Thursday.

"The feedback we were getting from our rugby community was that they wanted this matter settled, they want to go into the new year knowing that they can go in with a clean slate and start talking about rugby again instead of talking about this case."

Castle, who insisted she would not resign, said settling was the best decision financially for RA.

"These are ultimately commercial decisions. We had to make a decision that was right for rugby in this country," she said.

"We made the right decision in calling out Israel on his posts and on his inappropriate messaging. That remains the same, we stick to our values that inclusiveness is absolutely core to the key of rugby.

"Ultimately, taking this conversation further into a court situation was not helping the game so we made a decision that gave us cost certainty, that put us in the best financial situation entering the new year in a positive way."

Brian Lara would have loved Australia to have given David Warner a greater opportunity to break his record for the most runs scored in a Test innings.

Warner struck a sublime unbeaten 335 in the second-Test hammering of Pakistan at the Adelaide Oval last week, with only Matthew Hayden (380) above him in the list of highest scores by an Australian.

However, Warner did not get the chance to beat the legendary Lara's overall benchmark of 400 not out achieved against England in April 2004 after captain Tim Paine declared, not wanting to risk the potential for adverse weather scuppering the team's chances of victory.

Lara understands Paine's thought process behind the decision, but he was disappointed Warner was not afforded more time to have a go at his record.

"Well I was hoping that they would give him an opportunity to at least go for it," he told Omnisport.

"I know Australia, first and foremost, want to put themselves in the best possible position to win the game. 

"But looking at the end of it, in hindsight, you're winning with a day to spare. It would have been nice to see someone have a go at it. 

"It is always tricky, you never know what is going to happen when you start approaching a total such as that. I remember doing it the first time in 1994 [375 not out against England], how nervous you can get. 

"But so be it, they won the Test which is the most important thing. He batted well, put his team in a great position. 

"What I like about him is he's an attacking player, which is great. You want an attacking player to be on or around such a record."

Israel Folau believes he has been "vindicated" after reaching an undisclosed settlement with Rugby Australia (RA) over his sacking and called for new federal laws on religious freedom.

The two parties reached a confidential agreement on Wednesday and issued corresponding apologies after an end to their legal dispute.

Folau was sacked by RA for what the body said was a "high-level breach" of its code after he posted hell awaits "drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolaters" on Instagram. He had been warned over previous online posts in 2018.

A court-ordered mediation in Melbourne went on for two days, with Folau seeking 14million Australian dollars in lost wages and sponsorships.

Having agreed the settlement, which prevents the dispute from moving to a public trial, Folau posted a video on his official website alongside wife Maria.

"We are extremely pleased with the settlement reached today," he said. 

"With today's acknowledgment and apology from Rugby Australia we have been vindicated and can now move on with our lives to focus on our faith and our family. 

"Maria and I would like to thank God for his guidance and strength. Thank you to our supporters for our thoughts and prayers. 

"We started this journey on behalf of all people of faith to protect their rights of freedom of speech and religion. 

"We now look forward to the federal government enacting the legislation necessary to further protect these strengths and rights for all Australians."

Folau, who won 73 international caps, had claimed to have lost out on the chance to play at two World Cups and the opportunity to become Australia captain.

In a fresh controversy last month, Folau's comments linking bushfires that devasted Australia to gay marriage and abortion were slammed as "appallingly insensitive" by the nation's prime minister Scott Morrison.

Virat Kohli has returned to the top of the batting list in the ICC Test Player Rankings ahead of Steve Smith, whose Australia team-mate David Warner is back in the first five.

Smith struggled for form in Australia's dominant series win over Pakistan and, having scored only 36 runs in the second Test in Adelaide, saw his points drop from 931 to 923.

Conversely, India skipper Kohli scored 136 in the day-night Test against Bangladesh and returned to the summit on 928 points.

Warner rose an impressive 12 places to fifth after making a sensational 335 against Pakistan, while fellow Aussie Marnus Labuschagne makes the top 10 for the first time in his career.

England captain Joe Root is back in the top 10 having slipped out last week. He climbs to seventh after a sublime 226 versus New Zealand in the drawn second Test.

Steve Smith has denied suggestions he was trying to undermine Australia captain Tim Paine in the second Test against Pakistan.

Australia earned a resounding innings-and-48-run victory over Pakistan in Adelaide to seal a 2-0 series triumph.

However, Smith – who was replaced by Paine after being banned for his role in the Newlands ball-tampering scandal last year – was accused by ex-skipper Ian Chappell of making field adjustments without first talking to his captain.

Speaking on Macquarie Sports Radio when calling the Test, Chappell said: "I tell you what I don't like to see, Steve Smith is moving a few fieldsmen around.

"He did have a chat with Tim Paine, trying to talk Tim Paine into moving a fielder on the off-side, but I'm not sure Tim Paine moved him as far as Steve Smith wanted.

"Steve Smith started moving him, I hate to see that. England used to do it a bit, blokes other than the captain and I always felt it was white-anting the captain."

Smith, though, insists his intentions were good and his only aim was to try to help the team.

"Look I only try to help Tim as much as I can, you know," he told Channel Nine. 

"He's doing a terrific job. But I give him suggestions and things like that, I only want the team to do well, I'm certainly not undermining him."

Smith was uncharacteristically out of touch with the bat, scoring just 40 runs across the two Tests but, while disappointed on a personal level, was happy to see the team perform to such a high standard.

"I always hate not being out there doing it myself but it's great to see the boys out there play so well and get us two great victories," Smith added.

Cameron Bancroft has been dropped by Australia in what is otherwise a settled Test squad to face New Zealand.

Australia recorded innings wins in both Tests against Pakistan and opted to name a 13-man squad for their three meetings with the Black Caps.

Bancroft has struggled in the Sheffield Shield and his omission was the only change to the squad named to face Pakistan.

"As we said prior to the Pakistan series we are striving to maintain a core group of players. The performance of the team against Pakistan was very impressive across all areas, while there is always some room to improve," Australia national selector Trevor Hohns said in a statement on Tuesday.

"David Warner has been in exceptional form with the bat. The support he received from Joe Burns in Brisbane and Marnus Labuschagne in Adelaide was exactly what we had been asking for from the top order. They delivered, setting up both matches in what was an outstanding all-round performance.

"We are backing the current batting line-up to continue their form across the next three Tests. Whilst not a part of this squad, Cameron Bancroft remains one of the standby players. Similarly, depending on conditions, we reserve the right to add a player to the squad at any time during the series.

"Michael Neser and James Pattinson will continue as cover for Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood through the series. Michael will play for Queensland against New South Wales in the Marsh Sheffield Shield game at the SCG, as James did last week for Victoria."

The first Test between Australia and New Zealand will begin in Perth on December 12 before matches in Melbourne and Sydney.

Australia: Tim Paine (c), Joe Burns, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Michael Neser, James Pattinson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Matthew Wade, David Warner.

Azhar Ali insists the Test progress made by Babar Azam means Pakistan have a major positive to take out of their heavy series defeat to Australia.

Pakistan lost the second Test by an innings and 48 runs on day four in Adelaide after Nathan Lyon took 5-69 in their second innings of 239 all out.

The tourists were following on after Australia declared on 589-3 in a first-innings onslaught inspired by David Warner's 335 not out.

Pakistan also lost the first Test by an innings but Azhar was unwilling to completely write off the tour ahead of two matches against Sri Lanka later this month.

Already a star in limited-overs cricket, T20I captain Babar scored 104 in the opening Test in Brisbane and 97 in the first innings of this contest.

"He's been tremendous in white-ball cricket and in the recent past he's been gradually building up his Test stats as well," Test skipper Azhar said of Babar. 

"This series definitely will be the breakthrough he wanted. We were all hopeful that he would do it.

"He's a good enough player. We all know that. But sometimes if you score in tough conditions against tough bowling attacks, it gives you the extra boost and the belief that you can make even better strides in Test cricket.

"That's been a big positive now for us that Babar has stamped himself a Test player. He's been fantastic throughout the year, lovely to watch and hopefully he can continue this form in the Tests that are coming. Babar has been exceptional."

Azhar also highlighted the performances of wicket-keeper Mohammad Rizwan and Yasir Shah, who scored 113 in the first innings at number eight, but conceded the series was ultimately a disappointment.

He added: "Rizwan waited for his chance and then grabbed it with both hands. The way he batted at Gabba and the way he kept wickets in both games has been fantastic.

"We didn't want to give up at any stage and Yasir put up a lot of fight.

"But it has been a disappointing series. We didn't live up the expectations that were based around this young team. It's very hard here with a young bowling attack and we came with a lot of expectations but it didn't go well. 

"To win Test matches we need to take 20 wickets and we need to work out how to do that. And also to score big in the first innings – getting ahead of the game here is very important.

"It's always hard coming to Australia and we've been beaten by a better side. But very positive for the future, we will learn a lot.

"I'd like to congratulate Australia, especially David Warner for his triple hundred."

Israel Folau is still hopeful of striking an agreement with Rugby Australia (RA) after initial negotiations aimed at resolving his lawsuit came to an end.

Both parties are engaged in a court-ordered private mediation in Melbourne with a view to settling the dispute before a public trial in February.

Folau, who won 73 Australia caps, is claiming 14 million Australian Dollars for lost wages and sponsorships after his sacking in May. 

The 30-year-old says he has lost out on the chance to play at two World Cups and the opportunity to become Australia captain.

Folau, a devout Christian, had his contract terminated by RA for a "high-level breach" after he posted "hell awaits... drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolaters" on Instagram.

The former Waratahs back had been previously warned over his online posts in 2018.

RA is defending the suit, with chief executive Raelene Castle attending the negotiations. 

"It's been a very long day," Folau's solicitor George Haros said after Monday's proceedings.

"Where we are at, is that we were unable to reach an amicable solution with Rugby Australia.

"However, where we stand is that mediation remains on foot. We are still hopeful of reaching an amicable agreement with Rugby Australia.

"We would like to thank the court mediators for the effort and look forward to reconvening in a few days to see if we can strike an agreement."

Discussions are expected to resume as early as Wednesday, with these negotiations coming after RA and Folau failed to reach a settlement in June and an unfair dismissal case began in court in August.

In a fresh controversy last month, Folau's comments linking the bushfires in Australia to gay marriage and abortion were slammed as "appallingly insensitive" by the nation's prime minister Scott Morrison.

Tim Paine has called for an end to comparisons between the pink ball and its red counterpart in Test cricket, arguing the day-night format should be embraced for its entertainment value.

Paine saw his Australia side wrap up a 2-0 series win over Pakistan with a dominant victory at Adelaide Oval, the hosts triumphing by an innings and 48 runs.

Critics of the pink ball, including Australia paceman Mitchell Starc, which is used for day-night Tests argue it acts too similarly to a white one in limited-overs cricket.

But the huge attendances in Adelaide, who witnessed David Warner make a triple century, are proof the nuances of day-night cricket must be celebrated, according to Paine.

"I think what we want is people watching Test match cricket and I think the pink-ball day-night Test certainly makes that happen," said Australia's captain.

"It's bringing new people to the game. I think what we need to stop doing is trying to compare the pink ball to the red ball. It's not going to behave the same, it isn't the same ball. 

"From a players' point of view again, day-night Test cricket creates different challenges so the best players will again find way to succeed. And Mitchell Starc has done it. His record is unbelievably good with the pink ball.

"David Warner has just got a triple century. Marnus [Labuschagne] got a 100. All the good players still score runs and take wickets regardless of the colour I think it's just a slight shift in how we think about it. 

"It's not going to behave like a red ball, it's not going to behave like a white ball. It's going to behave like a pink ball. And at the moment it's relatively new and we're getting used to it. 

"It can be a challenging fielding at night and being in the slips but I don't think that's any different to a white ball sometimes either.

"It's just something players will adapt to and get better at but in terms of the product I think it's good to watch."

Nathan Lyon claimed a five-for as Australia thrashed Pakistan by an innings and 48 runs at to seal a 2-0 series victory in the second Test at Adelaide Oval.

Australia, who declared on 589-3 after David Warner's historic unbeaten 335 and imposed the follow-on when Pakistan made 302 in response, closed out a second successive resounding triumph thanks to some fine bowling from Lyon on day four.

Imam-ul-Haq, Azhar Ali and Babar Azam fell in the final session on Sunday but Shan Masood (68) and Asad Shafiq (57) ensured Pakistan still put up a fight by extending their partnership to 103 runs.

However, Lyon eventually weaved his magic, finding plenty of turn and bounce on a flat track to tear through the Pakistan attack and return figures of 5-69.

Australia will hope to build on a pair of thoroughly impressive victories when they take on trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand in a three-Test series starting on December 12.

Masood was aggressive from the off and brought up his fifty when he found the ropes through mid-on – one of nine boundaries that included one maximum.

The Pakistan opener narrowly evaded Tim Paine when he nudged Josh Hazlewood (3-63) down the leg side and his partnership with Shafiq soon reached triple figures.

Masood was made to pay for a poor shot selection when he chipped Lyon to Mitchell Starc and after Shafiq brought up his fifty that was as good as it got for the tourists.

A shorter delivery from Lyon bamboozled Shafiq, who could only send it straight to Warner at leg slip, but a positive start from Mohammad Rizwan (45) helped Pakistan to 167-5 at tea.

The runs did not come as freely in the second session and Iftikhar Ahmed (27) was taken at the second attempt by first-innings centurion Marnus Labuschagne ​– who had been unable to hold onto Rizwan on four ​– off Lyon at short leg.

Pakistan lost their final four wickets for just 38 runs, with Lyon trapping Yasir Shah lbw on 13 before Shaheen Shah holed out off the prolific spinner for just one run before dinner.

Hazlewood expertly bowled Rizwan with a full delivery and Pakistan's resistance ended when Mohammad Abbas (1) was run out by Pat Cummins.

Windies star Chris Gayle extended hearty congratulations to Australian David Warner who continued his purple patch of form with an unbeaten 335 during the second Test match against Pakistan at Adelaide Oval.

The knock elevated Warner to exclusive company become one of 31 players to ever achieve the feat.   The left-hander also became the second-highest scorer ever for Australia behind Matthew Hayden’s 380 against Zimbabwe in 2003.  Gayle, who also features prominently on the list, had scored 333 against Sri Lanka in Galle in 2010, congratulated the Australian batsman via social media platform Twitter.

“Welcome to the Triple club, @davidwarner31 - Top stuff,” Gayle tweeted.

Warner, who served a 12-month ban from the sports after being punished for ball-tampering, beat Donald Bradman’s record of 299, set against South Africa in 1931-32, for the highest test score at the Adelaide Oval.  The player also produced the biggest innings ever in the day-night Test cricket format.  Australia captain Tim Paine declared at 589-3 on day two against Pakistan.

 

 

 

Mitchell Starc spent little time worrying about his Test future after the Ashes, despite playing a minimal role for Australia in England.

Left-arm seamer Starc is playing in his 54th Test against Pakistan in Adelaide, yet his Ashes involvement was limited to the fourth match at Old Trafford, taking four wickets to help the visitors retain the urn.

The 29-year-old returned to star with seven wickets in the first-Test win over Pakistan and has impressed again this week, his match figures 7-76 at the end of day three.

Victory now appears a formality for Australia, and Starc said after Sunday's play of his role: "It's not really come into my thought process.

"Playing a bit of Shield cricket and the T20s [before the Pakistan series] was the focus to begin with, and [then to] see how the Shield games played out and if I was selected in the Test squad, then go from there.

"It was never really a worry or a focus. I was just looking forward to playing some games for New South Wales and playing some white-ball cricket."

Yasir Shah made an unlikely 113 for Pakistan, but they were forced to follow on as Starc continues to excel with the pink ball, boosting his total in day-night Tests to a still world-best 33 wickets.

"I still think it's more like a white ball than a red ball, so that's probably playing in my favour there," the bowler said.

"It still went soft for us on that wicket, as we saw through the early afternoon session today where it didn't move around much at all and the wicket was quite flat.

"When it's going through those stages, it's trying to control the scoreboard. We did that fairly well at times and then Yasir got away from us a fair bit."

Australia are seven wickets from securing a whitewash of Pakistan in their two-match series after another dominant day in Adelaide, though Yasir Shah did restore some pride for the tourists with a century.

Pakistan resumed day three of the second Test on 96-6 but a stand of 105 between Yasir and Babar Azam did see them mount a recovery of sorts.

Yasir had never previously scored 50 in Test cricket but struck 13 fours en route to 113, while Babar fell three short of a second successive hundred. Pakistan could still only manage 302 in reply to 589-3 declared and were forced to follow on against an Australia attack that continued to make frequent inroads into the visitors' batting line-up.

As they did in the final session of day two, Pakistan gave away cheap wickets at the start of their second innings and closed on 39-3, still trailing by 248 runs and destined for an emphatic defeat to end a winless tour.

Rain stopped play prematurely and could frustrate Australia on day four, but with a better forecast for day five, the hosts should have plenty of time to wrap up a 2-0 win.

Babar had been the only Pakistan batsman to emerge from day two with any credit and he continued to take the fight to Australia as he closed on a third Test century.

It did not arrive, however, as Mitchell Starc, who took 6-66 in the first innings, drew a thick edge and Tim Paine claimed a diving one-handed catch.

Shaheen Shah Afridi was trapped lbw from the next delivery but Starc missed out on a hat-trick and Yasir forged an unlikely ninth-wicket stand with Mohammad Abbas (29).

Yasir produced a gritty performance that belied his Test average of 12, yet it was more by luck than judgment that he reached his century, clipping just beyond the grasp of Pat Cummins at mid-on.

He sank to his knees and kissed the ground before twirling his bat in celebration of a feat few would have anticipated.

It was Cummins who broke Pakistan's resistance, a brutal short ball seeing Abbas caught at gully before a similar delivery was top-edged by Yasir, Nathan Lyon hanging on at deep backward square to end the best batting innings of his career.

However, Pakistan's celebratory mood did not last long into their follow-on. Josh Hazlewood trapped Imam-ul-Haq with the final ball before dinner and Steve Smith took a stunning catch at second slip to dismiss Azhar Ali as he tried to work Starc to leg. 

Intermittent rain saw the covers come on several times but Hazlewood was able to take the key wicket of Babar before inclement weather called a halt to proceedings for the day, although that will not dampen the spirits of an Australia side set to win by a massive margin.

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