Steve Smith smashed another 62-ball hundred as Australia's cruised to victory over India in the second ODI at the SCG to clinch the series.

Smith was in blistering form in the first match on Friday as he scored Australia's third-fastest ODI century.

He replicated that remarkable performance to help the hosts post their best ODI score at the SCG, their second-highest overall on home soil, the hosts reaching 389-4.

Virat Kohli (89) led the way for India in their pursuit of a mammoth target, but the India captain's efforts proved in vain as the tourists fell 51 runs short.

David Warner and Aaron Finch laid the platform for Australia with an opening stand of 142, having combined for their team's highest opening stand of 156 in the opening game.

Skipper Finch was caught at extra cover for 60 before Warner was run out for 83 after making the ill-advised decision to push for a second that Shreyas Iyer punished.

But it was Smith (104) who again proved the talisman for Australia, racking up 14 fours and a pair of sixes in a destructive innings.

He and Marnus Labuschagne (70) put on 136 for the third wicket, though Smith was dismissed two deliveries after reaching three figures – edging Hardik Pandya to short third man.

Glenn Maxwell struck four fours and four sixes in his 29-ball 63 to push Australia towards a score India rarely had any hope of besting.

A groin injury suffered by Warner, who was sent to hospital for scans, was the primary setback for Australia as they defended their total.

Kohli and Iyer steadied the ship for India after they were reduced to 60-2 by putting on 93.

However, Iyer fell victim to a tremendous diving catch from Smith at midwicket. After a partnership of 72 with KL Rahul (76), Kohli was undone in similar fashion courtesy of a stunner from Moises Henriques.

India's lower-order faltered after Rahul was caught at short third man, leaving the tourists with nothing but pride to play for in Wednesday's third ODI.

Steve Smith smashed Australia's third-fastest ODI century and Aaron Finch also made a sublime hundred as India were consigned to a 66-run defeat in the first match of the series.

Smith struck a sensational 105 from just 66 balls and Finch crafted 114 in Australia's massive total of 374-6 - their biggest against India in the 50-over format.

David Warner (69) also made the tourists suffer, while Glenn Maxwell bludgeoned 45 from only 19 balls in Australia's second-highest ODI total at the SCG.

Mohammed Shami (3-59) was comfortably the pick of the India bowlers on a painful Friday afternoon in the field.

Hardik Pandya struck a superb 90 and Shikhar Dhawan made 74, but India, returning to action for the first time since March due to the coronavirus pandemic, fell short on 308-8 in reply.

Josh Hazlewood (3-55) and Adam Zampa (4-54) did the damage with the ball for Australia as they started their summer in style to go 1-0 up in the three-match series.


FINCH AND WARNER MAKE HISTORY

Finch and Warner combined for the highest opening stand for Australia in an ODI at the SCG, their 156 surpassing the record of 152 set by Geoff Marsh and David Boon in 1986.

Shami finally got the breakthrough in the 28th over, snaring Warner caught behind after Virat Kohli reviewed, but Finch and Smith dished out more punishment, putting on 108 in just 12 overs.

The brilliant Finch struck two sixes and another nine fours in his fourth ODI century against India, a tally only Ricky Ponting has bettered with six, before the skipper became Jasprit Bumrah's only victim.

SENSATIONAL SMITH AND MAXWELL GO BESERK

While Finch uncharacteristically scored at less than a run a ball, Smith raced to a magnificent hundred which he reached off 62 balls.

Smith failed to hit the heights during the recent Indian Premier League but produced a disdainful knock as he dispatched the tourists' attack to all parts - Yuzvendra Chahal (1-89) conceding the most runs by an India spinner in an ODI.

The imperious Smith hit four sixes and 11 fours as he put on a show along with Maxwell, who treated the crowd to some astonishing innovative strokes in an explosive innings.

HAZLEWOOD AND ZAMPA DERAIL INDIA CHASE

India's run chase got off to a blistering start, Mitchell Starc conceding 20 off an 11-ball first over, but they were struggling on 101-4 in the 14th over - Kohli making just 21 after he was dropped by Zampa on one.

Hazlewood had Kohli caught by Finch at midwicket and the quick also saw the back of Mayank Agarwal and Shreyas Iyer.

Dhawan - dropped by Maxwell on 41 - and Pandya - playing as a specialist batsman - gave India hope with a fifth-wicket stand of 128, but spinner Zampa removed both in quick succession and got rid of Ravindra Jadeja in an ultimately comfortable win for Australia.

Aaron Finch hailed Virat Kohli as "probably the best one-day player of all time" as Australia prepare to face India in an eagerly awaited ODI series.

India have not been in action since March due to the coronavirus pandemic, but their wait will come to an end at the SCG on Friday.

Australia should be confident after beating world champions 2-1 in the 50-over format in September and both sides will welcome being able to play in front of crowds.

Kohli headed to Australia on the back of being the ninth-highest run-scorer in the Indian Premier League and Australia captain Finch has lavished praise on his opposite number ahead of the three-match series.

"If you look at his record, it's second to none. It really is remarkable," said Finch, who also featured in the IPL. "What we have to keep in mind is that we have to keep looking to get him out.

"When you go away from that and you look to contain players, you can miss a trick. He's probably the best one-day player of all time, so it's about sticking to our plans and being really committed in that regard."

Kohli will be looking not only for a series victory, but also to consolidate his status as the top-ranked ODI batsman in the world in the absence of his injured team-mate Rohit Sharma.

India paceman Jasprit Bumrah, meanwhile, could regain top spot in the bowler rankings, as he only trails New Zealand's Trent Boult by three points.

The two sides, who will wear black armbands in tribute to late Australia great Dean Jones, will be playing for ICC Cricket World Cup Super League points.

 

OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS FOR AGARWAL

A hamstring injury sustained during the IPL means there will be no Rohit at the top of the India order, so Mayank Agarwal looks set to partner Shikhar Dhawan.

Agarwal failed to show what he is capable of when India were whitewashed by New Zealand in February.

The 29-year-old was in good touch during the IPL, though, scoring 424 runs at an average of 38.54 and making a century for Kings XI against Rajasthan Royals.

KL Rahul is likely to come in down the order, given he will take up the role of wicketkeeper-batsman.

 

WARNER TO MAKE HAY AT HAPPY HUNTING GROUND?

Australia have a formidable recent record at the SCG, winning 11 of their previous 13 ODIs at the famous venue.

They have also come out on top in all but two of their previous 16 encounters with India at the Sydney fortress.

India's last ODI victory over Australia at the venue came in January 2016 and dismissing David Warner cheaply may be key to repeating that feat.

The opener has an ODI average of 57.2 at the SCG, higher than any other player in the men's game from 10 innings or more. Warner has scored two hundreds and a half-century in his last five knocks at the venue.

 

KEY OPTA FACTS

- Kohli is 133 runs away from becoming only the sixth man to record 12,000 in ODIs. 
- India have won 12 of their last 18 ODIs against Australia, including the previous two.
- The tourists have won five of their last seven bilateral ODI series versus Australia, including a 2-1 win in the most recent series on Australian soil early last year.
- Finch is just 17 shy of becoming the 16th Australian to score 5,000 ODI runs. He has not been dismissed for a single-figure total in any of his last 10 ODI knocks.
- Mohammed Shami (50) has taken more ODI wickets since the beginning of 2019 than any other player; Australia duo Adam Zampa and Pat Cummins (43 each) are joint-second.

Sean Abbott is ready to take his chance for Australia, but believes it is more likely to be in the bowling attack in the Test team.

Abbott was named in a 17-man Test squad to face India, with the series beginning in Adelaide on December 17.

The New South Welshman has taken 14 wickets at 17.92 to begin the Sheffield Shield season, while he also has 261 runs at 130.50.

However, Abbott believes his best chance of a Test debut would be as part of Australia's bowling attack.

"I'd be keen to play, I'm happy to put my hand up for any role that would come up. I'll take that opportunity with both hands," he told reporters.

"I probably see myself more as a bowling opportunity as someone who can bat. If there's that opportunity to bat higher up the order and the selectors and Painey [captain Tim Paine] think that I can do that job then I'm not even going to think twice about that.

"I'm walking out there when I bat as a batsman and trying to do whatever job is in front of me and enjoying that competition of playing Test cricket for my country.

"I'd definitely say probably more of a bowling spot. If a bowling spot came up I'd be more in line for that one as opposed to someone who bats six or seven, but we'll have to wait and see."

Will Pucovski and Cameron Green have been rewarded for their good form, selected in Australia's Test squad for the series against India.

Pucovski, 22, and Green, 21, were named in a 17-man squad on Thursday after starring in the Sheffield Shield.

With 495 runs at an average of 247.5 for Victoria, Pucovski is the leading run-scorer in the competition this season.

Green has also impressed, scoring 363 at 72.6 for Western Australia, while also picking up two wickets.

"Two of those many standout players were of course Cameron Green and Will Pucovski. Their undeniable form demanded selection and we are very pleased to have these young men in the squad for what will be a tremendous Test series against an extremely formidable opponent," Australia national selector Trevor Hohns said in a statement.

"Cameron has already won selection in the white-ball squad and continues that in joining the Test squad. He is a wonderful young talent who has great potential to become an all-rounder of substance over time. His batting alone has demanded his place in the squad.

"Will's record-breaking start to the summer has been exceptional. His ability to show such patience is something which stands him in good stead for Test cricket and he is in rare company with two double centuries to start the summer. We very much look forward to Will developing further on the international stage."

Leg-spinner Mitchell Swepson has also been rewarded after taking 23 wickets at 21.17, earning a place as another option to Nathan Lyon.

Sean Abbott (14 wickets at 17.92) was also included in the squad.

Pucovski, Green, Swepson and Abbott were among nine Test players included in an Australia A squad to face India A and India.

Joe Burns, whose place is under threat from Pucovski, is part of both teams despite struggling to just 57 runs in five innings to start the Sheffield Shield season.

The first Test between Australia and India is scheduled to begin in Adelaide on December 17.

Australia: Sean Abbott, Joe Burns, Pat Cummins, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Michael Neser, Tim Paine, James Pattinson, Will Pucovski, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, Matthew Wade, David Warner.

Cameron Green could be set to make his Australia debut after being named in the ODI and Twenty20 squads to face India.

The talented all-rounder, 21, was included in an 18-man squad named on Thursday.

Green is the leading run-scorer in this season's Sheffield Shield with 264 at an average of 132 for Western Australia, while he averages 27.83 with the bat and 34.42 with the ball in nine domestic 50-over matches.

Moises Henriques has also been recalled, while Mitchell Marsh has missed out after dealing with an ankle injury.

"Moises is a tremendous cricketer with loads of experience and is a great person to have around the group," Australia national selector Trevor Hohns said.

"His form was extremely impressive in leading the [Sydney] Sixers to the BBL title last summer and he has played well at the start of this season.

"Similarly, Cameron's domestic form has been outstanding and he has carried it through for Western Australia this summer. As a potential player of the future this is an opportunity for him to be part of the squad and build on his experience."

Australia's three-match ODI series against India is set to begin in Sydney on November 27, before the teams do battle in three T20s at the start of December.

Australia: Aaron Finch, Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Cameron Green, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Marnus Labuschagne, Glenn Maxwell, Daniel Sams, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa.

Rohit Sharma has not been included in any of India's squads for the tour to Australia due to injury, joining Ishant Sharma on the sidelines.

Batsman Rohit suffered a hamstring injury during the ongoing Indian Premier League season, and it is unclear if he will play again in the 2020 edition for Mumbai Indians.

Ishant, meanwhile, has not featured at all in the IPL due to an abdominal muscle issue, though the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) added the duo will continue to be monitored.

The Test party does include uncapped paceman Mohammed Siraj, as well as left-arm spinner Kuldeep Yadav.

KL Rahul, who is vice-captain for the one-day and Twenty20 squads, is recalled for Test duty. His previous outing in the longest format was against West Indies over a year ago, though the right-handed batsman has been in superb form for King's XI Punjab in the IPL.

Wriddhiman Saha and Rishabh Pant are selected as the wicketkeepers for the four-match series, though the latter has been left out of the white-ball squads.

Virat Kohli will captain India in all three formats, with the schedule for the trip still to be officially confirmed.

The BCCI also announced that four additional bowlers – Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Kartik Tyagi, Ishan Porel and T Natarajan – will travel.

 

Test squad: Virat Kohli (captain), Mayank Agarwal, Prithvi Shaw, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Hanuma Vihari, Shubman Gill, Wriddhiman Saha, Rishabh Pant, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohd. Shami, Umesh Yadav, Navdeep Saini, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Siraj.

ODI squad: Virat Kohli (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Shubman Gill, KL Rahul (vice-captain), Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Mayank Agarwal, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohd. Shami, Navdeep Saini, Shardul Thakur.

T20 squad: Virat Kohli (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul (vice-captain), Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Sanju Samson, Ravindra Jadeja, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohd. Shami, Navdeep Saini, Deepak Chahar, Varun Chakravarthy.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews is "very confident" there will be a crowd allowed in for Australia's Boxing Day Test against India after it was announced a long lockdown will end this week. 

Strict lockdown restrictions will largely end from 11.59pm in Melbourne on Tuesday after no new coronavirus cases were recorded for the first time since June 9. 

The state of Victoria has been in a hard lockdown for over four months, but shops, restaurants, cafes and bars will be allowed to open and outdoors contact sports can resume this week. 

While Premier Andrews thinks it will be too soon for people to attend the Melbourne Cup, he expects the doors to be open for another huge event on the Australian sporting calendar. 

"The Boxing Day Test of course is very different because that is some way off," he told reporters 

"I am very confident that we will get a crowd at the MCG for the Boxing Day Test. 

"I don't know how big it will be but there will be a crowd, that'' the advice that I have, that's what we're working towards." 

The MCG is set to stage the third of four Tests against Virat Kohli's side.

India legend Sachin Tendulkar has praised West Indies and Kings XI Punjab star Chris Gayle for being much more than just a big hitter and has pointed out that the batsman is often clever at the crease as well.

In this season's Indian Premier League (IPL) the 40-year-old T20 talisman has been a crucial part of a big comeback for King’s XI Punjab, who were rooted to the bottom of the table after their first seven games, with Gayle also rooted on the bench.  Following the player’s introduction, where he crafted a crucial 53, the team has gone on to win three games in a row and are now back in contention for the fourth spot.

Tendulkar believes that in addition to scoring the veteran player has brought a certain amount of energy and confidence to the now surging team.

"When it comes to Gayle, people only talk about his big-hitting.  That, everyone knows, but many guys don’t notice one thing, Gayle is a very smart player. He is a big hitter no doubt, but he is a clever guy. If he finds someone threatening who can get him out, he is prepared to see his over through. Then he will target one of two bowlers like he targeted Tushar Despande in the match against Delhi.  He got runs off that over,” Tendulkar said via a video posted to his official Twitter account.

“Gayle is a smart player, don’t think Gayle will come out and hit every ball.  He does not do that, he understands the surface, he reads the pace of the surface and what the bowler is good at.  When he realises that there is a bowler who he can go after, then he goes all out,” he added.

 KXIP will go for a fourth straight win when they face Sunrisers Hyderabad and another in-form West Indian Jason Holder today.

 

 

India legend Kapil Dev is recovering in hospital after undergoing heart surgery.

Dev, one of the great all-rounders, was taken to Fortis Escorts Heart Institute in New Delhi in the early hours of Friday morning after complaining of chest pain.

The 61-year-old, who captained India when they won the World Cup in1983, underwent an angioplasty and is expected to be discharged over the weekend.

A widely reported statement released by the hospital said: "Former Indian Cricket captain Kapil Dev, age 61 years, came to Fortis Escorts Heart Institute (Okhla Road) emergency department at 1:00 am on October 23 with a complaint of chest pain.

"He was evaluated and an emergency coronary Angioplasty was performed by Dr Atul Mathur, Director of Cardiology Department, in the middle of the night. Currently, he is admitted in ICU and under close supervision of Dr Atul Mathur and his team.

"Kapil Dev is stable now and he is expected to get discharged in a couple of days."

Support flooded in for Dev on social media, with the BCCI tweeting "Wishing the @therealkapildev a swift recovery. The nation is well aware of his grit and spirit and we are very sure he will be out of the hospital soon."

India captain Virat Kohli posted: "Praying for your speedy recovery. Get well soon paaji. @therealkapildev."

The legendary India batsman Sachin Tendulkar tweeted: "Take care @therealkapildev! Praying for your quick recovery. Get well soon Paaji."

Ravi Shastri, the India head coach and Dev's former team-mate, wrote: "Stay strong big brother. God bless."

Following his whirlwind half century for Kings XI Punjab on Thursday, albeit in a losing cause, Nicholas Pooran has come in for high praise from IPL pundits, former players Tom Moody and Ajit Agarkar.

The 25-year-old Trinidadian raced to 77 from just 37 balls smashing seven massive sixes and five fours as KXIP chased the 201 set by Sunrisers Hyderabad in their 20 overs.

The ninth over of the KXIP was especially memorable for the 28 runs Pooran scored off the bowling of Abdul Samad’s leg-break deliveries.

Pooran smashed four sixes and a four in the over. He slammed the fourth ball over long off for the third six in the over that brought up his 50 in just 17 balls, the fastest so far this season.

Moody, the former all-rounder turned commentator and administrator, has been watching Pooran for a number of years now in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) and in the IPL and believes the batsman has an exciting future ahead of him.

“I don’t think there are better strikers of the ball in world cricket than Nicholas Pooran,” said Moody while speaking on T20 Timeout.

“He times the ball. He has got a wonderful bat swing. It’s a bit like Yuvraj Singh’s bat swing. It’s very long and elegant one that not only possesses a huge amount of power but incredible timing, hits the ball a long, long way and he seems to do it for fun.”

The former all-rounder continued: “I think this is just the beginning of an exciting number of years for Nicholas Pooran in IPL cricket and cricket outside the IPL.”

Agarkar, the former Indian fast bowler, was in agreement.

“Those sixes were massive sixes,” he said. “Just beautiful timing every time he hits the ball, pace and spin, it’s not one or the other, and just bats beautifully.”

 

 

 

A case of food poisoning prevented Chris Gayle from playing for the Kings XI Punjab on Thursday.

Kings XI Punjab batting coach, Wasim Jaffer,  has assured fans they will see West Indies batting legend Chris Gayle soon and insists the player is hungry to make his debut in this season’s Indian Premier League (IPL).

The 41-year-old T20 superstar is yet to make an appearance for Kings XI who are off to a slow start to the IPL season.  After 5 games, the team sits at the bottom of the table with just one win and four losses.  The team has, however, so far not necessarily struggled with batting, having scored over 200 in two of the five games.

Jaffer, however, believes that Gayle’s match-winning capabilities could yet help the team turn their poor form around.

“It should happen soon. As I said, it needs to happen sooner than later. We don’t want to bring them when every game is a must-win game. Hopefully, we will have those guys featuring soon,” Jaffer told news agency Press Trust of India from Dubai.

“Chris looks very much ready and is keen to get on to the park, he has been training really well and has looked really good in the nets,” Wasim Jaffer said.

“He is such an impact player, we all know what he can do. I hope he turns up and turns it on straight away and changes the tide for all of us. He looks hungry and that is a very good sign for the franchise,” he added.

“I am hoping he plays quickly. We need match-winners, as many as possible. Not just for the next game, also for the rest of the tournament as he can easily win you four-five games on his own,” he further said.

Kings IX Punjab opener KL Rahul is confident that Windies star Chris Gayle will be ready and capable when called on to deliver for the team.

So far, the big West Indian has been left viewing from the bench in this season’s Indian Premier League (IPL).  In the meantime, Kings IX have struggled to one win and three losses.

The reasons for Gayle’s but breaking into the line-up is not as easy as it seems.  Despite his absence, KXIP has managed to put 200+ totals on the board in two of the four matches they have played. With the likes of Rahul and Mayank Agarwal at the top, Punjab has both the centurions of this IPL at their disposal, and hence the need to have Gayle in the team hasn’t really been felt.

The only player Gayle can come in the team for, at the moment, is his countryman Nicholas Pooran who has been batting at the No. 3 spot. Pooran’s fielding exploits, however, make it hard for the KXIP management to remove him from the team.  Rahul, however, remains convinced the West Indies will make an impact.

"It's been a lot of fun playing with Chris. Not just (that) I have played two seasons with him at KXIP, I have played with him at RCB as well.  I have known him for a good 6-7 years.  As a youngster, I did speak with him a lot and I was looking at him as an opening batsman.  How destructive, powerful, and how intimidating he is,” Rahul told TimesofIndia.

 “I try to learn a lot from him (Gayle). We share a good friendship and that’s what came out in the middle in the last two seasons.  He is somebody who is such an impact player, such a match-winner for whatever team he has played.  Like I said he is very intimidating and takes down the opposition on a given day.  He can destroy any bowling attack.”

West Indies legend Clive Lloyd has pointed to a continued lack of inclusion of former players at the board level of regional cricket as being a significant hindrance to improving the fortunes of the struggling team.

Though typically the realm of lifelong administrators and businessmen, the cricket boards of the sport’s big three, England, India, and Australia have included former players at the top level of the game’s governance.  Currently, India is the best example with former captain Sourav Ganguly serving as president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, on a body that also included Brijesh Patel.  The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) recently added former captain Andrew Strauss as a non-voting member but also includes women’s player Lucy Pearson.  For Cricket Australia, Michael Kasprowicz resigned from the board earlier this year but two-time women’s World Cup winner Mel Jones remains a member of the board.

“The board should have four ex-cricketers.  Knowledgeable, intelligent people who want to take our cricket forward,” Lloyd told the Mason and Guest radio program.

“When I was at Lancashire on the committee, we had 16 or 17 people on the committee, but we had to have six cricketers, that was enshrined in the constitution because it’s a cricket club.  That’s why cricket is taken care of in England.  All the clubs have the same situation.”

“We do not have a Test cricketer of note on our board.  If you look at all the other boards, Australia have had four captains on their board.  India have had some of their ex-players on their board.  England, who they have coaching the team, and the ECB have their ex-cricketers…cricketers are involved in the development of the game. (In the West Indies) If you decide to be a part of the board and you are somebody of some standing, they don’t seem to want you because they believe you will overshadow them.”

The current Cricket West Indies (CWI) body does have Michael Findlay, who played Test cricket for the West Indies between 1969 to 1973 along with Julian Charles and Enoch Lewis who played cricket at the regional level.

 

 

 

 

Page 1 of 14
© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.