Stuart Broad‘s Ashes batting bunny David Warner is still trying to figure out how it was even possible that the paceman was dropped from England’s first Test match of the northern summer, and paid tribute to the 34-year-old as he stood on the brink of 500 wickets.
In getting out seven times in 10 innings to Broad in England last year, Warner had a previously respectable record in England scythed down to an embarrassing size. The Australian was left questioning plenty about himself and his game in foreign conditions before he returned home to a typically bountiful home season against Pakistan and New Zealand.
Warner admitted to some shock when he saw that Broad was left out for Mark Wood when England played the first Test match since cricket’s return amid the coronavirus pandemic, before the Nottinghamshire seamer was recalled and proved instrumental in securing the hosts victory in the second match of the series and then taking the hosts to the outskirts of another in the decider.
“I think they should not drop him again, I don’t know why they dropped him for that first game,” Warner laughed. “It’d be nice if I was to play over there again and he wasn’t playing. I saw he got a 50 and he’s taking some batting tips off Shane Warne, which is weird, but the way he bowls, the way he’s been bowling the last 18 months has been outstanding. I don’t know what was the reasoning behind leaving him out of that first Test, but obviously he’s come back and taken a few wickets.
“Personally, I think he’s a world-class bowler and the last 18 months he’s really worked hard on pitching the ball up. When I look back on the stats it is probably the first time in his career, he’s actually pitched the ball up in that sort of five to six metres area the bowlers talk about quite a lot. He’s got a hell of a record against left handers as well, and I think the capability of him bringing the ball back off the wicket into the left handers has been another string to his bow.
“Bowlers do tend to talk about not meaning to do that off the seam, but if you keep producing the right seam consistently enough, you’re going to get that sideways movement both ways and he’s been able to get that, and it’s not by fluke that he’s had success the past 18 months, he’s worked really hard to get to where he is and credit to him. Hopefully, yeah, I do get another crack against him.”
“They’re both not express pace, and to take [nearly 1100] wickets between them as a pair when playing together is exceptional. You just can’t go after them, they don’t take their foot off the pedal and when you’re up against them, you’ve got to think of ways to rotate strike.”
Warner on the enduring Broad-Anderson partnership
The sequence of dismissals endured by Warner last year was testament to Broad’s ability to improve himself, having previously struggled to find the right lines and lengths with which to challenge the Australian left-hander, either in challenging Australian conditions or even friendlier home environs during the 2013 and 2015 series. Broad made his own disappointment plain during the first Test against the West Indies in Hampshire, but in the final match of the series at Old Trafford, he has returned to a familiar and prolific partnership with James Anderson.
“I think when you’ve got two quality bowlers who’ve bowled in partnerships for a long, long time, in the partnership they bowl they don’t leak runs, and that’s the most important thing when we bat in partnerships, we try to get off strike, rotate strike, get bowlers off their lines and lengths,” Warner said. “These guys have the ability to keep those runs restricted, and they bowl a length where in England if you go to drive that length, you’re probably going to nick, but also the length means they’re still hitting the stumps, so you can’t really leave it.
“In English conditions they just know how to get wickets and how to not leak runs. I know as well, James Anderson can not take a wicket, but still go for less than two an over. That just shows his experience as well. They’re both not express pace, and to take [nearly 1100] wickets between them as a pair when playing together is exceptional. You just can’t go after them, they don’t take their foot off the pedal and when you’re up against them, you’ve got to think of ways to rotate strike. Otherwise if you give them too many overs at you, they’re going to get you out.”
Sydney Sixers vs Perth Scorchers, BBL 2020-21, Fantasy Pick, team suggestions
Jan 16: Sydney Sixers vs Perth Scorchers, Canberra
Pro Tip: This will be the third game in four days and ninth overall at Manuka Oval, Canberra, the venue with most games so far in BBL10. The pitch is likely to be bowler-friendly, so pick more bowling options.
Our XI: Josh Philippe, Jordan Silk, Daniel Christian, Carlos Brathwaite, Steve O’Keefe, Lloyd Pope, Jason Roy, Liam Livingstone, Ashton Turner, Jhye Richardson, Fawad Ahmed
Substitutes: Andrew Tye, Josh Inglis, Daniel Hughes, James Vince
Player Availability: Scorchers allrounder Mitchell Marsh and batsman Colin Munro are both injured and might not be available for this clash. Ben Dwarshuis could be available for the Sixers after recovering from an injury. We might not always be able to tip you off about late injury (or other relevant) updates, so please finalise your team after the toss.
Captain: Josh Philippe
This season’s leading scorer with 337 runs in ten games at an impressive strike rate of 145.88 has come back from his IPL stint a better player. He scored an unbeaten 44-ball 81 against the same opposition last season. In the last game he played at this venue, he scored a match-winning 64 off 36.
Vice-captain: Jason Roy
Roy’s 52-ball 74 not out in the last game against the Hobart Hurricanes helped Scorchers to get over the line with the additional bonus point. So far, he has scored 212 runs in six games at an average of 42.40 this season. Before coming into BBL, he scored three 50-plus scores in five T20 Blast games.
Steve O’Keefe: After a brilliant start to the season, O’Keefe’s wicket-taking form did take a slight dip in the mid-season as he picked up only a couple of wickets in four games. However, he came back with a 3 for 15 in the last game and got the Man-of-the-Match award too. Playing again at the same venue, he is expected to make another impact. He is the leading wicket-taker for the Sixers with 13 scalps in nine games at an economy of 6.50.
Jhye Richardson: The 24-year-old youngster has been the player of the season for the Scorchers, so far picking up 18 wickets in just nine games at a stunning average of 11.16, the joint-leading wicket-taker in BBL10. The last time he played against the Sixers, he picked up 3 for 15.
Daniel Christian: The 37-year-old allrounder has been a revelation for the Sixers this season. Christian is the only player to pick up ten or more wickets as well as score 150-plus runs in this edition of the BBL. He has scored a 12-ball 21 not out and five-ball 15 not out in the two games he played at this venue, in addition to picking up three wickets.
Jordan Silk: Silk is having an impactful season where he has scored 210 runs in ten games at a strike rate of 140.93. Nobody has scored more runs at No. 5 than his 195 in 140 deliveries.
Fawad Ahmed:The Scorchers’ lead spinner is in the middle of one of his leanest seasons picking up only seven wickets in nine games at an average of 26.71. However, against his favourite opposition Sixers, against whom he has picked up 15 wickets, he is expected to come back strong. The wicket at Manuka Oval is also likely to assist him.
- If Dwarshuis is fit and available, replace Llyod Pope with him.
- Inglis and Turner can be swapped as well.
- O’Keefe or Richardson can be your vice-captain choice too.
South Africa vs Pakistan women
This will be South Africa’s first assignment since their semi-final appearance at the T20 World Cup in Australia in March last year
Sune Luus will lead an 18-member South Africa Women’s squad in the absence of the injured Dane van Niekerk for the ODIs and T20Is against Pakistan Women. This will be South Africa’s first assignment since their semi-final appearance at the T20 World Cup in Australia in March last year.
The squad will also be without allrounder Chloe Tyron and an unnamed Covid-positive player, while Marizanne Kapp, who was hospitalised with an elevated heart rate during the WBBL, has been named in the side after attaining full fitness.
South Africa’s home series against Australia as well as their tours to West Indies and England last year were called off due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Luus has the experience of leading South Africa in 10 ODIs and nine T20Is previously. The squad also features several young and inexperienced players, including the likes of Nondumiso Shangase, Nonkululeko Mlaba and Anne Bosch who have played fewer than ten international matches.
“I’m excited about this group we have selected, and the players have a great opportunity to continue with the great strides they have made at this level and also opportunities to the young ones,” head coach Hilton Moreeng said.
“Many in the squad have international experience including our captain Sune who has lead us with composure in the past and hopefully will do likewise on this tour. There are several talented youngsters who show exciting potential and giving some of them an opening will not only increase the squad’s depth but increase competition for places.”
All six matches – three ODIs and three T20Is – will be played at Kingsmead, with the first ODI scheduled to begin on January 20.
South Africa squad: Sune Luus (c), Laura Wolvaardt, Trisha Chetty (wk), Mignon du Preez, Shabnim Ismail, Lizelle Lee, Ayabonga Khaka, Masabata Klaas, Nadine de Klerk, Tumi Sekhukhune, Sinalo Jafta, Marizanne Kapp, Lara Goodall, Nondumiso Shangase, Nonkululeko Mlaba, Faye Tunnicliffe, Anneke Bosch, Tazmin Brits.
UAE-Ireland ODI series held up again despite no further Covid positives
Monday is final chance for series to continue as Paul Stirling admits frustrations
Ireland’s second ODI against the UAE in Abu Dhabi has been postponed yet again, despite no further positive Covid tests being returned.
The second ODI has now been scheduled for January 10, 12, 14 and 16, but on each occasion it has been pushed back, with UAE public health directives preventing “the resumption of competitive action”, according to a Cricket Ireland statement. Four UAE players have tested positive for Covid to date, while the Ireland camp have exclusively returned negative results.
The series, which UAE lead 1-0 after a six-wicket win in the first ODI, had been due to comprise four matches, but will now see, at most, two games played. The two boards are in discussions about playing a fixture on Monday, with Ireland’s three-match ODI series against Afghanistan due to start on Thursday.
“With the Afghanistan series due to start next Thursday, the players and coaches are keen to get at least another competitive fixture in against the UAE prior to that, so we are hoping that a continued clean bill of health in both camps will allow us to play on Monday,” said Richard Holdsworth, Cricket Ireland’s performance director.
Ireland have been training over the past week, but have been frustrated to lose out on the opportunity to play competitive cricket ahead of their series against Afghanistan, where World Cup Super League points are at stake.
“We’ve been trying to cover both bases,” Paul Stirling, their vice-captain, said. “Usually the day before an ODI is quite light training, and quite personal as to what your preferences are as a batter or a bowler.
“It’s one of those things. I don’t think anything has happened normally in the last whenever, so it’s just another obstacle. There are times when you think ‘this is crap’, but then you get a bit of perspective and think it could be a lot worse. I’m probably somewhere in the middle of the two.”
For Stirling, the delay is particularly frustrating at a time when he feels in good form, having batted through the innings for 131* in the series opener. He has now made hundreds in his last two ODI innings, but the fact that one of those was his match-winning ton against England in early August illustrates the fact fixtures have been spare for Ireland since Covid hit.
“That innings [against England] feels so long ago,” he said. “I feel in nick because I feel ready to play, but once you’re in that place, you want to keep playing. There’s not much rhythm at the minute.”
Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets at @mroller98
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