Connect with us

Cricket

Match Preview – England vs Pakistan, Pakistan tour of England 2020, 1st Test

Published

on


Big picture

It’s almost like a normal English cricket summer, isn’t it? England lost the first Test yet again but came battling back in the series, something they do far more frequently than any other Test side. The batting order was rejigged regularly and debated in increasingly repetitive terms. Ben Stokes came good, and James Anderson and Stuart Broad continued to take wickets. Their detractors kept reminding everyone with indefatigable banality these were only home wickets, as most people smiled and nodded. The rain made a persistent enough nuisance of itself to send every Test to the final session on the fifth day, which, of course, lit the touchpaper for the four-day Test debate.

Coming into the Pakistan series, England have the distinct, irreplaceable advantage of having played three Tests against high-quality opposition, and no amount of intra-squad matches or net sessions can quite match that for Pakistan. The games against West Indies allowed England to tinker, particularly with the bowling attack, which unearthed an embarrassment of fast-bowling riches, with Broad, Jofra Archer and Anderson all missing a Test without the attack appearing any less menacing. In addition to those three, they have Sam Curran, Mark Wood and Chris Woakes to call upon.

Even the top order, which has never really been the same since Andrew Strauss retired eight years ago, showed flashes of encouraging promise against West Indies. Openers Dom Sibley and Rory Burns combined for 460 runs across the three Tests, each batsman averaging over 45. Lower down, Joe Root may not have got the runs he’d desired but Ben Stokes more than made up for that, scoring over 90 between dismissals and demonstrating he was an automatic pick even if a niggle keeps him from bowling, as it well might in the first Test. Jos Buttler got a half-century. Hell, even Broad did.

Pakistan, meanwhile, have hung around the UK since before that West Indies series began, keeping confined amongst themselves and, by historical standards, generating impressively little gossip fodder. The conversations in the squad have revolved entirely around tactics, team combination, player form, and, of course, whether or not Fawad Alam will finally get to play. The side last played a Test in February, with no competitive cricket on offer since the PSL was put on hold before the semi-finals. There has almost been an air of – whisper it softly should you dare – professionalism about how the build-up has gone.

England has always seemed to Pakistan a barometer of the state of its cricket; performances here, brilliant or disastrous, have been accepted as representative of the quality of the side. Pakistan tours to England have served as the most useful waypoints for a digestible history of the nation’s cricket, encapsulating most of the recurring themes so distinctly redolent of Pakistan cricket. From perhaps Pakistan’s greatest underdog moment in 1954 to the domination of the fast bowlers in the 80s and 90s, bitter controversy in 2006 and disgrace in 2010, Pakistan’s presence in England has always seemed to put fate on notice.

They will hope the headlines they make remain strictly confined to the back pages, and with the side they have, there’s no reason that won’t happen. Babar Azam has only ever played one Test in England, and is a vastly improved Test cricketer from the one whose fluent half-century was ended by injury two years ago. In Shan Masood, Pakistan have found an opener whose technique and temperament both look to have finally come into their own, and he has the runs to prove it. Azhar Ali, appointed captain last year, also has at his disposal arguably the most exciting Pakistan fast-bowling trio in a decade; Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Abbas and Naseem Shah all boast match-winning Test performances in their nascent careers.

Ali’s side may lack experience and be decisive underdogs, but when has that ever stopped Pakistan in England? Joe Root’s, in turn, may well be heavily fancied, but that isn’t a tag they have worn as lightly as they might have wished.

Form guide

(last five completed matches, most recent first)

England WWLWW (last five completed matches, most recent first)
Pakistan WWDLL

In the spotlight

Joe Root is almost guaranteed to be the most classical Test batsman on either side in just about any series, but that isn’t quite the case this time around. Opposition vice-captain Babar Azam has seen his red-ball career flourish just as Root’s phenomenal career numbers have begun going the other way. You could almost trace the trend to the last time Pakistan toured England, when a 23-year old Babar played his only Test in England. Since that encounter, Root has averaged 38.48 between dismissals, nearly ten runs down on his overall career average. Babar’s numbers, meanwhile, have soared, his average a stratospheric 68.52 over the same period, 23 runs up from his career mean. The Pakistan batsman has outscored his English counterpart in the centuries department, too, five to Root’s four in fewer than half the innings. There was talk of the famous Fab Four taking on a fifth member in Babar, but the England skipper will have to better his most recent numbers to ensure he doesn’t drop out of it altogether.

Team news

England have announced an unchanged 14-man squad to the one that was chosen for the deciding Test against West Indies. Root suggested in his pre-match press conference one of Mark Wood or Jofra Archer would play, while Stuart Broad’s place in the playing party appears certain. The final balance of the side will be determined by Ben Stokes’ ability to bowl, having been managing a quad niggle during the Windies series. If England err on the side of caution, then Zak Crawley will again be the fall guy, with the rest of the middle order moving up one slot.

England (possible) 1 Dom Sibley, 2 Rory Burns, 3 Joe Root (capt), 4 Ben Stokes, 5 Ollie Pope, 6 Jos Buttler (wk), 7 Sam Curran/Chris Woakes, 8 Dom Bess, 9 Stuart Broad, 10 Mark Wood/Jofra Archer, 11 James Anderson

Head coach Misbah-ul-Haq looks to be leaning towards playing two legspinners, which would seem to rule out Fawad Alam. It would, however, leave the lower middle order somewhat vulnerable, in spite of Shadab Khan’s competence with the bat, and with a 16-man squad, there’s plenty of flexibility to work around it.

Pakistan (possible): 1 Shan Masood, 2 Abid Ali, 3 Azhar Ali (capt), 4 Babar Azam, 5 Asad Shafiq, 6 Fawad Alam/Shadab Khan, 7 Mohammad Rizwan(wk), 8 Yasir Shah, 9 Shaheen Afridi, 10 Mohammad Abbas, 11 Naseem Shah

Pitch and conditions

England were forced to practise indoors on the eve of the game due to rain, and there is more expected for the first couple of days. The weather is expected to brighten up over the weekend, though.

The fast bowlers on either side in the West Indies series found plenty of swing at Old Trafford, with specialist offspinners Rakheem Cornwall and Dom Bess playing less of a role than both sides’ respective selectors might have hoped.

Stats and trivia

  • Of the 10 Tests Pakistan have won in England since 1987, eight were played in London. Old Trafford, the venue of the first Test, played host to one Pakistan Test win in this period (in 2001), with the other success coming at Headingley in 1987.

  • Pakistan’s other two victories in England were also in London, at The Oval in 1954 and Lord’s in 1982.

  • James Anderson needs 11 wickets to become the first fast bowler to 600 Test dismissals.

  • Anderson has only ever taken 11 wickets in a Test once – against Pakistan in 2010

Quotes

“He’s very skilful, looks like he has a lot of pace. You can speak to as many people as you want, but until you get out there and face him, you can’t really know what it’s going to be like”
Joe Root looking ahead to facing 17-year old Naseem Shah for the first time



Source link

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Cricket

Rajasthan Royals vs Kings XI Punjab, IPL 2020, Fantasy Pick, team predictions

Published

on


Rajasthan Royals vs Kings XI Punjab, Sharjah

Pro Tip
Pack your team with batsmen from both teams and expect yet another high scoring game at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium

Our XI: Jos Buttler, Sanju Samson, KL Rahul, Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Steven Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Tom Curran, Jofra Archer, Mohammed Shami, Ravi Bishnoi

Substitutes: Sheldon Cottrell, Rahul Tewatia, Nicholas Pooran, Jaydev Unadkat

NOTE: 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.

Player availability: All players are available including Jos Buttler who missed the last game.

Captain: Jos Buttler
Buttler has had a week off after the ODI series against Australia and would be eager to resume playing his preferred format. In his last three T20I innings, Buttler scored 178 runs at a strike rate of 158.92. His performance against the Kings XI have been impressive since 2018: 225 runs in four innings at a strike rate of 143.41.

Vice-captain: KL Rahul
Rahul has continued his purple patch even after a six-month break. His 132 not out against the Royal Challengers is the highest individual score for an Indian in the IPL. With his ability to clear long boundaries, he is likely to make the most of the Sharjah ground dimensions.

Hot Picks
Glenn Maxwell
Though Maxwell has had a couple of failures in as many games this season, he could find form against the Kings XI. Rahul tossed him the ball against the Royal Challengers and the Australian returned a wicket. In the ODI series against England, he struck a fifty and a hundred against a Jofra Archer-led attack.

Chris Gayle
This could be the right time for the Kings XI to unleash Gayle: a small ground, a batting-friendly surface and a couple of legspinners in the opposition XI – all could favour Gayle’s style of batting. Gayle has a strike rate of 197.14 against legspinners, the highest among all batsmen who’ve faced 100 or more balls from legspinners in T20s since 2018.

Mohammed Shami
Shami has been bowling with great rhythm and pace. He’s looked peerless in the pace-bowling department across teams so far this season. He has picked up four wickets at an economy of 4.14. Even in a small ground without much help for the pacers, Shami is a key pick. Since 2018, Shami has had an economy of 6.80 in the powerplay, the best among all seamers who have picked up five or more wickets in the phase.

Differential Picks
Ravi Bishnoi
The young leggie has been given the ball in tough situations and has still come on top. He has picked up 4 wickets at an economy of 6.75. The small ground and big hitters in the Royals line-up will be another challenge for Bishnoi but we expect him to ace it yet again. Tom Curran: After a forgettable outing the Super Kings, many may not pick Curran. But a bowler with as many variations as Curran is very handy on this ground. Even though he has an economy of 9.99 in the death since 2018 in all T20s, he also has a SR of 9.9 suggesting he will get you a wicket or two more often than not.

Alternate Scenarios

  • Wait until the toss to see if Buttler keeps wickets. If Sanju Samson does, make Buttler your vice-captain and Rahul your captain to maximise on points as Rahul will surely keep wickets for the Kings XI.

  • Chris Gayle should be brought into the XI given the ground dimensions and the two legspinners in the Royals’ line-up. Since 2017 in all T20s, Gayle has struck at 182.93 against leg spin.

  • If Gayle does not play, pick one of the the Royals legspinners ahead of Tom Curran since there’s expected to be only one left-handed batsman in the top six for the Kings XI

  • Royals’ line-up is filled with right-handed batsmen, so playing both the Kings XI legspinners could also be an option instead of one of their batsmen.



Source link

Continue Reading

Cricket

Match Preview – Rajasthan Royals vs Kings XI Punjab, Indian Premier League 2020 2020, 9th Match

Published

on


Big picture

The Kings XI Punjab recovered superbly – a 97-run win against the Royal Challengers Bangalore – after their Super Over heartbreak against the Delhi Capitals. Now they move to Sharjah, the smallest of the three venues, to take on the Rajasthan Royals, who made 216 at that venue earlier this week for a 16-run win over the Chennai Super Kings. We could be in for another high-scoring game on Sunday.

The Kings XI have so far held back Chris Gayle. Is there a case for them to unleash him in this game? No ground is too big for him, but in Sharjah, where even mis-hits carry over the rope, Gayle will be a big threat even though he isn’t the force he once was. The Kings XI management is happy with his form in the nets, but bringing him could mean altering their balance because both KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal, the regular openers, have done exceedingly well in the first two games. Yet, it is a good selection headache to have. Nicholas Pooran may have to miss out in case Gayle comes in.

The Royals will be boosted by the return of Jos Buttler, but there is a possibility he’ll bat in the middle order. Steven Smith played anchor from the top of the innings in the first game, and might want to continue doing that alongside rookie Yashasvi Jaiswal. With Sanju Samson likely to play one-drop, Buttler could slot in at No. 4 to give the middle order some solidity, with Robin Uthappa and Riyan Parag to follow. David Miller, who was run-out without facing a ball on his debut for the Royals last week, could be the unfortunate one to miss out.

Having competed hard and won a high-scoring game at this venue should give the Royals a slight edge in this contest, but on their day, Kings XI can topple any side like they showed two nights ago against the Royal Challengers Bangalore. Whatever happens, expect another 200 vs 200 contest.

In the news

  • Buttler is available for selection after completing his extended quarantine. That means the Royals may have to decide between David Miller and Tom Curran for one overseas spot.

  • The Kings XI have no injury concerns. Everyone is fit and available for selection.

play

6:24

Gaurav, Shashank and Karthik alongside Alexis Nunes take turns on muting each other on a variety of IPL topics

Likely XIs

Rajasthan Royals: 1 Steven Smith (capt), 2 Yashasvi Jaiswal, 3 Sanju Samson, 4 Jos Buttler (wk), 5 Robin Uthappa, 6 Riyan Parag, 7 Shreyas Gopal, 8 Jodra Archer, 9 Tom Curran, 10 Rahul Tewatia, 11 Jaydev Unadkat

Kings XI Punjab: 1 KL Rahul, 2 Chris Gayle, 3 Mayank Agarwal, 4 Karun Nair, 5 Glenn Maxwell, 6 Sarfaraz Khan, 7 Jimmy Neesham/Mujeeb Ur Rahman, 8 Ravi Bishnoi, 9 Mohammed Shami, 10 Sheldon Cottrell, 11 M Ashwin

Strategy punt

  • The Kings XI have an opportunity to surprise the Royals by fielding Gayle. Apart from the dimensions of the ground, the Royals have two legspinners – Shreyas Gopal and Rahul Tewatia – and Jaydev Unadkat, the left-arm pacer. Gayle strikes at over 200 against bowlers with these skillsets since IPL 2018. This will also give more heft to an in-form Kings XI line-up.

  • Jimmy Neesham didn’t bat, and bowled just two overs in the previous game, and if the top three fire, it’s unlikely he’ll get too many opportunities. While leaving him out may seem a tad harsh, strategy could dictate the inclusion of Mujeeb Ur Rahman in his place.

Stats that matter

  • Samson is two hits away from 100 sixes in the IPL, and Maxwell is nine away from the landmark.

  • Buttler needs 97 more to get to 6000 T20 runs.

  • Archer’s IPL best of 3 for 15 came against the Kings XI in IPL 2019.

  • Kings XI’s opening pair has averaged 50.8, the best among all teams, since IPL 2019.



Source link

Continue Reading

Cricket

Kolkata Knight Riders vs Sunrisers Hyderabad, live streaming, where to watch KKR vs SRH, IPL 2020, 7.30pm, Sep 26

Published

on


In the Knight Riders’ tournament opener, opener Sunil Narine was dismissed with a short ball. Sunrisers Hyderabad don’t have a genuine quick – they are full of swing bowlers, but it’s a prospect that should excite them. So does Narine still hold his place as a bowler? Most definitely, going by his bowling figures of 4-0-22-1 against Mumbai Indians. Also, who opens then if he drops down the order? The Sunrisers didn’t do much wrong for most parts of their opening game against the Royal Challengers Bangalore. However, the middle order, entirely Indian on the day, failed to see off the game. They must be hurting, and would be eager to correct that.

Kolkata Knight Riders vs Sunrisers Hyderabad is available to view in India on Disney+ Hotstar, Jio TV and Airtel TV.

When does the KKR vs SRH live streaming start?
The KKR vs SRH live streaming will start at 7:00 PM India Time September 26, 2020.

Where is the KKR vs SRH match being played?
The KKR vs SRH match will be played at Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi, in the UAE.

On which TV channels will KKR vs SRH live coverage be available?
In India, Star Sports 1 and 1HD, Star Sports Select 1 and 1HD and SS1 Hindi and 1 Hindi HD will telecast the match live.

Where can one find KKR vs SRH live score and commentary online?
The fastest and most comprehensive live score and details will be available here: KKR vs SRH live score.

What are the likely playing XIs for today’s KKR vs SRH game?

Kolkata Knight Riders: 1 Sunil Narine, 2 Shubman Gill, 3 Dinesh Karthik (capt, wk), 4 Nitish Rana, 5 Eoin Morgan, 6 Andre Russell, 7 Nikhil Naik/Rahul Tripathi, 8 Pat Cummins, 9 Kuldeep Yadav, 10 Shivam Mavi, 11 Sandeep Warrier

Sunrisers Hyderabad: 1 Jonny Bairstow (wk), 2 David Warner (capt), 3 Manish Pandey, 4 Priyam Garg, 5 Kane Williamson/Mohammad Nabi, 6 Vijay Shankar, 7 Abhishek Sharma, 8 Rashid Khan, 9 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 10 Sandeep Sharma, 11 T Natarajan/Khaleel Ahmed

Who are the captains for today’s KKR vs SRH game?
The captains for today’s game will be Dinesh Karthik (KKR) and David Warner (SRH).

Who are the umpires for KKR vs SRH game?
The on-field umpires for today’s game will be Virender Sharma and Chris Gaffaney. The third umpire will be S Ravi.

Who will be the match referee for KKR vs SRH game?
The match referee for today’s game will be Shakti Singh.

All telecast and streaming timings are according to information received from the host broadcaster.



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending