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T20I rankings – Dawid Malan goes past Babar Azam to become No. 1 batsman



Dawid Malan is the new man at the top of the ICC rankings for T20I batsmen, his 129 runs in the three-match series against Australia, which England won 2-1, pushing Pakistan’s Babar Azam down to No. 2 in the latest update.

Malan, who has a remarkable T20I record – 682 runs from 16 matches, with an average of 48.71 and a strike rate of 146.66, and one century to go with seven half-centuries – was at his best in the first T20I against Australia, his 43-ball 66 earning him the Player-of-the-Match award following a two-run win.

By the end of the series, he had moved up four spots to the top, his career-best effort after having reached No. 2 in November last year. His efforts have earned him a call-up as a reserve for England’s 50-over squad to face Australia this week, with Joe Denly released to rejoin Kent.

Other England batsmen to move up after the series against Australia are Jonny Bairstow and Jos Buttler, who moved up three positions to No. 19 and 12 spots to No. 28 respectively – Buttler scored 121 runs in two matches, which also won him the Player of the Series award.

There was no movement among the Australians in the top ten of the batsmen’s list – Aaron Finch stayed at No. 3 and Glenn Maxwell retained the sixth spot – but fast bowler Kane Richardson has broken into the top ten for the first time in his career, his three wickets helping him get in at No. 10.

Slightly above Richardson, England legspinner Adil Rashid gained two slots to get to No. 7 after finishing the series as the most successful bowler, with six wickets, while Australia left-arm spinner Ashton Agar held on to the third spot after picking up five wickets.

Australia, who started the series ten points ahead of England at the top of the pile among T20I teams, briefly slipped to No. 2 after falling 2-0 behind in the series, but clambered back to the top after winning the last game.

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Kolkata Knight Riders vs Delhi Capitals, IPL 2020, Fantasy Pick, team predictions



Kolkata Knight Riders vs Delhi Capitals, Abu Dhabi

Pro Tip: Expect Kagiso Rabada to get amongst the wickets yet again against a struggling Knight Riders’ batting line-up, and Shikhar Dhawan to continue from where he left off.

Our XI: Shubman Gill, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant, Eoin Morgan, Axar Patel, R Ashwin, Kagiso Rabada, Pat Cummins, Anrich Nortje, Lockie Ferguson.

Substitutes: Prithvi Shaw, Sunil Narine, Dinesh Karthik, Tom Banton

Player availability: Sunil Narine and Andre Russell are likely to miss this game because of injuries. All other players are available for selection.

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.

Captain: Kagiso Rabada

Rabada, the Purple Cap holder, has picked up 21 wickets at an economy of 7.58 and a strike rate of 11.3. This season, he has picked up a wicket every 6.4 balls at the death and one every nine balls in the middle overs. Against a batting line-up that is low on confidence, Rabada could create chaos.

Vice-captain: Shikhar Dhawan

Dhawan has sprung into life with two fifties and hundreds each in his last four innings while aggregating 333 runs at a strike rate of 163.24. He should enjoy batting in Abu Dhabi, with the pitch having true pace and bounce. Dhawan now has nine scores of fifty or more since 2019 in the IPL, only behind KL Rahul and David Warner.

Hot Picks

Shreyas Iyer: The Capitals’ captain has crossed 50 only twice this season, but has been relatively consistent. His highest score of 88 not out in the tournament also came against the Knight Riders, and since 2018, Iyer averages 74 in five innings against them at a strike rate of 196.63.

Eoin Morgan: Morgan has done better than most of the Knight Riders batsmen. He now has 278 runs at a strike rate of 125.79. Morgan has a boundary percentage of 58.27, suggesting he could get more points than someone who scores a similar number of runs without as many big hits.

R Ashwin: Ashwin has kept it tight and picked up crucial wickets at the right time. He has been used in the powerplay often and has responded well: six wickets – most by a spinner in that phase this tournament – at an economy of 6.25 and a strike rate of 8. Ashwin’s overall economy this season has also been an excellent 7.11.

Differential Picks

Axar Patel: Patel has bowled the tough overs and picked up eight wickets at an economy of 5.74. Among all bowlers who have bowled 150 or more balls in the tournament, Patel has the third best economy. Moreover, he can contribute with the bat in the lower order.

Lockie Ferguson: Ferguson has made a tremendous impact in the two games he has played so far. He has picked up four wickets at an economy of just four runs an over. Ferguson is an out and out wicket-taker and could make the difference in your XI.

Alternate Scenarios

  • Narine is likely to miss this game but in case he plays, in all probability he will replace Tom Banton in the Knight Riders’ playing XI. If that happens, you can replace Pat Cummins with Narine.

  • If the Capitals bat first, Dhawan could get a chance to face more deliveries, thus increasing his chances of scoring more runs. Hence, make him your captain and Rabada your vice-captain.

  • Iyer is also a vice-captain choice given his record against the Knight Riders, whose average first innings score this season is only 150. So if the Knight Riders bat second, choose Iyer as your vice-captain.

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Gulfraz Riaz steps down from independent panel investigating racism at Yorkshire | Cricket



Yorkshire have announced an investigation into Azeem Rafiq’s allegations of racism during his time at the club © Getty Images

Gulfraz Riaz, the chairman of the National Asian Cricket Council, has voluntarily stepped down from the independent panel convened to investigate allegations of institutional racism at Yorkshire. Mesba Ahmed, the NACC’s vice-chair, has taken over in the role, with Riaz set to assist the investigation as a witness.

The panel was convened in September following claims by the former Yorkshire player, Azeem Rafiq, that he had been left on the “brink of suicide” by his treatment at the club. His allegations were subsequently backed up by the former Pakistan seamer Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, who played alongside Rafiq for two seasons in 2008 and 2009.

In addition to his role at the NACC, Ahmed is CEO and founder of the London Tigers, an award-winning charity focussed on community development through sport, which delivers projects across London and the UK, and has worked closely with Sport England, professional football clubs, local councils and the FA’s “Kick it Out” campaign. He is also a former member of the Football Association’s Race Equality Advisory Board.

Ahmed joins a five-person panel, which is chaired by Dr Samir Pathak – a surgeon and MCC committee member – and includes barrister and employment law specialist Rehana Azib, former Waitrose Personnel Director Helen Hyde, and Stephen Willis, the CFO of Durham University and a Yorkshire committee member.

“Sport has a crucial role to play in addressing issues of race, diversity and equality in our society,” Ahmed said. “Investigations of this nature are never easy, but they are important if we are to successfully address inequality and provide sporting opportunities across BAME communities.

“Along with my fellow panel members, I am determined that we deliver a thorough and impartial finding and clear set of recommendations.”

Dr Samir Pathak, Chairman of the investigation panel said: “I would like to thank Gulfraz for his assistance.

“The investigation team have been in regular contact with Mr Rafiq’s legal counsel and understand that he will be in a position to provide a statement to the investigation by the 6 November.

“The process of contacting potential witnesses and agreeing a timetable of interviews is in progress. Both the investigation team and the panel are aware that this is a difficult time for all parties and are determined that the investigation will be concluded before the end of the year.”

Rafiq himself is due to give evidence in the coming days, with the panel expecting that the investigation will be concluded before the end of the year. He recently called for witnesses in the case to be granted anonymity, for fear of jeopardising their careers, to which Yorkshire responded that there were be “no repercussions”.

ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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Russell, Narine, 84 for 8 – Kolkata Knight Riders are in a hole, and Delhi Capitals will look to keep them there



The Capitals won their earlier exchange, and are the table-toppers at this stage

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