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As it happened – Australia vs India, 3rd Test, Sydney, 4th day

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Welcome to our live report of the third day of the Australia-India Test from Sydney. Join us for updates, analysis and colour. You can find our traditional ball-by-ball commentary here

*Most recent entry will appear at the top, please refresh your page for the latest updates. All times are local.

6.05pm local time/12.35pm IST: Stumps: India lose openers, Australia strengthen grip

A lot of reviews later, Australia finally got rid of Rohit Sharma as he pulled a straight ball to fine leg for 52. On another day, one of those pulls could have gone over the same fielder, but on this occasion it went straight to him. India end the day on 98 for 2; they need another 309 runs to win, or need to survive 97 overs tomorrow to draw this. With that, it’s the end of another full day of Test cricket which has put Australia well on top. Remember, Jadeja may not be able to bat with his fractured thumb so the hosts are only three wickets away from opening India’s tail. Given the kind of quality Australia’s attack possesses with no weak links, India have a massive task ahead of him and no rain in sight to save them. I leave you all with this analysis from Ricky Ponting of Rohit’s dismissal:

“I said earlier in the day that when the short ball is on the line of the body of Rohit Sharma he pulls the ball up. He has quite low hands and a low back lift, gets inside the line of the ball and the only way it can go is up in the air. He’s hit this beautifully. It’s gone flat and it’s gone fast, but it picks out Mitchell Starc at fine leg. Low hands from underneath the bounce of the ball, up it goes, absolutely straight to him.”

Ricky Ponting on Channel Seven

5.20pm local time/11.50am IST: Two reviews in four balls now





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NZ vs Eng Women 2021 – Danni Wyatt backed to find 50-over tempo after England’s 14-month gap between ODIs | Cricket

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Danni Wyatt found form in England’s warm-up games © Getty Images


But for Covid, England Women would be two weeks into the defence of their 50-over World Cup, with two out of seven group games to go and the semi-finals looming. Instead, the tournament has been postponed by 12 months, and they have not played an ODI in 436 days.

That streak will finally come to an end this week, with their three-match series against New Zealand starting on Tuesday in Christchurch. After the vast majority of their home summer schedule was cancelled, England are starting from scratch: remarkably, this will be their first ODI under Lisa Keightley’s stewardship, nearly 16 months after her appointment as head coach.

The wait has been particularly frustrating for those players who had hoped to nail down their places after their most recent series, against Pakistan in Malaysia in December 2019 with Ali Maiden taking temporary charge of the squad.

Nobody embodies the frustration better than Danni Wyatt. Wyatt turns 30 in April, and the fact that her batting average is a shade below 20 in both ODI and T20I cricket prompts a double-take. Anyone who has seen either of Wyatt’s two T20I hundreds will know how talented a batter she is, but she has struggled to realise her potential in international cricket, perhaps hampered by regular shifts up and down the order.

She is a player who relies on form and rhythm, which jars with the sporadic nature of the women’s international calendar. In that series in Malaysia she appeared to have finally cracked ODI cricket, making her first hundred in the format with an innings of 110 off 95 balls to set up a convincing win; since then, she has faced six balls in an ODI shirt.

“It’s fair to say – and Danni will say this herself – that she hasn’t quite nailed ODI cricket yet,” Heather Knight, England’s captain, said on the eve of the New Zealand series. “She’s batted in a few different positions and it was obviously a real shame for her that she had that great hundred in Malaysia and then wasn’t able to back that up with the big break.

“I really think it’s going to be a huge series for her – and a huge year – in terms of really nailing down her ODI cricket and what she could do for us at the top of the order. She naturally scores very quickly, and there are going to be times, probably, when she gets out early because we want her to be aggressive, play her natural game, and take the game on. But I’m really excited about what Danni could do.”

The early signs are positive. Wyatt endured a tough 2020, managing a top score of 29 in 12 innings across the tri-series in Australia, the T20 World Cup and the home series against West Indies, but started the New Zealand tour with two enterprising innings: 35 off 42 balls in the first warm-up game, and 54 off 42 in the second.

As a result, Knight is optimistic about the prospect of her flourishing in this series in a likely opening partnership with Tammy Beaumont, hinting that she will be given licence to attack early on and make use of the initial fielding restrictions.

“She’s had a little bit of a lean year, to be honest,” Knight said, “but the signs are really good. She’s worked really hard over the last couple of months to be in a really good place with her game. The way she played in that second warm-up game was exactly how we want her to play. I’m excited to watch her bat, because you always think that something is going to happen.

“[Her role] is slightly different to T20 cricket where it’s pretty much to go from ball one. She can take a little bit more time in ODI cricket, but her natural mindset is to be aggressive and score. She certainly puts pressure on bowlers and pressure on captains, so that’s her role: to go out and be herself, and back her shots.”




England are “really ready to play ODI cricket”, Heather Knight said © Getty Images


England’s touring party have a clean bill of health ahead of the series, meaning that Anya Shrubsole (knee) and Katie George (back) are the only absentees. Knight was unwilling to give much away in terms of selection, but it appears that the one remaining call revolves around whether Freya Davies or Tash Farrant is picked as the third seamer alongside Kate Cross and Katherine Brunt.

“We’ve got some really strong depth in the seam-bowling department,” Knight said. “We’ll have to see what we go with later today and to see what the conditions are like as well. We haven’t played ODI cricket for a long time and New Zealand are a very strong side [so] it’s going to be a really good test for us.

“Our preparation has been a little bit disjointed but I feel like as a team we’re really ready to play ODI cricket. Obviously, we’ve got a year before the World Cup in 2022, so that year is going to be key in terms of our preparation and showing us where we need to be and how we want to play our ODI cricket. I’m really excited to start that journey: it feels like a long time coming.”

Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets at @mroller98


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PSL 2021 – Lewis Gregory stuns Multan Sultans with masterful knock | Cricket

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Mohammad Rizwan’s 71 off 53 balls went in vain for Multan Sultans © PCB


Islamabad United 151 for 7 (Gregory 49*, Brathwaite 2-23) beat Multan Sultans 150 for 8 (Rizwan 71, Wasim 3-29) by three wickets

Lewis Gregory dragged Islamabad United across the line in their season opener against Multan Sultans in Karachi with 49 not out from 31 balls to seal a three-wicket win with six balls to spare.

Mohammad Rizwan underpinned the Sultans’ total of 150 after they had been asked to bat, but despite posting the highest score of the season’s opening weekend, they looked short of par, not least having been 92 for 3 after 11 overs. The United’s chase was derailed by the Shahid Afridi show in the middle overs, as they slumped to 74 for 6 after 11.1 overs, but Gregory’s cameo saw them home.

The United had won two of the first three PSL titles but failed to reach the play-offs for the first time in 2020, finishing bottom of the league stage and winning only three of their 10 fixtures. But they have recruited well ahead of this season, with Alex Hales, Gregory and Hasan Ali among the star names to join the squad, and have started with a win despite not quite clicking.

Full report to follow…

Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets at @mroller98


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Ind vs Eng – 3rd Test – Motera

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Lead fast bowler also opens up on England’s rotation policy

Reverse-swing was a key factor in England’s victory in the first Test of their series in India, but James Anderson does not expect it to play much of a role under the Ahmedabad floodlights in Wednesday’s third Test.

Anderson missed England’s 317-run defeat in the second Test, with the team’s management opting to rotate him to keep him fresh for the day-night match at the new Motera stadium, and as such has had plenty of time to examine the pink SG ball in the nets over the past two weeks.

He suggested on Sunday that there was little discernible difference between the pink SG and the Dukes and Kookaburra equivalents that he has used previously in Tests, and that the extra lacquer on the ball means it is likely to stay hard for a longer period of time.

“It doesn’t feel a lot different [to other brands of pink ball],” Anderson said. “What we have found with all the pink balls, it seems like they have an extra bit of lacquer on them so it feels a bit more plastic, the coating, rather than on the red ball where you can feel the leather. It feels very similar to the Dukes in the hand.



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