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Adelaide Strikers vs Brisbane Heat, BBL 2020-21, Fantasy Pick, team predictions

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Jan 21: Adelaide Strikers vs Brisbane Heat, Adelaide

Pro Tip: Even though spinners have done reasonably well at Adelaide Oval, both teams are missing their key options in Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rahman. So, go with fewer spinners for this game.

Our XI: Phil Salt, Alex Carey, Jake Weatherald, Daniel Worrall, Wes Agar, Max Bryant, Chris Lynn, Joe Burns, Lewis Gregory, Mark Steketee, Jack Wildermuth

Substitutes: Matthew Kuhnemann, Joe Denly, Danny Briggs, Jonathan Wells

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: Chris Lynn
Even though he has missed a part of this season because of injury, Lynn has scored 20 or more in his first six games and has accumulated 273 runs at a strike rate of 145.98. He has struggled against the likes of Rashid Khan and Peter Siddle in the past but with them not available for this game, expect him to score big.

Vice-captain: Phil Salt
The 24-year old English opener is having an indifferent tournament so far with 226 runs in 11 games at a strike rate of 129.88. However, his top three scores of 59 (42), 51(31) and 31(22) in BBL10 have all come at Adelaide Oval. Overall, he has scored 342 runs in 13 games at a strike rate of 150 at this venue.

Hot Picks
Alex Carey: The Strikers’ skipper tried opening the batting in the last game, but it did not go well for him. If he decides to open the batting, a position in which he has done well in the past averaging 35.61 in 23 games, there are chances to grab more points. He is the second leading run-scorer at this venue with 757 runs in 22 games.

Mark Steketee: One of the leading wicket-takers in the ongoing tournament with 18 strikes in just nine games at an average of 15.94, he is a key player for Heat in this game especially with Mujeeb Ur Rahman not available. He has picked up five wickets in three games at this venue. He has been brilliant in death overs picking up seven wickets at an average of 10.14 this season.

Wes Agar: The highest wicket-taker in this edition of BBL for Strikers, Agar has impressed everyone with his wicket-taking abilities. He has picked up 17 wickets in 11 games at an average of 19.58. He has been especially prolific in the middle overs, with 11 wickets at an average of 14.36. In the five games he played at this venue in BBL10, he has picked up ten wickets.

Differential Picks

Jack Wildermuth: Wildermuth is enjoying his best BBL season ever having picked up ten wickets in nine games. He has been striking the ball really well too in a couple of cameos where he scored a 10-ball 22* and 11-ball 31.

Max Bryant: Even though he doesn’t have a 50-plus score this season, Bryant has 243 runs in ten games at a strike rate of 130.64. He is the second-highest run-scorer for Heat behind Lynn.

Alternate Scenarios

  • Joe Denly can replace Joe Burns
  • Jonathan Wells can replace Lewis Gregory.



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As it happened – India vs England, 3rd Test, Ahmedabad, 2nd day

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Welcome to day two of our live report of the third India-England Test from Ahmedabad. 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

7.55pm: All over!

India 145 (Rohit 66, Root 5-8) and 49 for 0 (Rohit 25*, Gill 15*) beat England 112 (Crawley 53, Patel 6-38) and 81 (Patel 5-32) by 10 wickets
Well, who would have thought? The result looked likely last night but the time frame? India run away with victory by 10 wickets late on the second day of this third Test to take a 2-1 series lead and a step closer to a berth in the WTC final, in the process ruining any chance of England featuring in that showcase against New Zealand at Lord’s. On a day when 17 wickets fell, India resumed on 99 for 3 but were bowled out for 145, a first-innings lead of just 33. But then England managed just 81 in their second innings, even worse than their paltry 112 from the first as Axar Patel claimed another five-for and 11 for the match and R Aswhin passed 400 Test wickets with his seventh for the match. That left the hosts needing just 49 runs in their second innings and they got there with ease, Rohit bringing up the winning runs with a six off Root.

7.30pm: Poor pitch would not cost India WTC points, say ICC

Nagraj Gollapudi is on the case for the race…

In case the Ahmedabad pitch is rated poor by the ICC, it will not hurt India’s standing in the World Test Championship.

Currently India are in the race for the second finalist spot in the WTC final, along with England and Australia. In 2019 the ICC had cautioned member boards from doctoring pitches to the home team’s advantage in the WTC, saying points could be at stake.

However ESPNcricinfo has confirmed that India would not be docked any points even in the case of the Ahmedabad pitch were to be rated poor.

The WTC playing conditions states: “If a match is abandoned and the pitch and/or outfield is ultimately rated as ‘Unfit’ under the ICC Pitch and Outfield Monitoring Process, points for that match shall be distributed on the basis that the visiting team won the match and the home team lost the match. Any abandoned match will be classified as a drawn match for statistical purposes.”

6.53pm: A costly first foray for England, India need 38

A tricky two-over spell at the top of India’s innings before the dinner break, but they’ll be happy enough with their start. England hand the new ball to Jack Leach and Joe Root, unsurprisingly, but it’s James Anderson who makes the main mark by misfielding at point to gift Rohit two runs to get off the mark. Root then turns one down the leg side, and not even Foakes can intercept that. Eleven precious runs squandered in the blink of an eye.

6.35pm: Pitch battle in prospect as India are set 49 to win

Whatever happens from here, this Test is destined to be done and dusted in two days. And Nagraj Gollapudi isn’t entirely impressed, with the batting as much as the conditions.

Three days before the pink ball Test Rohit Sharma said it was time to move away from the pitch debate that followed the first two matches of the England series, played in Chennai. However, another dry turner in Ahmedabad is now threatening to get over in two days. Two days, yes. And just two wickets have been taken so far by the fast bowlers of the 30 to fall overall.

So, whether Rohit and India like it or not, the pitch debate is not going away. The ball has been turning from ball one, literally, with both of India’s primary spinners – R Ashwin and Axar Patel – taking a wicket off the first ball of England’s innings this Test. The first time in over 100 years such a feat has been achieved.

On social media and elsewhere, especially outside India, the chatter is about whether the pitch in Ahmedabad is a poor one. The jury is not out yet. Primarily because the bounce at Motera has remained true on the red-soil pitch where cloud bursts of dust have been captured vividly on the TV. Stark images, yes, but the other key question that cricketing pundits have been discussing is the manner in which batsmen of both teams have poorly handled spin bowling.

The backbone of playing spin has always been good defence which involves reading the length of the spinner, moving close to it to smother it or drive it, and committing to moving your feet so that you can play on the front as well as back. Barring Rohit to an extent, none of the other batsmen did that with any command so far this match.

But the question will be asked: is the Ahmedabad pitch poor? It definitely is average to say the least, how can it not be if a five-day Test is done in two? For the second time this series, ICC match referee Javagal Srinath has to make that difficult call as he is the adjudicator. It is not an easy job, clearly. Whatever call Srinath will take is not going to be universally liked.

The question of home match officials during the pandemic has been a difficult call for the ICC, but the global body might want to rethink appointing neutral match referees for such marquee series to remove any perception of bias.

6.30pm: Drop everything, right this minute





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India v England 3rd Test Ahemedabad – Virat Kohli

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Batsmen from both sides could have applied themselves better, says India captain

India captain Virat Kohli chose the word ‘bizarre’ to describe the game and the two teams’ batting displays after India beat England inside two days in Ahmedabad.

With the visitors all out for 112 and 81, and India crumbling to 145 in their first innings, Kohli said that batsmen from both sides showed a lack of application. However, Kohli added that the quality of his two primary spinners Axar Patel and R Ashwin – who took 18 of the 20 England wickets – was the eventual difference in the Test that now gives the hosts a 2-1 lead with one match to go.

“The toss result didn’t go our way but I don’t think the quality of batting was at all up to standards from both teams,” Kohli said at the post-match presentation. “I know England got bundled out early, but even with our innings, we were 100 for 3, hoping to make many more than we ended up with. [There was] just a lack of application from both sides. [It was] a very good pitch to bat on – especially in the first innings – and it felt like the ball was coming on nicely with the odd-ball turning. It was just, I would say, below-par batting from both teams. Our bowlers were much more effective and that’s why we got the result.



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ICC, IMG reach groundbreaking deal to broadcast all ICC pathway events

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The ability to watch international cricket was the second-highest priority for member nations according to ICC’s latest survey

Broadcast access to transmit live tournament cricket, in nations far off the beaten path of Full Member nations, used to be a major obstacle impeding the ability to grow the sport. But that may now be a thing of the past as the ICC on Wednesday announced a major agreement with IMG that will introduce web streamed broadcasts for more than 500 ICC global pathway events at men’s and women’s level through 2023.

These will include regional qualifiers from each of the five Associate regions – Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe and East Asia-Pacific – for the next men’s and women’s T20 World Cups in 2022 and 2023 respectively, as well as the seven-team Men’s ODI League Two and Challenge Leagues being used as qualification for the 2023 Men’s World Cup.

“The objective of the program is a response to a demand not only from fans around the world but that of the members,” Will Glenwright, ICC head of global development, told ESPNcricinfo in a phone interview after the ICC’s announcement on Wednesday. “We do an annual survey of the members, the 2020 version of which we just completed, and getting international cricket on television was the second-highest priority that they have communicated to us. Growing awareness of the game, in the eyes of the members, is the biggest inhibitor to the growth and development of the sport.

“So this is a direct response to that demand that comes from our members and it is absolutely an awareness motive rather than a profit-driven or revenue-driven motive. Whilst it’s a good financial outcome for the ICC, it’s driven primarily about the need to get more international cricket and get more Associate member cricket to the fans around the world.”

Over the past decade, traditionally strong Associate members such as Nepal have regularly commanded impressive viewing traffic figures thanks to broadcasts of events coordinated by local media houses. However, demand for access in recent years has spread further afield such that the regional T20 men’s qualifiers were web streamed throughout the summer of 2019 from locations such as Guernsey, Malaysia and Bermuda.

The appetite for Associate content had grown exponentially in recent times. According to an ICC press release from February 2020, digital views from clips of various regional pathway events totalled more than 128 million. This culminated in the 2019 Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier in the UAE which set a record for digital consumption with an additional 80 million views for digital clips across various ICC social media and web platforms during the three-week tournament in spite of the fact that neither Nepal nor Afghanistan – another major traffic driver before their elevation to Test status – participated in the final qualifying tournament. It was enough evidence to demonstrate that a bigger effort had to be coordinated to expand the ICC’s broadcasting footprint.

“We know the quality of the cricket has improved from a high-performance perspective and we know the context of the pathway events makes for compelling viewing,” Glenwright said. “That, in addition to the demand that we have received from our members, the fact that lack of awareness of the game is one of the biggest barriers to growing the game for our Associate members, all pointed to us examining this properly.

“I think it’s part of the digital evolution that we’re undergoing as an organization, the increased capability that we’ve brought into our team to deliver this, has meant that for the first time we’ve been able to give this the attention it deserves, to point the resources in the right direction and the outcome is as we’ve announced today a groundbreaking partnership with a reputable organization that’s going to deliver over 500 Associate member cricket matches to the world.”

In the past, regional ICC events were broadcast on more of an ad hoc basis, often determined by the existing infrastructure and capability of host countries to facilitate a broadcast. That is now expected to be a thing of the past according to the new broadcast arrangement.

“The broadcasting of those events was done sporadically and often depended on the capabilities of the host member themselves,” Glenwright said. “One of the criticisms that we faced from the members was that perhaps our minimum standards around that were too overbearing which made it difficult for the members to deliver and stream those events to those standards. That’s something we sought to overcome by standardizing it under this agreement with IMG.”

…we know the context of the pathway events makes for compelling viewing

Will Glenwright

Perhaps the most significant part of this deal is that, according to the ICC release, more than 50 countries will be featured on global broadcasts for the first time as a consequence of the new arrangement. That includes several women’s teams in countries that do not currently field a men’s team competitive enough to feature in the corresponding regional qualification pathway for a T20 World Cup such as the Brazil Women, who announced central contracts for 14 squad members in January 2020. The exposure that these web streams offer is something that can see new financial opportunities open up to many other countries in the same manner.

“That’s not something that we take lightly at all,” Glenwright said. “It opens up all sorts of opportunities for the members, not only from a performance perspective but from a commercial and a fan engagement perspective as well. In setting the minimum standards, we’ve been mindful of the need to ensure that all of these events can be streamed by our smaller members as easily as it can be done by our more established members who have more experience in streaming and broadcasting their events.

“Our member boards plus other sports have done some really innovative stuff, I think particularly during the pandemic around broadcasting and streaming and bringing content to fans around the world. The European Cricket League has been brilliant from a cricket perspective and initiatives like that of Finland, Japan and some of our smaller members to get their cricket streamed has encouraged us, motivated us, but more just strengthened the resolve of us as an organization to provide that exposure to all 92 of our Associate members. It is as important to our smaller members as it is to our larger members. We feel there’s an obligation as an international federation to facilitate that and that’s what’s driven us.”

Peter Della Penna is ESPNcricinfo’s USA correspondent @PeterDellaPenna



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