BCCI awaiting exemption for family members of squad
The Indian contingent that will head to the UK for the World Test Championship (WTC) final against New Zealand and the five-match Test series against England this summer will undergo a hard quarantine, spanning two weeks, starting May 19. Also part of this plan will be the Indian women’s squad, which is scheduled to play a one-off Test followed by three ODIs and three T20Is. Both the Indian squads will assemble in Mumbai and are likely to fly out together on a charter flight to London on June 2.
As per the BCCI’s plan, the 20 players in the men’s Test squad, excluding those residing in Mumbai, will start their quarantine at the team hotel from Wednesday. The BCCI has arranged charter flights that will pick up all the players, coaches and support staff from different parts of India and bring them to Mumbai.
From May 24 onwards the rest of the squad and members of the team management residing in Mumbai, including Indian captain Virat Kohli, his deputy Ajinkya Rahane, senior batsman Rohit Sharma along with head coach Ravi Shastri, will enter the bio-secure bubble at the Mumbai team hotel. The Mumbai group will also serve a strict home quarantine starting on May 19.
To ensure the bubble is completely secure, the BCCI has arranged for all members – both the men’s and women’s squads – to get three negative tests before they board the flights to Mumbai. There will be further testing done at the team hotel in Mumbai before they embark on the London flight.
Saha to join Mumbai bubble later
Wriddhiman Saha, who is one of the two wicketkeepers along with Rishabh Pant for the WTC final and the England series, will join the Mumbai bubble in the week leading to the England departure. Saha had tested positive for Covid-19 during his stay in the Delhi leg of the IPL where he plays for Sunrisers Hyderabad. ESPNcricinfo has learned that Saha, who has been in quarantine for two weeks, has got the BCCI permission to visit his family in Kolkata before he heads to Mumbai to join the Indian Test squad.
Saha was one of the three players, along with KL Rahul and Prasidh Krishna, whose availability, the BCCI had said while naming the squad, was subject to fitness. Rahul had undergone surgery to treat appendicitis during the IPL where he is captain of Punjab Kings. Krishna, who plays for the Kolkata Knight Riders, had tested positive for Covid-19 a day after returning from the IPL to his home town Bengaluru recently.
Ten-day quarantine in Southampton
The men’s squad will head directly to Southampton where India will play New Zealand in the inaugural WTC final between June 18-22. ESPNcricinfo understands that as per the permission sought from the British government by the ECB, which will coordinate with the ICC in hosting the WTC final, the Indian Test squad will undergo a 10-day quarantine at the team hotel which is located within the ground premises in Southampton. However unlike the hard quarantine in Mumbai, the Indian squad would be allowed to train in a controlled fashion within the Southampton bubble, which will comprise the team hotel and the ground and training facilities.
BCCI awaits exemption for family members
One significant question still facing the BCCI is getting exemptions for the family members of the Indian contingent. It is learnt that the ECB is working with the UK government on seeking these exemptions.
With the number of Covid cases nearing 25 million overall, India is only behind the US globally and also has the third-largest death count since the pandemic hit. Recently the UK government had put India on the red list of countries for travel – both outbound and inbound.
Despite most of its adult population having received at least one shot of the vaccine, the UK government has been cautious about incoming travellers from India mainly due to concern over the growing number of cases related to the coronavirus variant, B.1.617.2, which originated in India. On Monday, Matt Hancock, the British Health Secretary said there were about 2,323 cases of the Indian variant.
At present, the BCCI has allowed family members to be part of the Mumbai bubble. The family members will undergo the same bio-safety protocols meant for the team while living in the bubble.
Nagraj Gollapudi is news editor at ESPNcricinfo
Recent Match Report – West Indies vs South Africa 1st Test 2021
Jason Holder was the most successful bowler for West Indies, picking up 4 for 75
South Africa 322 (de Kock 141*, Holder 4-75) lead West Indies 97 (Holder 20, Ngidi 5-19, Nortje 4-35) by 225 runs
This was de Kock’s sixth Test century, and the first since October 2019 when he scored 111 against India in Visakhapatnam. He also shared in the joint-highest partnership in the match so far, 79 runs for the ninth wicket with Anrich Nortje.
Conditions had improved for batting from the first day and though there was early seam movement on offer, it lessened as the ball wore. West Indies’ attack was disciplined in the morning session but grew frustrated as de Kock kept them in the field and punctured the on-side primarily, where he scored 80 runs.
He set the tone when he cut the first ball of the day, short and wide from Kemar Roach, through point for four and then drove the last ball of the over, full on middle, past mid-off for four more. It took West Indies five overs to find their rhythm, and they conceded 24 runs in that period, before Jayden Seales sent down the first maiden over of the day to start tightening the screws.
Kraigg Brathwaite took that as his cue to introduce spin and brought on Roston Chase at the other end and in his second over, he almost got rid of de Kock, who missed a sweep and was hit on the pads. de Kock was given out lbw by Gregory Brathwaite but he reviewed and replays showed he gloved the ball onto his pad and the decision was overturned. de Kock was on 23 at the time.
Holder and Chase bowled in tandem for another five overs before Brathwaite brought back Seales and Roach for a burst before lunch. Seales was particularly impressive and tested Wiaan Mulder with outswingers outside the off stump and induced the edge, but the chance fell short of Holder at second slip. Mulder made it to lunch but was dismissed in the third over after the break when he half-heartedly attempted a back-foot punch off Holder and was caught behind.
de Kock brought up fifty in the over after that, with a push through the covers. He almost lost Keshav Maharaj five balls later when Rahkeem Cornwall reviewed for a catch at short leg but the ball ballooned up off the front pad. Cornwall didn’t have to wait long to get the same dismissal. Maharaj inside-edged the next ball he faced from Cornwall to concussion substitute Kieran Powell, who took a superb one-handed low catch.
West Indies took the second new ball as soon as it became available and de Kock duly drove Roach for four. Kagiso Rabada was less convincing. He fended Seales over the slips for a boundary but edged Roach to Holder at second slip four balls later.
It could easily have unravelled for South Africa from there and de Kock seemed to think so. He slogged Seales for four and then plundered two sixes off the next three balls to suggest he wanted to get big runs quickly. But Nortje hung tough and worked well to keep de Kock on strike, with the pair refusing singles more than taking them.
de Kock smashed Kyle Mayers over square leg for a six to reach his century. Reaching the landmark freed de Kock up. He cleared the rope twice more against Cornwall, and then top-edged Holder to fine leg where Mayers took the catch, but Holder had overstepped. de Kock was on 118. To add insult to injury, de Kock went on to his highest score in Test cricket with a pull over deep square, off Holder.
Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo’s South Africa correspondent
England vs NZ 2021 – As it happened
* Most recent entry will appear at the top, please refresh your page for the latest updates. All times are local
6.35pm: Young out last ball
New Zealand 229 for 3 (Conway 80, Young 82, Taylor 46*, Broad 2-22) trail England 303 (Lawrence 81*, Burns 81, Boult 4-85) by 74 runs
New Zealand boasted an embarrassment of riches for a second day running as Devon Conway and Will Young frustrated England’s bowlers and moved to within 74 runs of the hosts’ first-innings 303 with seven wickets in hand at Edgbaston.
Conway, who put his place in the side beyond doubt with 200 on debut in the first Test at Lord’s, produced another valuable, though not chance-less, innings of 80. And, while he would have been disappointed not to press on to triple figures again, a gutsy 82 from Young – in the side as a replacement for injured captain Kane Williamson – mitigated the damage.
Stuart Broad bowled superbly for his 2 for 22 from 15 overs, including six maidens, but he was the only England bowler to reap any reward for his considerable efforts – until Young’s dismissal by part-time off-spinner Dan Lawrence on the last ball of the day.
6.05pm: NZ bring up 200
5.20pm: Broad works over Taylor
By Matt Roller
Stuart Broad has just finished an eight-over spell which spread across the tea interval, conceding only 12 runs and taking the wicket of Devon Conway, caught at deep backward square leg. It was his working-over of Ross Taylor – a man he has dismissed ten times in Test cricket – that was particularly impressive, with James Anderson providing support at the other end.
Broad’s plan was to set him up with a number of outswingers, dragging him across the crease before angling one back in, and he beat the bat a number of times, putting his hands on his head in frustration after missing the top of off stump by a hair’s breadth. With the crowd urging him on, he hit 87mph/140kph at times and was consistently operating in the mid-80s – according to a Sky Sports graphic, his average speed this summer has been higher than in any of the last three years.
Agonisingly, he couldn’t get his man, and while Anderson had him given out lbw shortly after the end of Broad’s spell, the decision was overturned on review with the ball clearly missing leg. Taylor is a notoriously poor starter and has looked out of nick on this tour. With Will Young gritting his way to a half-century, Taylor could do with a score here: Kane Williamson will return to the side in the WTC final next week and it is not beyond the realms of possibility that Taylor could be the man to miss out.
5.00pm: He goes alright
4.40pm: Have your say
4.20pm: Conway departs
Stuart Broad finally strikes again with the valuable wicket of Devon Conway, who picks out Zak Crawley at deep square leg for 80. New Zealand are 137 for 2 and Broad is trying to get the crowd more involved as he looks to boost his impressive figures of 2 for 19 from 12 overs.
Whipped away with that Conway flourish that we are used to by now, but he has found deep square leg with it. That is that idiosyncratic flair-filled shot. Most people flick this length ball off the pads into the ground, but Conway likes to give it a Humpty. This time he has hit this straight down the throat of deep square leg. Just the break England needed
3.50pm: Tea time
Tea New Zealand 130 for 1 (Conway 78*, Young 40*) trail England 303 (Lawrence 81*, Burns 81, Boult 4-85) by 173 runs
England rue a couple of missed opportunities, one they couldn’t do anything about with Zak Crawley not awarded a slips catch to dismiss Devon Conway for 22 when the soft signal was not out (bump ball) and the hosts’ review couldn’t unearth enough evidence to show the ball hadn’t, in fact, touched earth. And then Joe Root shelled a slips catch that would have sent Will Young packing for just 7.
As it stands, Conway and Young have put on an unbroken stand of 115 for the second wicket.
3.35pm: Tourists ticking along
New Zealand are ticking along nicely here with England in need of a breakthrough. Conway and Young have pushed their partnership up to an unbroken 111 with Conway 78* and Young 36*. They’ve just changed the ball, Stuart Broad will look to see what he can do with this one. He beats the bat with his first delivery since the change, seaming away from Conway’s attempted defence, and ends with a maiden.
2.50pm: Root spins in
Joe Root is into the attack as England’s spinner with the home side seeking to break up this partnership between Devon Conway and Will Young, worth 73*.
Sampath Bandarupalli, our statstician, pointed out: “Between 2004 and 2020, England played just one home Test without a front-line spinner in the XI (vs SA in 2012 at Leeds).” Now they’ve done it twice in as many matches this summer.
Conway is 55 not out and Young is on 21. Root has 0 for 3 heading into his third over.
2.35pm: Fifty up for Conway
Devon Conway, who made such a remarkable debut at Lord’s with 200 in the first innings, brings up his fifty with a drive off a Joe Root half-volley just past deep cover, running two as Stuart Broad fields.
Having survived on 22 when Zak Crawley’s slips catch off Broad’s bowling wasn’t given amid doubt over whether the ball touched the ground, Conway is now 51 not out and Will Young unbeaten with 21, their partnership worth 69*.
2.00pm: Oh no, Joe!
Joe Root, the England skipper has just juggled – and dropped – a catch that would have dismissed Will Young on 7. A lovely ball from Olly Stone found the outside edge and the ball sailed to Root at first slip. He had a couple of goes at grabbing it as he went to ground but couldn’t hold on! It looked a pretty standard chance too. New Zealand were 52 for 1 at the time.
Regardless of your team loyalties, this celebration of fans returning to the stands at Edgbaston is pretty enjoyable to watch. Yes, he’s understandably biased, but it warmed the cockles of Chris Woakes’ heart.
1.10pm: NZ 260 in arrears at lunch
Lunch New Zealand 43 for 1 (Conway 27*, Broad 1-10) trail England 303 (Lawrence 81*, Burns 81, Boult 4-85) by 260 runs
Devon Conway steers New Zealand to lunch at 43 for 1 in the face of an excellent spell from Stuart Broad, which netted him the wicket of Tom Latham for 6 and gave him figures of 1 for 10 so far. Conway is 27 not out and Will Young – in the side for Kane Wiliamson, who has sore elbow – is unbeaten on 6.
12.50pm: Another close call for Conway
Devon Conway, the double centurion on debut at Lord’s, has had another escape. Conway edged Stuart Broad to Zak Crawley at third slip and it was one of those where it was difficult to tell whether the ball hit the ground as Crawley was taking the catch. He definitely got his fingers under it but the key was that the soft signal given by the on-field umpire was not-out. Broad was incensed but, on review, there was just enough doubt for the decision to stand. Broad. Not. Happy.
12.30pm: Broad breaks through
12.20pm: That was close!
A hearts-in-mouths moment for New Zealand fans there, but Devon Conway keeps his cool. Tom Latham strikes the ball straight back down the pitch and Stuart Broad, in his follow-through, manages to get his fingers to it before it crashes into the stumps at the non-striker’s end. Conway, who was advancing, was watching the ball like a hawk as well though, and managed to turn and stretch his arm out, getting his bat back inside his crease in time.
12.00pm: England all out for 303
Innings break England 303 (Lawrence 81*, Burns 81, Boult 4-85) vs New Zealand
A Dan Lawrence-led recovery has pushed England’s first-innigs total to 303. Lawrence was unbeaten in matching Rory Burns’ top score for England of 81 while Mark Wood produced some entertainment – and valuable runs – with a knock of 41 before he was bowled by Matt Henry.
Trent Boult, who took two wickets yesterday, cleaned up the tail, Stuart Broad caught behind for a duck and James Anderson lbw for four. Anderson was initially given not-out by umpire Richard Kettleborough but that decision was overturned on review, which showed Boult had beaten the inside edge with the ball tracking to hit leg stump.
Now, with New Zealand getting the ball to swing nicely, home fans will eagerly anticipate seeing Anderson, playing an England-record 162nd Test, do the same.
11.25am: Wood gives it some welly
Here’s Matt Roller with a more considered take on the morning’s tonkings:
“Joe Root highlighted the “added responsibility” that England’s bowlers have with the bat on the eve of this series. “If we’re going to grow as a team, if we’re going to become more consistent, we’ll have to add lower-order runs,” he said.
While opting to pick Olly Stone – who has batted at No. 10 for most of his first-class career – as a No. 8 might seem to fly in the face of those comments, England’s tail has taken on the additional responsibility.
Out of England’s six 50+ partnerships in this series, three have involved lower-order contributions: 52 between James Anderson and Rory Burns and 63 between Burns at Ollie Robinson at Lord’s, plus 66 between Dan Lawrence and Mark Wood here. Stone also added 47 alongside Lawrence last night, helping England towards 300 after they had slipped to 175 for 6.”
10.45am: Looking back
Rory Burns has reflected on his knock of 81 yesterday and he spoke to Sky Sports at the close about his form, which includes a first-innings 132 in the first Test at Lord’s and seven fifties in 10 Championship innings this season. That came after he lost his place in the Test side on England’s recent tour of India. Here’s what he had to say:
“It’s been quite a quite a tough day of Test cricket, it’s been pretty even there by the end, I think Dan [Lawrence] has played really well there and in that latter part of the day, probably got us back to scrapping away quite nicely so there’s a there’s something in that surface for everyone.
“It’s probably swung a little bit more for them after lunch, and whether that’s conditions over top or on the surface we’ll see.
“I felt good, my rhythm’s felt good coming from county cricket and into this environment. I’ve felt in a good place in summer, which is pleasing. It’s nice to be able to get in there and get in amongst it.”
10.00am: Dan’s the man
Welcome back to the our coverage of the second Test at Edgbaston and all eyes will be on Dan Lawrence, England’s No. 7 playing his seventh Test and unbeaten on 67. From a home perspective, England want to see how many more he can add to their score of 258 for for 7 with Mark Wood not out 16 and Stuart Broad and James Anderson to come. Lawrence will be the main wicket New Zealand are focused on prising out on this second morning before getting stuck into the tail.
Valkerie Baynes is a general editor at ESPNcricinfo
India tour of Sri Lanka 2021 – Chetan Sakariya
At 23, Sakariya is no stranger to hardships and struggle, having been the sole breadwinner of his family for the last three years, but he now wants to live with the happy memories life has thrown at him, like the news of his India call-up for the limited-overs series in Sri Lanka in July.
“I would’ve been happy just going to Sri Lanka as a net bowler, so this is a massive surprise,” Sakariya told ESPNcricinfo. “At the IPL, I thought I exceeded my own expectations. Initially, I thought I may have to wait for my turn, but once I got into the camp, the kind of confidence and faith everyone showed in me, I got the vibes that I’ll start. So while it is a surprise, I’m very much ready and confident with the way I’ve prepared.”
Sakariya, a left-arm medium pacer, resumed training in the third week of May. Much of his routine has been focused on improved fitness and developing a strong core. He has been working under the mentorship of AT Rajamani Prabhu, a renowned Strength and Conditioning coach, in Chennai. The pair first worked together during the pre-IPL camp.
“I enjoyed training under him at Royals, so when I was ready to resume, I expressed keen interest in training under Rajamani sir. The franchise was very supportive of that and arranged everything – like my accommodation and travel – in Chennai, so that I could become a better version of myself. For the last 15 days, I’ve had two intense training sessions every day, with a short break for lunch and rest.”
Sakariya has specifically been working on Energy System Development, a training method he explains as something where you “sustain energy over a long period of time through a dedicated training routines”. Ask him about the benefits, and he spontaneously says it has helped improve his agility.
“I feel my movements are swifter, my core is stronger, and I believe I’m bowling a tad quicker as well. This side of training isn’t something I knew a lot of growing up, but I’ve felt a lot of change in the way I feel about myself. It’s been a busy routine in Chennai, but one I’m happy and satisfied with. I’m looking forward to learning a lot more with the Indian team.”
“In Pune, there’s been a lockdown since May, and things have been open only from 7-11am. So I wanted to ensure I didn’t spend that time sleeping,” Gaikwad said. “I wanted to utilise more of that time for my fitness work and gym work. I didn’t want myself to be caught off guard and be in a situation where I was picked but wasn’t conditioned enough.”
Because he has tuned himself to sleeping early, he nearly didn’t know of his selection until much later on Thursday night, when he happened to check his phone only because he mistook the repeated ringing for distress calls from his friends.
“When I go to sleep, I generally switch off mobile data. I know if it’s an emergency, someone will generally call twice. When my phones started ringing continuously, I wasn’t first sure what it was,” Gaikwad said, laughing. “Then two journalists informed me of my selection.
“I had to wake my parents up to tell them. They were quite deep in sleep, and weren’t fully able to process what I was telling them at first. But this morning they woke up really happy and made some pedhas at home, and I was happy to make an exception and have them to celebrate the happy news.”
Like Sakariya, this is Gaikwad’s maiden call-up. Unlike Sakariya, Gaikwad, though, has been in and around the India A set-up. While he says the ultimate dream is to earn a debut, he wants to keep his mind blank and soak in the experience of being on tour with the national team.
“I had a few good scores for India A two years ago, but I wasn’t thinking much about my selection,” he said. “Even now, I’m not thinking on the lines of ‘will I play’. My main focus is on doing my processes right. I’m looking forward to learning the knack of adaptability, something that will be very important going forward.
“Once you play international cricket, teams and players watch you, they make plans against you. Dhawan and a few of the other seniors have played a lot of international cricket, so I’d like to learn from them by chatting to them about how they assess conditions, how they’ve adapted, how they’ve used their experience and learnt from their failures.
“I am also really excited to train and spend a month under Rahul Dravid, who was our India A coach when I was part of thew team two years ago. He was with us on three tours, and we started to get familiar with each other. So when he was appointed the NCA chief, I was personally disappointed at not being able to pick his brains. But now, getting a chance to do that will be very useful for me.”
Shashank Kishore is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo
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