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Eng vs NZ 2021 – Kane Williamson excited for England Tests, WTC final after ‘whirlwind’ IPL departure

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Kane Williamson, New Zealand’s Test captain, says he has resorted to waving to his team-mates from the balcony of his hotel-room at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton, after going into quarantine in the UK following his post-IPL stop-over in the Maldives.

Williamson, who had been captaining Sunrisers Hyderabad in India prior to the tournament’s postponement earlier this month, arrived at the team’s training camp some 24 hours after the bulk of the squad flew in from New Zealand on Sunday, alongside his fellow IPL travellers Kyle Jamieson, Mitchell Santner, team physio Tommy Simsek and trainer Chris Donaldson. The group will spend the next three days in isolation before they can enter “mini training groups” of six, pending negative tests for Covid-19.

And while the circumstances of the squad’s reunion haven’t been ideal, Williamson admitted that the challenge awaiting his team – three Tests in five weeks, two against England, followed by the World Test Championship final, at the Ageas Bowl against India – was more than enough to make the current strictures worthwhile.

“Most of the team is here now,” Williamson said. “We are all pretty much on the same side [of the hotel] so we’re able to catch up a little bit with one another on our different balconies. For a number of guys, it’s their first time in the bubble, while others have done it a few times, so that can be quite helpful.



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‘When you are competing with white players and you are black, you have no chance’

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Former South Africa opener puts team’s inability to win World Cups down to poor culture

Loots Bosman has put South Africa’s inability to win a major tournament down to poor culture, which he said left players of colour feeling excluded. The former opening batter was speaking strictly about the time he was part of the team, which included the 2007 World Cup and the 2007 and 2010 T20 World Cups, as he highlighted broader problems within the system.
“There was no chance of us winning a World Cup. The team was divided,” Bosman said at CSA’s Social Justice and Nation-Building hearings. “We go into camps where we buy into one thing and then you deal with the same person who treats you like you don’t exist. How are you going to win a World Cup when you don’t back the guy next to you?”

Bosman detailed instances of foul language and private conversations which he felt belittled him. “The environment was bad. Most of the time, the guys don’t greet you. They will just look at you. You could see they don’t care that you are greeting. They literally look the other way. They made you feel as though you don’t belong there.



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SL vs IND 3rd ODI – Suryakumar Yadav

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He has made use of all chances at international level and wants to improve at getting deep in the innings

Suryakumar Yadav is only five-innings-old in international cricket. You wouldn’t know that, looking at him bat in any of those games. He’s looked nerve-less, decisive and crisp in his stroke-play, calm and confident in his batting.
Having made his debut when already past 30 has meant, perhaps, that Yadav might not have the same length of international cricket to look forward to that the Prithvi Shaws and Ishan Kishans have, but it’s also meant he’s come into international cricket with a greater understanding of his game. He made an immediate impact in the T20Is against England in March, and given a go in the ODI side, he’s returned a Player-of-the-Series performance against Sri Lanka.

India lost the third one-dayer, but took the series 2-1, and Yadav played a key hand in each of the three games. Starting out in his career, Yadav has got the fine balance of soaking it all in after years of waiting for it, versus the hunger because of a wait that lasted as long as it did.

“Obviously, everyone dreams of playing for India. It has been a lot of effort, lot of grind, lot of patience behind this,” Yadav said after the third ODI against Sri Lanka. “It has been worth the wait, and I’m really happy about it. From here on, how I build it is all in my hands. I’m really excited for the journey ahead.”

Yadav had always been a batter with plenty of sparkle. But he pinpointed returning to Mumbai Indians in 2018 as the turning point, after which his game has gone to a new level. It’s borne out by the numbers too. Since the 2018-19 season, Yadav has averaged 55.56 in List A cricket, at a strike rate of 131.88. In T20 cricket, his average has been 37.60 at a strike rate of 147.30.

“I’ve always been batting the same way as I am now,” Yadav said. “But yes, after I came to Mumbai Indians in 2018, things started changing a bit. I got to know what my responsibility is, how do I go about my game, how can I take it one step ahead. That’s when I started practicing even more. Talked to all the players who knew me really well from the last five-six years.”

Yadav’s scores in the ODIs, 31*, 53, and 40 – all scored at better than a run-a-ball – point to how quickly he got into the groove, although he did express disappointment at not carrying on in the second and third games. He was looking in command during the second game, steering India’s chase after half the side had been out, when one moment of indecision meant he was trapped in front. While India won that match on the back of Deepak Chahar’s heroics with the bat, Yadav’s fall in the third ODI – he was once again the key wicket – meant there was no similar recovery.

“I’m disappointed about that,” Yadav said. “The way I started in the first game, I got good confidence. In the second game, it was the perfect situation to win a game of the team. But that time too, it was not the way I play and I got out. Really disappointed with that. In the third game too, there was a good opportunity today to hold one end and try and play till the end, but couldn’t do it. That’s two things I’m really keeping in mind, how do I build from here? But that’s how you learn and move forward.”

It’s perhaps a sign of the new-found consistency that Yadav has found in his game. He’s in a patch of form where he’s not had a ‘bad’ season, but cutting down on failures has not come at the expense of any inventiveness. Yadav still executes the ramps, the paddle-scoops, the drives, the flicks through the on-side while seemingly off balance.

“I’ve been a Mumbai boy,” he said. “Growing up in Mumbai, the types of pitches you get in club games and in domestic cricket are very challenging. So there you automatically think what strokes you have to play on those kinds of wickets, and the same thing I’ve been carrying to the international stage. I’ll be doing the same thing. Just trying to keep things simple, following my routines.

“The game remains the same. There’s no change in the game, you play against any team, any level, you just have to go out and do the same things. What I do in domestic cricket, what I do in the nets, I try and do the same thing be it IPL, be it an international game. I just like to be myself. I like to go out there and enjoy. You must have seen, I just like to run when I get an opportunity to bat. I really enjoy that moment.”

For now, Yadav is doing the running, and ensuring that even when India field a full-strength team, he’s in serious contention to be part of it, whether in ODIs or T20Is. Like he said, how he builds his career is in his hands. So far, those hands have done a pretty good job.

Saurabh Somani is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo



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Sophisticated approach helps Avishka Fernando finish top scorer in series

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Fernando had begun aggressively, as he often does, but then toned his batting down in the middle overs



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