Liam Livingstone impressed with bat and ball for England before going off the field with a finger injury
India 192 for 3 (Kishan 70, Rahul 51, Pant 29*) beat England 188 for 5 (Bairstow 49, Moeen 43*, Livingstone 30, Shami 3-40) by seven wickets
Fifties from KL Rahul and Ishan Kishan at the top of the order led India to a seven-wicket win in their first warm-up game against England. Apart from setting the base for a successful chase of 189, the 82-run opening partnership between Rahul and Kishan, off just 50 balls, also left India with an interesting choice ahead of their opening match of the tournament proper.
With a 46-ball 70, Kishan ensured he made a strong case for selection too, in the middle order if not at the top.
India won with an over to spare, but the match was tighter than that margin suggested, with Chris Jordan sending down a wide, high full-toss that was no-balled and ran away past the keeper to the boundary, to change the equation from 16 required off nine balls to 11 off eight. Hardik Pandya swung at the free-hit that followed and sent an edge to the third-man boundary, before Rishabh Pant finished off at the end of that over with a pulled six. Pant remained unbeaten on a 14-ball 29 that also included successive straight sixes off Moeen Ali.
There were positives for England too, particularly with the bat, with Jonny Bairstow, Liam Livingstone and Moeen making strong contributions in the middle order. Livingstone also picked up the wicket of a subdued Kohli with his legspin – he also showed his versatility by bowling offspin to the left-handers – but a good evening for him ended early when he walked off the field with a finger injury sustained while going for a catch in the deep in the 16th over. England will hope the injury isn’t serious.
Mohammed Shami took three wickets for India, but their most impressive performers with the ball were Jasprit Bumrah, who took Bairstow out with a perfectly directed yorker and only conceded 26 in his four overs. R Ashwin was even more frugal, going at less than a run a ball, and made a case for selection in India’s spin attack. The legspinner Rahul Chahar, however, was expensive, as were Shami and particularly Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who conceded 54 in his four overs including Moeen hitting him for 4, 6, 6 off the last three balls of England’s innings.
Both teams will play their final warm-up games on Wednesday – England against New Zealand and India against Australia – and get a chance to test some of the players they rested today. These include Rohit and the mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy from the Indian camp, and Eoin Morgan – Jos Buttler stood in as captain – and the fast bowler Tymal Mills from England.
Pat Cummins eager for clarity over Justin Langer’s contract
The coach is not certain to get a new deal despite T20 World Cup and Ashes success
The future of Langer, who comes off contract in mid-2022 and has made it clear he is keen to continue, remains an unresolved talking point.
The former Test opener changed his ways, adopting more of a low-key role as Australia went on to win the Twenty20 World Cup and retain the urn. But there remains speculation Cricket Australia will opt to move Langer on.
Cummins, asked about Langer after Australia claimed an unassailable 3-0 lead in their five-Test series against England, bluntly replied that “his contract is up for renewal in a few months and we’ll deal with that then”.
He struck a more diplomatic note in Hobart, speaking after his four-wicket haul helped Australia claim a first-innings lead of 115 runs in the fifth and final Ashes Test.
“That’s above my pay grade. We’ll wait and see, it’d be nice to have clarity for everyone,” Cummins said. “But he’s been doing a fantastic job, we absolutely love JL.
“He’s been really great through the World Cup and the Ashes. Honestly, it’s not been a talking point at all within the camp.
“The plan has always been to chat about it after the Ashes, so the powers that be, I’m sure, will chat at some stage. But he’s been fantastic for us and the boys love having him around.”
CA chief executive Nick Hockley and high-performance boss Ben Oliver are yet to set a definitive timeline around the call on Langer, likewise a final decision on potentially splitting the role by installing separate white-ball and red-ball mentors.
But the growing expectation is the elephant in the room will be addressed soon after the Ashes series finale. Oliver noted last month that CA will take player feedback on board before resolving Langer’s future.
“Position in doubt? Influenced the culture and character of the team after the Cape Town debacle,” Waugh posted on Instagram. “Coached the team to a winning World Cup 20/20 and now to a commanding Ashes victory. Time to put the rumours and innuendo to rest. #respect #culture #character.”
“I don’t know what everyone’s waiting for,” Warne told Fox Cricket. “He should be signed up in my opinion because he’s done such a good job.
“We’re not inside the dressing room, so we don’t know all the inside-outs, but I think the only way we can judge a coach is from the performances and has Australian cricket got better? Is the better of cricket better domestically? Is there a group of players? There’s probably three or four players outside this squad now that could all play and that wasn’t there a couple of years ago.”
Australia do not have much of a break in their schedule after the Ashes with limited-overs matches against New Zealand and Sri Lanka from late January to mid-February.
That is then followed by the tour of Pakistan, Australia’s first to the country since 1998, which also falls within Langer’s current contract. There will be the need to split coaches during that period with a brief T20I series in New Zealand during March, the same situation that was set to occur last season before the South Africa tour was postponed.
Recent Match Report – South Z (BD) vs Cent Z (BD) Final 2021/22
Bowlers, Al-Amin shine as Central beat South by six wickets after bowling them out for 163
Central Zone 164 for four (Al-Amin 53 not out, Mizanur 39, Ahmed 3 for 32) beat South Zone 163 all out (Pinak 35) by six wickets
Asked to bat first, South Zone were bowled out for 163 runs in 48.5 overs. They gave away a good start as they slipped to 99 for four after Anamul Haque and Pinak Ghosh added 51 for the opening stand. Nahidul Islam’s 31 took them past the 150-mark.
Captain Mosaddek was later adjudged the Player-of-the-Match and the Player-of-the-Series for scoring 148 runs and taking six wickets in the tournament. Imrul Kayes was the only batter to score more than 150 runs in the competition while Soumya was one of the four bowlers to take seven wickets.
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84
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