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Ind in SA 2021-22 – Cape Town to host New Year’s Test between India and South Africa

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The match was originally set to be held in Johannesburg but was moved out due to strict biobubble rules in the city

India’s first Test assignment of 2022 will be held in Cape Town against South Africa, after CSA confirmed that the upcoming New Year’s Test between the two teams will be moved away from Johannesburg.

The Wanderers was initially set to host two of the three Tests between South Africa and India, but ESPNcricinfo understands that strict biobubble rules in Johannesburg meant the second Test, scheduled between January 3 and 7, will now take place at Newlands in Cape Town.

“CSA is excited to welcome India back to South Africa, which also significantly marks the 30th anniversary of South Africa’s first tour to India after re-entry into International Cricket in 1991,” Graeme Smith, CSA’s director of cricket, said. “This tour affirms our unique relationship with the BCCI.”

India’s scheduled tour of South Africa between December 2021 and January 2022 had been confirmed as the marquee international series in South Africa’s home calendar. India are due to play three Tests, three ODIs and four T20Is between December 17 and January 26, with Netherlands and Bangladesh also due to visit South Africa later. All the Test matches are part of the 2021-23 World Test Championship cycle.

South Africa and India last met in a bilateral series in March 2020 in India, for three ODIs, but after the first fixture was washed out, the series had to be called off altogether because of the Covid-19 outbreak. India then confirmed a three-match T20I series with South Africa – initially scheduled for August last year and then in September-October this year. But it hasn’t taken place yet, initially because South Africa was experiencing its first wave of the pandemic and then because of the rescheduled IPL.



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Ashes 2021-22 – ‘Still up in the air’

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Carey makes 101 off 93 for South Australia, but Australia assistant coach Andrew McDonald does not know yet who will play the first Test against England

As clear as the decision was on Tim Paine’s successor as Australia’s Test captain, the decision to find his successor behind the stumps remains up in the air according to assistant coach Andrew McDonald, as Alex Carey and Josh Inglis appear neck and neck in the race to be named for the first Test against England.
It was announced on Friday that Paine would be stepping away from cricket indefinitely for a mental health break on the same day Australia announced Pat Cummins would replace him as captain.

But in the 48 hours since the Australia selectors, George Bailey, Justin Langer and Tony Dodemaide, have been mulling over the choice of Carey and Inglis to make their debut in Brisbane with McDonald none the wiser as to which way they are leaning.

“I think it’s really still up in the air,” McDonald said. “I think if it was clear then there would have been an announcement, so I’m sure that the selectors will be taking all the information in the last game today, I think, domestically before we switch out our focus into the Test match.

“We’ve got plenty of time before the first Test match, but I’m sure once they’re clear that there’ll be an announcement because we’ve got an Australia game and obviously Australia A game as well. So the preparation will split into sort of two camps from [December 5] onwards, so that’ll be something that will become clearer I would say over the next few days for us as coaches and then communicated externally.”

Carey made a statement today scoring 101 off 93 balls in the Marsh Cup clash with Queensland at Adelaide Oval. It was his second limited-overs century of the season after making 128 not out against Western Australia. He also scored a match-saving 66 not out against Queensland in a Sheffield Shield clash in October batting at No. 5 but his form with the bat in red-ball cricket has been abysmal with the bat since with scores of 0, 7, 6, 2, and 3 in his last five Shield innings. But his century today certainly came at the right time.

“It’s white-ball cricket, but any form is good form as we like to say,” McDonald said. “Obviously we’ve got Josh Inglis in camp with us at the moment, so he starved for match opportunities. Alex Carey was named in Australia A squad as a keeper as well. So we’ve got some options.

“And that’s the beauty of it, it’s always better to have options than no options. So look forward to whichever way that goes and the start of someone’s career.”

Carey does have a distinct advantage over Inglis having already played three years of international cricket, including in the cauldron of a World Cup in 2019. He has captained Australia in ODI cricket as recently as this year and has led Australia A twice in first-class matches. He had long been seen as the natural successor to Paine both as a wicketkeeper but also as a leader.

Inglis hasn’t yet played an international for Australia but has come with a rush into national calculations over the last few months. He took Carey’s spot as the second wicketkeeper in the T20I squad for the World Cup and is currently with the team in quarantine on the Gold Coast. But he has not played any official fixture since Australia’s T20 World Cup warm-up game against New Zealand after one Shield match against South Australia prior to heading to the UAE.

Carey’s toughness and temperament has long been his great strength and he bats No. 5 in South Australia meaning he is exposed to tougher batting conditions than Inglis is batting at No. 7 in a very strong Western Australia team.

While both men have solid first-class records with the bat, the debate among the selectors appears to be around their glovework with a clear preference to pick the best gloveman for the role, as was proven by Paine’s four years in the team having been recalled from near obscurity in 2017.

Inglis is regarded among the players and coaches on the domestic circuit as a slightly superior gloveman, although Carey’s work can’t be undersold as he does hold the record for the most dismissals in a Shield season with 59 in 2016-17.
The pair could set to face off on opposite sides if the three-day trial game in Brisbane starting on Wednesday goes ahead but the weather could force Australia’s hierarchy to reconsider their plans. After washing out England’s first practice game, heavy rain and thunderstorms are forecast in Brisbane on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
Meanwhile, Jhye Richardson looks increasingly likely to play a part in the Ashes series at some stage after taking 23 wickets in his first four Shield games this season. Although he does still appear to be behind the big three of Cummins, Josh Hazlewood and Mitchell Starc in the pecking order for the first Test at least.

“Really positive return clearly on the back of some shoulder issues last year, so it’s great to see him up and running,” McDonald said. “George Bailey, has been casting a keen eye along with Tony Dodemaide following that form line very, very closely.

“There’s no doubt that he’ll be putting some pressure on across the summer, whether that’s the first Test match, whether that’s later on in the summer, but, you know, there’s three very handy ball is in front of him at the moment.”

Alex Malcolm is an Associate Editor at ESPNcricinfo



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WBBL 2021-22 – In sickness and in health Kapp stars after difficult build-up

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Kapp was bedridden for three days before the final due to illness and then had to deal with the emotional challenge of playing against her wife Dane van Niekerk

Player of the WBBL final Marizanne Kapp revealed that she didn’t leave her hotel room for three days in the lead-up to the final after coming down with an illness following Perth Scorchers trip to Adelaide.

Kapp produced a phenomenal effort with both bat and ball scoring a critical 31 not out from 23 balls, including four boundaries, to help lift Scorchers to a competitive total of 5 for 146.

She then bowled superbly in the powerplay delivering a maiden over while bowling to her wife, Strikers opener Dane van Niekerk, and finished with match-winning figures of 1 for 25.

Kapp revealed she had passed a covid test in the lead-up to the game but was seriously concerned about her health.

“On Monday when we travelled back from Adelaide I already wasn’t feeling too great,” Kapp said. “I woke up the next morning and I was so sick, for the last three days I was so sick and I didn’t move out of my room. I knew today was going to be really tough, especially with the heat as well. After the batting, I felt like I was going to pass out, I didn’t feel well at all, but at the end of the day it was worth it.”

Kapp was on her haunches after running twos while batting in oppressive 36-degree heat. Teammate Beth Mooney revealed Kapp had Facetimed into the team meeting the day before the game but she was conserving energy in order to be able to play.

“I started to show signs of feeling a bit better yesterday and this morning,” Kapp said. “That’s why I decided not to go and train this week because I knew it was going to set me back and I probably would’ve missed today. I knew it was going to be hard and luckily it was worth it.”

The victory was bittersweet for Kapp. She had to deal with the emotional toll of having to play against her wife in the final. The pair had faced off twice earlier in the season with Kapp dismissing van Niekerk in both meetings. Kapp got the better of van Niekerk again in the final as they faced each other with both bat and ball. Van Niekerk bowled two balls to Kapp for two singles in Scorchers innings. Van Niekerk got off the mark with a leg glance off Kapp first ball in the chase but then faced a maiden from Kapp in the third over of the innings which stalled the Strikers momentum severely. Kapp beat the outside edge twice in the over and struck van Niekerk on the pad.

“It’s never easy,” Kapp said. “When I saw that wicket earlier, I knew with the new ball there was going to be something in it and it will probably get some movement. It’s a tough wicket to get in on, and once you’re in on it becomes a lot easier.”

Kapp said she would not hold it over van Niekerk in any way after the victory.

“No definitely not,” Kapp said. “I already feel so bad, because I feel like the Strikers were worthy of winning the cup as well, especially the two semi-finals they played, they were absolutely amazing.”

Alex Malcolm is an Associate Editor at ESPNcricinfo



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BBL 2021-22 – Chris Jordan jets into Sydney Sixers squad as replacement for Carlos Brathwaite

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Jordan set to play for his fourth BBL club after Brathwaite is ruled out of the tournament due to shoulder surgery

Two-time defending BBL champions Sydney Sixers have pulled off a coup signing England quick Chris Jordan as an international replacement for Carlos Brathwaite after the West Indian was ruled out of the tournament due to a shoulder injury.

Brathwaite has undergone surgery and is unavailable for the entire BBL. Jordan has been signed at short notice to bolster Sixers’ squad alongside fellow England internationals James Vince and Tom Curran.

Jordan has previously played for three different BBL clubs in three different seasons, starting at Adelaide Strikers in 2016-17 before a short stint with Sydney Thunder in 2018-19. He played almost a full season with Perth Scorchers in 2019-20 before having to leave the tournament late due to international duty.

Jordan comes off a T20 World Cup where he was arguably England’s best seamer claiming six wickets at an economy rate of 6.84. Cricket NSW Head of Male Cricket Michael Klinger, who oversees Sixers’ list management, said Jordan was a valuable addition.

“It’s disappointing for Carlos and the group that he has succumbed to injury but Chris is a world-class T20 cricketer and will provide the Sixers with fantastic versatility and high-quality skills in all three aspects of the game,” Klinger said.

“His death bowling and changeups, as well as being one of the world’s best fielders, will be a huge asset for the Sixers early in the BBL.

“He is experienced in playing in the BBL and has been previously successful in this tournament.

“I know Greg Shipperd (Sixers coach) and the rest of the coaching staff are very excited to have Chris on board.”

Sixers will open their new campaign on Sunday, December 5 against Melbourne Stars at the SCG.

Sydney Sixers squad: Moises Henriques (c), Sean Abbott, Jackson Bird, Daniel Christian, Tom Curran (Eng), Ben Dwarshuis, Jack Edwards, Mickey Edwards, Daniel Hughes, Chris Jordan (Eng), Hayden Kerr, Nathan Lyon, Ben Manenti, Stephen O’Keefe, Josh Philippe, Lloyd Pope, Jordan Silk, James Vince (Eng)



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