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T20 World Cup 2021 – Ind vs Nam

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Namibia coach also thanks the bigger teams for making them feel like they belonged on the big stage

From beating Ireland and Scotland to make the Super 12s to putting up a fight against New Zealand in the last match, Namibia have exceeded everyone’s expectations, head coach Pierre de Bruyn said. He added that Namibia were ready to give their “last little push” and have “no excuses” as they come up against “best in the world” India in their last group match.

“It’s been an emotional rollercoaster for all of us,” de Bruyn said. “We came here with expectations but I think we exceeded that and with that the pressure mounted and these players have really announced themselves. We thought it was a cricket Namibia story for our country but it’s become a global story where we’ve inspired not just our kids back home but globally we have won a lot of hearts.”

In three of their four Super 12 matches, Namibia, first-timers at the tournament, managed to bat out the entire 20 overs. de Bruyn feels that’s been one of the positives despite the losses. Their bowlers managed to keep the New Zealand batters in check in the last match, allowing them to score at just over six per over till the 16th. In reply, they made 111 for 7, batting conservatively as the Kiwi quicks ran riot.

“We have played 40-overs cricket in this group, we have not been blown away by any team in 10 overs or 12 overs or anything like that. We’ve been willing to stretch the game and give ourselves a good chance against these top oppositions. Tomorrow’s a classic game where you go in and you need to hold your own, you need to take brutal accountability for what you’re going to bring to the team. It’s the last little push. It’s been a long tour and it’s been an emotional rollercoaster to say the least.

“Facing the best in the world can be overwhelming and it’s all about staying composed and this team, especially with the ball, has shown that they are willing to hold on and compete like we showed in the game against New Zealand – they were 94 for 4 after 16 overs – so the learnings for us is that we’re going to treasure that, we’re going to hold on hard to that because these lessons – good or bad – are only going to make you a better team and they’re to make you a better player.”

De Bruyn said that Namibia are relishing the chance to go up against India and all their superstars. “As players, you always look to plan ahead of a game like that. We know upfront with the bat how they play. If you’re not going to execute your plans or execute your skills you know they are going to punish you. That’s a guarantee. We want to finish the campaign on a high. It’s been 45 days in the bubble. There are no excuses. Tomorrow’s a platform for any player to face the best in the world.

“We’ve got to execute our plans at the death in a more brave way. We’ve got plans, we’ve got best plans. We’ve got skills. To hit a yorker we’ve trained for two years. I think the bowlers just need to go back tomorrow to that area. It’s an area where you’re going to be under the pump. When the batters come at you, they’re not going to let go. I think tomorrow a big goal is to make sure in the death we execute our plans and skills with confidence.”

Among the bright spots for Namibia have been their left-arm quicks, with Ruben Trumpelmann, Jan Frylinck and JJ Smit especially impressive at various points. While Trumpelmann rocked Scotland with three wickets in an over, Frylinck’s moment came in the win against Ireland in the first round when he too picked up three crucial wickets. Smit, meanwhile, has gone for over 30 in only one out of the seven matches he’s been part of. Thanks to their efforts only England (5.26) and New Zealand (5.66) have an economy rate better than theirs (5.91) in the first six overs at this tournament.

“Ruben has really worked hard from a physical point of view. He’s definitely got some more ball speed. We’re going to work on that, we’re busy working on that physically,” de Bruyn said. “And I feel that against an Indian team – Rohit Sharma, those type of batters, obviously there’s going to be nerves. But don’t change what’s been working for you.

“Frylinck was always in the background doing the grubby work. He relies on skill. He’s our little street fighter. He will come and clean up if there’s been a big over. He backs himself in the death. Our bowling attack with the experience of David Wiese, and with the new ball you can get it to swing, against India the first two-three overs are going to be critical for us. We’ve shown that against Pakistan. We had Pakistan in the powerplay at 29 for no loss. We are capable of using that new ball with what we have in our bowling attack.”



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Recent Match Report – Gladiators vs Abu Dhabi 6th Match 2021/22

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Deccan Gladiators 113 for 1 (Kohler-Cadmore 51*, Banton 44) beat Delhi Bulls 112 (Rossouw 48, Russell 3-17) by nine wickets

In a match which featured established internationals like Eoin Morgan, Mohammad Hafeez and Andre Russell, it was instead the uncapped Tom Kohler-Cadmore who was the man to watch with a blistering unbeaten 51 off 19 to seal an emphatic win for Deccan Gladiators over Delhi Bulls.

Alongside Tom Banton (44 off 21), another among an array of English batting talent, the pair put on 100 in 39 deliveries to drive their side home in front of England’s white-ball captain, Morgan.

For Dwayne Bravo and Delhi Bulls, it was a first defeat in the Abu Dhabi T10. Despite becoming the first team to get bowled out this season, they still managed to set a challenging target of 113 for Gladiators.

Kohler-Cadmore went into the chase on the back of scores of 6 and 7 and he attributed his match-winning knock, which included three fours and five sixes, to a conversation he had earlier in the day with Mushtaq Ahmed, the Gladiators coach.

“I had a great chat with Mushy today, he just gave me a shed load of confidence and told me to trust myself from ball one and that’s exactly what I did,” Kohler-Cadmore said.

After the opening pair navigated the initial two overs of the powerplay with relative comfort, Bravo turned to another England man, Adil Rashid, in the hope of making a breakthrough. Kohler-Cadmore instead had other ideas.

How better to make a statement than to take one of England’s most prized assets for 25 runs in an over, with Morgan given a front-row seat to witness the onslaught?

Rashid was smashed for four consecutive sixes by Kohler-Cadmore: three wonderful shots over midwicket and one straight back over the bowler’s head. By the end of the third over, the Gladiators were 53 without loss and had almost halved the target. It was as emphatic a statement as you could make.

“I’ve faced Rash a lot in the nets, especially back home, so it was only going one way or the other,” Kohler-Cadmore said. “Either he was gonna get me out or I was gonna get him. Thankfully, it went my way.”

The chance to get one over his Yorkshire team-mate was certainly sweet, but Kohler-Cadmore was still full of praise for Rashid. “For me, to be able to learn and play with someone like him – because he’s world-class and he shows it every time he performs, especially in an England shirt – it’s awesome to learn from someone as good as him,” he said.

T10 is a format of the game that doesn’t allow for any time to settle in and Kohler-Cadmore underlined how that helped his approach. “It’s probably the simplest format because your intent is to hit every ball for six anyway. Even when someone like Rash deceives you, you’re still swinging in this format, so you might get an inside edge or an outside edge and get lucky. In fact, it’s quite a simple game as opposed to when it’s longer, it’s perhaps slightly harder.”

As he and Banton continued their assault at the Zayed Cricket Ground, the television crew decided that it would be a good time to interview Andy Flower, the coach of the Delhi Bulls. “He’s a beautiful batter and he’s great to watch, just maybe not so much when you’re on the other side,” Flower said of Kohler-Cadmore’s assault.

In 2019, it was Flower who informed Kohler-Cadmore that he had been stood down from England Lions duty after details of misogynistic WhasApp conversations emerged at the rape trial of Alex Hepburn. The Yorkshire batter was indefinitely suspended from all England-related selection and subsequently fined.

He was remorseful and apologetic for his actions and it is fair to say he has made strides forward since then, not least by volunteering to speak at a PCA rookie camp where around 50 newly signed professional cricketers heard his tale as part of an induction into the game.

Suspension served, an England cap is still something that has evaded Kohler-Cadmore till now. He toured with the Lions in Australia in early 2020 and was part of England’s 55-man training squad last summer. And he has spent the past year representing Yorkshire and Northern Superchargers, as well as Peshawar Zalmi in the PSL and starring in the T10.

The hunger is undoubtedly still there and innings like this can only help when knocking on the door of an England white-ball setup that is notoriously tricky to break into.

A quarter of the way into the tournament, the Abu Dhabi T10 is turning into a bit of a show for the English talent out in the UAE. Team Abu Dhabi, led by Liam Livingstone are yet to taste defeat, with Livingstone unsurprisingly hitting more sixes than anyone else thus far, and a devastating 63 not out off 28 from Phil Salt secured their fourth win out of four against the Chennai Braves.
On Sunday, a rescue act from Jamie Overton and Danny Briggs got them over the line in a thriller, before Will Jacks and Benny Howell smashed 72 in four overs to give the Bangla Tigers their first win. Morgan himself took Bulls home with 26 off 12 later in the day.
Tymal Mills was also back in action, making his first appearance since a thigh injury ended his involvement in the T20 World Cup, and he impressed with figures of 2 for 12 for Gladiators – which included the scalp of Morgan – before Kohler-Cadmore got to work.



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Match Preview – Bangladesh vs Pakistan, Pakistan in Bangladesh 2021/22, 3rd T20I

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With the three-match series in the bag, Pakistan are likely to continue tinkering with their starting XI for Monday’s fixture in Dhaka

Big picture

Pakistan aren’t renowned for learning from their mistakes quickly, but over the weekend, this side righted one wrong from six years ago. In 2015, days after the World Cup ended, Pakistan went to Bangladesh for a three-match ODI series and a solitary T20I. Undercooked, perhaps even unmotivated, they found themselves flayed by the home side, who ultimately sent Saeed Ajmal into international retirement. In 2021, with Pakistan having to turn up in Bangladesh again to play a limited-overs series just five days after another World Cup concluded, they have shown none of the hangovers from 2015, taking the most efficient path to a series win.

That renders the third game a dead rubber in what is already a relatively low-profile series, but Pakistan’s rise in the format has meant a fair bit of jostling for places in the starting XI. With Mohammad Hafeez returning to the fray and a slew of fast bowlers and power hitters waiting in the wings, any opportunity for this side is an opportunity to impress given the next T20 World Cup is less than a year away. That means every match, even dead rubbers, remain important as teams continue to work their combinations out, though it’s probably worth noting conditions in Bangladesh might as well be on a different planet to what Australia will have in store.

The home side are in freefall and it might have some way to run yet. Series wins against Australia and New Zealand before the T20 World Cup turned out to be completely irrelevant when it came to performances at the tournament, with Bangladesh failing to win a single Super 12s game, while the two sides they vanquished on home soil competed in the final. Returning to familiar comforts against Pakistan, too, hasn’t given them any respite, and two fairly indifferent performances, despite the return of a raucous crowd, see them playing for pride on Monday.

There’s a whiff of the unsettled behind-the-scenes as well. The board came in for criticism after Bangladesh’s shoddy showing at the T20 World Cup, and when senior player Mushfiqur Rahim was rested – ostensibly injured – for this series, he came out and stated, unequivocally, that he was fit to play. The absence of Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal for different reasons has exposed Bangladesh’s lack of depth, and in these circumstances, playing a resurgent Pakistan simply comes at a bad time for them.

Form guide

Bangladesh: LLLLL (last five completed matches, most recent first)
Pakistan: WWLWW

In the spotlight

If Bangladesh were hoping to unearth someone new in Tamim and Soumya Sarkar’s absence, the openers in this series have only illustrated how heavily Bangladesh rely on those senior players. Both games have seen the hosts on the back foot from the outset, Mohammad Naim and Saif Hassan struggling to take advantage of the field restrictions. Across the two games, the openers have scored a combined four runs in 20 deliveries, allowing Pakistan to take high-impact top order wickets cheaply while using up precious powerplay time in the process. It isn’t as if they’re batting when they would rather not, given Bangladesh won both tosses and chose to put runs on the board. They cannot afford to let Pakistan’s new-ball bowlers run roughshod over them for a third successive game.
In a crowded field of Pakistan fast bowlers, Mohammad Wasim has found a way to shine. Having warmed the bench for the entirety of the T20 World Cup, Wasim was brought in for Bangladesh, arguably the most challenging place for an express pace bowler to make their mark. He has been Pakistan’s best bowler in the series so far, following up figures of 2 for 24 in the first game with 3-0-9-1 to hamstring Bangladesh’s innings on Saturday. With competition for places hotting up ahead of a home series against West Indies and a visit from Australia looming early next year, a player like Wasim, who generally finds himself on the fringes, needs to take every opportunity to shine, dead rubber or otherwise.

Team news

Bangladesh announced late on Saturday that pace bowler Kamrul Islam Rabbi and batter Parvez Hossain Emon were added to their squad for the third game. Both players are yet to make their T20I debuts.

Bangladesh (probable): 1 Mohammad Naim, 2 Saif Hassan, 3 Najmul Hossain Shanto, 4 Yasir Ali, 5 Mahmudullah (capt), 6 Afif Hossain, 7 Nurul Hasan (wk), 8 Mahedi Hasan, 9 Aminul Islam/Kamrul Islam Rabbi, 10 Mustafizur Rahman, 11 Taskin Ahmed

Pakistan have tinkered with their line-up in the first two games, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see that continue. Hasan Ali and Shaheen Afridi each got a rest, so Haris Rauf could be in line for the same in the final game. Shoaib Malik will miss the game due to the illness of his child and will depart for Dubai before the match.

Pakistan (probable): 1 Babar Azam (capt), 2 Mohammad Rizwan (wk), 3 Fakhar Zaman, 4 Haider Ali, 5 Khushdil Shah, 6 Shadab Khan, 7 Mohammad Nawaz, 8 Hasan Ali, 9 Mohammad Wasim, 10 Haris Rauf, 11 Shaheen Afridi

Pitch and conditions

The pitches in Dhaka were what we’ve come to expect from Bangladesh, and the two-paced nature and lack of bounce kept scores low in the first two games. The weather should not play spoilsport.

Stats and trivia

  • Bangladesh last lost a home T20I series in December 2018, when West Indies beat them 2-1. They won the last three home bilateral series before the ongoing one
  • Shoaib Malik is 77 runs away from becoming the third Pakistan batter inside a month to reach 2500 T20I runs. Mohammad Hafeez and Babar Azam got to the landmark at the T20 World Cup in the UAE

Danyal Rasool is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo. @Danny61000



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Ind vs NZ 2021 – Rohit Sharma

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“Going forward, we will definitely keep an eye out for him,” India’s T20 captain says of Venkatesh Iyer

With the 2022 T20 World Cup just 11 months away, India’s captain for the format, Rohit Sharma, wants the new players who featured in the team’s 3-0 series win over New Zealand to be given a long run to express themselves.
Speaking to the media after sealing the series sweep in Kolkata on Sunday, Rohit pointed to India’s huge pool of talented cricketers and said that with so many of them making a case for selection in the Indian T20 team, the onus was on him and head coach Rahul Dravid to create that sense of security among the players.

“When you’re playing bilaterals, you need to tick certain boxes, and we are trying to do that,” Rohit said. “We are trying to create a healthy atmosphere, giving the younger players security so that players can go out and play fearlessly.

“In the first meeting that we had, we spoke about this very clearly. Told them that ‘if you’re trying to do something for the team, that act will never get unnoticed; you will be noticed when you raise your hand and try to take pressure on yourself and try to do something for the team’. That’s the job of the captain and coach. To tell the players that ‘we do understand what you’re trying to do for the team’.

“You tell them to take their chances, and if it doesn’t come off, you still back them because we know what they are trying to do for the team.”

India fielded a fairly inexperienced squad for the series, with the previously uncapped Harshal Patel and Venkatesh Iyer making their international debuts, and Axar Patel – who had played just one T20I in four years coming into the series – getting a run in Ravindra Jadeja’s absence. However, there was no place for Ruturaj Gaikwad and Avesh Khan in any of the games.

“Seeing the talent pool of India, it is not easy,” Rohit said. “Most of the guys sitting outside have also done very well. It’s not easy, only 11 can play, we know that. It’s always tough, but we will try our best that whenever our players step out, they do not have any baggage.”

‘Batting down the order will be tough for Venkatesh Iyer’
Rohit was also clear on what role was being considered for Venkatesh Iyer, the breakout star from the UAE leg of the 2021 IPL. Although he has been opening for Kolkata Knight Riders, the management wants him to find a place between Nos. 5 and 7 for India.

Rohit said the team acknowledged that changing batting positions so drastically could be tough on the newcomer, his skills as a medium-pace bowler made him a tempting option.

“The plan is to keep Iyer in the mix as much as we can,” Rohit said. “At the same time, we need to give him a role to bat where he usually doesn’t bat for his franchise. It’s going to be slightly tough for him to bat down the order. We’ve given him a role to bat at No. 5, 6 or 7 and see if he can do the job for us.

“Today, he looked composed, he was clear in his mindset, and he has a very good approach. And you saw his bowling skills, looks a very, very bright prospect for us. He can get the job done for us, it’s about giving him the confidence and making him play as much as he can. It’s still very early days – been just three games. He’s not had much of an opportunity to make an impact but going forward, we will definitely keep an eye out for him.

“The more depth we have the better it is for us. But for now, the way our bowling is going, and the way we have bowled, you don’t need a sixth or seventh bowler if the five players bowl well. But as a captain, it’s a good cushion to have.”

‘Fielding, bowling biggest positives’
Looking back at the series win, Rohit said that there were two standout positives for India. First, the fielding, which saved them around 15 runs each in the first two games, and secondly, how they managed to restrict New Zealand in the first two games despite being put on the back foot early on.

In Jaipur, India took five wickets for 68 runs in the last eight overs to keep New Zealand down to 164 and in Ranchi, New Zealand managed to score only 153 despite a 64-run powerplay. In Kolkata, too, New Zealand’s batters were stymied by a varied bowling attack that bowled them out for 111 batting second in dewy conditions.
Much of the praise from Rohit went to the spin duo of Axar and R Ashwin. “I think it’s been a great comeback for Ashwin,” Rohit said. “He has proved himself with the red ball and even with the white ball, he doesn’t have a bad record. It shows the quality that he has. He is always an attacking option for the captain – when he is there, the captain has the opportunity to take wickets in the middle overs. And we know how important middle overs are – you need to take wickets there.

“Along with Axar, both of these guys are wicket-taking options, and when they bowl, it’s never about surviving for them. It’s about ‘how I can get the batter out, or how I can put pressure on the batter’.”

Sreshth Shah is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo. @sreshthx



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