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Australia experience holds key for spinners Ashwin, Yadav | Cricket News

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NEW DELHI: The current Indian Test team is a bit fortunate to tour Australia within two years of their previous tour. Earlier, the tours were separated by a few years and that would make things difficult for players, especially spinners. By the time, they would adjust to the conditions and pitches, the tour would be over.
Past generations of spinners suffered from this. But when either Kuldeep Yadav or R Ashwin, or both, take the field on December 17 for the first Test in Adelaide, they will have an advantage and confidence to draw from their recent successes.
Both had performed well in the last Tests they played in Australia during India’s tour of 2018-19. While Yadav picked five wickets in the first innings at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) in January 2019, Ashwin got six across two innings in Adelaide a month before that. Ashwin didn’t play the next three Tests due to injury.

But this time with him being fit, Ashwin will be in competition for a spot with Yadav who, being a wrist spinner, could be the preferred choice on Australian wickets that have been harsh for spinners from the sub-continent.
Harbhajan Singh, the former India off-spinner who toured Australia in 2003-04 and 2007-08 and played 103 Tests, and had great success against Ricky Ponting, explains why Australia was a tough place to bowl.
“It was difficult to bowl in Australia because by the time you would adjust to the wickets, the tour would be coming to an end. You would tour every four-five years. Their spinners would get more success because they knew the conditions better and well since it was their home,” Harbhajan told IANS, adding that adjusting to the lengths is the key.

Both finger spinner Ashwin and wrist spinner Yadav had reaped rich hauls last time also because the Aussies, missing David Warner and Steve Smith in that series as they were serving a ban, had packed their side with left-handers. Four of Ashwin’s six victims and three of Yadav’s five were left-handers. They found it hard to adjust to deliveries going away.
However, neither Marcus Harris nor Usman Khawaja and nor Shaun Marsh find a place in the squad for the current series. There are just Travis Head and Mathew Wade apart from the returning David Warner and only one of Head and Wade will get a look-in since the top-order, dominated by right-handers, is largely settled.

It could make things difficult. Prior to that Adelaide Test, Ashwin had taken 21 wickets in six Tests at an average of 54.71 in Australia. The six wickets in Adelaide helped him improve an average to over 48.
But against a settled Australian line-up, there is however still a way out — rely on bounce and not on side-spin.
Harbhajan has an advice: “The spinners need to adjust to the lengths very quickly. Also, they shouldn’t rely on sidespin, because you won’t get it. If it is happening, it is an advantage, but don’t rely too much on it. Indian spinners need to bowl a little slower to get the bounce.”
Having toured Australia so recently, it should not be an issue for Ashwin and Yadav.


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Lasith Malinga decides to retire from franchise cricket

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MUMBAI: One of the greatest bowling sensations of IPL and for Mumbai Indians, Lasith Malinga has decided to retire from franchise cricket. The Sri Lankan speedster informed his decision to the Mumbai Indians management earlier this month, making himself unavailable for the champion side’s retention wish list.

Mumbai Indians management respects Lasith Malinga’s decision and hence he is not part of the club’s 18-member retention squad announced on Wednesday.

Akash Ambani, owner, Mumbai Indians said in a statement, “Lasith Malinga has been at the core of Mumbai Indians for 12 years. We respect his decision, even though I would have liked him to be part of our bowling attack for another five years.”

“Malinga is an MI legend. His contributions to Mumbai Indians’ journey are invaluable. We will miss the Wankhede chant for him, but he will always be in the heart of all MI fans. At Mumbai Indians, Malinga will always be a part of the MI family and we hope we can continue to lean on his experience in a non-playing capacity in the future.”

On his decision, Malinga said, “After discussing with family, I think now is the right time to retire from all franchise cricket. The Pandemic situation and the restrictions on travel will make it difficult for me given my personal circumstances to participate fully in franchise cricket for the next year and therefore it is best to make this decision now. I have discussed the same with Mumbai Indians management in recent days as they prepare for the upcoming auction and they have been very supportive and understanding. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Ambani family, everyone at the Mumbai Indians franchise and all our fans for the wonderful 12 years.

“Mumbai Indians has treated me like family, supporting me 100 per cent in every situation both on and off the field, and always giving me the confidence and the freedom to play my natural game whenever I walked onto the field. I have collected so many happy memories that I cherish and I am very grateful to have played for so long for the best franchise in world cricket. I would like to wish Nita Ambani, coach Mahela (Jayawardene), Akash (Ambani) and the MI family all the best for the upcoming season,” he added.

Defending champions Mumbai Indians on Wednesday retained their core-group and released seven players including Malinga, Nathan Coulter-Nile and James Pattinson for the 2021 edition of the IPL.

Record five-time IPL title holders now have 18 players in their squad with seven spots open which can be filled in the mini-auction. MI can pick as many as four overseas players for the next season. Mumbai has backed their core players which enabled them to lift the IPL trophy in back-to-back seasons.

Retained players: Rohit Sharma, Quinton de Kock (WK), Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan (WK), Chris Lynn, Anmolpreet Singh, Saurabh Tiwary, Aditya Tare (WK), Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Anukul Roy, Jasprit Bumrah, Trent Boult, Rahul Chahar, Jayant Yadav, Dhawal Kulkarni, Mohsin Khan.

Released players: Lasith Malinga, Mitch McClenaghan, James Pattinson, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Sherfane Rutherford, Prince Balwant Rai, Digvijay Deshmukh.



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IPL Retention 2021: KXIP release Maxwell, Cottrell ahead of mini auction | Cricket News

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CHANDIGARH: Keeping the core squad intact, Kings XI Punjab on Wednesday released Australian power-hitter Glenn Maxwell and West Indian pacer Sheldon Cottrell, while retaining the overseas trio of Chris Gayle, Nicholas Pooran and Chris Jordan, ahead of the mini-IPL auction in February.
Elaborating on the franchise’s decision, KXIP head coach Anil Kumble said, “The plan was to keep the core of the team, and make sure the players who were part of the team last season will continue this year as well. We believe that this group along with whoever we pick at the auctions to fill those gaps will be able to turn things around for Kings XI Punjab.”

The list sees the bulk of the core team retained as last season’s with KL Rahul set to get a longer rope as skipper of the side. Rahul’s opening partner Mayank Agarwal have also been retained while the side decided to part ways with Karun Nair.
On the bowling front, seasoned seamers Mohammed Shami and Chris Jordan, alongside spinners Ravi Bishnoi and Murugan Ashwin have also been retained. A few of India’s domestic talents like Prabhsimran Singh, Harpreet Brar, Ishan Porel and Darshan Nalkande will also be seen plying their trade for KXIP in the 2021 edition.
The team management have retained 13 Indian players for the 2021 IPL season, including the likes of Mandeep Singh and Sarfaraz Khan, both of whom will be playing their third season for the franchise this year.

The minimum squad size in the IPL needs to be 18 and a maximum of 25 with no more than eight overseas players. Kings XI Punjab currently have 16 players in their setup, with only three overseas players. The team management will now be expected to bring in more players when the auction is held in February, 2021.
Retained players: KL Rahul, Chris Gayle, Mayank Agarwal, Nicholas Pooran, Mandeep Singh, Sarfaraz Khan, Deepak Hooda, Prabhsimran Singh, Mohammed Shami, Chris Jordan, Darshan Nalkande, Ravi Bishnoi, Murugan Ashwin, Arshdeep Singh, Harpreet Brar, Ishan Porel
Released players: Glenn Maxwell, Karun Nair, Hardus Viljoen, Jagadeesha Suchith, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Sheldon Cottrell, Jimmy Neesham, Krishnappa Gowtham, Tajinder Singh



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IPL Auction 2021: Smith released as Sanju Samson named RR captain, Raina retained by CSK | Cricket News

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NEW DELHI: Sanju Samson replaced Steve Smith as Rajasthan Royals captain after the Australian batsman and some other under-performing stars were released by their respective IPL franchises even as Chennai Super Kings retained veteran Suresh Raina for the upcoming IPL 14.
The deadline for the eight franchises to submit the lists of retained and released players for the next edition of the lucrative league ended on Wednesday.
Samson was appointed to the top job after RR decided against renewing former skipper Steve Smith’s contract.

“As the IPL has grown, the captaincy has become a year-round task, and as such strong local Indian leadership has become increasingly important,” said RR owner Manoj Badale in a statement.
“Sanju made his debut as a Royal, and it has been a joy to watch his development over the last 8 years. He is the ideal person to lead the Royals into the 2021 season,” he added.
Smith’s contract ended in October 2020.

The Australians, smarting from a Test series loss to an injury-plagued India, took a hit as the likes of the explosive Glenn Maxwell and opener Aaron Finch too were released by Kings XI Punjab and Royal Challengers Bangalore respectively.

Also released by KXIP were West Indies all-rounder Sheldon Cottrell, Afghanistan’s Mujeeb-ur-Rahman and New Zealand’s Jimmy Neesham, who underwent a surgery recently to treat an injured finger.

CSK’s Harbhajan Singh and Mumbai Indians’ Lasith Malinga were among the other big names to be released by their respective sides ahead of next month’s auction.
Harbhajan was joined by the likes of Kedar Jadhav, Piyush Chawla and Murali Vijay who were also let go by the franchise.

Also released by MI was Sherfane Rutherford, while Delhi Capitals decided to enter the next edition without English batsman Jason Roy, wicketkeeper Alex Carey, leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane and seamer Mohit Sharma.
Malinga had been a prominent part of MI’s title-winning campaigns in the past though he was not there last time due to personal reasons.

Under Smith’s captaincy, inaugural edition champions RR finished last in the 2020 IPL when the star Australian batsman played all the 14 league matches, scoring 311 runs at a strike rate of 131, including three half-centuries.
Ahead of the 2018 IPL, Smith was the only player retained by the Royals for Rs 12.5 crore. The same year, he was appointed as the captain.
However, his impact came under the scanner after the team’s disastrous outing in the UAE last year.
“I am excited about the challenge that lies ahead of me as the leader of the team,” said new captain Samson.
“The Royals have had some wonderful captains over the years and I’m so grateful for all the time I’ve spent working with and learning from great leaders like Rahul Dravid, Shane Watson, Ajinkya Rahane and Steve Smith!! I now cannot wait to get started and look forward to the season ahead.”
The seasoned Raina was retained by the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led CSK notwithstanding his sudden departure from the last IPL in the UAE.
It is believed the three-time winners decided to continue with Raina in order to bolster the batting order that struggled during a forgettable last season, which culminated in a seventh-place finish and a league-stage elimination for the first time since the tournament’s inception in 2008.
The left-handed Raina has been an integral part of the Super Kings from the beginning, emerging as their highest scorer while guiding them to two IPL titles.
Stoinis made useful contributions in the 2020 edition and helped the Capitals reach their first-ever IPL final.
Batting mostly in the middle order, he amassed 352 runs at an average of 25.14 and a strike rate of 148.52.
With the ball, he took 13 wickets at an economy of 9.53.
With Rs 15 lakh left, the Super Kings had the smallest purse after the last auction and this would significantly improve for next month’s auction. Kings XI Punjab had the largest at Rs 16.5 crore before Wednesday.
Before Wednesday’s releases, Rajasthan Royals had Rs 14.75 crore, Sunrisers Hyderabad (10.1 crore), Delhi Capitals (9 crore), Kolkata Knight Riders (8.5 crore), Royal Challengers Bangalore (6.4 crore), and Mumbai Indians (1.95 crore).



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