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Australia’s Steve Smith cleared to return against England after concussion scare | Sport

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Steve Smith has been cleared to return for Australia in Sunday’s second one-day international against England at Old Trafford following the concussion scare that meant he missed his side’s victory on Friday night.

The 31-year-old’s absence from the 19-run win made it all the more laudable for the tourists, who could spend their rest day reflecting on Josh Hazlewood’s new-ball masterclass and an evening of adhesive catching en route to a 1-0 series lead.

Australia disclosed before the toss that Smith had been struck on the head in the nets 24 hours earlier – a short ball delivered by a coach with a sidearm – and though he passed an initial concussion test, a late call was made to wait for a second on Saturday morning that was subsequently cleared.

Media are not present at nets but it naturally brought back memories of Smith being felled by Jofra Archer during last summer’s Ashes Test at Lord’s – a blow that led him to retire hurt and then resume his inning before being subbed out of the match, and likely informed Australia’s caution here.

His teammate, Mitchell Marsh, believes this latest knock will only increase the master batsman’s determination, however. “It was a good decision in the end. There’s no need to take unnecessary risks, certainly with head injuries,” said Marsh, who made 73 before Australia defended 295 for nine. “Any time you have Steve Smith coming back into the team is a great feeling.”

Asked if Australia’s battery of fast bowlers may wish to go easy on Smith in the nets, Marsh replied: “The Steve Smith I know will probably ask guys to bump the hell out of him: he loves the contest. Anyone that bowls at 150kph – he loves the challenge, so certainly there will be no backing down from Steve Smith, I know that 100% for sure.”Smith’s return, most likely for Marcus Stoinis despite deputising with a slick 43, only boosts the tourists as they look to inflict England’s first bilateral series defeat since they lost 2-1 in India in January 2017 (a one-off defeat to Scotland the following summer notwithstanding).

Australia’s other injury doubt is Mitchell Starc, who reported some soreness in his upper leg during England’s innings. Kane Richardson and the uncapped Riley Meredith are the two quicks on standby but a reused surface may bring Ashton Agar’s left-arm spin into the equation.

Sam Billings, whose maiden international century (118 from 110 balls) could not prevent his side slipping to defeat, said: “The key message from us as a group is we play our best when we get on the front foot and put people under pressure. How that looks in these conditions might differ from all gung-ho approach. [But] it will provoke a bit of a reaction and we’ll come back firing.”

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Billings drew huge satisfaction from his innings, even if it was bittersweet in defeat, having missed a chance of making England’s World Cup squad last summer through injury and then battled hard against a Test-class Australian attack.Billings, whose appearances have been sporadic over five years, claimed he initially felt terrible at the crease – not least when 11 from 32 balls with the tourists reminding him of this out in the middle – but hopes the end result is a breakthrough innings. “I’ve threatened to get a score of substance for quite a while and it’s just nice to kick on and stake a claim,” he said.

“Ben Stokes isn’t here and I don’t think, however many runs I get, that I’ll keep that spot. But that’s all I can do.”have arranged for the members of their squad not travelling to the Indian Premier League after the series to undergo two-weeks of quarantine with access to training at the Adelaide Oval when they return home.

Meanwhile, England’s players have found themselves unable to leave their Manchester bubble to play golf between ODIs following concerns raised by Australia.

The unique summer has seen players locked down in the hotels at the Rose Bowl and Old Trafford but while the former has an adjoining golf course that is considered within the perimeter, doing so at the latter involves going off site.

England and West Indies were permitted to do so on rest days between the two Old Trafford Tests this summer after a local course was risk-assessed by the ECB’s Covid-19 officer and protocols drawn up to prevent contact with the public.

England’s Eoin Morgan



England’s Eoin Morgan was unable to play golf with his teammates after concerns raised by Australia. Photograph: Jon Super/AFP/Getty Images

But a request by Eoin Morgan’s squad to repeat this during the current week in Manchester, which has three rest days, is understood to have been met with unease by Australia and the consent of both groups is required to proceed.

The final decision, described as “mutual” by a member of the touring party, comes with the UK’s Covid-19 cases on the rise and so while a socially-distanced round of golf may offer a chance to escape the more enclosed of the two bubbles, the caution on what is a short trip is perhaps understandable.

England (possible): Roy, Bairstow, Root, Morgan (c), Billings, Buttler (wk), Moeen, Woakes, Archer, Wood, Rashid

Australia (possible): Finch (c), Warner, Smith, Labuschagne, Maxwell, Marsh, Carey (wk), Cummins, Starc, Zampa, Hazlewood (1pm BST start)

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IPL 2020: Shami is the best yorker bowler in the competition right now, says Maxwell | Cricket News

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DUBAI: After registering a comfortable five-wicket win over Delhi Capitals, Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) all-rounder Glenn Maxwell said teammate Mohammed Shami is currently the best yorker bowler in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL).
Nicholas Pooran and Glenn Maxwell played knocks of 53 and 32 respectively as Kings XI Punjab defeated Delhi Capitals by five wickets on Tuesday here at the Dubai International Stadium. Punjab chased down the total of 165 with six balls to spare.
IPL 2020 League Stage Schedule| Points Table
With this win, KXIP has gone to the fifth position in the points table with 8 points from 10 matches while Delhi Capitals is still at the top of the table with 14 points from 10 matches.
“It was good that we did not take the match till the last over and got it done with six balls to spare. It’s a great thing for the entire team, we have got three wins in a row at the moment, feeling is great amongst the group. We are getting some momentum at the right time and hopefully we can stay into that kind of form,” said Maxwell in a video posted on the official Twitter handle of KXIP.

KXIP has now defeated Delhi Capitals, Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Mumbai Indians in their last three matches. KXIP had defeated Mumbai Indians in a double Super Over on Sunday.
“Shami, he is probably the best yorker bowler in the competition at the moment, the way he’s executing under pressure, we all saw the way he defended that Super Over last game against Mumbai,” said Maxwell.
“He has been exceptional for us, he kept it to a score that we all thought was maybe 10 or 15 below par so hats off to him. He has been outstanding for us,” he added.
Earlier, Shikhar Dhawan‘s unbeaten knock of 106 runs guided Delhi Capitals to 164/5 in the allotted 20 overs against KXIP. The left-handed Dhawan also became the first cricketer to score back to back centuries in IPL.
For Punjab, Mohammed Shami returned with the best figures as got conceded just 28 runs and took the wickets of Marcus Stoinis and Shimron Hetmyer.
Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) will next take on Sunrisers Hyderabad on October 24 at the Dubai International Stadium.



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Running faster, feeling fresher and not afraid to get out: Shikhar Dhawan on his purple patch | Cricket News

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DUBAI: In rampaging form, Delhi Capitals opener Shikhar Dawan says he is running faster, feeling fresher and has no fear of being dismissed this IPL season.
Dhawan has scored two consecutive IPL hundreds, the first to achieve the feat, and slammed two fifties as well, making it a season to remember for him so far. He struck a 61-ball 106 against Kings XI Punjab on Tuesday but the team lost the match by five wickets.
“I keep my mindset quite positive. Just look to score runs, and not think pitch is doing this or that. I play with courage. I am not afraid to get out,” he said dissecting his approach to batting after an unbeaten 101 against Chennai Super Kings in a match on October 17.
Check full IPL league stage schedule
“We were lucky we got so much time off so it allowed me to refresh myself both mentally and physically. I am running faster, feeling fresher.”
The start of the tournament wasn’t all that great for him but Dhawan said even when he wasn’t getting a big score, he was hitting the ball as well as one can.

IPL 2020: Dhawan's ton in vain as Punjab beat Delhi

IPL 2020: Dhawan’s ton in vain as Punjab beat Delhi

“I was hitting the ball well but I wasn’t converting those 20s into 50s. Once you do that, you take that confidence into the next game,” he said.
A third loss in the tournament didn’t really make a dent to the Shreyas Iyer-led side’s fortunes as it is still leading the eight-team standings with 14 points from 10 games.
“The boys have been playing well in other games. Today I had to take the responsibility on myself. It is good that I am scoring consistently so you carry it into the next games,” said Dhawan.
The senior India opener said the defeat to KXIP is a learning experience for the table-toppers going into the business end of the tournament.

“We are going to have a discussion and see where we can improve. Of course it is going to be a learning. This is not going to put us down. Just take our lessons, and come back stronger,” Dhawan said.
DC will next play Kolkata Knight Riders in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.


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Sydney could be Indian cricket team’s port of entry for quarantine and training: Report | Cricket News

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SYDNEY: Sydney and Canberra are emerging as potential venues to host India’s limited-over series against Australia during the upcoming tour starting next month.
The Indian team was initially supposed to land in Brisbane but apparently Queensland state health authorities won’t allow the visitors to train during the mandatory 14-day quarantine period.
According to a report in ESPNCricinfo, Sydney could emerge as Indian contingent’s port of entry and the city may allow them to train during their quarantine.
It is learnt that the SCG could be hosting four of the six white ball games (three T20 Internationals and three ODIs) while Canberra’s Manuka Oval hosting two games.
New South Wales state’s sports minister Stuart Ayres confirmed that they have received a request from Cricket Australia to allow the Indian as well as the Australian team to undergo its mandatory quarantine as well as training.
“Cricket Australia has approached the New South Wales government about quarantining the Indian cricket team and returning Australian cricketers in Sydney,” Ayres was quoted as saying by the cricket website.
“That proposal is currently being assessed by NSW authorities including health and police. Fixtures for the Indian tour will be determined by Cricket Australia and won’t impact our assessment of the quarantine proposal.”
If CA and the NSW state government are able to reach an agreement, a revised plan would then be submitted by Cricket Australia to the BCCI for approval.


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