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



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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From PM to Pichai, a standing ovation for India’s ‘wounded warriors’ who breached Brisbane fortress




New Delhi: “Every session we discovered a new hero,” Sachin Tendulkar put it aptly as an injury-ravaged India’s come-from-behind triumph over Australia earned them unbridled appreciation from the cricket fraternity as well as several other notable personalities.

Despite losing key players to injury, India chased down a mammoth 328 in the fourth and final Test, ending Australia’s 32-year unbeaten run at Brisbane to clinch the series 2-1 and retain the Border-Gavaskar trophy.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was one of the first to congratulate the team, complimenting it for its passion and energy.

“We are all overjoyed at the success of the Indian Cricket Team in Australia. Their remarkable energy and passion was visible throughout. So was their stellar intent, remarkable grit and determination. Congratulations to the team! Best wishes for your future endeavours,” he tweeted.

Tendulkar lauded the fact that every member of the team took responsibility to take the side across the line at some point during the series.
“Every time we got hit, we stayed put & stood taller. We pushed boundaries of belief to play fearless but not careless cricket. Injuries & uncertainties were countered with poise & confidence. One of the greatest series wins! Congrats India,” he said.

Regular skipper Virat Kohli, who is on paternity leave, was delighted by the team’s grit and determination after the Adelaide humiliation. he had famously asked everyone not make a mountain out of a molehill after the side was dismissed for its lowest Test score of 36 in the opening match, which it lost.

“WHAT A WIN!!! Yessssss. To everyone who doubted us after Adelaide, stand up and take notice. Exemplary performance but the grit and determination was the standout for us the whole way. Well done to all the boys and the management. Enjoy this historic feat lads. @BCCI.

Current and former players also praised the team for pulling off a win despite facing several adversities.

Here is a look at the reactions that followed the extraordinary triumph that wil be remembered for years to come:

VVS Laxman:@ajinkyarahane88 led the side brilliantly, giving a lot of confidence to youngsters and Pujara exhibited his steely resolve once again. Can’t forget the young bowling unit. Fantastic team AUSvsIND.”

Virender Sehwag: Khushi ke maare pagal. This is the new India. Ghar mein ghuskar maarta hai. From what happened in Adelaide to this, these young guys have given us a joy of a lifetime. There have been World Cup wins but this is special. And yes,there is a reason Pant is extra special .

Ishant Sharma: The champions & the greatest chase!Raising hands #TeamIndia has proved it again by team efforts, great character, courage & max determination! Despite the bruises, the team made it possible for our country. That’s why we play for the country’s flag to go high every time we perfomFlag of India#INDvAUS

Mohammed Shami: Congratulations Team india well done boys great effort #TeamIndia

Shikhar Dhawan: Congratulations #TeamIndia Flag of India Absolute superstars all of you Clapping hands signClapping hands sign A proud and historic moment for Indian cricket! Battered, bruised, but champions as well Trophy.

Shreyas Iyer: WHAT A TEAM!! CHAMPIONS Trophy Historic moment, historic day, historic series! Proud of the team, proud of the effort Clapping hands sign Take a bow, #TeamIndia Flag of India @BCCI.

Harbhajan Singh: Well done captain @ajinkyarahane88 this this biggest series win I feel.. without many big names you guys have showed the way how it’s done congratulations @BCCI

Stuart Broad: Test cricket’s heart is beating strongly! That was an extraordinary win @BCCI & a fantastic series to watch. Aussies not lost at The Gabba since 1988. Wow

AB de Villiers: What a Test match! The depth of Indian Cricket is scary. @RishabhPant17 , sweet number 17. Well played young man. #testcricket at its very best

Kevin Pieterson: Only issue with India beating Australia in such an INCREDIBLE manner, is that the Test was played in Brisbane. A city that doesn’t deserve an event so good! Rolling on the floor laughing. Pant – the boy who turned into a man today in Australia, in cricketing terms!

Michael Vaughan: The Greatest Test series win of all time … Well done #India you have just shown the way for England to get back those Ashes back later in the year … Thumbs up

Ian Bishop: Remarkable. Injuries galore, absent players, & beating Australia at their fortress at the Gabba. This has been the most remarkable test series victory I’ve watched in my experience. India’s depth of talent, heart and character must forever lift an entire nation. Congratulations.

Shane Warne: Congrats to the Indian cricket team @BCCI That’s one of the best series wins I can ever remember on Aust soil & to do it after being bowled out for 36, plus a depleted squad-shows tremendous character, resilience, courage & belief. Just fantastic @RaviShastriOfc @ajinkyarahane88.

Mithali Raj: Speechless !!! Fortress Gabba has been breached !! What a great great game of Test match cricket . I still have goosebumps . Complete team effort . Jab hausle ho Buland toh har mushkil lage aasaan ! #TeamIndia Flag of India #Merabharatmahaan

Anirban Lahiri: That ….. was …… incredible!!!!! Feel like the child I was who lived and died with every ball Cricket bat and ball #goindia

Mahesh Bhupathi: Congrats Team India. This is one of the greatest upsets of all time. Winning the series at the Gabba. #goosebumps #thereisnoiinteam #fortress @ajinkyarahane88

Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju: Congratulations to #TeamIndia Flag of India for the historic victory and retaining the Border-Gavaskar trophy Trophy We are proud of your excellent performance and the grit & determination displayed by our young players.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai: One of the greatest test series wins ever. Congrats India and well played Australia, what a series #INDvsAUS.

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India climbs to top of World Test Championship standings after series win over Australia




DUBAI: The stunning three-wicket victory over Australia at the Gabba, that resulted in a phenomenal series win, propelled India to the top of ICC World Test Championship standings on Tuesday.

The victory Down Under handed India 430 points, putting it ahead of New Zealand (420) and Australia (332).

“After the hard-fought win at The Gabba, India move to the No.1 spot in ICC World Test Championship standings. Australia slip to No.3,” the ICC tweeted.

India have played 13 matches in five series, winning nine and losing three Tests. The team has got 71.1% of the total possible points.

England and South Africa are at the fourth and fifth spots respectively in the standings, updated after the fourth Test at the Gabba here.

India also replaced Australia at number two in the ICC Test Team Rankings after the Test series triumph.

New Zealand is on top with 118.44 rating points, ahead of India (117.65) and Australia (113).

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Pant breaks Dhoni’s record, becomes fastest Indian wicket-keeper to 1000 Test runs | Cricket News




BRISBANE (Australia): Rishabh Pant on Tuesday not only won India the final Test of the series at The Gabba, but completed 1,000 runs in the longest format of the game. He became the fastest Indian wicket-keeper to reach the milestone.
The wicket-keeper batsman surpassed former skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni to become the quickest Indian glovesman to 1,000 Test runs. Dhoni had taken 32 innings to complete 1,000 runs in the longest format while Pant achieved the feat in only 27 innings. Last week, Pant became the youngest wicket-keeper to score fifty-plus runs in the fourth innings of a Test match in Australia during the Sydney game.

Rishabh ‘nerves of steel’ Pant will be forgiven for all the mistakes he has made through the series with wicket-keeping gloves in hand as each of the 89 runs that he scored in the final hour on Tuesday was worth its weight in gold. It was only poetic justice that he hit a boundary to win India a thriller.
The last time a visiting team came out triumphant from the Brisbane Cricket Ground was back in November 1988 when the mighty West Indian outfit under the leadership of Viv Richards thrashed Allan Border’s team by 9 wickets. What makes the feat even more commendable is how the Indians fought multiple injuries and mental fatigue – due to the bio-bubble restrictions — to register a historic win.

Having already lost Ravindra Jadeja and Hanuma Vihari going into the final Test, Jasprit Bumrah and R Ashwin too couldn’t get match-fit and that saw India field a bowling attack that was led by a two-Test old Mohammed Siraj. But the lion-hearted pacer rose through the ashes like a phoenix to show he belongs at the highest level.

Coming back to the final day’s action, needing 69 to win going into the last hour, any other team might have thought of ensuring a draw first. But not this Indian team which is filled with youngsters who believe in backing themselves till the fat lady sings. With swashbuckling Rishabh Pant at the crease, Australia skipper Tim Paine had no option but to keep the field open with men at the boundary. The wicket-keeper did take a few chances, but luck was smiling bright and sunny on him and he made hay.

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