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India should embrace, rather than fear D/N Test: Jason Gillespie | Cricket News

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MUMBAI: Like all cricket fans from both countries, former Australia fast bowler Jason Gillespie too can’t wait for the India-Australia series to kick off Down Under this winter. The much-anticipated four-Test contest begins with a day/night game at Adelaide from December 17.
It will be the first time India, who were initially reluctant to play a Test under lights for a long time, will play a day/night Test overseas. They thrashed Bangladesh in their maiden D/N Test at Kolkata last year, but facing the Australia seamers on a seaming Adelaide pitch under lights is likely to be different kettle of fish.

Gillespie feels that India should embrace the day/night pink ball game, instead of fearing it. “What makes Australia slight favourites is the home ground advantage as much as anything. India shouldn’t fear the day/night game. They should embrace it and just come with an open mind,” Gillespie told TOI on Monday.
“At the end of the day, it is a game of cricket and the game doesn’t change. It’s just the fact that it’s a different colour ball and it will be played at night for a couple of hours. So it’s not a huge change. Yes, around (the time) when the artificial light takes over from the natural light, it can be a little bit tricky for batsmen and fielders, but other than that, I think Indian players have played enough cricket all around the world.”
With the Covid situation improving in Australia, Gillespie, who recently quit as Sussex coach and is now a coach with the Adelaide Strikers in the Big Bash League and South Australia in the Sheffield Shield, expects crowds at the stadiums during the big-ticket series. “I think we will get some crowds for the Test series. I don’t know how big they are going to be, but I’m still hopeful on that,” said the 45-year-old.
‘Dizzy’ is a huge admirer of pace aces Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami. “They’ve been two quality bowlers for India for a little while now. I really enjoy watching them bowl. Bumrah, he’s a big, tall man and he bowls from a real height, gets that really good bounce, can swing and seam the ball. I think he’s a lot quicker than maybe the speed gun suggests. He appears to hit the bat a lot harder than the batsmen almost expect. Shami gets the ball to swing and seam, land on the pitch and gets a lot of movement both ways off the wicket. He creates a lot of issues for batsmen,” Gillespie said.
He cautioned the Indian fast bowlers against getting carried away on the bouncy wickets in Australia and resorting to bowling too short. “Sometimes, with the bounce and carry on Australian surfaces, bowlers can get caught bowling a little bit short. The key is going to be how the pacers adjust their length from Indian to Australian conditions. It seems to me that’s what takes a while for Indian seamers to do, and basically all the seam bowlers who come to Australia, particularly from the subcontinent,” he explained.
So, whom does he rate as the better fast bowler in world cricket, Bumrah or Jofra Archer, whom, he’s coached at Sussex? “Look, you’re comparing completely different types of bowlers. It’s hard to split them. I’d probably cheekily throw in an Australian somewhere in the (list) as well! We just need to celebrate the fact that they’re just wonderful bowlers and they bring different skills to the table.
“As I said, I’m a cricket tragic, and I love watching fast bowlers. What Bumrah brings to the table is that he offers Virat Kohli so much. He can attack, he can be a defensive bowler. If Virat needs a wicket, he can throw the ball to Bumrah and something seems to happen,” said Gillespie.
“We’ve seen Archer perform well for the Rajasthan Royals in the IPL. It’s still very early in his career for England and he’s been entrusted with some tough situations like bowling the final over in the World Cup last year. So, he’s been trusted by his captain to bowl those difficult periods and he’s only going to be better for that,” he summed up.


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Andy Murray backs compulsory vaccine programme for tennis tournaments | Tennis News

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LONDON: Andy Murray said Tuesday that tennis players should be required to have a coronavirus vaccination before they are allowed to take part in tournaments.
With the 2021 tennis schedule facing inevitable issues with the Covid-19 pandemic, three-time Grand Slam winner Murray hopes the long-awaited vaccine will be available by the spring and that a compulsory programme is rolled out within tennis.
“I think that probably should be the case. I would hope that all the players would be willing to do that for the good of the sport — providing everything has proved to be safe, clinical trials and everything have been done and there are not any significant side-effects,” Murray said.
World number one Novak Djokovic generated headlines earlier this year for anti-vaccination comments.
He later said that he was not against vaccinations but did not like the idea of being forced to have one.
Murray admitted it would difficult to force players to take a vaccine, but he hopes common sense prevails.
“I guess it would be difficult. I also read a few weeks after he’d said he (Djokovic) wouldn’t be keen on doing that, if it was something that had to be done for him to play the sport, he would,” Murray said.
“So I guess we’ll have to wait and see what the ATP and the ITF (International Tennis Federation) decide their position is going to be on that. But I’m confident that players would be into it if it meant the tour going back to normality.”
Strict quarantine rules in Australia have cast doubt on the viability of the Australian Open, with players not able to arrive in the country until the end of December at the earliest and then required to quarantine for two weeks.
Discussions are ongoing over whether they will be able to train or compete during quarantine, and Murray is anticipating that the tournament will be pushed back from its planned start date of January 18.
“It’s obviously tricky for the players. Originally, we planned to go on the 12th or the 13th of December to arrive around the 15th,” Murray said.
“Then that changed and the latest I’ve heard is that they’ve planned to push it back a couple of weeks. I think that would be the best-case scenario now.”


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Have great respect for Indian bowlers but our batsmen have seen them a lot: Justin Langer | Cricket News

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SYDNEY: Australia coach Justin Langer on Wednesday said he has great respect for the formidable Indian bowling line-up but his team’s batsmen have become familiar enough with their tactics to be ready for the challenge they will throw up in the upcoming series.
India and Australia will clash in a full series, starting with the limited-overs leg, from November 27 here. Langer said the contest would likely be an exciting one thanks to the two teams being evenly-matched.
“Well, we know Jasprit Bumrah, world-class bowler, (Mohammed) Shami, really good opening combination. We have great respect for that and guys have seen a fair bit of them, through the IPL and the last couple of summers,” Langer said in a virtual media conference facilitated by the series’ official broadcasters Sony.
“We have played 14 ODIs against India in the last few years and it’s seven all,” he added.
India are touring Australia with a lethal bowling attack, led by pace-spearhead Jasprit Bumrah, and comprising Mohammed Shami, Navdeep Saini and Shardul Thakur.
The spin department features Yuzvendra Chahal along with Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja.
Langer said the Australians would be ready for the challenge.
“…our guys have seen a lot of each other and that’s what I love about the contest, you see which teams are growing, which players are growing. We have played a bit against each other now.
“So, we have great respect, great respect for their spinners, great respect for Bumrah, Shami, their other bowlers (Navdeep) Saini.
“Our guys know they are going to be on their toes all the time in all forms of the game against the Indian bowling attack. But they are working hard, they have seen a bit now and they will be ready for it,” the 50-year-old asserted.
Langer sidestepped queries on India missing star opener Rohit Sharma and pacer Ishant Sharma due to injury, saying that it was not his concern.
Rohit and Ishant, who suffered injuries during the IPL, are in danger of missing the Test series.
“It is not our business, we have our own challenges, we will come together for the first time as a group on the morning of the game, so it’s up to India who they choose,” he said.
“We have literally zero control (over it). One thing I have learnt through the COVID-19 period is that if you get caught up in things you cannot control, then you literally go crazy.
“One thing, we have zero control or say is in who India picks, they can pick whoever they want, we have our own challenges, so India whoever they put out on the park, we will be ready to take them on,” he added.
The coach took pride in the bowling resources of his team, describing them as great.
“We’ve got great depth, we showed it throughout the Ashes series. We managed our bowlers according to different conditions and how they were feeling,” he said.
“We’ve got Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood. We’ve got James Pattinson, Sean Abbott and Michael Neser knocking so hard…we’re really confident we can cover whatever the scenarios are…I’m really comfortable and confident in that. It’s one of our competitive advantages,” he said.
He also made it clear that Steve Smith, who missed the ODI series against England due to a concussion, would make the playing XI for the series.
“Obviously Steve (Smith) will come straight back in and there are some headaches but they’re good headaches. There’s a lot of talk about selection, they give you a few headaches, but I promise they’re really good headaches to have,” he quipped.
According to Langer, the upcoming series will be a cause of joy to people of both the countries during the tough circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’ll be relieved when we hopefully get through the whole summer. I know there are some people who are working round the clock to ensure this series goes on.
“It’s important not only for the economic health of the game in Australia but also for a lot of people around the world. I know in India, at the moment, COVID has had a real impact,” he said.
“Hopefully it will put some smiles on people’s faces – that’s the bigger picture we’re looking at as well,” he added.
The series, comprising three ODIs, as many T20 Internationals and four Tests, will be aired on Sony Ten 1, Sony Ten 3 and Sony Six channels.


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Waqar Younis expects tight contest between India and Australia | Cricket News

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KARACHI: A rapidly grown pace battery and presence of impressive Test performers in the Indian side and comeback of David Warner and Steve Smith in the Australian camp will make it a hotly-contested series between the two nations, says Pakistani great Waqar Younis.
India’s Australia challenge will begin on Friday with the first ODI in Sydney.
Waqar said Australia will come hard at India as they must be still hurting from the defeat in the 2018 Test series at home.
“Australia are playing at home and have developed a good pace attack and with David Warner and Steve Smith back they appear to be very strong but India also has some good pace bowlers who have come up rapidly and they bowled well on their last tour to Australia,” Waqar told a YouTube channel.
“The Indian batting is also pretty impressive with some notable test performers like Pujara and Rahane so I expect good contests.”
But the former captain has no doubt that the absence of Virat Kohli after the first Test in Adelaide and Rohit Sharma and Ishant Sharma missing at least the first two matches will make difference to Indian chances of winning the series.
Kohli will be on paternity leave after the Adelaide Test while Rohit and Ishant are yet to recover from their respective injuries and will join only after the second Test of the four-match rubber.
“Rohit is a top act while Ishant has a lot of experience and wickets behind him and they can’t make it for the Test matches, India will feel their absence,” he said.


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