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Keeping Virat Kohli quiet key to success against India, feels Pat Cummins | Cricket News

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SYDNEY: Australia speedster Pat Cummins expectedly considers Virat Kohli the “big” wicket he would target in the upcoming series against India and said that keeping the visiting captain quiet would be crucial to the home team’s chances.
The Indian cricket team is currently in Australia for a full series that includes three ODIs and as many T20 Internationals followed by a four-Test rubber. The tour will start with the ODIs here on November 27.
“I think every side has that one or two batters and they are the big wickets. Most teams have their captain — Joe Root for England, Kane Williamson for New Zealand. You feel like if you get their wickets that goes a long way in winning the game,” Cummins told ‘Fox Cricket’.

“He (Kohli) is always a big one. You commentators talk about him non-stop, so hopefully, we can keep him quiet,” he added.
Cummins, who has been named in both the white and red-ball squads as vice-captain, is one of the 11 Australian players currently quarantining here after returning from the UAE where he played for Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL.
Their quarantine period will end on the eve of the opening ODI against India at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
“It’s good to be back here in Sydney. Obviously, we are locked down but we are let out for couple of hours a day.
“We’ve been in the middle of it (cricket in bio-secure bubbles) for three or four months now so we’re starting to get used to it,” he said.
“But it will be weird — we get out Thursday night and then we will go and join the boys at a hotel but there’s a good chance we won’t see them until we literally turn up to the SCG on Friday.”
Cummins said Australia is well prepared to give India a tough fight in the series.
“It’s going to be huge. Obviously, we’re back here on home soil. other than spending a lot of times in hotels and bubbles I feel like our preparation has actually been really good.
“We went over to the UK and had a good tour there. Most of the boys here have been playing 14 T20 matches in the last few weeks and the other guys coming in will be playing shrewd cricket. So, it feels like we are all firing up and got a lot of stuff behind us,” he said.
The imposing pacer said that over the last couple of years, he has developed as a bowler.
“I was probably a bit quicker a few years ago but I feel like in the last couple of years I got better, learning different tempos within the game and also when I am bowling. I feel I got a bit more control on swing and seam,” Cummins said.
“Whatever conditions we come up with, I have got a couple of tools I can go to.”



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Afridi misses flight to Sri Lanka, set to miss his team’s first two LPL matches | Cricket News

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LAHORE: Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afrifdi on Monday missed his flight to Sri Lanka and will be unavailable for at least the first two matches of his franchise Galle Gladiators in the inaugural Lanka Premier League.
The former Pakistan captain tweeted about the same, adding to the agony of the tournament organisers after a spate of heavyweight pullouts.
“Missed my flight to Colombo today morning. Nothing to worry, I’ll be reaching soon to take part in the LPL for Galle Gladiators. Look forward to joining my teammates,” Afridi wrote on his twitter handle.

Galle Gladiators will play their first match on November 27 against Jaffna Stallions, a day after the inaugural season opener between Kandy Tuskers and Colombo Kings.
The Gladiators play their second and third matches on November 28 and 30 respectively.
Afridi was named the captain of Galle Gladiators after Sri Lanka pacer Lasith Malinga and Pakistan wicketkeeper-batsman Sarfaraz Ahmed made themselves unavailable due to lack of preparation and national commitments respectively.
In the absence of Afridi, vice-captain Bhanuka Rajapaksa could lead the Gladiators in the first few matches.
The 40-year-old Afridi is heading to the LPL after having played two matches for Multan Sultans in the Pakistan Super League play-offs earlier this month, where he picked up three wickets in two matches.
Once Afridi arrives in Sri Lanka, he will have to undergo a three-day isolated quarantine before entering the tournament’s bio-secure bubble.
LPL’s inaugural season will begin this week despite star players such as Chris Gayle, Malinga and Liam Plunkett pulling out of the tournament.
In the tournament, five franchisees named after Colombo, Kandy, Galle, Dambulla and Jaffna will compete across 23 matches.



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Milan’s Ibrahimovic out of action for two weeks | Football News

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AC Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic will be out of action for at least ten days after picking up a muscle injury in the 3-1 league win against Napoli at the weekend, the Serie A club said on Monday.
The 39-year-old scored twice before suffering the injury as the Serie A leaders recorded their first league win in Naples for more than 10 years.
A club spokesperson said it could take between two and three weeks for Ibrahimovic to recover.
The Swedish striker, who has scored 10 goals in six league games this season, will likely miss Europa League matches against the French side and Group H leaders Lille and Scotland’s Celtic on Thursday and on Dec. 3, respectively.

Ibrahimovic could also miss the final group game against Sparta Prague. Milan are second in Group H with two wins out of three matches.
The Serie A leaders have 20 points after eight league games and face 15th-placed Fiorentina on Sunday.



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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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