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Quarantine rules in Australia, decision to send Rohit Sharma back to NCA in focus as time runs out for Tests | Cricket News

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NEW DELHI: After a month’s uncertainty over his fitness status, it has emerged Rohit Sharma may struggle to make it to Australia for the full Test series. Ishant Sharma too could miss out on the series. TOI had reported on Tuesday that the Indian team management is already looking to retain a player from the white-ball squad to cover for Rohit’s probable absence.
Rohit playing the IPL playoffs for Mumbai Indians and then not boarding the flight to Australia for the full tour raised a lot of eyebrows. The Indian cricket board (BCCI) claimed he will join the squad for the Test series that starts on Dec 17 and Rohit was advised to rehab along with Ishant at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru. The NCA now reckons that the duo will need at least three weeks to be Test-match fit. The entire Rohit saga points towards a lack of communication.

The major challenge currently facing Rohit and the Indian team management is the quarantine rules in Australia. Since both Ishant and Rohit will have to take commercial flights to Australia, they will have to undergo a strict two-week quarantine in their hotel rooms. Unlike the Indian team, which reached Australia in a bubble from Dubai, the duo will not be allowed to even train. This could also mean that the duo may even miss the entire series.

The question that has cropped up now is if the board was aware of the government protocols in Australia, why was Rohit sent back to India from Dubai? Things become all the more confusing since the team management decided to carry Wriddhiman Saha who had missed the business end of the IPL because of injured hamstrings.
Even if Rohit and Ishant were undergoing rehab at NCA, was it not possible to send both the players to Australia and let Team India physio Nitin Patel look after them there? It may be recalled that BCCI had stated on Nov 9 that Rohit’s addition to the Test squad was done after consulting with Rohit.

BCCI, it may be noted, boasts of a professional set-up which includes top professionals at NCA, Team India support staff and an experienced operations team. The NCA, under Rahul Dravid, is very clear that it will not declare any player fit for international cricket unless he clears all the mandatory tests. Ishant’s breakdown after the first Test in New Zealand has already made the team management very cautious about the veteran fast bowler.


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Chris Wood strikes late as Burnley fight back to sink Aston Villa | Football News

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BURNLEY: Chris Wood grabbed a 79th-minute winner as Burnley came from behind to beat Aston Villa 3-2 at Turf Moor in the Premier League on Wednesday.
Ollie Watkins put Villa ahead in the 14th minute with a deft finish to turn in a low cross from Matt Targett and Dean Smith’s side could have gone in it at the break with a more handsome lead had it not been for fine saves by Burnley keeper Nick Pope.
Burnley skipper Ben Mee put the Clarets level after the interval with a thundering header at the back post from an Ashley Westwood cross.
The outstanding Jack Grealish restored the visitor’s advantage, though, in the 68th minute with a smart finish after a clever exchange with Douglas Luiz.
But Burnley, who ended Liverpool’s 68-match unbeaten home run last week, fought back again as Dwight McNeil made it 2-2 with a low cross-shot from the left which went through a crowded area into the bottom corner.
Winger McNeil turned provider in the 79th minute, whipping in a cross from the left flank which Wood met with a perfectly angled header.
Burnley, 15th in the table, moved on to 22 points and Villa dropped to 10th on 29.


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In a first, India to clash with India A in England before Test series

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In an unprecedented build-up schedule for an overseas Test series, India will take on India A in a four-day practice match when the two sides travel to England later this year.

The game will be played at the County Ground in Northamptonshire in July later this year. The exact dates of the match will be unveiled later.

The India cricket team is scheduled to tour England in August and September to play five Test matches, beginning with the opening game at Nottingham on August 4.

“Some of the world’s finest international cricketers will be on show at The County Ground this summer as we welcome India and India A,” Northamptonshire County Cricket Club said in a statement late on Wednesday.

“Ahead of India’s five test series against England in August, Virat Kohli‘s Indian side take on India A in a four-day warmup fixture that promises to be a showcase of high-quality cricket.”

The second warm-up match is scheduled in Leicestershire on July 28.

“The Indian tour party will then travel to Leicestershire the following week for a second warmup fixture beginning the 28th of July,” the statement said.

The second (August 12-16) and fourth Tests (September 2-6) will be held in London, while the third (August 25-29) and fifth (September 10-14) Tests are scheduled in Leeds and Manchester.

England is currently in India to play four Tests, beginning in Chennai on February 5.

It will be followed by five T20Is and three ODIs.



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Chelsea start Thomas Tuchel era with 0-0 draw against Wolves | Football News

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LONDON: Thomas Tuchel was unable to spark an immediate improvement at troubled Chelsea as Wolves held on for a 0-0 draw in the German’s first match in charge of the Blues on Wednesday.
Tuchel’s side delivered a laboured display that bore many of the hallmarks of the dismal defeats that prompted Frank Lampard‘s sacking on Monday.
Chelsea controlled possession but could not find enough rhythm to break down stubborn Wolves at a rain-lashed Stamford Bridge.

It was an inauspicious start to the Tuchel era in west London, but the former Paris Saint-Germain and Borussia Dortmund boss will believe he can reverse Chelsea’s fortunes given time.
Chelsea have won just two of their last nine league matches and sit in eighth place, five points adrift of the top four.
Tuchel only took training with Chelsea’s players for the first time on Tuesday evening after being appointed earlier in the day.
The 47-year-old has signed an 18-month contract to become the 11th full-time manager appointed by Roman Abramovich since he bought Chelsea in 2003.

Whether he lasts the duration of that deal — Lampard only just made it to 18 months in charge — remains to be seen.
There is no doubting the size of the task facing Tuchel, who was sacked by PSG in December after losing a power struggle with the French club’s sporting director Leonardo.
Describing his last 48 hours as “surreal”, Tuchel said he wanted to install a “winning mentality” to banish the tension currently engulfing Chelsea because they “are not in the place they should be”.
All eyes were on Tuchel’s first team-sheet and he made four changes from Lampard’s last Premier League game at Leicester.
His first eye-catching decision was to leave out midfielder Mason Mount, who was one of Lampard’s favourites.
Tuchel admitted he had opted for experience over youth as Jorginho, Olivier Giroud, Hakim Ziyech and Cesar Azpilicueta came in for Mount, Tammy Abraham, Reece James and Christian Pulisic.

Germany’s Antonio Rudiger, who reportedly had a fractious relationship with Lampard, started at centre-back, but his compatriot Timo Werner was among the substitutes after 11 league games without a goal.
Wrapped up in a thick Chelsea puffa jacket, Tuchel took his place on the bench while a Supporters Group banner reading ‘In Frank We Trust, Then, Now and Forever’ hung from the empty Shed End.
It was reported the banner, first used for Lampard’s final match against Luton, would be taken down after Wolves’ visit.
With no fans allowed in due to the pandemic, there was no danger of any negative reaction to Tuchel stepping into the legendary Lampard’s shoes.
It was not long before Tuchel’s notoriously intense personality started to show as he waved his arms in frustration when Giroud failed to reach Callum Hudson-Odoi’s cross in the opening moments.
Using three centre-backs in a 3-4-2-1 formation very different to Lampard’s approach, Tuchel deployed Hudson-Odoi and Ben Chilwell as wing-backs.
The new-look Chelsea had plenty of possession but, as was often the case under Lampard, they lacked a cutting edge.
Tuchel sprang to his feet to bark orders from the touchline as Chelsea struggled to break down the well-drilled Wolves defence.
Chelsea made 433 successful passes in the first half — their most in the opening period of a Premier League game since 2003-04.
But they were too ponderous to take advantage of that territorial dominance and it was a similar story after the interval.
Wolves nearly caught Tuchel’s men with a sucker punch as Pedro Neto ran onto Daniel Podence’s flick and raced into the Chelsea area before clipping a shot over Edouard Mendy and onto the crossbar.
Mount’s introduction in the closing stages gave Chelsea some momentum and the midfielder teed up Hudson-Odoi to test Rui Patricio.
If Lampard could bring himself to watch, he would have had a wry smile as Mount nearly won it in the final moments with a powerful effort turned away by Patricio.



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