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Steve Smith’s return ‘big headache’ for India: Glenn Maxwell | Cricket News

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NEW DELHI: Steve Smith‘s return is a big plus for Australia and a “big headache” for Team India, feels Australia batsman Glenn Maxwell ahead of the blockbuster clash which begins next week.
Smith, along with David Warner, was not part of the 2018-19 series against India when Virat Kohli‘s men won the Test and the ODI series Down Under. The three-match T20I series was tied 1-1 as one of the matches was washed out.
However, both Smith and Warner are part of all the three squads which will take on India in the much-anticipated fixtures beginning November 27. Smith was not part of Australia’s last ODI series in England because of the concussion he suffered during a net session.

“To have someone like Steve Smith coming back to our side, it is going to be a big plus for us, a big headache for India. Smith has always scored runs against them,” Maxwell said during a select media interaction organised by series official broadcasters Sony.
While Australia are slated to have both their star performers for all 10 matches against India, the visitors will be without their star opener Rohit Sharma in the limited-overs leg of the tour.
Rohit is recuperating from a hamstring injury sustained during the Indian Premier League and is slated to join the Indian team for the Test series. In his absence, KL Rahul will serve as Virat Kohli’s deputy in the three ODIs and three T20Is.

Maxwell feels Rohit’s absence is a big “positive” for the hosts. “He (Rohit) is a class performer, so consistent as an opening batsman with a couple of (three) double hundreds. So anytime he is not in the line-up against you, it is a positive,” Maxwell said.
However, he also says that Rahul is as good a back-up as any team can wish for.
“But in saying that, India have still got back-ups, more than capable of playing that role. We saw KL Rahul, the performance that he put on during the last IPL was extraordinary. Whether he opens the batting or not, I am sure he will be just as good a player,” he said.
In Rohit’s absence, it is likely that Mayank Agarwal will open the innings alongside Shikhar Dhawan while Rahul, who will also be performing the wicket-keeping duties, is expected to bat middle-order.

“Well, I would say they (Mayank-Rahul) are the two lovely guys I have ever met. It was a pleasure to spend the change room (with them), two very good players, they score all-round the wicket and have got very limited weaknesses,” Maxwell, who spent time with Mayank and Rahul at the Kings XI Punjab, said.
“I suppose ODI cricket might be a bit different (compared T20). Hopefully, with our bowling attack, we can put some pressure on them and with bounce in the pitches and bigger grounds as well, they play into our hands. They are good performers, and good players,” he added.
Maxwell believes Mohammed Shami’s skills as both a “new ball and old ball” bowler will be a key for India. “A guy like Mohammed Shami, whom I have played with in the recent IPL and played with him in Delhi, as well. (I) saw the skill that he has.
“He has got good skills at the end (death overs) as well as with the new ball. His ability to get moving on pitches will be a key to them,” said Maxwell.


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Babar Azam appointed captain for all three formats and for a long time: PCB chief executive | Cricket News

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KARACHI: A top official of the Pakistan Cricket Board has made it clear that Babar Azam has been appointed captain for all three formats on a long-term basis.
“I can assure you that until Ehsan Mani and myself are in the Pakistan board Babar will remain captain.
“We have appointed him captain because he is our best batsman, young and mentally very strong and he himself wanted to take on the responsibility for all three formats,” PCB chief executive officer Wasim Khan said in an interview.

When the PCB official was reminded about the constant changing and chopping in Pakistan cricket, he insisted that Babar was there to stay for a long time.
“We felt that he is our best choice because he has a good future, he is our best batsman and getting better every day and we have found him to be mentally very strong when we first tested him as captain in the white ball formats.
“That’s why when the time came we felt that Azhar Ali had done his best but now was the time to start grooming Babar and make him test captain as well,” Khan said.
He said the chairman Mani had held a discussion with Babar and later on decided he was ready for the job.
“Babar himself showed keen interest in becoming Test captain and assured us he could handle the pressures and it would not affect his batting,” Khan added.


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Uncertainty prevails over T20 World Cup in India due to COVID-19, could be shifted to UAE: PCB | Cricket News

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KARACHI: Pakistan Cricket Board CEO Wasim Khan feels next year’s ICC T20 World Cup could be shifted to the UAE as “some element of uncertainty” still remains over whether India would be in a position to host the event because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“There is still some uncertainty over the World T20 being held in India…yes because of the Covid situation there. It could be in the UAE,” Khan said in an interview to the Cricket Baaz YouTube channel.
Reminding that India had planned to host a home series against England and also the IPL in the first quarter of 2021, Khan said a clear picture would come only by April.
The ICC has awarded the 2021 World T20 to India and Australia will now host the 2022 edition with the 50-over World Cup also scheduled to be held in India in 2023.
Khan also reiterated that the PCB was waiting for a written confirmation from the ICC and BCCI by January on issuance of visas to the Pakistan squad for the World T20 in India.
“Yes Mani Sahab (PCB chief Ehsan Mani) has written to them and requested them that given the state of relations between India and Pakistan, it would be best if the ICC and BCCI gives a written assurance about the visas being issued to us,” Khan said.
He also disclosed that an online meeting of the Asian Cricket Council last week had tentatively set June as the time to host the postponed Asia Cup in Sri Lanka but the dates could be rescheduled if required.
“The next Asia Cup will be hosted in Sri Lanka in June and we have got hosting rights now for the 2022 Asia Cup,” he said.
Khan said that although bilateral series with India is still a distant reality because of the border tensions between the two countries, it is ICC’s responsibility to guarantee participation off all nations in any world event.
“But yes bilateral relations are not ideal and that is why we have also asked for the assurances for next year’s World Cup,” he said.
But the PCB CEO hoped that in future the situation could change as far as cricket relations are concerned between Indian and Pakistan.


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Babar Azam appointed captain for all three formats and for a long time: PCB chief executive

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KARACHI: A top official of the Pakistan Cricket Board has made it clear that Babar Azam has been appointed captain for all three formats on a long-term basis.

“I can assure you that until Ehsan Mani and myself are in the Pakistan board Babar will remain captain.

“We have appointed him captain because he is our best batsman, young and mentally very strong and he himself wanted to take on the responsibility for all three formats,” PCB chief executive officer Wasim Khan said in an interview.

When the PCB official was reminded about the constant changing and chopping in Pakistan cricket, he insisted that Babar was there to stay for a long time.

“We felt that he is our best choice because he has a good future, he is our best batsman and getting better every day and we have found him to be mentally very strong when we first tested him as captain in the white ball formats.

“That’s why when the time came we felt that Azhar Ali had done his best but now was the time to start grooming Babar and make him test captain as well,” Khan said.

He said the chairman Mani had held a discussion with Babar and later on decided he was ready for the job.

“Babar himself showed keen interest in becoming Test captain and assured us he could handle the pressures and it would not affect his batting,” Khan added.



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