Live Cricket Blog: India reduce England to 285-9 in opening day of Edgbaston Test

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Hello, Brendon Netto and the Sport360 team are in place to provide you with the latest news, comment and analysis on all things cricket.

Our daily blog will ensure you have all the latest updates throughout your day and week but we want you to get involved, too.

Tell us your thoughts on what’s happening by tweeting @Sport360.

10:00pm – South Africa beat Sri Lanka to take 2-0 lead in ODI series

South Africa notched up a four-wicket win in the second ODI against Sri Lanka at Dambulla on Wednesday to take a 2-0 lead in the five-match series. Chasing 245 for victory, the Proteas rode on a fine 87 by Quinton de Kock to notch up the win.

Read more about the match in our report.

Quinton de Kock top-scored for South Africa with 87.

Quinton de Kock top-scored for South Africa with 87.

9:30pm – India reduce England to 285-9 in opening day of Edgbaston Test

The opening day in the first Test between England and India has drawn to a close with the visitors taking the bragging rights. The hosts were were reduced to 285-9 before stumps were drawn at Birmingham. Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin was the the pick of India bowlers with figures of 4-60.

Check out the scorecard from the first day here. There were plenty of talking points from the opening day’s play at Birmingham. Meanwhile, Mohammed Shami was the most impressive pacer for India. Read our in-depth analysis on Shami’s performance here.

Root was run-out for 80 after a direct hit from Virat Kohli.

Root was run-out for 80 after a direct hit from Virat Kohli.

8:30pm – Virat Kohli mocks Joe Root’s ‘mic drop’ celebrations

At the Birmingham Test, India skipper Virat Kohli has given his England counterpart a taste of his own medicine. Joe Root had celebrated his match-winning ton in the ODI series decider with a ‘mic drop’ celebration. That pose was mimicked by Kohli on Wednesday after he ran-out the England skipper with a direct hit.

Watch Kohli do his best Root impression here.

Kohli ran-out Root with a direct-hit at Edgbaston.

Kohli ran-out Root with a direct-hit at Edgbaston.

7:00pm – Former Australia coach Darren Lehmann to take up commentary duties

Former Australia coach Darren Lehmann is set to return to international cricket in a different avatar. Lehmann will turn commentator for Macquarie Sports Radio for Australia’s upcoming cricket season.

Read what Lehmann had to say about his new role here.

Darren Lehmann will take up commentary duties..

Darren Lehmann will take up commentary duties..

6:30pm – Joe Root becomes quickest England batsman to 6, 000 Test runs

England skipper Joe Root struck another half-century in the opening Test against India at Edgbaston. Root also breached the 6, 000-run mark in Test cricket during the course of his unbeaten knock. In doing so, the right-handed batsman has become the fastest England batsman to attain the feat.

Read more on Root’s record-breaking innings here. Meanwhile, the hosts have reached 163-3 at tea on the first day with Root and Jonny Bairstow unbeaten at the crease.

Joe Root has struck another Test half-century.

Joe Root has struck another Test half-century.

6:00pm – Career rock-bottom for India’s Cheteshwar Pujara

Cheteshwar Pujara’s international career hit rock-bottom on Wednesday after the top-order batsman was not picked in India’s playing XI for the first Test against England at Birmingham. Pujara was the one to miss out for India with Shikhar Dhawan holding onto his opening spot.

Sport360’s Ajit Vijaykumar takes a look at where Pujara’s career stands at the moment here.

A new low for Cheteshwar Pujara.

A new low for Cheteshwar Pujara.

4:00pm – Harmanpreet Kaur shines on Lancashire Thunder debut

India’s Harmanpreet Kaur made her Women’s Super League debut a one to remember with a match-winning cameo for Lancashire Thunder in their clash against Surrey Stars on Tuesday. Kaur struck a penultimate six to lead her side over the finish line.

Watch the India star’s mighty six to lead Lancashire to victory here.

Kaur struck a six off the penultimate delivery to snatch a win for her side.

Kaur struck a six off the penultimate delivery to snatch a win for her side.

2:30 pm – Ashwin dismisses Cook

Off-spinner Ravi Ashwin bowled England opener Alastair Cook after the hosts won the toss and decided to bat first in the first Test in Birmingham.

India dropped out-of-form batsman Cheteshwar Pujara while England selected Adil Rashid on a pitch expected to turn at some stage.

Catch all the live scores here.

12:20pm – India’s record at Edgbaston

England welcome India to Edgbaston on Wednesday as the five-match Test series gets underway in Birmingham.

Here, we look at all the six games as India look to register their first win in the Midlands.

Read more here.

Gautam Gambhir.

Gautam Gambhir.

10:45 pm – England-India Test series predictions

England take on India in the first of five Tests which begins in Birmingham on Monday. Top-ranked India are without their premier fast bowlers Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah while England have won just two out of their last 10 Tests.

Here, Sport360‘s cricket writers make their predictions about the Pataudi Trophy 2018.

Read more here.

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England star Sam Billings a candidate for captain at T10 League franchise Bengal Tigers

Denzil Pinto 31/07/2018
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In contention for captaincy: Sam Billings

Bengal Tigers are considering appointing England international Sam Billings as their captain for the second edition of the T10 League later this year.

Billings, 27, was drafted by the franchise in last week’s Mini Draft in Dubai and although the team will finalise their squad in September, the wicket-keeper/batsman has emerged as a candidate to replace Sarfraz Ahmed, who will miss the tournament in Sharjah due to international duty.

“I might make him the captain because he is captain of Kent but we will be keeping some players under the scanner on who would be the right person for the job,” Bengal Tigers team mentor Anis Sajan said of Billings, who has featured in 15 ODIs and 18 T20Is for England.

“The advantage of having a wicket-keeper/batsman as a captain is huge because he can see the complete field and knows the line of the delivery from the bowler and batsman. When you see Jos Buttler play for England, he regularly gives advice to Eoin Morgan so that has the advantage. That is where Sam Billings has the edge and he is a person who we are considering.”

Billings is one of two Englishmen in Bengal Tigers’ squad after they also selected ODI and T20 opening batsman Jason Roy.

Big plans for Bengal Tigers

Big plans for Bengal Tigers

Their compatriots Liam Plunkett (Punjabi Legends), Alex Hales (Maratha Arabians) and Eoin Morgan (Kerala Kings) are all confirmed for the second edition. With more to be available in the main draft in September, Sajan is hopeful of adding more English talent to his squad having already roped in West Indian Sunil Narine, Pakistan youngster Asif Ali and Afghanistan spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman.

“We will be looking for more English players,” added Sajan, who is also known as ‘Mr Cricket’ due to his passion for the game. “There is an advantage if you have players from one country playing for one team as they blend together well. Having said that, it doesn’t mean that the players won’t gel but if the players know each other well, it’s easy for them to get together.”

With the tournament expanded from four to 10 days following the addition of two new franchises, Sajan admits winning their inaugural title will be even more difficult than 2017, where they failed the make the semi-finals.

While the first target is to make the last-four, Sajan was adamant that they will only select players who will be available for the entire tournament.

“Last time, we lost key players and that affected our line-up,” he added. “I only want players who will be available because if you saw the IPL, Rajasthan Royals lost Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler in the latter stages. I don’t want that to happen to us.”

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Warwickshire CEO Neil Snowball insists traditional Thursday starts will maintain Test cricket in England

Rory Dollard 31/07/2018
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Warwickshire chief executive Neil Snowball has stressed the importance of traditional Thursday starts in maintaining the viability of Test cricket in England.

Edgbaston plays host to the 1000th Test of the men’s team when they face India on Wednesday but despite the landmark nature of the contest, and the drawing power of the opposition, there will be empty seats when the game begins.

Gloomy estimates of 10,000 unsold seats have not come to pass, with a late rally at the box office taking the expected crowd past 18,000 – around 5,500 shy of capacity.

Day two sales have been more sluggish but availability for Friday is in the hundreds and advance purchases for Saturday represent an upturn on usual expectations for a fourth day.

Snowball says aggregate sales are in line with expectations but believes regular Thursday starts are easier to market to the Test match public, a group who need to be catered for carefully as limited-overs formats continue to rise in prominence.

“The total number of tickets sold is pretty good, we’re happy with that, it’s just that with a Wednesday start it’s spread out over four days,” he said.

“We find that our customers and spectators here are creatures of habit, they come on Thursday or Friday or Saturday, they’re a day one or day two or day three person.

“If we keep messing them about with Wednesday starts or Friday starts or Saturday starts it just makes the consumer a bit confused. The key with Test cricket is a regular supply, you need a regular supply every year starting on a Thursday,

“There are people who are worried about the longer form of the game. I really hope there will be another 1000 tests, (but) we’ve got to protect Test cricket and cherish it.

“Part of that is getting the schedule right so that for people who want to come along, we make it easy for them and let them know what is going on.”

Edgbaston has the honour of hosting the first Test of next summer’s Ashes, as well as one of three Thursday starts in the series.

Lord’s and Old Trafford both host games beginning on Wednesday, though tickets are unlikely to linger long at the box office with the urn at stake.

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