India pacer Jasprit Bumrah eager to fulfill his potential in Test cricket ahead of England series

Sudhir Gupta 24/07/2018
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Bumrah has made a great start to his Test career.

India pacer Jasprit Bumrah insists that Test matches remain the highest form of cricket as he seeks to get fit for the upcoming five-match series against England.

The Mumbai-born fast bowler fractured his thumb in the second T20 against Ireland and is facing a race against time to get fit for the Test series. It is expected that Bumrah might not recover in time for the first Test which gets underway at Edgbaston on August 1 but he was part of the Indian Test contingent which departed for England on Monday.

Prior to his departure, Bumrah gave his thoughts on his introduction to Test cricket as well as his method of preparation in an interview with his IPL franchise Mumbai Indians.

“I always wanted to play Test cricket. I was happy when I finally got to play it in South Africa. The start also went well. I always loved Test cricket and I rate it very highly. I enjoy playing each and every format but for me, Test cricket is at the paramount level because I feel everything is tested at that level,” Bumrah said in a video posted by the Mumbai Indians on Twitter.

The 24-year-old revealed that he does not limit his preparations for an overseas tour to just cricket.

“You look to enjoy the country, you look to see the place. That is how you get to know about the culture of the place and you eventually start enjoying the country. It then reflects on your performance as well,” the pacer said.

“Whenever I go to a new country, I always plan in advance. Before visiting the country, I have a look at a few videos. What works over there. What the home team does over there. It is very important for long tours to enjoy the country and see the places. So that’s the basic thing that I look to follow,” he added.

Bumrah, along with Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Cheteshwar Pujara departed for England for the Test series on Monday.

India will take on Essex in a four-day warm-up game which begins on Wednesday at the County Ground in Chelmsford prior to taking on the hosts in the first Test.

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Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed suggests Fakhar Zaman could be given a run in Test matches in the UAE

Waseem Ahmed 24/07/2018
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Sarfraz has hinted at Fakhar being given a run during the Tests in the UAE.

Fakhar Zaman’s phenomenal showing in Pakistan’s recently concluded ODI series against Zimbabwe could see the opening batsman being given a run in the Test outfit.

The left-hander amassed 515 runs in five innings against Zimbabwe at an astonishing average of 257.50 as Pakistan completed a 5-0 series whitewash. The 28-year-old became the first batsman from Pakistan to register an ODI double ton with his unbeaten effort of 210 in the fourth match of the series.

Along the way, the swashbuckling batsman also broke Sir Viv Richard’s record to become the fastest to 1,000 runs in ODI cricket. This sensational run of form could see the batsman being tried out as an opener for Pakistan’s upcoming Test series at home against Australia and New Zealand if skipper Sarfraz Ahmed’s words are anything to go by.

“If you look at our (Test) team, the opening slot is a concern,” the Pakistan skipper said in an interview with PakPassion.net

“We can definitely try Fakhar in Tests in UAE. The way he’s been playing, he is an opener who can attack the opposition.

“I am hopeful that he plays Test cricket in the near future.”

Fakhar Zaman scored 515 runs in five innings against Zimbabwe.

Fakhar Zaman scored 515 runs in five innings against Zimbabwe.

Fakhar made his limited-overs debut for Pakistan last year but is yet to be given a run-in in the Test format. He was included in the Test squad for Pakistan’s tour of England earlier this year but failed to get a game with Azhar Ali and Imam-ul-Haq being preferred in the roles.

In the ODI series against Zimbabwe, the opening pair of Fakhar and Imam added more than 600 runs in total for the first wicket which is a new world record for a bilateral series. While Fakhar’s exploits were sensational, so were that of his young opening partner who registered three centuries in the five matches.

Sarfraz has stated that grooming the two batsmen in the role has been part of the plan for the Pakistan side.

“We gave Fakhar and Imam maximum chances while opening as this is an area we want to make strong,” the wicketkeeper-batsman said.

“When we play against top teams and play events, we want to keep improving with the opening pair,” he added.

A two-Test series between Pakistan and Australia in the UAE has been mooted apart from the already scheduled limited-overs clashes starting in October this year. Following Australia’s tour of the UAE, Pakistan will welcome New Zealand next for a three-match Test series at their alternative home.

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Suspended Danushka Gunathilaka not picked as Sri Lanka name squad for ODI series against South Africa

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Gunathilaka (L) was suspended by the SLC pending an inquiry.

Sri Lanka on Tuesday named their 15-man squad for the upcoming five-match ODI series against South Africa with batsman Danushka Gunathilaka not considered for selection.

The opening batsman was suspended from all forms of international cricket pending an inquiry by Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) on Sunday after Gunathilaka’s friend was accused of raping a Norwegian tourist at the team hotel.

The incident is said to have occurred on Sunday after the third day’s play in the second and final Test between Sri Lanka and South Africa with Gunathilaka allegedly present in the room at the said time.

The Sri Lankan governing body have not revealed when the disciplinary inquiry will begin against the 27-year-old. The left-hander was the second highest run-getter for the hosts in their 2-0 series clean sweep against the Proteas and had registered half-centuries in each innings of the final Test at Colombo which ended on Monday.

The five-match ODI series between the two sides is set to get underway on Sunday at Dambulla. Sri Lanka have given a maiden call-up to Prabath Jayasuriya in Gunathilaka’s absence in the 18-man squad which will be led by Angelo Mathews while Dinesh Chandimal continues to serve the suspension handed to him by the ICC.

SRI LANKA 15-MAN SQUAD

Angelo Mathews (Captain), Dasun Shanaka, Kusal Perera, Dhananjaya de Silva, Upul Tharanga, Kusal Mendis, Thisara Perera, Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Suranga Lakmal, Lahiru Kumara, Kasun Rajitha, Akila Dananjaya, Prabath Jayasuriya, Lakshan Sandakan, and Shehan Jayasuriya.

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