Michael Hussey advises Indian bowlers on how to tackle Pakistan's Fakhar Zaman in Asia Cup

Waseem Ahmed 25/07/2018
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Fakhar Zaman has been in breathtaking form of late.

Australia batting great Michael Hussey has some advice for India bowlers on how to tackle Pakistan’s in-form batsman Fakhar Zaman in the upcoming Asia Cup in the UAE.

Fakhar has been in sensational form of late and had a stellar ODI series against Zimbabwe where he became the first Pakistan batsman and sixth overall to register a double ton in the 50-over format.

The left-handed opener scored a staggering 515 runs in the five innings at a whopping average of 257.5 and also became the fastest to the 1, 000-run mark in ODIs.

Hussey believes Indian bowlers should take pace off the ball to combat the swashbuckling opener.

“So plans for India against Fakhar is got to be nice, tight line and length, be very disinclined and try and maintain that pressure, try and build up some pressure on him with some dot balls and make him go for the big shots earlier than what he wants to do,” the Aussie told the Press Trust of India.

Fakhar Zaman became Pakistan's first ODI double centurion.

Fakhar Zaman became Pakistan’s first ODI double centurion.

“I think change of pace could work against him because he goes hard at the ball, taking the pace off it (the ball) could be advantageous,” he added.

The former Australia batsman is currently in India as part of the commentary team for the ongoing Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL).

The 43-year-old believes India and Pakistan will be the frontrunners for the six-team Asia Cup while tagging Afghanistan as the dark horses.

“Looking ahead towards the Asia Cup, India and Pakistan are the favourites, both been playing some excellent ODI cricket and (are) quality ODI teams,” he said.

“But the surprise package could be Afghanistan, any team with Rashid Khan and Mujeeb (Ur Rahman) in them, is not easy to beat, so keep an eye, so if they score enough runs, they are going to be hard to beat.”

The schedule for the Asia Cup was released on Tuesday with India and Pakistan’s Group A clash to take place on September 19 at Dubai.

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6:00pm – Ajaz Patel handed maiden New Zealand Test call-up

New Zealand on Tuesday announced their squads for the upcoming tour of the UAE where they will lock horns with the Pakistan cricket team. The Kiwis have handed a maiden Test call-up to left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel with BJ Watling earning an ODI recall.

New Zealand are slated to play three Tests, five ODIs and three T20s against Pakistan in UAE starting this October. Read who else made the cut for Kane Williamson’s men here.

Kane Williamson's men will take on Pakistan in October.

Kane Williamson’s men will take on Pakistan in October.

5:30pm – Mitchell Johnson eyeing contract in UAE’s T10 League

Former Australia pacer Mitchell Johnson has announced his retirement from the Big Bash League (BBL) on Wednesday. The 36-year-old fast-bowler is now hoping to bag a contract in the second edition of the T10 League in England.

Read more on the pacer’s BBL retirement and future plans here.

Mitchell Johnson will no longer participate in the BBL.

Mitchell Johnson will no longer participate in the BBL.

5:00pm – India’s Jasprit Bumrah steps up recovery from finger injury

India were handed a big boost ahead of their five-match Test series against England with pacer Jasprit Bumrah having a bowl in the nets on Wednesday. The Mumbai pacer broke his finger in the T20 series against Ireland and is facing a race against time to get back to full fitness.

Read more on this breaking story here.

Bumrah trains with the team at Chelmsford. Image - BCCI/Twitter.

Bumrah trains with the team at Chelmsford. Image – BCCI/Twitter.

4:00pm – Virat Kohli’s duel with James Anderson in focus ahead of Test series

The eagerly anticipated five-Test series between England and India is almost upon us. There are plenty of talking points as Joe Root’s men get ready to take on the No1 ranked Test outfit in the world but perhaps none bigger than Virat Kohli’s individual battle against England pacer James Anderson.

All that and more in our talking points ahead of the Test series here.

Kohli has struggled against James Anderson previously in England.

Kohli has struggled against James Anderson previously in England.

2:00pm – Azhar Ali delighted with debut county ton for Somerset

Pakistan Test opener Azhar Ali struck a superb 125 on his county championship debut for Somerset on Tuesday. The 33-year-old scored 125 off 188 deliveries in Somerset’s second innings against Worcestershire to put his side in a commanding position.

Azhar was undoubtedly delighted with his debut performance. Read what the Pakistan man had to say about his ton here.

Azhar Ali scored 125 on debut for Somerset.

Azhar Ali scored 125 on debut for Somerset.

12:30pm – Steve Smith signs up for maiden Caribbean Premier League stint

Smith will replace Shakib Al Hasan in the Tridents squad.

Smith will replace Shakib Al Hasan in the Tridents squad.

Banned Australia star and former skipper Steve Smith will line up for the Barbados Tridents in the 2018 edition of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL). The Australian batsman has been roped in as a replacement for Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan.

Read more on Smith’s maiden CPL stint here.

11:00am – Schedule for 2018 Asia Cup in UAE released

The schedule for the 2018 edition of the Asia Cup was released on Tuesday by the ICC with the tournament getting underway on September 15 at Dubai. Arch-rivals India and Pakistan are due to clash on September 19 at Dubai in a Group A game.

See the entire schedule for the six-team tournament here.

The two arch-rivals will meet on September 19 at Dubai.

The two arch-rivals will meet on September 19 at Dubai.

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India are due to take on Essex in their only warm-up game.

India are due to take on Essex in their only warm-up game.

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Former Australia pacer Mitchell Johnson hoping for a T10 League contract after retiring from BBL

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Mitchell Johnson will no longer participate in the BBL.

Former Australia pacer Mitchell Johnson hopes to be selected in the second edition of the T10 League later this year after announcing his retirement from the Big Bash League (BBL) on Wednesday.

The fast bowler’s retirement was confirmed by his manager Sam Halvorsen to the West Australian newspaper.

“The intensity and length of the BBL is just too much for someone who will be 37 at the start of the summer,” Halvorsen told the newspaper.

“Mitch has put his name up for the Emirates tournament in Dubai, but that is half the length of the BBL,” he added.

Johnson has thrown his rat into the ring for the T10 League, which is likely to be held end of November at Sharjah Cricket Stadium. He will be up for selection when the second and main draft is held on September 2.

The former Australia man had been representing the Perth Scorchers in the last two editions of the BBL and had been an important part of the title-winning side of 2016-17.

Johnson picked up 20 wickets in 19 BBL matches.

Johnson picked up 20 wickets in 19 BBL matches.

In a total of 19 BBL matches in his career so far, Johnson picked up 20 wickets with best figures of 3-3 in the semi-finals of the 2016-17 edition against the Melbourne Stars.

The 36-year-old turned out for the Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League (IPL) this year but was unable to create much of an impact. In the six matches he played for Kolkata in 2018, Johnson was able to pick up only two wickets and conceded 216 runs at an economy-rate greater than 10.

Whether the left-arm Aussie pacer continues to participate in the IPL next year remains to be seen. Johnson had retired from international cricket after Australia’s Test series against New Zealand in November 2015 and has since been plying his trade in various T20 leagues around the globe.

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