Shane Warne questions Tim Paine's captaincy credentials for Australia's Test and ODI squads

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Warne is not convinced by Paine's role in the squad.

Australia legend Shane Warne has questioned Tim Paine’s captaincy credentials to lead the national men’s team.

Paine had been handed over Australia’s Test and ODI captaincies following the ball-tampering episode in South Africa which resulted in Steve Smith and David Warner being handed one-year bans by Cricket Australia.

Warne, however, doesn’t seem to be convinced with Paine’s own personal form which has seen him average just 15 with the bat in Test and ODIs since taking over the captaincy duties. Under Paine’s leadership, the Aussies were handed a 5-0 whitewash by arch-rivals England in an ODI series.

“The Australian way is always to pick your best team,” the leg-spinning great told Fox Sports News.

“There’s a lot of talk about should Tim Paine be in the side? He’s the captain at the moment.

“We as Australians should always pick our best team and then you pick your captain and vice-captain from that. I don’t think we should just make a captain and then fit a side around him.

Paine oversaw a 0-5 ODI thrashing at the hands of England.

Paine oversaw a 0-5 ODI thrashing at the hands of England.

“I think the captain and vice-captain should still be up for grabs because I want to see us pick the best side possible. If Tim Paine’s in the best side and he’s the best guy to be captain then make him captain.”

One option that Warne believes could be a good fit for the Australia captaincy is off-spinner Nathan Lyon.

“He’s a senior player, he’s an experienced player in the side, spinners generally think about the game pretty well, Nathan Lyon thinks about the game pretty well. Even the big quickies do in Starc and Hazlewood, Cummins is young but why not have a look at him either,” Warne said.

Paine’s next assignment as Australia skipper will be a two-Test series against Pakistan in the UAE which is scheduled to take place in October.

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Sarfraz Ahmed says Pakistan will hold psychological edge over India in Asia Cup

Waseem Ahmed 16/08/2018
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The Pakistan skipper is confident about his side's chances against India.

Pakistan skipper Safraz Ahmed believes his side will hold the psychological edge over India when the two sides clash in the upcoming Asia Cup in the UAE.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a club match for Lahore Club Cricket Association (LCCA) on Wednesday, Sarfaz said that familiarity of playing in home conditions should favour Pakistan in the tournament in the UAE.

“We will have a psychological edge over India because UAE is our home ground and we are in a better position to gauge the conditions and utilise it to our advantage,” the wicketkeeper batsman was quoted as saying by the Express Tribune.

“On the other hand, Virat Kohli-XI is a stronger outfit as far as overall experience is concerned,” he added.

The two arch-rivals and neighbours last met in the ICC Champions Trophy final in London last year where Pakistan triumphed by 180 runs to capture the crown.

“I am hopeful that it will be a good match because this is the first time both sides are facing each other after the Champions Trophy final,” said Sarfraz.

Pakistan had triumphed over India in the ICC Champions Trophy final.

Pakistan had triumphed over India in the ICC Champions Trophy final.

India are currently locked in a five-match Test series in England and trail the hosts 0-2 after defeats at Edgbaston and Lord’s. Virat Kohli’s men have been derided from all quarters for their lackadaisical preparations in which they played only one warm-up game against Essex.

Pakistan had toured England as well earlier this summer and had held the hosts to a 1-1 draw in the two-match series. The Pakistan skipper believes his side were helped by much stronger preparations in which they played three warm-up games in total before the start of the series.

“I have toured England twice and both times Pakistan team performed well. According to me, whichever Asian team travels to England tend to struggle. India is no different as the conditions there are really tough,” he was quoted as saying by Times Now.

“I guess Pakistan’s preparations were good. If we are talking about my first tour there (in 2016), we had reached England 25 days before the start of the series. We had a 10-day camp and then played two practice games – which helped us immensely,” he added.

India and Pakistan are slated to clash on September 19 in the Asia Cup in Dubai.

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Virat Kohli and Indian team conduct first net session since Lord's Test defeat

Sudhir Gupta 16/08/2018
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Kohli and Co took to the nets at Trent Bridge on Thursday.

For the first time since their innings defeat to England at Lord’s, team India finally hit the nets as they began their preparations for the third Test at Trent Bridge which gets underway on Saturday.

The Indian team had surprised many after opting not to take part in any net sessions following their defeat by an innings and 159 runs in the Lord’s Test which culminated last Sunday.

Virat Kohli and his men had stayed back in London as they celebrated the nation’s Independence Day on Wednesday before travelling to Nottingham later in the day.

Kohli looked to be in good spirits and showed no signs of discomfort.

Kohli looked to be in good spirits and showed no signs of discomfort.

On Thursday morning, Kohli and his men wasted no time in hitting the nets as preparations for the third Test started in earnest.

The India skipper is recovering from a back injury which emerged during the Lord’s Test but he seemed to be in good spirits during Thursday’s training session as he led the session.

The team and staff held a minute's silence before the session.

The team and staff held a minute’s silence before training.

The team and support staff also observed a minute’s silence during the practice session following the passing away of legendary India skipper and batsman Ajit Wadekar late on Wednesday after a prolonged battle with cancer.

Rishabh Pant could be seen practicing his wicketkeeping.

Rishabh Pant (centre) alongside skipper Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara.

Youngster Rishabh Pant could also be seen practicing his wicket-keeping during the session leading to suggestions that he could make his Test debut on Thursday with Dinesh Karthik likely to sit out.

India currently trail the hosts 2-0 in the five-match series.

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