India hopeful of improved performance after Australia dominates with the bat

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Tough day: India hopeful of making reparations with a decent batting performance after Australia

India are well behind the eight ball in the opening Test but fielding coach Ramakrishnan Sridhar was hopeful the batsmen will make up for the poor display by the bowlers.

– Steve Smith salutes Michael Clarke’s ‘unbelievable’ strength

– #360view: David Warner proves he is destined for greatness with a memorable knock

– Australia pay homage to Phil Hughes prior to first Test against India

“We must give credit to the Australian batsmen who countered the conditions and the regular rain breaks. They made good use of this good Test wicket and they have put up runs on the board,” said Sridhar after the second day’s play.

“We had our plans and tried executing them. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t work, but we must give credit to the batsmen.

“The skipper (Virat Kohli) gave a very positive talk at the end of the day’s play. We are here as a cricket unit to play good cricket.

"We back each other at all times. The batsmen are very confident that they will make up for the bowlers. 

India also had a forgettable day in the field as they dropped three catches, while wicket-keeper Wriddhiman Saha missed a stumping.

The only positive for the visitors has been the slip catching with Murali Vijay and Shikhar Dhawan holding on to their chances.

“Vijay and Shikhar are very good slip fielders. Virat does a good job at third slip. Ajinkya Rahane is very good at gully. So this will be our slip combination going ahead," he said.

"We need to have some patience for results. Like our batting order, our slip fielding is also under a transition.

“For a major part of the innings, the fielding was good. Even in ground fielding, everyone was chipping in. Yes, there were a few
dropped chances, but it was down to the many rain breaks and conditions."

Sridhar is part of the new coaching set up brought in after the Test series loss in England earlier this year. However, things don’t seem to have changed much with fielding still an issue with the Indians.

“Nobody is happy when you put down catches. But the point is in giving our best effort. The players are working really hard. As long as effort is there, there will be both good days and bad days."

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Steve Smith salutes Michael Clarke’s ‘unbelievable’ strength

Robert Smith 11/12/2014
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Leading the way: Michael Clarke battled back pain as he hit a resolute century against India in Adelaide

Steve Smith praised inspirational skipper Michael Clarke’s strength and courage after the pair batted Australia into a strong position in the opening Test against India yesterday (Wednesday).

– #360view: David Warner proves he is destined for greatness with a memorable knock

– Australia pay homage to Phil Hughes prior to first Test against India

– LIVE: Ball-by-ball updates of Australia vs India First Test – Day One

Clarke and Smith scored centuries to honour the memory of fallen team-mate Phillip Hughes and leave the Australians on 7/517  after a rain-hit second day of the Adelaide Test.

Clarke needed painkilling injections for a chronic back injury but scored 128, while Smith was unconquered on 162 at the close.

Smith, who is seen as a future captain, said Clarke was “mentally drained” after a heart-wrenching few weeks over the death of their close friend Hughes, fatally struck by a bouncer in a domestic game.

“He has done amazing over the last couple of weeks,” Smith told reporters. “It has been tough for all of us but he spent the whole time by Hughesy’s family’s side.

“Just the strength and courage he has shown through those times was unbelievable.

“He must be mentally drained coming into this game but the way he played speaks the world of that guy. He came out here and tried to do something for Hughesy and he certainly did that.”

Steve Smith pays tribute to Phil Hughes at the Adelaide Oval, an image that has gone viral.

Clarke returned to the crease at the outset of day two after retiring hurt on 60 with back trouble on  Tuesday’s opening day.

“He was pretty keen to get out there in the morning. He had a good hit this morning and he just came out and played beautifully,” Smith said.
 
“A few shots hurt him but he got himself into as many good positions as he could and manipulated the field a little bit as well. He played beautifully under the circumstances.”

Smith, 25, marked his own century by moving away from the wicket and pointing symbolically towards the ‘408’ – Hughes’ Test
cap number – painted on the playing surface.

And Smith reiterated that Hughes’ death had been a shattering experience for the team.

“The last couple of weeks have been very tough for every one of us,” he said. “I thought I’d be able to get over it pretty quick after the funeral and try to move on and go out there and do something I love to do.

“I know that’s what Hughesy would have wanted, all of us to be out here doing the job and he was with me, Pup (Clarke) and Warner all the way this innings.

“We’re all good mates with Hughesy, us three, so I was sort of hoping all three of us would get runs.”

Smith took 23 Test innings to reach his maiden century. He now has five Test tons, four of them in his past 15 innings.

“I’m not sure if it’s my best innings. I think my hundred at Centurion against South Africa in those conditions would probably be
my best one so far in my book, but every hundred’s nice and hopefully I’ve got a few more this summer,” he said. 

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Hafeez to be sent to Chennai for remedial work

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Under the microscope: Mohammad Hafeez.

Pakistan all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez, who has been suspended from bowling in international cricket because of an illegal bowling action, will be sent to Chennai for remedial work and informal testing.

– #360view: ICC needs to be flexible with off-spinners to restore parity

– ICC suspend Hafeez for illegal bowling action

Chennai recently became an International Cricket Council (ICC) accredited centre along with Brisbane.

Hafeez had recently failed an official ICC bowling test at the Loughborough National Cricket Performance Centre in the UK.

However, he played the first One-Day International (ODI) against New Zealand purely as a batsman and selectors continue to have faith in his abilities to deliver the goods with the bat for the time being.

But the process is now being speeded up to get him clear before the PCB name their final 15-man squad for the 2015 World Cup.

“We are waiting for Hafeez’s Visa and as soon as we’ll get it, he will be send to Chennai,” PCB Chairman Shaharyar Khan said.

“There he will undergo remedial work and informal testing as well. As far as his replacement is concerned on the tour, it is a matter which will be looked by the selection committee but I don’t feel that there is any such need.”

Hafeez was reported during the Test series against New Zealand, four of his balls being brought up as illegal. He then failed the four-over test as all his deliveries were deemed illegal ranking between 22-31 Degrees.

Within three months Pakistan have lost number one ODI bowler Saeed Ajmal and world number two all-rounder Hafeez due to illegal bowling actions.

The PCB chief added that the PCB is still hopeful that both Hafeez and Ajmal will get clear ahead of mega event.

“We’ll send both Hafeez and Ajmal for official retesting of their modified actions to ICC once the remedial work is completed and hopefully they will get clear in time before naming of final 15-man squad in January,” Khan said.

“At the domestic level, we’are going to take stricter action on doubtful actions because now there are too many bowlers with dubious actions and we need to make a statement that such bowlers cannot survive anymore.”

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