Ravi Ashwin resumes bowling in the nets as England sweat on Chris Woakes' fitness

Sudhir Gupta 29/08/2018
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Ashwin resumed bowling in the nets on Tuesday.

India received a boost ahead of the fourth Test against England at Southampton with off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin having a bowl in the nets on Tuesday.

The 31-year-old’s fitness has been a concern ever since he sustained a groin injury in the third Test at Southampton. When the Indian team hit the nets for their first training session in Southampton on Monday, the senior spinner only did some light batting practice and stayed away from bowling.

That had given rise to speculation that Ashwin’s place in the side could be taken by Ravindra Jadeja who bowled extensively in Monday’s net session.

Now, with Ashwin showing signs of recovery, the probability of India skipper Virat Kohli naming an unchanged playing XI for the first time in his captaincy tenure have shot up.

Chris Woakes did not attend England's training session on Tuesday.

Chris Woakes did not attend England’s training session on Tuesday.

While Ashwin remains India’s only injury concern ahead of the fourth Test, England have some pondering to do in light of Jonny Bairstow’s injury. The England wicket-keeper injured his finger at Trent Bridge and could play as a specialist batsman at Southampton with Jos Buttler taking the gloves.

On the other hand, all-rounder Chris Woakes is now a big doubt for the Test after he skipped the team’s Tuesday training session. The Englishman is said to have missed out on the session after complaining of some pain in his right thigh.

It was the same injury that kept the all-rounder out of the limited-overs clashes preceding the Test series and his place could be taken by Sam Curran if he is unable to recover in time.

The fourth Test between the two sides gets underway on Thursday. The hosts currently lead the five-match series 2-1.

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Live Cricket Blog: Shami to target Bairstow in fourth Test

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9:00 pm – India-Pakistan tickets on sale

The next batch of tickets for the much-awaited Asia Cup India-Pakistan match in Dubai go on sale on Thursday, August 30.

The Asia Cup gets underway on September 15 with the final on September 28. The six teams that will fight for Asian glory are India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and a qualifier.

For more information, click here.

8:30 pm – India to target Bairstow

England v India: Specsavers 2nd Test - Day Three

India’s pace attack will target Jonny Bairstow’s broken finger if he is able to defy injury and take part in the fourth Test.

Mohammed Shami confirmed the tourists’ collective intention to hone in on Bairstow’s potential “weak zone” in Southampton.

Read more here.

5:30pm – Pakistan release schedule for Australia and New Zealand clashes

After much delay, the schedules for Australia and New Zealand’s respective tours of the UAE to take on Pakistan was released on Tuesday. The Aussies are slated to play two Tests and three T20Is against the men in green who will then take on New Zealand in three ODIs and as many T20Is followed by a three-Test series.

To see the complete schedule for Pakistan cricket in the UAE in 2018, click here.

Australia will come calling to the UAE in October.

Australia will come calling to the UAE in October.

5:00pm – Jonny Bairstow still hoping to keep wickets in Southampton Test

Jonny Bairstow still hopes he can keep wicket for England in the fourth Test at Southampton despite his broken finger.

Bairstow was planning to test the injury with his wicketkeeping gloves on in training at the Ageas Bowl on Tuesday – raising the possibility he, rather than Jos Buttler, may yet be behind the stumps against India.

Read more on this developing story here.

Bairstow had injured his finger in the third Test against India.

Bairstow had injured his finger in the third Test against India.

4:00pm – Graeme Swann labels Ravi Ashwin as the best off-spinner in the world

Former England spin ace Graeme Swann has picked India’s Ravichandran Ashwin as the best off-spinner currently operating in Test cricket.

The senior India spinner has been in decent form in the team’s ongoing five-match series against England and picked up a seven-wicket haul in the first Test at Edgbaston

Read Swann’s quotes on Ashwin and Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan here.

Ravi Ashwin has come in for some praise from Graeme Swann.

Ravi Ashwin has come in for some praise from Graeme Swann.

12:00pm – Ravi Ashwi’s fitness a concern for India ahead of fourth Test

Team India hit the nets at Southampton on Monday in preparation for the fourth and penultimate Test against England which gets underway on Thursday.

There was some concern for Indian fans with off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin not having a bowl in Monday’s training session as he continues his recovery from the hip injury he sustained in the third Test.

Read more on this breaking story and see the Indian players in action in the nets here.

Ashwin (r) did not take part in the team's nets session on Monday.

Ashwin (r) did not take part in the team’s nets session on Monday.

11:00am – Pakistan undergo fitness camp at military school

Pakistan have upped the ante in training ahead of the upcoming Asia Cup in the UAE.

The players, this week, have been taking part in an intense fitness camp at the Army School of Physical and Training (ASPT) in Abbottabad.

See images of the players in action at the camp here.

Pakistan have begun their preparations for the Asia Cup.

Pakistan have begun their preparations for the Asia Cup.

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Pakistan cricket schedule 2018: Australia and New Zealand fixtures in the UAE finalised

Waseem Ahmed 28/08/2018
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The Aussies are set to arrive in the UAE in October.

After some delay, the schedules for Australia and New Zealand’s tours of the UAE to take on Pakistan were released on Tuesday.

Australia’s tour of the UAE will get underway on September 29 with a four-day warm-up match against Pakistan ‘A’ at the ICC Cricket Academy in Dubai.

The Aussies will then lock horns with Pakistan in a two-Test series with the first match on October 7 in Dubai.

The second Test between the two sides will get underway at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on October 16.

The Tests will be followed by three T20s between the two sides which will commence on October 24.

Following the visit of Australia, New Zealand will visit the UAE. The Blackcaps will take on Pakistan in three T20s and as many ODIs followed by a three-Test series.

Along with the Kiwis, their ‘A’ team will undertake a shadow tour of the UAE where they lock horns with Pakistan ‘A’.

The New Zealand and Pakistan ‘A’ teams will play three one-dayers, three T20s and two unofficial Tests.

SCHEDULE

PAKISTAN V AUSTRALIA

Pakistan A v Australia warm-up game – September 29 to October 2 (Dubai)

First Test – October 7 to 11 (Dubai)

Second Test – October 16 to 20 (Abu Dhabi)

First T20I – October 24 (Abu Dhabi)

Second T20I – October 26 (Dubai)

Third T20I – October 28 (Dubai)

PAKISTAN V NEW ZEALAND

First T20I – October 31 (Abu Dhabi)

Second T20I – November 2 (Dubai)

Third T20I – November 4 (Dubai)

First ODI – November 7 (Abu Dhabi)

Second ODI – November 9 (Abu Dhabi)

Third ODI – November 11 (Dubai)

First Test – November 16 to 20 (Abu Dhabi)

Second Test – November 24 to 28 (Dubai)

Third Test – December 3 to 7 (Abu Dhabi)

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