Ravi Shastri says India have requested for a couple of warm-up matches for Australia tour

Sudhir Gupta 14/09/2018
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Ravi Shastri has come under fire after India's 1-4 loss to England.

India coach Ravi Shastri has stated that he has requested the BCCI to arrange two warm-up games for the team when they tour Australia at the end of the year.

The Indian team has received plenty of flak in recent times for their short-sighted approach with regards to warm-up matches in their overseas tours. In their tour of South Africa at the start of the year, the team did not play a single warm-up match before the three-Test series which they lost 1-2.

In the just concluded tour of England, India played only a single warm-up game against Essex ahead of the five-match Test series where they were handed a 1-4 defeat.

In an interview with ESPNCricinfo, Shastri pointed towards team India’s hectic international schedule as one of the reasons for scheduling so few warm-up matches.

“If you have two or three games against weaker sides we don’t mind because it is a game. But when you have a schedule as tight as this and when you have a memorandum of understanding that has already been formulated, with a choc-a-bloc calendar, there is very little you can do,” Shastri said.

Kohli and Co have been criticised for not playing enough warm-up games.

Kohli and Co have been criticised for not playing enough warm-up games.

“Now, we have requested for a couple of (warm-up) games in Australia before the Test series. But is there space (to play those matches)? That is the question,” he added.

When asked if the team was averse to the idea of playing warm-up matches, Shastri replied: “Why would we be? You can only see the results. Every time after the second Test we have improved. You can still get better. But why can’t we be in that position in the first Test match?”

“Ideally we would want two three- or four-day games before a Test series. But do you have the time? For example, we have a T20 series in Australia preceding the Test series. There is a 10-day gap before the first Test. These are things that have been approved earlier. It is not in our control,” Shastri continued.

India skipper Virat Kohli had recently questioned the utility of playing warm-up matches himself.

India’s tour of Australia gets underway in November this year with a three-match T20I series to start things off. The T20s will be followed by a four-match Test series and three ODIs.

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PCB chairman Ehsan Mani backs chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq over nepotism allegations

Waseem Ahmed 14/09/2018
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Inzamam (c) has been backed by the PCB over the controversy.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ehsan Mani has thrown his support behind chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq after the former skipper was accused of indulging in nepotism by Abdul Qadir.

The controversy arose after Qadir alleged that Inzamam had made a call to Pakistan U19 chief selector Basit Ali to push for the inclusion of his son in the team.

Following the allegations by the former Pakistan leg-spinner, Inzamam took to Twitter to refute them on Tuesday.

In a video message posted on the social media site, the Pakistan selection chief said:  “I strongly refute this unfounded and malicious claim.”

“For the record, no one from the junior selection committee was approached and there is no truth in this. I am taking this matter quite seriously and will be meeting PCB chair for an open enquiry on this matter tomorrow.”

The allegations had also been denied by the Pakistan U19 team’s selection chief Basit Ali.

“I would like to request the PCB to take legal action against those who are spreading such rumours,” he said.

According to a report by ESPNCricinfo, the meeting between the PCB chief and Inzamam took place on Thursday upon the latter’s request. In the meeting, the PCB chief is understood to have assured the chief selector over his complete support and backing with regards to the allegations.

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Dale Steyn in line for ODI recall after two years against Zimbabwe

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Dale Steyn is back in the South Africa ODI squad

Dale Steyn is in line to make his first one-day international appearance in two years after being named in South Africa‘s squad for the upcoming series against Zimbabwe.

The 35-year-old paceman, who has been playing county cricket for Hampshire, has been absent from ODIs since the 5-0 whitewash of Australia in 2016 due to injuries.

Batsman Christiaan Jonker, 31, could make his ODI debut in the three-match series against Zimbabwe, which starts on September 30, but key duo Quinton de Kock and David Miller have been rested as the Proteas explore options ahead of next year’s World Cup.

“The selection of Christiaan Jonker is part of the ongoing process of our Vision 2019,” said CSA national selection panel convener Linda Zondi.

“He had an outstanding debut in the T20 format against India and we want to see whether he can convert that finishing form into the longer white-ball format as well.

“We still have ODI series after this one against Australia, Pakistan and Sri Lanka as we get closer to finalising our likely World Cup squad.”

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