Chris Gayle's ODI return a huge boost for West Indies, says Jason Holder

Sport360 staff 21:11 18/09/2017
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Chris Gayle

West Indies captain Jason Holder has backed the returning Chris Gayle to make a big impact in the one-day international series against England starting this week.

Tuesday’s fixture at Old Trafford, the first of a five-match ODI series, is set to be powerhouse opening batsman Gayle’s first at this level since the 2015 World Cup – where he made the first double century in the competition’s history, smashing a blistering 215 against Zimbabwe in Canberra.

A protracted dispute with cricket West Indies chiefs kept the 37-year-old Jamaica left-hander on the sidelines of the international game for more than two years.

But he returned to Twenty20 international action on his home ground of Sabina Park, Kingston, in July.

And he showed he had lost none of his ability to score rapidly with a blazing 40 off 21 balls as World Twenty20 champions West Indies beat England by 21 runs in the lone Twenty20 of their tour at Chester-le-Street on Saturday.

Gayle has scored more than 9,000 runs, including 22 hundreds, in 269 ODIs at a strike rate of 85.11.

Holder welcomed his impending return to the ODI format by telling reporters at Old Trafford on Monday: “It’s obviously a huge boost. The calibre of player Chris is, you can expect really good things from him.”

“He showed some form in the T20 game and had some good form in our CPL (Caribbean Premier League) competition recently concluded,” the all-rounder added.

“I’m really looking forward to having him back. He seems up for the challenge, he seems upbeat and really happy to be back. I’m looking forward to good things from Chris.”

TWENTY20WIN

Eoin Morgan (r) and Jason Holder.

Eoin Morgan (r) and Jason Holder.

Holder, not in the Twenty20 squad after leading West Indies in a 2-1 Test series loss to England earlier in the tour, said his side could take some confidence from a win at Chester-le-Street, where they overcame cold and wet conditions to record a convincing victory over England in a repeat of last year’s World Twenty20 final in Kolkata.

“That (Saturday’s) result should give is a bit of momentum, albeit a T20 game,” said Holder.

“We are professional athletes, we know what to expect here in English conditions. A few of the guys have played here before, a few played the T20 game coming into this one.”

The Barbados all-rounder added: “From all reports it was difficult in Durham with the wet outfield but it’s something we’ve grown to expect and you’ve just got to adapt and adjust to it.”

West Indies will need to win the upcoming series either 5-0 or 4-0 with a tie or a no-result if they are to gain direct entry into the 2019 World Cup in England.

A failure to do so would mean West Indies, the 1975 and 1979 World Cup winners, cannot overtake Sri Lanka, currently eighth in the ODI rankings.

Only the top seven sides, apart from hosts England, currently fourth, as of September 30 will qualify directly for the 50-over showpiece event in 2019.

Teams that do not gain direct entry will get another shot through a qualifying tournament.

“The guys are up for the challenge. We’ve obviously got some new faces coming back into the side and it’s exciting times for our cricket,” said Holder.

“We are still at a stage where we are looking to rebuild and hopefully these guys coming back can bring a lot of experience and expertise to what we are doing.”

Provided by AFP Sport

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Former Kiwi pacer Shane Bond believes he is ready to become a head coach

Sport360 staff 15:37 18/09/2017
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Bond (left) has taken charge of New Zealand A on a short-term deal.

Former New Zealand pacer Shane Bond has said that he is ready to take up the role of a head coach.

Bond has been involved with coaching for the past seven years which has seen him take up the bowling coach roles with the New Zealand cricket team, Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Mumbai Indians and Big Bash League (BBL) outfit Brisbane Heat.

The 42-year-old has recently been given charge of the New Zealand A team who will fly out to India on Tuesday.

Bond has been handed a short-term contract with the side which will play two four-day games and five ODIs during their tour of the country.

“I think it’s time and I’m ready to go into a head coach role having been an assistant coach for seven years now,” Bond said in an interview with One News Now.

“I think you always like to sometimes put your own stamp on things and I think the only way to know if you really want to do the role is actually get in and do it,” he added.

The Christchurch-born man believes that a move from bowling coach to head coach would be the next logical step in his personal development and he is keen to take up that challenge.

“I love being a bowling coach but I think it gives a different perspective in terms of my own personal development, it’s a new challenge and I think it will be good for me,” he said.

“I’ve got really clear ideas about how I want to run things over there with a really good team behind me and we will just reflect on it at the end of the series.”

Bond was the bowling coach of New Zealand between 2012-15.

Bond was the bowling coach of New Zealand between 2012-15.

The New Zealand A side will take on their Indian counterparts in the first four-day game at Vijaywada starting this Saturday.

While a head coach now seems to be Bond’s aim, there have been murmurs about the former Blackcaps pacer being in line for the England bowling coach role on a short-term deal for the upcoming Ashes series Down Under.

England are without a bowling coach at the moment following Ottis Gibson’s resignation in the summer to take up the head coach role at South Africa.

Widen Cricketers’ Almanack editor Lawrence Booth had said in a report that England were set to confirm the Kiwi for the job after he was named their preferred candidate last week.

The report had mentioned that Bond would join up the England squad for the first three Tests only to enable him to fulfill his contract with Brisbane Heat for the BBL which starts on December 19.

Whether Bond will take up the role remains to be seen but for now the Kiwi stalwart has set his eyes on being a head coach.

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Yuzvendra Chahal refutes Steve Smith's suggestions that two new balls put Australia at a disadvantage in Chennai chase

Sport360 staff 13:36 18/09/2017
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Chahal said that two new balls was in fact a plus for Australia.

It seems things are already spicing up between India and Australia as the two teams battle it out in the five-match ODI series which got underway at Chennai on Sunday.

Virat Kohli’s men drew first blood in the limited-overs clashes after a 26-run victory via the Duckworth-Lewis method after rain had delayed Australia’s chase of 282.

Ultimately, Steve Smith’s men were set a reduced target of 164 to get in 21 overs, a total which would prove 26 runs too many in the end.

After the match, the Aussie skipper pointed out the disadvantage his side faced in having to deal with two new balls for the 21-over innings.

Smith had made the suggestion in his post-match comments.

Smith had made the suggestion in his post-match comments.

“It was never going to be easy chasing 160 with two new balls. I think 160 with one new ball would have made things a lot easier,” Smith said.

“When you have two new balls from both ends, as you saw the whole game, we took three wickets with the new ball and they found it quite hard. It was the same for us. When you are playing 20 overs, you don’t have a great deal of time to make things up.

“You need eight an over basically from ball one. It was difficult in that aspect. Perhaps we could have been a little bit more defensive at the start, keep wickets in hand and went harder later.”

Australia had been reduced to 35-4 by the Indian pacers early into their innings as they found the going tough on Chennai pitch generating enough movement to trouble the batsmen.

However, Indian spinner Yuzvendra Chahal was not impressed by the Smith’s comment and refuted the Aussie skipper’s remarks that two new balls was a plus for the hosts.

“If they would have won then they could have said that (two new balls) was a plus point because the ball came on nicely to the bat,” the leg-spinner said.

“Our minus point was that we had to bowl 10 overs each with a new ball. We bowled well, so whether it’s a new or old ball, it doesn’t matter. Australia had an advantage in the 20-over game, because the rule was not for a 20-over game and the extra fielder was always in the inner circle.

“But the plus was that the wicket was turning and the way our medium-pacers bowled at the start helped us put pressure on them from the very beginning. We never allowed them to get into the game,” he added.

Chahal had picked up the crucial wicket of Glen Maxwell who threatened briefly to take the game away from India, along with the scalps of Matthew Wade and Pat Cummins to finish with impressive figures of 3-30 in his five overs.

The two sides now move to Kolkata where the second ODI will take place at the Eden Gardens on Thursday.

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