While the ramifications of the ball-tampering episode that occurred on the tour of South Africa are still biting Australian cricket, pacer Josh Hazlewood has spoken up on the on the events preceding the infamous incident.
The ugly episode saw skipper Steve Smith and deputy David Warner being handed a one-year ban from international and domestic cricket by Cricket Australia while Cameron Bancroft was handed a nine-month sentence.
Hazlewood has revealed that it was the motto of winning ‘at all costs’ that proved to be the undoing for the Australian team in the end.
“It’s a big tour always South Africa, coming off the back of an Ashes as well which was quite stressful,” Hazlewood told News Corp. “All big tours are stressful and that added pressure we probably put on ourselves as much as anyone to win.
“Where the stress has come from is that we are pretty much measured on our cricket ability, not as people off the field, which we had probably got away from in the past six months, 12 months.
“A focus only on results I guess drives people to do different things and we are only measured on our cricket success,” he added.
“I don’t think that’s how it is now, I think that’s changed a little bit, JL (Justin Langer) has talked a lot about how we are behaving off the field and we are going to be measured on that as well which is a good sign.”
The 27-year-old pacer also revealed his surprise to the reaction the incident generated in the media.
“We went to bed that night and Australia hadn’t woken up yet, when it hit back in Australia and we woke up it was quite surprising how big a reaction it was,” said the NSW Blues paceman.
“It wasn’t massive in South Africa, all the Australian writers know it’s going on here and there and around different teams and people have been done in the past, I guess they talked it down a bit if anything but once it hit home the media went the other way and the reaction was massive,” he explained.
The Australian dressing room culture shift has been talked about greatly by new coach Justin Langer and captain Tim Paine.
Both of them have alluded to wanting to change the cut-throat environment in the dressing room as they seek to commence a new chapter for Australian cricket following the public outcry over the scandal.
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11:18pm – West Indies need 188 runs at tea for win
West Indies are in position to claim the second Test against Sri Lanka, requiring 188 runs with six wickets in hand at tea. After Sri Lanka were bowled out for 342, Kasun Rajitha struck for two early wickets to put the pressure on West Indies. However, the hosts steadied the ship as Kraigg Brathwaite and Shai Hope carried them to tea.
6:00pm – Sunil Gavaskar takes potshot at Ireland and Scotland
India cricket legend Sunil Gavaskar is known for speaking his mind. This time, the Mumbai based former India man has taken aim at the likes of Ireland and Scotland as he sought to defend the 10-team World Cup format. Read more about the legendary opener’s controversial statements in the full story here.
5:00pm – Australia at their lowest ODI ranking in 34 years
Down 2-0 in the five-match series, Australia will get no more second chances when they lock horns with England in the third ODI at Trent Bridge on Tuesday. The visitors have also dropped to their lowest ODI ranking (sixth) in 34 years after their loss in the second ODI at Cardiff. All that is among our talking points ahead of the Nottingham clash which you can read here.
4:30pm – Adam Zampa bemoans lack of cricket after ODI snub
Leg-spinner Adam Zampa was not picked for Australia’s ongoing ODI series against England despite wrist-spinners being quite the vogue in limited-overs cricket currently. Zampa has performed admirably when called upon by Australia but he concedes that the lack of cricket is currently hurting his chances. Read what the leg-spinner had to say in the full story here.
4:00pm – South Africa pick Tabraiz Shamsi and Keshav Maharaj for Sri Lanka ODIs
South Africa have announced their squad for the five ODIs against Sri Lanka which get underway next month. There was no place for Dale Steyn or Vernon Philander but the Proteas have picked spinners Tabraiz Shamsi and Keshav Maharaj. Read who else made the cut for South Africa in the full story here.
2:30pm – Shadab Khan shines in progress report of Pakistan’s Champions Trophy winning stars
It has been exactly one year since Sarfraz Ahmed and his Pakistan side lifted the ICC Champions Trophy after a thumping 180-run win over arch-rivals India in the finals. While Waqar Younis has declared that the side has a good chance of winning the 2019 ICC World Cup at the same venue, Sport360’s Ajit Vijaykumar takes a look at how the stars from that fairytale win have performed over the past year. You can take a look at his progress report here.
2:15pm – England’s Chris Woakes ruled out for at least three weeks
England have been dealt another injury blow with Chris Woakes joining fellow all-rounder Ben Stokes for a spell on the sidelines. Woakes had had to take an injection for his chronic knee injury and has been ruled out of the ODI series against Australia. Read more on this developing England cricket story here.
2:00pm – Prithvi Shaw and other youngsters impress in India ‘A’ win
The India ‘A’ side kicked off their tour of England with a thumping 125-run win over an ECB XI at Leeds on Sunday. Prithvi Shaw was among several youngsters to impress for India ‘A’ in their win. Read who else performed well for the Rahul Dravid-coached side at Headingley in our report card.
12:30pm – Waqar Younis says Pakistan have a chance to win 2019 ICC World Cup
It is exactly a year since Pakistan famously beat arch-rivals India against all odds to lift the ICC Champions Trophy in England. You can check out the best images from that match in our gallery to commemorate Pakistan’s win. Meanwhile, former Pakistan skipper Waqar Younis believes that win will hold Sarfraz Ahmed’s men in great stead for the 2019 ICC World Cup at the same venue. Read what the Pakistan pace legend had to say about the side’s chances here.
11:30am – Usman Khawaja not giving up hopes on Australia ODI recall
Despite being a consistent performer in the domestic circuit for the past few years, Usman Khawaja had to face the disappointment of not being picked in the Australia ODI squad in the ongoing series against England. However, the elegant batsman is not losing hope yet and remains determined to force his way back into the plans of new coach Justin Langer. Read more on what Khawaja had to say on his non-selection here.
11:15am – Sourav Ganguly tells Afghanistan to not lose hope after India loss
Afghanistan’s maiden foray into Test cricket ended cruelly inside two days with a defeat by an innings and 262 runs. However, former India skipper Sourav Ganguly has asked the debutants to not lose hope after their defeat to the No1 ranked Test team. Read more on what Ganguly believes Afghanistan can do to establish themselves as a top Test-playing nation in the future here.
Many years ago, the West Indies was the land of fast bowlers. Burly quicks terrorised batsmen on fast and flat wickets. Batting was all about survival. Malcolm Marshall, Andy Roberts, Michael Holding and Joel Garner fought for the new ball, which meant the bowler who drew the short straw was especially incensed and had a point to prove when he got the older ball in hand.
After the great Courtney Walsh and Curtly Ambrose retired, the pace machinery dried up. Sure, there were occasional sparks like Fidel Edwards, Tino Best and Jerome Taylor but nothing substantial or sustainable especially in the Test format.
But over the past few seasons, Shannon Gabriel has galvanised West Indies bowling to form one of the more potent attacks in the world in the longest format.
The burly Trinidad pacer picked up 8-62 in Sri Lanka’s second innings in the St Lucia Test on Monday, which underlined his status as one of the most effective bowlers in Test cricket at the moment.
The 30-year-old has raw pace, and loads of it. He has added late movement off the pitch to become a particularly dangerous bowler with the new and old ball. And the results are visible when you look at stats over the last two years.
In 24 months, Gabriel has snared 66 wickets from 18 Tests which places him in 10th position among fast bowlers currently playing Test cricket. And he is not alone in his efforts.
The West Indies have provided decent, if not adequate, pace support from the other end with captain Jason Holder and quicks Miguel Cummins and Kemar Roach holding up one end.
It should therefore not come as a surprise that among teams that have played a similar number of Tests in the last two years as the West Indies – 19 – the record of the Caribbean side is as good. The Windies have taken 324 wickets in 19 Tests, compared to Pakistan’s 349 in 20 Tests and New Zealand’s 238 in 18.
India are the No1 Test team in the world but the West Indies’ wicket-taking record is arguably better. The Indians have played eight more Tests than the Windies in the same period but have only taken 27 more scalps.
This West Indies attack isn’t the most menacing going around and not even close to the ones produced by the great archipelago over the years. But under the leadership of Gabriel, they are doing quite well indeed.