Australia's Steve Smith revealed in Platinum Category for PSL 4

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Steve Smith has been nominated in the Platinum Category.

Former Australia skipper Steve Smith was nominated as a Platinum Category player in the draft for the fourth edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) on Thursday.

The banned Aussie star is among 14 big names named in the Platinum Category who will be a part of the player pool when the player draft for the league gets underway. The Platinum Category denotes the most pedigreed overseas players in the league and is the highest among all categories.

South Africa stalwart AB de Villiers is another name which has been nominated in the same section. Platinum Category players from last season can be retained, traded or released into the draft pool by the respective franchises.

500 players have thrown their hat into the ring for the fourth edition and the draft will get underway once the player retention and trade window closes in the second week of October.

If picked, this will be the third overseas T20 league Smith has participated since he was handed a one-year ban by Cricket Australia for his role in the infamous ball-tampering episode which occurred in South Africa earlier this year.

Both Smith and his former deputy David Warner took part the inaugural Global T20 Canada in the summer before heading off to the West Indies to participate in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL).

The duo were both expected to participate in the PSL too but according to a report on ESPNCricinfo, Warner has now turned down the invitation.

Afghanistan’s wrist-spin prodigy Rashid Khan is another star who has been reserved in the Platinum Category with the 20-year-old currently on the roster of Quetta Gladiators.

Each of the six franchises will be required to register a total of 16 players in the draft with four spots reserved for young and emerging talents from Pakistan.

The fourth edition of the PSL will get underway on February 14 with the final being held at the National Stadium in Karachi on March 17. The edition will see a total of eight matches, including the final, taking place on Pakistan soil while the UAE plays host to the other fixtures.

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A debut to savour for young Prithvi Shaw and other takeaways

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Instant impact from the young man. Image - BCCI/Twitter.

It was a tough day for the visitors in the field as India made a strong start in the first Test against the West Indies at Rajkot. The hosts were placed at 364-4 before stumps were drawn on day one with skipper Virat Kohli (72) unbeaten at the crease.

It was Kohli who won the toss and elected to bat first on a dry surface and his decision was vindicated by an excellent showing by India’s batsmen.

With the hosts in the ascendancy already in the first Test, we take a look at the talking points from day one.

WEST INDIES DEALT HOLDER BLOW BEFORE START

Even before a ball had been bowled in Rajkot, West Indies were dealt a huge blow with skipper Jason Holder being ruled out of the Test due to an ankle injury.

There was a surprise at the toss with Kraig Brathwaite coming out instead of Holder. The loss of the talismanic Holder, who was injured, could not have come at a worse time for the Caribbean side who had to also make do without the services of pacer Kemar Roach after his grandmother passed away.

While Roach has been West Indies’ pace spearhead of late, Holder’s absence would have hurt even more given how important his contributions are with both bat and ball. The two senior players also bring with them plenty of experience and their loss robbed a young West Indies outfit of some much-needed leadership on the eve of the Test.

DEBUTANT SHAW MAKES HISTORY FOR INDIA

While West Indies were struggling with the absence of key players, all Indian eyes were on young Prithvi Shaw who was handed his Test debut aged just 18. The teenager showed no signs of nerves in his maiden Test innings as he feasted on West Indies’ insipid bowling on a placid track.

Making hay against some wayward bowling despite India losing KL Rahul in the first over of the day itself, Shaw was scored at almost run-a-ball as he raced away to a 56-ball half-century. He did not just stop there though, as he forged a formidable partnership with Cheteshwar Pujara and was equally effective against both pacers and spinners in a free-flowing innings littered with boundaries.

The Mumbai-born youngster brought up a maiden Test ton in just 99 balls as he became the youngest Indian batsman to notch up a hundred on his debut. Shaw was barely troubled during his 154-ball stay at the crease and it is a testament to his attacking intent that the scoring-rate came down drastically once he departed.

INSIPID WEST INDIES LEFT WITH A MOUNTAIN TO CLIMB

If the visitors were hoping to give India a run for their money after their recent resurgence in the format, those hopes were quickly dashed on the day one. The absence of Holder and Roach was greatly felt at Rajkot with none of the West Indies’ bowlers apart from Shannon Gabriel really threatening the Indian batsmen.

The visitors’ hopes would have been raised coming into the match with all the talk being about how India would lay out bouncy pitches for the tour in preparation of their visit to Australia at the end of the year. Instead, what greeted them was a lifeless track where bowlers, especially pacers, had their work cut out.

That most of their bowlers were poor on the day did not help their cause either with the likes of Keemo Paul and debutant Sherman Lewis being highly wayward with their lines and lengths. The spinners fared no better either with Roston Chase being tonked to all parts of the ground while Devendra Bishoo failed to really create an impact apart from his wicket of Shaw.

Now, the visitors have been left with a mountain to climb with Virat Kohli looking in ominous form ahead of day two.

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India v West Indies LIVE: India pile on 364-4 on day one

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Virat Kohli registers another Test fifty.

India made a rollicking start with the bat in the first Test against the West Indies at Rajkot with the hosts piling on 364-4 on day one.

India lost KL Rahul for a duck in the very first over with Shannon Gabriel trapping the opener lbw. His partner, Prithvi Shaw, has started strongly though and is looking good at the crease in the company of Cheteshwar Pujara. The youngster has brought up a maiden Test fifty off just 56 deliveries with the help of seven boundaries. That feat has made him the youngest Indian batsman to register a half-century on Test debut.

The pair, meanwhile, has brought up a century stand in no time with India racing away to 133-1 at the end of 25 overs before lunch was taken on day one. Post lunch, the two batsmen continued to take the attack to the West Indie bowlers with Shaw racing away to a maiden ton on debut. His 99-ball ton has made him the fourth youngest batsman in history to notch up a hundred on his Test debut. The 206-run stand for the second wicket was finally broken by Sherman Lewis who removed Pujara on 86. Later, Shaw’s superb 134-run innings came to and end after he was caught and bowled by Devendra Bishoo.

Then, Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane put on a 105-run stand with the former registering yet another Test fifty. Rahane (41) fell towards the end of the day’s play after he was caught behind off the bowling of Roston Chase.

All eyes are on young Prithvi Shaw as India take on West Indies in the first Test of the two-match series at Rajkot. The Mumbai youngster will be in the spotlight after skipper Virat Kohli won the toss and elected to bat first.

The 18-year-old opener is making his Test debut at the same venue where he played his maiden Ranji Trophy match last year after being handed his first international cap by Kohli himself on Thursday morning.

While India have handed the teenager his debut, West Indies will have to make do without the services of skipper Jason Holder who was ruled out of the Test due to an ankle injury. Kraigg Brathwaite will captain the Caribbean side in his absence.

India have named a three-man span attack in the form of Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav.

Can Prithvi Shaw make it a debut to remember or will the West Indies spoil the party? Do not miss any of the action by following the ball-by-ball updates from Rajkot below.

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