New Zealand opener Martin Guptill ruled out of Pakistan series with calf strain

Sport360 staff 16:13 19/10/2018
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Guptill is ruled out for both the ODI and T20 clashes with Pakistan.

New Zealand have been dealt a major blow ahead of their tour of the UAE where they take on Pakistan with opening batsman Martin Guptill ruled out with a calf injury.

The Kiwi limited-overs openers sustained a strain on his left calf and his name has now been withdrawn from both the T20 and ODI squads for the series.

The 32-year-old, who picked up the injury during a first-class game for Auckland, is expected to be sidelined for four to six weeks at least.

“Unfortunately for Martin it will take him some time to get over this injury,” New Zealand selector Gavin Larsen said.

“And, with a long summer ahead, we need to make sure we minimise the risk of him repeating it.”

The tour of the UAE is set to be newly appointed coach Gary Stead’s first assignment and will see the Black Caps take on Pakistan in three T20s, three ODIs and three Tests.

Two spots in the limited-overs squads had been left open for the best performers from the New Zealand A team which are currently in the UAE. With Guptill’s injury, an additional spot is now up for grabs.

“Gary Stead and I will work through the possible replacement options. We now have three spots to fill in the T20 and one-day squad,” Larsen stated.

New Zealand’s tour of the UAE gets underway at the end of the month with the first of the three T20s taking place on October 31.

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Australia's Pat Cummins looking forward to rekindle pace rivalry with Kagiso Rabada

Sport360 staff 16:10 19/10/2018
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Cummins and Rabada are set to go head-to-head once again.

Australia pace ace Pat Cummins is set to renew his rivalry with South Africa’s Kagiso Rabada when the two sides meet in an ODI series next month.

Cummins had been out of action with a back injury which ruled him out of Australia’s tour of the UAE but is now back to bowling after regaining his fitness.

The 25-year-old made his injury comeback with a JLT One-Day Cup clash for New South Wales earlier this month before playing in a four-day game this week.

The Australia-South Africa ODI series will rekindle the rivalry between Cummins and Rabada which started during the controversial Test series earlier this year.

In a series marred by Australia’s ball-tampering scandal, Cummins finished as the second highest wicket-taker with 22 wickets while Rabada topped the charts with 23 scalps to his name.

As the two sides get ready for their first meeting since the Cape Town episode, Cummins is looking forward to rubbing shoulders with South Africa’s young pace sensation once again.

“You always want to get one up on each other, but really you’re just worried about what you’re doing,” Cummins told cricket.com.au.

Cummins made his comeback from injury earlier this month.

Cummins made his comeback from injury earlier this month.

“He’s (Rabada) set the standard the last couple of years in fast bowling. You always pick up things watching the best do their stuff.

“We’re a similar age, similar bowling styles in that we’re trying to be attacking, bowl fast and aim to take those big wickets.”

While praising Rabada, Cummins also took the time to laud veteran Dale Steyn who continues his white-ball comeback following a frustrating period with injuries.

“If Rabada’s been setting the standard the last couple of years then Steyn was setting the standard for fast bowling half a dozen years before that,” the Aussie stated.

“He’s someone who always gets themselves in the game, he always the strike weapon, up for every game, he bowls fast, takes big wickets and is so competitive.

“It’s great to see him back. He’s had a couple of serious injuries but to get himself back and be a star performer again is great for the game.”

The three-match ODI series between the two rivals gets underway on November 4 in Perth. The ODIs will be followed by a one-off T20I in Queensland on November 14.

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Australia player ratings as Shaun Marsh get a 1 while Usman Khawaja shines

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Shaun Marsh (r) was Australia's biggest disappointment.

Pakistan inflicted a crushing 373-run loss on Australia in the second and final Test at Abu Dhabi to capture the two-match series 1-0.

The two Tests completed coach Justin Langer’s first red-ball assignment since taking over the role post the infamous ball-tampering episode which occurred in South Africa earlier this year.

Here, we rate Tim Paine and his rejigged Australia Test squad’s performance over the course of the two matches in the UAE.

AARON FINCH – 7

The Aussie limited-overs stalwart was handed his maiden Test call up for the series and gave an admirable account of himself. The opener struck 62 and 49 in first Test at Dubai and got decent starts in the two innings at Abu Dhabi.

USMAN KHAWAJA – 8

The left-hander was Australia’s best batsman in the series by a country mile. His heroic efforts in Dubai where he registered an 81 in the first innings before putting on a match-saving 141 in the second should cement his place for good in the Test setup but the knee injury sustained in Abu Dhabi will come as a bitter pill to swallow.

A mighty fine effort from Khawaja.

A mighty fine effort from Khawaja.

TRAVIS HEAD – 5

The top-order batsman registered a fine 72 in the second innings at Dubai which was pivotal to Australia snatching a remarkable draw. However, he failed to really come to the party otherwise and will be highly disappointed with his returns.

SHAUN MARSH – 1

A combined total of 14 runs from four innings from the veteran in the Australia’s batting card was one of the main reasons for the visitors’ loss. The 35-year-old has been out of form for some time now and looks way past his best. A retirement or axing should be on the cards after the series.

It could be curtains for Marsh's Test career.

It could be curtains for Marsh’s Test career.

MITCHELL MARSH – 3

The junior of the Marsh siblings fared no better than Shaun himself with only 30 runs to show for from his four innings. The all-rounder fared just slightly better with the ball where he picked up two wickets across the series but his place in the side should rightly be questioned on the team’s return.

MARNUS LABUSCHAGNE – 6

The 24-year-old debutant did not really create any impact with the bat and was guilty of a massive brain fade to be run-out in the second Test. He did finish the series with a his highest Test score of 43 but it was his part-time leg spin that proved to be his most effective weapon in the series.

TIM PAINE – 5

The wicketkeeper-batsman’s first full series as Australia captain did not go according to plan. While he showed tremendous guts and spirit with his unbeaten effort of 61 in the second innings at Dubai, Paine was largely off-colour with the bat with his remaining three innings yielding only 10 runs.

NATHAN LYON – 8

The Aussie was the most prolific spinner from either side in the series with 12 scalps to his name at an average just greater than 32. The off-spinner performed his task with conviction and will feel let down by the support from the rest of the bowling line up.

Lyon was the prolific spinner from either side.

Lyon was the prolific spinner from either side.

MITCHELL STARC – 6

On the docile pitches of Dubai and Abu Dhabi, Mitchell Starc cannot be faulted for a lack of effort. While he did bowl his heart out, Starc’s pace failed to really trouble the Pakistan batsman and he just had four wickets to show for his troubles in the end.

PETER SIDDLE – 5

The veteran Aussie workhorse was handed a Test recall due to the injuries to Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood. He too, like Starc, bowled with gumption throughout the series but his medium pace never really reached threatening levels.

JON HOLLAND – 5

The 31-year-old made a return to Australia’s Test setup to provide a second spinning option for the visitors. The left-arm orthodox spinner was decent in Dubai with a four-wicket match haul but failed to pick up a single wicket in Abu Dhabi.

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