Australia's squad drawing inspiration from mentor Steve Waugh ahead of Ashes series

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Steve Waugh (l) is serving as Australia's mentor for the tour.

Australia’s Ashes hopefuls are drawing inspiration from Steve Waugh who has been appointed as the team’s mentor for the upcoming series against arch-rivals England.

Waugh was the last Australia skipper to clinch an Ashes series win on English soil with his men triumphing by 4-1 in 2001. The former Australia skipper has now been appointed as the mentor for Tim Paine and his men who begin their defence of the Ashes trophy on August 1 at Birmingham.

One of the men to be inspired by Waugh’s presence in the Australia camp is Alex Carey who had a brilliant individual campaign in the 2019 World Cup.

“Having Steve (Waugh) here is amazing for the group,” Carey was quoted as saying by cricket.com.au.

“He’s won (eight) Ashes series and played a lot here, so to have the knowledge of Steve Waugh – one of the greatest Australian cricketers – is something we’re really lucky to have.

“As soon as you see an Australian great you want to impress them. Obviously Ricky’s (Ponting) one, and JL (Langer) was another coming into this group and now we’ve got Steve.”

Carey turned out to be a revelation in the 2019 World Cup for Australia with the wicketkeeper batsman registering 375 runs while affecting 20 dismissals in his 10 appearances. The Aussie is now hoping to pick Waugh’s ears as he prepares to transition to red-ball cricket.

“Personally, I just had a quick chat just getting to know Steve. It’s quite early and he’ll mentor us and have his spin on things. It’s just great knowledge to have,” he said.

“Steve’s been watching the one-day stuff and commentating a bit there. I’ve had a few little chats with him, but more moving now into the red ball and getting that focus of a longer format.

“The patience of the game, staying focused for longer, little things that will come out over the next few days. The more we train, the more you start talking, you start asking questions.”

Ahead of the start of their Ashes tour, the Australians will play an intra-squad three-day warm-up game beginning on July 23. The two teams will be coached by Brad Haddin and Graeme Hick with Carey set to don the wicketkeeping gloves for the former’s side.

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Eoin Morgan and JP Duminy land Bangladesh Premier League contracts

Waseem Ahmed 21/07/2019
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Eoin Morgan is set for a maiden stint in the BPL.

England’s 2019 ICC World Cup winning ODI skipper Eoin Morgan has landed his maiden Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) contract after being roped in by the Dhaka Dynamites for the upcoming season.

Morgan, who led England to their maiden World Cup glory just recently, will join Bangladesh star Shakib Al Hasan at the Dhaka franchise.

“We have signed Morgan for the upcoming edition of BPL considering his vast experience in shorter format cricket,” Dhaka Dynamites chief executive Obaid Nizam told Cricbuzz.

“We are expecting him to be available for the whole season,” he added.

The England skipper had this week been unveiled as one of the icon players for the inaugural Euro T20 Slam where he will represent the Dublin Chiefs outfit.

Meanwhile, BPL franchise Rajshahi Kings have roped in South Africa’s JP Duminy for the upcoming season as one of their two out-of-draft signings.

The veteran all-rounder had retired from international cricket following the completion of the 2019 ICC World Cup and he will be playing in the BPL for the first time in the upcoming edition.

“Rajshahi Kings are proud to announce that South African all-rounder JP Duminy is a King now,” the franchise announced in a Facebook post.

“Duminy: an elegant left-handed batsman, a useful spinner and a sharp fielder, has served South Africa for more than 14 years. He has a vast experience in franchise cricket and already led PSL team Islamabad United to their second title in 2018,” the post added.

Earlier, the Khulna Titans had signed Australian veteran opener Shane Watson for the upcoming edition. The 2019-20 edition of the BPL is slated to get underway in the first week of December later this year.

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Dhoni's future remains unclear and other talking points from India's squad selection for Windies tour

Ashish Peter 21/07/2019
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Dhoni's future remains unclear.

The India selectors met on Sunday to announce the squads for the upcoming tour of the West Indies and there were a few surprises.

With the tour coming immediately after the 2019 ICC World Cup in England, it was always going to be interesting to see which approach the selectors took for the future.

In the end, some questions were answered while others were not. Here, we look at the key takeaways from the India squad announcement.

BHUVNESHWAR’S TEST EXILE CONTINUES

One of the biggest surprises in the Test squad was the omission of Bhuvneshwar Kumar with the seamer missing out once again. Once a front-line Test bowler for India, Bhuvneshwar has now not made an appearance in the format since the tour of South Africa at the start of 2018.

A back injury meant that he did not feature in the subsequent Test series in England and he has found it difficult to find a way back since. The 29-year-old did not get a single game in India’s historic Test series triumph in Australia while he did not play the home Tests against Afghanistan and West Indies either last year.

Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav will carry the pace responsibilities for India in the Caribbean while Bhuvneshwar will have to be content with a place in the limited-overs squads. Is there a way back into the Test squad for the seamer now?

No Test appearance for Bhuvi since January, 2018.

No Test appearances for Bhuvi since January, 2018.

END OF THE ROAD FOR KARTHIK?

With Dinesh Karthik not being picked for either the T20 or ODI squads, it looks like the end of the road in international cricket for the veteran wicketkeeper-batsman.

The 34-year-old was picked as the reserve wicketkeeper in the World Cup squad but still found himself behind Rishabh Pant in the pecking order once the youngster was drafted in as a replacement.

Karthik did not really get many opportunities in England but his disastrous showing with the bat in the semi-final loss to New Zealand seems to have cost him a place in the squad. The Chennai-born player would have expected to make the cut for at least the T20 squad but even those doors have been closed on him now.

At his age, it will be difficult for Karthik to make another comeback to international cricket but he has done it before.

Could be curtains for Karthik's India career.

Could be curtains for Karthik’s India career.

CHAHAR COUSINS MAKE IT BIG

Sunday’s squad announcement would have been cause for jubilation in the Chahar family with both Deepak and Rahul finding a place in the T20 squad. While Deepak has already appeared in an ODI and T20 for India previously, it was the maiden international call up for cousin brother Rahul.

The young leg-spinner made his mark in the 2019 edition of the IPL with Mumbai Indians with 13 wickets at an impressive economy-rate of 6.55 in his debut season. Deepak too had an impressive IPL campaign with Chennai Super Kings this year with the seamer picking up 22 wickets in 17 appearances.

DHONI FUTURE UNCLEAR

The limelight was always going to be on MS Dhoni as India’s selectors met with the veteran’s future in international cricket being the big burning question.

In the end, no clearer answer was provided with the wicketkeeper batsman making himself unavailable for the tour. The 2019 World Cup was heavily speculated to be Dhoni’s international swansong but the wicketkeeper has given no indication of retiring anytime soon.

When asked if he would have picked Dhoni in the squad if he was available, chief selector MSK Prasad replied, “First of all he is not fit, so when he is fit and available, then we’ll see.”

The ambiguity of that statement will only add further fuel to the fire surrounding Dhoni’s future. With the veteran’s future plans still unclear, the situation remains in limbo and the selectors will be faced with the same difficult question a few months down the line.

What next for the 37-year-old?

What next for the 37-year-old?

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