Shreyas Iyer waiting in the wings as India prepare for ODI battle with West Indies

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Shreyas Iyer has been patiently waiting for his chance.

After a lopsided T20 series where India completed a 3-0 clean sweep over the West Indies, the two sides will meet again on Thursday in the first of the three ODI clashes at Guyana.

It will be the first 50-over outing for the two sides since the completion of the 2019 ICC World Cup in England and they will both want to get back to winning ways in the format at Providence.

It will be the visitors who will be undeniably start the three-match ODI series as favourites but the hosts have plenty of firepower.

Gayle’s return boosts hosts

There was hardly anything for the hosts to shout about in the T20I series with the Men in Blue emerging as comprehensive victors. However, the return of veteran opener Chris Gayle to the fold will bolster the hopes of Jason Holder and his men in the three upcoming ODI clashes.

The Jamaican was set to hang up his international boots post the completion of the World Cup but a late change of heart means he will walk out to bat in front of his home fans once again in a Windies shirt.

Gayle did not have the best of times in the World Cup but the southpaw will take confidence from his last ODI series showing in the Caribbean. He was in sensational form when world champions England came calling to the West Indies in February this year and struck two tons and as many half-centuries in four innings against Eoin Morgan and his men.

That form will be what Gayle will hope to bring to the table for the hosts who are desperate for some form of inspiration from somewhere.

The Universe Boss is back for this one.

The Universe Boss is back for this one.

India look to put behind World Cup disappointment

It will be a chance for Virat Kohli and his men to make amends for their failed World Cup campaign where they came unstuck against New Zealand in the semi-final. It had been a near perfect campaign for the Men in Blue otherwise in England but the disappointment of that shock exit will still linger on for some time to come.

Two players who had disappointing World Cup campaigns in England after much was expected of them were wrist-spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav. The duo has been India’s go to spinners in the limited-overs formats over the past two years but they will need to affirm their credentials once again with youngsters such as Rahul Chahar and Washington Sundar waiting in the wings.

Kuldeep and Chahal were not picked in the recent T20 series and they have their work cut out for them in the upcoming ODI series if they want to be on the plane for the 2020 T20 World Cup in Australia.

A chance for Kuldeep and Chahal to make amends.

A chance for Kuldeep and Chahal to make amends.

Will Shreyas Iyer get a chance?

India ringed in the changes for the recent T20I series with all members of the squad bar one getting a workout across the three matches. The only player to not get a single outing in the whole series was young Shreyas Iyer.

The 24-year-old has a healthy batting average of 42 in six ODI appearances for India previously but has not been given an extended run in the squad despite the woes in the middle-order. With Shikhar Dhawan returning to the ODI fold after his injury, KL Rahul could once again drop down the order to No4 while Rishabh Pant could be deployed a floater batsman.

That leaves one spot in the middle-order up from grabs and it will be a straight shootout between Iyer and Manish Pandey for it. Pandey was the preferred option in the middle-order for Kohli in the T20 series but the 29-year-old failed to really make an impact with 27 runs in three innings.

Iyer is waiting for his chance in the middle-order.

Iyer is waiting for his chance in the middle-order.

LIKELY XIs

West Indies: Chris Gayle, Evin Lewis, Shai Hope (wk), Nicholas Pooran, Shimron Hetmyer, Carlos Brathwaite, Jason Holder (c), Keemo Paul, Roston Chase, Sheldon Cottrell, Oshane Thomas.

India: Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli (c), KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Navdeep Saini, Yuzvendra Chahal/Kuldeep Yadav.

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Top stars on board as T10 League sets base in Abu Dhabi

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T10 creator Shaji Ul Mulk (3rd, l).

The path-breaking T10 League is ready to reach the next level after joining hands with Abu Dhabi. After two successful season at the iconic Sharjah Cricket Stadium, the T10 League has shifted base to the Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi after signing a five-year deal.

Backing from major entities like Abu Dhabi Tourism, Abu Dhabi Sports Council and Abu Dhabi Cricket means the stage is set for a blockbuster third edition in November.

On Wednesday, some of the biggest names in franchise cricket put their names in the hat for the 2019 Abu Dhabi T10 draft.

England’s World Cup-winning captain Eoin Morgan, Pakistan veteran Shoaib Malik, Windies all-rounder Darren Sammy, Sri Lankan icons Angelo Matthews and Lasith Malinga, Australia star Shane Watson and Caribbean legends Andre Russell, Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo are some of the names who will be a part of the spectacle.

Eoin Morgan.

Eoin Morgan.

It is a major moment in the UAE and Abu Dhabi cricket and His Excellency Aref Al Awani, General Secretary of Abu Dhabi Sports Council, concurred: “Up and down the Abu Dhabi T10 roster you will find world-class talent, big personalities and the best possible ambassadors of the game. We could not be happier at the timing of this partnership to bring the brightest stars in cricket to the UAE, such as Eoin Morgan.”

The brains behind the concept and T10 Sports Management Group Founder and Chairman, Shaji Ul Mulk, was proud of how far the league and format have come.

“The game is changing as evidenced by the phenomenal success of T20,” said Shaji Ul Mulk. “This recent World Cup was also the most-watched ever. However, in order to continue to grow, it’s critical to showcase the best stars on big stages outside India, England and Australia, where it is already hugely popular.

“That’s why partnering with the Government of Abu Dhabi to host T10 on a long-term basis is a natural win-win for everybody who will now get to experience unparalleled cricket action in a truly unforgettable atmosphere.”

In all, eight teams – Kerala Knights, Bengal Tigers, Northern Warriors, Pakhtoon, Deccan Gladiators, Punjabi Legends, Maratha Arabians and Rajput – will be vying for the top prize at the end of the year.

Abu Dhabi Cricket CEO, Matt Boucher, said: “We feel we’ve bolstered the capital’s glowing portfolio of world-class events by ensuring that Abu Dhabi becomes a must-see ticket on the global cricket calendar for the next five years and what this means for the growth of the sport in the region. It’s another big stride in the growth of cricket in Abu Dhabi and we’re grateful to both the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi and the Abu Dhabi Sports Council for making this happen.”

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James Anderson remains hopeful of playing further role in Ashes series despite injury

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James Anderson is desperate to play in the Ashes again.

England’s James Anderson is not “giving up” on playing again in the current Ashes series despite his injury in the first Test.

The 37-year-old bowled only four overs at Edgbaston before a calf injury forced him off the field, limiting him to two brief appearances as a batsman.

Admitting he “felt very guilty” and apologised to his team-mates, as revealed during the Test by new-ball partner Stuart Broad, Anderson told the Sun: “It’s hard to say when I might play again but it won’t be for a while.

“My focus now is to get better and try everything possible to play a role later in the series. I’m sure there will come a point where other bowlers either get injured or need a rest.

“I certainly have no intention of giving up. If I don’t play against Australia, then the winter tours to New Zealand and South Africa are the next target.”

Anderson, England’s record wicket-taker with 575 in Tests, was selected for the series opener despite not having featured for Lancashire since he first suffered the injury against Durham in early July.

That situation will not be repeated – raising the prospect of Anderson emulating Jofra Archer by playing a second XI game for his county.

Archer took six for 27 and hit 108 for Sussex’s second string against Gloucestershire on Tuesday to stake his claim as Anderson’s deputy in the second Test at Lord’s.

Anderson said: “The England management want me to play some cricket before I return for a Test match. So I’ll have to schedule that as well, which is not so easy because it is mainly Twenty20 matches at the moment.”

Provided by Press Association Sports

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