Virat Kohli leads India to 1-0 series lead against West Indies

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Virat Kohli‘s century and four wickets from Bhuvneshwar Kumar helped India to a 59-run win over the West Indies in the second one-day international at Port of Spain.

Captain Kohli’s 120 led India to 279 for seven in their 50 overs, Shreyas Iyer adding 71 and shared a fourth-wicket stand of 125 as Carlos Brathwaite took three for 53.

Rain reduced the target to 270 from 46 overs.

Chris Gayle passed Brian Lara’s West Indies record of 10,348 ODI runs but only progressed to 10,353 before he was trapped lbw by Bhuvneshwar Kumar for 11.

Evan Lewis made 65 and put on 56 for the fourth wicket with Nicholas Pooran, who made 42.

But Kumar (four for 31) returned to dismiss Pooran and Roston Chase in the same over as the hosts lost three wickets for one run and their last six for 31.

India took a 1-0 lead in the three-match series, following an opening no-result.

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Shane Warne believes England pacer Jofra Archer can unsettle Steve Smith in Ashes battle

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Archer is set to make his England Test debut at Lord's.

Former Australia leg-spinner Shane Warne believes that the introduction of Jofra Archer into the England pace attack for the second Ashes Test could be key to stopping Steve Smith early into his tracks.

Smith proved to be the scourge of England in the Ashes opener at Edgbaston with the right-hander registering twin tons (144 and 142) to set up a 251-run win for the Aussies. It took the Australian’s Ashes ton tally to 10 and he is now averaging nearly 140 in the last 10 Tests against England.

While England have been left searching for answers on how to dismiss Smith in his current form, Warne believes that Archer’s express pace and mean bounce could be just what they need to do the trick.

Archer is yet to make his Test debut for England with injury concerns keeping him out of the first Test but the Barbados-born pacer is in contention to make his bow at Lord’s in the second Test after proving his fitness in a Sussex second XI clash.

“Steve has been the star of the show so far but now we have Jofra joining his Royals (and England) teammates Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler,” Warne was quoted as saying by AFP.

“Obviously I would love to see Steve go on and score a hundred in every single innings for the rest of the Ashes but with Jofra coming in I think he’ll be set to face his biggest challenge yet and this could make the difference in the upcoming Tests.

“No one likes to face tall 90 mph bowlers.”

Archer played alongside Smith with Rajasthan Royals in the 2019 edition of the Indian Premier League and Warne feels that the England pacer can use that stint to his advantage.

“The loss of (James) Anderson was such a blow for England and they will really need Jofra to step up, but I think he has all the attributes to do just that,” he said.

“They (Archer and Smith) will have faced each other a lot in the nets so if anyone will have a plan, it will be Jofra.”

The second Ashes Test between England and Australia at Lord’s is slated to get underway on August 14.

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Jos Buttler feels Jofra Archer can inspire an England comeback in the Ashes

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Jofra Archer (l) and Jos Buttler (r).

Jos Buttler believes Jofra Archer’s “X factor” can re-energise England’s Ashes challenge.

Paceman Archer is in line to make a much-anticipated Test debut at Lord’s this week as a replacement for England’s record wicket-taker James Anderson, who is sidelined by a calf injury.

Australia took a 1-0 lead in the five-match series after winning the first Test at Edgbaston by the thumping margin of 251 runs.

“He’s got the X factor,” Buttler said of fellow World Cup winner Archer at a Kookaburra sponsorship event at Lord’s.

“In his short international career so far we’ve seen what an impact he’s had.

“He’s got amazing skills with the white ball, but talking to him he prefers bowling with the red one.

“That’s exciting for us, and it’s exciting for the world to see him in the Test arena.

“He tends to cope with expectation well, he’s a pretty laid-back character who has an immense trust in his game. So if he gets his chance I expect him to perform really well.”

Australia ran out convincing first Test winners despite stumbling to 122 for eight on the opening day.

England claimed a 90-run lead on first innings before being bowled out for just 146 on the final day.

“We played some good cricket at Edgbaston, but we didn’t play well enough for long enough,” Buttler said.

“The challenge is still the same. Every time you come and play at Lord’s is special, especially in an Ashes Test.

“There’s no need to panic, we’re 1-0 down, but there’s four matches to go in this series.

“We know we’ve got a fantastic team and we’ve got to stay calm. Nothing really changes.

“We’ve lost that game, but we’ve got enough belief to make it one-all.”

The key to England’s hopes is finding a way to dismiss Steve Smith, who scored two hundreds in the Ashes opener and now averages nearly 63 in Test cricket.

Smith scored 144 and 142 at Edgbaston upon his return to Test cricket after the ball-tampering scandal in March 2018.

Buttler knows Smith well as the two men were team-mates at the Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League this year.

“He’s pretty good, isn’t he?” Buttler said. “What he does is put you under pressure for a long period of time and puts demands on you.

“He’s a fantastic player who can take advantage of that.

“He’s been one of the best players for a while now and that’s the challenge of playing Test cricket against Australia.”

Provided by Press Association Sports

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