West Indies have roped in Brian Lara and Ramnaresh Sarwan to help the team’s batsmen prepare for the upcoming two-Test series against India at home.
The two former West Indies batsmen will be a part of the team’s pre-series camp in Antigua ahead of the first Test against India which gets underway on August 22.
The hosts have called up two uncapped players in all-rounder Rahkeem Cornwall and batsman Shamarh Brooks while another batsman in John Campbell has played just three Tests so far in his career.
Cricket Windies director of cricket Jimmy Adams believes the presence of Lara and Sarwan for the pre-series camp will immensely benefit the slightly inexperienced line up.
“We have some good young batsmen in the team who we believe will form the future of West Indies cricket,” Adams stated.
“We saw some very good signs of development earlier this year in the Test matches when we played so very well to beat England and we want to see them grow and become outstanding players for the West Indies.
Former captains Brian Lara and Ramnaresh Sarwan to work with WI batsmen ahead of 1st Test match vs India Test Series in Antigua 🌴🏏🇦🇬https://t.co/NzaWh5TCSo— Windies Cricket (@windiescricket) August 16, 2019
“We have taken the step to have Brian and Ronnie [Sarwan] work with these players, who have demonstrated a will to learn and succeed. We know they still have the passion and love for West Indies cricket and are eager to assist and share their information with the present generation.”
Lara is the all-time leading run-scorer for West Indies in the Test format with 11,912 runs in 130 matches and registered 34 tons along the way. Sarwan, meanwhile, has nearly 6,000 runs to his name in 87 Tests and slammed 15 centuries in the format.
India has far clinched both the T20 and ODI series in the Caribbean without tasting a single loss and the hosts will be hoping to turn the tide around in the upcoming Test clashes.
On an overcast and gloomy day at Lord’s, England found plenty of joy in the small chunks of play that were possible on Day Three of the second Ashes Test against Australia.
Having been bowled out for 258 runs in their first innings, the hosts came roaring back into the tie in the morning session of day three with the pacers making early inroads in the Aussie response.
Stuart Broad was the pick of England bowlers with two scalps while Jofra Archer bagged his maiden Test wicket as the visitors were left reeling at 80-4 before play was abandoned for the day.
England’s nemesis Steve Smith was still unbeaten at the crease but David Warner’s miserable Ashes continued with the opening falling to Broad for the third time in a row in the series.
Warner was bowled around his legs for just three runs before to give England the first opening before Cameron Bancroft and Usman Khawaja steadying things down with a gritty stand.
The pair added 49 runs for the second wicket amidst some excellent bowling by the hosts before Bancroft’s luck ran out. The Australia opener became Archer’s maiden Test scalp after being caught plumb on the pads by a sharp in-swinger.
Things went from bad to worse for the Aussies with Khawaja departing after his solid 36 in the very next over. Lord’s favourite Chris Woakes was the man to do the damage with Khawaja getting a thick edge which was gobbled up safely by Jonny Bairstow.
Broad had his second of the day with the help of a review after Aleem Dar had originally turned down his lbw shout against Travis Head as Australia slumped to 71-4.
The hosts were celebrating a fifth wicket soon after when Dar raised the finger to Ben Stokes’ appeal against Matthew Wade but the Aussie batsman was the one to benefit from a review this time around with replays showing the delivery as pitching outside leg-stump.
Smith remained a solid figure in his 40-ball vigil at the crease and the right-hander will hold the key on the fourth day if Australia are to remain in the hunt in the Test.
‘Twitchy’ Smith’s theatrical leaves
Smith’s idiosyncratic movements at the batting crease can be off-putting for most bowlers and England skipper Joe Root had hoped that his bowlers will be able to ignore them in the second Test at Lord’s.
“It’s something you’ve got to look past. A lot of what he does is to try to put you off in a way, trying to make it look extremely different so you have to think way outside the box,” Root had said ahead of the Lord’s Test.
“You look at his dismissals over a period of time, it’s not far away from everyone else’s – the movements before and after it might look slightly different but it’s just being really clear on how we want to go about it.”
Smith was even more extravagant with his trigger movements on Friday with the right-hander displaying some theatrical leaves during his unbeaten 40-ball vigil at the crease. Whether it put off England’s bowlers is debatable but Smith was the only Aussie batsman who looked untroubled on a day which was highly conducive to swing bowling due to the overcast conditions.
Better forecast for final two days
While the unfavourable weather has already cost more than one and a half day’s play in the Test, there is cause for optimism for the final two days.
The weather forecast for Saturday and Sunday is largely favourable and two complete days of play is a real possibility. Whether that is enough for either side to force a result remains to be seen but it is the hosts who look to be ahead at this stage and they will be desperately hoping to dismissing Smith early on day four and bundle out Australia cheaply in the first innings.
England’s World Cup-winning captain Eoin Morgan will take his time before committing to lead the side at next year’s Twenty20 tournament in Australia.
The 32-year-old struggled with a back problem during last month’s dramatic success on home soil and was restricted to limited training.
There has been speculation about Morgan’s future in the role and, if he does not intend to continue for next October’s World T20, England may wish to name his successor in time for this winter’s trip to New Zealand.
After taking a two-week break, Morgan has been playing limited-overs cricket for Middlesex this month but has yet to decide on the England captaincy.
“I need more time to think, that’s the honest answer. It’s a big decision, it’s a big commitment,” he told BBC Test Match Special.
“Given the injury that I went through in the World Cup, I need time to get fully fit. I need time to get back fit because the only training I could do throughout the World Cup was quite limited.
“I actually need the season to end pretty soon so I can have that time to physically get fit and guarantee it’s not an injury risk between this year and next and then I’ll be able to make a call on it.”
Asked if he wants to lead England at the tournament, he replied: “Absolutely, who doesn’t?
“But I don’t want to let anybody down. When you lead, you have to lead from the front. And you have to be physically fit to start, fighting form is another thing. Hopefully that works itself out.”
Ashley Giles has been keen not to rush Morgan into making a decision.
Giles, managing director of men’s cricket for the England and Wales Cricket Board, said a fortnight ago that he had not spoken to Morgan about his position.
“I’ve not talked to him yet and I’ve done that quite purposely. I want to give him some time,” said Giles.
“We’ll have a chat at some point but he’s still probably got to come back down to earth, do some thinking and then we’ll get together and have a chat. We’re not rushed at the moment.”
Provided by Press Association Sports