Categories
Entertainment

Will Pucovski won’t be ready for opening Ashes Test after being ruled out of Victoria’s clash with NSW



David Warner will have a new opening partner for the Ashes after Will Pucovski’s concussion comeback hit another hurdle.

Batting star Will Pucovski hasn’t yet returned to the nets a month after his 10th concussion and may not be available for Australia until the middle of the Ashes.

Pucovski won’t play for Victoria against NSW at the MCG in a Sheffield Shield clash starting this Friday, which is a “touch too soon” as he continues to recover from the effects of the concussion suffered on October 5 at training.

Victorian coach Chris Rogers said there was a “strong desire” to get the 23-year-old into the Test team, but everyone was taking a long-term view of Pucovski’s cricket future.

Rogers said Pucovski, who was the frontrunner to open with David Warner during the Ashes, could be ready for one of the later Tests in a “best-case scenario” as he returns to full fitness.

“He hasn’t quite recovered as well as hoped. In discussions with the medical team and the national selectors it was felt we would give him a bit more time to select him to play for Victoria,” Rogers said.

“He hasn’t started hitting the nets, I think that was the main concern. It’s really difficult just to walk into one of these games unprepared. All the people who are in these conversations understand we have an immense talent on our hands and we want him to be playing for five to 10 years, so these are the decisions we are going to make in his best interests to set him up to have a long career.

“There’s some symptoms which are just a little too close to the game.”

Pucovski trained on Wednesday and was “positive” about how his recovery was tracking.

But his playing return may not come until a yet-to-be-confirmed third Sheffield Shield game in mid-November or even a Victorian second XI game.

Rogers said that would delay any chance of him playing in the Ashes until mid-series.

“No doubt it’s a setback. I’d say now it’s unlikely he’d play in the first Test,” he said.

“Hopefully, if we play a third Shield game in mid-November and there may be a second XI game for Victoria as well, that might prepare him for one of the matches in the middle of the Ashes series. That’s the best-case scenario.

“He was very positive about how it was all tracking and pretty hopeful of playing soon, but he felt this match was a touch too early.”

Rogers said Pucovski, who hasn’t played a game since injuring his shoulder in his Test debut last January, was “frustrated” by this latest concussion and its lingering effects.

But the young star also knows he has to be fully ready when he makes a playing return.

“He hasn’t played for seven months. You have to walk straight back in the cauldron and perform against very good opposition. That would have been playing on his mind,” Rogers said.

“Of course he wants to play for Australia for a long time to come. There’s a strong desire to get him into that Australian side, he’s such a talented player.

“I think the decision is to look after him and allow him a bit more time to prepare in the right time rather than rush him to matches which are going to have a lot of intensity and scrutiny.”

Originally published as Batting gun Will Pucovski won’t be ready to play for Australia until the middle of the Ashes as he recovers from another concussion




Source link

Categories
Entertainment

Ashes news; Steve Waugh says Pat Cummins should take Tim Paine’s spot as Australian captain



Tim Paine will turn 37 on the opening day of the first Ashes Test and his successor as Australian captain will be a talking point all summer.

Test legend Steve Waugh says “it’s time” for a bowler to be given the Australian captaincy and endorsed Pat Cummins to take over from skipper Tim Paine when he steps down.

Paine, who turns 37 on the opening day of the first Ashes Test at the Gabba on December 8, is racing the clock to be fit for the clash as he continues his recovery from neck surgery.

He was forced to have surgery in September to repair a pinched nerve in his neck and has only just begun light duties. Paine remains hopeful of making his playing return in a second 11 game for Tasmania in mid-November.

But speculation around Paine’s successor as Test skipper is set to linger throughout the five-match series against England, with Australia set to tour Pakistan, Sri Lanka and then India in 2022.

Cummins, who is national vice-captain of the Test, one-day and T20 teams, would be the first fast bowler since Ray Lindwall in 1956 to captain Australia in a Test match. Lindwall only did it for one match against India.

Waugh, who captain Australia for seven years and finished with a 72 per cent winning rate, was one of the mentors brought in by coach Justin Langer during the 2019 Ashes in England and spent time with all the players.

He was adamant Cummins, who was recently made one-day captain of NSW, should get the opportunity to be skipper

“I’d like to see Pat Cummins have an opportunity,” Waugh said on Wednesday

“They say bowlers can’t do it, but they said keepers couldn’t do it. I think we have to find out if a bowler can be a captain of Australia. I don’t see why not.”

Waugh said Cummins, who is now 28 and has played 128 games for Australia across all formats, including 34 Tests, had the right “acumen” to be a successful leader

“I’ve always thought that if he’s bowling the vice-captain could set the field to give him a mental break,” Waugh told SEN.

“He has good acumen, the respect of the players and he’s ready to go.

“I think when Tim Paine steps down, Pat Cummins is the man to step in.”

Originally published as Australian cricket legend Steve Waugh wants Pat Cummins to be Australia’s next Test skipper




Source link

Categories
Entertainment

England Test cricket captain Joe Root makes bombshell claim ahead of Ashes



Joe Root has thrown the gauntlet down ahead of the Ashes by making a bold claim about the Australian cricket team.

English captain Joe Root says Australia’s upset loss to India at the Gabba will haunt the side ahead of the Ashes, which begin at the very same ground in just over a month.

Root believes the Aussies lost their stronghold on the Gabba in January when an understrength Indian 11 handed them their first defeat at the venue in 32 years.

Catch Australia take on Bangladesh at the ICC T20 World Cup on Thursday night (9pm AEDT) on Kayo. New to Kayo? Start your free trial today.

Root said the loss would embolden his side when it arrives down under for the Ashes.

“Look at that India team that won at the Gabba. They were a long way from their first-choice 11 but they had no fear,” he told The Guardian.

“They stood up to Australia and won crucial parts of that Test.

“It will give every player in our squad a huge amount of confidence and just plant a little bit of doubt in Australia’s mind.

“Having to go back there and play again for the first time against us, what with it being such a stronghold for them for such a long period of time. We now know that it’s not.”

Root’s comments were reminiscent of those made by his Australian counterpart Tim Paine ahead of the 2019 Ashes.

In the lead-up to the first Test of that series, Paine was asked whether there was a ground more intimidating than Edgbaston in Birmingham, where England had won 11 matches in a row across all formats.

The skipper enraged the English public with his response: “I could name you 15”.

Australia went on to win that first Test in a 251-run shellacking, but the series ultimately resulted in draw.

Root’s latest jab continued the war of words that has preceded the follow-up series.

No Test side has played more cricket since the pandemic began than the English and when Root expressed concerns with travel and bubble fatigue, he was met with little sympathy from Paine.

“No one is forcing you to come. If you don’t want to come, don’t come,” Paine told SEN.

“The Ashes are going ahead. The first Test is on 8 December, whether Joe is here or not. There will be a squad of England players coming here.”

Injuries have kept Jofra Archer, Olly Stone and Sam Curran from featuring in that squad, but the English have been bolstered by the late inclusion of Ben Stokes.

Stokes, England’s second-highest rated batter in the ICC player rankings, was initially left out of the squad but has managed to overcome injury and mental health concerns and commit to travelling.

“The fact he feels he’s in a place where he’s ready to play cricket again is the most exciting thing,” Root told The Guardian.

Originally published as England captain Joe Root makes bombshell claim ahead of Ashes




Source link

Categories
Entertainment

Australian opener David Warner wants to open the batting with Will Pucovski when the Ashes starts in December



The race is on for Will Pucovski to get Ashes ready, and now he’s got the ultimate support to open for Australia.

Australian opener David Warner is all in on walking out to bat with Will Pucovski in the Ashes opener at the Gabba, labelling the young Victorian a “hell of a player”.

After just one Test together last summer against India, for partnerships of just six and 16, Warner declared 23-year-old Pucovski was “primed” for international cricket.

Pucovski is expected to make a playing return from a 10th concussion, suffered during training earlier in October, in Victoria’s Sheffield Shield clash with NSW at the MCG from November 5.

He should have two matches to show he’s ready for a return to the Test team, and everyone at Victoria who has watched him through the pre-season is adamant he’ll only need that much time to get into batting shape.

Warner said the selectors would have the final say, with Marcus Harris and potentially even Usman Khawaja in the discussion should Pucovski not come up. But the 35-year-old star knows who he wants to bat with.

“The selectors will pick the people who are in form, bring it down to who they think are the right two or three candidates, then make a decision,” Warner said.

“Looking back, Puck was in waiting, then he played (his one Test), then hurt his shoulder and he’s been recovering. But he’s a hell of a player, he’s primed and right for international cricket.

“If I was to make a judgment call, he’s the first person who is on the top of their list.”

Warner dismissed any issues over a combination of two left-handers if Pucovski isn’t available despite the damage veteran English fats bowler Stuart Broad did to the lefties in the 2019 Ashes.

Broad removed Warner seven times in 10 innings as the opener managed a mere 95 runs, only passing 11 once.

But Warner said things would be different in Australia.

“Australia is different when it comes to left-hand batting and the opposition,” he said.

“We know the conditions. I can’t see the ball reacting to the wicket like it did in England. In Australia you can leave a lot of balls on length, in England those length balls are hitting the stumps.

“It doesn’t worry me too much what the (opening) combination is. Whoever the selectors decide to choose, they will pick the person who is in form.”

Victorian coach Chris Rogers said as long as Pucovski looked “comfortable” when he made his batting return, he’d be ready to step back up to Test level

“The first thing you want to see is him playing well and be comfortable out in the middle, particularly playing the short ball. How many games they want to see that in, I can’t tell you that,” Rogers said.

“He can come out and get a 200 and walk into the Test team and get a 60. You know when you throw balls to him, it’s different, I think perhaps they just want to see him go out and look comfortable and them maybe they’ll be confident to pick him.

“If he went out and scored a big score, I’d definitely pick him.”

Originally published as Australian opener David Warner wants to open the batting with Will Pucovski when the Ashes starts in December




Source link

Categories
Entertainment

Cricket news; Marnus Labuschagne made 136 on a big day for Queensland



Facing over 200 balls wasn’t enough for Test star Marnus Labuschagne who wants to pile on runs before the Ashes.

Test star Marnus Labuschagne still wanted more after he made Tasmania pay for a dropped catch by posting his 19th first-class century and first for the season for Queensland in Townsville.

Labuschagne hadn’t passed 50 in four innings for the Bulls so far this season, across one Sheffield Shield match and two-one day games, in a slow burn to his Ashes preparation, with two singles figures scores among his output.

But he did face a mammoth 179 balls for a hard-fought 45 against South Australia in a drawn game in Adelaide, in a sign the batting-machine was going through his gears and he worked up to full steam against Tassie on day one of their Shield clash.

Dropped by Tigers skipper Beau Webster when he was on just 22, Labuschagne was at his shot-making best, pounding 15 fours and a six in his score of 136.

“I’d much rather still be out there batting. I’m disappointed getting out to that second new ball, ” he said after stumps.

“I’m always asking myself ways to get better, 130s are a good score and you’re not complaining about that but you want to make it into a big 180-plus score.

“They’re the sort of knocks that really put your team on the front foot (and) I certainly want to be making big scores.

“Obviously I missed out the first two games with a really big score, but I was able to spend some time (in the middle) and really found some rhythm out there.

“As a cricketer I don’t think anyone is really satisfied ever, it’s just one of those games.”

His Queensland captain, Usman Khawaja, fresh off what he called his best ever Shield century in Adelaide last week, continued his push for an Ashes call-up, with a half-century of his own.

Khawaja was 63 not out at stumps, guiding Queensland to a dominant 3-311 at stumps on day one after former Test opener Joe Burns also made 72.

Labuschagne had logged scores of 32, eight and 45 in the Bulls‘ first two games of their Shield title defence, while he was out for six in a one-dayer against South Australia.

It was a reduced output for a man who averages 60.8 in the Test arena,and an output that wasn’t going to last long.

Unlike most of his fellow Test batsman, Labuschagne will have three Shield matches under his belt before the opening Ashes Test at the gabba on December 8.

Former Australian one-day bowler Gurinder Sandhu was called up for his maiden Shield game for Queensland, to face his former side.

The 28-year-old, who played two ODIs for Australia in 2015, is playing for this third state have also represented NSW and Tasmania before shifting to Brisbane.

Fast bowler Connor Sully was also included for his Shield debut having played his first one-day game for Queensland already this season.

Tasmania may have rued the decision to rest veteran seamer Peter Siddle, to man age the 36-year-old’s workload, after his match winning five-wicket haul in the second innings guided the Tigers to victory over WA last weekend.

Originally published as A score of 136 for Marnus Labuschagne wasn’t enough as he eyes off big runs going in to the Ashes




Source link