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India will look to play the younger members of their squad throughout the Australia tour, their captain, Virat Kohli, said on the eve of the first ODI. India will be playing three ODIs, three T20Is and four Tests on a tour that stretches till January 19. Also fitted into that schedule are two three-day warm-up games, the first of which overlaps with the T20Is. Kohli said the management had “discussed those things”.

“We are looking at giving opportunities to younger players. There are a lot of young guys in the squad who are eager and really waiting to get onto the park and play in a place like Australia,” Kohli said. “It’s a great opportunity for them to realise something new about their own games and how they can take their games to the next level and grow that confidence level and keep helping the team going forward.

“So from that point of view, yes, it is a very important series for them as individuals to grow and for us as the management group and the captain to give them that opportunity to go out there and play to the best of their abilities and play freely and enjoy their cricket. We’re definitely looking forward to seeing these guys on the field and how they shape up because they’re a bunch of very talented guys.”

ALSO READ: ‘Lot of uncertainty’ about Rohit injury – Kohli

India’s squads across formats consist of players who are either on their first tour with the side – T Natarajan, for instance, and Mohammed Siraj on his first Test tour – or are close to breaking into the first team – Shubman Gill and Navdeep Saini are two of them. As such, it is a sizable contingent that Kohli suggested will be used liberally through India’s time in Australia.

Another factor governing that decision is workload management, especially for their two premier bowlers – Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami – who both had full IPL seasons, and will likely take on more responsibility in the absence of Ishant Sharma.

“It’s a no-brainer [managing Bumrah and Shami’s workloads],” Kohli said. “They’ve gone through a full IPL season as well. Both of them have bowled beautifully, bowling in great rhythm. It’ll be very important to monitor the workload and hence the point about some of the younger guys getting a chance comes into play as well.

“We want to see how people react in different situations because you’re up against a different situation every time you come for an India tour. You have to manage workloads, you have to look forward to the youngsters performing on the field. So there’s a fine balance you need to maintain, something we’ve been able to do well in the last few years and that’s why our bowlers have been fit and available for the important matches – most of the time – for us.”

The Indian team came out of their mandatory 14-day quarantine on Thursday, and are understood to have been training since November 14. This pandemic-enforced reality had helped with the team’s preparation, Kohli said, adding that spending time getting accustomed to a country on tour was an under-rated factor. He did, however, like his deputy KL Rahul, stress that the team is focussed on building momentum in the ODIs that they can carry into the Test series.

“I don’t think that there’s any extra desperation or need to think on those lines for us as a team,” he said. “Because we’ve to understand that the last time we were successful here, it was because of a reason. We were focusing on our process and we were really really strong in our minds to be able to win difficult situations and be at our best in those difficult situations. And that doesn’t change.

“Australia is going to try and come at us really hard and we expect that, and we’re ready for that. We’re ready for some tough cricket on the field and something that we’re looking forward to as a side. But I don’t think we’re attaching any incentives to motivate ourselves just because it’s an opportunity to set the tone before the test series. Every series is different. The importance of starting well is purely because you come to foreign conditions and you want to get confident as a team really quickly so that you can carry it forward to other formats. And that’s something we’re looking forward to.”



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Australia in West Indies 2021

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The Australia captain said that performances on the upcoming tours will count for a lot in final selection

Australia’s planning for the 2021 T20 World Cup has been significantly disrupted by tour pullouts but captain Aaron Finch is maintaining his focus – in more ways than one.
Finch underwent surgery on his left eye after the tour of New Zealand in March – which was the last time he played – and is hopeful of seeing a positive impact on the upcoming trip to the West Indies and yet-to-be-confirmed assignment against Bangladesh.
Finch revealed that he had first suffered from blurred vision during last year’s IPL, where he started to suffer a lean run of form that continued through the BBL before he finished the series in New Zealand strongly, and when the use of contact lenses didn’t work opted for surgery from which he believes he has already felt the benefits.

“I’m seeing them pretty good,” he said in Brisbane ahead of the squad’s chartered flight to the Caribbean on Monday. “I’ve only been hitting indoors on hard wickets, so [I] think the big test will come in night matches, that’s when I noticed the biggest difference in my eyesight.



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Australians at the PSL: Usman Khawaja, Tim David and James Faulkner leave a mark

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For some it was their first experience of an overseas T20 league



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Recent Match Report – Gloucs vs Glamorgan South Group 2021

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NZ wicketkeeper-bat required just 41 balls to take game away from visitors

Gloucestershire 216 for 2 (Phillips 94*, Howell 53*) beat Glamorgan 182 for 8 (Lloyd 44, Higgins 2-27) by 34 runs

Glenn Phillips slammed an unbeaten 94 from just 41 balls to power Gloucestershire to victory by 34 runs over Glamorgan at Bristol, sending them top of the South Group.

Phillips’ fifth-highest score of his career, and first half-century in the Vitality Blast, powered Gloucestershire to 216 for 2 – their own fifth-highest T20 total. He struck nine fours and six sixes to overwhelm Glamorgan, who gave game chase for a while but could only reply with 182 for 8.

Phillips and Benny Howell, promoted to No. 3 in place of the injured Ian Cockbain, shared 130 for the third wicket in 64 balls – a record T20 partnership for Gloucestershire’s third wicket.

Phillips arrived after Miles Hammond and Chris Dent had given the innings a lively start after losing the toss, making 60 without loss. He cut Marnus Labuschagne through extra cover before lifting Dan Douthwaite over the sight screen. He blasted Prem Sisodiya twice straight back past his for four and swept him fine for another boundary in going to fifty in 26 balls.

He took 14 from the 17th over, clubbing Timm van der Gugten over long-off, before uppercutting Douthwaite for a third six. An extraordinary reverse-scoop flew over third man for six as 23 came from the 18th. In the final over, he launched van der Gugten over the longest boundary at midwicket, crashed him wide of deep cover for four and swung the final ball of the innings over deep-square.

Howell took his chance up at three to make an unbeaten 53 in 33 balls. He struck Callum Taylor for four through extra cover and wide of midwicket before a slug down the ground cleared long-off for six. He drove Weighell for four to raise a fifth T20 half-century.

Glamorgan needed their third-highest T20 total to win and stayed in the game for the first half of the chase. David Lloyd gave them a rattling start with 44 in 22 balls, striking four sixes, three of them short-arm jabs over midwicket and Glamorgan reached 101 for 4 at halfway. But Tom Smith then bowled an over for 9 followed by a wicket maiden to leave 15-an-over for the final five.

Labuschagne was, as ever, a crucial wicket and David Payne yorked him walking across his stumps. His 33 in 21 balls was well light of what Glamorgan needed.



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