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Bayliss wants greater competition for batting spots

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Head coach Trevor Bayliss has hinted that the England batting line-up is unlikely to change much for the series against Pakistan in May, despite few of the issues being resolved over the last five months, but he called on domestic players to show they are better than those currently in the team.

Bayliss conceded that England ended their 2017-18 Test campaign with largely the same questions as they began with following five defeats and two draws having been foiled by New Zealand’s lower-order on the final day in Christchurch.

Over the seven Tests against Australia and New Zealand, Dawid Malan was the one batsman to enhance his reputation. Mark Stoneman and James Vince showed moments of encouragement but the pair finished averaging 30.23 and 30.54 respectively across all the Tests. Vince missed the Auckland Test when the line-up was reshuffled due to Ben Stokes being unable to bowl and returned with 76 in the second innings in Christchurch while Stoneman scored half-centuries in each Test.

“I think what they’ve all shown over this winter is that they are good players and they’ve scored some runs against quality opposition bowlers,” Bayliss said. “But what we need from them is to be doing it more often. They’re averaging high 20s, we need them to get that up and hopefully put another 20 on that.

“Probably the same questions are still there but Malan for example played pretty well against the pace in Australia and the other two guys at different times stood up. Vince made a couple of good scores. Stoneman under a fair bit of pressure and a barrage of short-pitched bowling handled himself reasonably well but again to be an international batter we need to be doing better than that.

“And the other side of that is who do we replace them with? We need guys and I guess this is a call-out to the guys in county cricket, the first five or six matches of the county season are very important. We’ve got Liam Livingstone here and the other one I’ll add in who’s impressed in the nets is Ben Foakes. He’s batting very well also. So there’s a couple of guys in this squad who can hopefully score runs and put a bit of pressure on and make the selectors job difficult which is what we all want.”

The batting was not helped by Alastair Cook‘s lean time, other than his double-century in Melbourne, which was compounded by a miserable series in New Zealand where he made 23 runs in four innings. Cook has reiterated to Bayliss that he has the desire to continue to add to his 154-cap career and after a couple of weeks off he will look to recuperate in the County Championship for Essex.

“It’s dangerous to write off someone with 12,000 Test runs. He’s desperately disappointed he hasn’t contributed more but speaking to him in the sheds, he’s still got a hunger for the game and he’s still wants to do well and thinks he’s got a role to play,” Bayliss said. “Going forward I think having someone with that experience we will need, so hopefully it’s not too long before he gets back into the groove.”

Then there is the captain. Root is England’s best batsman but can’t break his run of unconverted half-centuries, which now stands at nine, with two more in New Zealand added to the five in Australia (although retiring ill in Sydney can’t be held against him). Having come off a distinct second best to Steven Smith in the Ashes it was a slightly closer tussle with Kane Williamson as the New Zealand captain followed his Auckland century with a lean Test in Christchurch. Coming up for Root later this year is the head-to-head with Virat Kohli.

Bayliss remains largely phlegmatic about Root’s conversion rate and would like to see the rest of the batting order take some pressure off the captain. There were just four centuries scored across the seven Tests in Australia and New Zealand, two by Jonny Bairstow and one apiece for Cook and Malan.

“I’m sure he would have liked a few more runs himself but there’s a fair bit of pressure on him to be the one who scores the runs and we need a few more runs from some of the other guys,” Bayliss said. “I think that would take a little bit of the pressure off Joe. But he’s a guy who sets himself very high standards so I’m sure he’d be a little bit disappointed he hasn’t turned some of the starts into big hundreds.”



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Recent Match Report – Somerset vs Essex Final 2020

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Somerset 301 (Byrom 117, Overton 66, S Cook 5-76) v Essex

As has been the practice of several Somerset cricketers down the decades – think Sammy Woods or Peter Wight – Eddie Byrom arrived in the county by way of somewhere else. Born in Harare, he pitched up in the West Country a few years ago to complete his education, cricketing and otherwise, at King’s College, Taunton. Yet like many such offcomers, Byrom found the place got into his blood. So we may only imagine his deep feelings a few minutes after lunch this second afternoon when his on-drive to the Nursery End boundary off Sam Cook brought him a maiden first-class century against county opposition. And all this on his first appearance at Lord’s and in the final of the Bob Willis Trophy, too.

Byrom’s outward emotions were plain enough. There was the usual bat-brandishing, arm-raising and fist-pumping. So far as one could judge the pleasure was reciprocated, with many of the 23-year-old’s colleagues and coaches congregating – at a distance from each other – on the dressing-room balcony or near the pavilion seating to offer their applause. Tom Banton tweeted his happiness from Dubai and one imagines John Cleese was chuffed, too.

All that was missing was the deep-throated acclamation of “Tractor”, one of Somerset’s most voluble supporters, or the delight of the denizens of Gimblett’s Hill, some of whom would surely have made the trip to London for this match. One’s mind went back to Tom Abell’s maiden century at Taunton in 2015 when the County Ground erupted in joy and Marcus Trescothick declared himself no more than a warm-up act for the West Country’s young champion.

But there were no paying supporters at Lord’s this chilly autumnal Thursday and since Byrom is playing his sixth first-class match without crowds he is probably adjusting to their absence. Still it would have been pleasant to hear the rumbling approval of folk who followed Somerset in the tough summers as they watched Byrom and a noticeably responsible Craig Overton construct their fine partnership of 127 for the sixth wicket. That stand was ended by Jamie Porter with the new ball shortly after a three-hour rain break when he had Overton leg before wicket for 66, and the excellent Cook completed his own five-wicket return in successive overs immediately after that breakthrough. First Byrom was lbw for 119 when he moved too far across his stumps and Russell Warren then sent Lewis Gregory on his way when the batsman missed a hoick.

These three decisions refreshed Essex – Simon Harmer took the final wickets with successive balls – but the bowlers may also look back to occasions in the morning and early afternoon when things had gone nothing like so well. For example, Overton might well have been leg before wicket to Aaron Beard when he had made 22; perhaps the discourtesy of the celeb appeal spiced Rob Bailey’s pleasure at rejecting it. Thus reprieved, one of Instow’s finest reached his fifty off 85 balls and helped Byrom build a strong position, particularly powerful, indeed, when one remembers that this trophy will be settled on first-innings lead should both teams complete one innings and the match be drawn.

That, of course, is a satisfactory way of deciding the winners of a competition which has been a marvellous stop-gap in dark times. But to think that a similar method should resolve a County Championship final or that such a match is even necessary is to confuse an effective painkiller with a permanent cure for an illness whose existence is still disputed. No one has doubted the value of the Bob Willis Trophy this season but if a five-day game at Lord’s is to end the season it should be a well-financed and well-rewarded celebration rather than a means of deciding the winners of what is still the most important competition in English domestic cricket.

The county champions should receive their pennant after five months rather than five days. To be gulled by the attractions of a showpiece occasion is to sacrifice the satisfactions of an absorbing struggle in varying conditions against different opponents for the glitz of an X Factor shindig. Should the Hundred go ahead next year we will have three finals over 16.4, 20 and 50 overs. Why do we need another?

It is almost always a bad idea to regard football as a model for cricket but no one suggested that last year’s Premiership title should have been decided by a play-off between Liverpool and Manchester City. (That said, it would have been entertaining to hear the reactions on Merseyside had they done so.)

Absolutely none of which will affect Byrom’s sense of pleasure this Thursday evening. His patience laid the foundations of his side’s total and his boundaries were its coping stones. There were 16 fours in his 312-minute innings, three in an over off Beard in the game’s very first session, a perfect straight drive off Cook to reach his half-century and then a pull and a sweep in Harmer’s first over on Thursday morning. Yet Byrom never batted beyond himself; he used the depth of the crease but was not chary of getting on the front foot. Above all he never allowed the giddiness of the moment to trump his judgement. County chief-executives, please take note.



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Recent Match Report – Kings XI Punjab vs Royal Challengers Bangalore 6th Match 2020

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Kings XI Punjab 206 for 3 (Rahul 132) beat Royal Challengers Bangalore 109 (M Ashwin 3-21, Bishnoi 3-32) by 97 runs

An expertly paced 132 not out of 69 balls from KL Rahul – the highest score by an Indian in the IPL and fourth highest overall – formed the centerpiece of the Kings XI Punjab’s 206 for 3, as they flattened the Royal Challengers Bangalore in Dubai.

After raising his first fifty off 36 balls, Rahul zipped away to his second off a mere 26 balls. Along the way, he was reprieved twice in the outfield by Virat Kohli in the 17th and 18th overs. After that second drop, Rahul tore into Dale Steyn and Shivam Dube at the death, cracking 42 off nine balls.

Facing a steep target, the Royal Challengers rejigged their batting line-up by bumping rookie Josh Phillipe to No. 3, but they crashed to 4 for 3 and then 57 for 5. After left-arm seamer Sheldon Cottrell bounced out Devdutt Padikkal and Kohli for 1 each, Kings XI’s twin legspinners Ravi Bishnoi and M Ashwin exploited a right-hander heavy Royal Challengers line-up to skittle them for 109 in 17 overs.

Profligate RCB, prolific Kings XI

On a fresh, true pitch, Umesh Yadav allowed Rahul and Mayank Agarwal to ease themselves in by bowling looseners down the leg side. At the other end, Steyn pushed the ball wide of off and gave up back-to-back to fours to Rahul in the second over of the match. Then, when first-change Navdeep Saini offered a wide full-toss, Agarwal creamed it through extra-cover as Kings XI surged to 50 for 0 in six overs.

Enter Yuzvendra Chahal. Exit Agarwal. The spinner unleashed a quicker wrong ‘un and stormed through the defences of Agarwal to trigger a brief slowdown along with offspinner Washington Sundar. After managing just 11 off 13 balls against the spinners, Nicholas Pooran attempted to line up seam-bowling allrounder Dube, but instead he holed out for 17 off 18 balls.

The return of Yadav and Saini, however, loosened the spinners’ grip. Another freebie on the pads, another overpitched delivery outside off meant Rahul could pick up the pace.

More to follow…



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Kings XI Punjab vs Royal Challengers Bangalore, live stream, where to watch KXIP vs RCB, IPL 2020, 7.30pm, Sep 24

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Do the Royal Challengers Bangalore have enough lower-order firepower to balance their solid top order, and if so, do the top-order batsmen trust that lower order enough? Do Kings XI Punjab have a death-bowling problem, and do they have solutions for it within their squad? Those are some of the factors that will decide today’s match.

Kings XI Punjab vs Royal Challengers Bangalore is available to view in India on Disney+ Hotstar, Jio TV and Airtel TV.

When does KXIP vs RCB live streaming start?
KXIP vs RCB live stream will start at 7:00 PM India Time September 24, 2020.

Where is the KXIP vs RCB match being played?
KXIP vs RCB match will be played at Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai in the UAE.

On which TV channels will KXIP vs RCB live coverage be available?
In India, Star Sports 1 and 1HD, Star Sports Select 1 and 1HD and SS1 Hindi and 1 Hindi HD will have live coverage of KXIP vs RCB, IPL 2020 on September 24, 2000.

Where can one find KXIP vs RCB live score and commentary online?
The fastest and most comprehensive live score and details will be available here: KXIP vs RCB live score.

What are the likely playing XIs for today’s KXIP vs RCB game?

Kings XI Punjab: 1 KL Rahul (capt & wk), 2 Mayank Agarwal, 3 Karun Nair, 4 Nicholas Pooran, 5 Glenn Maxwell, 6 Sarfaraz Khan, 7 K Gowtham, 8 Chris Jordan, 9 Ravi Bishnoi, 10 Mohammed Shami, 11 Sheldon Cottrell

Royal Challengers Bangalore: 1 Devdutt Padikkal, 2 Aaron Finch, 3 Virat Kohli (capt), 4 AB de Villiers, 5 Josh Philippe (wk)/Moeen Ali, 6 Shivam Dube/Gurkeerat Singh Mann, 7 Washington Sundar, 8 Dale Steyn, 9 Umesh Yadav, 10 Navdeep Saini, 11 Yuzvendra Chahal

Who are the captains for today’s KXIP vs RCB game?
The captains for today’s game will be KL Rahul (KXIP) and Virat Kohli (RCB).

Who are the umpires for KXIP vs RCB game?
The umpires for today’s game will be Paul Reiffel and Anil Chaudhary. The third umpire will be Nitin Menon.

Who will be the match referee for KXIP vs RCB game?
The match referee for today’s game will be Javagal Srinath.

All telecast and streaming timings are according to information received from the host broadcaster.



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