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Warner ‘knows what he has to do’ after horror Ashes – Hohns

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Trevor Hohns, Australia’s national selector, has stopped short of guaranteeing David Warner his spot for the opening Test of the season following his woeful Ashes series.

Warner managed just 95 runs – the lowest tally for an opener to have batted 10 times in a series – as Stuart Broad removed him seven times.

Last week, Test captain Tim Paine, who does not have an official voice in selection, suggested that Warner’s record gave him “enough credits in the bank” to secure his position at the top of the order for the series against Pakistan which starts on November 21 in Brisbane. Warner averages 59.64 in home Tests where he has made 15 of his 21 Test hundreds.

ALSO READ: Where have Australia’s batsmen (other than Steve Smith) gone?

However, ahead of the Sheffield Shield that begins on Thursday – which includes Warner’s New South Wales side facing Queensland at the Gabba – Hohns did not put his full weight behind him.

“I’m not going to comment on that right now,” Hohns said when asked if Warner’s spot was cemented regardless of early-season form. “David knows what he has to do as well as anybody, same as Marcus Harris and any of the players that played in England. Make no bones about it, there is a couple of batting spots, two or three, up for grabs.”

Warner was not the only opener to struggle in the Ashes with Cameron Bancroft and Marcus Harris making 102 runs between them. That pair, along with Joe Burns, Matt Renshaw and possibly Usman Khawaja, will be battling for the Test positions.

“There are plenty of openers around the country, it’s up to them to perform,” Hohns said. “The players who performed well [in the Ashes] know and those that didn’t know and it’s up to them to put performances on the board to have a chance to be chosen. If you want to relate it to the Ashes it was difficult for both countries, it seemed like the hardest place to bat. The slate is wiped clean [at home], in different conditions, but it’s nice if we have in-form openers, there’s no doubt about that.”

ALSO READ: Can the Sheffield Shield answer these Test questions?

On Tuesday Warner was included in Australia’s T20I squad to face Sri Lanka and Pakistan so he will have a maximum of three Sheffield Shield matches before the first Test next month.

He and Steven Smith are now back in all three formats following their bans and are inked in at the top of the T20I order, alongside captain Aaron Finch, as Australia begin a year-long build-up to the men’s T20 World Cup next October.

Hohns acknowledged that the selectors would keep a close eye on the workload of those players who appear across all formats. After the home Tests against Pakistan and New Zealand there is a one-day series in India, a limited-overs tour of South Africa, a home one-day series with New Zealand then a T20I series across the Tasman to complete the season.

“That’ll be something we’ll be very mindful of as the season goes on,” Hohns said. “It’s difficult for players to play every format, which [Smith and Warner] in particular and probably Pat Cummins and a couple of them are likely to do. But we’ll certainly be keeping an eye on their workloads and making sure they don’t get tired. Obviously there is a massive focus on this T20 World Cup in 12 months’ time.”



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CWI suspends Test opener John Campbell for illegal bowling action

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Cricket West Indies has suspended Jamiaca offspinners John Campbell (a part-time bowler who opened the batting for West Indies in all three formats last year) and Pete Salmon from bowling in domestic West Indies matches with immediate effect, for illegal bowling actions. CWI confirmed that opinion reports from independent assessors at Loughborough University found that the actions of the two bowlers exceeded the permissible limit of 15 degrees.

Campbell and Salmon will remain suspended until their actions are found legal either by an opinion report from Loughborough University or by an independent analysis from an accredited testing centre, in accordance with the board’s regulations for dealing with suspect bowling actions.

The duo will undergo remedial work supervised by Jamaica and they can apply for a reassessment after modifying their actions.

Cambell was reported for a suspect bowling action during the first round match against Trinidad & Tobago early last month. He took figures of 1 from 54 in his 19 overs in the match.

Salmon’s action was reported on his first-class debut, the fourth-round match between Jamaica and Guyana earlier this month in Guyana. Salmon’s figures were very impressive: he finished with a match haul of 8 for 110, which won him the Player-of-the-Match award in his team’s narrow win of seven runs.



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Recent Match Report – Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe Only Test 2020

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Lunch Zimbabwe 114 for 5 (Raza 33*, Nayeem 3-44) and 265 trail Bangladesh 560 for 6 dec (Rahim 203*, Mominul 132) by 181 runs

Bangladesh’s march to victory continued with a couple of vital wickets on the fourth morning in Mirpur. It was the spinners that struck first, with Taijul Islam opening a route into the middle order with a wicket in the sixth over of the morning before Nayeem Hasan struck the big blow, removing Brendan Taylor in his first over of the day. After a brief rally, the run-out of Craig Ervine further sunk Zimbabwe and they went to lunch at 114 for 5, still 181 runs shy of making Bangladesh bat again.

With men crowding the bat and pressure from the off, Islam didn’t take long to get the better of Kevin Kasuza. Coming around the stumps, and making liberal use of the arm ball, he suckered the right-hand batsman into playing inside an orthodox delivery that gripped on the surface, taking the shoulder of the bat and landing in the lap of Mohammad Mithun at second slip.

Taylor appeared much more at ease against the left-arm spinner, stepping out to loft him cleanly over the long-off boundary, but it was similar positivity that got him into trouble against Nayeem. Taylor missed a reverse sweep to the offspinner’s second delivery of the day, and then perished attempting an aggressive regulation sweep shortly afterwards. Aiming for the midwicket boundary, Taylor instead watched in dismay as a looping top-edge was easily caught by Islam, running in from deep backward square.

Despite the dismissals, the Zimbabwe batsmen kept playing their shots. Sikandar Raza whipped Nayeem through square leg with a one-handed sweep early in his innings, while Ervine was even more proactive. Having cruised into the 20s with a pair of boundaries on either side of the pitch in Nayeem’s third over of the morning, he stepped out to hit the same bowler over long-on and repeatedly demonstrated that he wasn’t afraid to use his feet to the slower bowlers.

At the other end, Raza paddled Islam to the fine-leg boundary, and then raised the fifty stand by powering him well over long-on for his first six, the runs having flowed at close to five an over. Ervine, meanwhile, was into the 40s at virtually a run a ball but Nayeem kept probing, and might have removed Zimbabwe’s captain had Liton Das been able to complete a stumping opportunity 15 minutes before the lunch interval. Drawn out of his crease, Ervine was beaten by the turn and bounce, but so was Das, the ball rearing up to hit him on the shoulder.

The error wasn’t a costly one. Moments before lunch, Raza tapped Islam towards point and the batting pair chanced a quick single. But Mominul Haque was onto the ball in a flash, hurling in a direct hit to catch Ervine short of his ground: the first time Ervine has been run out in this format.

With a light drizzle starting to fall, Raza survived until lunch alongside Timycen Maruma, but three wickets in the session significantly advanced Bangladesh’s cause.



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Neil Wagner set to return leaving New Zealand a tough selection call

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Neil Wagner is almost certain to be back in New Zealand’s bowling attack for the second Test against India, which begins in Christchurch on Saturday. Wagner missed the first Test in Wellington on paternity leave, but he will return to the squad on Wednesday, replacing Matt Henry.

The debut performance of Kyle Jamieson, who stood in for Wagner in Wellington and shone with both ball and bat, has left New Zealand in a bit of a dilemma over who to play and who to leave out in Christchurch, but coach Gary Stead indicated Wagner would feature.

“Yeah, that’s always good selection dilemmas to have,” Stead said on Tuesday. “Neil Wagner will come back and he’s been a force in our team for a long time, and obviously Kyle Jamieson made the most of his debut, and the way he played, I thought, was outstanding as well, did a really good job for us.”

Then Stead was asked if there was any thought to continuing with Jamieson and giving Wagner more time to spend with his wife and baby daughter.

“You always think about those things, but I think Neil Wagner, it was pretty hard missing one Test let alone two Tests, so no, he’ll be back with us without a doubt.”

Hagley Oval is a venue that has traditionally favoured seam bowlers, so there is a chance New Zealand might go in with both Wagner and Jamieson in a four-man pace attack alongside the new-ball pair of Trent Boult and Tim Southee.

“I think we always consider those things,” Stead said. “We’ll go down there, look at the wicket, we’re still three or four days out at this stage, so don’t want to make any assumptions before we get down there, but generally the wicket we play on at Hagley has a wee bit in it as well.

“We’ve seen in the past, guys like Colin de Grandhomme can be very very useful in those conditions as well – think back to his debut against Pakistan, then it was useful conditions for him – but whoever we go with, we know we need to put in a performance like we did in this game, because, as I said, India will get better.”

Another factor that could make New Zealand think of four quicks was the limited role played by the left-arm spinner Ajaz Patel in Wellington, where he bowled only six overs across India’s two innings. But Stead said Patel may have played a bigger role if the match – New Zealand wrapped up their 10-wicket win inside the first session of day four – had stretched on for longer.

“You look at it, and again, if the Test went the full distance, or even deep into the fourth day, you’d think that Ajaz would have taken a much bigger part than what he did, but it wasn’t to be because our seam bowlers were so good in this Test match, and again, that’s a really pleasing thing.”



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