Khawaja a likely starter in 1st Bangladesh test

Australia’s Usman Khawaja celebrates making 100 runs against South Africa during their cricket test match in Adelaide, Australia. Khawaja could return to the Australian lineup for the first time since January in the long-awaited first test in Bangladesh. (File Photo: AP)
Updated 18 August 2017
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Khawaja a likely starter in 1st Bangladesh test

DARWIN, Australia: Captain Steve Smith says Usman Khawaja could return to the Australian lineup for the first time since January in the long-awaited first test in Bangladesh.
Smith said he was unsure whether Glenn Maxwell would retain the No. 6 spot in the order, with fellow allrounder Hilton Cartwright being considered for a call-up as the Australian squad braces for wet weather in Dhaka.
“I thought (Maxwell) performed really well in the last two test matches in India ... (but) we’ll wait and see what the conditions look like, and what we feel the best make-up for the team is when we’re over there,” Smith said on Friday before the Australians departed for Dhaka.
Smith said Khawaja “is going to be a really big player for us this summer.”
“He’s done incredibly well in Australia over the last couple of years and it would be good for him to (play) some cricket . he’s chomping at the bit to get out there and I daresay he’ll get his opportunity.”
Khawaja scored at least 50 in all six home tests last year, but was dropped for the test series in India. The axing came after a disappointing two tests in Sri Lanka last year during which he was also dropped for the final match after scores of 26, 18, 11 and 0.
The 30-year-old Khawaja hasn’t played for Australia since a limited-overs international against Pakistan in Sydney on Jan. 22.
Australia has not played a test match in Bangladesh since Ricky Ponting’s team visited in 2006, six years after Bangladesh was granted test status. The Australians were due to play two tests in Bangladesh in October 2015, but the tour was canceled amid security fears after attacks by Islamist extremists.
It was also under threat until two weeks ago during a bitter and protracted pay dispute between the players and Cricket Australia, but a new memorandum of agreement was signed.
The team left as news of a letter written by coach Darren Lehmann to former and current Australia players was published by a Sydney newspaper. In it, Lehmann encourages players to get Australia back to the top of world cricket.
“We have been hunted for a while and now it is time for us to become the hunters and get back to where we belong,” the Daily Telegraph quoted Lehmann as writing.
“It was only 12 months ago we were No. 1 in tests and one-dayers and for us to get back there it will only happen with all of us going in the one direction and supporting Australian cricket.”
Australia is fourth in ICC test rankings and second behind South Africa in the ODI format.
Lehmann’s team will play a warm-up match next Tuesday at Fatullah. The first test is at Dhaka’s Shere Bangla National Stadium starts Aug. 27 and the second test starts Sept. 4 at Chittagong.
Australia has won all four of the tests between the nations, dating back to two innings victories in northern Australia in 2003, but has struggled on recent tours to the sub-continent.


Joe Root’s century seals England series win over India, maintains No. 1 ODI ranking

Updated 17 July 2018
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Joe Root’s century seals England series win over India, maintains No. 1 ODI ranking

  • This was Root’s second unbeaten century in successive innings
  • Joe Root became England’s leading one-day international century-maker

LEEDS: Joe Root became England’s leading one-day international century-maker as an innings of exactly 100 not out on his Headingley home ground saw the hosts to an eight-wicket victory over India on Tuesday and a 2-1 series win.
This was Root’s second unbeaten century in successive innings after his 113 not out helped England level the three-match contest with an 86-run win at Lord’s on Saturday.
This latest hundred was also Test skipper Root’s 13th in ODIs, taking him past the England record of 12 he had previously shared with Marcus Trescothick.
Tuesday saw Root and one-day captain Eoin Morgan (88 not out) share an unbroken third-wicket stand of 186 as England, first in the ODI rankings to their opponents’ second, ended India’s run of nine straight bilateral series wins in style.
England, who will be bidding to win the World Cup for the first time when they stage next year’s edition, had said they would treat Tuesday’s match as a dress rehearsal for a winner-takes-all game at the showpiece tournament.
And that made the comprehensive manner of their victory all the more satisfying for Morgan’s men.
It was England’s bowlers who set up this win, with Adil Rashid and David Willey, two of the five Yorkshire cricketers in their XI, taking three wickets apiece.
But, after left-arm quick Willey had kept things tight early on, it was leg-spinner Rashid who did significant damage by taking two wickets in an over.
He bowled India captain and star batsman Virat Kohli (71), as well as dismissing Suresh Raina, on his way to three for 49 in a maximum 10 overs.
Willey, who took three for 40 in nine overs, received excellent new-ball support from Durham quick Mark Wood (one for 30).
Root, who was dropped from the final match of England’s preceding 2-1 Twenty20 series loss, told Sky Sports: “It feels fantastic.
“To come into a big series like this and perform how we have as a side is great.”
Morgan added: “I think we were outstanding. I think the tone was set by the bowlers early on, David Willey and Mark Wood were on the money. From that point there was no let up.”
Meanwhile Kohli accepted his side had been outplayed.
“I thought we were never on the mark as far as runs on the board were concerned, we were 25-30 short, and England were really clinical with the bat and in the field as well,” he said.
After Morgan won the toss, Rohit Sharma, who scored a superb century during India’s eight-wicket win in the series-opener at Trent Bridge, struggled to make two off 18 balls, his innings ending when he flicked Willey to Wood at deep square leg.
Opening partner Shikhar Dhawan made a fluent 44 before was run out by Stokes’s direct hit.
Dinesh Karthik, preferred to KL Rahul for this match, then made 21 before he was bowled between bat and pad by Rashid.
Kohli pressed on, however, completing a 55-ball fifty before Rashid struck twice in six balls as India slumped to 158 for five.
He bowled Kohli with a superb leg-break and had Raina caught low at leg-slip by Root.
James Vince, called up in place of the injured Jason Roy cut the first ball of England’s reply, from Bhuvneshwar Kumar, for four.
Vince’s frustrating England career has seen him repeatedly get out on Tuesday he fell for a run-a-ball 27, although it needed a brilliant one-handed take by wicket-keeper Dhoni, from Hardik Pandya’s throw, to run him out.
But by then England were 74 for two inside 10 overs, well above the required run-rate.
Root, stumped off a Yuzvendra Chahal no-ball on 69, went to his century when he pulled Pandya through midwicket for his 10th four in 120 balls as England won with 33 deliveries to spare.
An elated Root celebrated by dropping his bat to the ground — the ‘mic drop’ gesture more associated with rock stars and stand-up comedians than cricketers.