Morgan urges England to hold their nerve after SL loss

Agencies
June 22, 2019

Leeds, Jun 22: Eoin Morgan urged England to revert to type after a shock World Cup defeat by Sri Lanka cast doubt over their ability to reach the semi-finals.

Friday's 20-run loss at Headingley means England could have to win all three of their final group games against champions Australia, India and New Zealand in order to secure a last four spot.

Worryingly for England, they have not defeated any of that trio at a World Cup since 1992, although they did manage to tie with India in Bangalore eight years ago.

Sri Lanka's total of 232-9 did not appear to leave England, yet to win the World Cup, with an especially stiff chase on Friday.

But, with veteran paceman Lasith Malinga taking 4-43 and England tossing other wickets away, it proved enough despite Joe Root's grafting 57 and all-rounder Ben Stokes' unbeaten 82, with England bowled out for 212.

"You look at the basics of a run chase," said Morgan. "Partnerships are very important, we struggled to get enough partnerships going.

"We had a couple of individual innings but that's not good enough to win a game."

This was England's second pool loss after a 14-run defeat by Pakistan, but Morgan is refusing to panic.

"We are going to lose games in the group stages. We didn't deserve to win the game, we still need to go back to the process that's taken us to being a strong side in the world," he said.

England were hampered in their chase by the ongoing absence of in-form opener Jason Roy with a torn hamstring.

"Obviously we would love him in the side, he's a huge strength at the top of the order," said Morgan.

"But that's not why we lost the game. We bat all the way down. Every single one is quite significant because every single one could establish a partnership that could win you the game."

England's next match against Australia, who are currently top of the World Cup standings, at Lord's on Tuesday was always going to be a high-profile encounter.

But the stakes for England have been raised by a fourth successive loss to Sri Lanka in as many World Cups.

Morgan, however, insisted: "The message is quite simple: we need to do the basics along with the way that we play as well.

"When we get beaten we tend to come back quite strong. We tend to resort to aggressive, smart, positive cricket. Let's hope that's the case on Tuesday."

England may have risen to the top of the ODI rankings since a first-round exit at the 2015 World Cup by playing an aggressive brand of cricket that revolves around dynamic batsmen seeing the team to large totals.

But Friday's reverse will reinforce doubts over England's ability to adapt their game to the demands of low scoring affairs in high-pressure situations -- a problem that emerged during a 2017 Champions Trophy semi-final loss to Pakistan.

The way Moeen Ali hit off-spinner Dhananjaya de Silva for six only to hole out off the very next ball trying to repeat the shot was an especially worrying sign given the England all-rounder was appearing in his 100th match at this level.

"England have not played with any smartness," said former captain Michael Vaughan, commentating for BBC Radio.

"The game was won when Moeen Ali hit a six and he tried to hit another. I hope we are not in an era where in the dressing room you can't say that is not good enough."

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Agencies
January 3,2021

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Kolkata, Jan 3: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Sourav Ganguly had an "uneventful last night" and the medical board will meet on Monday to discuss the further treatment plan, the Woodlands Hospital said in a medical bulletin.

It also said that the treating doctors are keeping "constant vigil" on his health situation and taking appropriate measures from time to time.

Former India captain was hospitalised at 1 pm on Saturday with "chest discomfort, the heaviness of head, vomiting and a spell of dizziness" while performing physical exercise in the home gymnasium at around 11 am. Following this, doctors had conducted angioplasty on him.

The hospital also said the "routine ECG done at 10 am is satisfactory". On Saturday, Ganguly was tested for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which turned out to be negative.

Earlier, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee visited Woodlands Hospital on Saturday evening.

Interacting with the media while leaving the hospital, Banerjee had said, "He (Ganguly) is fine now, he even spoke to me. I thank the doctors and hospital authorities that they have taken the right decision of conducting an angioplasty."

"I did not have the idea that international sportspersons like him do not undergo check-ups. I asked Avishek Dalmiya to conduct medical check-ups of cricketers before games," she had said.

On Wednesday, Ganguly had visited Eden Gardens and discussed preparations for the upcoming Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy with the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) president Avishek Dalmia.

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Agencies
January 4,2021

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Sydney, Jan 4: The Indian and Australian cricket team players and support staff have returned negative results for COVID-19 and are fit to fly to Sydney for the third Test that begins on January 7.

"Playing members of the Indian cricket team and support staff underwent an RT-PCR Test for COVID-19 on January 3, 2021. All tests have returned negative results," said a statement from the Indian cricket board on Monday morning.

A Cricket Australia spokesperson confirmed that the Aussies and match officials too cleared the tests.

"CA players, staff and match officials also underwent COVID-19 tests yesterday and have returned negative results," said the spokesperson.

The tests assumed significance after five members of the Indian cricket team were put in isolation. Rohit Sharma, Rishabh Pant, Shubman Gill, Prithvi Shaw and Navdeep Saini were put in isolation after both the Australian and Indian cricket boards launched an investigation into a video on social media which showed them sitting indoors in a restaurant in Melbourne.

The five players had been asked to train separately from the rest of the squad.

The Indian cricket board also confirmed that the five players will now be travelling with the rest of the squad to Sydney.

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Agencies
January 12,2021

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Sydney, Jan 12: India's Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane have each dropped down by a spot to number three and seven respectively while Cheteshwar Pujara has made a jump of two places to occupy the eighth place in the latest ICC Test rankings for batsmen.

Pujara played knocks of 50 and 77 in the drawn third Test against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Rahane, on the other hand, scored 22 and 4 at the SCG. Kohli, was not part of the India XI as he had returned to India where he welcomed his baby girl with wife Anushka Sharma on Monday afternoon.

Meanwhile, Rishabh Pant's scores of 36 and 97 have also helped him gain 19 places to reach 26th position. Hanuma Vihari and Ravichandran Ashwin too have gained after their fighting knocks, as has Shubman Gill.

Prolific Australian batsman Steve Smith has leapfrogged Kohli to second position after scores of 131 and 81 in the Sydney Test.

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson sits at the top with 919 rating points, the highest-ever attained by a Black Caps batsman.

In the list of bowlers, Ashwin and Jasprit Bumrah have both gone down and currently occupy the ninth and tenth positions respectively. The rankings, currently topped by Pat Cummins, has seen Josh Hazlewood gain three places to reach fifth position with four wickets in the third Test against India.

The fourth and final Test between Australia and India will begin from Friday in Brisbane.

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