Having been left out for the first Test match at Gabba, Stuart Broad has expressed his disappointment via a column at The Mail on Sunday, 12 December.
England were no match for the Australians in the first Test and were blown away in all departments to surrender the match in just four days. Broad wrote that he felt that he could have had a positive impact at the game and was 100 per cent preparing to play at the Gabba.
"Over the past 12 months, Jimmy and I tried to ensure we were as fit as could be in the current Covid climate, ready to go and available for all five Tests in Australia. I think we ticked that box - but England selection is not in the hands of players.
"It is in those of people who have to make choices based on conditions and the balance of the team and our job now with four matches to go is to be ready for the next [Test].
Although he stated that he would not be kicking up the ‘stink’ and realises that this series is ‘a marathon and not a sprint’. He argued that realistically no seamer will play all five Test matches and he will be raring to go whenever he gets a chance next time around.
Broad's comments are in the context of his 2020 interview, where he threw a fit in frustration for not being selected to play in the series.
"There is no time to feel sorry for ourselves, dwell on not batting, bowling, or catching very well. We know that's the case."
"What we mustn't do is carry negatives with us for the next month. We've done that on Ashes tours past and consistently lost. We must pretend it's 0-0 in a four-match series and go again,” Broad concluded.
Qais Ahmad of Afghanistan is playing his second game in the Big Bash League 2021 and is still not allowed to come in touch with the other nine players of the playing XI apart from Andre Russell, who has also travelled with the Afghan from Dubai where both were part of the recently concluded T10 tournament. Both Ahmad and Russell are part of Melbourne Stars. So after Qais picked his first wicket as he bowled Sydney Thunder’s Matthew Gilkes round his legs in only his second over, the 21-year-old couldn’t celebrate by high fiving his teammates and therefore created a unique celebration which was praised on Twitter. In the tweet done by Channel 7, the official broadcaster of the league, Ahmad is seen giving in the air high fives. Few people couldn’t understand the reason and asked why Ahmad, who could play in the XI was not allowed to be in touch with the players on the field. The reason for that has been given as the number of days in self-quarantine after their return from Dubai. This means that these two players, Ahmad and Russell would not be allowed to touch other players for the first two games. In the match, both Russell and Qais bowled four overs each. While Qais picked two wickets he also held on to catch. As far as the match is concerned, the Thunder batting first have set a target of 152 for the Stars to chase.
It was a case of so close and yet so far for the Colombo Stars as they suffered a 1 run defeat against Dambulla Giants in the Lanka Premier League 2021. This is now the narrowest margin of defeat by runs in the league’s two-season history. Colombo’s Dinesh Chandimal, who probably played the innings of the season so far, scoring an unbeaten 65 off just 40 balls, when only one other batter was able to get onto the double figures, was the star of the game but finished on the losing side. When Chandimal walked in to bat, Stars’ skipper Dhananjaya de Silva was batting on 15 off 16 balls and the team was struggling at 38-4, needing 101 from 73 balls with the Giants’ spinners tightening the grip ever so effectively. The experienced and most reliable duo then started building the partnership to chase down 139. Having added 32 off 26 balls, the partnership was broken by a brilliant catch at the boundary ropes from Chamika Karunaratne off the bowling of Tharindu Ratnayake. Chandimal though started teeing off just after the fall of that wicket even as wickets kept falling from the other end. He completed his 25th T20 fifty on the way and almost got his team to a win. From 52 needed off 24 balls, it was only the brilliance of the 32-year old that he brought down the target to 13 off the last over even as the 18th over by Imran Tahir brought only four runs. In the last over too, he started well by hitting a four of the first ball, with 8 needed from four balls, Dushmantha Chameera got out and now eight runs were required off the three balls, Chandimal played a dot and the target came to 8 off two, before two runs were taken off the penultimate ball to bring the equation to a heroic requirement, six off the last ball to win. The final ball was a length ball, slightly rising, but there to be hit. However, Chandimal had already shifted towards the offside, but he controlled himself, swivelled on one foot and then raised it over the fine-leg boundary only to find it falling just a few yards short of the ropes and going for a four. Chandimal was on his knees and then fell flat on the ground as all his efforts has come to zero as his team remained bottom of the table after the one-run loss. Earlier in the evening, after winning the toss and deciding to bat first, the team from Dambulla had a good start, but couldn’t relay convert it. At the start of the innings, they were 48 without loss in the first five overs. But once they lost both openers in Phil Salt and Nisroshan Dickwella in quick succession, the wickets just kept falling. In the end, they could only get up to 138-9 in 20 overs. Dickwella top-scored for Stars with 30 off 16 balls. Experienced Jeffrey Vandersay picked up three wickets with his leg spinners while another leggie Seekuge Prasanna picked two wickets as well. West Indian import for Stars, Ravi Rampaul, who was taken for cleaners early on, also came back well and picked three wickets.
Australian speedster Josh Hazlewood who took three wickets in the first Test match is currently racing against time to get fit for the second Test match. Scheduled to be hosted in Adelaide between 16-20 December, Hazlewood does not have a lot of time on his hands to get match fit. Young paceman Jhye Richardson is primed as his replacement. The right arm seamer had complained of soreness after the end of Day three’s play. He bowled just 14 overs in the second innings while the other pacers bowled 20 each. However, during his spell where he took the crucial wicket of Jos Buttler and did not look in visible discomfort. Captain Pat Cummins spoke about the issue and stated that he was largely doing fine but it was a precautionary measure to not put much pressure on him. Hazlewood has flown to Sydney, and if fit, will join the team back in Adelaide. Australia have other injury concerns going into the second match, with opener David Warner possibly having broken his rib against a short delivery in the first innings. While Australia have denied of any reports that Warner will be out of the second Test match, but things did not look okay when he could not take field or come out to bat with Australia needing just 20 runs to win the match.
Madhya Pradesh middle order batsman Venkatesh Iyer counter-attacked his way to safety in the Vijay Hazare Trophy on Sunday, 12 December. Playing against Chandigarh, Iyer came into batting with Madhya Pradesh in a precarious position having lost four quick wickets. Reeling at 56/4, Venkatesh Iyer and Aditya Shrivastava held the innings together with Iyer being the more attacking between them. While Shrivastava got run out at 70 off 80 balls, Iyer was at his best hitting 8 fours and 10 sixes. He scored 151 runs in just 113 balls at a tremendous strike rate of 133.63. He left the crease in the 49th over having taken MP over the 300 run margin. A late surge from Puneet Datey saw MP post 331 runs in 50 overs with Datey scoring an unbeaten 27 off just eight deliveries. Iyer has seen his stocks rise in Indian cricket after a stellar debut for Kolkata Knight Riders in Indian Premier League 2021, but before that he was very much a household name in the MP circuit having scored an incredible 198 runs in the Vijay Hazare Trophy in the 2020 season.