Hello and welcome to the daily round-up of all the major stories happening in the cricketing world today.
First up are the injury concerns around Shikhar Dhawan, followed by Sachin Tendulkar's new innings in cricket. Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya is headed to NCA for recovery while Faf du Plessis has hinted at possible retirement. Lastly, Sunil Gavaskar has made his choice of wicket-keeper pretty clear again.
Here is a look at those stories in detail.
#1 Shikhar Dhawan ruled out due to injury
Indian opener Shikhar Dhawan has been ruled out of the upcoming T20I series against New Zealand owing to a shoulder injury he suffered in the last ODI against Australia in Bengaluru.
Dhawan landed awkwardly while fielding and didn't come out to bat during India's series-clinching victory. Before the Australia series, Dhawan had been nursing a knee injury from which he recovered and made a successful comeback. He recorded scores of 74 and 96 in the first two ODIs against Australia.
The left-hander will be hoping to be fit before the ODI series against New Zealand
#2 Tendulkar and Walsh to coach Ponting and Warne-led sides
Former India captain Sachin Tendulkar and legendary West Indies pacer Courtney Walsh are set to coach Ricky Ponting and Shane Warne-led Bushfire Relief sides respectively. The match is scheduled to be held on February 8.
The venue of the game will be disclosed on January 31, while the match is set to be played just before the BBL 09 final that same day. CA chief executive Kevin Roberts said,
"We are absolutely honored to be welcoming Sachin and Courtney back to Australia where they both enjoyed a lot of success as players, and we can't wait to have them involved in what is going to be a special day."
Roberts had confirmed the news of a Bushfire Cricket Bash earlier. "I'm delighted to confirm the Bushfire Cricket Bash will be Cricket Australia's major fundraising initiative to support Australians impacted by the recent unprecedented bushfire emergency," he said.
#3 Pandya to be monitored under Dravid at NCA
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has confirmed that Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya will continue his recovery at the NCA in Bengaluru under the observation of former Indian captain Rahul Dravid.
Pandya, who was recovering from a back injury, missed the India A bus to New Zealand due to his slow recovery process. Current BCCI president Sourav Ganguly has been quite vocal about recovering from injuries at the NCA under the guidance of Dravid.
"The team management spoke to him when he trained with Virat Kohli and boys on the eve of the opening ODI against Australia at the Wankhede Stadium and he has been asked to start the training from Tuesday. It should be ideally a two-week programme after which he will be ready for international cricket," reports said.
"I met Dravid yesterday, and we have put a system in place. The bowlers will have to go to the NCA. If anybody (else) has to treat them, they will have to come to NCA."
#4 Faf du Plessis hints at retirement
Current South African Test captain Faf du Plessis has hinted at possible retirement plans from the longest format of the game after losing the third Test to England by an innings and 53 runs.
Du Plessis said that the last Test at Johannesburg could be his swan song as far as his home Test career is concerned. He, however, made it clear that stepping down mid-way during a series was not his forte and only an unprofessional leader who take an action like that. He, however, stated that he will like to play the T20 WC in Australia later this year.
"I have committed until the T20 World Cup. There isn't a lot of Test cricket left this year: one massive Test where we need everyone to be as strong as possible, [and] afterwards there is quite a big gap. I have said before, there is an opportunity to release some of the captaincy. Two Test matches in the West Indies [in July], and the rest of the year is white-ball stuff. Most probably after that, Test cricket will be something that won't see me."
#5 Gavaskar weighs in on wicketkeeping options
Post the concussion issues with Rishabh Pant, Rahul was played as a keeper and performed relatively well to create further headaches for the Indian team management. Gavaskar, however, believes that Pant should be the preferred choice of the keeper in the limited-overs format as he was the specialist finisher that India needed. Also, according to him, Pant adds to the number of left-handers in the squad which has been a concern for the Indian team for a while now.
“I will go with Rishabh Pant in the limited-overs cricket. If you need a finisher at No. 6 then Rishabh Pant can do that for the team.”
“Also he is a left-handed batsman, so considering the Indian batting line-up where we have only one left-handed batsman in form of Shikhar Dhawan, so if we have another southpaw in top-order then it will be beneficial for the team. So I will go with Rishabh Pant.”