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Ahead of the India-Australia Test series, which is only days away, the Indian team are playing a practice game in Sydney against Cricket Australia XI. For fans, however, be it a match day or even a non-match day, there are loads to catch up on the cricketing front with updates from around the world.
Here are some of the headlines from the world of cricket:
#1 Prithvi Shaw hobbles out of Adelaide Test
India's hopes of winning a Test series in Australia encountered a roadblock when Prithvi Shaw, on his second tour abroad with the Indian team, had to be helped off the field during his side's four day game against Cricket Australia XI.
Fielding in the deep, Shaw attempted to catch a skier but ended up twisting his ankle even as he tipped past the ropes. He fell on the other side of the boundary and was seen grimacing in pain. Soon, physio Patrick Farhat came to his assistance and helped him get off the field, Shaw looking in extreme discomfort all the while.
Later, it was announced that the injury had forced him out of the first Test at Adelaide, set to begin on December 6.
#2 Ponting predicts Australia win
Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting has predicted an Australian win in their upcoming Test series against India, guessing a 2-1 final scoreline in favour of the hosts.
Speaking to cricket.com.au, Ponting also said that he expects Usman Khawaja to outscore Indian captain Virat Kohli, stating that Khawaja seems to be believing more in his abilities now.
“We’re talking 40 years of history with India coming to Australia and not being able to win because of the fast, bouncy nature of our pitches so I’d love to see them that way,” he said.
“(Khawaja) will just pip Kohli. Kohli will play well I’m sure because he does everywhere he goes and had a great series against Australia last time. Just where they’re starting in Adelaide and Perth: if they leave something in them, Kohli is a bit more vulnerable in those conditions than Melbourne and Sydney.”
#3 BCCI invites applications for women's coach
The hullabaloo surrounding the Mithali Raj-Ramesh Powar feud intensified further with the BCCI inviting applications for the head coach of the women's team, a position Powar had been holding.
The expiry of Powar's contract meant that the search for a new coach started. The former Indian off-spinner was part of a heavily publicised faceoff with veteran batswoman Mithali Raj.
The statement read as follows:
“The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) would like to call upon interested candidates to apply for the position of ‘Head Coach – Team India (Senior Women). Interested candidates should send their application on or before Friday, 14th December 2018 by 5 PM at firstname.lastname@example.org. The interview of the shortlisted candidates will be held on Thursday, 20th December 2018 at the BCCI headquarters in Mumbai".
“The appointment of Head Coach – Team India (Senior Women) will be a full time engagement. The contract term is for 2 years with age limit of 60 years (whichever is earlier). The remuneration is negotiable and will be commensurated with experience.”
#4 Ashwin remarks at Kohli rolling his arm over
For fans of Virat Kohli, batsman-par-excellence, it is rare to see his military medium pace being employed, far less than what it used to be in the initial part of his career. Possessing a unique bowling style, Kohli doesn't bowl as frequently now, perhaps due to the risk of injury, especially after his neck and back problems recently.
Much to everyone's surprise, Kohli decided to showcase his quirky bowling action to the Sydney crowd, during the ongoing practice game against Cricket Australia XI. Twitter was abuzz with short videos of Kohli bowling; he started off looking a little rusty and bowled just two overs.
Ravichandran Ashwin, India's premier off-spinner, who later took questions from reporters, jokingly remarked at Kohli's decision to roll his arm over:
"I think he was just dishing out a lesson to all the bowlers on probably where to bowl. But jokes aside, I think he just wanted to bowl a couple of overs because the bowlers were tiring out and before the second new ball came into play - that's about it", Ashwin told reporters.