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Friday, Nov 27th

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Yuvraj Singh dropped, Ishwar Pandey gets an India call-up

The Indian selectors met on Tuesday to pick the Test and One-day sides for the upcoming tour to New Zealand and the big news is that Yuvraj Singh has been dropped. The Indian southpaw had a couple of rather ordinary series against Australia at home and South Africa, abroad. By dropping the all-rounder, the selectors have realigned with their policy of having an eye on the team for the 2015 World Cup. It looks rather difficult for Yuvraj to make a comeback from here on.

In the other big development, Ishwar Pandey, the Madhya Pradesh fast bowler has received a maiden call-up to the India Test squad. Alongwith Stuart Binny and Varun Aaron, Pandey also features in the ODI squad that will be playing 5 ODIs against the Kiwis in January.


Australia announce 14 man squad for England ODI series

The Cricket Australia National Selection Panel (NSP) has today named a 14-player squad for the first three Carlton Mid ODI Series matches against England beginning in Melbourne on 12 January.

Australian squad is: Michael Clarke (c), George Bailey (vc), Nathan Coulter-Nile, Xavier Doherty, James Faulkner, Aaron Finch, Brad Haddin, Mitchell Johnson, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Clint McKay, James Pattinson, David Warner, Shane Watson


Australia vs England - 5th Test Preview

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The Ashes bandwagon moves to Sydney for the New Year’s Test and the English team would be hoping for some change in fortunes - come 2014. Till now, it’s been one way traffic, the Australians have rampaged their way to a 4-0 score line and would look to make into a whitewash while England are still busy licking their wounds.

However, one mustn’t take the Poms lightly. If MCG wasn’t an aberration, then England can fight and that’s something Australia would be wary of. All said and done, the final Test of the Ashes series is a lot more than just another ‘dead rubber’ – Australia would want to remind England of the horrors of 2006/07 while England would want to salvage some pride before the one-day leg of the tour begins.


Steyn's early strikes set up Proteas' victory

Dale Steyn trumped the two batsmen most likely to get India through a testing last day at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead on Monday with his first 12 deliveries and thereafter there was no stopping South Africa after they had sniffed the kill. They went on to beat India by 10 wickets with most of the final session to spare to take the two-match Sunfoil Series by a 1-0 margin. It is an outcome that increases their lead over India at the top of the ICC World Test rankings to 16 rating points.

Steyn, who was the essential difference between the two teams in this match, taking nine wickets, including the key breakthroughs in both innings, was named Sunfoil Man of the Match while AB de Villiers was named Sunfoil Man of the Series.


South Africa extends lead as No.1 Test side

South Africa’s 10 wickets victory over India in the second and final Test in Durban on Monday has allowed it to extend its lead as the number-one ranked side on the ICC Test Team Rankings Table.

The 1-0 series win has helped South Africa gain two ratings points to finish on 133, while India has conceded two ratings points to end at 117. This means the gap between the two top ranked sides has now increased from 12 ratings points to 16 ratings points.

Meanwhile, Australia has an opportunity to finish third on the Test team rankings table.


Overseas: 9, India: 0 – at the end of the Durban Test

Team India fell to their ninth defeat in the last ten Tests away, as the Proteas gave a perfect send off to one of their living legends, Jacques Kallis. Touted as one of the greatest all-rounders to have played the game, Kallis had announced his plan to retire, prior to this Test. With a target of 58 runs to win the Test, the South African openers laughed their way to victory, as their skipper, Graeme Smith hit a six and a four to seal the deal.

Earlier in the day, the Indians resumed their innings with the single minded purpose of salvaging a draw out of a game that was slipping away from their grasp. However, Virat Kohli faced a howler in the very first delivery of the morning, as he was given caught behind off Dale Steyn’s bowling. Replays showed that the ball had in fact, brushed the batsman’s shoulder and not the bat. After getting rid of Kohli, Steyn came back to dismiss Cheteshwar Pujara for 32 runs. The ball that was angling in, moved outwards after pitching and crashed into Pujara’s stumps. At 71/4, India were looking down the barrel.


Dhoni’s position in the Indian Test XI on overseas tours must be questioned

The Indian team has slumped to its ninth defeat in the last ten Tests that it has played overseas. And in the spotlight today, is Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni. While the man with the “midas touch” has done a lot for Indian cricket, it is high time that someone questioned his utility in the Indian line up as a batsman on overseas tours.

After Dhoni was banned for the final Test of the India-Australia Test series in 2011/12, in Adelaide, a diminutive wicket-keeper from Bengal, Wriddhiman Saha, took guard to face Peter Siddle and Co. VVS Laxman had just been dismissed off Nathan Lyon’s bowling and while the Indians were tottering at 111/5, at the other end was the rookie, Virat Kohli – whose place in the lineup had been under threat until recently.


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