Hardik Pandya bowls during practice ahead of third day’s play



Team India all-rounder Hardik Pandya bowled on one of the side pitches at the M. A. Chidambaram Stadium, ahead of the third day’s play between India and England on Sunday.According to a report in Sportstar, Hardik Pandya bowled for around 30 minutes and looked in good rhythm as bowling coach Bharat Arun watched closely.Following his bowling practice, the all-rounder also had a bat in the nets against the pink ball.The third Test between India and England will be a day-night encounter at the Motera Stadium in Ahmedabad.Except for one ODI in Australia, Hardik Pandya hasn’t bowled following his back surgery in 2019.When he wasn’t selected for the Australia Tests, captain Virat Kohli explained that the 27-year-old needed to bowl to fit into the Test squad.Meanwhile, pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah, who has been rested for the second Test, bowled a few deliveries from a shorter run-up.He also batted in the nets along with Shardul Thakur.Lower-order batting has been a massive concern for Team India as the tail hasn’t contributed much of note over the last few seasons.

Hardik Pandya’s stop-start Test careerWhile Hardik Pandya has been a constant feature of the limited-overs squads for India, he hasn’t been able to establish himself in the Test team.India are still trying to find a way to fit him in the scheme of things in the longer version of the game.Hardik Pandya made his Test debut back in July 2017. However, he has only featured in 11 Tests till date.The all-rounder has 532 runs at an average of 31.29. He has a Test century to his name – 108 against Sri Lanka at Pallekele in August 2017.With the ball, Hardik Pandya has claimed 17 wickets at an average of 31.05. He does have a five-wicket haul to his credit – 5 for 28 against England in Nottingham in August 2018.In contrast, Hardik Pandya has featured in 57 ODIs and 43 T201s, and has made a number of match-winning contributions with the bat.
Published 15 Feb 2021, 12:36 IST

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It is a good decision to rest Jasprit Bumrah: Gautam Gambhir


Gautam Gambhir has backed the Indian team management’s decision to rest Jasprit Bumrah for the second Test against England.The former Indian opener feels Bumrah has done a lot of bowling lately and deserves some rest. The Chennai pitch for the second Test could provide very little assistance to pacers. Hence, Gambhir stated it only made sense to give the 27-year-old some much-needed break.Gautam Gambhir explained that the break will help Jasprit Bumrah remain fresh for the crucial pink-ball Test in Ahmedabad. Speaking on Star Sports’ show Cricket Live, Gambhir said:”I think it is a good decision to rest him. He will be ready to go in the pink-ball Test match. There is nothing for the fast bowlers here and he has bowled a lot of overs in Australia and the first Test match, so I think it was a very good decision from the team management’s point of view.””You would want to have Jasprit Bumrah for crucial Test matches” – Gautam Gambhir”I’m not sure whether Jasprit Bumrah should be Picked for the 2nd Test match. India should preserve him for the Pink Ball Test Match at Motera. Bumrah is an X factor in the series, irrespective of what surfaces to play on.” – Gautam Gambhir— CricketMAN2 (@man4_cricket) February 7, 2021Jasprit Bumrah missed the fourth Test of the 2020-21 Border-Gavaskar Trophy due to an abdominal strain. Gambhir believes it is highly imperative to manage the workload of the speedster and keep him fresh for important matches. “You would want to have Jasprit Bumrah for the crucial Test matches, the pink ball one and the fourth Test and there will be hardly any gap between the two. So, I think it is the right decision,” Gambhir stated.Mohammed Siraj, who replaced Jasprit Bumrah, has been one of three changes for Team India in the second Test. The hosts opted to bat first and were 106-3 at Lunch on Day 1.This is the spin combination India would have gone in with in the first test if Axar Patel had been fit. Siraj is a fine exponent of reverse swing so could be effective and to that extent, the absence of Bumrah might not be as big on this surface.— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) February 13, 2021India need to win at least two Tests and avoid defeat in the final three matches to make it to the World Test Championship final.
Published 13 Feb 2021, 12:35 IST

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Watch: ‘Focused’ Mohammed Shami works hard towards getting match fit



Team India pacer Mohammed Shami, who is currently recuperating from injury, was seen working hard in the nets as he looks to regain match fitness.Mohammed Shami has been out of action since the first Test Down Under in Adelaide. The senior India pacer suffered a fracture after being struck on his right arm by a bouncer from Pat Cummins, as India crumbled to 36.On Friday, the 30-year-old took to his official Instagram handle and posted a video in which he is seen bowling in the nets. Along with the video, Mohammed Shami also put up a philosophical message, which read:“Always focus on how far you’ve come, rather than how far you have left to go.”Replying to the video, fans prayed for his quick recovery, and hoped he would be available to play for India soon. Another Team India pacer, Navdeep Saini is also seen practising with Mohammed Shami in the video.The Bengal pacer was not included for the first two Tests for the ongoing home series against England as he is yet to regain full fitness.India went in with Jasprit Bumrah and Ishant Sharma for the first Test in Chennai, dropping Mohammed Siraj despite his brilliant show in Australia. They included three spinners in Ravichandran Ashwin, Washington Sundar and Shahbaz Nadeem.Mohammed Shami: A vital cog in India’s Test team The experienced Mohammed Shami has been crucial to India’s rise in Test cricket as world-beaters over the last few seasons.

Since the start of 2018, Mohammed Shami has claimed 85 wickets in 23 Tests at an average of just over 24, with three five-wicket hauls.In home Tests during the same period, Mohammed Shami has 24 scalps to his name in six Tests at a spectacular average of 15.04. His ability to reverse swing the ball has troubled a number of opposition batsmen.Overall, Mohammed Shami has featured in 50 Test matches, and has picked up 180 wickets while averaging 27.58.The Bengal pace bowler has formed a formidable partnership with Ishant and Bumrah in recent times, with the current bowling attack being rated by many as India’s best ever.Playing his 18th Test, Bumrah has so far claimed 81 wickets at an excellent average of 21.55. The Chennai Test is Ishant’s 98th. He has 297 scalps to his name, averaging more than 32.
Published 06 Feb 2021, 00:15 IST

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