Matt Henry replaces injured Tim Southee for first Test vs West Indies

first_imgNew Zealand right-arm seamer Matt Henry has been confirmed as a replacement for injured Tim Southee for the opening Test of the two-match series against West Indies, beginning at the Basin Reserve on Friday.Confirming the news, skipper Kane Williamson revealed that Henry has been preferred as Southee’s replacement over fast bowler Lockie Ferguson for the first Test match.Despite Ferguson bagging seven wickets for New Zealand A against the West Indies earlier this week, Williamson insisted that Henry has been chosen for the national team since he has been playing exceedingly well for a long time now.”He probably hasn’t had the opportunities he’s deserved and now is a great opportunity for him. He’s a different bowler to Lockie but has been bowling with good pace and does tend to move the ball well,” Sport24 quoted Williamson, as saying.As a result, Henry will join the third pace-bowling spot with Trent Boult and Neil Wagner.Earlier, Southee was ruled out of the first Test against West Indies because of a pending birth of his first child.Meanwhile, uncapped wicketkeeper-batsman Tom Blundell is also in line to make Test debut for New Zealand after being drafted in the squad as BJ Watling’s replacement, who was ruled out due to a hip injury.Besides Tests, the two sides are also scheduled to play three-match ODI series, beginning December 20 at the Cobham Oval, Whangarei.The New Zealand squad for first Test is as follows:Kane Williamson (captain), Tom Latham, Jeet Raval, Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, Tom Blundell, Mitchell Santner, Colin de Grandhomme, Matt Henry, Neil Wagner, Trent Boult.advertisementlast_img read more

India lose crucial practice session before 1st Test vs England

first_imgIndia’s preparations for the first Test against England on August 1 took a hit on Sunday as their practice session was cancelled due to rain in Birmingham.India had planned to reach Birmingham a day early and had cut short its practice match against Essex as well but rain played spoilsport for Virat Kohli’s team.”We are getting to the Test match venue, because it wouldn’t have served the purpose here [in Chelmsford]. Instead of an extra day here, I think an extra day [of training] there would be more valuable … more familiarity with the venue and the conditions where you are playing the first Test,” India coach Ravi Shastri had reasoned.India were looking at atleast three days of practice in Birmingham before the first Test but with more rain forecast for Monday, it looks like the team will have to look for an alternate strategy to get used to the conditions.England on the other hand, will be happy to see the weather which has brought some relief from the hot conditions which could have tilted the scales in favour of the spinners in the first Test.India have three world-class spinners in their squad in R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Kuldeep Yadav while England had to bring back leg-spinner Adil Rashid from Test retirement due to the conditions in England at present.Indian bowling attack suited for all conditions, reckons Darren GoughThe country is witnessing its hottest summer ever which is why spinners are expected to play a crucial role in the upcoming five-match series.advertisementWith Bhuvneshwar Kumar not available for the first three Tests and Jasprit Bumrah ruled out of the opening match, India will now have to depend heavily on Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami for the first few games in the absence of the top-two strike bowlers in the team.The practice match against Essex had ended in a draw as Indian bowlers were made to toil hard while the top-order batsmen, especially Shikhar Dhawan, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane struggled against the moving ball.England meanwhile, will once again look to James Anderson and Stuart Broad to provide breakthroughs for them.Virat Kohli fan calls Essex ‘Internet Explorer of cricket’ after cheeky tweetBroad is of the opinion that the team that adapts to the conditions quickly will come out on top.”It’s going to be a hard-fought series. What I really enjoy is a five-Test series. Generally, your best players win you five-match series. Let’s hope, we come out on top. It is nice to have longevity to the series. Generally, the team that adapts and plays best cricket has longevity through the series will win it,” Broad said.India vs England: Buttler wants to learn from ‘immensely talented’ KohliBroad also said even the ground staff won’t be able to predict how the 22-yard strip would behave during the first Test.Extra-motivated Kohli could prove to be dangerous for England: Graham Gooch”It will be a really exciting series as both teams don’t know what the pitch will do neither the groundsmen really know because probably they haven’t experienced this sort of weather in England for a long time. The lack of moisture that has been around, players will have to adapt,” Broad said.Time for Virat Kohli to show he can score runs in England: Glenn McGrathFor Broad, every ground from Trent Bridge (Nottingham) to the Lord’s will pose different challenges, and the bowling unit that adapts quickly will have the upper hand.Writing off Virat Kohli is the biggest mistake: Dale Steyn to India Today”The bowling side that can quickly adapt will have more success. (Need to) realize what’s the threat. Is it spin, reverse swing, or knee roll seam? We will be discussing all the way through.India vs England: Broad ready for challenging and exciting Test series”Each ground will be different. Trent Bridge might be very different to Lord’s. Lord’s (track) traditionally in last couple of years have spun quite a lot. Bowlers like Yasir Shah, Moeen Ali have got 10-fors. At Trent Bridge, it doesn’t turn that much. So we need to use different skills for different grounds for sure,” said Broad, who has 417 wickets from 117 Tests.Former England fast bowler Darren Gough on the other hand, feels India won’t feel the absence of Bhuvneshwar too much as they have the bowling attack for all types of conditions.”Bhuvneshwar is a big loss and he wasn’t at his best during the ODI series because he was carrying an injury. But India aren’t a side anymore that is dependent on one bowler. Earlier, they were dependent on Anil Kumble, Javagal Srinath or Zaheer Khan, that is no longer the case. India are suited for all sorts of wickets, and they look prepared and geared up for this Test series,” Gough told PTI.advertisementlast_img read more