Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 22nd 2014 Contents A60
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Wednesday, October 22, 2014
DUBAI---Pakistan A s warmup win over Australia
has given the senior team a path it hopes will lead
to success in the first cricket Test starting today in
the United Arab Emirates.
Even without spinner Saeed Ajmal, Pakistan s only
world top-10 test bowler, the hosts are expected to
rely on spin to gauge how vulnerable the Australians
are after they lost the four-day warmup match by
153 runs in Sharjah last week.
Left-armer Raza Hasan, who took four wickets
from 40 overs in the match, could be in line for a
debut. He s in contention for the spin spots with the
uncapped Yasir Shah and two-test player Zulfiqur
"It does affect you when you don t have senior
players, but the way the (Pakistan) A team played
they showed it s all about determination," captain
Misbah-ul-Haq said yesterday.
With Ajmal suspended for an illegal bowling action,
Pakistan lost the one-day international series 3-0.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni has opted out of the
first three ODIs against Sri Lanka, citing the
need for a break to freshen up ahead of the tour
of Australia and the World Cup. Virat Kohli will
stand in as captain, and Wriddhiman Saha, who
scored a century in the IPL final earlier this year,
will take care of wicketkeeping duties. Bhuvnesh-
war Kumar has been rested, making way for
Sri Lanka are touring India as a replacement
for West Indies, whose players refused to continue
with their full tour because of payment structure
disputes with the WICB and WIPA.
R Ashwin, who was rested for the West Indies
ODIs, came back into the side, replacing chinaman
bowler Kuldeep Yadav, who joined Sanju Samson
and Karn Sharma in the India A squad as the
players who have recently spent time in the India
squad but have been dropped without getting a
cap. Samson had been picked as back-up keeper
only when Saha injured himself during the Tests
India picked Rohit Sharma for the A side to
play the warm-up match against the touring Sri
Lankans, but he has been left out of the first three
ODIs. The tour match will be played on October
30 at the Brabourne Stadium.
Rohit s role in the World Cup has sparked sig-
nificant debate. He filled in the opening void left
by the disposed Virender Sehwag and Gautam
Gambhir, and scored heavily at home, including
a double-century against Australia, but away from
home his slow starts, often not converted into big
innings, resulted in too much pressure on the mid-
dle order. Ajinkya Rahane has been opening in
Rohit s absence, and where the two bat once Rohit
returns remains a matter of interest. The rest of
the squad that played West Indies was retained.
The dates for the series are yet to be announced,
but they will be played in Cuttack, Kolkata, Ranchi,
Ahmedabad and Hyderabad. (ESPNcricinfo)
Dhoni opts out of first
three Sri Lanka ODIs
Pakistan likely to throw spin challenge to Aussies
But Misbah said his untested spinners carry
enough experience of bowling long spells
in domestic cricket.
"Whoever comes on the international
scene he starts inexperienced ... this is how
life is," Misbah said.
"These players are good enough to make
their names on the international scene, and
I am pretty hopeful that they have the capa-
bilities to prove themselves at this level."
In the ODI series, Pakistan was let down
by the batsmen, including Misbah, rather
than the bowlers. Misbah even voluntarily
sat out from the last ODI to tune his tech-
nique. In the 12 days since the second ODI,
he has been in the nets, hoping to put on
a better show in the two Tests.
"It was a nice break, and I did long prac-
tice (sessions)," he said. "The ball is coming
onto the bat, and I will try to improve my
Pakistan s struggling middle order will
be beefed up by the return of test specialists
Younis Khan and Azhar Ali, with Asad Shafiq
also running into form with a century in
the four-day game.
Michael Clarke successfully tested his
hamstring in his first competitive match
since August but the Australia captain will
go into the test with scores of 10 and 5 in
the lost four-day game.
"I wouldn t say lack of form ... there s
certainly a lack of game practice under my
belt," Clarke said.
He added Pakistan will sorely miss Ajmal,
while Australia will be banking on fast bowler
Mitchell Johnson and offspinner Nathan
Lyon, who bagged nine wickets between
them in the first two ODIs before both were
rested in the third one-dayer.
Spinner Steve O Keefe also impressed in
the warmup match, and could make his test
debut alongside Mitchell Marsh, who has
recovered from a hamstring injury.
India A squad for the tour match Manoj Tiwary
(capt.), Unmukt Chand, Manan Vohra, Karun Nair,
Rohit Sharma, Kedar Jadhav, Sanju Samson, Parvez
Rasool, Karn Sharma, Stuart Binny, Dhawal Kulkarni,
Jasprit Bumrah, Manish Pandey, Kuldeep Yadav.
Changes in India ODI squad
Virat Kohli (capt.), Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane,
Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Wriddhiman Saha, R
Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Umesh
Yadav, Ishant Sharma, Amit Mishra, M Vijay, Varun
Aaron, Akshar Patel.
In: R Ashwin, Wriddhiman Saha, Varun Aaron
Out: MS Dhoni, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav.
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