Usman Khawaja century seals Australia’s series victory over India in Delhi


By SAT Sports Desk

DELHI, 14 March: It’s the first time an Australian side has come from 2-0 down in an ODI series and won, it also sealed Australia’s first ODI series win in India in a decade.

Usman Khawaja’s (100) second century of the series helped secure Australia victory, it also earned him player of the series after he amassed 383 runs from his five innings.

Khawaja’s ton, a half century to Peter Handscmb (52) and a late blast from Jhye Richardson (29) helped Australia set India 273 for victory.

An all round contribution from Australia’s bowling attack saw India dismissed for 237. Adam Zampa was the pick of the bowlers, finishing with figures of 3/46. Pat Cummins, Jhye Richardson, and Marcus Stoinis claimed two wickets each.

The ODI series win caps off a successful Qantas Tour of India, with Australia also securing the T20I series over India 2-0.

Shane Warne calls Australian squad for Gillette ODIs against India as ‘ridiculous’


By SAT Sports Desk

MELBOURNE, January 4: Former Australian cricketer Shane Warne has expressed his unhappiness at the Australian ODIs squad against India announced today by the Cricket Australia in a Tweet as “These ridiculous selections must stop in all forms of Australian cricket – end of !”
In a Tweet earlier he said, ” Just saw the Aust ODI squad that was announced & was absolutely staggered at some of the players that were left out & some of the inclusions – they don’t make any sense whatsoever. I was asked by @foxcricket to give my team – so here it is ! Thoughts ? Agree ?”

In a media release, the Cricket Australia’s National Selection Panel announced the following 14-man squad for the Gillette ODI Series v India starting in Sydney at the SCG on January 12:

Aaron Finch (c) (Victoria)
Usman Khawaja (Queensland)
Shaun Marsh (Western Australia)
Peter Handscomb (Victoria)
Glenn Maxwell (Victoria)
Marcus Stoinis (Western Australia)
Mitch Marsh (vc) (Western Australia)
Alex Carey (vc) (South Australia)
Jhye Richardson (Western Australia)
Billy Stanlake (Queensland)
Jason Behrendorff (Western Australia)
Peter Siddle (Victoria)
Nathan Lyon (New South Wales)
Adam Zampa (South Australia)

National selector, Trevor Hohns, said: “After a disappointing period in ODI cricket, the National Selection Panel along with team coaches have reviewed our performances across this format and we’ve identified a number of key areas that we feel we need to improve in order to help put this team in the best possible position to turn this period around.”

“With this in mind and the World Cup looming, we’ve selected players we feel provide us with the flexibility to play a variety of roles at different stages of a match.”

“The upcoming three-match series against India and the ODI tours of India and the UAE are important windows to put this into practice and to build a squad to help defend our World Cup title.

“After a hefty workload in the Indian series to date, it has been decided not to select Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood in this squad to allow them to freshen up for the Test series against Sri Lanka.”

“Jhye Richardson, Jason Behrendorff, Peter Siddle and Billy Stanlake fill the fast bowling spots in this squad.”

“It’s wonderful to have Peter back in the squad for the first time since 2010. His white ball cricket has improved considerably the older he has got, and his selection is great reward for his professionalism and strong leadership qualities.”

“We have rewarded both Jhye and Jason as they continue to put up strong performances with the white ball. Jason provides us with a left arm option in the absence of Mitchell Starc and is very capable of taking wickets early in the innings.”

“Nathan Lyon comes back into the squad and will join Adam Zampa as our spin options. Nathan is the best off-spin bowler in the world and we’ve noted how successful teams around the world have been using a two pronged spin attack in the right conditions in white ball cricket, something we are very mindful of heading to the World Cup.”

“With a focus on improving our ability to post competitive totals we’ve recalled Usman Khawaja, Peter Handscomb and Mitch Marsh to the squad.”

“Usman is a batsman we know can put vital runs on the board at the top of the order, and Peter is not only a fine player of spin bowling, he’s also a batsman we know can hold an innings together while keeping the scoreboard ticking over. Mitch gives us another all-round option with his ability with both bat and ball.”

“Travis Head, Darcy Short and Chris Lynn have been unlucky to miss out. All three have had opportunities to cement their spots, but unfortunately, they have not been as productive as we would have liked in recent times when playing ODI cricket for Australia.”

“Unfortunately for Ashton Agar the return of Nathan Lyon as one of our specialist spinners means there wasn’t a place available in the squad for him.”

“Nathan Coulter-Nile recently experienced some lower back soreness, and on the advice of our medical staff we weren’t prepared to risk selecting Nathan in the side given the demands of the upcoming ODI series.”

“As has been our message throughout the summer, with such a big schedule ahead, both home and away, opportunities may well present themselves for players not selected in this squad.”

Gillette ODI Series Fixture:

First Gillette ODI – January 12
Australia v India
SCG, Sydney
1:20pm (Local Time)

Second Gillette ODI – January 15
Australia v India
Adelaide Oval, Adelaide
1:50pm (Local Time)

Third Gillette ODI – January 19
Australia v India
MCG, Melbourne
1:20pm (Local Time)

Scott Morrison : Australia-India Cricket passion to strengthen ties

By SAT Sports Desk

MELBOURNE, 1 January: Prime Minister Scott Morrison today hosted a New Year’s Day Reception at Kirribilli House for the Australian and Indian Test Cricket Teams and their families.

PM & Mrs Morrisson welcome Indian cricket team
PM & Mrs. Morrisson welcome the Indian Cricket team.

The Prime Minister was presented with framed cricket bats by the Australian Captain, Tim Paine, and Indian Captain, Virat Kohli.

PM Morrison Cricket bat presentation

The Reception was held in conjunction with The McGrath Foundation and guests were encouraged to wear something pink. The McGrath Foundation’s mission is to raise money to place Breast Care Nurses in communities across Australia as well as to increase awareness in young people.

PM 3

PM’s address at the reception:

Well thank you very much Bridget, welcome everyone. It’s wonderful to have you here at Kirribilli House. Can I particularly extend a very warm welcome to His Excellency the Governor-General who is here with us today. He is my neighbour, he has popped across. I was going for a swim yesterday afternoon and he said, “You got all those cricketers coming over tomorrow?” He was standing up on the balcony. I said, “Yeah.” He said, “Do you mind if I pop over?” I said, “Sure, that’s what neighbours do at this time of year when you have people around. So Your Excellency, it’s great to have you. High Commissioner, it’s wonderful to have you here. Consul-General, to Michael and Catherine, Deputy Prime Minister, thank you for being here today. Michael is an absolute cricket tragic, he is the one who you know keeps that spirit alive in our Government in particular and it’s great to have you both here, just come down from Queensland this morning. To Bridget and David, of course, to Marise Payne and Stuart Ayres – there’s fewer people more passionate about sport in New South Wales than Stuart Ayres, also the Sports Minister here in NSW – great to have you here with Marise. David and Dotte Coleman, the Minister for Immigration, thank you so much for coming.


PM 5

Can I also particularly acknowledge all of the teams that are here today, both of them, and they will I think want to welcome a couple of legends of the game who are with us today. That’s of course Greg Chappell who is here, who I grew up watching, and Ravi Shastri of course, the coach of the Indian team. And there are few better than ‘Ooh Aah’, Glenn McGrath. Here he is. Glenn, it is wonderful to have you here today because you are not just here because you’re one of the greatest to ever play for Australia but you’re here because you have shown, I think, Australians that when you’ve achieved something remarkable in sport how you can translate that to an enormous gift to the Australian people that you have been able to do with the McGrath Foundation. So to Sara and to Glenn, we really appreciate having you here, and Holly as well who is head of the McGrath Foundation. Over 100 breast cancer nurses now right across the country. It is one of the organisations that I often refer to when I’m talking to people coming from overseas and they want to know about various organisations in the country. And it’s not just because he was born in the Shire but it is more to than that, it says so much about how in Australia we are able to link sport, the community of sport and to able to convert that into something, giving back to a community and to people who really need it. And Glenn is someone who have never forgotten where he is from, and to understand the challenges faced by women facing breast cancer in rural and regional areas, that’s something he knows about. In fact, when I was with Michael and we went up to Quilpie not long after I became Prime Minister, the family we met, the Tullys, they had had their own battle with breast cancer when we were there and they were very well aware of the McGrath Foundation and the work they do. So Glenn, it is wonderful to have you here.

I won’t go on too much today other than to say that this is a great tradition, having both of the teams, the Indian team and the Australian national team here together at Kirribilli House. It was something that was initiated by the first Prime Minister to make this his residence, John Howard, many years ago. And he was truly Australia’s greatest cricket tragic. And remains so to this day and he sends his apologies today. He was invited along today but he is away on holiday. But he wanted me to pass on his best wishes, and also from Jeanette. It’s also a great tradition of the Pink Test. The Pink Test has been completely embraced by Australians, particularly by Sydneysiders. And it’s going to be tremendous for those players who haven’t experienced it before who are visiting or even in our national team, you will be able to take part in something truly that is part of Australia’s both sporting calendar but also I think our cultural and community calendar. It’s a tremendous day that everyone gets involved in, we all don the pink as many of us have today and I think that’ll be tremendous.

It was Alfred Deakin, our second Prime Minister, who first talked about the relationship between Australia and India. He visited and he came back and he said that the distance will be diminished year by year between Australia and India. And that is no more true than where we are today. There is some – as David Coleman knows – there is some 700,000 people living in Australia today of Indian descent, and there is 87,000 Indian students here in Australia. Which explains all those cheers you can hear down at the G or anywhere else. There is a pretty big following when it comes to the Indian national team coming and playing here. And so it is a very strong people to people relationship. But the great thing about the relationship is it is built on shared values. We believe the same things. We have the same passions. And there is no greater example of that than our shared passion for cricket, our national game in both of our countries. And this particular exchange we have seen between our two teams over this Test Series has been enthralling. This is about the only time of the year I get to sit in front of the box and watch a bit of it, signing Christmas cards and doing those sorts of things as I enjoy doing over recent days and recent weeks. This series, despite the Australians loss in the Boxing Day Test, but to pick up the win in Perth and the first Test over in Adelaide, it has been an enthralling series. And I’ve got to tell you – particularly the Australia boys – when I was over in Iraq, visiting our troops, that was one of the first things that they wanted to know about. They wanted to know all about the Test and how that was going and what was going on back home when it came to the cricket. And the Border-Gavaskar Trophy has got a great history. Now, there is a lot to play for in this Test. There is a lot to play for. If the Indians can secure this Test Series, it’ll be their first win on Australian soil. So no pressure, no pressure.

Source of text & photos: Australian PM’s Media Office.

Field of Flavours returns to Sydney and Melbourne for Gillette ODIs


By SAT Sports Desk

MELBOURNE, January 01, 2019: Cricket fans at the upcoming Gillette One Day International matches in Sydney (Saturday 12 January 2019) and Melbourne (Friday 18 January 2019) will be treated to some of the best food their city has to offer at Cricket Australia’s ‘Field of Flavours’ food market.

‘Field of Flavours’, which is making a return for matches this season has been a hit amongst fans at international fixtures over the past two years, is inspired by popular late-night food markets around the world and seeks to provide patrons with a mix of culture, culinary delights, and cricket.

Open to the public and with outstanding offerings from local restaurants and food trucks, live music and cultural performances, plenty of shade and comfortable seating, and a big screen showing all the cricket action, ‘Field of Flavours’ enhances the experience for those at the cricket and gives the broader public a chance to be a part of the cricket-focused fun.

The Sydney ‘Field of Flavours’, located outside Gate E of the SCG in Centennial Park, will feature food from Black Bear BBQ, Zahara Grill, Porteno, Agape Organic, and Chatkazz. As well as delicious cuisine, Sydneysiders at ‘Field of Flavours’ will be able to enjoy musical performances from local acts including the Gemma Lyon Trio and Stereo Spin as well as some world-class cultural performances.

In Melbourne, ‘Field of Flavours’ will be situated in Yarra Park outside the MCG, with Biggie Smalls, La Revolucion, Autorickshaw, Sliders on Tyres, and 400 Gradi providing patrons with plenty of food options. In addition, there will be cultural performances and musical entertainment from acts such as the Oberon Lane Trio and Natasha Pinto Trio.

Commenting on the Field of Flavours offering, Cricket Australia Executive General Manager, Fan Experience, Anthony Everard said:

“We are excited to be bringing Field of Flavours back again this season in Sydney and Melbourne and giving our fans more options about how they make their day at the cricket an unforgettable one.

“With fantastic food offerings, live performances, and plenty of spaces to sit and enjoy the food and take in the cricket action on the big screen, we are sure Field of Flavours will be a hit with both Australian and Indian fans at these matches.”

For more information, and to purchase tickets to the Gillette One Day International Series, please visit cricket.com.au/tickets.

Indian fans tsunami hits MCG Boxing Day Test

From Shobhit Nanda @ the MCG

Melbourne: With the test series equally poised at 1-1, India and Australia went into the boxing day test match with high expectations. Winning the toss was always going to be crucial and India’s captain Virat Kohli called correctly to bat first. This gives Indian, looking for their first series win in Australia, a good chance of taking the lead.

The Melbourne Indian community was at the ground in big numbers and no doubt joined by interstate & international visitors to attend the world famous day 1 of the boxing day test match at the MCG. The organisers for their part created exclusive Indian fan zones on either side of the ground where a sea of blue and a wave of tricolour flags were seen in numbers. The day ended up being the biggest crowd for an India – Australia boxing day at over 70K people.


Morning and Afternoon Sessions

The day started with a new opening pair for India, Mayank Agarwal on debut and Hanuma Vihari promoted up the order. They batted out the first hour and did their job to take the shine off the new ball before Vihari got ruffled up by a bouncer hitting his helmet and then later ended by hitting another short one in the air to the keeper. He made 8 runs but crucially batted for  66 balls.  The day belonged to Agarwal as he reached his 50 on debut and looked good until he also hit a short one on the leg side to the keeper to get out on 76. A debut century was missed but none a less a positive start from the openers.

The morning and after lunch sessions were slow scoring affairs. The run rate at one point dipped to below 2 runs an over such was the pace at which Indians were batting. The Australian fast bowlers kept a good line and length and did not give away easy runs on what looks like a slow batting wicket. Hero of the second test, Australian off spinner Nathan Lyon was ineffective on this pitch and may come into play later in the game.

Post Tea Session

Mayank Agarwal at the stroke of tea lost his wicket and setting the stage for Virat Kohli to show his trade to an eager MCG crowd devoid of runs and wickets. He walked out as the Indian crowd cheered and sections of the crowd booed. He got off to a brisk start, scoring his first 20 runs at almost run a ball to increase the run rate before shifting gears gradually as the end of the day neared. His partnership with Pujara yielded over 90 runs off 200+ balls in the last session. There were a few opportunities created with the new ball and a half chance to get Kohli by a catch behind was missed. The day ended at 215/2 and even though the scoring rate was low, India ended up with a great position to take control of the game on Day 2 with captain Virat Kohli on 47* and Pujara in the 70s and looking as solid as ever.