New Zealand last played a Test in England in 2015, when the draw ended in a 1-1 draw. Lord’s fixture will see them return to the venue of the dramatic World Cup final between the two teams in 2019.
“The prospect of our England men’s team facing two of the world’s top-ranked Test nations in New Zealand and India this summer is something we all enjoy,” said ECB chief executive Tom Harrison.
The three T20Is against Sri Lanka have also been strengthened, with matches in Cardiff and the Ageas Bowl ahead of the three-game ODI series starting in Durham on 29 June. Pakistan will then arrive for ODI and T20I, before the Trials against India begin 4 August.
The ECB hopes to host the crowds over the summer, with ticket voting now open, after the entire 2020 international schedule is playing behind closed doors due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The British Blind Team will also host Australia for Ashes in 2021, but that series remains subject to Covid-19 assessment. A multi-format series for British Women against South Africa and New Zealand is also in progress.
If you are a fan of The Sacramento Kings and high fashion, then this is your moment to enjoy the internet.
The Kings and New York Knicks face Friday night in Sacramento, and both teams will be wearing City Edition uniforms. For Kings, that means wearing a black uniform with a touch of red and blue, nod to franchise history and the colors of the previous team.
As for the Knicks? According to Kings Twitter, what it means to use this:
For those who don’t like designer outfits that cost thousands of dollars, the image isn’t really the Knicks t-shirt they’ll be wearing tonight (sorry), but check out the latest from Virgil Abloh and Louis Vuitton’s Fall 2021 lines. (This is New York City Skyline Puffer if you want to pamper yourself).
The actual City Edition Knicks shirt is a little less robust, reads “City Never Sleeps,” and is made on partnership with KITH:
Details set to “announced in a week or so” but arrangement depending on the Covid-19 pandemic “changing”
South African Cricket believes Australia’s visit for the three Tests will continue, with details being “finalized and announced in a week or so”, according to acting CEO Pholetsi Moseki.
ESPNcricinfo understands that the full series will be played at Highveld, with matches split between SuperSport Park and the Wanderers, and Irene Country Club will be used as the team’s biosecure base, as is the case for Sri Lankan series during the festive period. While the date has yet to be confirmed, the former Australian fast bowler Ryan Harris, speaking on SEN radio last week, suggested that the Australian team would depart on 24 February, with Tests set to start in early March. All of these arrangements depend on the ever-changing situation of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The Australian tour at this stage is underway. I had a chat with the chairman of Cricket Australia about a week ago and we agreed that the tour would continue,” said Hakim Zak Yacoob, CSA’s caretaker chairman. “We agreed that we would make sure that our facilities were as good as possible, as good as we needed. We also agreed we were studying every day but it was not on the basis that we made mistakes when England is here because you know that no English is affected. That’s the point. They all flew back and that’s good.
“But learning in relation to this virus changes all the time and when it changes things have to change. We agree that as a professional he doesn’t. [CA’s chair] I don’t know anything about this either. We have doctors, we have experts, who lead us through this process and what we are adopting is an approach that as long as the experts on both sides, true professionals in relation to Coronavirus and health, agree that the facilities are fine, we go the top basic amenities are fine. So far between the CA chair and I have no doubt that this series will continue, but we have also agreed that the Coronavirus is changing so much that we cannot predict what will happen. If things suddenly get worse and we really can’t do it and our experts say we can’t and other experts say we can’t, we won’t be able to do it. “
South Africa has hosted two international series this summer, first against England, based in Cape Town, and then against Sri Lanka, which is in Johannesburg. Britain is scheduled to play three T20s and three ODI but leave without playing a 50-over match after concerns over the integrity of the biosecure environment. Three South African players and two hotel staff tested positive for Covid-19 during three T20s, as did two British players before ODI, even though the test is then proved to be a false positive, while both teams are allowed to play golf. The CSA tightened protocol ahead of the Sri Lanka series, with no team allowed to leave the base unless ashore, and the series proceeded without incident.
Given the success of the Sri Lanka series, that there are two Exam venues in Highveld and it is more affordable for CSA to biobubble at Irene Country Club than Cape Town’s Vineyard Hotel (where players are placed for the UK series), the Australian Test is more likely to be conducted in the countryside than on the premises – any coastal place.
South Africa ‘desperately’ needs a team to tour
The only factor that may cause concern during the series hosting in Gauteng province is the increasing number of Covid-19 infections. South Africa is entering the second wave of the pandemic and the daily number of cases ranges between 10,000 and 20,000. Gauteng province, where many of the festive holiday makers have returned, is expected to continue to see an increase in cases and there are concerns that the health care system could be overwhelmed. Restrictions are in place nationwide, which include a 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew and a ban on the sale of alcohol, but interprovincial and international travel by air is allowed. Even so, several airlines, including Emirates and KLM, have temporarily suspended flights to and from South Africa.
Most likely, the Australian team will have to arrive on a charter flight, but will not need to enter strict quarantine on arrival. It is likely that they will train in small groups initially and as a team in a few days, as Sri Lanka did. CA has contacted staff at Irene Country Club to request additional facilities – such as a temporary gym – and it is understood that further negotiations concern the logistics around the families of players joining them on the tour.
CSA is expected to try and be as accommodating as possible to Australia given the financial importance of the tour. After losing $ 1.5 million from postponed UK ODI, the Australian tour is CSA’s last chance to raise money this summer, and could also influence negotiations for their new broadcast deal, due to be finalized in April. The deal is expected to be worth less than previous ones due to the economic climate and the team’s declining fortunes, but a more competitive South African team that plays against top opposition regularly could increase its value.
Australia will also be interested in playing. After lost to India at home, they are need to win two Tests in South Africa and a third series to jump New Zealand in the World Test Championship table. Australia have only lost one draw in South Africa since re-entering, in the summer of 2017-18. They have returned to ODI play in the country since and were obscured 3-0 last March, but this will be the first time their Test team has played in South Africa since. scandal breaks the ball.
Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo’s South Africa correspondent
She has a splint and will be reviewed by a hand specialist in a week
All of New Zealand James Neesham has had surgery for a multiple dislocation of his left ring finger. Wellington Cricket said on Twitter where Neesham put the splint in, and that he will be reviewed by a hand specialist in a week. Neesham is expected to return to action behind the ongoing Super Smash tournament, where Wellington currently leads the standings.
Neesham has featured in five of his team’s six games so far, scoring 65 runs and taking eight wickets – the most together – averaging 16.25. He played Saturday’s Super Smash match against Canterbury, scoring the most goals with 49 to lead Wellington to 154 for 7. However, he was unable to close the match with the ball, conceding 30 runs from 3.4 overs as Wellington suffered their first defeat of the season. He underwent surgery on Saturday night.
Neesham, who has been largely restricted to T20 cricket in recent months, has been fight to form during the IPL in the UAE, managing just 19 runs and two wickets from five games for King XI Punjab, who finished sixth at the table and missed the playoffs for the sixth consecutive year.
Despite his lean streak, Neesham was included in the T20I squad for the home series against West Indies and Pakistan. He made a decisive contribution in the first T20I against the West Indies in Garden of Eden, stroking an unbeaten 24-ball 48 – his highest T20I score – to propel New Zealand to victory in a rainy chase.
The last ball in the 100th minute is over the Indian half, which is rare from the top of the net by Nathan Lyon to Washington Sundar, the batsman pushes the half volley back onto the court and for the matter of having the bowler shoot back at his head, requires evasive action.
Shortly thereafter, the Australian coach Justin Langer pictured in the team’s field of view spilling a water bottle next to his laptop – not once but twice – and cursing and then walking away as the team’s friendly powering and conditioning coach, Aaron Kellett, steps in to clean up. Shades of Headingley 2019 and trash can.
When the match formed a 123 stand between Sundar and Shardul thakur finally ended by Pat Cummins – Who else? – Australians gather less in celebration than in inventory. The disagreements surrounding the next two strikes are some of the most unfortunate for Tim Paine’s team in the three years since cricket was their least concern in Cape Town and Johannesburg in 2018.
Then, in the last overs of the Indian inning, Nos. 10 and 11, Mohammed Siraj and T Natarajan, received only four balls which were aimed at the stump amidst the flurry of guards. Natarajan entered the match with a first-class 2 average, but was now able to make it 1 unbeaten while Siraj amassed a rogue 13. The fourth ball on the stump hits them.
What all these scenes show, for Australian 100-Test spinners Lyon, their pacemen Josh Hazlewood, Cummins and Mitchell Starc, as well as their leadership duo Paine and Langer, mentally, if not physically, India’s resilience and persistence have really been under the skin of a home team hoping to win well, and in particular to blow up the visitors. with the pace of their “top three” being helped by Lyon.
Given the match-and-draw scenario, plus the likelihood of heavy rain in Brisbane in the last two days, Australia really needs to break through the Indian blow with the help of a fast, rocking surface and then give them plenty of time to rush into the big lead. At the midpoint of the day, although there were some odd doubts to pile up the slip guard that allowed Ajinkya Rahane to get away with some very attractive edges from Starc bowling, they were on their way to do so.
“I think we missed our mark a little bit, we did a full touch or a short touch and a little bit wide here and there, so we let them get away a little bit there and maybe don’t put pressure on. We want to”
This is largely due to Hazlewood, putting on a performance that, if not as devastating as his Adelaide spell, was a reenactment worthy of his five-time debut against India in Gabba in 2014, all tight lines, smooth motion and steep reflections. A score of 186 for 6, with new balls maturing within 14 overs, leaves a path that appears open for Australia.
In contrast, Hazlewood, Cummins, Starc and Lyon found themselves struggling to muster their best for the additional duo Sundar and Thakur, and very quickly lost their focus in the process. There is no reason, other than mental exhaustion, why one of the most proud lineups of bowlers in Australian history couldn’t find enough balls in the right area of the court to be helpful enough to ensure the pair don’t fit in.
What they did, for what proved to be one of the finest lower-tier stands in living memory, is a stark contrast to how Cummins’ blows have fallen in particular, and how Australia’s first inning was not bad. Another big question opened up by him centers on whether, within the limits of the 2020-21 summer biosafety, the hosts might consider more rest and a much deeper bowling squad rotation than is seen on the pitch.
The emergence of Siraj, Natarajan, Navdeep Saini and Sundar has left the likes of Michael Neser, Sean Abbott and Mitch Swepson wondering what they might achieve if given the chance to perform. In contrast, Cummins, Hazlewood, Starc and Lyon appear to be more or less capable of choosing themselves provided they are physically able to get on the pitch, which may lead to a lack of sharpness when needed most on day three in Brisbane or day five. in Sydney.
“Not very much, to be honest,” said Hazlewood when asked how much discussion was going on about the bowler’s place. “Everyone pulled well from Sydney, we had a pretty quiet start to this series, to be honest, those two games we didn’t play very often in Adelaide and Melbourne and we had a little bit of rest in between.
“So everyone felt really good and I thought [Cameron] Greeny makes a big difference, there are weird spells here and there that he’s bowling in and he’ll be playing right away and picking up some goals for us and helping him. Even a short spell made a big difference.
“We may just release the pressure at certain times, I think, throughout the day. Everyone’s body is pretty good, to be honest, the heat is there too. I think Gazza is playing really well bowling again and everyone supports us. We let some. The moment goes by, I think, and there are a few half-chances there that we can take and make a little difference. But obviously, the four Trials in us played quite well in the last game, but I think everyone is in good shape for the whole year. “
Compare this to Ashes 2019, when only Cummins played all five Tests among the quicks, and James Pattinson, Peter Siddle and Starc all played special roles in two or three matches apiece. Hazlewood, having returned from injury, was held back from the first Test at Birmingham for being absolutely right for Lord’s, and showed this need for freshness when he broke through at critical moments for the rest of the contest. No doubt a bit of freshness of mind and role has been lost in Gabba.
“It’s hard to know exactly what’s going on in Adelaide and you might not see it every day and we haven’t seen it again in this series,” said Hazlewood. “Tailors, lately I don’t think there is much difference between No. 7 and 8, they work hard to hit, No. 8, 9 and even 10 are sometimes hard to get out. You just had to treat them like top class dough. unless they have a real specific weakness, but we’ll probably get back to our normal in the second half, I think, and see how it goes.
“There was a little bit of frustration there, when they were six years behind you think you are on your way to knock them out. But, in this day and age, teams are losing way, especially teams like England or something. I think we missed a bit, we were a little full or a little bit short and a little wide here and there, so we let them escape a little bit there and maybe don’t put pressure on. we want to. So, again, credit for them because they fought beautifully and we’ll see for the second dig. . “
As for the short-range attack on India’s last pair, Hazlewood rationalized that a full ball is more likely to be hit than a short ball. “I think here in Gabba, the bounce is very consistent, even the tailors can hit the ball and the score will go up if you throw up,” he said. “I think a short ball is probably the best way to get the tail out, and if not, that sets it up for the full ball. If you only play full bowling the bounce is very consistent and maybe one of the goals where the tailor can score in front of or behind the goal. thought the keeper could not only stop the scoreboard but also carry the goal. “
While there is some logic to Hazlewood’s words, there’s no denying that frustration has crept into Australia’s approach as well. There were too many signs in Gabba on day three that, in a contest with an Indian team turning more bodies through injury and thus spinning through a fresher mind, the most established bowling lineup in Australian history has recently been blunt. enough to make this contest much closer than anyone on the home side would have expected after Adelaide.
Daniel Brettig is assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @tokopedia