“A Lot Of Ravindra Jadeja”: Watch Shaheen Afridi Bowl Left-Arm Spin In Nets, Video Goes Viral

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After the first Test against Australia ended in a draw in Rawalpindi, Pakistan are gearing up for the second Test at the National Stadium in Karachi. Ahead of the second Test, Pakistan players were seen sweating it out in the nets. In a viral video, Pakistan pacer Shaheen Afridi was seen bowling left-arm spin during one of the net sessions in Karachi. Afridi’s bowling action reminded many of India all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja. Meanwhile, the batter who was facing him tried to scoop Shaheen’s delivery over the leg side but ended up missing it.

Watch the Pakistan star Shaheen Afridi bowl spin:

Here are some of the reactions:

The first Test ended in a high-scoring draw as bowlers from both the teams, except Pakistan’s Nauman Ali, failed to trouble the opposition batters much.

Imam-ul-Haq scored centuries in both the innings as Pakistan scored 476 for 4 declared and 252/0 in the first and second innings, respectively.

Apart from Imam, Azhar Ali scored a marathon 185 in the first innings while Abdullah Shafique scored his maiden Test ton in the second innings (136 not out).

In the bowling department, Nauman returned with figures of six for 107 while Shaheen also took two wickets.

For Australia, Usman Khawaja and Marnus Labuschagne played impressive knocks but failed to reach triple figures.

Notably, the Australian cricket team is touring Pakistan for the first time in 24 years.

The last time Australia played a Test series in Pakistan, they ended up winning the three-match series 1-0 under the leadership of Mark Taylor in 1998.

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While the second Test starts in Karachi on Saturday, the third and final Test is scheduled to be held in Lahore from March 21-25.

Both teams will also play three ODIs and a one-off T20I after the conclusion of the Test series.

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Pakistan vs Australia: Alex Carey Accidentally Falls Into A Swimming Pool, Teammates Can’t Stop Laughing. Watch

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Watch: Alex Carey falls into a pool and his teammates can’t stop laughing.© Twitter

The Australian cricket team arrived in Karachi earlier this week ahead of the start of the second Test at the National Stadium, starting Saturday, March 12. Wicketkeeper-batter Alex Carey was involved in a hilarious incident after the team arrived at their hotel in Karachi. Carey, who was having a conversation with Nathan Lyon, accidentally fell into a swimming pool. The Australian players present at the scene couldn’t control their laughter as even Carey was seen having a giggle about it. The moment was captured by Australian skipper Pat Cummins, who shared the video on his Instagram handle.

Carey was quick to throw his mobile phone to one of his teammates after falling into the pool.

Meanwhile, the first Test in Rawalpindi ended in a draw last week.

Pakistan after electing to bat first, posted 476/4 declared with Azhar Ali and Imam-ul-Haq scoring 185 and 157, respectively.

In reply, Australia managed to reach a total of 459 all out as Usman Khawaja (97) and Marnus Labuschagne (90) missed out on their respective centuries.

For Pakistan, Nauman Ali took six wickets as the hosts took a lead of 17 runs.

In the second innings, Pakistan were 252/0 as Imam (111 not out) and Abdullah Shafique (134 not out) scored unbeaten centuries.

Notably, the Australian cricket team is in Pakistan for the first time in 24 years.

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The last time Australia played a Test series in Pakistan, they ended up winning the three-match series 1-0 under the leadership of Mark Taylor in 1998.

While the second Test starts in Karachi on Saturday, the third and final Test is scheduled to be held in Lahore from March 21-25.

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Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test: ICC Rates Rawalpindi Pitch As “Below Average”

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ICC has rated the Rawalpindi pitch as “below average”.© AFP

The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Thursday rated the pitch at the Pindi Cricket Stadium in Rawalpindi that was used for the first Test between Pakistan and Australia as “below average”. Due to this rating, the venue has received one demerit point under the ICC Pitch and Outfield Monitoring Process. “The character of the pitch hardly changed over the course of five days and that there has been no deterioration apart from the bounce getting slightly lower. The pitch did not have a great deal of pace and bounce in it for the seamers nor assisted the spinners as the match progressed,” Ranjan Madugalle of the Emirates ICC Elite Panel of Match Referees stated in an official statement.

“In my view, this does not represent an even contest between bat and ball. Therefore, in keeping with the ICC guidelines, I rate this pitch as below average,” he added.

The first Test between Pakistan and Australia ended in a draw on Tuesday. Pakistan openers Imam-ul-Haq and Abdullah Shafique scored unbeaten centuries as Pakistan scored 252 without losing any wicket on the fifth and final day.

Both the teams will be squaring off for the second Test of the three-match series on Saturday at National Stadium, Karachi.

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David Warner Says Mankading “A Spirit Of Cricket Thing”

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Run-out at non-striker’s end remains a “spirit of cricket issue” for Australian opener David Warner despite the MCC amending its code to remove it from “unfair play” laws even though he believes that batters are the ones solely at “fault” if such a dismissal is effected. Custodians of cricket laws, the Marylebone Cricket Club on re-classified the controversial runout, from law 41’s ‘unfair play’ and incorporated it within law 38 pertaining to legitimate run outs. It’s one of the nine changes that the MCC made to its code, which is set to come into effect from October this year.

“I still think the history of the game suggests it’s a spirit of cricket thing… You don’t expect players to do that,” Warner was quoted as saying by ‘news.com.au’ ahead of the second Test against Pakistan beginning in Karachi on Saturday.

“I do agree with the fact that if you are backing up, and you’re out of your crease by a long way (you are fair game).

“I think it happened more predominantly at the end of a white-ball 50-over games, or obviously in T20 cricket we’ve seen it but at the end of the day, as a batsman, you’ve got to stay in your crease,” he added.

Warner said batters have only themselves to blame if they end up being dismissed in such a manner.

“There’s no doubt about that, and if you’re silly enough to get caught out like that and run out, that’s your own fault. You’re told not to leave before the bowler lets the ball go, so just don’t do it,” Warner said.

The dismissal first came to be known when the legendary former India allrounder Vinoo Mankad twice ran out Australia opener Bill Brown at the non-striker’s end — once in a tour game against an Australia XI at the SCG in 1947, and then again in the second Test of the ensuing series.

The Australian media dubbed it as ‘Mankading’, a name which stuck in popular parlance but was vehemently opposed by legends like Sunil Gavaskar for being “disrespectful” towards Mankad.

Warner does not believe the switch from “unfair” to “legitimate” will cause bowlers to pursue such a dismissal more often as it would only slow down the game.

“I think what’s important for the game of cricket is that bowlers don’t be looking for that, because then you’re going to slow the game down even more,” he said.

“I know from before, being a captain, it can be frustrating and you’re taking time out of the game.

“So there’s some areas there that need to be addressed, but that’s on an individual basis,” he added.

England fast bowler Stuart Broad has also endorsed Warner’s views.

Responding to MCC’s announcement, Broad wrote on Twitter “Hasn’t it always been a legitimate dismissal and whether it is unfair is subjective? and added Mankad “requires zero skill”.

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Indian ace spinner Ravichandran Ashwin had ignited the most recent debate about the tactic’s legitimacy by dismissing England’s Jos Buttler in an Indian Premier League match in 2019.

He has been advocating for its usage by the bowlers if the batters do not respond to warnings on backing up too far.

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Australia Look To Second Spinner After Rawalpindi Stalemate

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Australia are likely to play two spinners as they go in search of a win in Saturday’s second Test in Karachi after Pakistan batted their seamers into the ground in the draw at Rawalpindi. The historic occasion — Australia’s first Test in Pakistan since 1998 — was marred by a pitch described as “dead” by vice-captain Steve Smith as Pakistan piled up 728 runs for the loss of just four wickets, and one of those was a run out.

Openers Imam-ul-Haq and Abdullah Shafique both made maiden Test hundreds — Imam scoring one in each innings — while senior batsman Azhar Ali also passed three figures during five attritional days.

The series now moves to Karachi’s National Stadium, a favourite hunting ground for Pakistan, who have won 23 of the 43 Tests they have played there while losing only twice.

Australia have never won in Karachi in eight attempts, losing five and drawing three.

With conditions sultry, the pitch is likely to help the slow bowlers, prompting Australia to rest at least one of their famed pace trio of captain Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood.

‘Still feeling fresh’

“From our intel in Karachi and Lahore, a second spinner is probably the way to go but we’ll have a look,” said Cummins, hinting that leg-spinner Mitchell Swepson, 28, could make his Test debut alongside veteran off-spinner Nathan Lyon.

“Just about everyone got into the series,” said Cummins, whose side made 459 in their only innings in Rawalpindi without anyone making a century.

“All the batters got some runs. We’re still feeling relatively fresh going into the game.”

Pace bowler Hasan Ali, who missed the first Test through injury, is likely to replace Naseem Shah for the hosts.

But Faheem Ashraf, who missed the first Test through injury, has now been sidelined with Covid.

Left-arm spinner Nauman Ali, who took a career best 6-107 in Rawalpindi, was Pakistan’s match-winner in Karachi last year on debut against South Africa with seven wickets.

“The way our batters played and how Nauman bowled in difficult conditions was good,” said Pakistan captain Babar Azam of his side’s performance in the first Test of the three-match series.

“There were some positives to take for us. We have some of our fast bowlers available for the second Test so we should be stronger in that department.”

Ramiz Raja, the Pakistan Cricket Board chairman, defended the flat pitch in Rawalpindi.

“I understand the frustration of the fans but there is a lot of cricket still remaining to be played,” said Raja.

“Just for the heck of it, we can’t prepare a fast pitch or a bouncy pitch and put the game in Australia’s lap.”

The third and final Test takes place in Lahore from March 21-25.

Pakistan (from): Babar Azam (capt), Mohammad Rizwan, Abdullah Shafique, Azhar Ali, Fawad Alam, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imam-ul-Haq, Nauman Ali, Sajid Khan, Saud Shakeel, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood, Hasan Ali, Zahid Mahmood, Naseem Shah

Australia (from): Pat Cummins (capt), Ashton Agar, Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Mark Steketee, Steven Smith, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, David Warner

Umpires: Aleem Dar (PAK) and Ahsan Raza (PAK)

TV umpire: Rashid Riaz (PAK)

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Match referee: Ranjan Madugalle (SRI)

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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We Did Not Want To Play Into Australia’s Hands: PCB Chief Ramiz Raja On Pitch Criticism

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PCB Chairman Ramiz Raja on Wednesday defended the use of a flat track for the first Test, saying they did not want play into Australia’s hands by preparing a track that would assist pace and bounce. The series-opener ended in a high scoring dull draw on Tuesday. The Rawalpindi track, where Just 14 wickets fall in five days with 1,187 runs scored by both teams, drew criticism from some former players, critics and fans alike.

“I understand fans’ frustration and a result would have been good but this is a three-match series. We need to remember that there is a lot of cricket to come,” Ramiz said in a video message released by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).

“Just for the heck of it, we don’t want to prepare a fast and bouncy pitch and play into Australia’s hands.” He conceded that the Pindi pitch was not a good advertisement for Test cricket but backed the track.

“You must understand Pakistan team had limited resources for the Test and our bowling line up was disturbed as well with Faheem and Hasan not available and Yasir Shah also unfit,” he said.

He said the pitch was prepared accordingly.

“I am totally for having better pitches in Pakistan but I took charge in September and the season had already started. Remember one requires at least five to six months to prepare a pitch.

“When the season finishes you will see that we are bringing in soil from Australia and we are experimenting here with soil experts. We will redo 50-60 pitches all over Pakistan as soon as our season ends in March-April,” he said.

Fomer batter Inzamam-ul-haq said it felt rather weird to see a Test match ending in a high scoring draw.

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“Nowadays if a Test is drawn it feels strange and I can’t remember the last time we had a test where so many runs were scored and the pitch was flat.

“You knew it was going to be a draw from the first day. I am hopeful, the pitch will undoubtedly be more sporting (in next Test). You help spinners by making a turning pitch. You take advantage of the home field advantage, but don’t make a dead pitch,” he said. PTI Corr AT AT

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Cricket Australia Open To PCB Chief Ramiz Raja’s 4-Nation Cricket Tournament Proposal

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Nick Hockley told reporters on Wednesday that CA would be open to PCB’s proposal.© Twitter

Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ramiz Raja is determined to float the proposal of an annual four-nation tournament, involving India, Australia and England, even after receiving cold response from the BCCI. A reliable source in the PCB said Ramiz was still working on his proposal and had also spoken about it with officials of some other leading boards. Ramiz had earlier said that he would propose to the ICC an annual four-nation T20 event, involving his country, arch-rivals India, Australia and England, the revenue from which will be shared by all members of the world governing body.

Ramiz’s proposal, which has been rejected by BCCI secretary Jay Shah, got a boost on Wednesday when Cricket Australia (CA) chief executive Nick Hockley said that Australia is open to hosting a Tri-Series with India and Pakistan.

Hockley, who was in Rawalpindi to witness the first Test between Pakistan and Australia, told reporters that personally he felt it was a good idea which could be explored.

“Personally you ask me, CA would definitely be very open to considering the proposal and hosting a Tri-Series with Pakistan, India and Australia,” he said.

He pointed out that Australia had large communities from South Asia and sub-contingent and a series involving India and Pakistan would be a big draw for the game Down Under.

India and Pakistan have only played each other in ICC and Asian Cricket Council (ACC) events since 2013 because of strained diplomatic relations between the two countries.

BCCI secretary Jay Shah had snubbed Ramiz’s proposal last month, insisting that the Indian board was more interested in expanding the sport globally and having it included in the Olympics and the proposal was a short-term commercial initiative.

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Hockely conceded that everyone wanted to see India and Pakistan play against each other anywhere in the world and they would also be playing in the T20 World Cup later this year in Australia.

“It’s a contest that everyone wants to see in world cricket and if we can help support further opportunities we would love to do that.”

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Faheem Ashraf Tests Positive For COVID-19, Ruled Out Of 2nd Test Against Australia

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File photo of Faheem Ashraf

Pakistan all-rounder Faheem Ashraf was on Wednesday ruled out of the second Test against Australia, starting Saturday, after testing positive for COVID-19 upon his arrival in Karachi. Faheem, who also missed the first Test due to a fitness issue, arrived with the home squad and was forced into a five-day isolation after returning a positive test.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said if required, a replacement will be named for Faheem soon.

The Australian team also reached Karachi amidst heavy security and was driven straight from airport to the hotel.

Both teams will have their full practice sessions at the National Stadium on Thursday morning.

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Pakistan were also without pace bowler Hasan Ali for the first Test as he was also unfit while fast bowler Haris Rauf who was named in the initial squad couldn’t play after testing positive for COVID-19 in Rawalpindi.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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Pakistan vs Australia: Former Pakistan Captain Inzamam-ul-Haq Gives Verdict On 1st Test Match

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Pak vs SL: Imam-ul-Haq plays a shot during the first Test match.© AFP

The second Test match between Pakistan and Australia ended in a draw. The hosts declared their first innings on 475/4 in Rawalpindi, with Australia responding with 459. By the time the visitors were bowled out, there was no time for a result. Pakistan went on to bat the entire Day 5 without losing a wicket as openers Abdullah Shafique and Imam-ul-Haque smashed tons. The match also received plenty of criticism regarding the pitch conditions and former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq branded the game as “really strange”.

Speaking on his YouTube channel, Inzamam said, “In this Test, there were a lot of complaints over the wicket condition. ‘What is this pitch?’ asked a lot of people. I believe the pitch in the next Test will be better, one that can yield results”.

Giving his take on the Rawalpindi pitch, he said, “When there is a drawn Test nowadays, it feels really weird. I can’t recall the last time we had a Test like this, where you knew it was going to be a draw from the first day. As a result, the pitch will undoubtedly be more sporting (in next Test). You help spinners by making a turning pitch. You take advantage of the home field advantage, but don’t make a dead pitch”.

The 52-year-old also praised Australia for doing a “fantastic job adapting to the pitch”. He also stated that the hosts can win the series “if they curate the pitches according to their strengths.”

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“Even Australia did a fantastic job adapting to this pitch.” In the first innings, I expected Pakistan to lead by 100-150 runs, but Australia came close to matching Pakistan’s total. “Australia has never backed down, but I still believe Pakistan can win this series if they curate pitches according to their strengths”, he said.

Pakistan host Australia in the second Test of the three-match series at the National Stadium in Karachi beginning March 12.

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Pakistan’s Imam-ul-Haq Makes A Name For Himself, Relatively Speaking

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Pakistan opener Imam-ul-Haqhas shed some of the burden of being the nephew of a legend with a century in each innings against Australia in the drawn first Test.  The 26-year-old’s uncle is former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq, but Imam’s exploits in the drawn Rawalpindi Test have now given him recognition in his own right. The pitch may have been a batting-friendly flat track, but Imam still had to show immense concentration and discipline for knocks of 157 and 111 not out. In doing so he became the 10th Pakistan batsman to score a century in each innings of a Test, and only the fourth against Australia, behind former captains Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq and Azhar Ali.

His performance will not only cement his place in the Pakistan Test side, but will also silence a legion of critics who go after him after every failure.

The criticism usually circles back to suggestions he only has a place in the side through the family name.

“I don’t care what people say here and there and never lose heart,” Imam said after scoring his maiden Test century on Friday.

“I want to take challenges and excel.”

Despite being cricket royalty Imam’s journey hasn’t been easy.

His uncle is Pakistan’s third-highest Test run-scorer with 8,830 and most prolific in one-day internationals, 11,701.

Despite obvious natural talent Imam was labelled “parchi” — an Urdu term used for someone given undue favouritism — and not helped by the fact that he was first picked in 2018 when his uncle was the chief selector.

Imam had the game, most fans agreed, but was nepotism at play?

The bespectacled Imam was Pakistan’s highest run-getter in the 2014 Under-19 World Cup — where Pakistan lost in the final — finishing with 382 runs in six games.

He also showed form in an A Series against Bangladesh, before scoring 848 in 11 matches in the 2016-17 domestic season.

Inzamam insisted he wasn’t playing family favourites, saying his nephew was selected on the advice of coaches Mickey Arthur and Grant Flower.

“Mickey and Grant came to me and stressed that they wanted him for the team, so only after that he was selected,” he said at the time.

The youngster made an instant impact, scoring a hundred on his ODI debut against Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi in 2017.

His first Test, in 2018, was a match-winning 74 not out against Ireland when Pakistan were teetering at 14-3, chasing 160.

While Imam’s ODI form only improved, his Test fortunes slumped and he was dropped after failing in Australia in 2019.

But on the back of two hundreds in domestic cricket, Imam returned to the fold — and made the chance count in Rawalpindi.

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“Every time I failed they started trolling me but I have a resolve that I will answer them with my bat, with my runs,” he said.

“I want to make my own name.”

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