Aussie batting depth a concern after Dubai

Australia got out of jail during the first Test against Pakistan but a familiar collapse has also reinforced concerns about whether developing batsmen are being properly equipped to handle the pressures of Test cricket.Man of the match Usman Khawaja (141) and Tim Paine (61no) led a stunning fightback on day five in Dubai to secure a draw in the first of two Tests.Chasing a world record 462 to win, the tourists survived 140 overs - an unprecedented
effort to save a game for Australia throughout their Test match history.The stirring performance has left spirits high in the Australian camp ahead of the second Test starting on Tuesday in Abu Dhabi.Hick said he hoped Australia's batsmen would continue to follow in the footsteps of past greats who honed their craft playing county cricket in England."In the county system, you're sometimes having a minimum of three or four knocks a week," the former England batsman said."You can't underestimate the value of having that experience."

Stuart MacGill believes Australia’s fighting draw will prove to be a landmark moment

FORMER Test spinner Stuart MacGill has compared Tim Paine’s heroics to those of Faf du Plessis and believes the Australian captain’s match-saving knock will prove to be a landmark moment.It was almost six years ago that current Proteas captain du Plessis made his Test debut and batted Australia into the ground at the Adelaide Oval to secure a remarkable draw.Du Plessis, aged 28 at the time, spent more than seven-and-a-half hours batting after coming to the crease at 4-45. He faced 376 balls and remained unbeaten on 110 to take South Africa to an unlikely draw after Australia had earlier set them a lofty 430 runs for victory. A week later, the Proteas beat Australia in Perth and took the three-match series 1-0.And it was those fighting qualities and his excellent temperament that eventually saw him take over as the Proteas captain.Far away from picturesque Adelaide, in the desert in Dubai, where there were almost more players wearing white than spectators watching the action unfold, Paine had his du Plessis moment.
Coming to the crease at 5-252, Paine continued the strong lead from debutant Travis Head (72 off 175) to join the magnificent Usman Khawaja (141 off 302).Together, the duo put on 79 runs but infinitely more valuable was the 36 overs that they batted, before Khawaja eventually departed with 14 overs remaining.After the quick exits of Mitchell Starc and Peter Siddle, Paine (61 off 194) and Nathan Lyon (5 off 34) saw Australia to safety, as the visitors held on for a gutsy and momentum-building draw.MacGill, who took 208 Test scalps and was a prominent part of Australia’s golden era either side of the turn of the century, said Paine’s captain’s knock could prove to be the springboard for the rebuilding side to take the momentum in the two-Test tour in the UAE.“A finish like that is everything that you want from a Test match,” MacGill told foxsports.

Dr Simon Longstaff has undertaken the independent organisational review

Dr Simon Longstaff, who is the executive director of the Sydney-based Ethics Centre, has conducted the independent organisational review following the events of Cape Town earlier in 2018 and is understood to have handed draft findings back to Cricket Australia.State associations are believed to be keenly waiting for the results, which if made public could
directly impact on CA chairman David Peever’s chances of earning another three-year term. It is these state associations which will decide on his future in a fortnight.The Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA) conducted its own review which was completed towards the end of July and handed to Longstaff.Dyer has asked for full “transparency” so the states can make a well-informed decision.“The first thing CA must do is make sure the states are fully briefed on the Longstaff report before the upcoming AGM,” Dyer told foxsports.

Steve Smith and David Warner were both stood down for a year for their roles in the scandal

THE players’ union has urged Cricket Australia to reveal its long-awaited findings from the cultural review that followed sandpaper-gate, or risk losing the trust of fans.ACA president Greg Dyer has called on CA to release the document to the state associations so they have all the relevant information required before they vote on David Peever’s reign as chairman –
a sentiment more than one state association shares.In response, the governing body indicated the review was always scheduled to be completed by the start of the men’s international season, which commences on November 4 with a one-day international against South Africa.Prominent people directly involved in the process were told as recently as three weeks ago the Longstaff submission would be available as early as this week, but this now appears highly unlikely.

Virat Kohli got a little more than he bargained for as the fan lent in for a cheeky kiss

Virat Kohli has gotten a little more than he bargained for in a bizarre incident during India's Test match against the West Indies when a fan tried to plant a kiss on him.The crazy fan broke through the security in Hyderabad as the West Indies batted to open up the second Test, and managed to get a selfie with the Indian skipper before attempting to go one step further. Kohli was fielding at mid-wicket when the fan ran onto the field and embraced the
Indian star, before Kohli resisted his awkward advances by pushing off the fan.Eventually the security team at the stadium took down the youngster and hauled him off the field as the crowd roared.Kohli was visibly shaken by the incident and the umpires called for a drinks break in an attempt to return to normal proceedings.The incident is the second close encounter Kohli has had with an Indian cricket fan after he was approached by a group of fans hoping for a selfie during the first Test between India and the West Indies at Rajkot last week.

Renshaw not forgotten after Test dumping

Australian coach Justin Langer has flagged the possibility of dumped Test opener Matthew Renshaw batting down the order in the home summer, with Usman Khawaja and Aaron Finch thriving in a new-look opening partnership.The decision to overlook Renshaw for the first Test against Pakistan in Dubai was a contentious call after he led all scorers last season in the Sheffield Shield.Renshaw's fate was sealed when a concussion prevented him batting in the tour match against Pakistan A after he was struck in the head while fielding.National
selectors opted to promote Khawaja from No.3 to open alongside Test debutant Finch.The decision proved inspired with man-of-the-match Khawaja top-scoring in both innings and Finch falling one run short of twin half-centuries, as Australia came from behind to secure a valiant day-five draw and keep the series alive.Whether the pair can flourish opening on bouncier home decks is yet to be seen but former Test opener Langer is highly encouraged by their first showing."One thing I know in great teams is not just preparation and good spirit, but one of the main building blocks is a really strong opening partnership," Langer said.

Qld name teenage rookies for Shield opener

Big-hitting Max Bryant and fellow teenager Nathan McSweeney are set for Sheffield Shield debuts after being including in Queensland's squad for next week's opener against Tasmania.Bryant, 19, is in fine white-ball form ahead of the first-round clash starting on Tuesday at the Gabba.He clubbed the fastest List A half-century by a Queensland player with a whirlwind 71 - 68 of them scored in boundaries - in a one-day clash last month with South Australia.
Queensland's Shield squad: James Peirson (capt), Max Bryant, Joe Burns, Luke Feldman, Peter George, Sam Heazlett, Charlie Hemphrey, Nathan McSweeney, Mark Steketee, Mitch Swepson, Sam Truloff, Jack Wildermuth (12th man to be named).

Longest 4th innings to draw a Test match by Australia

Australia, well known for struggling in the Asian conditions, put out one of the best batting efforts in the 4th innings of the Dubai Test to save the game. The fight-back was led by Usman Khawaja’s century backed by Travis Head and Tim Paine’s fifties. The trio batted for long periods. negotiating some good bowling from the Pakistan bowlers. Australia made 362/8 chasing 462 before the game ended in a draw with only one possible delivery left in the match.
Khawaja’s 132-run partnership with Travis Head for the fourth wicket is Australia’s biggest stand in the 4th innings of a Test in Asia. The pair of David Warner and Steve Smith put on 130 for the 3rd wicket in last year’s Dhaka Test against Bangladesh. Khawaja’s also bagged a couple of records under his belt having scored 141 while batting out 302 deliveries. Australia’s resilience lasted 139.5 overs before the game was called off.

Strong Australia A squad named for India

History will be made this month when the first official women’s Australia A touring party departs for India.Cricket Australia have named a 14-strong squad of up-and-coming talent for the subcontinent tour, which will see Australia A meet India A in three one-dayers and three T20s in Mumbai.The new set-up of CA’s talent pathway also led to the development of the Australia Under-19 team, which embarked on their first overseas tour of South Africa in April.
Australia A squad: Samantha Bates, Maitlan Brown, Lauren Cheatle, Piepa Cleary, Josephine Dooley, Heather Graham, Sammy Jo Johnson, Tahlia McGrath, Chloe Piparo, Georgia Redmayne, Naomi Stalenberg, Molly Strano, Belinda Vakarewa, Amanda-Jade Wellington.

Blues name young guns in Shield squad against South Australia

Boom Blues youngster Jack Edwards is in line to make his JLT Sheffield Shield debut after he was today named in NSW's 12-man squad for their round one clash against South Australia next week.Edwards was named alongside fellow uncapped teammates Daniel Sams and Jason Sangha in the Blues squad and given his brilliant JLT One-Day Cup campaign the 18-year-old is a strong chance to play at Adelaide Oval.
NSW Blues: Peter Nevill (c & wk), Sean Abbott, Trent Copeland, Jack Edwards, Mickey Edwards, Moises Henriques, Daniel Hughes, Nick Larkin, Stephen O'Keefe, Kurtis Patterson, Daniel Sams, Jason Sangha.

Khawaja's career-defining ton saved Australia in Dubai

2018 v Pakistan, Dubai

Pakistan bossed this Test match from the moment they won the toss on a lifeless batting surface and secured a 280-run lead on the first innings when Australia's spin demons saw them lose 10-60 on the third day.And when the tourists lost three wickets without scoring
late on day four, it appeared to be only a matter of time before Pakistan's bowlers would finish the job on the final day.But a career-defining century from Usman Khawaja, a fighting 72 from debutant Travis Head and some late defiance from skipper Tim Paine ensured the two-match series was still alive heading into the second Test in Abu Dhabi.

Australia's batting heroes in Ranchi

2017 v India, Ranchi

With an already fiery series locked at 1-all, the third Test appeared destined for a high-scoring draw when India batted for more than 200 overs in their first innings, grinding out a total of 603 to secure a 152-run lead before declaring just before stumps on the fourth
day.But two quick wickets before the close and another two the following morning, including in-form skipper Steve Smith, had India in the box seat for a famous win.It was left to the unlikely pair of Shaun Marsh and Test rookie Peter Handscomb to save their side, the duo surviving 62 tense overs in a defiant partnership that kept the series alive heading to the fourth Test in Dharamshala.

Michael Clarke celebrates his series-sealing draw in Colombo

2011 v Sri Lanka, Colombo

Leading 1-0 in the series, Australia were in danger of letting a rare series win in Asia slip when they conceded a 157-run deficit on the first innings following a brilliant hundred from Sri Lankan allrounder Angelo Mathews.And the match was delicately poised when century-
maker Phillip Hughes fell on the fifth morning, leaving Australia four down and leading by just 63 runs, to give Sri Lanka a chance of running through the lower order and pushing for a series-levelling victory.But skipper Michael Clarke, in his first series as captain, and in-form veteran Mike Hussey showed the composure that was required to post a 176-run partnership that saved the match and won Australia the series.

Steve Harmison stares down Australia's human road block

2005 v England, Manchester

In the middle of one of the most disappointing series of his career, Ricky Ponting produced what he rated his greatest Test century to stave off a rampant England and add another chapter to a memorable Ashes campaign.Starting the day with 399 runs to win or 98 overs to survive, the Australians were on track for victory despite the loss of top-order wickets, especially when Michael Clarke and Ponting shared an enterprising 81-run stand.Ponting
was flawless in bringing up his century from 169 balls but was unshaken by the emotion of the milestone, batting for almost seven hours in total as wickets continued to fall around him, proving to be a one-man stumbling block for England's bowlers.It appeared his effort would be in vain when he was eventually strangled down the leg side for a brilliant 156, but Brett Lee and Glenn McGrath blocked out the last 24 deliveries to seal a draw and keep the series locked at 1-all.

Slater's ton was crucial in Australia securing a draw

1995 v England, Sydney

In the third Test of the 1994-95 Ashes series, Australia were on the back foot after they were skittled for just 116 in their first innings, thanks to a six-wicket haul from paceman Darren Gough.Set an unlikely 449 to win and with almost five sessions to bat on a wearing SCG pitch, the Aussies got their salvage mission off to the perfect start when openers Mark Taylor and Michael Slater survived until stumps on day four. They both pushed on to centuries the following day and, with rain forecast, the hosts looked on track for a draw to preserve their 2-0 series lead.
But England's bowlers used the damp conditions to their advantage to rip through the middle order, taking seven wickets for just 84 runs to leave just Australia's tail between them and victory.However, their nemesis Shane Warne did the job with the bat alongside his spin twin Tim May, their pair blocking out more than 20 overs between them to secure a draw.