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25/11/2016

- some technical stuff and also some tactical stuff.A

Virat Kohlis strengths - and weaknesses - come to the fore, more disappointment for Ben Duckett and dog stops play as India triumph over England in the second Test. Will Johnson Jersey . Ravichandran Ashwin and Adil Rashid also exploited the conditions superbly on a pitch that offered turn and increasingly variable bounce as the match went on.Ultimately though, the England leg-spinners efforts were in vain as India took a 1-0 lead in the series after an intriguing five days in Visakhapatnam. Kohlis mixed bagThe India skipper showed his class with the bat once again, taking full advantage of favourable conditions for batting on the first day to score a brilliant 167. And then, in Indias second innings, with other batsmen scratching around on a rapidly deteriorating surface, he cruised his way to 81 - his innings finally brought to an end by a stunning catch from Ben Stokes. India vs England November 26, 2016, 3:30am Live on Get Sky Sports Get a Sky Sports pass However, while pundits fell over themselves in a clamour to praise his batting prowess, his captaincy during Englands second innings - particularly on day four - drew a very different reaction.Staggeringly bad was Bob Willis assessment on The Verdict and Nasser Hussain was equally unimpressed by his field settings and the ends at which he used his bowlers during Englands stubborn resistance on the fourth afternoon and evening.You can lead by example, as Kohli does with the bat, you can show a lot of passion which Kohli does in abundance, he said. But tactically I think he is pretty naive. Virat Kohli batted superbly but his captaincy was less impressive There was at least an improvement on the final day as India wrapped up victory, Hussain acknowledged.Hes been better today, he told Sky Sports. He hasnt been as noticeable; sometimes he interferes a bit too much but what he did today was not move the field as much and not tinker as much. But that doesnt take away from the fact that he was poor yesterday.Should England gain the upper hand by winning the toss in Mohali, Kohlis marshalling of his troops will come under scrutiny once more though and it remains to be seen how he will respond to that pressure.Rashid steps upBob Willis is not a man shy of offering his opinion and after Rashids unconvincing displays in the Bangladesh Tests, plenty were in full agreement with his typically frank judgement that the leg-spinner should be on the next flight back to the UK.Two Tests and 13 wickets later, Rashid has delivered a most eloquent riposte on the pitch. After seven wickets in Rajkot, another six in Visakhapatnam proved that his opening-Test effort was no fluke. Alastair Cook praised the improved bowling of Adil Rashid in the 2nd Test That he was capable of producing deliveries of supreme quality was never in doubt; but it was the full tosses and long-hops that came with along them which drew criticism. Saqlain Mushtaqs arrival as Englands spin coach for the first three Tests in India seems to have helped to eradicate those aberrations and Rashid is now bowling with a previously unseen control and confidence. So much so that Alastair Cook had no reservations about throwing him the ball just five overs into Indias second innings.His faith was rewarded with four wickets in the innings and Rashids resurgence is such that even his biggest critics are beginning to be won round… Test Cricket: The Verdict November 21, 2016, 3:00pm Live on Get Sky Sports Get a Sky Sports pass Hes getting better and better, isnt he? Willis told The Verdict. Hes shoving my words right back down my throat when I said he should be on the plane back to Leeds-Bradford airport - thats come back to haunt me!Hes fast becoming Englands leading spin bowler and making a case for Moeen Ali to bat high up the order and be a second spinner.Ashwin up and runningHe was the man England were told to fear most ahead of the series. Ashwin had risen to the top of the Test bowling rankings after a succession of stunning performances in the past two years. Not least, his 20 wickets at just 21.05 against New Zealand in October.However, against England it has been a different story. The 30-year-old had struggled to make any real impact in his previous encounters with Indias opponents in this five-match run and he fared little better in the first Test. 3-230 in 69.3 overs his rather underwhelming match figures. Indias Ravichandran Ashwin says experimenting with his bowling in Tests will help him improve still further as a spinner He spoke ahead of the Visakhapatnam Test about his desire to improve and that is exactly what he did, taking his 22nd five-wicket haul in Tests - his first against England - as the tourists succumbed to 255 all out in their first innings.Ashwin quickly found his rhythm and his threat was amplified by the additional drift that he was able to find compared to Rajkot and, after a further three wickets in the visitors second innings, he looks to have overcome his England hoodoo.Duckett in the doldrumsOne man who struggled more than most against Ashwins off-spin was Duckett. Having been heralded as Englands bright new hope following his exploits during the ODI series and an entertaining half-century in Bangladesh, the left-hander has been found wanting in India thus far. Ian Botham believes England need to drop the struggling Ben Duckett His frailties against off-spin, on turning tracks, have been cruelly exposed with Ashwin dismissing him in each of his three innings in the series to date, leading his defensive technique to be called into question.It is amazing how quickly the game at the highest level presents challenges, Michael Atherton remarked. In his very first innings in Chittagong in Test cricket, he showed the off-spinner his stumps and paid the price, and he has done that twice here now.Hes got to look at that defensive technique to the off-spinner. At the moment he is showing too much of his stumps and with two quality off-spinners, Ashwin - the No 1 bowler in the world - and Jayant Yadav, thats going to be a problem. In a rare return to the nets, David Gower has some batting tips for struggling fellow left-hander Ben Duckett Duckett tried to address the issue ahead of his second knock in Visakhapatnam and looked to go on the attack against Ashwin. The result though was the same, Duckett gone cheaply and after only 18 runs in three innings, it seems unlikely that hell make the XI for Mohali.Dog stops play!Over the years we have seen all manner of creatures enter the field and hold up proceedings. From bees in Zimbabwe earlier this year to the Brisbane piglet, with Botham emblazoned on one side, in a 1983 World Series match between Australia and England. A stray dog brings play to a shuddering halt on day one of the second Test Crickets latest unexpected pitch invader arrived shortly before tea on the first day as a stray dog brazenly scampered onto the outfield as Stuart Broad readied himself to bowl to Cheteshwar Pujara. An early tea was called on day one thanks to the unexpected appearance of a dog on the outfield!! Stadium stewards were quickly sent onto the pitch to try and remove the canine but, with Broad and Cook allowing themselves a chuckle at the incident, the dog toyed with his would-be captors, evading their grasp and then trotting off the pitch… only to return moments later!Eventually, the decision was made to call for a slightly early tea and allow the stewards a full 20 minutes to shepherd the pesky pooch from the field of play.Watch the third Test between India and England at Mohali live on Sky Sports 2 from 3.30am on Saturday. Also See: England slump to heavy defeat WATCH: Day five highlights Rashid has made huge strides India v England: Story of 2012 Shane Vereen Jersey . The Oilers come in having lost five in a row (0-4-1) and 16 of their last 20 games, dropping a 2-1 decision to the Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday. Keenan Robinson Jersey . Pence singled in the winning run with no outs in the ninth inning to give the Giants a 7-6 victory over the San Diego Padres on Sunday. http://www.nygiantsfanatic.com/c-11-giants-jason-pierre-paul-jersey.aspx . It was the second consecutive win for the Pacers (2-5), who lost their first five preseason games. Jeff Teague led the Hawks (1-5) with 17 points and eight assists and Al Horford had 12 points and seven rebounds. Mike Scott scored 15 of his 17 points in the second half. On the evening of March 17, 2006, ahead of the Mumbai Test, Owais Shah was fed up. He had enjoyed the summer of his life, scoring seven first-class centuries and 1700 runs, and, after injuries decimated Englands Ashes-winning side, was rewarded with a Test call-up for the tour to India. Somehow, though, Shah faced leaving India as he had arrived: without a Test cap.I remember clearly going to bed the night before and thinking thats the series gone, Im not going to get an opportunity, he says. But by the following morning, all had changed. Alastair Cook, who scored a debut hundred two weeks earlier in Nagpur, was violently throwing up and in no state to play. Finally, eight years after starring in Englands only Under-19 World Cup victory, here was Shahs chance. I saw it as a bit of a situation that was meant to be.Two years earlier, frustrated that his precocity had yet to be converted into consistent excellence, Shah went to India to work with Mohammad Azharuddin.He said always look to score off a ball, Shah says. Defending is your last option so as the ball is coming down you look to score runs off it, and if you cant you block it. But always have that mindset and look to score runs. If your mindset looks to score runs then your body will get into really good positions, and from that position, if you realise its a good ball, then, defend it.Walking out at No. 3 in Mumbai, Shah stayed true to Azharuddins advice. From his third ball, against Harbhajan Singh, he advanced down the pitch. It wasnt a statement of intent. It was just the way I played my cricket against spin bowling: always looking to dominate, always looking to score runs from the first ball I faced. My game was very set up for using my feet trying to hit straight.By the end of the game he had made 88 and 38 to underpin Englands unlikely Ring of Fire victory. Ive always backed my ability to play spin, and just applied the basics - reading the spinners from the hand. I just backed my technique.Even if Shahs career fizzled out unsatisfactorily - I just wish Id got more opportunities after the Mumbai Test- his tale affirms that it is possible for novice Test batsmen to thrive in India. That should be heartening for Ben Duckett, after two indifferent Tests in Bangladesh, and Haseeb Hameed, who could yet emulate Shah in debuting in India.It will be very tough, Shah says, though he believes that England can give India a good fight if their batting shows more resolve than in Bangladesh.Youre not going to blast the spinners out of the attack there. The batting unit need to use their feet and manoeuvre the ball and get more singles and twos - whoever does that best will be the better batting unit. If we try and blast their spinners, we can get undone. But at the same time if we just block, block, block thats not the right way to go about it. If we get stuck and then play the big shot, thats a problem. You need to be busy and not allow them to settle.He urges Duckett and Englands flamboyant middle order to trust their instincts against spin, just as he did a decade ago. They will play the game thats got them to international cricket, they cant just change. If someone wants to run down and use their feet let them - thats probably what theyre comfortable doing. The same if they want to sweep or reverse sweep.Of greater concern to Shah is Englands bowling. They do not just have to battle India, but a system at home that has stunted the development of spin bowling over recent years.Its not our spinners fault, because they havent bowled that much in the past five-six years in county cricket. Michael Strahan Giants Jersey. Theyve bowled a lot more this year but prior to that not that much, he says. Thats perhaps where well fall down.We should make wickets that help spin bowling. There should be a bit of deterioration from day three as opposed to the green seamers that finish in three days. Thats not real first-class cricket. Batsmen are forgetting how to play for five or six hours: theyre having to play a lot more aggressively because they realise that sooner or later theres a good ball around the corner. In Test cricket youve got to know how to put a five- or six-hour hundred together. If you havent practised it how are you going to know how to do it in a Test?While England are attempting to thrive in India, Shah has a very different challenge on his mind: coaching the UAE. After helping out during their tour of Scotland last summer, Shah has just signed for a three-month stint as head coach, a plum job to land just after turning 38.This is an opportunity I didnt think I could turn down, he says. If everything is right and I feel like Im making progress after three months, and the Emirates Cricket Board and, most importantly, the players are happy with me, then why not?Shah has been impressed with the UAEs talent, but also identified their first-class cricket as a major area to improve. Im trying to teach them a little bit more about the longer form of the game, because they play a lot of short form, he says. I think being able to play the longer form will help their short-form cricket, especially one-day internationals. A few months after the UAE introduced fully professional contracts, Shah will be charged with ensuring the team are not just professional in name only.Now theyre required to turn up and train every day, and be consistent in that. Its a new concept and will take some time to understand. Hopefully they can tap into my knowledge of being a professional cricketer: whats required of you, and your life revolving around cricket; your behaviour, having the right amount of rest, what food you eat and things like that. Its about making them understand that all your actions will have a knock-on effect on your cricket.Shah intends to be very much hands on as a coach. Im quite happy to dive around, shown them how to catch, show them how to hit sixes or whatever, he says. These guys are international cricketers. Its more about helping them on a mental level. Im also trying to teach them about playing at the top level, when the bowlers are that much faster, and the batsmen are that much quicker on their feet - some technical stuff and also some tactical stuff.And as a player who was not always managed sensitively - in particular, he was shunned by the Duncan Fletcher regime - Shah should be well placed to judge each players individual needs.Every single player is different. Some players need more showing how things are done, and some need less showing and need to work things out themselves. Its more of a man-management thing, coaching. A 22-year-old needs different kind of managing to a 34-year-old. Those two people are at different stages of their lives.An early test for Shah and his new side will come at the start of December, when the UAE play three 50-over matches against England Lions. It should be good fun, he says. Until then, he will watch Englands current generation trying to make their mark on India with interest. 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