Michael Clarke Related Content
Australia had by far their best dayâ€™s cricket of the summer, on the opening day of the third Ashes Test of the series, as captain, Michael Clarke posted the tourists first century of what has been a frustrating and disappointing series so far for the baggy green caps.
The Australian's trail the five match series by 2-0, and need to win the match in Manchester, to have any chance of winning back the Ashes.
Winning the toss and deciding to bat, Clarke's side dominated the first day, and had reached 303-3 by the close of the day's play, with Clarke himself unbeaten on 125, and the young all-rounder, Steve Smith not out on 70.
Opener, Chris Rogers set the early tone for the day, with a belligerent 84, while Clarke and Smith made the England bowlers toil in the Old Trafford heat, as they shared a stand that has so far reached 174 for the fourth wicket.
However, not for the first time in the series, the main talking points at the close were about the Decision Review System (DRS), as the day's play was clouded once more by controversial decisions. Though on this occasion, both sides might consider themselves to have been on the wrong end of the technological outcomes.
After a dramatic victory in the 1st Test, England now look to extend their lead as the action now moves on to the 2nd Test of this 5 match Investec Ashes series, tomorrow. This 2nd Test will be hosted at Lordâ€™s cricket ground in London.
The first Test was full of inspiring performances from both the sides and some flawed umpiring decisions as well. Questions were raised on the DRS technology, but ICC defended the system and the umpires quite overwhelmingly.
Ian Bell was the star of the show for England, as his ton turned the game on his head, and finally helped England to go over the line by 14 runs. All the other batsmen also got runs, but Bellâ€™s ton was a game changing knock. Another similar knock will be required from the English batsmen in the 2nd Test as well.
Bowling was also up to the mark as James Andersonâ€™s 10 wicket haul did not allow the Australian batsmen to settle on the crease. The other seamers and Graeme Swann also supported Anderson with tight bowling and a few wickets as well.
Despite defeat in an enthralling first Test of the Ashes series at Trent Bridge, Nottingham, the Australian captain, Michael Clarke remains bullish about his side's chances of winning back the Ashes.
After last wicket pair, Brad Haddin and James Pattinson had taken the tourists to within striking distance of their victory target of 311, before Haddin was caught behind by wicket keeper Matt Prior off of James Anderson, Clarke stated that he was as confident of winning the series as he was when he side first touched down in England, claiming that the backing of the Australian fans had played a big part in the team's performance at Nottingham, and that he hoped to take that support through to the remaining Tests of the series.
The match at Trent Bridge was the first of back-to-back Ashes series, with England travelling to Australia in October to play the return five match series. The clash in Australia had been moved so as to avoid a clash with the 2015 World Cup. Some pundits, including legendary England all-rounder Sir Ian Botham, went so far as to say that England would win all 10 Tests.
The Australians had the best piece of news they could have hoped to receive on the penultimate day of their match against Worcester, in what is their last warm up game before the start of the Ashes Test series against England on 10 July, when Michael Clarke confirmed his return to form, with a sparkling 124 from a mere 98 balls.
The hosts were finally all out for 284, having added a further 38 runs to their overnight total, leaving the tourists with a first innings lead of 112.
Chris Rogers, who coach Darren Lehmann has confirmed will open the batting in the Test was out for 26, and Ed Cowan for 34, before Clarke and Phillip Hughes who scored 86, added 132 together. Clarke then shared another century partnership with Steven Smith who contributed 43, out of a stand worth 115.
When Clarke declared his side's innings closed, they had accumulated 344-5, which set the county team the most unlikely target of 457 to win the match. By the close of play, they had reached 64-1.
Watson's 90 helped Australia take control before the heavens opened.
Although the weather prevented a full day's play at Taunton during the Australian tourist game against Somerset on the second of the scheduled four days of the match, their were some encouraging moments for the Australians to take heart from.
Ex-vice captain, Shane Watson, scored 90, while captain, Michael Clarke on his return from injury struck 45. These were probably more important outcomes to the tourists than the fact that they managed to close the day on 266-4, leaving them 54 in arrears.
When the baggie green caps lost opener Ed Cowan in the day's first over, they may have thought that they were in for another uphill battle, too many of which they have faced in the last nine months. However, the ship was steadied by partnerships of 74 and 69, between Watson and Usman Khawaja and Clarke respectively.
Ahead of one of the most challenging periods of cricket in their history, Cricket Australia (CA) appears to be almost in a state of melt down.
Following on from the disastrous tour to India, where the side were totally outplayed in all four Test matches, and beaten by 4-0, CA has made a rather unusual request to the ICC. Appealing for secrecy over their squad of 30 probables for the Champions Trophy, due to be played in England in June, ahead of the Ashes series.
Participating teams are supposed to submit their list of probable squad members to the organisers in April. While Australia will comply with this regulation, a spokesman for the ICC has confirmed that CA have made a request that the list of names submitted, is not made public.
Such a request has only added fuel to the argument that CA is an organisation, or perhaps the selection part of it at least, in a state of confusion, and perhaps paranoia in the wake of the controversy surrounding events during the tour to India.
Pakistan, for so long the cricket board that seemed fraught with internal divisions, become the first competing country to submit their 30-man squad, and has no qualms about the release of the names. Veteran batsman Younis Khan being a notable absentee from the list.
India will play the Australian team in the 3rd Test of the series at the PCA Stadium in Mohali from March 14, 2013. After convincing victories and gaining a 2-0 lead in the series, the Indian players will be raring to have another go at the Aussies in this Test match.
The visiting team suffered another setback after the Australian management decided to suspend four of their key players in the squad for this game on disciplinary grounds. The vice-captain Shane Watson, Mitchell Johnson, James Pattinson and Usman Khawaja are the players who will be serving the punishment after they failed to give a presentation on their view of the series that includes a plan of action to be suggested by each member of the squad.
One change in the Indian squad will be the exclusion of the out of form Virender Sehwag. His opening partner Murali Vijay on the other hand, made good use of himself in the second Test with a big hundred and thus has an opportunity to establish himself in the Test side ahead of the tour to South Africa. Shikhar Dhawan is likely to get his first Test cap in this game, ahead of Ajinkya Rahane who has been labelled as a future middle-order batsman by the selectors before the start of this series.
Cheteshwar Pujara will be the key player with the bat for the home side after his terrific knock in the second game. Virat Kohli, Sachin Tendulkar and skipper MS Dhoni are also in good form with the bat and will look forward to putting up a competitive total on the board. The cause of concern for the home side is Ravindra Jadeja, who is yet to display his batting skills though he has been terrific with the ball.
A cracker of a contest in the offing as India takes on Australia in the first of four Tests at Chennai.
India will look to end their season on a high as Australia come calling on these shores with the two heavyweights clashing in the first of four Test match series that is to be played at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.
India have made some changes to their squad with Gautam Gambhir the most high profile casualty.
Whether his exclusion comes back to bite India during the course of the series will be interesting to see given his century in the tour match. Virender Sehwag will in all probability open the batting alongside Murali Vijay.
Sachin Tendulkar will be back in the side as well which may well prove to be the difference at the end of the day.
Declared Test cricketer of the year while Clint McKay wins ODI cricketer of the year award.
Monday night saw Australian Test captain, Michael Clarke, awarded the Allan Border medal for the fourth time. On the same evening in Melbourne, he was also named as the Australian Test Player of the Year.
The other major awards of the evening went to Clint McKay, who was named as the One-Day International Player of the Year, and Shane Watson who took the Twenty20 International Player of the Year.
Clarke received 198 votes in the poll for the Border medal, which put him well ahead of Watson and the retiring Michael Hussey, who finished in joint second position with 165 votes each. David Warner and Mitchell Starc finished fourth and fifth places respectively.
They will need more from their batsmen on difficult swinging tracks.
The Australian broadcasters of the ODI series against the West Indies may be trying to sell the product on the back of the nostalgia from yesteryear, when the Windies would have arrived with the likes of Lloyd, Richards, Garner and Lara among their ranks.
The point they seem to have missed, is that the side from the Caribbean, under the captaincy of Darren Sammy, arrives as the World Twenty20 Champions. A title that they won as recently as last October in Sri Lanka.
Perhaps the marketing men are looking at the West Indies more recent form, when they fell to an ODI series defeat in Bangladesh, despite winning the preceding Test series.
Australia will look to make a good start to their ODI series against West Indies at Perth.
West Indies will take on Australia in the first of five ODI at the Western Australia Cricket Association ground in Perth on Friday, February 1.
The home team will be without David Warner, who fractured his thumb in the buildup to this series, in the first couple of matches at the WACA at the very least.
The selectors will take a call on his fitness thereafter. The Aussies will be raring to go after a drawn ODI series against Sri Lanka as they look to prepare with an eye on the champions trophy in England later this year.
Australia to play West Indies in five ODIs, one T20I
West Indiesâ€™ Australia tour will be started with a practice match against Prime Ministerâ€™s XI at Manuka Oval, Canberra on January 29. This limited-overs series will feature five ODIs and only one Twenty20s.
Australiaâ€™s international summer schedule was begun on November 9 with a Test match against South Africa at Gabba. The summer season will be ended on the same ground with a Twenty20 match against West Indies on February 13.
From February 1 to February 13, Australia will play the final part of their international summer season against West Indies. Manuka Oval ground will host an ODI as part of centenary celebrations at Canberra.
The Ashes 2013 will begin with a four-day game at Taunton on June 26 this year.
The defending champion Englandâ€™s mission of the Ashes 2013 will be started with back-to-back Tests at Tent Bridge and Lordâ€™s in July.
With the beginning of the first Test at Tent Bridge, a run of 15 Ashes Tests between England and Australia will be kicked off within a period of two years.
The fourth match of the series will be held at Durhamâ€™s Chester-le-Street, which will be Australiaâ€™s first Test match at this ground.
Since 2010, no Test has been held at Old Trafford. Now, Test cricket will return to that ground with the third match of the series. The traditional venue â€˜The Ovalâ€™ will be the host of the concluding match of the series.
Sri Lanka will be looking to win the fifth and final match of their series against Australia and win the series with it in Hobart. After rain played spoilsport in Sydney with the series standing 2-1 in favor of the visitors, the Australians can only hope to draw the series when they take the field on Wednesday, January 23.
Australia will be very displeased about their overall performance in the ODI series if they come up short once more in Hobart and the home team will be hoping that it is not the case at the end of the match.
The Australians, in all probability, will be missing their skipper Michael Clarke, who injured his ankle in training the other day. George Bailey was the man who featured in the pre match press conference for the captains and he may find himself at the toss tomorrow as well.
The Australians would be heavily dependent on the performances of David Warner and David Hussey to have any chance of a positive result. The former was turning it on with the bat at the SCG before rain stepped in while the latter has been falling to Sri Lankan swing bowling after a good start to the series.
Australia will field their strongest available side for the rest of the ODI series against Sri Lanka, following their dismal performance during the second ODI, that saw the touring Sri Lankans draw level at 1-1 in the five match series.
Australia, under the captaincy of George Bailey had played well in Melbourne when winning the first match of the series, but had failed to build on that victory, with a sub-standard effort in Adelaide last Sunday.
Test captain, Michael Clarke, returns to the ODI side, at will bat at No.3, while the team's leading run scorer in 2012, David Warner is restored to open the batting, and Matthew Wade who has played in 47 of the 50 days of international cricket that has featured Australia in the last year, returns to keep wicket in place of Brad Haddin. The returning players, will see Australia fielding what is close to their best ODI side.
Shane Watson is the only major name missing from the selected squad. The selectors made the decision that with Watson absent, they wanted to have a seam-bowling allrounder to replace him at the Gabba, and with that in mind they called up Moises Henriques, who hasn't appeared in an ODI since 2009.
Unfortunately for Henriques, he has suffered two blows to the hand during training over the past two days, and is awaiting the results of scans that have been taken of the injured hand, before a decision is made as to whether he can take his place in the starting XI.