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NZ vs Australia 2020-21, Wiser and older, Ashton Turner is setting new standards for his performances



NZ vs Australia 2020-21, Wiser and older, Ashton Turner is

Ashton Turner is learning not to judge his performances as harshly while playing the most difficult of T20 roles, as he tries to reclaim a permanent spot in the middle order of Australia’s T20I side.

Turner appeared to be the answer to the national side’s long-standing middle-order woes in limited-overs cricket when he played one of the best innings by an Australian at No. 6 in ODIs, against India in Mohali in 2019.

That was just his second ODI, having played only five T20Is prior. The era of Australia shoe-horning dominant domestic openers into middle-order roles looked over as Turner was a specialist showing why specialists are needed.

But he has played just four ODIs and six T20Is since for his country and has batted only six times in those ten games. Shoulder surgery following a bizarre IPL, a horror run with other injuries and illnesses, a severe dip in domestic form and a lack of opportunity have all conspired to leave him in the international wilderness for over 12 months.

Turner’s inclusion in the squad for the T20I tour of New Zealand may have surprised a few given his raw numbers this BBL. But such is the nature of the role he plays at No. 6, that 228 runs at 22.80 with no half-centuries aren’t numbers he can be judged by.

Only Jordan Silk made more runs batting at Nos. 5-6 in the BBL and of the four players who scored 200 runs or more, only Daniel Christian had a better strike rate than Turner’s 155.47.

Turner, 28, himself is starting to judge his own performances differently as he prepares for a return to international colours.

“I think that when I first started playing Big Bash cricket and domestic cricket I probably didn’t know how to judge my performance,” Turner said. “When I first came into the team I was batting at No. 6 in a really strong team for the Perth Scorchers. I was probably a bit harsh on myself. I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t scoring as many runs as guys who were opening the batting.

“As I’ve got older and a bit wiser and a bit more experienced, I probably have different KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) for myself. I hold myself to different standards. Opening batters want to go out and be the leading run-scorers in the tournament. I think for me it’s about doing what the team needs and it’s about trying to have an impact in the game whether it be two balls at the end of the innings or I get to face 20 balls, that can determine how much of an impact I can have.

“Guys who are batting in the middle order – 5, 6, 7 – you probably won’t see too many of those guys at the top of the run-scoring charts. But quite often you will see those guys batting in real high-pressure situations with four runs to win off the last ball or situations like that. I probably judge myself more on how I perform in those situations than I do on averages or anything like that.”

In Turner’s six international innings since Mohali, he has only been dismissed three times. In his last six T20Is, against Sri Lanka and Pakistan, he only batted thrice making scores of 1, 22 and 8 without being dismissed, with the last two coming in successful chases as Australia went undefeated in the two series.

“I take a lot of confidence out of the times I have played really well for Australia,” Turner said. “I know my best is good enough. The challenge for me is being more consistent with that and being able to replicate my best days again and again. That’s something that I’ve been working really hard at over the last 12 months and hopefully, you can see that on show in this series.”

Turner has more experience batting at No.5-6 in all T20 cricket than any of the candidates that Australia are looking to use in the upcoming series. He also has a better strike rate than all bar Josh Philippe, who has only batted in the position 10 times in all T20 cricket compared to Turner’s 61 innings in those spots.

That vast array of experience and specialisation in the role has also helped Turner learn to tailor his preparation for it.

“Quite often the role of a middle-order batter is to walk out and you might have to try and find a boundary in your first or second ball and that’s something that you don’t prepare for in red-ball cricket and I like to think my training reflects that,” Turner said.

“I don’t train for as long in T20 cricket but it’s at a real intensity. It’s certainly a skill to be able to walk out to bat and to be able to not face dot balls, be able to score really quickly, and potentially find the boundary early. But sometimes it’s a skill to be able to get off strike and get your mate who is going really well at the other end on strike and being really adaptable. Sometimes you might be chasing a low target, sometimes you’re chasing a big score and that dictates how you need to play. I like to think that my training reflects all situations but I certainly do prepare really differently for white-ball cricket compared to how I prepare for red-ball cricket.”

His bowling will also be significant for his selection chances. Despite bowling just 5.3 overs in the recent BBL, he has fully recovered from his shoulder issues and with Australia having two specialist spinners in Ashton Agar and Adam Zampa, who both predominantly turn the ball away from right-handers, having Turner and Glenn Maxwell’s right-arm offspin in the playing XI provides captain Aaron Finch with a full board of options if specific match-ups demand it.

“I’m confident in my bowling,” Turner said. “I’ve had some issues with my body in the past and that has meant that I’ve had a couple of years where I haven’t been able to bowl at all or as much as I would have liked. But that being said, I was probably just a victim of us having a quality bowling line-up in the Big Bash this year.

“I’ve been bowling a lot at training and I still feel really confident in my skills.”

Alex Malcolm is a freelance writer based in Melbourne

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EngVsPak- England defeated Pakistan by three wickets

Pakistan has struggled with their batting, putting up scores of 141 and 195 as they were outplayed in the first two ODIs.





James Vince scored a hundred and Lewis Gregory contributed 77 as England defeated Pakistan by three wickets to complete a clean sweep of the three-match ODI series.

Vince raced to 102 off 95 deliveries and Gregory struck his 77 of 69 balls as hosts England, chasing Pakistan’s challenging score of 331 for seven wickets, reached 332 for seven with two overs to spare.

Opener Phil Salt scored 37 while skipper Ben Stokes added 32 as England held their nerves to register a comfortable win in third and final ODI.

Earlier, skipper Babar Azam struck a career-best 158 (139-ball) and helped Pakistan’s batting finally came good in this series.

Opener Imam-ul-Haq scored 56 and Mohammad Rizwan 74 as Pakistan posted 331 for nine wickets in their allotted 50 overs.

Playing against a makeshift England squad, after the originally selected player went into isolation after three players tested positive for COVID-19, Pakistan has struggled with their batting, putting up scores of 141 and 195 as they were outplayed in the first two ODIs.

Babar came in after Fakhar Zaman was out early for 6, caught by Zak Crawley off Saqib Mahmood. He raised 92 runs for the third wicket with opener Imam-ul-Haq and then put together a partnership of 179 with Rizwan.
However, they suffered a collapse soon after Rizwan was out, caught by wicketkeeper Simpson off seamer Brydon Carse, with the score 292/3. Only one of the remaining seven batsman managed to reach double digits.

But Babar kept blasting runs from the other end and was the eighth batsman out with the score 328 in the 50th over.

He struck 14 boundaries and four sixes during his innings.
Carse was the best England bowler on display as he claimed five wickets for 61 in his 10 overs.

Brief scores: Pakistan 331/9 in 50 overs (Imam-ul-Haq 56, Babar Azam 158, M Rizwan 74; Brydon Carse 5/61).

England 332/7 in 48 overs (Phil Salt 37, James Vince 102, Ben Stokes 32, Lewis Gregory 77; Haris Rauf 4/65).

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Corona hit – India-Lanka ODI matches were postponed for four days




Corona hit - India-Lanka ODI matches were postponed for four days

India’s tour of Sri Lanka has hit a roadblock after two Covid-19 positive cases in the home team’s camp delayed the start of the ODI series by at least four days, and canceled due to more cases. The possibility has been left open. Sri Lankan batting coach Grant Flower and the team’s performance analyst Shirantha Niroshna have both tested positive and the entire team that arrived from England this week has been put in isolation.

Though both the boards have not made any official statement yet, it seems that all the six matches will be played within a period of 10-11 days if there is no scope for any more positive cases. There are also concerns that the series could be called off if more positive cases emerge in the Sri Lankan camp. This means that the Indian team, which has already spent 12 days in Sri Lanka, will have to return home without playing a single match.

The tentative dates for the ODIs have been set as July 17, 19 and 21. The report states that the T20 Internationals will be played on July 24, 25 and 27. However, neither Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) nor the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has given any confirmation regarding the dates.

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Indonesia lacks oxygen, seeks help as virus cases rise




Indonesia lacks oxygen, seeks help as virus cases rise

Just two months ago, Indonesia came forward to India’s aid with thousands of tanks of oxygen. Today, the Southeast Asian country is running out of oxygen as it grapples with a devastating wave of coronavirus cases and the government is seeking emergency supplies from other countries, including Singapore and China.

Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, the government minister in charge of Indonesia’s pandemic response, said a shipment of more than 1,000 oxygen cylinders, concentrators, ventilators and other health equipment arrived from Singapore on Friday, followed by another 1,000 ventilators from Australia.

In addition, Pandjaitan said, Indonesia plans to purchase 36,000 tons of oxygen and 10,000 concentrators — equipment that generates oxygen — from neighboring Singapore. He said he was in contact with China and other possible oxygen sources. The US and the United Arab Emirates have also offered help.

Overall, Indonesia, the world’s fourth most populous country, has reported more than 2.4 million infections and 63,760 deaths from COVID-19. Those figures are widely believed to be a huge undercount due to low testing and poor tracing measures. On Thursday, Indonesia reported nearly 39,000 confirmed cases, its biggest single-day jump.

Indonesia’s hospitals have been flooded, with increasing numbers of sick people in isolation at home or waiting to receive emergency care. In Indonesia’s most populous island, Java, hospitals began setting up temporary intensive care units in mid-June. Many patients are waiting for several days to get admitted. Oxygen tanks rolled on the sidewalks for the lucky few, while others were told they’d have to find their own.

The city’s deputy mayor Yaya Mulyana said emergency rooms at a public hospital in Bandung city were closed earlier this week amid panic buying over rising infections in the West Java provincial capital.

“The panicked people bought oxygen tanks, though they didn’t need them yet,” said Muliana. “This has exhausted the supply of oxygen.”

At a hospital in Yogyakarta in central Java, 63 COVID-19 patients died in one day – 33 of them during its central liquid oxygen supply, although the hospital switched to using oxygen cylinders was, spokesman Banu Harmawan said.

When a brutal outbreak ravaged the country, Indonesia donated 3,400 oxygen cylinders and concentrators to India. As its own cases rose, Jakarta scrapped plans to send another 2,000 oxygen concentrators to India in late June. The daily requirement of oxygen has reached 1,928 tonnes per day. According to government data, the total available production capacity of the country is 2,262 tonnes per day.

“I asked for 100% oxygen first for medical purposes, which means all industrial allocation should be shifted to medical,” said Panjaitan, a minister in the government. “We are racing against time, we have to act fast.”

Noting the rapid spread of the highly contagious delta variant, he warned that Indonesia could face a worst-case scenario with 50,000 cases a day. The next two weeks will be crucial, he said.

The industry ministry responded by issuing a decree that all oxygen supplies be sent to hospitals packed with coronavirus patients and asked industry players to cooperate.

Oxygen is used to make many products including textiles, plastics and vehicles. Oil refineries, chemical makers and steel makers also use it. But industry leaders are clamoring to support government efforts to maximize supplies for hospitals.

The government has redirected oxygen supplies from industrial plants at Morowali in Central Sulawesi, Balikpapan on the island of Borneo, and Belawan and Batam on the island of Sumatra, Pandjaitan said. Small oxygen industries have also been directed to produce pharmaceutical oxygen.

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