Cricket News Pat Cummins’ grit frustrates Virat Kohli’s victory push, drags Boxing Day Test to final day

first_img For all the Latest Sports News News, Cricket News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps. New Delhi: Pat Cummins can bowl. Pat Cummins can also bat. In fact, he can do it all in an Australia team that is lacking experience. So much so, that Megan Schutt, an Australia women’s cricketer, called him to be the next Australian Prime Minister. Cummins’s brilliant haul of 6/27, combined with his gritty fifty ensured Australia not only frustrated Virat Kohli’s push for a 2-1 series lead but also dragged the Boxing Day Test into the final day, where some rain is forecast. The result could be headed one way, but Cummins’ splendid all-round effort helped Australia reach 258/8, still needing 141 runs for an unlikely win on Sunday.Cummins’ sensational one-man army show offers Australia’s top-order batsmen and the bowlers the blueprint to dig deep and bring out the best in the business. After accounting for Hanuma Vihari (13), Cheteshwar Pujara (0), Virat Kohli (0) and Ajinkya Rahane (1) in a sensational four-over burst on day 3, Cummins took his maiden five-wicket haul in Australia and his third overall when he cleaned up the dangerous Mayank Agarwal for 42 with a full ball that stayed low and nipped back in further off the seam. Rishabh Pant struck a couple of lusty blows but when Cummins got his sixth by accounting for Ravindra Jadeja with a bouncer, he had career-best figures. When Pant (33) fell to a short ball from Josh Hazlewood, Kohli immediately declared and set Australia a target of 399 on a pitch which was becoming even more difficult to bat on.Read More | Fans evicted from major stand in Melbourne over racist chantsAustralia top order flounders againIf there has been one major problem area for Australia ever since the bans on Steve Smith and David Warner for the ball-tampering scandal, it has been consistent contributions from the top order. On a pitch which had variable bounce and facing up to a rampaging Jasprit Bumrah, they stood vulnerable yet again.Read More | Bumrah credits Rohit Sharma for slower ball to get rid of Shaun MarshIt was Bumrah, who took his career-best haul of 6/33 in the first innings who struck first. Aaron Finch (3), clearly struggling, guided a short ball to Virat Kohli at slip. Marcus Harris (13) showed inadequate technique to combat Ravindra Jadeja’s spin and gave Mayank Agarwal a sharp catch at short leg. Much was expected from Usman Khawaja, the only batsman in the side who had the potential to bat for long periods against both spin and pace. Many expected a repeat of his Dubai heroics in which he batted for long hours to give Australia a win. The left-hander struck some good shots and looked confident but when he fell to Jadeja for 33, it seemed the top-order would implode again.Read More | India vs Australia, highlights: Cummins frustrates Kohli’s sideShaun Marsh, another experienced player from whom plenty was expected, played some attacking shots and looked in great touch to get a big score. However, he was trapped LBW for 44 for the second time by Bumrah and even the review could not save him. When Mitchell Marsh (10) drove Jadeja straight to cover and Travis Head (34) dragged a full delivery from Ishant Sharma back onto the stumps, the end seemed near. Tim Paine edging Jadeja for 26 added one more nail in the coffin. However, the hosts still had one factor which has bailed them out of trouble on more than one occasion in this series.Read More | Virat Kohli’s India achieve rare distinction in double declarationThe tail wags… againCummins, fresh from a great performance with the ball, displayed his batting prowess as well by tackling both pace and spin brilliantly. He found an able ally in Mitchell Starc as they frustrated India’s push for a victory. After Starc (18) threw his wicket away by missing Mohammed Shami’s full delivery, Nathan Lyon gave him great company. The pair repelled the Indian attack for more than one and a half hours as prospects of a final day finish grew.Read More | Cummins gives Australia plenty to smile with 6/27 in MelbourneKohli took the extra half an hour and also the second new ball. None of the factors could distract Cummins as he registered his second half-century. When play ended, there was mixed reactions. Indian fans were slightly nervous about the prospects of rain tomorrow. However, the Australians prayed for rain to come while some prayed for a minor miracle.Cummins’ display in what was otherwise a shoddy display from Australia’s batsmen might not help the hosts going 1-2 down. However, it has given them enough momentum to push for a win in Sydney and level the series yet again. last_img read more

Syracuse uses smaller lineups for a quicker, more athletic look

first_img Published on December 4, 2019 at 10:30 pm Contact David: When Albany’s Alexis Schechter banked in a contested layup to reduce Syracuse’s lead to nine in the fourth quarter on Nov. 16, SU point guard Kiara Lewis immediately clapped her hands for the inbounds pass. Less than five seconds later, Lewis sprinted down the court and found Taleah Washington in the corner, who drove the baseline and converted a scoop layup. The Orange’s lead was back to double-digits, and a few possessions later, it was up to 18.The defensive intensity and offensive pace that helped Syracuse (4-3) rebuild its lead in an eventual 22-point win came with a small and versatile lineup on the floor. All five players could shoot 3-pointers, defend multiple positions and get up and down the court quickly.SU head coach Quentin Hillsman doesn’t want to label certain lineups as “small-ball,” but he plans on using combinations — like he did in the fourth quarter against Albany — to speed the game up and get more possessions.“We kind of needed to get the pace up, so we went a little smaller and that did the trick,” Hillsman said about the fourth quarter against Albany. “Some games, it’s not gonna be there. Some games, we’re gonna have to go bigger and try to pound the ball inside and play inside-out. So just whatever it takes to win the game, we have a good luxury right now where we can do that.”Eva Suppa | Digital Design EditorAdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe key to Hillsman’s freedom when switching lineups is sophomore Emily Engstler. At 6-foot-1, Engstler handles and shoots the ball like a guard. She’s even listed as one on the team’s official roster. Yet Engstler leads SU in rebounds (79), recording 40 more than any other player, and ranks second in blocks (10). In Syracuse’s small lineup against Albany, she played at the five on offense and four on defense.Pairing with SU’s three guards — Lewis, Washington and Gabrielle Cooper — Engstler works with Maeva Djaldi-Tabdi down low. While she isn’t the ball-handler or pull-up shooter Engstler is, Djaldi-Tabdi has expanded her range to become a legitimate stretch four. The Paris, France native is 6-for-13 from beyond the arc this season after taking zero 3-pointers all of last season.“When we put me at the five,” Engstler said. “I think it allows players like Maeva or Digna (Strautmane) to step up as a four or three and gives them a chance to be on the wing.”With the Orange down 9-4 in the first quarter against then-No. 1 Oregon on Nov. 24, Engstler got a rebound, pushed the ball upcourt herself and passed to Cooper, who found a cutting Djaldi-Tabdi for an open layup. Two minutes later, after a Strautmane steal, Lewis sprinted past two Ducks and swung it to a wide-open Cooper, who nailed a corner three to cap an 8-0 Syracuse run.“When we get in those smaller lineups, it really gets us in the flow of things,” Washington said. “We can run, we can get up quick threes.”Eva Suppa | Digital Design EditorOn defense, the small lineup means three guards will pressure the inbounds pass off of an SU make. Any combination of Lewis, Cooper, Washington or reserves like Elemy Colome and Alisha Lewis will filter in and out of the game to keep the pace. After Albany point guard Kyara Frames sunk two threes and had two assists in the first quarter, Hillsman assigned two defenders to her on every inbound pass. Frames hardly took the ball up and attempted two shots for the rest of the game.SU won’t go into a game planning to play a small lineup, Hillsman said. Instead, he relies on the team’s versatility to decide the lineup on the floor based on what he sees, and that can change anytime.“Even if you’re on the bench, you need to know how to play one through five,” Washington said. “Sometimes you see a guard in the deep corner, but then when a guard gets the rebound and pushes it up, you’ll see Maeva in the deep corner.”With Syracuse’s guard position the deepest it’s been in years — four guards average more than 14 minutes per game — it has the tools needed for Hillsman to change SU’s look on a whim.“If we’re playing well big, we’re gonna stay big,” Hillsman said. “If we go smaller and it turns the game around, then we’ll do that.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more