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Sehwag focused on Aussie Tests​

Indian batsman Virender Sehwag insists his performances in the Test series against Australia would go a long way in determining his international career.

The Delhi opener was recalled to the 16-member Indian squad for the four-match Test series Down Under but the selection came as a surprise to most with him not being in the list of 24 probables announced earlier for the tour.

However, Sehwag was expecting the call despite his poor form in recent times.

"To tell you honestly, I was expecting a call from the selectors. Initially, I was not a part of the probables but my sixth sense said something else," he told The Times of India.

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Win Australian and NZ wines!

The Chappell Hadlee Trophy is the one trophy that is missing from Australia's trophy cabinet.

We can't let New Zealand hang onto it any longer!

We've taken lots of things from New Zealand over the years: Russell Crowe, Phar Lap, Richard Wilkins, Bledisloe Cup, Crowded House to name a few.

You too can have the best of both worlds: Win 6 bottles of Australian and 6 bottles of New Zealand wine, thanks to Wolf Blass. Visit our Chappell Hadlee Trophy competition page for more information, and entry details.

The Commonwealth Bank Chappell Hadlee Trophy Series is on:


December 14th, Adelaide Oval
December 16th, SCG
December 30, Bellerive Oval
 

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Blues on top of Bulls

Ashley Noffke's four wickets has not been enough to stop New South Wales charging away to 7-319 by stumps of the first day as the Blues bid to return to the top of the Pura Cup standings.

Captain Simon Katich top-scored with 86, Phillip Hughes added a career-high 53, Daniel Smith scored 42 and the returning Phil Jaques 38 after missing the drawn match with table-topper Victoria through a bout of mumps .

Noffke, who sat out the Ford Ranger Cup defeat to NSW after making his international Twenty20 debut in midweek, did snap up Jaques and Katich as well as Greg Mail and Dominic Thornely to reconfirm his position as the Pura Cup's No.1 all-rounder.

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Warriors hunt down Redbacks

Justin Langer and Chris Rogers have guided Western Australia safely to stumps at 0-103 on Day 1 of the Pura Cup match at the WACA against South Australia, after the Warriors dismissed the Redbacks for 184.

Mathew Inness picked up five wickets to help WA bowl out South Australia for 184 early in the final session before Langer finished the day 76 not out and Rogers 27.

Langer was in a particularly savage mode hitting 10 boundaries and taking only 89 balls for his 76.

Going into the second day, the Warriors only trail by 81 and look set to build an imposing first innings total with the likes of Shaun Marsh, Adam Voges and Luke Pomersbach still to bat.

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Inness enjoying his role

JFormer Victorian Mathew Inness was again the pick of Western Australia's quicks in its demolition of South Australia picking up five wickets, and the fiery redhead believes opportunity is behind his success this season.

Inness took 5-59 to help WA bowl out the Redbacks for just 184 after Nathan Adcock won the toss and elected to bat. By stumps, Justin Langer (76) and Chris Rogers (27) had taken the Warriors to 0-103.

The WACA pitch and overhead conditions were helpful in the first session, but Inness and fellow quicks Steve Magoffin and Brett Dorey weren't quite hitting the right areas. That changed just before and after lunch with 5-9 falling in the space of 37 balls.

"You have to try to do what you do whether the weather conditions are helpful or not and stick to your own game plan. I probably have bowled better than that, I was just lucky to get a few wickets," Inness said after play.

"We didn't bowl as well as we should have. We just had to get back to bowling how we know we can and create some pressure. Even though the wicket was going to give us a chance, you still have to get it in the right areas, as you can go for plenty of runs with the fast outfield if you don't bowl well.

"Mags has bowled well all year. He has been in some great and was probably the best bowler in this innings again, but didn't get the wickets he deserves. It's good to have Dorey back as well, he's missed a couple of games, worked hard to get back and he bowled well."

Daniel Cullen and Jason Gillespie combined for a 63-run stand that put a halt to the Warriors charge, and Inness rates the wicket of Gillespie's among the most prized in Australia.

"Cullen and Gillespie had a good partnership going there and looked capable of getting a few more, so it was good to get that breakthrough," he said.

"Gillespie sure does do the job. He knows his game pretty well and plays to his strengths. Even though he bats at nine, he is one of the hardest blokes to get out. It's always a big wicket whenever we can get him."

Inness doesn't believe his bowling has changed this year, but he has made the most of the opportunity new coach Tom Moody has given him. The WACA pitch has also certainly helped, while hindering the Redbacks.

"I don't think I'm doing anything very different to last year, it's just that I have a second chance and managing to get a few wickets," he said.

"I didn't play last year, but there seems to be a lot more pace in the pitch this year. This wicket seems like a good cricket wicket, so everyone is pretty happy with it. Coming here, this wicket is a lot different than Adelaide Oval so it takes a bit of adjusting to."
 

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Ponting steers Aussies home

Ricky Ponting's 24th century in 286 one-day internationals has swept Australia to a seven-wicket win with 45 balls to spare against New Zealand at Adelaide Oval in the first of the three matches for the Commonwealth Bank Chappell-Hadlee Trophy.

Man-of-the-match Ponting was unconquered on a superb 107, with 14 fours, off 108 balls and Andrew Symonds was 28 not out in Australia's emphatic 3-255 off 42.3 overs response to New Zealand's formidable 7-254 off 50 overs.

Ponting and Michael Clarke, with a sound 76-ball 48, with six fours, shared a third-wicket stand of 135 off 165 balls after Adam Gilchrist had launched the innings with a thunderous 51 off just 29 balls.

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Tait's action fine by Punter

New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori has backed away from querying Shaun Tait's bowling action, while Australian skipper Ricky Ponting has dismissed any doubts about it as 'just absolute rubbish'.

With a full delivery arc similar to that of former Australian express bowler Jeff Thomson, Tait took 3-59 off 10 overs in New Zealand's innings of 7-254 off 50 overs and Australia replied with 3-255 off 42.3 overs for a seven-wicket win at Adelaide Oval in the first of the three Commonwealth Bank Chappell-Hadlee Trophy matches.

Australia needs to win in Sydney on Sunday or in Hobart on Thursday to regain the trophy it lost 3-0 to the Black Caps in New Zealand last season.

When Vettori was asked for the second successive day what he thought of Tait's action, he said: "Look, I think I was probably a little caught off guard yesterday by the whole question. It's not something I've really thought about and, like I said at the toss, I never meant to insinuate that he was a chucker.

"Like anyone in world cricket, I wouldn't comment on them. So that was the process, and I know after speaking to (match referee) Roshan Mahanama, there is a process in place that if you feel that a bowler has an illegal action (report it to the referee) … and obviously we haven't gone through that process, so that probably intimates our answer."

Ponting, who won the man-of-the-match award for his magnificent, unbeaten 107, with 14 fours, off 108 balls, said the Australian bowlers had done a 'terrific job' to restrict New Zealand's total, and he added: "Tait got us wickets in his second spell, which was crucial - a couple of quite quick breakthroughs - and that changed the momentum of the game.

"And then Gilly (Adam Gilchrist, with a blistering 51 off 27 balls) came out and decided he was still in Twenty20 mode from the other night, I think. He was in a bit of a hurry and got us off to a flying start, and made batting for the rest of us pretty easy."

Asked whether Tait was unsettled by the events of the previous day when Vettori had sidestepped questions about Tait's bowling action, Ponting said: "I don't think so. I had a really good chat to him about it this morning. He was fine, as you probably would be when it's something that comes completely out of the blue like that.

"There's been no speculation whatsoever about his action before … he was pretty settled, he probably just tried a little bit too hard to take early wickets today. He probably attacked too much and once he got his lines and lengths right in his second spell was when he took his wickets and didn't go for anywhere near as many runs. I think he would have learnt a bit from bowling out there today."

Ponting said he could not understand why there had been any query about Tait's action, and he added: "He's got my full support, as he has of everyone else in the Australian dressing room.

"Look, I don't know what happened today … I don't know whether Channel 9 have been slowing things down all day on the television coverage, but it all looks pretty good to me.

"It wasn't spoken about at all in the warm-up this morning, so I think everyone handled it really well, probably Shaun especially. We just got on with preparing for the game.

"When things like that come up that are just absolute rubbish you dismiss them and get on with preparing yourself for the game of cricket."

Asked what he thought of the way the Kiwis had handled the issue by raising it in the first place, Ponting said: "That's their opinion, I guess. It seems to be their opinion. They seem to have some sort of concern about his action.

"To air it publicly is a bit disappointing, I suppose, in the way they did, but what can you do? They're entitled to their opinions, I suppose. It probably just makes us a little bit hungrier to get out there and play some good cricket against them."

Vettori said Gilchrist had 'a plan of belligerence', had batted 'exceptionally well', and played some 'great shots and got away with a little bit of stuff'.

"But, overall, it was a pretty brutal innings and it took the game away from us in the first 10 overs," he said.
 
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