Ashes 3rd Test: Getting batting order right key for England in Steve Smith absence

first_imgAshes 3rd Test: Getting batting order right key for England in Steve Smith absenceAbsence of Steve Smith, who has proven almost immovable so far this series, will give England a boost, given Matthew Wade is the only other Australian batsman with a century and only two others have passed 50.advertisement Reuters LeedsAugust 21, 2019UPDATED: August 21, 2019 22:25 IST Australia won the first Ashes Test while second Test ended on draw. (AP Photo)HIGHLIGHTSConcussion ruled out Steve Smith from the third Ashes TestEngland have named the same 12-man squad for the third test in West YorkshireJason Roy’s form continues to be a worry for EnglandThe absence through injury of leading Australia batsman Steve Smith gives England a golden chance to level the Ashes series in the third test at Headingley, but the hosts must resolve their own batting problems first.Smith, who averages 126 in the series which Australia lead 1-0, was struck by a bouncer from fast bowler Jofra Archer in the first innings of the second Test at Lord’s and was replaced by concussion sub Marnus Labuschagne for the second innings.Initially, Smith passed a concussion test and was allowed to return to the field and complete his innings, but his condition worsened and Cricket Australia (CA) confirmed he is not fit to play in the third test, which starts on Thursday.The absence of a man who has proven almost immovable so far this series will give England a boost, given Matthew Wade is the only other Australian batsman with a century and only two others have passed 50.However, England have their own issues to address. Questions remain over their top order, with Jason Roy, a specialist opening batsman in one-day cricket, continuing to struggle.”Opening the batting in a test in England should be a specialist position yet someone like Jason Roy will probably only come off once in about 20 innings playing the way he does at the top of the order,” former England captain Nasser Hussain wrote in the Daily Mail newspaper.”He is obviously a special talent in white-ball cricket but at this level against the moving ball I maintain Roy’s best position in test cricket is in the middle order.”advertisementEngland have named the same 12-man squad for the third test in West Yorkshire, but it does appear they are considering moving Roy down the order.”We think we’ve got the best seven batters available to us,” England coach Trevor Bayliss said. “Whether we can change it round and make that (order) any better, I’m not sure, but we’ll certainly have a discussion about it.””Personally, I think he (Roy) probably is suited to the middle order.”Roy produced his most convincing innings of his fledgling international test career when scoring 72 batting at number three against Ireland, as opposed to 45 runs from five innings when opening.CHANGING ORDERMoving Roy will likely see Joe Denly open, with the pressure mounting on the 33-year-old given his highest score of the series is 30 so far.Captain Joe Root is another who has not reached his usual high level, averaging less than 25. Moving him further down the order to number four, his usual position, is also a possibility.”We are going to lose arguably our best batter,” Australia coach Justin Langer said. “It is not unlike England losing James Anderson, he’s arguably their best bowler. You take your best players out it always has an impact.”With England able to replace Anderson with the ferocious Archer in the last test, both teams remained evenly matched, with England almost able to sneak victory on the final day.Taking Smith’s runs out of the equation should, in theory, give England the edge, but there is hope for Australia in Smith’s likely replacement Labuschagne, who scored a gritty 59 as Australia saw out the draw at Lord’s.For sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byAnita Jat Tags :Follow England VS AustraliaFollow Ashes testlast_img read more

UN agency moves ahead with plan to revive ancient Silk Road for

“Regional cooperation is a key to help meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of reducing poverty and promoting growth and equality,” UN Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative in China, Khalid Malik, says of the Silk Road Regional Programme (SRRP).The five participating countries – Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and China – held the first SRRP meeting last month in Beijing, focussing on strengthening cooperation in trade, investment and tourism.The ancient Silk Road brought contact between different people for exchanging commodities and ideas, which led to the high living standards for communities along the road. The Silk Road countries should therefore learn from each other now and work together on transport networks, information services, management approach and policy regulations, says UNDP Resident Representative in Uzbekistan, Fikret Akcura.“By strengthening trade and investment ties, the programme will help the Central Asian countries draw economic growth lessons from China which has developed at a very fast pace,” he adds. “We can achieve new miracles by opening tourism and realize the free movement of visitors, goods and services.”UNDP and the UN World Tourism Organization (WTO) will identify up to 10 cities along the route to be awarded the title of “UN Silk Road City” to encourage their commitment and long-term planning to the protection of cultural assets.Mr. Malik calls for increasing trade by abolishing remaining barriers and harmonizing procedures. He notes specifically the organization of the “Silk Road Investment Forum” to attract additional investment to the region through public-private partnerships. The first forum is scheduled to be held in China during the first quarter of 2006.Over time, the SRRP may extend to a broader area beyond the five participating countries, as neighbouring nations such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Republic of Korea, Japan and Mongolia have expressed interest in joining. read more