Cricket News England vs India 1st Test Preview: Virat Kohli and co face tough challenge against resurrected hosts

first_imgNew Delhi: Indian cricket team is set to begin a long five-match Test series against England at their home from Wednesday at the Edgbaston Cricket Ground in Birmingham.If you go by the pre-series hype and discussion, England vs India must rank as one of the most anticipated Test series of recent times. The action in coloured clothing saw the honours shared evenly, as India won the T20I series and England picked up the ODI series. All that will count for nothing as the temperament, technique, and skill of the players will be put into real ‘test’ starting from August 1, which will be the 1000th Test for England.The series that pits fifth-ranked hosts against the top-ranked visitors, has a lot of undercurrent factors that could alter the course of action. England is currently witnessing an unprecedented heat wave, which means the pitches will more likely be sub-continental than English. Indian captain Virat Kohli could be checking the weather stats, as he gets set to improve his average of 13.4 from the 2014 series.ALSO READ: Google dedicates Doodle to Meena Kumari on her 85th birthdayEngland have responded to the ‘heat wave’ by calling up Adil Rashid from his self-proclaimed Test hibernation to put him on the verge of a sensational recall. What his club Yorkshire or Michael Vaughan think of the recall will become completely irrelevant, if he can replicate his form from the white ball cricket.That said, the hosts have a lot of worries on their plate. Opener Alastair Cook’s form recently has largely been hit-and-miss while his partner Keaton Jennings is more miss-and-miss! Having all-rounders Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali, and Jonny Bairstow is a big cushion for skipper Joe Root, who is busy deciphering ‘How to convert 50s to 100s’.India, under Kohli, have always surprised opponents with their team selections and this time around could be the same. Shikhar Dhawan’s penchant to draw a line between his white-ball form and red-ball form could be a worrying crease on Kohli’s forehead. Cheteswar Pujara remains on the tenterhooks of selection, as KL Rahul continues to push for selection.ALSO READ: Lokmanya Tilak Death Anniversary: Famous quotes by Lokmanya that will motivate youRavichandran Ashwin’s bag-full of wickets on spinning tracks back home hasn’t cut ice in the recent past when it comes to overseas Tests. Add to that the presence of Kuldeep Yadav, who has earned his Test whites after troubling Root and co. with the white ball – another area where Kohli’s selection could be a surprise!Players to watch: James Anderson has 60 wickets at home against India in 12 Tests and has picked up Kohli five times in 2014. A battle royale between these two top performers could spice up the series. Jelly beans anyone?Stat attack: England have lost only once in Edgbaston Tests since 2002 (P13, W9, D3, L1). While, England have won five of their last six Tests at this venue, drawing the other.At the first venue (Edgbaston), India remain winless, losing five and drawing once and the visitors have lost seven of their last nine Tests in England (W1, D1). For all the Latest Sports News News, Cricket News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.last_img read more

Rick Honeycutt will not return as Dodgers’ pitching coach in 2020

first_img Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies “Fortunately we’ve been able to have Mark Prior around and have him build up relationships,” Friedman said. “So my assumption is he will slide into that. But those specific things haven’t been worked out yet.”During Honeycutt’s tenure as pitching coach, the Dodgers had the lowest staff ERA in the National League four times. Since Honeycutt moved from minor-league pitching coordinator to become pitching coach on Manager Grady Little’s staff in 2006, the Dodgers lead the majors in ERA, WHIP, strikeouts, strikeout-to-walk ratio and have the lowest opponent’s batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage.Bench coach Bob Geren has also been mentioned as a possible candidate for one of the eight current managerial vacancies.“Bob has been a big part of our success, is as good a bench coach as I’ve been around,” Friedman said. “I think with all the openings out there it’s definitely a possibility (that he leaves the Dodgers). If so – tough loss for the Dodgers, good for him personally.”Related Articles LOS ANGELES — After 14 seasons under four managers, Dodgers pitching coach Rick Honeycutt will not return in that role for the 2020 season.Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said Monday that Honeycutt will “transition into a special assistant role.” The specifics of that role have not been fully determined yet, Friedman said.The 65-year-old Honeycutt struggled with the physical demands of the job the past two seasons due to back problems that led to major surgery in February. Honeycutt was late to join the Dodgers in spring training because of his recovery from the surgery.His decision to step down as pitching coach was not unexpected given that recent history. Bullpen coach Mark Prior is the obvious candidate to replace Honeycutt. Prior has been the Dodgers’ bullpen coach the past two seasons after three years as a minor-league coach in the San Diego Padres’ organization. Dodgers’ Max Muncy trying to work his way out of slow start Fire danger is on Dave Roberts’ mind as Dodgers head to San Francisco center_img Cody Bellinger homer gives Dodgers their first walkoff win of season How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more