England paceman Jofra Archer still underestimates his own talent, according to captain Joe Root.

Archer is only four games into his Test career, but has taken 22 wickets at an average of 20.27 and shapes as being a key in England's series against New Zealand.

But Root said the 24-year-old needed to have more belief in his own abilities ahead of the series opener in Mount Maunganui starting on Thursday.

"Jofra adds something slightly different to what we had previously, but one thing he underestimates is his own talent," Root said, via the Daily Mail.

"That pace through the air can be a big skill on its own. I want him to enjoy bowling, and to come away from here learning there is more than one way of taking wickets. He doesn't have to be seaming or swinging it round corners.

"He makes it look ridiculously easy with his action and the way he approaches the crease.

"But to be able to bowl at that pace for a period of time is a skill in itself, and I think he needs to understand that."

England named their team for the first game on Wednesday, with opener Dom Sibley set for his Test debut.

Meanwhile, New Zealand released Lockie Ferguson and Todd Astle from their squad.

Gary Stead says New Zealand have the pace attack to "fight fire with fire" in the Test series against England.

The Black Caps and Joe Root's side start the two-match series at Mount Maunganui on Thursday following a 3-2 T20I triumph for the tourists.

Jofra Archer did not play in that series but was not holding back in two tour matches in Whangarei ahead of the Test leg of the trip, but head coach Stead feels uncapped fast bowler Lockie Ferguson can add another dimension to New Zealand's attack.

"Jofra Archer will be a threat. He is a point of difference. But he can only bowl from one end," Stead said.

"And we've someone in our squad who bowls at a similar type of speed in Lockie Ferguson. It's really exciting to be able to fight fire with fire in some ways.

"And it's exciting that there's a potential debut for him at some stage as well. I think it's really good in terms of the balance of the squad that we have five pace bowlers who all offer us slightly different things.

"He added: "England are a fine Test team. They've got some real world-class players. We'll have to be somewhere near the top of our game throughout the whole series.

"We just want to be as competitive as we can, take the games deep and hopefully if we do that then you get on the right side of some of the results when you get to the back end of games.

"It sounds like Archer bowled fast in Whangarei. Every time he's bowled, he's bowled with heat so I don't think that's a big surprise to anyone. He's a world-class player and he started in the Ashes with a real hiss and a roar.

"For us it's about getting used to that extra pace and then combating it and working out a way you can continue to score."

Misbah-ul-Haq says Pakistan's pace attack must hit Steve Smith's "blind spot" if they are to prevent Australia's "batting genius" from piling on the runs in the two-match Test series.

Smith averaged an astonishing 110.57 in a drawn Ashes series in England on his return to the Test stage after serving a one-year ban for his part in the Newlands ball-tampering scandal.

The former captain will be the prized scalp for Pakistan when they attempt to secure a first series win in Australia in the longest format.

Misbah wants to see his formidable fast bowlers frustrate the top-ranked Test batsman in the world when the series gets under way at the Gabba on Thursday.

The Pakistan head coach said: "As far as Steve Smith goes, there's a blind spot for every top batsman in the world; as a bowler you're always interested in pitching the ball there.

"It's important that we bowl with consistency there. Our bowlers are executing the plans very well right now, and hopefully we'll be able to build that kind of a pressure and stay disciplined, especially early in the innings.

"No matter how good a batsman is batting, it's about consistency and bowling the maximum balls in those areas that build pressure and the batsman respects you, and you force him to make a mistake.

"All the batsmen you talk to, any batsman in the world, that's the area where you have to defend a ball, and that is a six-to-eight-metre spot where you have to play the top of off stump.

"That's the area from where if it's happening then that creates a great chance. Even if it's not happening, you have less chances to do anything with the ball.

"It's about consistency, and top players in the world, if you miss those areas, that special length and line, then they are good enough to just cash in on that.

"You have to be very, very disciplined, just keep the ball there, and if it's happening you are already in the game."

The former Pakistan captain added:  "The kind of form he is in, there's no doubt Steve Smith is a batting genius. We will try our best to execute our plans and dismiss him."

 

Key Opta facts

- Pakistan have lost their last two multi-game bilateral Test series, they have not lost more consecutive series in the format since losing all three they competed in across 2007.

- Pat Cummins' tally of 87 Test wickets is more than any other bowler has taken since the start of 2018.

-  Australia are undefeated in their last 30 Tests at the Gabba - winning 23 of those matches. Their last defeat at the Brisbane venue was against West Indies in 1988.

Australia legend Shane Warne is "disappointed" to see James Pattinson miss the first Test against Pakistan through suspension but feels the team are in decent nick ahead of the series.

Paceman Pattinson was found guilty of a level two breach of Cricket Australia's code of conduct for abuse of an opposition player in the Sheffield Shield.

The incident, which occurred in Victoria's clash with Queensland in Melbourne, marked a third breach in 18 months, which triggered two suspension points and a one-match ban meaning he will miss the Brisbane Test that starts this week.

Warne, Australia's leading wicket taker in Test cricket, would have had Pattinson in his line-up.

"It's disappointing, I'd pencilled him in for the first Test," Warne told reporters. 

"I thought he was okay in the Ashes, not at his best, but he did a good job. I still think he's in our best three fast bowlers, though, when he's at his best.

"So, really disappointed to lose him before the Gabba, I think that would have suited him. [Josh] Hazlewood and [Pat] Cummins pick themselves, they're as good as anybody in the world those two, and then Pattinson I thought with Nathan Lyon is such a fantastic combination, there's so much variety and just relentless pressure with those three. 

"It's a huge loss. It probably means Mitchell Starc will play, he's in good form as well. It's great to have those competition for spots - because it's not easy you don't just pencil in 'this is who we've got', we've got choices.

"It's probably the first time in a while we've had choices with fast bowlers, first time we've got choices with batsmen - so I think Australian cricket is in pretty good shape, I thought they did well in England."

Australia are about to embark on a home summer having spent much of the year in England for the Cricket World Cup and the Ashes.

A run to the World Cup semi-finals was followed by the tourists retaining the urn in a drawn 2-2 series and Warne feels the side have decent form.

"I was disappointed to lose the last [group] game against South Africa in the World Cup, I reckon if we'd have beaten South Africa and ended up on top and played New Zealand it could have been a different World Cup," he added. 

"It would have been nice to win 3-1 in the Ashes, I thought we deserved to win that rather than 2-2, but a fantastic English summer for the Aussies, World Cup semi-final and retaining the urn was pretty good so they're in good form leading into first Test match."

On the make-up of the squad, Warne was surprised to see Cameron Bancroft selected after he made just 44 runs across two matches in the Ashes but was happy on the whole.

"I would have liked to see Marcus Harris included, I thought he deserved another chance, he's been in pretty good form," Warne said.

"Joe Burns, I like that selection. A little surprised with Cameron Bancroft being in the squad. Whether he gets the nod we'll have to wait and see, a little surprised after his form against England."

Steve Smith apologised to his Australia team-mates after being fined for dissent in the Sheffield Shield as captain Tim Paine reminded the squad of their responsibilities.

Ex-skipper Smith was hit with a 25 per cent fine of his match fee for his objection to being given out caught behind when representing New South Wales against Western Australia.

It was one of two high-profile reprimands in the latest round of fixtures, with paceman James Pattinson suspended for the first Test against Pakistan for using abusive language in Victoria's clash with Queensland.

Star batsman Smith admitted he must behave in a more appropriate manner out in the middle when dismissed.

"I came in and apologised to the group for getting a code of conduct," Smith said ahead of Australia's Test series with Pakistan. 

"I don't think there was a great deal in it but I've copped it and I have to look at when I get out and the way I conduct myself. 

"I know lots of kids watch me play and watch all of us play and the way we conduct ourselves when we get out as well as when we're batting.

"We have to be very mindful of that and sometimes just bite the bullet and just conduct ourselves in, I guess, a better manner at times. 

"Sometimes your emotions can get the better of you out on the field. We're playing a game [where] everyone is trying to do their best and sometimes that happens.

"We sign up to values and in our contracts we've got a code of conduct there we have to play by. I got pinged and so be it. I felt I should apologise for that."

Paine believes the incidents are a reminder to the whole squad to act appropriately, no matter who they are representing.

"I think it's more just a reminder that we've got to set those standards all the time," he said.

"Whether we're playing for Australia or we're playing club cricket or we're playing for our states or we're not playing cricket, there are standards we set ourselves to live by day in and day out so it's important we do that whether we're on the field off the field, regardless of who we're playing for.

"We've had a couple of instances this week but we always revisit them. We did again last night, just to brush up on what's expected and what we expect of the group. 

"Both of those guys apologised, they know that they fell a little bit short of what we set ourselves in the Test team. 

"And the fact that it's important that we maintain that when we go back to state cricket and lead the way there. 

"They're disappointed with that but we are going to keep on top of it and maintain the level that we've set so far in the last couple of years."

Ben Stokes' claims that comments from David Warner helped fuel his Headingley heroics during the Ashes are just a way to "spike book sales", according to Australia captain Tim Paine.

England all-rounder Stokes played a knock for the ages in the third Ashes Test to salvage an unlikely victory after the hosts were bowled out for 67 in the first innings, delaying Australia's retaining of the urn until the fourth match at Old Trafford.

Recalling the events of the day in his new book 'On Fire', Stokes suggested some choice words from Warner, playing a first Test series after being banned for his role in the Newlands ball-tampering scandal, focused his mind.

But Paine believes Stokes' version of events is merely a ploy to shift books off the shelves.

"I was obviously standing next to David the whole time and you are allowed to talk on the cricket field," Paine said.

"But by no means was he abusing him or sledging him. It just seems to be a common trend in England that they like to use Davey's name to spike book sales. So good luck to them."

In the book, Stokes claimed he would have accepted sledging from any other player.

"I had extra personal motivation due to some things that were said to me out on the field on the evening of day three when I was trying to get through to stumps," Stokes wrote. 

"A few of the Aussies were being quite chirpy, but in particular David Warner seemed to have his heart set on disrupting me.

"He just wouldn't shut up for most of my time out there. I could accept it from just about any other opponent. Truly. Not from him, though. 

"The changed man he was adamant he'd become, the one that hardly said boo to a goose and even went as far as claiming he had been re-nicknamed 'Humble' by his Australia team-mates, had disappeared. 

"Maybe his lack of form in his new guise had persuaded him that he needed to get the bull back?"

However, Paine said Warner deserved credit for the way he dealt with the taunts from the home crowd in England.

"I was standing right next to him, I had absolutely no issue," Paine added. "The way David handled himself during the Ashes was excellent. 

"Particularly given the fact he wasn't scoring a hell of a lot of runs and I'm pretty sure he was on the end of a fair bit himself on and off the field in England. 

"So, I thought he did a great job of handling that and held himself really well throughout the series. They write books to sell and they have to get headlines to get sales."

Jos Buttler is feeling refreshed after the emotional grind of a Cricket World Cup and Ashes series and revealed he has been working with Marcus Trescothick to improve his red-ball game.

Buttler scored a century in England's drawn tour match against New Zealand A and heads into the Test series against the Black Caps as first-choice wicketkeeper.

The 29-year-old's touch with the bat and neat work with the gloves were among the plusses for England in the three-day contest.

After taking a five-week break to recover from a busy English summer, which resulted in World Cup glory and a drawn Ashes, Buttler is taking an open-minded approach into the two-Test series, for which he has been preparing with former Somerset team-mate and England opener Trescothick. 

"I've nothing to lose with the bat or the gloves," Buttler said. "It's a great time to be involved with a new head coach [Chris Silverwood]. It's a new challenge and I'm going to throw myself into it.

"It was a tough summer - physically and emotionally - great fun, a huge challenge and one you look back on with real fondness. But it took a lot out of most of us. The time we have had off has been invaluable.

"I had a couple of net sessions at Somerset with Marcus Trescothick during this time. I really enjoyed that and got a lot out of it. It gave some building blocks to come here feeling in good touch."

England may have fallen short of victory but skipper Joe Root was encouraged by his side's batting in Whangarei.

During the Ashes, England's highest first-innings score was 374 in the lost Edgbaston Test but they posted 405 all out here and Root wants to see his team making big numbers.

"We want to bat long, especially in the first innings - get ourselves into the game and give us an opportunity of making really big scores. Four-hundred-plus, as generally you can dictate terms from there," Root told Sky Sports.

"It is something we have struggled with over the last couple of years, granted that at home, in particular, we have played on some very challenging surfaces.

"On flatter surfaces, like here, I think it's really important that we get into that mindset.

"I think we have done that really well so far in the two games that we have played, with a couple of guys looking in really good order. I feel we are in pretty good shape going into two big Test matches."

James Pattinson will miss Australia's first Test against Pakistan at the Gabba due to a suspension handed down by Cricket Australia (CA), it was announced on Sunday.

Australia and Victoria bowler Pattinson is ineligible for the series opener in Brisbane after being found guilty of a level two breach of CA's code of conduct for abuse of an opposition player in the Sheffield Shield.

The incident stems from Victoria's clash with Queensland in Melbourne and as it is Pattinson's third breach in the past 18 months, it triggered two suspension points and a subsequent one-match ban.

"I made a mistake in the heat of the moment," said Pattinson, who opted against contesting the charge. "Straight away I realised I was in the wrong, and I apologised immediately, both to the opponent and to the umpires.

"I have done the wrong thing and accept the penalty. I'm gutted to miss a Test match, but the standards are there for a reason and the fault is mine."

No replacement will be called into the Test squad for the Pakistan opener, which gets underway on Thursday.

"We have a duty to uphold the highest standards of behaviour and the action taken in this matter demonstrates that," CA's head of integrity and security Sean Carroll said. "On this occasion, James acknowledges he fell short of that expectation."

Australia captain Tim Paine told ABC Grandstand: "He knows that he's let himself down and let the group down. We hold ourselves to really high standards now with our behaviour ... so we're disappointed in that.

"James has owned up and he knows he's made a mistake. He's apologised for it and will come back bigger and better."

England's coaching staff are hopeful James Anderson will be fit to feature in the upcoming tour of South Africa, according to Ashley Giles.

Anderson has not travelled with England's Test squad for the two-match tour of New Zealand, which starts next week.

The 37-year-old - England's record wicket-taker in red-ball cricket - sustained a calf injury in the first Ashes Test, which saw him miss the rest of the series.

However, England's managing director Giles is confident Anderson, who will be attending a pre-tour training camp in South Africa, will be able to face the Proteas.

"Jimmy is going out to Potchefstroom," Giles told BBC Sport. "We're hopeful. We think he is on track, which is great. The medical team are happy.

"The older you get these things tend to linger longer. We felt no point forcing it for this short tour.

"It will be interesting to see the pitches we play on in South Africa. I think they'll be green and they'll go for a bowler war and take us on. It's not something I'd take on with Jofra Archer and Jimmy Anderson, but it will be an exciting series."

Joe Root's captaincy was called into question at times through the Ashes, with Australia retaining the urn.

However, Giles stressed the plan is for the Yorkshireman to lead England during the next Ashes, which takes place in Australia in 2021-22.

"We have talked about Joe leading and winning in Australia. We've not said 'maybe if you get there.' We plan for him to be our captain," Giles added.

"That series will come around quickly as we know with the business of the schedules. None of us know what is around the corner, things can change quickly. But in our planning when we sat down even before the Headingley Test we were looking to Australia.

"That's the holy grail for Joe. Going to Australia and winning is the big prize and we have enough time to plan for that."

Mohammed Shami took 4-31 as India dismantled Bangladesh by an innings and 130 runs inside three days of the first Test.

India's seamers - spearheaded by Shami - were in rampant form in Indore as captain Virat Kohli oversaw a win by an innings for the 10th time, overtaking the previous best for an Indian skipper of nine set by MS Dhoni.

It took India - who had declared overnight after Mayank Agarwal's inspiring 243 on day two - 69 overs to wrap up an unassailable lead in the two-match series, which finishes with a day-night test in Kolkata.

Shami, supported ably by Umesh Yadav (2-51) and Ishant Sharma (1-31), starred on Saturday, as India's bowling attack dismantled Bangladesh for 213 all out.

Yadav got things started, bowling Imrul Kayes (6), with Sharma then dismissing Shadman Islam (6) in the next over.

Sharma soon made way for Shami, who made an immediate impact as he trapped Mominul Haque (7) leg before wicket in his first over, before a wicked bouncer sent Mohammad Mithun (18) packing.

Mahmudullah (15) and Mushfiqur Rahim (64) managed to stem the tide before lunch, but Shami swiftly picked up where he left off to take his third wicket to send the former packing.

Liton Das (35) and Mehidy Hasan Miraz offered useful stands of 35 and 38 respectively, but they eventually succumbed to Ravichandran Ashwin (3-42) and Yadav.

Taijul Islam (6) became Shami's fourth victim in the 67th over and India had the win rounded off within 17 deliveries - Rahim, who was the top scorer in Bangladesh's first innings, clipping to Cheteshwar Pujara from the bowling of Ashwin, who then wasted little time in dismissing Ebadat Hossain (1).

Mayank Agarwal struck his second double century in four Test matches as India took command of the first Test with Bangladesh at Indore.

Agarwal went into the second day unbeaten on 37 with little indication of the dominance he was about to exert on the tourists' bowling attack.

The opener became the second fastest player to two double hundreds as India piled on 407 runs to reach 493-6 in response to Bangladesh's first-innings 150 all out.

Agarwal, who was eventually dismissed for 243, has reached 200 twice in just 12 Test innings, doing so at a quicker pace than Don Bradman (13).

Only Vinod Kambli has scored a pair of double centuries in shorter time, having managed it in five innings.

Agarwal struck 28 fours and eight sixes – the most by an Indian in a Test innings – one of which brought up his 200 as he got down the track and launched Mehidy Hasan over long-on.

His incredible performance comes just over a month after he hit 215 in the first Test with South Africa.

Cheteshwar Pujara (54), Ajinkya Rahane (86) and Ravindra Jadeja (60) all reached half-centuries on a chastening day for Bangladesh, who had four members of their attack go for triple figures by the close.

Bangladesh may have had some hope of keeping themselves in the game when Abu Jayed – who took 4-108 – trapped India captain Virat Kohli lbw for a second-ball duck, Mominul Haque correctly deciding to review and leaving the hosts on 119-3.

However, Agarwal went on to form partnerships of 190 with Rahane and 123 with Jadeja to extinguish any lingering thought of a shock result for Bangladesh.

He was eventually caught at midwicket off the bowling of Mehidy Hasan Miraz, with the crowd rising to applaud another astonishing knock from the right-hander, who lasted 330 balls.

Thoughts will now turn to the prospect of an overnight declaration from Kohli, whose side are in a strong position to take a 1-0 lead in the two-match series.

Ben Stokes does not expect England to have any problem with focus going into the Test series with New Zealand as their incredible 2019 nears its conclusion.

Stokes enjoyed a starring role in England's incredible World Cup final triumph over the Black Caps and then played one of the greatest Test innings of all time to inspire a remarkable one-wicket victory in the third Ashes encounter against Australia at Headingley.

England were ultimately unable to regain the Ashes in captivating series that finished 2-2, but Stokes insists he and the rest of the team will be able to put all that behind them as they gear up for a two-Test rubber with New Zealand.

Joe Root's side travel to South Africa in December, England facing the Proteas in four Tests before Eoin Morgan leads them in three ODIs and three T20s.

"When you're touring and representing your country it doesn't take too much to get you going," Stokes told the BBC's Test Match Special.

"The thing about our winter is that it's pretty hectic again, we've got so much to focus on that summer 2019's pretty much been and gone. All the focus in the dressing room is what have we got coming ahead."

Stokes was speaking after day one of England's tour match against New Zealand A in Whangarei, where there were brief fears for the fitness of Root after he took a blow to the leg.

"At one point we were discussing whether he'd hurt his knee, ankle or hamstring," Stokes added. 

"Thankfully it was neither, he just took a bump on his leg from stopping the ball, sort of got a dead leg. It was good to see him running back on the field."

Kane Williamson has been passed fit to captain a New Zealand Test squad to face England and Australia that includes uncapped paceman Lockie Ferguson.

A hip injury kept Williamson out of the five Twenty20 internationals on home soil against England, with the tourists earning a 3-2 series victory thanks to a Super Over triumph at Eden Park on Sunday.

The 29-year-old batsman has recovered in time to lead the Black Caps in the inaugural Test at his home ground of Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui, which begins next Thursday.

New Zealand will then face England again at Seddon Park from November 29 before a trio of Tests against trans-Tasman rivals Australia, the first of which takes place at Optus Stadium in Perth.

"Kane's made good progress over the past fortnight and we're delighted to welcome back a player of his class and experience," said selector Gavin Larsen.

"It's obviously going to be a very special Test for him and Trent Boult being such passionate locals - we know there's already a lot of excitement in that part of the Bay of Plenty."

Williamson will be joined by Ferguson, who has earned his maiden Test call-up after becoming a key cog for the Kiwis in white-ball cricket.

The 28-year-old paceman has claimed 153 wickets in 42 first-class matches at an average of 24.30.

"There's no doubt Lockie has been knocking on the door for a while now and we're delighted to finally bring him into the Test fold," Larsen said.

"It's well documented he has raw pace, but he also possesses a quality bowling skill set and has proven durability to stay on the park.

"He showed good form against England in the recent T20 series and backed that up with a solid outing for the Auckland Aces in the Plunket Shield where he claimed 4-23 against the Wellington Firebirds.

"Our pace bowling stocks are strong at the moment and we feel Lockie will add another dimension to the picture which will create some great competition."

 

New Zealand Test squad: Kane Williamson (c), Todd Astle, Tom Blundell, Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Jeet Raval, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling.

Graeme Smith has withdrawn his interest in becoming Cricket South Africa's (CSA) first full-time director of cricket due to concerns over the existing structure.

It was reported last week that former Proteas captain Smith, who played 117 Tests, 197 ODIs and 33 Twenty20 internationals for his country, had interviewed for the position.

According to ESPNcricinfo, the 38-year-old faced competition for the role, which was created after the 2019 Cricket World Cup, from interim post-holder Corrie van Zyl and former national selector Hussein Manack.

However, Smith has pulled out of the running because he does not have confidence the role offers sufficient ability to implement change at CSA.

"Following the news in the media this week that I interviewed for the CSA director of cricket role, I feel it necessary to confirm that I have unfortunately withdrawn my interest for the role," Smith wrote in a statement posted on Twitter.

"I would love to have taken on the role. However, despite my obvious desire to make a difference, during the long and, at times, frustrating process over the last 10 or so weeks of discussions, I have not developed the necessary confidence that I would be given the level of freedom and support to initiate the required changes.

"My passion for our nation's cricketing fortunes remains steadfast and I give my heartfelt best wishes to whomever does take the role on.

"I will continue to support the teams and give my advice and guidance whenever I can."

Sri Lanka will be the opponents for Pakistan's first Test series on home soil for a decade next month.

There has been no cricket in the longest format in Pakistan since a terror attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in 2009.

While there has been some limited-overs internationals in Pakistan, the ICC Champions Trophy holders have had to play home Tests in the United Arab Emirates due to concerns over security.

Sri Lanka recently travelled to Pakistan for white-ball contests and have now agreed to return for Tests at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium and Karachi's National Stadium - starting on December 11 and 19 respectively.

Zakir Khan, PCB director - international cricket, said: "This is a fabulous news for Pakistan cricket and its reputation of being as safe and secure as any other country in the world.

"We are thankful to Sri Lanka Cricket for agreeing to send their team for the longer version of the game, which will contribute significantly in the PCB's efforts and drive for regular resumption of international cricket, and help in its endeavours of attracting new audiences and younger generation.

"Now that the itinerary has been confirmed, we will shift our focus on series preparations to ensure we deliver arrangements as per our very high standards.

"This series is part of our cricket celebrations and we will leave no stone unturned in putting up a show which is a memorable one for the players, officials, fans and media."

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