Curran replaces Archer as England omit paceman for second Pakistan Test

By Sports Desk August 13, 2020

Sam Curran replaced Jofra Archer as one of two changes to England's line-up for the second Test against Pakistan.

With James Anderson's place in the side having all but been confirmed on Wednesday, it was Archer – struggling to replicate the form he showed in 2019 – who made way for Curran.

Ben Stokes was already a guaranteed absentee after he left the squad on Sunday to travel to New Zealand for family reasons, with Zak Crawley replacing the all-rounder.

In Stokes' absence, England captain Joe Root elected to give seamer Curran an opportunity to build on some impressive performances against West Indies while also adding extra depth to England's batting order.

"I think more than anything it was to lengthen our batting, with Ben missing out making sure we had that depth there," Root told BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra.

"Also, Sam's record in England is fantastic and he deserves an opportunity. It gives Jofra a chance to rest up and be fully fit for the next game."

Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat first in sweltering conditions at the Rose Bowl, though Root believed England's swing bowlers could exploit the humid conditions.

"We would have batted first as well, but it's muggy and we've got a very good swing attack," Root said.

"We're looking forward to exploiting these conditions early and hopefully getting some wickets. Getting the first go at it isn't necessarily a bad thing, especially coming on the back of our bowling at Old Trafford."

There was just one change for Pakistan, with Fawad Alam earning his first Test appearance since 2009.

"He's been scoring lots of runs in first-class cricket. He's been patient for a long time," Pakistan captain Azhar Ali said.

"Seasoned character, seasoned player and waiting for this opportunity for a long time. He has all the potential."

Related items

  • Kohli, Ishant and Hardik back in India squad for first two England Tests Kohli, Ishant and Hardik back in India squad for first two England Tests

    Captain Virat Kohli, Ishant Sharma and Hardik Pandya are back in the India squad for the first two Tests of the upcoming home series against England.

    Just hours after securing a thrilling 2-1 win over Australia, India confirmed the selection for the start of their next four-Test series, which is due to begin on February 5 in Chennai.

    Kohli had to return home from the Australia tour in December due to the birth of his first child but will be back to lead the team against England.

    Also returning is Ishant, who was ruled out before the trip to Australia despite recovering from a side strain that troubled him towards the end of the Indian Premier League season.

    Ishant is just three appearances away from playing 100 Tests for India.

    Like Kohli, Hardik was also initially in the travelling party in Australia but flew home after the limited-overs leg of the tour.

    His inclusion in the squad comes less than a week after the death of his father.

    Along with the regular squad, selectors have also named Srikar Bharat, Abhimanyu Easwaran, Shahbaz Nadeem, Rahul Chahar and Priyank Panchal on a standby list.

     

    India: Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Shubman Gill, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, KL Rahul, Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant, Wriddhiman Saha, Ravichandran Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Ishant Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur.

  • India chase down 328 for famous win over Australia in Brisbane India chase down 328 for famous win over Australia in Brisbane

    India retained the Border-Gavaskar Trophy after an enthralling three-wicket win over Australia in the final Test in Brisbane.

    Led by Shubman Gill (91), Rishabh Pant (89 not out) and Cheteshwar Pujara (56), India incredibly passed their target of 328 late on day five on Tuesday.

    It wrapped up a 2-1 series victory and ended Australia's stellar record at the Gabba, where they were unbeaten in their previous 31 Tests.

    Pat Cummins (4-55) was the pick of Australia's bowlers, but India managed the third highest successful chase in their history and highest at the Gabba.

    Rohit Sharma (7) fell early after edging Cummins behind, but Gill and Pujara blunted the Australia attack with a 114-run partnership.

    Gill was the aggressor, while Pujara survived a tight lbw review off Nathan Lyon (2-85) when on just two.

    Lyon had Gill caught by Steve Smith at first slip before Cummins removed Ajinkya Rahane following the captain's 22-ball 24.

    The second new ball brought a much-needed breakthrough for Australia as Cummins finally got Pujara lbw, but Pant continued to impress.

    As the dangerous Pant passed 50, Mayank Agarwal (9) survived following a review for a caught behind, but he scooped Cummins to Matthew Wade at short cover the following ball.

    Washington Sundar (22 off 29) came and went, but Pant saw India to a remarkable win.

     

    Pant times his run to perfection

    His wicketkeeping often questioned, Pant produced the match-winning innings on the final day – and he timed it to perfection.

    Just three overs were left when India wrapped up their victory, Pant perfectly choosing when to attack and keeping his composure as late wickets fell to lead India to a famous win.

    Pujara highlights India bravery

    Pujara's innings was just another example of India's fight throughout the series. The right-hander faced 211 balls in the second innings and he was hit repeatedly, including on the hand and in the head, but continued to battle on.

    India were struck hard by injuries and saw Virat Kohli return home for the birth of his first child following the opening Test, which they lost after being dismissed for 36. Rahane stepped up in Melbourne and they managed to frustrate Australia in Sydney before a stunning victory in Brisbane.

    Starc's struggles hurt Australia

    Seemingly dealing with a hamstring injury on the final day, Mitchell Starc's struggles continued as he finished with figures of 0-75.

    The left-arm paceman was particularly expensive and barely troubled India, who managed to contain him throughout the series. Starc finished with 11 wickets at 40.72 for the series, while the tourists also had answers to Lyon (nine wickets at 55.11).

  • Trippier to serve rest of 10-week ban after FIFA dismisses appeal Trippier to serve rest of 10-week ban after FIFA dismisses appeal

    Atletico Madrid defender Kieran Tripper must serve the rest of his 10-week ban after his appeal was dismissed by FIFA.

    The defender was issued a suspension and a fine of £70,000 on December 23 after England's Football Association found him guilty of breaking rules related to betting.

    Trippier was charged with seven alleged breaches of rule E8(1)(b), four of which were proven.

    The regulation states: "Where a participant provides to any other person any information relating to football which the participant has obtained by virtue of his or her position within the game and which is not publicly available at that time, the participant shall be in breach of this rule where any of that information is used by that other person for, or in relation to, betting."

    Trippier denied the charges and his ban was put on hold while FIFA's Appeal Committee considered his case.

    However, in a statement on Monday, football's governing body said: "The FIFA Appeal Committee has dismissed the appeal lodged by the club Atletico Madrid in a case concerning the player Kieran Trippier.

    "As a consequence, the decision of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee passed on December 23 2020 is confirmed, extending sanctions imposed on the player by the English FA to have worldwide effect."

    Trippier will now be unavailable for Diego Simeone's side until February 28.

    The England international will miss LaLiga matches against Eibar, Valencia, Cadiz, Celta Vigo, Granada and Levante, but he will be back in time for the derby with Real Madrid, which is scheduled for March 7.

    Trippier will also sit out the first leg of the Champions League last-16 tie with Chelsea at the Wanda Metropolitano on February 23.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.