South Africa legend Jacques Kallis has been named as England's batting consultant for the Test series in Sri Lanka.

Kallis, one of the all-time great all-rounders, will work with England for the first time in a tour that will see them play two Tests next month.

The 45-year-old was handed the same role on the Proteas coaching staff under Mark Boucher this time last year ahead of their 3-1 Test series loss to England.

Cricket South Africa then turned to Neil McKenzie to take the role of South Africa's high performance batting consultant in September.

Kallis will be among seven coaches who will depart for the tour on January 2, with Graham Thorpe given time off from life in a bio-secure environment.

Head coach Chris Silverwood will travel for the first tour of 2021, while James Foster will remain wicketkeeping consultant following Bruce French's retirement and Jeetan Patel again gets the nod as spin bowling consultant.

Both Tests will be staged at Galle International Cricket Stadium, with the opener starting on January 14.

England coaching staff for Sri Lanka tour:

Head Coach: Chris Silverwood
Assistant Coach: Paul Collingwood
Wicketkeeper Consultant: James Foster
Fielding Coach: Carl Hopkinson
Batting Consultant: Jacques Kallis
Bowling Coach: Jon Lewis
Spin Bowling Consultant: Jeetan Patel

Misbah-ul-Haq believes Pakistan will rise to the occasion in the first Test against New Zealand despite the absence of captain Babar Azam and opener Imam-ul-Haq. 

Both players suffered fractured thumbs during training sessions in Queenstown last week and are yet to return to practice. 

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) confirmed on Monday that the duo could return for the second Test, which begins in Christchurch on January 3. 

They will, however, sit out the opener in Mount Maunganui, with Imran Butt added to the 17-man squad and Mohammad Rizwan confirmed as the 33rd captain to lead the team in the longest format. 

The first Test begins on Boxing Day, three days after the final Twenty20 international, with the hosts already 2-0 ahead in that series. 

"It is disappointing to lose the T20I series against a well-settled New Zealand side, who utilised their resources and conditions to their advantage," head coach Misbah said. 

"We need to up-skill and improve our individual and team performances, including in Tuesday's match, and the sooner we get these sorted the better it will be in term of player confidence and team results as 2021 will not be any easier as we have two major events. 

"Contrary to the T20I side, the Test side appears to be pretty organised and we boast some experienced cricketers, both in the batting and bowling departments. With some competitive cricket on the tour now under the belt, I am hoping we will be a better outfit in the longer version of the game. 

"Although it will be nearly two weeks to Babar's injury when the first Test starts, it will be hard on him and the team to play him without any net sessions.  

I remain confident and optimistic that other players will rise to the occasion in Mount Maunganui and use the opportunity to rise to the occasion and put the disappointment of the T20I series behind them."

Pakistan squad for Tests: Mohammad Rizwan (captain for first Test), Abid Ali, Azhar Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Fawad Alam, Haris Sohail, Imran Butt, Mohammad Abbas, Naseem Shah, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Afridi, Shan Masood, Sohail Khan, Yasir Shah (Babar Azam and Imam-ul-Haq not available for first Test).

Australia batsman Joe Burns was thankful for Justin Langer's support and backing amid his form slump.

Burns was picked for the first Test against India despite being in dismal form, and the opener repaid the selectors' faith with an unbeaten half-century in the second innings of the eight-wicket victory.

Before that unbeaten 51, Burns had made just 70 runs in his previous 10 innings.

The 31-year-old said it was special knowing he still had the support of head coach Langer despite his struggles.

"Obviously, JL has been right in my corner over the last few weeks. Working closely with him in the days leading up to the first Test match, that's exactly how we wanted to approach the game," Burns told a news conference on Monday.

"More than anything in the preparation he wanted me to really play my shots in training and be strong minded in our approach. It's always a special feeling when you're not making runs and you have someone in your corner, then to go out and get some on the board.

"In terms of going forward now, every Test match I play I just want to make big hundreds and try to win games of cricket for Australia. That doesn't change. If I made a pair last game, it wouldn't change going into the next match.

"I can see how people make assumptions of how you may be thinking, but at the end of the day, this game at this level is too challenging to even contemplate or think about those sorts of things. For me anyway, I find the game pretty challenging as is."

With David Warner (adductor) and Will Pucovski (concussion) out, Burns opened alongside Matthew Wade in the first Test.

Warner is seemingly the more likely of the injured pair to return for the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne, but Burns also praised Wade, who made 33 in the second innings.

"I think Wade's role can't be understated. He came out in that fourth innings and those run chases can be tricky, especially when you see a team get bundled out for 30-odd," Burns said.

"We knew that they had to be aggressive and Wadey is such a tenacious player and he's got so much experience and knowhow. I just loved his intent, the fact that he kept the momentum rolling straight into our innings and didn't let them get on top at any stage. Very unfortunate the way he got dismissed, but he did a fantastic job.

"We haven't heard any final ideas about injuries and what not. I think we'll find out more over the coming days. Obviously, we're still in Adelaide at the moment, I think Dave is in Melbourne at the moment as well. We're still soaking up this Test match here."

Trinidad and Tobago wicketkeeper/batsman Joshua Da Silva said making a half century on his Test debut against New Zealand was surreal. However, having got a taste of Test cricket against one of the best teams in the world, he is now more aware of what it takes to be among the best.

The 22-year-old Da Silva’s performances in front of and behind the stumps were among the few positives from what was otherwise a disastrous tour in which the Caribbean side lost each of their two Test matches inside four day by an innings.

Da Silva had scores of 3 and 57 for an average of 30 in the second Test match at Wellington after he replaced Shane Dowrich, who left the tour for personal reasons. He was also quite competent behind the stumps having taken two catches in New Zealand's innings of 460.

With the West Indies battling to save the match, Da Silva put on 82 for the seventh wicket with his Captain Jason Holder, who made 61. However, once Holder was out early on the fourth day, Da Silva batted with authority. He held the New Zealand bowling at bay for two and a quarter hours hitting six fours along the way. His was the penultimate West Indies wicket to fall, trapped lbw by Neil Wagner, but not before the West Indies had cross the 300-run barrier en route to their highest score of the series.

He said he was especially proud of his Test 50.

“It was an unreal feeling, words can’t really describe the moment. I’m still trying to process it actually happened,” Da Silva told Newsday late last week, while revealing that getting to the milestone was tougher than it may have looked having to face New Zealand's battery of world-class bowlers.

"It was quite the challenge. They don’t let up, always coming for your wicket. Very rarely do you get a bad ball. They ask a lot of questions and always have a plan.”

Notwithstanding the good showing, Da Silva said he came to realize just what it takes to excel at Test level

“It just showed me how much harder I have to work if I want to be consistent at that level. It’s not easy, it takes a lot of physical and mental strength,” he said.

 

The efforts of Tim Southee, Tim Seifert and Kane Williamson ensured Mohammed Hafeez's unbeaten 99 was in vain as New Zealand earned a T20I series victory over Pakistan.

Hafeez played with typical class as Pakistan, who lost the first of three matches by five wickets, to steer Pakistan to 163-6 in Hamilton.

But paceman Southee (4-21) took three wickets in the powerplay as Pakistan toiled to 33-3 and never found a partner able to stick around with Hafeez.

Seifert, fresh from a fifty in the first match, then smacked the ball to all areas of the ground, scoring eight fours and three sixes in his 84, while Williamson added 57 as the Black Caps reached their target with four balls to spare and nine wickets in hand.

Southee's first spell included a stunning outswinger that had the dangerous Mohammad Rizwan (22) caught behind, with Haider Ali (8) and Abdullah Shafique (0) quickly sent packing.

Hafeez judged the pitch to perfection, taking on singles early doors, before pummelling the short balls over square leg and sending the full ones to cover.

The issue was those at the other end offered little and New Zealand's reply saw the wonderfully gifted Seifert settle at the crease after an opening in which he swung and missed at plenty.

Anything Pakistan bowled short, Seifert would pull and cut away and – after Martin Guptill (21) – was dismissed in the fourth over, he had the perfect foil in Williamson, whose own knock included eight fours and a six.

New Zealand consequently hold a 2-0 lead ahead of the third and final T20 in Napier on Tuesday.

Cricket Australia (CA) remains committed to playing the third Test of the series against India in Sydney despite a coronavirus outbreak.

New South Wales reported 30 new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, leading to other Australian states closing their borders to Sydney and other parts of the state.

Australia won the first Test against India by eight wickets on Saturday, and the third game of the series is not due to begin at the SCG until January 7.

CA is still planning for the Test to go ahead as scheduled in Sydney, but it is assessing the situation.

"The third Vodafone Test is more than two and a half weeks away, which provides us with time to assess the evolving public health situation on the northern beaches of Sydney," CA interim chief executive Nick Hockley said in a statement.

"We have made no changes to our schedule and our preference remains to play the match at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

"Cricket Australia has developed a solid track record of delivery throughout this most challenging of summers and will continue to make appropriate and proportionate decisions in consultation with our biosecurity team, governments, state and territory associations, the Australian Cricketers' Association, our partners and venues.

"CA has prepared for the possibility of COVID-19 hotspots and state border closures over the course of the summer and the protocols that we have put in place have been effective in ensuring the safety and success of the men's and women's domestic and international programs to date.

"It was less than a month ago that South Australians were contending with an outbreak of the virus in Adelaide and we have just completed a brilliant first Vodafone Test at the Adelaide Oval. We faced similar issues in relation to the Melbourne Cricket Ground playing host to the Boxing Day Test and we are now less than a week away from welcoming back Victorian crowds after a difficult year for the state.

"We will continue to work closely with all relevant parties to make the right decisions in the appropriate timeframes."

The second Test of the series between Australia and India is due to begin at the MCG on Boxing Day.

India captain Virat Kohli was left struggling for words after his side's humiliating defeat to Australia in the first Test in Adelaide.

The tourists recorded their lowest ever Test score of 36 after a remarkable collapse in the day-night showdown on Saturday led to an eight-wicket defeat.

After resuming on 9-1 on day three, India were obliterated by an Australia attack spearheaded by Josh Hazlewood (5-8) and Pat Cummins (4-21), the former recording the most economical five-for by an Australian player in 73 years.

None of India's batsman reached double figures – Kohli was dismissed by Cummins for four – as they were routed in just 15.2 overs having tallied six runs fewer than their previous worst return set against England in 1974.

"We had a lead of 62-odd when we arrived today and just collapsed completely," Kohli said at the post-match presentation. "As I said, it is very hard to find words to express how everyone is feeling in the change room.

"When you work hard for two days, you play some good cricket to get yourself in a good position, and then literally [in an] hour you put yourself in a position where it is impossible to win. It really hurts.

"We didn't have enough intent batting today. We should have probably moved the game forward a little bit from the word go because we knew it was moving day and to get 100-odd ahead with wickets in hand would have been a good position to be in. It is something that needs to be reflected and learned from and we need to put up better performances going forward.

"It was pretty evident in the way we went about things: just losing one wicket after another. [That] just created an atmosphere where you felt like runs were so difficult to come by now. And [the Australian] bowlers obviously got more confidence and got a boost from that as well. It was a combination of both lack of intent and consistent areas from their bowlers as well."

In a warning to Kohli's men, Australia skipper Tim Paine – named player of the match after hitting 73 off 99 deliveries on Friday – said the hosts have plenty of room for improvement with the bat over the remainder of the series.

Paine's knock helped to carry Australia to a first-innings score of 191 after early struggles had left them at 79-5, with world-number-one batsman Steve Smith skittled for the loss of one run.

"At five for 79, if we lose another couple of quick ones then India are a long way ahead," Paine said. "To hang in to give our bowlers a chance to have a little crack under lights last night, then to have Pat start the day like he did and Josh Hazlewood from his very first ball was just on. When you are as tall and quick as our boys and they get it right, it can be an absolute nightmare. Full credit to our bowling attack again.

"[I'm] absolutely rapt with how we bowled in this Test, but we've still got a lot of work to do with our batting. Our first innings was well below what we'd expect – so it's a good thing to have a good win and not play anywhere near our best. It fills our team with confidence.

"I said this morning that I thought both these attacks have the ability to take really quick wickets - I didn't think they'd be coming that quick. We were expecting a real dogfight right to the end – late day four and maybe day five – but it shows the talent we've got the ball when our boys execute. If there's anything in the wicket that's what can happen."

For Kohli, attention now turns to the second Test on Boxing Day in Melbourne.

"You want to be committed to the team's cause and you want the team to perform really well," he said. "A result in this game would have been really nice.

"But I'm pretty confident that the boys going forward will reflect on this and they'll come out with a stronger performance on Boxing Day and try to get a result our way so that the series gets more interesting."

Australia ran riot as they claimed a crushing eight-wicket first-Test victory over India, who set an unwanted record in a stunning display at Adelaide Oval.

Joe Burns and Australia chased down the 90-run target with ease on Saturday after India were humiliated for their lowest ever Test score of 36 following a jaw-dropping collapse in the day-night showdown on Saturday.

Virat Kohli's India resumed on 9-1 on day three of the Adelaide Test, but the visitors sensationally capitulated as Australia's merciless pace attack produced a relentless showing with the pink ball.

Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins were the chief destroyers – the star pair finished 5-8 and 4-21 respectively.

Hazlewood – whose figures represented the most economical five-for by an Australia player in 73 years – celebrated his 200th Test wicket, while Cummins brought up his 150th dismissal to become the equal-third quickest Australian to reach the figure in terms of innings bowled (59).

India remarkably crumbled in just 15.2 overs to record their lowest Test score after Mohammed Shami retired hurt (one), the tourists' total lower than the country's previous record of 42 against England in 1974.

None of India's batsmen reached double figures – Mayank Agarwal the top scorer with nine, while captain Kohli was sent packing by Cummins for just four in a jaw-dropping display. It was the first time ever not a single player in the top six of a Test side reached double digits.

It was also the joint fifth-lowest Test score – behind New Zealand's all-time record of 26 set in 1955, while it is the joint-lowest team total in the format on Australian soil after South Africa's performance against Australia in 1932.

Australia made light work of the score put forward by India, only dropping two wickets to clinch the first of four Test matches against India.

Joe Burns – under pressure heading into the opener due to his poor form – stepped up with an unbeaten half-century from 63 deliveries to lead the Australians to victory after hitting a six to bring up his fifty and the team's win.

Matthew Wade was run out by Wriddhiman Saha for 33, while Marnus Labuschagne (six) was caught by Agarwal after skying a Ravichandran Ashwin (1-16) delivery, but it mattered little.

India were humiliated by Australia after the tourists were dismissed for their lowest ever Test score of 36 following a jaw-dropping collapse on Saturday.

Virat Kohli's India resumed on 9-1 on day three of the opening day-night Test in Adelaide, but the visitors capitulated as Australia's merciless pace attack ran rampant.

Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins were the chief destroyers at Adelaide Oval, where the pair finished 5-8 and 4-21 respectively to leave Australia requiring just 90 runs for victory.

India remarkably crumbled in just 15.2 overs to record their lowest Test score after Mohammed Shami retired hurt (one), lower than the country's previous record of 42 against England in 1974.

None of India's batsmen reached double figures – Mayank Agarwal the topscorer with nine, while captain Kohli was sent packing by Cummins for just four.

It is also the joint fifth-lowest Test score – behind New Zealand's all-time record of 26 set in 1955, while it is the joint-lowest team total in the format on Australian soil after South Africa's performance against Australia in 1932.

"Everything went to plan today," Hazlewood told Fox Cricket. "The way Patty started was unbelievable getting the two big wickets and I just followed suit."

The first Test between Australia and India is delicately poised after 15 wickets fell during an eventful second day at the Adelaide Oval. 

India had resumed on 233-6 but their tail did not last too long in the opening session, the final four wickets going down for 11 runs as they were all out for 244. 

However, the tourists hit back impressively with the ball, dismissing Australia for 191 despite a battling knock of 73 not out from home captain Tim Paine.

Needing to bat a short period under the floodlights prior to stumps, opener Prithvi Shaw fell to Pat Cummins for four as the tourists ended on 9-1, Mayank Agarwal not out on five with nightwatchman Jasprit Bumrah yet to get off the mark.

With a lead of 62 runs, India holds the upper hand. Still, their advantage should be even greater in the series opener, having seen a number of opportunities go begging in the field. 

Virat Kohli's side lost two wickets in as many overs to start proceedings on Friday, Ravichandran Ashwin (15) and Wriddhiman Saha (9) departing early to Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc respectively. 

The same bowlers claimed a further wicket apiece to wrap up the innings, Starc ending with figures of 4-53 as he equalled Richie Benaud's career tally of 248 for Australia. Cummins, meanwhile, finished with 3-48. 

Australia's reply saw new opening pair Joe Burns and Matthew Wade fall cheaply – both to Bumrah – while Steve Smith managed just a single from 29 balls before he was dismissed by Ashwin. 

Travis Head and debutant Cameron Green also fell to the spinner to leave the score at 79-5, though India's failure to dismiss Marnus Labuschagne on no less than four occasions allowed the right-hander to make a welcome 47. 

Yet it was Paine who caused the most problems for the visiting attack, the wicketkeeper-batsman also dropped as he made the third-highest score of his Test career, hitting 10 boundaries in a 99-ball knock that saw him run out of support in the end. 

Starc's run out for 15 did not help the cause - he was short when attempting a risky second - before Nathan Lyon became the fourth wicket for the impressive Ashwin (4-55). 

Umesh Yadav (3-40) had Josh Hazlewood caught to wrap up the innings and, while Shaw failed to survive a difficult short session before stumps, India will be pleased with their overall position.

Jacob Duffy claimed a four-wicket haul on his international debut as New Zealand triumphed in the Twenty20 series opener against Pakistan in Auckland.

With Lockie Ferguson ruled out through injury and Trent Boult absent for the first of three T20 matches between the countries, pace bowler Duffy seized his opportunity to help restrict the tourists to 153-9.

A Pakistan top order missing talismanic captain Babar Azam – ruled out due to a broken thumb – lost four wickets for 20 runs in the opening 25 deliveries of their innings at Eden Park, a terrible start having elected to bat first after winning the toss.

Duffy claimed three of them during a one-sided powerplay, including Abdullah Shafique and Mohammad Hafeez for ducks, as he finished with 4-33. 

Shadab Khan was his final wicket after Pakistan's stand-in skipper had made a top score of 42 from 32 deliveries, while Faheem Ashraf contributed 31. Scott Kuggeleijn also impressed with the ball for New Zealand, finishing with 3-27.

New Zealand's reply saw Martin Guptill fall early, but fellow opener Tim Seifert led the chase with a well-placed 57 that included a solitary six, as well as six fours.

Glenn Phillips (23) and Mark Chapman – who made 34 from just 20 balls – helped the hosts stay on course for victory, though at 129-5 there was a glimmer of hope for Pakistan.

However, James Neesham and skipper Mitchell Santner – filling in for Kane Williamson – finished unbeaten on 15 and 12 respectively to see their team home with five wickets to spare in the penultimate over.

Williamson will be back to lead the Black Caps when the series continues in Hamilton on Sunday, with the third and final contest staged in Napier on December 22.

Jermaine Blackwood was the only West Indies batsman to emerge from the West Indies tour of New Zealand with his reputation intact in what was otherwise a disastrous tour in which some batsmen averaged less than the team’s bowlers.

The West Indies does not lack talent in cricket but a lot more is needed if the team is to rise from the doldrums to become a respected force once more.

These sentiments were expressed by Head Coach Phil Simmons and White-Ball Captain Kieron Pollard in the aftermath of another losing series, this time in New Zealand where the West Indies lost the T20 series and Test series by 2-0 margins.

Since then, debate has swirled around the failings of the West Indies and what, if anything, can be done to bring about a reversal of fortunes.

Simmons and Pollard are of the view that a lot needs to be done administratively and by the players, if things are to change for the better.

“We are never, in the Caribbean, wanting for talent,” Simmons said in a video from CWI posted on Youtube on Wednesday.

“But now is a time for us to realize that all the talent we have hasn’t taken us anywhere and that there are some things that have to go with the talent. “There’s teaching, there’s understanding, there’s learning how to play different games in all different formats.

“There is a lot to be done still. We have to put together everything else in the Caribbean that goes with the talent to make it a successful unit again.”

Pollard, one of the best T20 players in the world and who has played with in some of the best T20 leagues across the globe, while agreeing with the head coach, opined that until the structures can be put in place for the West Indies to make full use of the talent, the current crop of players need to shoulder a greater share of responsibility. This, he said, would likely inspire the administrators to do more.

“We talk about fixing cricket and wanting to take it forward but I think as individuals, the hard work needs to be put in and I just believe that sometimes you look at it, it needs to start at the administration level,” Pollard said.

“In this case, I think we can be the driving force on the field, the group of guys we have at present, we can continue to show that we have the drive and the determination and desire to go forward and push forward, and also put ourselves in uncomfortable positions in order for this vehicle to go forward then it would transcend onto the administration and they will realize that we need to pull our socks up.

“When you look at it, we are not wanting for talent. Talent, pound for pound, we are always there and sometimes a lot better than we have seen around the world but what they have around the world is structure. What they have is people investing in the cricket, investing in themselves.”

Pollard believes the West Indies have remained in the doldrums for a long time because of a willingness to accept mediocrity suggesting that, unfortunately, it part of Caribbean culture.

He said with a renewed effort to move forward, hopefully the effort will attract the type of investment needed in regional cricket.

“There is still a long way to go in terms of playing in proper facilities. Pitches in the Caribbean, in all honesty, are not at a great standard. Things that we call world class, when you go away you see world class and those are the things we need to see as individuals and from an administration point of view.”

Pakistan seamer Mohammad Amir has retired from international cricket, the Pakistan Cricket Board confirmed on Thursday. 

The 28-year-old initially announced his retirement from Test cricket in July 2019, citing a desire to focus on limited-overs matches.

However, he has now called time on his international career altogether. 

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) did not provide a reason for Amir's decision, but the bowler said earlier on Thursday that Pakistan management had left him feeling "mentally tortured".

"I am not going away from cricket but I am being pushed away from it," he told Samaa TV.

"The environment that has been created, I feel that I cannot play cricket under this management.

"I feel that I am leaving cricket at this time because I am being mentally tortured."

A statement from the PCB read: "PCB chief executive Wasim Khan spoke with Mohammad Amir this afternoon following reports that the fast bowler had announced his retirement from international cricket. 

"The 28-year-old confirmed to the PCB chief executive that he has no desires or intentions of playing international cricket and, as such, he should not be considered for future international matches.

"This is a personal decision of Mohammad Amir, which the PCB respects, and as such, will not make any further comment on this matter at this stage."

Amir was handed a five-year ban and jailed in 2011 for his part in a spot-fixing scandal after bowling deliberate no-balls against England, returning to international action against New Zealand in January 2016.

Amir claimed 119 wickets and scored 751 runs in his Test career, taking 6-44 in his best bowling innings against West Indies in 2017.

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