Newspapers on Saturday (December 3) built up to the fourth Test between India and England and a three-match One Day International series between Australia and New Zealand. In the midst of that was Glenn Maxwell, who was fined for ‘disrespectful’ comments against Matthew Wade, which left Steven Smith, the captain, disappointed.

Elsewhere, a month after announcing the team for the Youth Asia Cup, the Board of Control for Cricket in India have informed seven players that they are ineligible for selection on the basis of age criteria. Pakistan, meanwhile, got some tips from Mike Hesson, the New Zealand coach, ahead of their Australian tour.

India team management wants ‘bald’ Wankhede pitch for 4th England Test (Hindustan Times)
After the Mohali Test victory, India skipper Virat Kohli was emphatic that the team was strong enough not to need turning tracks to win matches at home. However, it is learnt that instructions have been sent by the team management asking for the Wankhede Stadium curators to prepare a ‘bald’ pitch for the fourth Test starting on December 8.

Ravindra Jadeja the batsman still finding his feet in Test cricket (Hindustan Times)
It speaks volumes about the quality of a batting line-up where a Ranji Trophy triple centurion bats at No 7. Ravindra Jadeja, by the way, has three of them. So when the all-rounder insisted, despite falling short of a maiden century in the Mohali Test against England after being dismissed for 90, that he doesn’t consider himself a Test-level batsman, he seemed to be harsh on himself. Long time coach Debu Mitra, however, couldn’t agree more with his former ward. “Jadeja is not a batsman. Scoring three Ranji triple centuries is a rare feat and Jadeja has showed he has that quality, but he is first and foremost an all-rounder, a complete package,” Mitra, who coached Jadeja in the Saurashtra Ranji side, told HT.

England’s Ben Stokes must learn how to get away with it better, says coach (The Guardian)
Trevor Bayliss believes England’s Ben Stokes has come a long way in 12 months when it comes to on-field behaviour and has warned that match officials who come down hard on what he calls “by-play” between players could rob cricket of its personalities. Stokes moved closer to a possible suspension during the third Test defeat in Mohali when he was charged with using “language or a gesture that is obscene, offensive or insulting” during an exchange with the India captain, Virat Kohli, after he was stumped for 29 during England’s first innings.

Maxwell fined for Wade comments (Cricket Australia)
Captain Steve Smith and Australia’s leadership party have fined allrounder Glenn Maxwell for his “disrespectful” comments towards his state skipper and ODI teammate Matthew Wade. Maxwell said on Thursday he felt as though batting below Wade at No.6 for Victoria in Sheffield Shield cricket hurt his selection chances for Australia’s third Test against South Africa in Adelaide last week. Bupa Support Team Head Coach Darren Lehmann described Maxwell’s words as “disappointing” following the Victorian’s press conference, with Smith and Australia’s senior members deciding to punish the 28-year-old with a monetary penalty.

Johnson throws support behind Maxwell (Cricket Australia)
Former Australia fast bowler Mitchell Johnson has thrown his support behind embattled allrounder Glenn Maxwell after the Victorian was sanctioned by his national teammates. Maxwell was hit with a team-imposed fine by the Australian Cricket Team’s leadership group on Friday following his recent comments about Bushrangers teammate and captain Matthew Wade. “A fine, really!!” Johnson tweeted. “Should be batting in front of a wicketkeeper considering he is a batsman.”

Glenn Maxwell’s international and state future is in doubt after batting stoush (The Daily Telegraph, Australia)
Glenn Maxwell’s immediate international future is clouded and his days as a Victorian cricketer seemingly numbered after comments he made about teammate Matthew Wade caused tensions to simmer in the Australian camp. The refreshingly honest Maxwell made a failed attempt to leave the Bushrangers for NSW before this season and it would appear that now more than ever he is in desperate need of a fresh start.

BCCI to review Ranji Trophy rescheduling decision (The Indian Express)
The BCCI Senior Tournament Committee will review the Technical Committee’s recommendation to reschedule two Ranji Trophy matches pertaining to the current season. The decision was taken by secretary Ajay Shirke during the board’s Full Members’ meeting in Delhi on Friday. According to the cricket board’s press release issued on November 6, the Technical Committee “recognised the extraordinary circumstances” and decided to reschedule the fifth round matches between Gujarat and Bengal (Group A) and Hyderabad and Tripura (Group C) following the cancellation of the ties in the national capital due to smog and pollution. The matches to be held from November 5 to 8, had been rescheduled to a December 15 start at Visakhapatnam and Kolkata respectively; after the league phase of the tournament.

Hyderabad cricket audit dirt: Freebies, theft, favours (The Indian Express)
An order for 2,600 plates of food during an U-19 match, two travel vendors paid for the same flight taken by the junior team, furniture and laptops missing, Rs 40 lakh spent on medical insurance for club secretaries’ families, charges of electricity theft, gold coins for executive committee members. A Deloitte audit report on the Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) has revealed all this and more. The accounting firm was commissioned by the BCCI to conduct a review of the functioning of each state association till March 31, 2015.

What’s the gain in Sanju vs KCA tussle? (The Hindu)
Kerala wicketkeeper-batsman Sanju Samson, who has already donned Indian colours in Twenty20 and is considered a player for the future, finds himself at the centre of a controversy involving the Kerala Cricket Association (KCA). Sanju, who did not practice with the Kerala team ahead of its Ranji Trophy Group ‘C’ match against Tripura here due to a knee injury, had requested the KCA to release him for rehab at the National Cricket Academy (NCA). Since he did not get any response, he had to hang around with the team even though he did not play the match.

BCCI error ends ‘India cap’ dreams of seven teenage cricketers (Times of India)
As per a report in The Indian Express , the BCCI committed the error after assuming that the date of birth for the cut-off year was 1997. However, the Asian Cricket Council had originally communicated that the year was 1-9-1998. Consequently, selectors and joint secretary Amitabh Chaudhary were misinformed and on the basis of that, ended up selecting ineligible players for the tournament that starts from December 13 in Colombo.

Greatest bowler that I played against has to be Glenn McGrath: Rahul Dravid (Press Trust of India)
Some of his best centuries have come against the mighty Australian attack which comprised a battery of fearsome pacers, but batting legend Rahul Dravid admitted that the greatest fast bowler he had faced was Aussie Glenn McGrath. “They (Australia) were the best cricket team in my generation. Amongst them all, the greatest bowler that I played against, not only the greatest Australian bowler, but the greatest fast bowler (that) I played against has to be Glean McGrath,” said Dravid, who was known for his impeccable defense, at an event in Mumbai.

How Pakistan can beat Australia: Hesson (Cricket Australia)
New Zealand coach Mike Hesson says if Pakistan’s seam bowling attack can get the ball to swing and their batsman can pile on the runs they’re a real shot at beating Australia in Test cricket this summer. “(Left-arm paceman Mohammad) Amir is a very good bowler but he’s exceptional if he swings it.”

Ghosts of Christmas present stand up when cricket fails (The weekend Australian)
The ghosted autobiography is a genre routinely slighted, and not without reason. I chatted a few years ago with a ghost writer whose contact with his subject had consisted of four Skype conver­sations. I also recall a player’s challenge about something I’d written. “Where did you get that?” he asked. “Errr, your autobiography,” I answered. Yet this tribute to the genre’s robustness actually seems to me a welcome development. All the foregoing Australian titles, in fact, I’ve not only read but bought, being by excellent cricketers whom I’ve enjoyed watching. For me, of course, there is a professional consideration. No matter how much cricket one has watched, analysed, discussed and ­archived, there remains something about the direct experience that is irreducibly elusive, and ­aspects of it only a player can ­access.