Mohammed Siraj, the Hyderabad pacer was the cynosure of all dailies across the country on Tuesday (October 24) after earning a call-up to India’s Twenty20 International squad for the three-match series against New Zealand.

In Ranji Trophy watch, the addition of KL Rahul and Karun Nair to the Karnataka side ahead of their clash against Hyderabad, and R Ashwin turning out for Tamil Nadu’s encounter against Mumbai, excited the connoisseurs.

Meanwhile, the Australian media continued their build-up ahead of the men’s Ashes, while England Women attempt to draw level in the Women’s Ashes.

I knew I had it in me, says Hyderabad pacer Siraj (The Times of India)

Mohammed Siraj was warming up to bowl in the nets on the eve of Hyderabad’s Ranji Trophy contest against Karnataka when the opposition players informed him about his maiden national team callup -for the T20 series against New Zealand next month. Siraj gave away little in terms of emotions as he went through the paces.

There were no over-the-top-celebration because the 23-year-old was `expecting’ a berth in the team. The joy of making into the national squad was palpable as the soft-spoken Hyderabadi got down to talking about his journey which came into focus when he was picked for a whopping Rs. 2.6 crore by Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL auction earlier this year. Before the IPL bonanza, the youngster had picked up 41wickets in the 2016-17 Ranji Trophy season, playing a pivotal role as they entered the the knockouts.

Mohammad Siraj, accurate and nippy, joins the big league (Indian Express)

As Mohammad Siraj prepared to bowl his first over against Afghanistan A in Pretoria couple months ago, the graphic below him read “left-arm medium fast”. Perhaps it was just an error from the person in-charge of graphics for SuperSport. But they wouldn’t have been the first to be deceived into a momentary left-right confusion syndrome by Siraj. There have been enough batsmen who have mistaken him for a left-armer coming around the wicket from a rather straight angle till he enters the final five strides of his bowling action. It doesn’t help that he always holds the ball in his left hand before shifting it almost the last second.

Confident Karnataka have the advantage (Deccan Herald)

Ahead of their Ranji Trophy Group ‘A’ tie here, the atmosphere in the two camps couldn’t have been more contrasting. Karnataka, after routing Assam by an innings and 121 runs in their season opener, are brimming with confidence and appear more powerful, thanks to the presence of batsmen K L Rahul and Karun Nair. Hyderabad, however, are a frustrated bunch after their first two games were washed out at home due to rain. An interesting battle is on cards when both sides lock horns here at the KSCA Navile Stadium from Tuesday. While the hosts would be hoping to keep the momentum on their side and go atop the table with a win, Hyderabad cannot afford to do too many things wrong.

It’s Ashwin vs Mumbai (Mumbai Mirror)

Reinforced by the return of four first-choice players, a near full-strength Mumbai will take on a star-studded Tamil Nadu in their second four-day game of the Ranji season at the BKC ground from today. Regular captain and keeper-batsman Aditya Tare is back after missing the opener against Madhya Pradesh in Indore. So are batsmen Prithvi Shaw and Shreyas Iyer, and fast bowler Dhawal Kulkarni, all returning from India `A’Board President’s XI duties. Ranged against them is a heavyweight TN squad that includes internationals R Ashwin, M Vijay and Abhinav Mukund, allrounders Vijay Shankar and Washington Sundar, and the Baba twins Aparajith and Indrajith.

Abhishek Gupta makes BP XI vs Sri Lanka after impressive Ranji Trophy debut (Hindustan Times)

Just before the Punjab Inter-District Tournament for Katoch Shield Trophy, Jalandhar wicketkeeper-batsman Abhishek Gupta had confided in his coach Harjinder Singh that he will quit if he doesn’t make the Punjab Ranji Trophy team this season.

Harjinder asked his ward to to play his heart out and then make the decision. Abhishek did just that and scored 640 runs in five matches for Jalandhar in the Katoch Shield to emerge as the highest scorer. These performances helped Abhishek secure a berth in the Punjab senior team and he announced his arrival in first-class cricket with a bang, hammering 202 runs off 203 balls on his Ranji Trophy debut against Himachal Pradesh.

‘A new dawn in Indian cricket’: Remembering Sachin Tendulkar’s iconic Ranji Trophy debut (Scroll)

When I reached Wankhede stadium, Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar was striding in to bat for the first time in a first-class match. The stands were mostly empty but there was a distinct buzz in the air. Next to the press box is the VIP enclosure, occupied by many former Mumbai and India players. Sunil Gavaskar was in the stands – he had been the sole divinity of Mumbai cricket for almost two decades, now he was about to witness the birth of a new God of cricket. Tendulkar’s school buddies from Sharadashram Vidyamandir were also there: they had been given the day off to cheer their classmate. ‘Sachin nakki shambhar karnar [Sachin will definitely score hundred],’ they all exulted confidently. ‘Shambhar’, the Marathi word for century, has echoed through the city’s maidans for decades, the ultimate marker of cricketing excellence, writes Rajdeep Sardesai.

Sending Latham to bat at No. 5 was a masterstroke (The Times of India)

New Zealand’s clinical chase of a fairly challenging 280 for 8 in Mumbai might have taken some people by surprise. But that has always been the lot of New Zealand cricket ­ they are often under-estimated and fly below the radar, though not for one moment am I suggesting that India took them lightly in the first ODI. Among the many admirable traits in cricketers from New Zealand is their commitment to the team’s cause and their impeccable work ethic. Having closely been associated with Kane Williamson and Trent Boult at Sunrisers Hyderabad, I have seen what they both bring to the table, whether they are in the playing 11 or not, writes VVS Laxman.

Guwahati, Lucknow and Indore in IPL fray (Mumbai Mirror)

Indore, Lucknow and Guwahati could emerge as the new destinations for the Indian Premier League (IPL). The Governing Council of the IPL is slated to meet in New Delhi today and chances are that the GC members will decide on a few new venues. The need to find new venues arose after Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab wrote to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) seeking change of their bases from Jaipur and Mohali respectively.

Selectors work without contracts as uncertainty prevails in BCCI (The Times of India)

The Indian cricket board (BCCI) finds itself in an uncomfortable situation over the contracts of the national selectors and players. It is learnt that the selectors -MSK Prasad, Devang Gandhi and Sarandeep Singh -who picked the teams for the T20Is against New Zealand and first two Tests against Sri Lanka, did so without contracts with the board. The selectors had signed contracts for a year last September and sources said their contracts have not been renewed this year. “It is an unusual situation. Technically, there is no document that authorizes these men to select the teams at the mo ment,“ a senior board official told TOI on Monday

 

Anya Shrubsole tells England teammates to forget about World Cup heroics and focus on Australia (The Independent)

World Cup hero Anya Shrubsole has told her England teammates to forget about their heroics earlier this summer and focus on their multi-format series against Australia. England’s women beat the Matildas en route to glory in July, but found themselves on the wrong end of a tight game at the weekend.  And 25-year-old seamer Shrubsole, who took six for 46 in that memorable World Cup final victory over India, said that it time to focus on their latest challenge.

Jonny Bairstow hopes Ben Stokes will rejoin England ‘as soon as possible’ for the Ashes (The Independent)

Jonny Bairstow insists England can retain the Ashes and hopes Ben Stokes will join the side “as soon as possible” despite being suspended by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) due to an on-going police investigation following an incident in Bristol.

“I don’t have a clue what’s going on,” insists Bairstow who is determined to have his “bonkers” friend by his side when England begin the first test in Brisbane in just over one month’s time. “As far as we’re concerned, we’re hoping for him to be out in the Ashes as soon as possible.”

Comparing the Test No. 6 contenders (Cricket.com.au)

Australia’s selectors have already made clear they’re looking for a batsman to fill the No.6 berth in the Test line-up for the Magellan Ashes, but what’s less clear is how much – if at all – any ability to bowl will come into the reckoning.  The search for an allrounder has long been a bone of contention for Australian cricket supporters since the retirements of legendary names like Warne and McGrath enhanced the need for a fifth wicket-taking option.

Glenn Maxwell to stake claim for Test spot by batting in top four for Victoria (Sydney Morning Herald)

Star all-rounder Glenn Maxwell is set to stake his claim for a spot in Australia’s first Test XI by batting in the Bushrangers’ top four in their season opener against Queensland in Brisbane this week.

The promotion up the order also looks set to end the saga of Maxwell’s questionable treatment by Victoria’s leadership. This time last year he was controversially left out of Victoria’s XI at the start of the Shield season, shortly after he had unsuccessfully sought a move to NSW. He soon regained his spot in the Victorian team, but it wasn’t long before trouble again brewed, with Maxwell publicly bemoaning the fact he had been batting below then-Bushrangers captain and wicket-keeper, and Australian teammate, Matthew Wade.

Cricket Australia confident of ‘unprecedented’ interest in broadcast rights (Sydney Morning Herald)

An expanding media landscape has Cricket Australia confident it will attract “unprecedented” interest in its next round of broadcast rights.

While announcing a $68 million surplus over its just-completed four-year financial cycle, CA chief executive James Sutherland said the game’s governing body was well placed to cash in when negotiations intensify over a new round of local international and Big Bash League rights.