Focus on Virat Kohli’s workload occupied print space on Monday (October 23) after a Tom Latham-Ross Taylor special saw New Zealand register a six-wicket win in the first One-Day International in Mumbai on Sunday.

In Ranji Trophy watch, Aditya Tare will lead Mumbai against Tamil Nadu in their second match, even as R Ashwin warmed up for the contest not far away from the Wankhede.

Meanwhile, former players from both England and Australia camps had plenty of advice to offer ahead of the Ashes.

Virat Kohli seeks break vs Sri Lanka citing ‘personal reasons’ (The Indian Express)

Citing ‘personal reasons’, India captain Virat Kohli has asked for a break that will see him miss the December leg of the upcoming Sri Lanka tour. In case he gets the go-ahead, India will end up playing one Test plus the entire ODI and T20I series without Kohli.

Starting with the longer format, India are scheduled to play three Tests, three ODIs and three T20s against Sri Lanka from November 16 to December 24. “Kohli has informed the BCCI that there are some personal reasons and that is why he won’t be available in the month of December.”

Virat Kohli will not feature against Sri Lanka due to personal reasons? (InUth)

Indian skipper Virat Kohli may not feature in the upcoming home series against Sri Lanka citing personal reasons. Virat Kohli has been in ominous form for team India, recently bringing up his 31st ton, in his 200th One Day International. In his race to 31 centuries, he went past the former Australian captain Ricky Ponting. Virat Kohli also became only the second player in the history of limited overs cricket to get a century in his 200th game, the other being AB De Villiers. Earlier, India hosted New Zealand in the 1st ODI at Wankhede. India lost the match by 6 wickets, thanks to a brilliant partnership between Tom Latham and Ross Taylor.

Virat Kohli not superhuman, will learn from 1st ODI defeat to New Zealand: Sourav Ganguly (International Business Times)

Former India captain Sourav Ganguly has backed Virat Kohli saying that the young skipper will learn from India’s six-wicket defeat to New Zealand in the first of the three-match ODI series in Mumbai on Sunday, October 22. The 45-year-old added that the Indian captain is not a superhuman and also shed light on how former captain MS Dhoni also struggled against quality teams at home.

India headed into the first ODI on Sunday on a high after having crushed world champions Australia 4-1 in the recently-concluded ODI series. Notably, the Men in Blue have not lost any ODI series at home since South Africa defeated a Dhoni-led side in 2015.

Aditya Tare to lead Mumbai against Tamil Nadu (The Times of India)

Wicketkeeper-batsman Aditya Tare and a clutch of top players will be back for Mumbai when they take on a formidable Tamil Nadu in their second match of the Ranji Trophy, which will be played from October 24-27 at the MCA Sharad Pa-war Cricket Academy Ground in Bandra Kurla Complex.

Around 20km from Wankhede, snubbed Ravichandran Ashwin fields & bowls (DNA)

Call it fate or coincidence. While Team India were battling it out against New Zealand in the first ODI at the Wankhede Stadium, around 20 kilometres away, a certain Ravichandran Ashwin was sweating it out with his Tamil Nadu team-mates at the MCA Academy ground in Bandra Kurla Complex here on Sunday.

Many curious passers-by enquired if it was actually ‘The Ashwin’ who was the surprise guest at the posh suburban club.

Chris Gayle defamation trial hears cricketer ‘devastated’ by Fairfax claims (The Guardian)

Cricketer Chris Gayle has told a Sydney court he was devastated when he read a headline in the Age newspaper saying he had exposed his genitals to a female masseuse in the dressing room.

On day one of a defamation trial against Fairfax Media, Gayle said the incident reported on never happened and was false. Gayle said the story had travelled all over the cricketing world. Under questioning from his own barrister, Bruce McClintock SC, Gayle said he had not seen the female masseuse that day, he had not been undressed and he had not worn a towel at any stage.

Ashes veteran Ian Bell warns England but still backs Joe Root’s men to hold on to the urn against Australia: ‘The KFC turns green and gold… you realise you are not just taking on 11 players’ (Daily Mail)

Ian Bell is among a select band of Englishmen who know what it takes to win an Ashes in Australia. He also has experience of things going spectacularly wrong.

Bell, five times on the victorious side in Test cricket’s most iconic series, would have got a shot at making it six with anything like a decent 2017 season with Warwickshire.

Instead he had what the Aussies would call ‘a bit of a shocker’, and so when he tells Sportsmail the key areas to be addressed early on the tour he does so not as a man envious of his peers but as one resigned to his international days being in the past.

‘Make sure your top six do their job’: Healy (

Former Australian Test ‘keeper Ian Healy has reaffirmed his belief that selectors will revert back to Peter Nevill behind the stumps for the Magellan Ashes, but says he disapproves of the current treatment of Australian glovemen by national selectors. Speaking to SEN Breakfast, Healy tipped decision-makers to give the nod to the NSW ‘keeper after dropping incumbent Matthew Wade during Australia’s one-day tour of India, in part for his failure to fire with the bat.

Ash’s Ashes? Gardner begins series in style (

High above Allan Border Field in the top level of the Stuart Law Stand, a radio reporter declared in a live cross back to England that the opening match of the Women’s Ashes was coincidently being turned on its head by a player named Ash. The line (not his own, promised the reporter) drew groans and scoffs from the surrounding media, but the fact was he was spot on – Ash Gardner was changing the outcome of the first ODI in Brisbane in a series that could well become known as ‘Ash’s Ashes’ for years to come.

Ed Cowan and Steve O’Keefe left out of NSW Shield side (The Sydney Morning Herald)

Veteran batsman Ed Cowan, last season’s leading Sheffield Shield run-scorer, has been squeezed out of a star-studded NSW side for the opening round of the competition starting this week. Australian captain Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner are among five Ashes certainties named in the 12-man squad to face South Australia in a pink- ball clash at Adelaide Oval beginning on Friday.

Cricket, My Father and Other Heroes (

In a corner at home that I choose to call my private “cricket space’, there are pictures of my teenage heroes like Sir Viv Richards and Greg Chappell. There is also on the wall a photograph of  the 1971 Indian cricket team returning to Mumbai from a path-breaking victorious tour of England in open-top vintage cars. Most of my father’s generation are now in their late 70s, some have passed away. In 1962, my father made his first overseas tour to the West Indies; barely half a dozen of the team members are still alive. I remember, when the iconic captain Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi died in 2011, feeling an acute sense of personal loss, writes Rajdeep Sardesai.