x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

South Africa are ready to experiment

Bishoo to replace injured Bravo in the West Indies squad, and more news from the cricket World Cup.

West Indies

The West Indies have been given permission to call up Devendra Bishoo to their World Cup squad to replace the injured Dwayne Bravo. The move was rubber-stamped by the International Cricket Council yesterday after Bravo, the vice-captain and key all-rounder, was ruled out of the competition with a left knee injury. Any injury-based replacement is subject to the final approval of the event's technical committee. Bishoo, a 25-year-old leg spin bowler from Guyana, has not been capped by the West Indies.

South Africa

A relaxed South Africa team can afford to experiment in tomorrow's Group B match in Mohali against their Dutch opponents who seem to have run out of steam after just one good display, against England, in the World Cup. Already the South African team management has indicated that one of the three spinners, all of whom did a brilliant demolition job against the West Indies last week, would be rested for the match which faces a considerable rain threat.

Rain has lashed most parts of the northern state of Punjab and the local weather office has forecast more for the next two days. South Africa would be tempted to give Lonwabo Tsotsobe an early birthday gift in the form of a place in the playing XI for the match. "He is one of our best bowlers in the past six months. It's just a pity that we had to keep somebody out and play three spinners," Vincent Barnes, the bowling coach, said of the towering paceman who turns 27 on Monday.

Australia

Brad Haddin, the Australia batsman, says the defending champions need to have "everything in order" for Saturday's Group A match against Sri Lanka, four months after losing a one-day series to the World Cup co-hosts in Australia. Sri Lanka recorded their first ODI series triumph on Australian soil last November, winning the three-match series 2-1 after taking an assailable 2-0 lead with victories in Melbourne and Sydney.

"Obviously Sri Lanka play their home conditions very well and Sri Lanka came up with a very good series win against us in Australia," Haddin told reporters yesterday. "But the thing for us is we make sure we get everything we need in order and continue to improve every game we play."

Ireland

Green will not be the only colour Ireland's players will be wearing after agreeing to take part in a charity initiative ahead of today's World Cup match against England. Members of the 15-man squad have dyed their hair in outlandish colours to support a cancer awareness campaign back home. The "Shave or Dye 2011" campaign urges people to do exactly that to raise donations, so William Porterfield, the captain, turned up to training yesterday sporting purple hair. Boyd Rankin and Kevin O'Brien are among the five players to opt for colour - with blue and pink also popular. Phil Simmons, the coach, dyed his beard green. Porterfield says "anything we can do will help the cause.

India

Virender Sehwag, the big-hitting Indian opener, was seeing a doctor in New Delhi yesterday after being struck in the ribs during a net session. "He is going to see a personal physician," Ranjib Biswal, the India team manager, said, according to the Hindustan Times. "There is no major concern as such, but it seems he doesn't want to take a chance." Sehwag is also carrying a shoulder problem that has prevented him from bowling, the report said. Biswal said he had a "niggle in his shoulder".