Natarajan called into India squad; Rohit facing fitness test

SYDNEY (AP) — India has drafted Thangarasu Natarajan into its limited-overs squad as injury cover for the tour of Australia and set a Dec. 11 date for Rohit Sharma’s fitness test in the hope of having the star batsman available for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

India and Australia were to meet Friday at the Sydney Cricket Ground to start a series of three one-day and three Twenty20 internationals. The four-match test series is set to start with a day-night match in Adelaide on Dec. 17.

With skipper Virat Kohli scheduled to leave the tour following the first test to be at home with his wife for the birth of their first child in January, India will need top-order backup that Sharma can offer.

India’s squad finished a 14-day quarantine in Australia on the eve of the series-opener, and the Board of Control for Cricket in India later released a statement saying Natarajan, a left-arm seamer, had been added to the squad as cover for Navdeep Saini, who had a back problem.

The uncapped Natarajan was already in India’s T20 squad after performing well for Sunrisers in the Indian Premier League.

The BCCI said Rohit Sharma was in Mumbai undergoing rehabilitation on an hamstring injury and his medical assessment next month “will have clarity on his participation in the upcoming Border-Gavaskar Trophy in Australia.”

Fast bowler Ishant Sharma has recovered from a side strain sustained during the IPL but has been ruled out of test series against Australia.


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Man City star travels to London with squad ahead of Tottenham clash despite fitness concerns

Manchester City have been handed a boost ahead of their crunch clash against Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham on Saturday afternoon, with reports claiming Sergio Aguero has travelled to the capital with the rest of the squad, despite obvious concerns over his fitness.

The Argentine has only recently return to full first-team training, after an injury sustained in the draw at West Ham last month, however looks to have been thrusted straight back into the first-team squad, such is the importance of the upcoming Premier League clash against high-flying Spurs.

(Photo via Man City)

According to journalist Lucas Scagliola, who appeared to have maintained an inside-track on the Argentine’s long-term injury over the summer, the 32-year-old was part of the travelling contingent that descended on the capital on Friday afternoon.

It is believed that the Argentina international only returned to first-team training over the international break, and after experience with rushing him back on previous occasions, it may come as a surprise to some that he could play some part in the weekend’s clash.

(Photo via Man City)

Pep Guardiola will be looking to make major strides in the top-flight title race after a relatively disappointing opening few months to the campaign. However, could the Catalan boss have that ‘new-contract bounce’ following his two-year extension at the club this week?


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Tottenham star Steven Bergwijn axed from Holland squad over fitness issues as internationals are decimated by pull-outs

STEVEN BERGWIJN has returned to Tottenham from Holland’s training camp over fitness issues.

The forward arrived at the camp on Monday and was assessed by medics from the Dutch side.

Steven Bergwijn has withdrawn from international duty


Steven Bergwijn has withdrawn from international dutyCredit: EPA

Bergwijn, 23, was declared ‘not fit enough’ to participate in the triple header of matches and was sent back to North London.

A statement from the national side read: “The Tottenham Hotspur attacker was examined by Orange’s medical staff on arrival in Zeist on Monday.

“It turned out that he is not fit enough and will miss the next Orange matches.”

Holland play Spain in a friendly on Wednesday before Nations League clashes against Bosnia and Herzegovina and Poland.

He has only started one Prem game and one Europa League clash this season as he struggles to regain match fitness.

Bergwijn suffered a ‘significant sprain’ to his left ankle in March but returned in June when the season restarted.

He is just the latest name to pull out of international duty as the fixture pile-up takes it toll.

Arsenal’s Thomas Partey is out after coming off injured at half-time in the 3-0 defeat to Aston Villa.

Aaron Ramsey, Victor Lindelof, James Ward-Prowse and Trent Alexander-Arnold are also missing out.

It comes after Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola hit out at chiefs for failing to protect players.

Clubs voted against changing the rules to allow five subs at the beginning of the campaign.

Guardiola said: “We talked about five substitutions. If people want to give microphones so we can give our opinions…

“There are many guys with many, many cases. Around the world five subs are key, but here it’s totally the opposite. We’ve talked about this many times.

“Trent Alexander-Arnold, international English player, now injured. Here we believe we are more special, we don’t protect the players, so that is why it is a disaster.

“I don’t understand how the Premier League don’t understand the situation. Maybe it is because this league likes to be different. 

“All the other leagues protect the players with five. Today it was the right-back for that reason, tomorrow it will be other players.

“The previous season finished later and the situation is exceptional. All the other leagues understand.”

Jose Mourinho wipes new shoes with towel and dances in bizarre Instagram video

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