21st May: Chennai Super Kings v M. Indians, 14:30 GMT
24th-28th May: 2nd Test, Headingley
Samit Patel is this week’s Cricket World Player of Week. The 27 year-old Nottinghamshire all-rounder hit 104 in England’s first warm-up match against India A, and then followed that up with 60 and three wickets in the match against Mumbai A.
Patel’s excellent start to the tour of India has more or less cemented his place as the number six batsmen in England’s line-up, even though his two main contenders for the role, Jonny Bairstow and Eoin Morgan, also played well against Mumbai A, scoring 118 and 76 respectively.
A factor in Patel’s favour is obviously his useful slow left-arm spin, which has yielded 153 wickets during a 108-match first-class career, and allows England the option of playing three specialist pace bowlers alongside Graeme Swann and Patel if they so wish.
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Other notable performers last week included Patel’s captain Alastair Cook, who hit 119 against India A, Alex Doolan, who made 161 not out against the touring South Africans for Australia A, and Rob Quiney, whose 85 in the same match was rewarded with a call-up to the Australian first Test squad.
The only full international series over the past seven days has been the rain-affected limited-overs one between New Zealand and Sri Lanka. The Twenty20 International was abandoned after just 16 overs on a spicy pitch in Pallekele, with the opening ODI not even managing to witness a toss due to the monsoon rains. The second ODI on Sunday did see the hosts triumph on the Duckworth-Lewis method, with Lasith Malinga named man of the match for his brace of wickets.
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