Sydney: Former captain Allan Border feels Australia should pick their best six batsmen for the upcoming Ashes series against England beginning August 1 in Birmingham. Border revealed his first choice team to foxsports.com.au, naming southpaws David Warner, Marcus Harris and Usman Khawaja as his preferred top three. “The top three batsmen are left-handers, which is not necessarily the wrong thing,” Border said. “A lot of people jump up and down about picking too many left-handers but if they are your best players then go with them. If they were right-handers, no one would say anything,” he added. The former Australia skipper also stated that wicketkeeper-batsman Matthew Wade should come into the side considering his good domestic form. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over Chandigarh”I’d be very tempted to go with Wade. You talk about picking the guys in form, and he’s in great form. (Marnus) Labuschagne might get that guernseys in that he can bowl some pretty handy leg-spin and he’s good in the field too,” Border said. “Wade can bowl some medium pace. He can get it through alright, you could sling him half a dozen overs if you had to here and there.” The 63-year-old also advised the Australian team to resist from temptation of playing an all-rounder at the number six spot and instead play a proper batsman. “I wouldn’t go the all-rounder at No. 6. I’d pick a straight out-and-out batsman. England’s conditions are a bit softer underfoot and temperature wise. There’s not as much physicality and stress on the bowlers,” he said.
New Delhi: With Sonia Gandhi returning to the helm of the Congress, it appears that old guards are now breathing easy. The appointment of Sonia Gandhi as the party’s interim president has helped old guards from facing any conflict of interest with the worriers of Rahul Gandhi.As per political experts, the position of senior leaders like Kamal Nath, Digvijaya Singh, Ashok Gehlot, Harish Rawat, Gulam Nabi Azad, etc would become stronger in the party in comparison to their role in the party under Rahul’s tenure. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’When Rahul Gandhi had become party president, the Congress’ younger members had gained prominence instead of the trusted old lieutenants of the Gandhi family. “There were reports that Rahul had once proposed respectful ‘retirement’ of most of the party veterans when Gandhi scion was appealed to lead the party following his decision to quit the coveted post after facing unprecedented defeat in Lok Sabha polls. Since Sonia Gandhi has accepted the Congress Working Committee’s (CWCs) decision to be the interim chief of the party, it appears that she may not make any major changes in the grand party, which needs an overall revival,” the experts said. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KThough Sonia Gandhi’s selection as interim chief is a stopgap arrangement but challenges galore for her to make a balance between old guards and young leaders, who are the future of the party. “There was a buzz that Congress would get a non-Gandhi chief for the revival of the party. As Rahul Gandhi himself had made it very clear on several occasions that none of Gandhis would be the party head, so the selection of a family member shows that acceptability of non-Gandhi leaders in the party is beyond the imagination,” the experts said. As of now, there would be no change of guard in Madhya Pradesh or in any state, which is under the Congress rule. Notably, during the Madhya Pradesh assembly elections in 2018, the former party chief had zeroed in on Jyotiraditya Scindia for the post of the chief minister. However, Nath with the help from his ‘old friend’ Digvijaya Singh and support from Sonia Gandhi, set aside Scindia scion and took the charge.