Shiv under pressure
DUBAI, UAE (CMC):
Veteran West Indies left-hander Shiv Chanderpaul will enter the opening Test against South Africa tomorrow with his top-three spot in the world batting rankings under threat.
In the latest rankings released Sunday, Chanderpaul remained third, but had Australian shot-maker David Warner breathing down his neck in fourth spot.
Warner hammered a century in each innings of the recent Adelaide Test against India, to jump two places up from sixth and is now only seven ratings points behind Chanderpaul, with 880 points.
And with the second Test against India in Brisbane also starting tomorrow, it means Warner will have the opportunity to further close the gap on Chanderpaul.
The 40-year-old, a veteran of 158 Tests, is a single rating point behind South African stroke-maker AB de Villiers who will also be involved in the series against the Caribbean side.
Smith to lead Aussies
Steve Smith will begin his tenure as Australia's youngest Test cricket captain in more than 30 years with the blessing of the man he is replacing and of the senior teammate at whose expense he has been appointed.
Smith was named yesterday to captain Australia in the remaining three Tests of their four-Test series against India in place of Michael Clarke, who has been forced to miss the rest of the series with back and hamstring injuries.
Smith was elevated to the role ahead of wicketkeeper Brad Haddin who was Australia's vice-captain under Clarke and now becomes deputy to Smith.
At 25, Smith will become Australia's 45th Test captain when he leads the team on to Brisbane's Gabba ground tomorrow and its third youngest captain ever, after Ian Clarke who was 22 when he was first appointed, and Kim Hughes who was also 25 but younger than Smith by several months.