Birmingham: Australia head coach Justin Langer revealed Usman Khawaja and James Pattinson are set to play in the opening Ashes encounter on Thursday.“Usman Khawaja will definitely be in,” Langer told reporters here as quoted by www.cricket.com.au.“He’s fit, ready to go, he’s playing well.“He’s a seasoned pro for us, he averages 40-odd in Test cricket, his hammy (hamstring) is good, he’s running well, he’s passed all the fitness tests so he’s ready to go. He’ll bat No.3.”Commenting on Pattinson, Langer said: “It’s a great story isn’t it, coming back from where he was as a young bowler, the back surgeries, to more than likely being selected for this Test match, it’s a great story.”Khawaja passed a fitness test on his hamstring on Monday and will bat at No.3 in the first Test.Meanwhile, Australia’s star pacer Mitchell Starc is likely to miss out on a berth in the starting XI. Pattinson will likely to partner Pat Cummins with Starc and Josh Hazlewood fighting it out between them and Peter Siddle for the third pacers’ spot.“There’s probably three to be fair, Starcy, Peter Siddle and Josh Hazlewood, for one spot,” coach Langer was quoted as saying by The Australian.With 27 wickets, Starc was the highest wicket-taker at the just-concluded World Cup. He also picked up 22 wickets as Australia whitewashed England 4-0 in the previous Ashes series. (IANS)Also Read: Usman Khawaja, Alex Carey Push Australia to 243/9 Against Kiwis
Senior forward Mike Bruesewitz will play his final games at the Kohl Center this week with fellow seniors Ryan Evans, Jared Berggren, J.D. Wise and Dan Fahey.[/media-credit]It may not start with the sexiest of opponents, but the Wisconsin men’s basketball team is about to embark on its most critical stretch of the season, one that will determine its positioning in the postseason.With a victory over Nebraska (13-14, 4-10 Big Ten) at the Kohl Center Tuesday night – a game that kicks off a four-game stretch to close out the regular season – the Badgers will move into a tie for second place with Michigan State. Though Indiana still has a firm two-game grasp on the conference title race, Wisconsin’s (19-8, 10-4 Big Ten) distant chance at winning its first Big Ten crown since 2008 can only stay alive with a win against the Cornhuskers.Reflecting on the first matchup with Nebraska this season – an ugly 47-41 road win for UW in its second Big Ten game of the year – serves as a reminder of the growth this team has made to emerge with only four losses in conference play thus far. When rekindling memories of that narrow Jan. 6 victory in Lincoln, players and coaches agreed the offense had yet to find its groove.“Since our first game versus Nebraska we’ve made huge strides offensively,” fifth-year senior forward Ryan Evans said. “At that time we were kind of getting our defensive chemistry together. I think the first couple games in the Big Ten conference we won solely off of defense.”Nebraska, in its first year under head coach Tim Miles, sits 10th in the conference standings but has provided a genuine scare to the likes of Michigan State and Ohio State. After weathering a grueling Big Ten schedule littered with nationally-ranked opponents, the Huskers must now embrace their role as spoilers. The success they have found has come courtesy of the same principles that have defined Wisconsin basketball under head coach Bo Ryan – offensive efficiency and stingy defense.“They’re going to play almost identical defensively to how we do in terms of playing percentages, forcing in the tough looks, trying to take away your strikes,” UW associate head coach Greg Gard said. “We’ll be pretty efficient offensively where they waste possessions, those types of things. So you’re going to have to execute, beat them, they’re not going to hand you anything.”Although Nebraska averages just 59 points per game, the lowest in the Big Ten, Miles’ squad is not without its offensive threats. A pair of veteran guards, Dylan Talley and Ray Gallegos, conducts the Huskers’ offense with 14 and 12.5 points per game, respectively. While each shoots less than 37 percent from the field, Gard said both are capable of gaining confidence and igniting Nebraska’s offense on any given day. But it is not as if the Husker offense is so one-dimensional that it is anemic if the shots aren’t falling for Talley and Gallegos. Nebraska has a rising star in 6-foot-6-inch swingman Shavon Shields, who ranks fourth on the team with 8.3 points per and also pulls down 5.1 rebounds per game.“Those guys shoot it, when they get hot, as well as anybody in the league,” Gard said. “They shoot it like Brandon Paul and [D.J.] Richardson at Illinois, you don’t want to get in a ‘horse’ contest with them.”Never was that potential clearer than in a four-point home win for Nebraska over Iowa Saturday, when Talley sunk a late three-pointer to cap a comeback in which the Huskers came back from a 16-point hole at halftime.Taking the Kohl Center floor for the second-to-last time this season will be a Wisconsin team that has buried its last two opponents – Northwestern and Ohio State – by a combined 51 points.After taking part in a series of low-scoring slugfests, the Badgers have displayed renewed offensive energy and netted at least 65 points in five of their last six games. The challenge for UW, then, lies in not reverting to its early Big Ten-season form, when defense compensated for lasting struggles shooting the ball.“That [first matchup with Nebraska] kind of showed what the league was going to be like – that wasn’t our only grinder of a game,” senior forward Mike Bruesewitz said, who sported a new hairstyle Sunday that drew comparisons to that of Kramer from “Seinfeld.” “We figured out we can win these types of games, we just got to make sure we stick to our rules defensively and make plays when we need to.”As the Big Ten and NCAA tournaments creep closer, Wisconsin takes the hardwood with much different stakes hanging in the balance than Nebraska has. And for a Cornhuskers team that Gard said has found ways to “muddy things up” all year, the motivation comes with the chance to bring an abrupt end to UW’s Big Ten title hopes.“We’ve put ourselves in a pretty good position right now, besides some losses that we wish we didn’t have,” freshman forward Sam Dekker said. “We got to take [Nebraska] out hopefully and that’ll drive us into the next game.”
It was lopsided from the very beginning.Who would have thought, that in a battle between The Badger Herald — the independent bastion of freedom and journalism in Madison — and the dAiLy CaRdInAl, the University of Wisconsin State Run Media, it would all come down to something as simple as the Weather app?For those unfamiliar, the Weather app is able to use groundbreaking technology — synthesizing the power of the cellphone, the internet and years of meteorological data — to predict the weather. It was the Gentle Clowns’ familiarity with this apparatus and an unconfirmed hot tip from Al Roker, that allowed the Herald to demand that the softball game be postponed from last weekend.This seemed to not sit well with the staff over in the cramped, poorly lit (one would assume that an inability to properly read content is the only explanation for their weekly bowel-movement-in-newspaper-form disservice to the university) office down in the ugly undercarriage of Vilas.They bleated and crowed. They warbled out something about a “brouhaha,” which incidentally was the closest thing to a pertinent multisyllabic phrase uttered by the birds in years.After all, who wouldn’t want to play softball in the freezing rain? The Gentle Clowns, that’s who.Regardless of scheduling concerns, it’s always Hamm’s O’Clock when the Herald is on the case and our four-person staff will have polished off the keg before the Cardinal can say “free rent.”Now, for the game itself.The Herald is marching out the finest lineup this side of Bascom Hill has ever seen.First, upper management. With this three-headed monster of editorship, who is best described as “literate,” at the helm — there is no chance we will lose.Alice Vagun is the head honcho responsible for outdrinking whatever the largest pigeon at the Cardinal is called. We have faith. Fun fact about Alice is that she was the first person to rhyme “Insane” with “Batman”, and Childish Gambino owes her royalties every time “Freaks and Geeks” plays.Managing Editor Yusra Murad was recently awarded “Roast of the year”, thanks to her performance in the DM’s of the Dirty Bird last week.Managing Editor Teymour Tomsyck is as tall as he is apathetic, need we say more?Now, for the infantry:Batting first will be second baseman Lucas “I made a game-saving play in eighth-grade little league” Johnson.Rounding out the top third of the lineup will be outfielders Will “I’m currently writing this and uncomfortable” Stern and Danny “Has been the sports editor longer than he has been the sports editor” Farber.At cleanup will be third baseman Molly “Can’t get Kevin Jonas to leave her alone” Liebergall followed by shortstop Peyton “I will shove this oxford comma so far up your-” David.Batting sixth is the power hitting Henry “There is no ethical consumption in baseball” Solotaroff-Webber.At DH and up seventh will be Emily “Narrowly avoided a pyramid scheme” Hamer followed by Outfielder Riley “There will Pinot mercy” Steinbrenner.Next will be the catcher Ben “Knows almost every rule of baseball from a high school class” Sefarbi.The lineup will end with our best-underhanded pitcher Jeremy “God’s plan” Frodl.Not to mention our secret weapons which will be revealed when the time comes. We wish the Dirty Birds luck, or rather, better luck than they had last week at the WNA Awards.
Jason Forde was again the star of the show for U-L last night.The Tipperary senior forward struck 2-5 as the Limerick college beat I-T Carlow 4-16 to 19-points to reach the Fitzgibbon Cup final.D-C-U will be their opponents in Mallow on Saturday week. Donal Burke scored 1-10 as they comfortably beat D-I-T 2-20 to 1-11 at Parnell Park.