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Sports

August 12, 2017

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Root salutes versatile Crane

Root salutes versatile Crane

LONDON: England captain Joe Root said new leg spinner Mason Crane was typical of the modern cricketer who feels at ease in switching between the many formats of the game.

The 20-year-old has received his maiden Test call-up for next week’s day-night game against West Indies at Edgbaston, the first to be played in England with a pink Dukes ball under lights.

But most of his preparation has been with the white ball used in the shorter formats. On Thursday he took three wickets for Hampshire against Glamorgan in the T20 competition.

“He is a very exciting prospect and this is a great opportunity,” said Root.

“T20 is part and parcel of the schedule and you’ve got to be able to switch between formats. He’ll have a good week’s preparation now.”

The highly rated leg-spinner played two T20 games for England against South Africa earlier this summer, effectively sealing the series by having AB de Villiers caught in the deep off his googly delivery.

He is not certain to play at Edgbaston, where the timing and pink ball is likely to favour the seamers, and his first-class record is modest — 70 first-class wickets at almost 42 runs each.

But his inclusion in the squad over his Hampshire team mate, off-spinner Liam Dawson, probably reflects England’s desire to take a leg-spinner to Australia for the forthcoming Ashes series.

Last winter Crane was plucked from grade cricket by New South Wales to become the first overseas player to play for them in the Sheffield Shield since Imran Khan in 1984-85. He took five wickets on his debut against South Australia. —Reuters

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