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Kiwis back struggling Raval for Australia series

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The coach reckoned the 31-year-old had the mental strength to return to his early career form of 2016-17, when he would occupy the crease for about a session on average.

However, his scoring average has dipped from the mid-40s in early 2018 to 32.3.

“Jeet didn’t have a strong series but we’ve got confidence in him as an opening bat, he’s got a very good record with Tom and they’ve forged a really strong partnership for us,” Stead said.

“He eats into a good number of balls – 75 balls on average – and he’s done it over a good period of time so far. I’m confident he can get us away to the start that we want.”

Stability has been at the core of New Zealand’s success, leaving Stead and co-selector Gavin Larsen reluctant to make reactionary change.

Their hands are tied somewhat too, with the 15-man squad named to straddle both the England and Australia series.

Raval is one of just five specialist batsmen, with wicketkeeper BJ Watling a fixture at No.6 and backup gloveman Tom Blundell the only batting option to inject.

Captain Kane Williamson, who has become accustomed to facing the new ball early this year, backed Raval to dig his way out.

“Batting’s a tough thing whenever. Everybody’s always working hard to try and improve and Jeet’s no different to anyone else,” Williamson said.

AAP

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Fire Breaks Out at Under-Construction Ballpark in Arlington

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Fire Breaks Out at Under-Construction Ballpark in Arlington

A fire broke out inside Globe Life Park, the future ballpark of the Texas Rangers in Arlington, Texas, on the afternoon of Saturday, December 14. This footage, shared by Rachel Canafax of RE/MAX Trinity in Southlake, shows smoke rising from the under-construction stadium. Construction workers posting anonymously to Snapchat shared footage of smoke and flames inside. The Arlington Fire Department worked to extinguish the blaze, local media reported. No injuries had been reported at the the time of writing. Credit: Rachel Canafax, RE/MAX Trinity via Storyful

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Increased disappointment in co-workers: report

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Increased disappointment in co-workers: report

Australian employees are fed up with under performing co-workers, dragging their performance down, according to the Gartner Labor Market survey. The report found an almost four per cent jump in people looking to switch jobs, blaming respect, co-worker quality, and manager quality as the reasons people are choosing to leave. Jonathan Tabah from Gartner told Sky News today’s work is more interdependent than ever before, therefore “to be successful, we need to work well with our colleagues and figure out what drives them”. Image: Getty

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UFC 245 LIVE: Australia’s Volkanovski chases glory against Holloway

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Hello and welcome to our rolling live coverage of UFC 245 from Las Vegas!

It promises to be the biggest card of 2019 with no fewer than three belts up for grabs on the main card.

All Australian eyes will be on the co-main event as Alexander Volkanovski attempts to take the featherweight belt off reigning champion Max Holloway.

But there are two other massive fights on the card as well as Kamaru Usman defends the welterweight belt against arch nemesis Colby Covington while two-division champion Amanda Nunes defends her women’s bantamweight belt against Germaine de Randamie.

Rounding out a stellar main card are Jose Aldo v Marlon Moraes and Urijah Faber v Petr Yan in the bantamweight division.

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