India has a very good stable CWC team – Rahul Dravid

Rahul Dravid, the former India skipper, thought India’s recent 2-3 loss to Australia in an ODI series will have little manner on their ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 campaign.

India has a very good stable CWC team – Rahul Dravid
India has a very good stable CWC team – Rahul Dravid

After securing a 2-0 lead in the five-match series last month, India failed to cover a growing Aussies outfit and lost three matches on the trot. Though, that was a deviation – their fantastic form over the last few years has propelled them to No. 2 and they’re considered one of the favorites for the CWC.

“In the last 30 months, India has been playing really well, and the loss, much to the credit of the way Australia played, came at the back end of a very busy series,” he told the Times of India.

“We have the right combination for the CWC. If India wins the CWC, we will not be worrying about who won 2-3 or 3-2. There will be an odd series that India will lose. But the rankings prove that India is there and should win the CWC to become No.1.”

Inevitably, Dravid was asked of India’s 15-man CWC team, and the decision to drop Ambati Rayudu and Rishabh Pant, but he believed India’s team is so well-balanced that it won’t matter in the end. “India has a very good, balanced team for this CWC,” he said.

“They have a lot of combinations, a lot of options. It is a question of them performing in the tournament. You can always argue one or two cases, one or two names. The team has been picked back and hope. They do really well.”

England last hosted a CWC in 1999, and Dravid, who was the highest run-scorer in that edition, with 461 runs at 65.85 and two centuries, said the conditions would be vastly different now. “I expect the games to be totally different than in 1999 when England last hosted the CWC, which was a slightly low-scoring affair,” he recalled.

“This CWC will probably be a much high scoring one, and India is well equipped for that. English conditions have actually changed, especially for ODIs. We were there last year for an ‘A’ series, and the scores were really high – 300 was par score, and was being chased consistently.

“ODIs have changed in England and [you] can’t go with the typical mindset that it will be the old English conditions of swing and seam. Wickets have become flatter, encouraging higher scores.”

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Aussies has clicked at right time for CWC – Marcus Stoinis

Marcus Stoinis, the Aussies all-rounder, said the squad’s turnaround in form has occurred at the right time, just before the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.

Aussies has clicked at right time for CWC – Marcus Stoinis
Aussies have clicked at right time for CWC – Marcus Stoinis

Australia had a tough 2018, but their fortunes have improved massively since the turn of the year. They beat India in India, after coming back from 2-0 down in a five-match ODI series, and followed it up with a 5-0 sweep of Pakistan in the UAE.

The eight back-to-back victories, along with the return of Steve Smith and David Warner, have meant Australia is now being considered among the favorites for the CWC.

“I think everyone is really confident. To win eight games in a row away from home was very important for us,” Stoinis told reporters on the sidelines of a Royal Challengers Bangalore training session. “We needed it. We had lost a lot of matches over the last year or so. Everybody started to believe in each other and we started to play well as a squad.”

The improvement of fortunes may seem sudden, but Stoinis said it was a gradual process. “From the external, it might look like it occurred all of a sudden, but it also shows that the game of cricket is only about minor details,” he said. “Even in the time we were losing, we learned a lot, started getting closer in a lot of matches.”

Stoinis was also delighted with the returns of Smith and Warner from their respective 12-month bans over the ball-tampering scandal last year. Both batsmen have lit up the IPL this year, with Warner leading the charts with 574 runs in 10 outings, with a century and seven half-centuries.

“It returns are a massive boost,” said Stoinis. “People have walked up in the last few months and we have started winning games consistently. It all adds to the mixture and definitely adds to CWC winning combination.”

Australia will face Afghanistan in its CWC opener on 1 June in Bristol.

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Expectations are high from Babar in CWC19 – Mickey Arthur

Pakistan head coach Mickey Arthur has heaped praise on batsman Babar Azam ahead of the side’s upcoming ODI series against England and the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019. Speaking to media at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, Arthur described the 24-year-old Azam as Pakistan’s ‘best batsman’.

Expectations are high from Babar in CWC19 – Mickey Arthur
Expectations are high from Babar in CWC19 – Mickey Arthur

The right-hander is ranked No.7 in the MRF Tyres ICC ODI Batting Rankings, and averages 51.29 in the format, with eight hundred and ten half-centuries. “Our hopes are high from Babar Azam as he’s our best batsman,” said Arthur. “He is so talented; he is a batsman who gets the required scores.”

 

Arthur was also complimentary in his assessment of leg-spinning all-rounder Shadab Khan, who recently withdrew from the squad for the England series due to a viral infection, describing him as a ‘three-dimensional cricketer’. He also outlined the expectations from Yasir Shah, who has come in as Shadab’s replacement. “Shadab Khan is a wonderful cricketer,” he said.

“As the buzz word nowadays goes, he’s ‘three-dimensional’. He plays a key role for us just outside the Power play. However, we have tried to cover with another wrist-spinner in Yasir Shah.

“Yasir is below no trickery that he has to challenge both the outside and inside edge of the bat. Our plan will be to attack; we’re going to eye wickets. We have got all the bases covered.”

 

Expectations are high from Babar in CWC19 – Mickey Arthur
Expectations are high from Babar in CWC19 – Mickey Arthur

Arthur was confident that his team is well-equipped for this year’s tournament, citing the versatility of players such as Mohammad Hafeez, who is also an option in the spin department, as he outlined the “faith” that he has in his players. “We have worked really hard over the past two years. We are as ready as we can be,” he said.

“Mohammad Hafeez will be accessible for us during the CWC as an off-spinner too. We have faith in our team. All 15 of those players have the capacity to win matches. We have to bring all our capabilities to produce results in our favor.”

Arthur also said that pacer Mohammad Amir will still have an opportunity to press his case for World Cup selection. The left-arm fast bowler’s form has been on the wane over the last couple of years. Since the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 final, Amir has returned five wickets in 101 overs, averaging 92.60 per scalp. However, Amir could still be handy.

“He is running well and his attitude has been outstanding,” he said. “He’s been vivid in the last couple of weeks and he will have chances in England to show us he still justifies a spot in the CWC team.”

 

Sarfaraz echoed Arthur’s views. “Amir has a chance in the Eng. series to make the final cut,” he said. “He has been working hard here and has exposed that in his bowling in the training camp. In the practice match yesterday, he looked good while bowling. We will try to provide him an opportunity in England so he can perform. It will be a good rivalry amongst our pacers. We have occupied six fast bowlers, so we can alternate and not put any of them under pressure.”

Expectations are high from Babar in CWC19 – Mickey Arthur
Expectations are high from Babar in CWC19 – Mickey Arthur

Pakistan faces England in a T20I in Cardiff on 5 May, before their five-match ODI series commences on Wednesday, 8 May at The Oval in London.

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Pakistan focused on acclimatizing before CWC

Haris Sohail, the Pakistan middle-order batsman, said it was important for his team to focus on getting used to conditions during the five one-day internationals in England before the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 gets underway.

Of the overseas teams, Pakistan is at the greatest advantage in terms of adapting to conditions for the World Cup as they will be facing hosts England, the No.1 team on the MRF Tyres ICC Men’s ODI Team Rankings, in an ODI series days before the World Cup begins on 30 May.

Counting the sole Twenty20 International and the World Cup warm-up matches to follow, Pakistan will end up playing close to 10 matches before the World Cup starts, and want to make it count.

Pakistan focused on acclimatizing before CWC
Pakistan focused on acclimatizing before CWC

“The CWC is still a little while away,” said Sohail. “Earlier, we have a very important series against England. England is a quality side, the No.1 team. If we win that series, we’ll get a great deal of help in getting used to those conditions. We still have about ten matches to go before the CWC if you count all the practice matches. So we’re hopeful of getting acclimatized well and producing good results at the World Cup.”

On a personal note, Sohail is enjoying the great form and will hope to take that into the showpiece event. He goes into the England series on the back of two centuries against Australia in UAE.

“Since the Aussies series, my confidence and form are in a good place,” Haris said. “Over the past few days, I wasn’t feeling too great, but a match situation is different, and the practice match we played today, the ball felt great on the bat.”

Despite Haris Sohail scoring 291 runs at 72.75 in that series against Australia, Pakistan conceded each of the five ODIs. Some felt that part of the reason for the repeated failures was the inability of batsmen to score quickly enough. There have been concerns that the team is falling behind in that area, but Sohail downplayed those doubts.

“Cricket is a different game nowadays,” Haris said. “Now, when you’re No.3 or 4 plays big innings or get a hundred, batsmen play around him. In one day international cricket, a total above 300 is now par. Not in the UAE, where pitches are slower and you need to take more time. But definitely, that applies in countries like England. So over there, you’ll see us play more aggressively.”

Babar Azam, Pakistan’s middle-order star, is known for his more classically styled shots along the ground, but he too feels he is equipped to go big when the situation demands that of him.

Pakistan focused on acclimatizing before CWC
Pakistan focused on acclimatizing before CWC

“If I can be No.1 in the world without power hitting, then I don’t need power hitting,” he said. “But when I need to, I utilize it well. I don’t just play along the ground. I practice striking the ball big and when desired, I use it. My role is to play out the complete overs. My separate role is to take the innings as deep as I can and perform in a way that benefits the team most of all.”

Pakistan’s series against England will start with a one-off T2OI in Cardiff on 5 May and the all-important ODI series will begin on 8 May.

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Karunaratne Will Be Captain Of Sri Lanka In The World Cup 2019

Dimuth Karunaratne has been named the captain of Sri Lanka’s World Cup team, meaning that Lasith Malinga has been ousted from his leadership position.

Karunaratne leadership in the surprise win of the Test series in South Africa made him a captain’s choice left for the Cricket World Cup. Fans are excited to get their Cricket World Cup Tickets to see live performances of their favorite team and players.

Karunaratne Will Be Captain Of Sri Lanka In The World Cup 2019 Tickets

Karunaratne Will Be Captain Of Sri Lanka In The World Cup 2019

Although fears about Karunaratne’s fight are centered on whether he could score points fast enough. He scored a strike rate of over 90, while he scored 165 points on average 55 during this tournament.

The news will be a blow to Malinga, who had committed to playing a national game in Kandy just 14 hours after completing an IPL match in Mumbai earlier this month. Although Malinga led Sri Lanka to a World T20 Trophy in 2014, his one-day captaining gave catastrophic results. The team lost each of the 9 ODIs they played under his leadership.

Malinga also apparently had poor relations with several key players. Earlier this year, Thisara Perera asked Sri Lanka Cricket to intervene after he and Malinga’s wife were involved in a dispute on Facebook.

The 3rd major option for the captain’s position may, in fact, have been the first choice of coaches Angelo Mathews. He has been captain of the ODI of Sri Lanka twice. But, his last job at the helm was cut short when he was ousted after the Sri Lankan Asian Cup came out in September. Mathews’ relationship with coach Chandika Hathurusingha had become incredibly tense as a result of the player’s exhaustion last year.

Sri Lanka has not yet named its team for the Cricket World Cup. But the last selectors meeting is scheduled to take place on Thursday and is expected to be announced in the next 24 hours.

Although Karunaratne has not been part of an ODI team in Sri Lanka for years, he is now assured of a place.

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Australia announce 2019 Cricket World Cup squad

Cricket Australia have named 15-man squad for Cricket World Cup 2019. Aaron Finch will lead strong Aussie lineup for premier ICC tournament in England and Wales. Steven Smith and David Warner have returned to Baggy Greens setup after ball tampering scandal. Alex Carey is the only specialist in the squad to don gloves as wicket-keeper batsman Peter Handscomb is left out. Josh Hazlewood misses out due to back injury.

Australia have become second country to reveal squad for CWC 2019 after New Zealand. Aussie skipper Aaron Finch is happy with inclusion of once banned duo of Steve Smith and David Warner in the 2019 Cricket World Cup squad. They have served their one year suspension after Newlands Test ball tampering saga. Shaun Marsh and Usman Khawaja are selected as specialist batsmen. Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis are picked up as all-rounders. Alex Carey is preferred as keeper over Peter Handscomb, Tim Paine and Mathew Wade.

Australia 2019 Cricket World Cup Squad
Australia 2019 Cricket World Cup Squad

Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Jhye Richardson and Jason Behrendorff form the pace battery for Australia. Nathan Lyon and Adam Zampa are two spinners in Aussie CWC lineup. Inclusion of Mitchell Starc and Jhye Richardson is subject to fitness though. Countries playing in CWC 2019 can change squads till 23rd May 2019 without ICC approval. Josh Hazlewood and Kane Richardson who are part of Australia A squad, will be replacement options if any of five Aussie pacers gets injured.

Five time CWC champions Australia have emerged as strong contenders for Cricket World Cup title in 2019. Aussies have prepared well for CWC 2019 under captain Aaron Finch in recent months. He and Usman Khawaja are in decent ODI form. Good performance in recent series against Pakistan and India have boosted Australian morale. Return of Steven Smith and David Warner has strengthened batting ranks. Shaun Marsh offers plenty of experience in the middle order batting. Only weak link can be exclusion of in-form wicket-keeper batsman Peter Handscomb. Injury to lone glove-man can cause severe problem for Aussies in the mega competition.

Australia CWC 2019 Squad: Aaron Finch (capt), Usman Khawaja, Glenn Maxwell, Glenn Maxwell, David Warner, Steven Smith, Shaun Marsh, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey (wk), Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Jhye Richardson, Jason Behrendorff, Nathan Lyon, Adam Zampa

Ponting wants three Aus pacers to play CWC, Ashes

Ricky Ponting believes Australia’s big three pacers – Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood – should aim to play every match at both the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 and the Ashes.

Ponting wants three Aus pacers to play CWC, Ashes
Ponting wants three Aus pacers to play CWC, Ashes

All three bowlers have had condensed workloads heading into the CWC. Hazlewood has not played since the home series against India and Starc last played in the Tests against Sri Lanka that followed – both have since been recovering from injuries. And while Cummins was intricate in the limited-overs series in India and the UAE, he played in just one of the five ODIs against Pakistan.

Australia’s selectors are set to announce the World Cup squad on 15 April, and for all the talk of resting some of the pacers ahead of a crucial Ashes series, Ponting believes their freshness should be capitalized on at the World Cup.

“They Starc, Hazlewood and Cummins have all had reasonable lay-offs now,” Ponting, who will join the set-up as an assistant coach for the World Cup, told cricket.com.au. “I know some of them got through the summer and had injuries with Josh and Stacy of late, but that should mean they go into a World Cup very fresh.

“None of those guys will be in the IPL either, so they need to just manage [themselves] really well, with the thought of playing every game through the World Cup and the Ashes. I’m sure all those bowlers want to do that. It’s up to them to get themselves fit enough and strong enough to give themselves the best chance of being able to get through.”

However, Ponting said there was a caveat. All three don’t have to play every game – as many as 11, if Australia makes the finals – if the conditions warrant another combination. “Who knows, there might be a few games through the World Cup where it might not be the best to take those three fast bowlers into a game,” he said.

“Wicket in England might look like it will be slower and turn more, so you go in with another all-around option and/or another spinner. But the administration is going to be a key because trying to priorities a CWC over an Ashes series … it’s impossible. You’ve just got to face what you’ve got in front of you.

“The entire goal for Aus cricket right now should be to win the CWC and worry about whatever happens after that, after that.”

Australia opens its World Cup campaign against Afghanistan on 1 June. The Ashes begins on 1 August in Birmingham, a little over two weeks after the World Cup final on 14 July.

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No Usman Khawaja in Warne’s Aussies World Cup Squad

If it were up to Shane Warne, Usman Khawaja wouldn’t be selected in Australia’s 15-man squad for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019.

Khawaja is the leading run-scorer in one-day internationals in 2019, with 769 runs in 13 matches, at an average of 59.15. But despite that, Warne, tweeting out his selection of 15, left out the left-handed top-order batsman.

No Usman Khawaja in Warne's Aussies World Cup Squad
No Usman Khawaja in Warne’s Aussies World Cup Squad

Khawaja, who was elicited for Aussies’ home series against India in January after a break of nearly two years, has capitalized on the chance with six fifty-plus scores in his last 10 matches, with two hundred. His enormous form now improves to the selectors’ annoyance as they try to slot the recurring Warner and Steve Smith back into the team.

Khawaja, however, announced happy about his present run of form, saying that his emphasis was on the three residual games in the Pakistan series. “It’s World Cup an extensive way away.

Warne instead picked D’Arcy Short, who has played just four ODIs and hasn’t played one since November 2018. Short was picked to open alongside David Warner. Aaron Finch, the ODI captain, was shifted down to No.3, with Steve Smith at two-drop. No more ODI’s for Australia till the CWC19. Remember the conditions in England will be nothing like the recent tours to India and the UAE. Tough job for the selectors as players are going to miss out even though they have formed.

Peter Handscomb, another in-form player, was also left out, as was Josh Hazlewood. Shaun Marsh made the squad but found no spot in the XI.

Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis and Alex Carey made up Warne’s middle order, with Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Jhye Richardson and Adam Zampa completing the XI.

Before announcing his pick, Warne stated that the conditions in England and Wales must be kept in mind while considering any squad.

Cricket Australia is expected to announce its World Cup squad by 23 April, but with over 20 players in contention for the 15 spots, competition is tight.

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Umer, Wahab Omitted from list of 23 probable for Pak CWC Team

Pak national selection board has invited 23 players to complete a fitness test ahead of the declaration of their team for this summer’s Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019. On the other hand, the community who love their favorite team they are booking Cricket World Cup 2019 Tickets

The 23 ‘probable’ will undertake the tests at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore across the 15-16 April, with the squad then announced on 18 April. There are some prominent names included and excluded from the list of Pakistan squad for CWC 2019.

Several players who made their ODI debuts against Australia in Pakistan’s most recent ODI engagement have found favor, including Mohammad Abbas, who has excelled in Test cricket in recent times, S Masood, who got a maiden one day international half-century in the final match of the Australia series, and Mohammad Hasnain, who Shane Watson described as the fast teen he had ever batted against after facing him in the Pakistan Super League.

Umer, Wahab Omitted from list of 23 probable for Pak CWC Team
Umer, Wahab Omitted from the list of 23 probable for Pak CWC Team

However, Saad Ali, who scored 11 runs across his first two ODIs, has been left out, as has Umar Akmal, who passed 30 three times against Australia without going onto a half-century. Still only 28 years old, he is a one-day international veteran, with over 3000 runs and 121 caps to his name, and demonstrated his form with scores of 136* and 99 runs in his most current two innings in the Pakistan Cup.

Also left out was Wahab Riaz, who hasn’t played a one day international since 2017 but starred for Pakistan in the Cricket World Cup 2015.

Probable Sarfaraz Ahmed (c), Abid Ali, Asif Ali, Babar Azam, Faheem Ashraf, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Sohail, Hassan Ali, Imad Wasim, Imam-ul-Haq, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood, Shoaib Malik, Usman Shinwari, Yasir Shah

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Pak among the favorites for the title’ –Inzamam on CWC hopes

Inzamam, Pakistan’s chief selector trusts that the No.6-ranked ODI side ‘will be among the favorites’ to win the Cricket World Cup.

Pakistan’s opening fixture in the Cricket World Cup 2019 will be on 31 May, against West Indies. Previous to the start of the Cricket World Cup, they will tour England for a five-match one-day international series and one-off T20I.

The side’s most recent limited-overs task came in the UAE against Aussies, in which they yielded to a 5-0 defeat. With a number of steady fixtures in the side given a rest, one-day international debuts were handed to a number of players across the series: Shan Masood, Abid Ali, Saad Ali, Mohammad Abbas, and Mohammad Hasnain.

In spite of the whitewash, when speaking to journalists on Wednesday, Inzamam designated at some positive results from the final two games of the series.

The fourth one day international saw Abid hit a century on his 1st international cricket match, while Pak fell 20 runs short in the final game, with U Shinwari picking up 4-49 and H Sohail hitting a 129 runs-ball 130.

Pak among the favorites for the title’ –Inzamam on CWC hopes
Pak among the favorites for the title’ –Inzamam on CWC hopes

“Against Aussies, we had relaxed seven of our main players,” said Inzamam, “and in the last two matches we had rested around 10 of our main players but the squad still fought hard in those games and that is a very good sign for me and Pakistan.

“I am self-assured we will pick a very good team for the Cricket World Cup 2019 and Pakistan will be among the favorites for the CWC title.

“These players needed rest before the Cricket World Cup and we have a frantic schedule in England going into the contest that is why we rested them and we also wanted to try out our bench strong point.”

Pakistan’s next international game will be against England in a T20I at Cardiff on 5 May 2019.

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