Talking about his form, Prasad said that Dhoni’s output with the bat will only rise with the number of matches he plays and hence, the IPL is a great chance for him to find the furrow yet again.
The position of MS Dhoni to this Indian team which gets ready for the World Cup is not a veiled secret anymore and everyone from the head coach, to the captain and the players, have spoken about the character of Dhoni in the side.
“We have definitely not discussed this. Because prior to such a big tournament, I do not think it is wise to get distracted, since all energies are geared towards preparing well for the World Cup,” he said in a conversation with ESPNCricinfo.
Speaking about his form, Prasad said that Dhoni’s productivity with the bat will only increase with the number of matches he plays and hence, the IPL is a great opportunity for him to find the groove yet again.
“Importantly, before India head to the World Cup, he will be playing the IPL. So, he will be playing in 14-16 matches – all high-intensity games. That will only help him extend that form he has caught on the Australia and New Zealand tours. I am very happy with his batting,” he further added.
Australia have announced squad for T20I and ODI series versus India. Aaron Finch will lead while Pat Cummins and Alex Carey have been appointed joint vice-captains. Ashton Turner has been called-up for maiden series. D’Arcy Short has is selected as cover for Shaun Marsh. Fast bowler Kane Richardson is included in place of injured Mitchell Starc. Middle order batsman Usman Khawaja and spinner Nathan Lyon have been included in the lineup, signaling that both players are important for Cricket World Cup 2019 plans.
In form batsman Shaun Marsh will miss start of the series, welcoming his second child and healing hamstring injury. His absence offers opportunity for Alex Carey and D’Arcy Short to perform well and stack claim for CWC. Nathan Coulter-Nile, Jason Behrendorff and Jhye Richardson complete the pace battery. Adam Zampa is the other spinner in Australian ranks. Mitchell Marsh, Peter Siddle and Billy Stanlake have been left out of the squad.
Australian national selector Trevor Hohns said: “Unfortunately scans have revealed that Mitchell Starc sustained a substantial tear to his left pectoral muscle while bowling on the final day of the Test match in Canberra. This means he will be unavailable for the tour of India. We will instead target a return to play for the ODI series against Pakistan in the UAE in March.”
Trevor Hohns added: “Kane has been in outstanding form over the summer, including his recent performances in the BBL. Kane not only has experience playing ODI cricket for Australia, but he’s also performed well for his country when given the opportunity. Nathan Coulter-Nile provides us with another quality bowling option, he brings good energy in the field and can also score runs in high-pressure situations.”
Trevor Hohns concluded: “Ashton has been on our radar for some time, given his performances in the shorter formats. Ashton is a smart cricketer who reads the game well and provides us with another strong batting option. He’s been in good form over the summer, and he has an opportunity to put his case forward ahead of the World Cup.”
Australia Squad: Aaron Finch (capt), Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Peter Handscomb, Glenn Maxwell, Ashton Turner, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, Jason Behrendorff, Nathan Lyon, Adam Zampa, D’Arcy Short (as cover for Shaun Marsh)
West Indies have named squad for first two ODIs versus England. Firebrand opener Chris Gayle and Evin Lewis have returned for one day internationals in Barbados. West Indies captain Jason Holder has returned to ODI setup after recovering from shoulder injury. Wicket-keeper batsman Nicholas Pooran has earned call-up for maiden ODI series. Off-spinner Ashley Nurse has returned back after healing the shoulder injury sustained on India tour. West Indies are on a roll with winning first two test matches against England and aiming a clean sweep of visitors. Hosts will look to build on the success of test series for good performance in ODIs.
Five match ODI series is important for England and West Indies from the perspective of preparation for ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 in England and Wales. Number 1 ODI ranked team England are one of the favourites for CWC. England have never won the premier ODI tournament before. West Indies are two time ODI world champions and have also won T20 world cup twice. Caribbean team will look to create outside chance to challenge for CWC title.
Chris Gayle has second most runs in ODI career while being second most capped player for West Indies. Gayle has scored 9727 runs from 284 appearances. His tally is right behind Brian Lara, who collected 10405 run from 299 matches. He has recorded 23 centuries, the most for a West Indian batsman. He has also compiled highest individual score by a Windies player in ODI format, 215 vs Zimbabwe in CWC 2015. Chris Gayle has also took 165 wicket in one day internationals at an average of.35.3 average and 44,3 strike rate.
Nicholas Pooran is rewarded for good performance in 8 T20Is he has played, scoring 148 runs at average of 24.66 with an attacking fifty against India. Marlon Samuels, Carlos Brathwaite, Roston Chase, Chandrapaul Hemraj, Kieran Powell and Sunil Ambris who played in Bangladesh series are left out. ODI series will start on 20th February 2019 at Kensington Oval in Barbados with second match on 22nd February 2019 at same ground.
Chairman of selectors Courtney Browne said: “As we continue our Cricket World Cup preparations, the upcoming series against the top ranked ODI side is a great opportunity for us to gauge where we are as a team. This allows us to identify any areas that need addressing relating to selection and also helps the coaching staff to fine tune their game strategy. We welcome the return of Chris Gayle who missed the last two series and Ashley Nurse from injury. We are pleased to introduce Nicholas Pooran to the ODI cricket for the first time. He is clearly a young player with undoubted talent and we believe he can add value to our middle order. Shannon Gabriel remains very much in our World Cup plans but with a heavy workload expected in the Test series he will be considered for selection later in the ODI series.”
West Indies Squad (First 2 ODIs): Jason Holder (capt), Fabian Allen, Devendra Bishoo, Darren Bravo, Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Evin Lewis, Ashley Nurse, Keemo Paul, Nicholas Pooran, Rovman Powell, Kemar Roach, Oshane Thomas
India have been great in the limited overs format since the Champions Trophy 2017. Out of the ten ODI’s series they have played since the June 18 final, India have won a striking 9. In 2019 also, under the captaincy of Virat Kohli, India have managed to trump the vast Australians and New Zealand in their own yards. The only series that India have lost since the Champions Trophy was against England in 2018.
Most of the enthusiasts and experts are already tagging India as the preferences to lift the World Cup trophy in May. Australian legend Shane Warne also believes that India and home team England go in as “hot favourites” into the World Cup. Having said that, the leg spinner is also confident that Australia still have a chance to secure their title, even though their recent performances have been disappointing.
“As I’m putting my world cup squad together for my column, I really believe Australia can win it again. As we have the players for the conditions, match winners etc. I think England & India go in as hot favourites, but if the selectors play their part – then the Aussies can 100% win!”
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has confirmed that Sarfaraz Ahmed will remain captain of Pakistan Cricket team till 2019 Cricket World Cup. PCB has announced this news to put an end to rumors about captaincy of Sarfaraz Ahmed. International Cricket Council (ICC) had suspended Sarfaraz Ahmed for four matches under anti-racism code of conduct. PCB has supported Sarfaraz Ahmed by naming him skipper of Pakistan men’s cricket team for ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, scheduled to run from 30th May to 14th July 2019.
PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani said: “Sarfaraz has been an integral part of the Pakistan cricket team’s World Cup preparations and has proved to be a good strategist, leader and performer. He led Pakistan to the Champions Trophy 2017 title as well as to top of the ICC T20I rankings. I am happy to confirm that Sarfaraz will remain Pakistan captain till the World Cup. I was always clear in my mind that Sarfaraz would be the captain. His achievements and contributions as a captain and as a valuable all-round cricketer cannot be undermined or overlooked because of the team’s recent Test results.”
Ehsan Mani praised Sarafraz Ahmed for leading Pakistan cricket team in all three formats of cricket, a rare quality as most teams have separate captains for different formats. Mr Mani revealed that he had met Sarfaraz Ahmed in 2006 ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup in Colombo. He remembered how Sarfaraz had led Pakistan to victory in final, by dismissing India for 71 after being restricted to 109 runs. He said that Sarfaraz has contributed well for Pakistan and has leadership ability as he has captained the under-19, PIA and Pakistan sides.
Ehsan Mani backed Sarfaraz Ahmed by stating: “Nobody should doubt him as captain. He is captain and will remain captain until next decision is taken. Yes, questions have been raised about the performances but in a bigger picture results have been good so far. I spoke to selectors, coaches, director operations and the entire board is behind him. I am confident he will continue the good work with Mickey Arthur and Inzamam-ul-Haq so that the team is in the best possible shape and form to produce strong performances at the World Cup.”
Pakistan are set to contest 10 ODIs ahead of 2019 World Cup. Pakistan will host Australia for 5-match ODI series in UAE starting in late March 2019. PCB has proposed to Cricket Australia to consider playing a couple of games in Pakistan, in effort to bring cricket back to the troubled country. Pakistan will then tour England for five ODI matches in May 2019 right before Cricket World Cup 2019.
Sarfaraz Ahmed described: “This support has always been there and I’m thankful for the reassurance. It is a big honour for me to lead Pakistan at World Cup and stand among those who did in past people like Imran Khan, Wasim Akram, Shahid Afridi, Misbah-ul-Haq. I am convinced we are in a good shape for the World Cup. We have top quality talent and match-winners with a committed support staff in the dressing room. Everyone is geared up and keenly looking forward to returning to the country where we won the last major ICC tournament. Pressure is always there during captaincy. But with the chairman and board’s support I feel motivated more than ever. I now would like to transfer the same to the team for the upcoming Australia series and World Cup.”
Former Proteas captain Shaun Pollock trusts host country England and in-form India who are No 1 and No 2 respectively on the ICC ODI rankings are favourites to win the Cricket World Cup 2019. Pollock shared his words standing together with the Cricket World Cup trophy in Johannesburg during the South African leg of the ICC’s ‘trophy tour’ an inventiveness used by the ICC to raise responsiveness for the event taking place in England and Wales from 30 May – 14 July.
‘There are only 10 teams, and each team plays each other before the semi-finals, but I think there will only be about six teams capable of really competing for the trophy,’
Australia fought recently, but I believe the reappearance of Steve Smith and David Warner will make a big change. New Zealand are currently playing good cricket but I do think India and England are the favourites to win the event.’
In all seven previous Cricket World Cups with Pollock elaborated in four of them through his memorable career spanning 303 ODI’s on behalf of South Africa – the Proteas have unsuccessful to get past the semi-final stage, but Pollock has slight hopes for his countrymen, who are currently just below England and India in third place on the ICC ODI rankings.
‘South Africa will believe they can make the semi-finals, and from there anything can happen,’ he said.
Jimmy Neesham is taking a diverse approach in his quest for selection as the 2019 edition appears. In 2015, Neesham was a surprise slip from the squad but his treasures look rosier this time, mainly thanks to a transformed mentality. Evoked for last month’s series against Sri Lanka after 18 months away from international cricket, the all-rounder is pushing less burden on himself to perform.
Additionally, he believes his practices from four years ago have him in a much restored place.
“I’ve done it before — it’s a bit like Groundhog Day from four years ago with that World Cup race, and I think having that experience of desperately wanting to make a team for a big tournament and missing out, it puts me in good stead this time around,” said Neesham.
“I’ve probably been putting less pressure on myself to succeed. I remember four years ago, we had a one-day series in the UAE and it felt that every game was make or break as far as the World Cup spot went, and I put a lot of pressure on myself to succeed every innings.
“I know coming into this tournament, it’s about accepting what comes. If the runs and wickets come, they do, if they don’t, so be it.
“I know what not to do and what not to focus on. For me, my attitude for the whole season has been ‘I won’t make it’, so what’s the point of stressing about it? I’m not going to change that mindset, it’s obviously been working so far.”
ICC has announced warm-up fixtures for Cricket World Cup 2019 in England. All ten teams participating in the mega Cricket tournament will play two practice matches each. Fixtures will be contested between 24th May and 28th May 2018. Venues for these games are Bristol County Ground, Cardiff Wales Stadium, Hampshire Bowl and The Oval in England and Wales. These games will provide ample preparation for ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, that will run from 30th May till 14th July 2019. These practice matches will be 50 overs a side affair, will not be official ODIs and will allow teams to field all 15 players.
Pakistan will start warm-up matches by taking on Afghanistan at Bristol County Ground on 24 May 2019. Sri Lanka will face South Africa in second fixture of the day at Cardiff Wales Stadium. CWC hosts England will square off against arch rivals Australia at Hampshire Bowl on 25th May 2019. Tournament favourites India will clash with another favourite New Zealand at The Oval on the same day. South Africa will take on West Indies at Bristol County Ground on 26th May 2019. Pakistan will meet Bangladesh at Cardiff Wales Stadium on same day.
Five time tournament winners Australia will compete with 1996 champions Sri Lanka at Hampshire Bowl on 27th May 2019. England will take field against Afghanistan at The Oval in second fixture of the day. Two time champions West Indies will face-off with New Zealand at Bristol County Ground on 28th May 2019. Bangladesh will contest with twice champion India at Cardiff Wales Stadium in second game of day to finish warm-ups.
Pakistan v Afghanistan – 24th May 2019 – Bristol County Ground
Sri Lanka v South Africa – 24th May 2019 – Cardiff Wales Stadium
England v Australia – 25th May 2019 – Hampshire Bowl
India v New Zealand – 25th May 2019 – The Oval
South Africa v West Indies – 26th May 2019 – Bristol County Ground
Pakistan v Bangladesh – 26th May 2019 – Cardiff Wales Stadium
Australia v Sri Lanka – 27th May 2019 – Hampshire Bowl
England v Afghanistan – 27th May 2019 – The Oval
West Indies v New Zealand – 28th May 2019 – Bristol County Ground
Bangladesh v India – 28th May 2019 – Cardiff Wales Stadium
World Cup managing director Steve Elworthy said: “It is always a huge milestone announcing an exciting warm-up schedule for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup as it really highlights just how close we are to the action getting underway this summer.”
“These games provide another fantastic opportunity for fans to see world-class players at their local venue and allows the tournament to engage local schools and communities with another chance to get involved with the Cricket World Cup.”
New Zealand at last won a match in current ODI series against touring India side. Trent Boult revived BlackCaps with consolation win in 4th ODI on 31st January 2019 at Seddon Park, Hamilton. Boult led bowling attack in restricting India to 92 all out inside 31 overs. Colin de Grandhomme helped in tightening screws on Indian batting line-up. New Zealand easily chased the meager target in 15 overs for the loss of two wickets. Ross Taylor aced the chase with Henry Nichols playing the anchor role as hosts finished the game before dinner time. Swing played vital role in limiting India to a low total, with Boult and Grandhomme bowling ten overs each on the trot. India and New Zealand are using this ODI serie for preparation of Cricket World Cup 2019 in England and Wales.
India had won first three matches of the ODI series comfortably. Indian selectors rested captain Virat Kohli for last two ODIs and T20I series. Shikhar Dhawan and stand-in skipper Rohit Sharma were dismissed early by Trent Boult. Ambati Rayudu and Dinesh Karthik became easy targets of Colin de Grandhomme. Debutant Shubman Gill had disappointing start and became third scalp of Boult. Kedar Jadhav became fourth wicket of Trent Boult by getting lbw to leave India 35 for 6. Grandhomme picked his third scalp by bowling out Bhuvneshwar Kumar with India 7 down on 40. Hardik Pandya hit some lusty blows to help India cross 50 runs mark. Trent Boult removed Pandya to complete his five-for, with India reeling on 55 for 8. Ninth wicket partnership of 25 runs between Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal took India to 80 runs, before Todd Astle sent Yadav packing. Chahal hit some crucial boundaries to take India to 92 runs, when James Neesham bowled Khaleel Ahmed.
New Zealand opener Martin Guptill started briskly by hitting first ball for six, followed by two fours on next two deliveries. Bhuvneshwar Kumar removed Guptill on fourth ball to bring BlackCaps in check. Stand-in opener Henry Nichols in place of Colin Munro left out due to being out of form, played sheath anchor role scoring 30 runs from 42 balls with 4 fours and a six. BlackCaps captain Kane Williamson made 11 runs from 18 deliveries, hitting 2 fours before being plucked out by B Kumar. Ross Taylor finished the match with a cameo of 25 ball 37 runs, comprising 2 fours and 3 sixes. It was biggest defeat for India in terms of number of balls remaining, with 212 deliveries left. Trent Boult was judged player of the match for his 5 for 21.
The ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 have revealed the uniform that will be worn by their volunteer workforce at this year’s competition. Over 4,000 volunteers will wear the particularly designed uniforms at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. The kit will make the World Cup Cricketeers rapidly familiar to the hundreds of thousands attending the World Cup 2019.
Cricket World Cup 2019 Volunteers Head, Mary Cahill: “The World Cup Cricketeers will be the go-to people for those needing assistance and this uniform will help them stand out from the crowd”
All volunteers will receive a bespoke polo shirt, softshell jacket, trousers, belt, cap, backpack and water bottle, as well as a pair of accompanying New Balance coaches.
The kits were intended in line with the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 brand, which is reinforced by bold easiness. The use of ‘Royal’ and ‘Spring’ colours gives the volunteers an exclusive image which will support to make them easily recognisable. The same colours will also be used for wayfinding signs and instructions throughout Host Venues and cities at CWC19, offering a smooth viewer journey when looking for info and assistance.
“We’re delighted to be able to share the stand-out uniform designs with those who will be wearing them this summer and hope they share our excitement about being the face of this summer’s World Cup.
“The World Cup Cricketeers will be the go-to people for those needing assistance at the Cricket World Cup, and the uniform helps set them out from the crowd, easily identifiable for anyone who requires assistance.”