Former Indian opener turned cricket expert Sunil Gavaskar predicted the finalists of the forthcoming ICC World Cup 2019 yesterday at the India Today Conclave 2019. Gavaskar, along with Australian legends Matthew Hayden and Michael Clarke, was present at the occasion where all the 3 experts chose their finalists for the mega-event.
The ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 is under 3 months away from today and a lot of cricket experts had earlier chosen their favourites for the multi-national tournament. Two days ago, AB de Villiers picked India, Australia, Pakistan, England, and South Africa as the top contenders of the World Cup trophy. And yesterday, Sunil Gavaskar, Matthew Hayden, and Michael Clarke also revealed their choices for the 2019 World Cup.
The heart of the matter
Predicting the finalists of the 2019 World Cup, Gavaskar said that,
“It certainly is an India vs England final. I think the best thing for Virat is that he has got MS Dhoni around him – Virat has to be in the deep, it’s not always possible that’s when MSD comes into play. That is Virat’s biggest plus.”
He has got a bowling attack which can take wickets in any kind of surroundings. England and India are currently ranked at no.1 and no.2 positions respectively in the ICC ODI rankings. While India has won 2 World Cups thus far, the hosts of the upcoming World Cup, England are yet to lift the trophy even once.
Looking at both the teams’ recent form, a lot of experts have picked India and England as the favourites to lift the World Cup at Lord’s however, only time will tell which team prevails when it matters the most.
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Chris Gayle had cautioned England`s bowlers to be wary from him in the upcoming ICC World Cup. After West indies batsman explodes England`s bowlers, Adil Rashid leg spinner is looking forward to facing Gayle.
Gayle already announced that he would retire from ODI cricket after the World Cup. He put his 100% efforts to perform well in the whole series since it’s the last time he would be performing in ODI matches.
When asked about Gayle`s comment he replied,
“It’s a challenge for everybody, we have people who hit the ball a long way. It’s exciting for me, I can put my game plans into place, use my variations and being clever with what you bowl. I`m looking forward to it.”
Furthermore, Rashid said that
“there are obviously some concerns but you have to believe in yourself, you got to have confidence. You have to go out and stick to your strengths and be confident that you can get him out. He is also human. We are all human and make mistakes. So, it takes one ball for him to make a mistake and get out. It’s that kind of mindset that we need.”
Rashid ranked 8th in the ICC ranking bowlers, the best by England. He is the consistent performer. Rashid left the tour of the Caribbean but returned for the warm-up game. Rashid picked up 2/21 in 7 overs in contradiction of UWI Vice Chancellor`s XI.
Dale Steyn is fast bowler of South Africa cricket team, planning to retire from One Day International and T20 format after the Cricket World Cup 2019. Steyn is disappointed by a lot of injuries over the last couple of years he counts these injuries a bad-luck for him.
Steyn said that “I will be trying to get to that World Cup. But after the World Cup, I don`t see myself playing white-ball cricket for South Africa. By the time the next World Cup comes, I will be 40.”
he said that “I hope that will be my trump card when the selection comes to the World Cup. I may not necessarily play all the time.But I think my experience will help, with me just being there.”
“Wickets are something that`s not guaranteed. I`m happy with that I came out 100% fitness wise. That`s the biggest cloud I have gotten over, especially the last two years.”
He played last ODI series about 2 years ago against Australia in 2016. South Africa cricket team coach Ottis Gibson has not picked him in ODIs and make him clear that he should focus on red-ball fitness. Steyn said that he would love to continue his Test cricket career after World Cup 2019.
Paul Farbrace decided to step out as England assistant coach in the next few weeks before the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 and he announced that he is going to take the role of sporting director at Warwickshire. After England`s Caribbean tour he announced to start his new job and during the Cricket World Cup 2019, he will not stay with them that was a really hardest decision for him.
He got several proposals from different countries and choose one of the best opportunity which suites him. Warwickshire gives the opportunity and showed their interest in me that was really tough for me to decide that, grab the opportunity or left it.
Farbrace said it has been a great experience of working with extraordinary players and world-class coaches. I love to achieve success and have a brilliant experience to be a part of the development of fantastic players.
Paul Farbrace said, “I am very grateful for the opportunity that Warwickshire`s Chairman Norman Gascoigne and Chief Executive Neil Snowball have offered me and I am looking forward to starting a new chapter in my career development.”
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Chris Gayle has publicized that he will retire from One-day Internationals after the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 England and Wales. The 39-year-old veteran batsman had been recalled by the West indies Cricket for the first two ODIs against England in training for this year’s World Cup. Chris Gayle last played for the team against Bangladesh last July.
Gayle having the West Indian record for most ODI hundreds with 23 centuries and is their second leading run-scorer in the ODI format with 9,727 runs. His 215 against Zimbabwe in the 2015 World Cup also signifies the highest limited overs score by a West Indies batsman.
Last year, Gayle had levelled Pakistan star Shahid Afridi’s record of the greatest number of sixes in a career in all three international formats joint. Both batsmen have 476 sixes well forward of the next best, Brendon McCullum at 398 sixes. Gayle, however, attained the feat in 443 matches while Afridi touched the mark in 524 games. Afridi hit 351 sixes in ODIs, 73 sixes in T20Is and 52 in Tests. Gayle has smashed 275 sixes in ODIs, 103 sixes in T20Is and 98 in test format.
“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,” Windies chairman of selectors Courtney Browne had said.
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.
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!”
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.”