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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MS Dhoni Will be an Energetic Cog for IND at CWC19 – Kiran More

Former Indian wicket-keeper Kiran More has said that MS Dhoni will be a vital cog for the team at the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.

MS Dhoni Will be an Energetic Cog for IND at CWC19 – Kiran More
MS Dhoni Will be an Energetic Cog for IND at CWC19 – Kiran More

Dhoni played one of the most remarkable innings of the 2019 IPL, nearly chasing down 26 runs off the last over against Royal Challengers Bangalore on Sunday, 21 April.

Chennai eventually fell short by a run, but Dhoni’s 48-ball 84* showed More that he continued to be a lynchpin in every team he played for, despite his age.

“He was brilliant. It was a settled inning and only goes to show age is never a standard,” More said. “Dhoni is in the highest form and age is just a number. Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid all played till late in their career and with a difference.”

Dhoni is Chennai’s top-scorer this season, with 314 runs at 104.66, striking them at a little over 137. He has also been in terrific form for India in ODIs this year, where he has averaged 81.75 in eight innings.

It’s far from how the last year had panned out, where Dhoni struggled for runs, averaging 25 and striking at 71.42 after 13 outings. However, he has put that behind in 2019, when he has turned back the clock by finishing innings and winning games, both for India and for Chennai in the IPL.

His innings on Sunday took more back to 2006 when a brash and young Dhoni took international cricket by storm with his savage hitting. More had been responsible for Dhoni’s arrival at the international scene when as a national selector in 2004; he pushed for Dhoni’s inclusion in the national squad for the 2004 tour of Bangladesh.

Dhoni immediately validated that faith, with a century in his fifth game – 148 against Pakistan in Visakhapatnam in April 2005. A few months later, he struck a devastating 183* against Sri Lanka in Jaipur, which remains the highest score by a wicket-keeper in ODIs.

“The match took me back to 2006, and maybe about that time when a young Dhoni took the scene by squall,” More said. “He will absolutely be an energetic cog for the Indian team at the CWC.”

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Jacques Kallis wants Karthik in India’s CWC team

Jacques Kallis, the former South Africa all-rounder, has called for Dinesh Karthik to be included in India’s 15-man squad for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019.

Jacques Kallis wants Karthik in India’s CWC team
Jacques Kallis wants Karthik in India’s CWC team

Kallis is currently working with Karthik at the 2019 Indian Premier League, where he serves as head coach of Kolkata Knight Riders, of which Karthik is captain.

Kallis felt Karthik would fit in well as India’s No.4. The position has been highly contentious in the build-up to the tournament, with India still looking for answers. Karthik, however, hasn’t been in the discussion.

He last played ODI cricket during India’s tour of New Zealand, and while he has been solid in the chances given to him, the performances haven’t been enough to make him stand out in a competitive pool, comprising KL Rahul, Ambati Rayudu and Rishabh Pant, among potentially several others.

Kallis, however, felt Karthik would be critical to India’s chances at the marquee event. “India will be silly not to pick Dinesh Kartik in the World Cup team,” he told India Today. “He has the experience and the temperament and will be critical to India’s chances. He should be looked at as the No.4 option

Jacques Kallis wants Karthik in India’s CWC team
Jacques Kallis wants Karthik in India’s CWC team

“2019 will be the most open World Cup of all, and India certainly has the team to win it and are the favorites going into the tournament. DK is one of the best finishers I have ever seen. He has been unbelievable for KKR. To have a guy there who is going to be calm under pressure… and he is great to have in your dressing room as well.”

Echoing Kallis’ views were Kolkata team mentor Abhishek Nayar, who has had a direct influence on the wicket-keeper’s late career resurgence. Nayar put Karthik through a rigorous training programme that included a complete mental reset. It led to Karthik coming back with renewed purpose and slamming that stunning eight-ball 29* in the Nidahas Trophy final of 2018.

“I think in the past two years, he has shown us how versatile he is. He is not only a finisher but even batting up the order… I think he gives you that versatility also, being a wicket-keeper and a very good fielder,” Nayar said.

Nayar went on to say that Karthik didn’t necessarily have to be a back-up wicket-keeper and that he was good enough to make the team on his batting and fielding skills alone. “He is not only a keeper back-up but also a batsman back-up, who can come and field,” he said.

“We’ve seen how well he fields and the kind of catches he has taken. He is also ideal to bat at No.4. Because of the kind batsman he is, you can use him anywhere in the batting order. So, for me, he is someone I feel should be definitely in that World Cup squad.”

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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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After sobering ‘reality check’, Pandya sets sights on CWC

Hardik Pandya, the India all-rounder, wants to put injuries and controversy behind him as he moves on from his “toughest time” to work towards making sure that India wins the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019.

The fast-bowling all-rounder brings balance to Virat Kohli’s one-day international side. However, he’s missed out on several matches since September – first with a back injury, then when his comments on a talk show resulted in a suspension, and finally with more lower back issues that kept him out of action during the recent home series against Australia.

The Indian Premier League, where he turns out for Mumbai Indians, was a chance for him to get some vital game time before the World Cup in England and Wales, and on Wednesday, 3 April, he showed just how impactful he could be.

After sobering ‘reality check’, Pandya sets sights on CWC
After sobering ‘reality check’, Pandya sets sights on CWC

Pandya smashed 25* off just eight balls as Mumbai posted a challenging 170/5 against Chennai Super Kings at the Wankhede stadium, before scalping 3/20 in four overs, in his team’s 37-run win. His three sixes included one off a ‘helicopter shot’, with MS Dhoni watching from behind the stumps.

Picking up his Player of the Match award, Pandya opened up on what it meant to him. “It has been seven months that I have hardly played games,” he said. “I was out for an injury and then some other controversy happened.

“This match award, I’d really like to dedicate to my family and my friends, who were there for me during my toughest time. These seven months have not been easy. I was out and then I didn’t know what to do.

“That made me feel that I should have a reality check about what I am doing and which is helping me. Now, my only focus is to play IPL and make sure India wins the CWC. That is my sole purpose. That’s why I am practising the way I am doing right now.”

Basking in the “fantastic feeling” of having contributed to a win, Pandya said he had used his time away from the game to focus on his batting. “I’ve just batted and batted and batted in training, and touch wood, the game is getting improved,” he said.

“I am someone who wants to improve day by day. That is something I was focusing on all that time I was out of the side. It is a fantastic feeling when you hit the ball like that and make your team win.”

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‘I’d really enjoy the chance to play the CWC –Ish Sodhi

The New Zealand spinner is hopeful of grabbing a spot in New Zealand’s squad for the impending ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019.

“I think it World Cup is the best white-ball competition,” Sodhi told ESPN. “Being quite a sad and historian of the game, I’d really enjoy the opportunity and chance to play the CWC. I am still hoping for the chance.”

In 2019, Sodhi played five ODIs at home – three against Sri Lanka and two against India. He was wicketless against a strong India side who won the five-match series 4-1, however, in New Zealand’s sweep over Sri Lanka, he was economical and also picked up the most wickets in the series.

‘I’d really enjoy the chance to play the CWC –Ish Sodhi
‘I’d really enjoy the chance to play the CWC –Ish Sodhi

“It was fantastic to play that full series against SL, and contribute to a few wins,” he says. “You can be comparatively aggressive while still trying to keep the run rate down. I think your key job is to take wickets. It is definitely a role I really enjoyed playing and to be able to contribute was really special.”

Sodhi, who has made 30 ODI appearances for New Zealand, admitted bowling against the likes of England and India, who he also said are going to be the favorites in the upcoming 50-over tournament, one must be on the feet against their top players.

“Fascinatingly, all of England batsmen are 360-degree players,” Sodhi says. “They reverse-sweep, they sweep quite hard. They use their feet. You have to retain things simple and almost allow the batsmen to make faults, as opposed to trying to set them up. Adil Rashid occasionally bats at No. 11, so they bat all the way down, and they can be hard to encompass.

“You have to faith that you get something out of the wicket against India even though occasionally the pitches are quite flat. You have to bowl with an aggressive mindset. They are actually good at the speed of the innings.

“They can recognize the threat and feed off other options that aren’t bowling as well that day. It is important to recognize how they are looking to play you, and then make the plan. You have to think on your feet against great players.”

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The Mall set to crown opening of the CWC19

The CWC will launch with a bang as London’s iconic Mall plays host to a spectacular Opening Party on the eve of the event. The ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Opening Party is set to take place on the iconic London Mall on the evening of 29 May ahead of the opening fixture between hosts England and South Africa at The Oval on 30 May

The Opening Party will feature a live global TV broadcast between 5-6pm BST and a select group of lucky fans will attend the event to enjoy live music, sport, and entertainment

The Mall set to crown opening of the CWC19
The Mall set to crown opening of the CWC19

The ‘not-to-be-missed’ live broadcast Opening Party will be a mix of music, dance and some of the biggest names in the sport with a winner takes all sporting competitions. The glittering event organized in partnership with The Royal Parks within the backdrop of Buckingham Palace will be live broadcast around the world between 5-6pm British Summer Time with an audience of spectators at the ticket only event.

Fans around the world will get to enjoy the Opening Party too. It will be broadcast live across multiple territories taking the official opening of cricket’s 50-over pinnacle event to homes and communities of millions of global cricket fans.

Tickets will be allocated through a ballot system and applications will open at 10am British Summer Time on Thursday 4 April and will close at 10pm British Summer Time on 1 May with winners being notified on 7 May. Subject to success, each applicant will be limited to two free tickets to ensure a fair process across the ballot stage and tickets will not be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis. Fans without tickets will not be able to attend the live event on The Mall.

Steve Elworthy, Managing Director at CWC19, said: “The Opening Party will seizure the very essence of what makes this tournament so special and will be hugely exciting for the fans that are lucky enough to attend but also across broadcast we will show the world what they have to look forward to over the next 45 days of cricket action.

“The Mall, with Buckingham Palace in the background, is synonymous with some of the biggest events held in the UK and is instantly familiar to everyone around the globe. It will be a suitable celebration of a CWC, cricket, and sport with diversity at its core.”

Interest in tickets for the 48 matches at the tournament has been unprecedented with over 3 million ticket applications from 148 countries across six continents truly showing the global appeal of the CWC.

Alun Mainwaring, Head of Events and Filming at The Royal Parks, said: “The ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Opening Party will be a unique and spectacular way to kick off this incredible tournament.

“Millions of people around the world will be watching the excitement unfold in central London and we are honored to be a part of it.”

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Curran content to be in IPL for now he races CWC vision

England all-rounder Sam Curran said that it’s a dream to represent his country at the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019, but is content to be playing in the 2019 Indian Premier League for now. Cricket World Cup Final Tickets can be garbing from our global event ticket sales market.

Curran, who had a breakout Test season last year, is currently engaged with Kings XI Punjab in the Indian league’s 12th season. He was the most expensive overseas purchase, at INR 7.2 1 million USD approx., thanks to a bidding war between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Punjab. It was reward for a terrific rookie year in Test cricket, where he was named England’s Player of the Series in the Test matches against India at home.

“It’s a dream for every player to represent his country in the World Cup,” Curran told The Times of India. “I also want to represent my country in the mega tournament. For now, I am focusing on the IPL. I want to give my best.”

Curran content to be in IPL for now he races CWC dream
Curran content to be in IPL for now he races CWC dream

Curran also sounded optimistic of England’s chances at the tournament. England has never lifted the World Cup, but is heavy favorites to do so this time. They are playing at home and are a formidable one-day unit, ranked No.1.

“There is amazing one-day cricket being played by England,” Curran said. “The way England is playing in ODIs, the chances are bright. England playing at home are a strong side, and hope they have better luck at the World Cup.

“They have a bunch of talented cricketers, and I wish they carry on the same show at the World Cup. It will be amazing if they win the title in front of the home crowd.”

 

As he prepares to be a part of that pursuit, Curran is getting to share the dressing room with some of the world’s top international cricketers, and is getting valuable game time and experience in a highly competitive league such as the IPL.

Curran was nine years old when the IPL came into existence, in 2008. Since then, he has come a long way to now being team-mates with the likes of Chris Gayle, KL Rahul and R Ashwin.

“I was playing cricket with my father in the backyard of my house when the IPL started,” he said.

“I was learning the game at that point. I was viewing big stars hitting the ball, taking wickets, and doing some great fielding on the TV.

“I am really excited to be a part of the IPL. I really look forward to playing some good cricket and sharing the dressing room with the best players in the world.

“Punjab has a talented bunch of boys. It is a well-balanced side. I have shared net sessions with these players. I am sure I will learn a lot from players around the world. We have a great captain in Ashwin. He is a good leader. He did well for Punjab last year and I am sure he will guide Punjab to the title this year.”

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Broken thumb won’t keep Stoinis out of World Cup

Aussies all-rounder Marcus is self-assured that his thumb damage will have healed completely by the time the ICC Men’s CWC 2019 comes around. Those who don’t want to miss the entertainment have already bought their Cricket World Cup Final Tickets.

Marcus fractured his right thumb in Australia’s limited-overs tour of India previous this month. It caused him to miss one match, but has not come in the way of his contribution in the ongoing series against Pakistan.

Marcus has only been used slightly this series. He has bowled eight overs through the two matches and conceded 54 runs without taking a wicket. And he hasn’t been obligatory with the bat, with Australia’s top-order in top form.

Though, Stoinis told that he has been okay to play usually, though he has had to keep the finger protected while fielding. “I am pretty pleased it did not keep me out for too long,” he said on the day before of the third ODI in Abu Dhabi, on Tuesday, 26 March2019.

Broken thumb won’t keep Stoinis out of World Cup
Broken thumb won’t keep Stoinis out of World Cup

“It was uncomfortable for a good couple of days. It’s just something I’m going to keep covered up while fielding. But it’s pulled up pretty well. After each game, it’s been okay. I think I’ll be over it by the World Cup. I think it should be totally healed within four weeks.”

Stoinis has been busy roving around the world for the last few months. After a long BBL season with the Melbourne Stars that went all the way to the final, Stoinis took the flight to India for the five-match ODI series and is now in the UAE for as several matches against Pakistan.

He will coming back to India at the end of that tour to join his new IPL franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore. Then, if he’s selected for the CWC, he will have to go to Brisbane with the Aussies squad for a training camp ahead of the CWC, and then take the flight to England.

“It has been a time-consuming,” he said of life on the road. “Fortunately, it’s always easier when you’re winning and we’re just making sure on my off days, you’re chilling out.

“I will have my family come over to meet me in India, and then again, I will probably meet them in Brisbane in the World Cup prep. I might bring a pair of mates over for the Cricket World Cup, if I am there, awaiting selection.

“For me, it’s about having people around, making sure I’m staying in contact with home. But it is a long stint.”

Broken thumb won’t keep Stoinis out of World Cup
Broken thumb won’t keep Stoinis out of World Cup

Making that spell worthwhile, though, is the success he’s had with the Aussies squad over the last few weeks. After a famous series win in India, where they came back from 0-2 down to win their next three games, Aussies have now taken a 3-0 lead against Pakistan.

“We’ve had a lot of reflection to do over the last 12 months – on how we’ve been playing, playing in different conditions and people gaining experience. It’s good to get a bit of reward for hard work.”

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