ICC says India vs Pakistan match at Cricket World Cup to take place

International Cricket Council is hopeful that match between India and Pakistan will happen as scheduled. ICC is confident that recent strained relations between South Asian neighbours will not affect cricket. Arch rivals Pakistan and India are set to face off in Cricket World Cup 2019 at Old Trafford in Manchester on 16th June 2019.

India-Pakistan rivalry is one of the most furious sporting rivalries in the world. Pakistan have better win record in head to head matches with India in tests and one day internationals. India have not played a bilateral cricket series since hosting Pakistan in 2013. Both neighbours continue to square off in ICC tournaments though. Relations between India and Pakistan have turned bitter after recent Pulwama attack.

India Vs Pakistan match of 2019 Cricket World Cup got most demand in ticket ballot
India Vs Pakistan match of 2019 Cricket World Cup got most demand in ticket ballot

India versus Pakistan is the most wanted match of every world cup edition. CWC 2019 has witnessed the same trend on ticket ballot. Nearly half a million applications are submitted for India-Pakistan game. It has left behind Cricket World Cup Final in popularity, that has attracted a quarter of a million applications. It is way ahead of England vs Australia fixture as well. Steve Elworthy, Managing Director of CWC 2019 revealed these stats on 100 Day Countdown to Cricket World Cup 2019 milestone at Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square, London. ICC CEO David Richardson displayed optimism that India vs Pakistan will be held surely.

ICC’s CEO David Richardson said: “We haven’t written to the boards as yet. We are monitoring the situation with our members including the BCCI and PCB. Certainly there are no indications any of the matches, including the Pakistan-India match, will not be played as planned at the World Cup. But as I say we will continue to monitor the situation. Sport, and cricket in particular, is perfectly placed. It has the wonderful ability to bring people together to unite communities. And hopefully cricket can be used in this fashion rather than a way of [dividing] people.”

World Cup tournament director Steve Elworthy stated: “It is probably one of the biggest sporting events in the world. You think of that match and you think of the passion, the support, the audience, the [number of] people who applied for tickets. To put that [number] in perspective, England v Australia was around 230-240,000. And the final was around about 260-270,000 applications for tickets. So that gives you a bit of perspective for the demand for this match [India v Pakistan]. It’s a big game. They could end up playing each other in the final [too], you never know.”

India announce Squad for home T20I and ODI Series against Australia

India have named squad for home T20I and ODI series versus Australia. Regular captain Virat Kohli and Jasprit Bumrah have returned after rest in one day internationals against New Zealand. Lokesh Rahul and Rishabh Pant have also been included in the limited overs series. All-rounder Vijay Shankar is also drafted in both lineups after impressive performance in the shorter formats recently. T20 and ODI series with Australia are important for Indian squad selection and preparation for Cricket World Cup 2019.

Indian cricket team will host Australia for two twenty20 internationals on 24th and 27th February 2019. Leg-spinner Mayank Markande has earned maiden T20I call up. He joins Yuzvendra Chahal as second spinner in T20I side in place of Kuldeep Yadav. Markande has impressive performances for India A against England Lions, backing up his good run in IPL. Dinesh Karthik is third wicket-keeper in T20 side besides Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Rishabh Pant.

India Vs Australia Cricket Series - February-March 2019 - 2 T20Is and 5 ODIs
India Vs Australia Cricket Series – February-March 2019 – 2 T20Is and 5 ODIs

India and Australia will contest five one day international matches between 2nd and 13th March 2019. Three all rounders in Hardik Pandya, Vijay Shankar and Kedar Jadhav are summoned in the ODI squad. Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav are retained as main spinners in ODI side. Mohammed Shami keeps the pace leader role with Jasprit Bumrah in company. Siddarth Kaul is called for first two ODIs, while Bhuvneshwar Kumar will join pace attack in last three one-dayers.

India cricket team chief selector MSK Prasad said: “Prior to this we had two series in New Zealand and Australia, that is where Karthik was chosen. Because Rishabh played four Test matches, so we wanted him to get a good break. He had a 20 days’ break. Then he played a couple of one-day matches against England Lions, in which he did extremely well. Then we sent him to the T20 matches (in New Zealand). So we want to give him a few ODIs also before taking a final call.”

MSK Prasad stated: “Vijay Shankar’s performance in the recent series [in New Zealand] has really changed a bit of the dynamics. He brings in that double impact to the side, which is good enough. That’s why we have included him and we’ll see how he performs in the next few matches.”

T20I Squad for India: Virat Kohli (capt), Rohit (vice-capt), Shikhar Dhawan, Lokesh Rahul, MS Dhoni (wk), Rishabh Pant, Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Vijay Shankar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, Sidharth Kaul, Mayank Markande

ODI Squad for India: Virat Kohli (capt), Rohit Sharma (vice-capt), Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohamed Shami, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Vijay Shankar, Rishabh Pant, Lokesh Rahul, Siddharth Kaul / Bhuvneshwar Kumar

Australia name Squad for T20I and ODI Series against India

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.

Australia announce squad for T20Is and ODIs versus India
Australia announce squad for T20Is and ODIs versus India

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)

Trent Boult helps New Zealand win In 4th ODI against India

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.

Trent Boult swings New Zealand to victory in 4th ODI against India at Hamilton
Trent Boult swings New Zealand to victory in 4th ODI against India at Hamilton

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.