MS Dhoni to retire after World Cup 2019? Chief Selector MSK Prasad Says

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.

India Cricket World Cup Tickets
India Cricket World Cup Tickets

“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.

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Bowlers, de Kock help South Africa win ODI series 3-2 against Pakistan

South Africa outclassed Pakistan in decider to win ODI series 3-2 against Pakistan. Proteas bowlers restricted Pakistan to 240 for 8 in the fifth ODI. South Africa’s experimentation with bowling and all-rounder options throughout the series paid dividends in the decider. Proteas all-rounders Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius and Wiaan Mulder came handy by knocking five wickets to limit Pakistan to below-par score of 240. South Africa got bragging rights with comfortable victory for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 in England and Wales.

Proteas spearhead Dale Steyn drew first blood by bouncing out leading run scorer of ODI series Imam-ul-Haq. Pakistan opener Fakhar Zaman and Babar Zaman tried to revive visitors’ batting by 50 runs partnership. Dwaine Pretorius bowled Babar on 24 runs to end the promising stand. Mohammad Hafeez could not get going and snicked Phehlukwayo delivery to keeper de Kock. Fakhar Zaman played brilliantly after early chance, amassing 70 runs off 73 balls with 10 fours. Imran Tahir took athletic catch at deep fine leg boundary to send Fakhar packing. Pakistan’s second-choice wicket-keeper Mohammad Rizwan got dismissed by Dwaine Pretorius after miserable 10 runs of 30 deliveries. Shoaib Malik, stand-in captain in absence of regular skipper Sarfraz Ahmed suspended on racial comments charge, got run-out after mix-up with Shadab Khan, who himself miss-timed a Wiaan Mulder delivery to short mid-wicket. Imad Wasim played brilliantly to take Pakistan to 240/8 with 31 ball 47 runs, comprising of 4 fours and 2 sixes.

Bowlers, Quinton de Kock make South Africa win ODI Series against Pakistan 3-2
Bowlers, Quinton de Kock make South Africa win ODI Series against Pakistan 3-2

South Africa opener Quinton de Kock made chase easy from get going. His partner Hashim Amla was caught behind early by wicket-keeper Mohammad Rizwan on Shaheen Shah Afridi delivery. One down Reeza Hendricks farmed fifty plus runs partnership with de Kock before getting dismissed by Mohammad Amir for 34 runs. Quinton de Kock smashed 11 fours and three sixes to register 83 runs of 58 balls, before miss-timing a Usman Shinwari delivery to mid-wicket. Proteas captain Faf du Plessis and new batting find Rassie van der Dussen took hosts home with fifty apiece.

Andile Phehlukwayo has turned star performer for South Africa in ODI series versus touring Pakistan side. He took most wickets with 8 scalps and recorded decent lower order batting to bolster his credentials for all-rounder spot. Rassie van der Dussen has proved his selection right by becoming leading scorer for Proteas with 241 runs in 4 innings. Hashim Amla, Reeza Hendricks, Faf du Plessis have displayed good batting form. Rotation in South Africa squad has offered rest for senior players and allowed team management to check alternative players. Proteas coach Ottis Gibson has provided extended run to the all-rounders extended in the team.

Wiaan Mulder included in South Africa squad for 5th ODI as Pakistan level Series 2-2

South Africa have continued their experimentation with squad for ODI matches against Pakistan. All-rounder Wiaan Mulder is added to Proteas squad for fifth and final ODI. Pieter Willem Adriaan Mulder who bowls medium pace, has played seven ODIs so far with moderate success. Mulder who bats in lower middle order, is a convincing candidate for number 7 all-rounder position. South Africa have made recent changes in ODI squad to identify the best bowling and all-rounder options ahead of Cricket World Cup 2019 in England and Wales.

Wiaan Mulder was injured with ankle problem after 1st ODI versus Zimbabwe at end of September 2018. He recovered from Achilles tendon injury in January 2019 to take part in 4-Day Franchise Series. A career best first-class score of 146 and good bowling figure have earned him ODI recall. His naming in squad means that he is in the fray for all-rounder position before 2019 edition of ICC Cricket World Cup. Mulder is also included in the T20I squad to face the visiting Pakistan side. Proteas coach Ottis Gibson has vowed to give the all-rounders extended run in the team.

Wiaan Mulder added in South Africa squad for 5th ODI against Pakistan with Series level 2-2
Wiaan Mulder added in South Africa squad for 5th ODI against Pakistan with Series level 2-2

South Africa selectors have continued the rotation within the squad. Regular wicket-keeper batsman Quinton de Kock and Pace bowler Dale Steyn were rested from first two ODIs. It is part of Proteas’ efforts to manage the workload of senior players. Pace bowler Duanne Olivier was rested from last three ODIs to give him break before Test series with Sri Lanka.

Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed will not take part in the 5th ODI, as he is suspended by ICC for 4 matches due to racial comment against Andile Phehlukwayo. Shoaib Malik will lead the green shirts in his absence. Sarfraz had been benched in 4th ODI with Shoaib leading Pakistan. Shoaib Malik will be skipper of Pakistan team in T20I series against Proteas as well.

South Africa squad for 5th ODI: Faf du Plessis(c), Hashim Amla, Aiden Markram, Reeza Hendricks, David Miller, Quinton de Kock, Imran Tahir, Dale Steyn, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Beuran Hendricks, Rassie van der Dussen, Wiaan Mulder

Pakistan ODI squad (5th ODI): Shoaib Malik (c), Babar Azam, Faheem Ashraf, Fakhar Zaman, Hasan Ali, Hussain Talat, Imad Wasim, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Shadab Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood, Usman Khan Shinwari