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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Five takeaways from Black Caps CWC19 squad

New Zealand became the first of the 10 participating nations in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 to name their squad for the flagship tournament, on Wednesday, 3 April.

While the squad contained a few surprises, most notably the call-ups for Tom Blundell and leg-spinner Ish Sodhi, who was selected ahead of Todd Astle, for the most part, it was what was largely expected in the months leading up to the event.

While some have been given a longer rope despite injuries and poor form, others were afforded no such luxury, as the selectors sought to balance experience, potential, and performance. At the end of it, who were the big gainers and losers? And what did we learn? Let’s take a look.

Five takeaways from Black Caps CWC19 squad
Five takeaways from Black Caps CWC19 squad

In January 2014, Corey Anderson announced himself to world cricket, with the then fastest ODI century, off 36 balls, against West Indies. That innings shot Anderson into prominence, and he quickly rose to become the No. 1 all-rounder in the New Zealand side for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2015.

Since then, the landscape of New Zealand cricket has changed a lot. Anderson has been plagued by injuries and Colin de Grand home has stepped into Anderson’s shoes, fulfilling essentially the same role.

Since the World Cup final at the MCG, Anderson has played only 14 more ODIs for New Zealand. He underwent surgery on his left shoulder last week, which essentially ruled out his participation in this year’s World Cup.

Unlike a lot of present-day teams, New Zealand hasn’t gone out of the way to slot in a wrist-spinner. Their only specialist in that trade, Ish Sodhi, is 30 ODIs old. Mitchell Santner offers the left-arm orthodox variety, but the main strength is where it has always traditionally been: fast bowling.

New Zealand’s inclination towards pace is further demonstrated by their persistence with Tim Southee, who hasn’t been at his best with the white ball in a long while. In ODIs this year, Southee has conceded runs at close to seven and over.

But with the World Cup being held in England, Southee, along with Trent Boult, could be a nightmare if the swing is on offer. Additionally, Matt Henry and Lockie Ferguson bring raw pace, while all-rounders James Neesham and de Grandhomme offer handy medium-pacer through the middle overs.

Colin Munro averages 25 after 51 ODIs. He has seven half-centuries in 47 innings and has often got off to starts only to throw them away.

Even he has continued to make a case for himself with his performances in T20 Internationals. He strikes at 162 in the format and has three centuries – second only to India’s Rohit Sharma.

Munro is likely to only be used as a reserve opener. But his selection is a clear indication that his potential is too good to ignore, and that the selectors are still holding out hope that he will eventually come good on his promise.

In six years since his ODI debut, Neesham has played 49 matches. Eight of those appearances have come this year. As of December last year, Neesham had spent 18 months out of the side. He then earned a recall for the ODIs against Sri Lanka at the start of this year and hasn’t looked back since.

In his first game back, Neesham blasted 47* off 13 balls, striking six sixes at Mount Maunganui, and followed it up with three wickets. He took that form into the next game, striking 64 off 37 balls and picking up two wickets.

In eight matches this year, Neesham has 204 runs at an average of 68 and a strike-rate of 182. Add to that 10 wickets at an average of 23, and you have a player fast cementing him as an integral cog in the New Zealand line-up.

Five takeaways from Black Caps CWC19 squad
Five takeaways from Black Caps CWC19 squad

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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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Uncapped Blundell named in New Zealand CWC team, Sodi preferred to Astle

New Zealand has announced their 15-man squad for this summer’s ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup. Kane Williamson will lead the side and Ross Taylor is set to be the seventh New Zealand player to feature in four Cricket World Cups. Williamson, Tim Southee, and Martin Guptill will be playing in their third tournament.

The biggest surprise is the inclusion of wicketkeeper Tom Blundell, who is yet to play a one-day international. Tim Seifert, a regular back-up in recent times to first-choice gloveman Tom Latham, has been excluded, partly due to a broken finger which has kept him out of action for the past month.

Blundell’s domestic white-ball record is modest – he has averaged 23.81 with three half-centuries in 40 games so far, though he has a Test hundred. He is also considered one of New Zealand’s most talented behind the stumps.

Uncapped Blundell named in New Zealand CWC team, Sodi preferred to Astle
Uncapped Blundell named in New Zealand CWC team, Sodi preferred to Astle

The other major contention was over the leg-spinner’s spot, and Ish Sodhi beat Todd Astle to the honor. Sodhi is the more experienced of the two, having played 63 limited-overs internationals to Astle’s 11, but the latter had been the man in possession of the slot, having played in the Black Caps’ last ODI series against Bangladesh.

Seamer Doug Bracewell, who featured in New Zealand’s home season, was also left out, with several other fast bowlers competing for spots.

Coach Gary Stead said that there were some tough calls during the selection process, but felt the right balance has been struck.

“The World Cup is the pinnacle of cricket, and to be the first nation to name a squad for the tournament is really exciting. I’d like to congratulate all the players selected. To represent your country at a World Cup is a huge honor, and I know the entire squad and support staff are

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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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We are going to do something special’-Alex Hales on England’s CWC

Alex Hales, the England opener, thinks his team has a good chance of winning the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019 at home later this year. Cricket World Cup Final Tickets can be grabbed from our global event ticket sales market.

England placed No.1 in ICC Men’s ODI Team Rankings, which have been touted as strong favorites for the CWC, which gets underway at home on 30 May. Now Hales, the team’s opener, has also expressed confidence that the side can lift their maiden title.

“Yep, I am going for it and saying yes,” Hales said when asked about England’s chances in the competition in an interview published in The Guardian on Monday, 1 April. “I’m the happiest I have ever been. I really think we’re going to do something special.”

We are going to do something special’-Alex Hales on England’s CWC
We are going to do something special’-Alex Hales on England’s CWC

As their ranking indicates, England has evolved into a formidable fifty-over outfit since their shock first-round exit in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2015. Since then they’ve been particularly strong at home, winning 30 of their 42 ODIs while losing only nine.

Hales himself has been an integral part of that success story – he has scored 2229 runs at an average of 40.52 and a strike-rate of 97.72 since the previous World Cup. It is likely that he will be in England’s playing XI when they face off with South Africa in the opening match at The Oval.

While his stocks in one-day cricket have risen, Hales’ red-ball story hasn’t been quite as promising. He featured in 11 Tests but managed only 573 runs at 27.28. He last played a Test in 2016.

But he isn’t too worried about his Test career. In fact, he seemed to have embraced his fate when, in 2017, he decided to sign a white-ball only contract with Nottinghamshire until 2019. He feels he can’t be ‘world-class’ in the longer format, but hopes to continue making progress in the shorter formats.

“I think there are only trickles of players who can be truly world‑class at all three formats and having played all three, I’m not one of them. But I think I can be in white-ball,” he said.

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There will be a couple of upset player longer on Aussies’s CWC headache

Justin Langer, the Australia coach, said the team’s recent spike in form in one-day internationals means the selectors will have to make tough calls while choosing their 15-man squad for the CWC.  Cricket World Cup Final Tickets can be garbing from our global event ticket sales market.

For over a year, Australia hadn’t won an ODI series and their prospects at the World Cup were gloomy. However, they’ve dramatically turned things around in the last couple of months, winning eight matches on the trot across India and the UAE.

Being 2-0 down against India, they bounced back to win the remaining three matches before sweeping Pakistan in the five-match series in UAE.

Several players, including Captain Aaron Finch, have hit form, and with David Warner and Steve Smith back in the mix after serving their 12-month bans, selection for the marquee event is going to be an interesting affair.

“It’s the 15 for the World Cup actually becoming more obvious by the day to me. The same with the other selectors,” said Langer. “It becomes clearer as you watch games. That’s why games are so important.

“There’s obviously going to be a couple of really disappointed players. But that’s the tough business we’re in.”

One of the more pressing dilemmas the selectors face will be in the opening department. Usman Khawaja has been in spectacular form with two centuries and four fifties in the last eight ODIs. Finch came back from his own rut and scored two hundreds and two fifties in the five games against Pakistan.

There will be a couple of upset player longer on Aussies’s CWC headache
There will be a couple of upset player longer on Aussies’s CWC headache

Meanwhile, Warner has been making big runs in the Indian Premier League. Langer hinted one of the three will have to be pushed down the order.

“Aaron has had a really good partnership with David Warner as well. This partnership’s developing between Aaron and Uzzie at the moment,” Langer said. “David has shown he’s a very versatile cricketer, Uzzie’s batted three a number of times, Finchy’s batted in the middle order. Versatility’s important.”

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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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Rugby World Cup 2019 – Players Replacement

The weekend’s act provided us excellent performances as well as some that were lacking with the 2019 Six Nations after 3 rounds. In the context of a Rugby World Cup year, performances in matches like the Six Nations will have a great impression on a player’s participation. Sports fanatics can book Rugby World Cup Tickets online to enjoy its stunning performances.

Rugby World Cup 2019 - Players Replacement Tickets
Rugby World Cup 2019 – Players Replacement

As an outcome in this part, we are going to take a look at some performers who have hit their plane ticket to Japan. Who are in the combination and who may be struggling to get selected for their respective states.

England – Joe Cokanasiga

Not a lot needs to be said here. The big Bath man offers electric dynamism on the wing and is sure to be on the plane to Japan later this year.

England – Ellis Genge

Genge and Ben Moon will maybe compete for one of the prop spots in the England World Cup squad. Furthermore, the former did his cause no harm against Italy putting in some huge hits and scrummaged well too.

Italy – Jayden Hayward

Hayward has been 1 of Italy’s top skilled players ever. During the tournament regularly showing his proficiency in the air and can find space on occasion too.

New Zealand – Ben O’Keefe

Bit of a curveball here, However referee O’Keefe had a less than perfect game whilst managing France against Ireland. It was blatantly apparent that the French could not understand what he wanted from them and they got penalized immensely as a result. Given the total number of nationalities at the World Cup, O’Keefe could do with learning some key phrases in a language other than English.

France – Dorian Aldegheri

Bamba replacement against Ireland and got found very quickly indeed. He could not deal with Irish heaviness in the scrum, frequently infringed and received a sin-binning too.

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Soumya Sarkar plans to play with patience at CWC2019

Soumya Sarkar, the Bangladesh player, is absorbed on changing his starts into big, match-winning hits at the CWC, even if it means creation changes to his normal hostility. Grab your Cricket World Cup Final Tickets from our global event ticket sales market.

Since making his international entrance in December 2014, Sarkar has scored just two ODI centuries in 40 innings. Notwithstanding crossing 20 runs 24 times in ODI, he has recorded just nine fifty-plus scores.

In the CWC 2015, he had 20-plus scores in all five matches, but went on to score a half-century – 51 against New Zealand – on just one time. Now, he’s resolute to make amends.

Soumya Sarkar plans to play with patience at CWC2019
Soumya Sarkar plans to play with patience at CWC2019

“I was new in this international arena at that time,” he told presspersons on 28 March. “If I get the chance this year, there will surely be a good plan in place for the tournament.

“In many matches, I went out for 30 or 40. So I essential to overwhelmed this situation and plan accordingly. Probably I failed to manage back in 2015, but I learned many things.”

Sarkar has already showed the will to take his time and build the innings with his knock in the Tests against New Zealand earlier this year. The 26-year-old scored a enduring 149 – his maiden Test century – in the series opener in Hamilton, and spent 255 minutes at the crease.

“My aim was to survive,” he had said after that knock. “If I had hurried against this type of bowling, I think it would have negatively impacted me and the team … Once I was set, I tried to play the ball on merit.”

Sarkar is an obviously violent batsman who likes to take on the bowlers – his ODI strike-rate of 98.60 is evidence to that. However, he is now learning to familiarize to the situation and bat as per its stresses.

”Maybe the plan will be different. I played easily as a junior cricketer, but now I can’t play like this and will feel pressure,” he admitted.

“Though, I will try to execute my international experience after going there to the CWC. I will try to keep my bravery which I showed before in the CWC or Champions Trophy. I have been thinking about how my team will suffer if I throw my wicket away.”

 

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