Vijay Shankar was not in contention for World Cup a few months back. But the Koffee with Karan controversy which ruled Hardik Pandya out of the team against Australia paved way for Shankar. And the Tamil-Nadu player grabbed the chances with both his hands and now he will be part of India's 15-Man squad that travels to England and Wales for the Cricket World Cup.
"I am extremely elated to be in the Indian WC team. This is like a dream come true. We have a few World Cup winning team members here at SunRisers Hyderabad and I have spoken to them to understand what it feels like to play in a WC and then go on to win it. I have learnt a lot from them on the ways to manage pressure at such a large scale event," said Shankar.
The selectors indicated that Shankar is likely to play at no.4 for India yesterday during the team announcement. "After the Champions Trophy ,we have tried quite a few middle-order batsmen, which also included Karthik, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey. We did give a few more chances to Rayudu but Vijay Shankar gives three dimensions. He can bat, if the conditions are overcast he can bowl, plus he is a fielder. We are looking at Vijay Shankar as a No. 4. Now we have plenty of options for that slot," said MSK Prasad.
Royal Challengers spinner Yuzvendra Chahal is confident of RCB's play-off chances despite losing seven games out of the eight played in the ongoing season of the Indian Premier League. Speaking to media after heartbreaking loss to Mumbai Indians, he said, "Last year one team qualified from the 14th spot. Even if we have won one game, you never know what is going to happen next."
Riding on the heroics of AB de Villiers and Moeen Ali, RCB posted 171 runs on the board. However, it was not enough as Hardik Pandya late blitz guided Mumbai Indians to a five-wicket win over Royal Challengers Bangalore. He hit five boundaries and two sixes during his knock of 37 not out off 16 balls.
Yuzvendra Chahal, who was selected in India's 15-member World Cup squad, was excited after hearing the news of his selection.
“World Cup is after one month and still I’m playing for the RCB, so I’m just looking towards the next seven matches...It is my first World Cup, I’m very excited for that. Everyone wants to represent the country in the World Cup, so I’m excited.”
Fantasy sports platform HalaPlay Technologies has appointed cricketers Krunal and Hardik Pandya as the company brand ambassadors.
“The all-rounder brothers will officially represent the daily fantasy sports platform going forward,” Halaplay has stated in a statement.
“In a cricket loving nation like India, fantasy sports has become a way of life, which is where we see our exponential growth. Having the Pandya brothers on board is the right fit. Their all-rounded talent and fresh energy resonates with the essence of HalaPlay, as we are a young company with a lot to offer,” HalaPlay co-founder Prateek Anand said.
Hardik Pandya, who is currently winning matches for Mumbai Indians, has expressed his happiness after being appointed as one of the ambassadors.
“What excites me the most about this association is that it keeps me motivated to ensure that my fans continue to choose me to be on their HalaPlay team and I get a chance to fulfil their expectation as an all-rounder,” Hardik Pandya said.
His brother Krunal said, “Fantasy sports is new and exciting in the modern-day digital sporting world. Playing on HalaPlay gives me an opportunity to go beyond the field to the small screen and connect with millions of cricket loving fans.”
Players who are playing together at the moment in IPL will be fighting their guts out against each other cometh the World Cup that commences from May 30 in England and Wales. Lasith Malinga and Hardik Pandya will be plying their trade against each other in India vs Sri Lanka game on July 6 in Leeds. This will be the last league game for both the teams in the ICC's showpiece event.
Lasith Malinga was once the best death bowler in the world but now he is scared to bowl to Hardik Pandya, who is his teammate at Mumbai. Speaking to MI TV after the match, he said, “How good for him (Hardik) and I am also very scared to bowl at him. If I play the World Cup against him, I will be really scared to bowl to him."
Hardik Pandya has been in scintillating form in this edition of the IPL. He has played great cameos for Mumbai and is going to be vital to India's chances in the World Cup.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the former Indian skipper and one of the best cricketers of all time, was recently appointed brand ambassador of bus ticketing platform redBus. The cricketer will soon appear in a hockey player avatar in his first cameo for the brand.
In order to expand its reach, redBus has signed the current skipper of Chennai Super Kings. “We are happy to embark on this collaborative journey with MS Dhoni. Together we will continue to strengthen the redBus brand and enhance our presence across the country. Dhoni is the epitome of a king in his domain and a go-getter, a kindred spirit that connects well with redBus values. At redBus, we believe in empowering bus operators and passengers through our technology solutions and enhancing the bus travel experience," said Prakash Sangam, chief executive, redBus in a statement.
According to a report, MS Dhoni's endorsements deals are generally in range of INR 3-10 crores.
Arun Pandey, who is a close associate of MS Dhoni and also manages Rhiti Group, said, “The brand redBus promises to bring transformation of lives and aspirations in smaller cities and towns of India. Both Dhoni and redBus have a common obsession to strive and make a difference. We look forward to the association taking the story of the transformation of bus booking and travel experience to the national audience."
The much awaited announcement of the Indian squad for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 had the usual spice and drama of one or two controversial picks. However, the fact that much of it was along predictable lines was what made it somewhat banal and almost, insignificant.
When the team for the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup was announced, there was a sense of real expectations and even a danger of cockiness as a young Virat Kohli and a vintage Yuvraj Singh declared they would win the World Cup for Sachin Tendulkar. In the end, the maestro had his coveted trophy as India lifted the ICC Cricket World Cup trophy for only the second time in its history.
There was a sense at Monday’s announcement that the Indian selectors were being strung into saying things they themselves were not one hundred percent convinced about. One would expect that the hour long discussion to finalize the team would have centered around three critical issues: having an extra opener, an extra wicketkeeper and an extra fast bowler. In the end, it appears India have left the gambling for places right to the eleventh hour.
The trickiest part was when MSK Prasad, the chief selector, claimed as many as three times that they were looking at the late pick, Vijay Shankar as a batsman who can bowl. Three times he was asked to clarify the role and three times he returned with the idea that Shankar would be looked at as a possible no.4. The fact that there has not been enough time to trial Shankar as a steady no.4 to follow Virat Kohli in the batting line up is what makes this a huge gamble heading into something as serious as the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.
On the subject matter of the wicket keeper, it was expected that Rishabh Pant, the heir apparent to Mahendra Singh Dhoni, would make the team simply because while Dhoni is the mainstay wicketkeeper-batsman, Pant would have an understudy tour and only ready to play when the opportunity would present itself in an unusual scenario. To that end, it seemed wiser for India to look ahead rather than backward and instead of looking at Dinesh Karthik, would look at Pant to make the cut for the feisty, explosive addition.
Instead Dinesh Karthik is living nine lives as far as his stints with the Indian cricket team is concerned. The reason was a little tricky as explained by MSK Prasad. Whether Karthik would be considered at no.4 if Shankar fails or whether Karthik would only be picked if Dhoni was unavailable for some reason, begs the question if Pant could not be used for the latter role in any case. There is a sense that having played Pant in the Test series, he would have perhaps been a bit more hungry and ready for greater challenges than Karthik who has not played in Indian colours for six months going into the ICC Cricket World Cup.
Ambati Rayudu, widely considered to have booked his berth a year back, must think otherwise. Rayudu does not have Karthik’s luck and Prasad was hard pressed to be kind on the wicketkeeper-batsman who was expected to bolster the batting line up which was beginning to look a little fragile at the tail end. In the end, Rayudu could argue his form was no better than Karthik’s because there was none to compare in the last six months.
India would have been in a real dilemma about whether to pack the additional seamer, particularly in the early stages of the English summer. But India appear to have included Shankar and Hardik Pandya as a way to add an additional seamer or fast medium bowler to the lineup. It appears in the end Shankar may have got the nod simply because of the selector’s own definition of Shankar’s role in the team as an all-rounder.
Much like India’s recent results against Australia, there is a sense of a gap between India’s best team line up and India’s current favourites going by the skipper and the selection panel. Whether India are taking their circumspect choices into the ICC Cricket World Cup or whether they are playing calculated risks, only time will tell.
Bangladesh chose experience on Tuesday in selecting its 15-member squad for the Cricket World Cup.
Shakib Al Hasan, who missed the New Zealand tour with a finger injury, was named as the deputy of Mashrafe Mortaza. The all-rounder sustained the injury during the final of the Bangladesh Premier League.
He was allowed into the ongoing IPL but he has played in only one game for Sunrisers Hyderabad so far.
Also, Mosaddek Hossain made a comeback and pacer Abu Jayed found his place because of his expertise in swinging the ball, a big weapon in English conditions.
"We give emphasis on experience in the World Cup squad as it will be held in English conditions," chief selector Minhajul Abedin said.
Mosaddek and Jayed's inclusion came as surprise given they weren't in the plan of Bangladesh's ODI match.
Mosaddek last played for Bangladesh in the Asia Cup in September 2018, while Jayed is considered to be a test bowler and has yet to make his ODI debut.
The chief selector said Mosaddek was included in the team as a back-up spin-all-rounder since Mahmudullah is unlikely to bowl because of his shoulder injury.
"During the New Zealand test series, we saw that Jayed could swing the ball in both ways, a thing that we expect from our pace bowlers," Abedin said. "As the tournament will be held in English conditions and plus there is a tri-series in Ireland where there is cold and the temperature is down so we think of including an extra fast bowler who can swing the ball.
"Mosaddek did well in domestic tournaments. We want an all-rounder who can bowl off-spin. Mahmudullah has a shoulder injury so he may not bowl over there. As a back-up spin all-rounder, we included Mosaddek."
There were no significant changes to the opening position and middle order. Liton Das will join Tamim Iqbal at the top of the order.
Soumya Sarkar and Sabbir Rahman secured spots in the 15-man squad despite their poor form in the Dhaka Premier League. They will line up with Mohammad Mithun, who earned his maiden World Cup call, and experienced Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah in the middle order.
Mohammad Saifuddin and Mehidy Hasan also have received their maiden World Cup call-ups as both of them bring balance to the side.
Mortaza, the captain playing in his fourth and probably final World Cup, will lead the pace bowling attack, which also includes Mustafizur Rahman - despite the left-arm pacer currently being sidelined with a sprained ankle, which in turn should keep him out for at least two weeks. Rubel Hossain and Jayed were the other two pacers.
Bangladesh will start its preparations on April 22 and the team is expected to leave for Britain in the first week of May. The Bangladesh team will begin its World Cup campaign against South Africa at the Kennington Oval on June 2.
The BCB also announced a 17-man squad for the tri-nation series in Ireland which takes place ahead of the World Cup in May. Batsman Yasir Ali and spinner Nayeem Hasan have been added to the lineup that included the 15 already named in the World Cup squad.
World Cup Squad: Mashrafe Bin Mortaza (captain), Liton Das, Mohammad Mithun, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah, Shakib Al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Mohammad Saifuddin, Abu Jayed Rahi, Mustafizur Rahman, Rubel Hossain, Mehidy Hasan Miraz, Sabbir Rahman, Mosaddek Hossain.
Hardik Pandya has been doing well for Mumbai Indians in the ongoing edition of the IPL. He finished off the match for his side yesterday as well against Virat Kohli's Bangalore at Wankhede Stadium. He played a cameo of 37 to help MI win the game after they looked in a spot of bother.
Rohit Sharma shed light on Hardik Pandya's exploits. “His (Hardik’s) hitting has been helping the team and him as well to move forward. This is something he wanted to do because he didn’t have a lot of time before coming to the Indian Premier League,” Rohit said after the match. “So, he wanted to prove a point with bat and ball, to himself than anyone else. The way he is hitting gives us confidence as a team that there is someone who can hit that well at the end and win crucial games.”
Hardik Pandya will be crucial to India's chances in the World Cup. His hitting prowess in the fag end of the innings can turn out to be significant in the ICC's showpiece event.
The governing body of Indian cricket has named four fast bowlers to assist Men in Blue in their preparation for the World Cup in England and Wales.
The list includes Navdeep Saini, Avesh Khan, Khaleel Ahmed and Deepak Chahar. The likes of Saini, Khaleel and Chahar have bowled well in the ongoing edition of the Indian Premier League. Avesh, who has played just one game, is yet to prove his talent in the cash rich league in 2019.
The 15-member squad saw return of Dinesh Karthik, who was not part of the team during the ODI series against Australia. The veteran was picked ahead of Rishabh Pant, who was ignored because of his ordinary wicket keeping skills.
"The second wicketkeeper comes into play only if Mahi (Mahendra Singh Dhoni) is injured. We went ahead with Karthik because of his experience in big matches," Prasad said while announcing the squad.
India are favourites for the World Cup, which will start in England on May 30. Men in Blue will start their campaign against South Africa on June 15 while they will take on arch rivals Pakistan on June 16.
Men in Blue won their second World Cup title in 2011 but were not able to defend the crown in 2015, losing to Australia in the semi-final of the mega event. India under Virat Kohli are expected to play competitive cricket in England and Wales.
Kolkata Knight Riders batsman Robin Uthappa has praised Dinesh Karthik after he was named in India's 15-man squad for the 2019 World Cup. The right hand batsman stated Karthik deserved to be in the squad as he has played exceptional cricket over the last few years.
"If ever a person deserved to be in this world cup squad on merit and his performances it (has) been @dkooo19!! Stoked for him!! Justice has been done. Easily the best finisher in the Indian squad in the past 2 years!!" Uthappa wrote on his Instagram profile.
Dinesh Karthik has been one of the most prolific scorers in limited overs cricket. Karthik has scored 425 runs in 20 matches at an average of 46.75 in ODIs since 2017.
Karthik single handedly led India to Nidahas Trophy triumph when Bangladesh had an upper hand in the finale of the tournament. He was omitted from the ODI series against Australia and the speculations were riffed that he would end up missing the World Cup bus.
Meanwhile, Dinesh Karthik was delighted to be part of the World Cup squad. "I am very excited. It has been a dream for me to be a part of this team for a long time now," he said.
"As a team, we have done some special things and I have been through that journey and I have really wanted to be a part of this team," he told www.kkr.in.
Hardik Pandya has taken the ongoing edition of the Indian Premier League by storm. The all-round star has been in destructive form with the bat for Mumbai Indians.
He once again hit some breathtaking stokes during his unbeaten 37 runs off 16 balls against Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore.
When asked about his selection in the World Cup squad, he said: “It’s pretty important to have the confidence behind you because World Cup is a big stage. It is for the first time that I am playing. And for me, it was important to keep hitting the ball well because I was away from game for some time. Coming back, it was important for me,” Hardik said at the post-match presentation.
Chasing 171 runs to win, Mumbai needed 22 runs off the last 12 balls. Hardik blasted left-arm spinner Pawan Negi to all parts of the ground to help the hosts chased down the target with six balls remaining.
“I have been doing this for almost four years now for any team I have played for. I have been practicing in the net the same thing. It’s all about the situation. We play according to the situation. If you are smart enough, you will more often get the result which you desire,” Hardik added.
He was part of Team India, which lost to Pakistan in the finale of the Champions Trophy, and he feels that the experienced he gained in that tournament has made him a wiser and thinking cricketer.
“Obviously, Champions Trophy is past. As a cricketer, I have changed. We will have to see how the conditions are. Last time when we went to England, lot of people told me there will be swing, the weather will be nice and cold, but when I went there, I have never played on a flat wicket like that. Depending on the situation, if the situation is similar to how it was in Champions Trophy 2017, it will be helpful for us,” he said.
A day after his sister and father joined the Congress, Ravindra Jadeja has declared his support to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). His wife Rivaba had joined the BJP last month.
“I support BJP. @narendramodi #rivabajadeja jai hind,” Jadeja posted on his official Twitter handle on Monday evening, tagging Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his wife Rivaba.
Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India, decided to thank Ravindra Jadeja for his support and even wished him good luck for the upcoming World Cup in England and Wales.
"Thank you @imjadeja! And, congratulations on being selected for the Indian cricket team for the 2019 World Cup. My best wishes," he wrote.
Jadeja’s elder sister Naynaba Jadeja and father Aniruddhasinh joined the rival camp at an event in Kalavad town in Jamnagar district. Naynaba, who currently manages a restaurant run by her family in Rajkot city, said she wanted to work for women empowerment and chose the Congress.
She is credited for taking care of the family and Jadeja's cricketing career after their mother passed away 15-years-ago.
Royal Challengers Bangalore were undone by Mumbai Indians in last night game at the Wankhede Stadium. With this defeat, RCB have lost seven matches out of eight in the ongoing season of the Indian Premier League. Things were looking good for them till the time AB de Villiers and Moeen Ali were at the crease, but their untimely departures resulted in below-par score on a batting-friendly pitch.
Chasing 172 runs to win, Mumbai Indians had an explosive start with Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock going great guns. Mumbai Indians needed 22 runs in the last two overs with Hardik Pandya and Kieron Pollard at the crease.
RCB captain Virat Kohli gave the ball to Pawan Negi to bowl the 19th over of the innings. Hardik Pandya took on Negi and blasted him for two boundaries and two sixes to seal the win.
RCB’s bowling coach Ashish Nehra had told Virat Kohli to bow Negi in the 19th over when skipper was about to hand over the ball to Navdeep Saini and the rest is history.
Several fans took to twitter to blast Ashish Nehra for his suggestion that backfired big time.
Earlier, de Villiers’ 51-ball 75 and Moeen Ali's 50 off 32 balls took RCB to 171. Virat Kohli, the skipper, failed to score once again in the league. Barring his one or two innings, Virat has looked out of touch in the tournament.
By and large the MSK Prasad led selection committee has done a reasonable job in picking the 15-member squad for the World Cup in England. It is impossible for every cricket fan to be happy with the selection of any squad but there will be very few who will disagree with this selection. In any case among the fringe players there were always going to be the lucky ones and the unlucky ones and here KL Rahul and Dinesh Karthik were the lucky ones and Rishabh Pant and Ambati Rayudu the unlucky ones.
The squad has the right balance when it comes to batsmen and utility players, seamers and spinners. The team’s think tank has a lot of options and that is a healthy sign. The playing eleven can consist of six batsmen, two utility players and three bowlers or five batsmen, three utility players and three bowlers if there is need for an extra bowling option. The selection of as many as four bits and pieces players in Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Kedar Jadhav and Vijay Shankar brings back happy memories of the triumphant 1983 squad in England with that Indian team having Kapil Dev, Madanlal, Roger Binny and Ravi Shastri in the ranks. No comparison of course but it is always good to have players who can contribute with both bat and ball.
There was never going to be any doubt as to the batting. The extra batsman’s choice was always going to be between Rahul and Rayudu and the former’s ability to be a back-up opener probably gave him the selectors’ nod. Also Rayudu’s form had taken a bit of hit of late. And a line-up of Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni and Karthik has a lot of experience and that is a handy quality to have. There may be a question mark still over the vexed No 4 slot but hopefully that problem will be solved as the matches are played as there are many options and a minimum of nine games.
The choice of the bowlers was never going to pose any problem. The three seam bowlers were always going to be Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami and the two specialist spinners were always going to be Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal. It is now left to them to perform up to expectations. The back-up bowling with the presence of so many utility players presents an embarrassment of riches of sorts and indeed the bowling more than the batting could well hold the key as to how far India will progress in the competition. Overall it is a good side the best the selectors could have picked. Whether it is strong enough to win the trophy is another matter altogether.
After much anticipation, India's squad for the ICC World Cup 2019 has finally been announced. Here is a look at the complete squad that was declared in a meeting in Mumbai on Monday and was attended by India captain Virat Kohli and the five-man selection panel led by MSK Prasad.
The squad: Virat Kohli (capt), Rohit Sharma (vice capt), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Vijay Shankar, MS Dhoni (wk), Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami.
There are no really big surprises in the squad. Except for the exclusions of young wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant and middle-order batsman Ambati Rayudu. While this may disappoint a few, one feels this is the correct decision.
Pant, despite the talent he possesses, has shown a proclivity be to be really irrational in pressure situations and gives away his wicket to poor shots. He needs more time and training behind the stumps and proper grooming on how to control his aggressive batting. Dinesh Karthik has been in good hitting form and also has years of experience. One thinks he will lend stability to the middle order.
Rayudu, meanwhile, has had a good ODI record. But if you scratch the surface behind his performances you would know that of the 20 innings he played in 2018, he was dismissed below 25 on nine occasions. His form in the ongoing IPL hasn’t been great either. What’s more is that Rayudu is also a liability on the field. Vijay Shankar has impressed recently and so has KL Rahul and both would do well at the No.4 position.
In Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli, India have the strongest top three in the world. If they can sustain their form, then India will have a solid chance at the event. Kohli is expected to do well. Rohit has been in terrific ODI form in the recent past. And Dhawan, despite his inconsistency, has been a proven performer and has done outstandingly well in ICC events and in England.
The bowling unit is solid and versatile. In Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami, India will have one of the best fast bowling lineups in the tournament. In form, this bowling trio can be devastating.
Kuldeep Yadav's dipping form, though, is a concern. He appears to have been sorted out by batsmen on flat surfaces and would need to be at his very best in England. Yuzvendra Chahal is dependable and will be the first-choice spinner in the eleven.
Team has Ravindra Jadeja to fall back on if Kuldeep doesn't come good in the initial games.
The form of the Indian middle-order has been a cause for concern for a while now. The No.4 spot continues to be a conundrum. MS Dhoni has struggled to rotate the strike and play at a brisk pace. This might became a major factor on flat surfaces in England.
Indian’s finishing would depend on Kedar Jadhav and Hardik Pandya. Both have been inconsistent in recent times and would need to be at their best in England.
All in all, this looks to be the best squad India could have picked for the mega event. One must applaud the selectors, hence, for a job well done. They went for experience and stability over populist choices and that is never an easy thing to do.
Now it’s over to captain Kohli and the others to do the job. These are the fifteen men who will be leading the charge in England in quest of the crown. Indian fans will hope they will give it their best shot.
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