Feature Cricket

Why Australia are likely to win the ICC World Cup 2019

CT Contributors Updated: 1 July, 2019, 1:51 PM IST


Five-time World Cup winners Australia are the only side to qualify for the semi-finals of the ongoing mega event in England and Wales. The Men in Yellow lead the proceedings in the 10-team table of the ongoing ICC World Cup 2019 in England and Wales. Australia have played consistently and that has helped them bear results. It's been a fascinating ride for Aaron Finch's side so far, who look like going the distance and bag a record sixth World Cup. This would be indeed a fascinating addition to their trophy cabinet.

Australia got the squad right by picking a variety of bowlers. They went bowling-heavy in the pace department and each of their five main fast bowlers have played a part. Leading the line is Mitchell Starc, who has absolutely staked a claim to be the player of the tournament, Starc leads the show with 24 scalps in the World Cup that includes two five-wicket hauls. The left-arm fast bowler has come in to pick up the main wickets of opposition teams. Skipper Aaron Finch trusts him completely to break partnerships and fox star batsmen along the way. The rest of the quartet has supported the superstar in style.

In batting, Australia have a bunch of match-winners. David Warner leads the show with 500-plus runs in CWC 19. The likes of Finch and Usman Khawaja have been excellent in the need of the hour. Alex Carey has come in and played a solid hand as well down the middle order. He brings in qualities like former champion Adam Gilchrist. The Aussies are in a roll since the 3-2 series win against India and confidence is high. They always step up during World Cup events and play with a winning intent.

The defending champions are most likely to finish atop the standings and are being backed to win the semis and reach another finale. With a serious bowling unit on offer, Australia have made life difficult for others with their resources. The manner in which the World Cup has shaped up, bowling has played a major role in getting past the line. Aussies with all the comforts and confidence look ideal to bag the trophy.

Can India stop the Aussies? It will take India a lot of character to win the tourney. The batting in particular looks edgy at the moment. Bowling wise India are a strong unit. But there is that loophole with spin and the everlasting problem with the number four. India can't be ruled out, but it will take something monumental to get past the finish line.

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News Cricket

MS Dhoni is among the worst wicket-keepers in World Cup

Staff Writer Updated: 1 July, 2019, 2:17 PM IST


India were defeated by England in the ongoing World Cup. Virat Kohli-led team was undone by their counterparts in all departments of the game. While India have performed well in the tournament, same thing can't be said about veteran wicket-keeper batsman MS Dhoni.

He is facing severe criticism for his batting against Afghanistan and England. The fans have accused him of playing too cautiously.

While he is facing wrath for his batting display, stats prove he hasn't done well from behind the wickets as well.

MS Dhoni is the third worst wicket-keeper in the World Cup when it comes to stumpings. He has stumped just four batsmen in six innings.

He also leads the chart when it comes to conceding byes. The 37-year old has given away 19 byes, which is more than double of Australian wicket keeper Alex Carey, who is occupying second spot.

News Cricket

Vijay Shankar ruled out of WC, Indian Test batsman set to replace him

Harshit Anand Updated: 1 July, 2019, 1:59 PM IST


Indian all-rounder, Vijay Shankar has been ruled out of the 2019 World Cup due to toe injury. He was not part of the team in yesterday's game against England, which India lost in an abysmal fashion at Edgbaston. Mayank Agarwal, who made his Test debut in Australia and was impressive is likely to replace Shankar.

"Vijay got hit on the toe by a Jasprit Bumrah delivery once again. His situation is not great and he won't be able to take part in the tournament. He is going back home," a a senior BCCI official told PTI.

"The Indian team management is likely to ask for Mayank Agarwal as replacement since he is an opener and also it might give KL Rahul a chance to get back to the No.4 position in case Rishabh Pant fails in the next two games," the source added.

News Cricket

She said Yes: Karun Nair gets engaged to girlfriend

Staff Writer Updated: 1 July, 2019, 1:54 PM IST


Indian cricketer and one of the rear names to hit triple ton for national team, Karun Nair has got engaged to girlfriend Sanaya Takariwala. He took to social media to make this piece of news official. "She said ‘YES," he said along with a picture of the couple.

His lady love also posted pictures of the couple on her Instagram handle. Despite his triple hundred in the longest format of the game, he has failed to cement his place in the national team.

Karun Nair plays for Kings XI Punjab in the Indian Premier league.

News Cricket

Waqar Younis slams Team India for showing lack of sportsmanship

Staff Writer Updated: 1 July, 2019, 1:47 PM IST


Former Pakistan pacer Waqar Younis was not impressed with Team India after their meek surrender in front of England in the ongoing World Cup.

Pakistan were replying on Men in Blue to provide them with an outside chance of qualifying for the semis but India's defeat has reduced their chances of making it to the last four of the tournament.

Chasing 337, Virat Kohli-led team could manage 306/5. Waqar took to twitter to vent out his anger.

"It's not who you are. What you do in life defines who you are. Me not bothered if Pakistan gets to the semis or not but one thing is for sure. Sportsmanship of few Champions got tested and they failed badly."

India are still in the second position while England are back in the top four.

England will play New Zealand in their last group game.

News Cricket

Sourav Ganguly, Nasser Hussain blast MS Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav for showing lack of intent

Staff Writer Updated: 1 July, 2019, 12:39 PM IST


The muted finish to India's attempt to chase down a victory target of 338 against England at Edgbaston had fans wondering what had happened to MS Dhoni.

India was always a long way behind the run-rate required after being 28-1 after 10 overs — the slowest power play so far of the tournament — but started gaining momentum through the innings of Rohit Sharma (102), Virat Kohli (66), Rishabh Pant (32) and Hardik Pandya, who struck 45 from 33 balls.

After Pandya was out in the 45th over, after which India required 71 off 30 balls, Dhoni hit another boundary four balls later but didn't find the rope again until the penultimate over. By that time India needed 51 from 11 deliveries.

The 2011 World Cup-winning captain hit Chris Woakes for six off the first ball of the last over and India took 12 runs off the last six balls to cut the margin of defeat to 31. India's unbeaten run at the tournament ended, but it remained in second spot on the World Cup standings with two group games to play.

Of Dhoni's seemingly sedate 42 from 31 deliveries, India skipper Kohli said it came down to playing the conditions. He said Dhoni was trying to hit boundaries, but England was bowling too tightly.

Sourav Ganguly and Nasser Hussain lambasted MS Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav for their slow approach in the last few overs.

"I am completely baffled. What’s going on! This is not what India needed. They need runs. What are they doing? Some Indian fans are leaving now. Surely they must want to see Dhoni go for his shots, even if he slogs it off in the air. It's a World Cup game, top 2 sides, give it a go! Indian fans would want their side to do a little bit more. They want their side to go down with a fight. Risk it to win it," said Hussain.

"I don't have an explanation for that. You asked me the question but I can't explain these singles. It's also the length and the bounce that has deceived the Indian batsmen. You can't be chasing 338 and still have 5 wickets in the end. It's about mindset and the way you look at the game. The message had to be clear: no matter where it comes and no matter where the ball lands you have to find the boundary. A dot ball at this stage!" said Ganguly.

Feature Cricket

Don’t be over critical of India, give credit to England

Partab Ramchand Updated: 1 July, 2019, 12:16 PM IST


There is nothing more dangerous in sport than a desperate, cornered opponent. England underlined the wisdom of this adage on Sunday. They had to defeat India – hitherto unbeaten in the competition – to keep their hopes alive in the World Cup. And no one will deny that they did it with a certain panache. They still have one more tough game against New Zealand on Wednesday to make absolutely sure of a semifinal berth but the victory over India will do wonders for their confidence.

England pre-tournament favourites were stung by the severe criticism particularly by some former players following two straight defeats that saw them in danger of not qualifying for the knockout. Winning the toss was an advantage and they came flying out from the starting blocks. No one symbolized the determination that characterized the team’s performance more than Johnny Bairstow who had countered the criticism with some stinging comments of his own. It seemed that he was not just hitting the Indian bowlers all over the ground but was taking it out on those who had come down hard on the team.

A victory target of 338 was always going to be tough particularly after the first Powerplay yielded just 28 runs and while there has been criticism against MS Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav for their dawdling in the last five overs I find it odd that the bowling has escaped scrutiny. Except Jasprit Bumrah all the other four bowlers conceded six runs and more an over. The spin duo of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal were carted around for 160 runs in their 20 overs. To be candid the match was probably lost at the halfway stage itself and KL Rahul’s early departure made it almost certain.

There is no point in just gunning for Dhoni and Jadhav. What for instance would have been the reaction if they had gone for an almost impossible target and been dismissed leading to India being all out? They then would have been accused of playing irresponsibly. At least this way they insured the NRR which in a close finish for the semifinalists spot can come in handy.

They were a couple of cameos by Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya following the century partnership for the second wicket between Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli but that was never going to be enough against some accurate and incisive bowling by England. In the ultimate analysis instead of being over critical of the Indians let us give credit to England who were deserving winners by putting in a professional performance when it mattered most for them.

News Cricket

England to ask Michael Vaughan to annoy another of its players

AP Updated: 1 July, 2019, 12:05 PM IST


England might want to ask former captain Michael Vaughan to annoy another of its players.

Jonny Bairstow posted his first century of the Cricket World Cup in the 26th over as England reached 183-1 against India at Edgbastson.

His unbeaten 90-ball 100 contained six sixes and eight fours and came against a strong India attack.

Bairstow reacted angrily to former Vaughan's criticism during the week by claiming some people in England want the team to lose. Vaughan used social media to reply, saying "It's not the media's fault you have lost three games."

Jason Roy made an impressive return with a 57-ball 66, including two sixes and seven fours. He fell to Kuldeep Yadav after smashing the ball to long-on and being superbly caught by substitute Ravindra Jadeja, who was running to his left and diving. That ended an opening partnership of 160 which has set up England nicely in a game it needs to win.

Joe Root is 12 not out.

News Cricket

Sheldon Cottrell is a future leader - Floyd Reifer

AP Updated: 1 July, 2019, 12:03 PM IST


Eleven times Sheldon Cottrell has done his trademark "march and salute" at the World Cup, his tribute to his comrades in the Jamaican defense forces when he takes a wicket. It has drawn attention across the cricket world, and one or two mimics from other teams.

It's also caught the attention of West Indies coach Floyd Reifer, who wants to develop the group of leaders to carry cricket forward in the Caribbean.

Cottrell could soon be rising through the ranks.

Asked ahead of Monday's group game against Sri Lanka which players had stood out as potential future leaders, Reifer went through a list including wicketkeeper Shai Hope, batsman Shimron Hetmyer and then he came to Cottrell.

"Sheldon Cottrell — he's a solider, a true soldier as well," Reifer said, adding how much energy the 29-year-old left-arm paceman has brought to the team in the West Indies first seven games.

"Yes, we have some players that we've identified as future leaders."

The West Indies are out of contention with just three points and two games to go, but Reifer said they'll be using the game against Sri Lanka to start building for the future.

News Cricket

England shine on India to revive Cricket World Cup hopes

AP Updated: 1 July, 2019, 11:53 AM IST


India played in bright orange jerseys but England shone brighter for once as the hosts revitalized their struggling Cricket World Cup campaign with a 31-run victory on Sunday.

Eoin Morgan's team needed this win at a sunny Edgbaston to stay in control of its own fate at the tournament, and once India captain Virat Kohli departed for 66 it always looked likely England would prevail.

India, playing in an away kit to avoid a clash of colors with England, finished on 306-5 after losing the toss and watching England amass 337-7 with a first World Cup century from Jonny Bairstow (111) and Jason Roy returning from a hamstring injury with a 57-ball 66.

Bairstow was even more brutal than Roy, ending with 10 fours and six sixes, including a huge swipe in the 19th over off Kuldeep Yadav which substitute fielder Ravindra Jadeja on the boundary would not have reached with a ladder. The pair combined for 160 before Roy was out.

Bairstow had engaged in a spat with former England captain Michael Vaughan during the week, unhappy with Vaughan's criticism of team performances. It all turned out fine according to captain Morgan.

"He likes a bit of fire in his belly, and I don't mind that when he comes out and plays like that," Morgan said of Bairstow. "It's definitely a match-winning knock."

Despite the abundance of sixes from England — 13 against just the one for India from MS Dhoni (42 not out in 31 balls) in the last over of the game — this was a more controlled aggression on show from the tournament hosts, with even dot balls often being given a good whack.

Joe Root chipped in with 44 from 54 deliveries and Ben Stokes smashed six boundaries and three sixes to lead the later charge with 79 from 54 as England, on course for a 400-plus total at one point, still managed to set India a record World Cup chase.

Pacer Mohammed Shami took 5-69, while spinner Yuzvendra Chahal returned 0-88 off 10 overs.

The chase looked huge for India but it wasn't always comfortable for England.

Kohli was in typically superb form and shared a 138-run partnership for the second wicket with Rohit Sharma (102), who reached his century at a roughly run-a-ball rate and had hit 15 fours by that stage.

Kohli had only been dismissed once at Edgbaston in five previous innings. Make that two in six. He was out after a 76-ball innings with seven fours when he sliced the ball to substitute fielder James Vince at backward point off the bowling of Liam Plunkett (3-55).

Kohli's loss was a significant momentum shift and eventually India lost to England at the World Cup for the first time since 1992.

India had been 28-1 after 10 overs — the slowest powerplay of the tournament — and it was too heavy a weight to carry through the innings. Hardik Pandya was threatening at the end with 45 off 33 balls but was caught by Vince off Plunkett with around five overs left and India still needing 71 to win.

Chris Woakes ended on 2-58, including three maidens, and Jofra Archer a tidy 0-45.

England returned to fourth spot in the standings on 10 points, one ahead of Pakistan. England plays 2015 finalist New Zealand in its last group game at Durham on Wednesday. Two days later Pakistan plays Bangladesh at Lord's. It wasn't only bad news for Pakistan. Sri Lanka can no longer advance to the last four.

News Cricket

Crying Baby: Virat Kohli questions small boundaries, ground size after defeat

AP Updated: 1 July, 2019, 10:58 AM IST


India remains second with a game in hand — facing Bangladesh at Edgbaston on Tuesday and Sri Lanka on Saturday at Headingley — but Kohli's team is no longer unbeaten.

"Every team has lost a game or two here and there. No one likes to lose but we have to take it in our stride. We have to accept it," said Kohli. "We are still playing good cricket. The mood is the same in the changing room. We will learn from it and move forward."

Both sides displayed brilliant fielding, collectively saving double-digit runs on the boundary, with standout catches from Jadeja to dismiss Roy and Woakes catching rookie Rishabh Pant, both fielders running and diving at speed, and pulling it off to general astonishment from fans and teammates alike.

The 338 chase wasn't entirely unprecedented. India and England both scored 338 in a tied World Cup game at Bangalore in 2011.

The highest-successful chase remains Ireland's 329-7 against England at Bangalore eight years ago, and the highest in this tournament is Bangladesh's 322 against West Indies.

“The toss was vital, especially looking at the boundary that was quite short. I think it was 59m which coincidentally is the minimum required in an international match. Quite bizarre on a flat pitch. It’s crazy that things fall in place like that randomly," he added.

“It’s the first time we are experiencing this. If batsmen are able to reverse sweep, sweep you for a six on a 59m boundary you can’t do much as a spinner.”

News Cricket

Afghanistan and Pakistan fans clash at Leeds

AP Updated: 29 June, 2019, 10:01 PM IST


The International Cricket Council says it is aware of "some scuffles" outside the World Cup game between Pakistan and Afghanistan at Leeds and is working with police and security.

There were reports on social media of skirmishes involving opposing fans outside the stadium, and of at least two fans being ejected from the game.

"We do not condone it and we will take appropriate action against any anti-social behavior," the ICC said in a statement to British broadcasters.

Pakistan is still in contention for the World Cup semifinals and can move above England in the standings with a victory over Afghanistan, which lost its first seven games at the 10-team tournament.

News Cricket

Athiya Shetty is dating KL Rahul

Staff Writer Updated: 29 June, 2019, 5:32 PM IST


KL Rahul is among the most desirable Indian cricketers at the moment. According to Bollywood grapevine, he is dating Bollywood actress Athiya Shetty, who happens to be a daughter of Mana and Suniel Shetty.

A BollywoodLife report stated that they both got into a serious relationship around February this year and things are going fine.

She has refused to comment on her friendship with the Indian cricketer while KL Rahul was not available for comment as he is in England at the moment.

The spokesperson of KL Rahul also refused to speak on the matter.

However, a source told BollywoodLIfe: "Rahul and Athiya have been going around with each other. They started dating since a little before February, this year. And things are quite serious."

Earlier KL Rahul was linked to Akansha Ranjan Kapoor, who is one of the close friends of Athiya. She had posted a picture along with Rahul and Athiya Shetty on Instagram in April.


...n i’m so good with that 💛

A post shared by 🦋Kanch (@akansharanjankapoor) on

News Cricket

Moeen Ali warns his good friend Kohli, says he is there to get him out

Harshit Anand Updated: 29 June, 2019, 5:31 PM IST


England all-rounder, Moeen Ali might not be having a great time in the World Cup but he is determined to get rid of Indian skipper, Virat Kohli, when India and England meet at Edgbaston on Sunday. Moeen is so far averaging under 20 with the bat and has taken five wickets in as many games in the World Cup.

"Virat knows he's there to score runs for India, while I'm here to get him out (or score some myself). It means a lot to get a player like him out but you can still be friends trying to do it," Ali, who has played under Kohli at Royal Challengers Bangalore, wrote for 'The Guardian'.

"We have known each other since our U-19 days but over the past couple of years, at Royal Challengers Bangalore, we have become good friends. I don't want to pump his tyres up too much before a big game but he is a motivated, driven and dedicated cricketer," he added.

In the past, Moeen Ali has appreciated Virat Kohli as a person. He had said last year that Virat might be aggressive on the field but he is a completely opposite personality when he is off the field. Moeen had also revealed that he goes to great lengths when it comes to taking care of his teammates.

News Cricket

Kris Srikkanth names no. 4 for India against England

Harshit Anand Updated: 29 June, 2019, 4:57 PM IST


We might have got tired of hearing it over and again but India's no.4 problem is real in ODIs. They are trying Vijay Shankar at the position but he has failed to convince in last two games. There are suggestions from former cricketers and also fans to try out young and dashing southpaw, Rishabh Pant at the no.4 position. Pant had a brilliant IPL and that has added to the demand.

Now, former Indian cricketer and selector, Kris Srikkanth has written that Rishabh Pant should be tried at no.4 position in the upcoming games. Pant has so far played five ODIs averaging 23.25. But his strike-rate has been in excess of 130, which shows the kind of destruction he can cause on the 22 yards.

“If I was involved with the team management, I think I would consider putting a guy like Rishabh Pant in at No. 4. They have brought him over here now, he is ready to go and, most importantly, he has played in England before so understands the conditions,” Srikkanth wrote in his column for the ICC.

“We saw him impress in the Test series here last summer when he came into the side and with England up next, maybe now is a good time to get him in there against a familiar opponent. In the middle order, Vijay Shankar and Kedar Jadhav have yet to really convince. I think it’s fair to say that their approach needs some fine-tuning.” Srikkanth added.