Talking Points from India vs Bangladesh & New Zealand vs West Indies- WC Warm-ups

The fifth and final set of World Cup warm-up fixtures saw India take on Bangladesh in Cardiff and West Indies square off against New Zealand in Bristol. For both Bangladesh and West Indies, this was their first warm-up after their earlier clashes had been rained off. Here are our talking points from both fixtures. Continue reading “Talking Points from India vs Bangladesh & New Zealand vs West Indies- WC Warm-ups”

Five Talking Points from England vs Afghanistan & Australia vs Sri Lanka- World Cup Warm-ups 2019

After a disappointing rain-hit day yesterday, fans thankfully had a full set of warm-up games to watch today- the fourth and the penultimate set of these fixtures. We witnessed hosts England taking on Afghanistan at the Oval in London and five time World Champions Australia squaring off against Sri Lanka at the Rose Bowl. Co-incidentally, both matches were fairly one sided with England and Australia helping themselves to comfortable victories, and the hosts and the defending champions both appear to be hitting their straps at the right time going into this quadrennial show piece. Here are our five talking points from today’s action.

Afghanistan’s pace attack needs to step up.

Three days ago, Afghanistan stunned Pakistan. Today, they were were blown away by a dominant England side. Put in to bat first, the Afghanistan batsmen never quite got going. Jofra Archer and Joe Root picked up three each as Afghanistan failed to stitch a partnership of any real significance and lost wickets at regular intervals. A couple of terrible run-outs didn’t help matters either as the visitors failed to bat out their full quota of overs, and they were eventually dismissed for just 160.

More telling was the fact that the 9th and 10th wicket stands were the highest of the innings for Afghanistan.

Phil Simmons’ men required quick wickets at the top to give themselves a chance. However, England’s openers put up a 77 run stand in just 7.2 overs to end any slim hopes Afghanistan may have entertained of making this a contest. Their pacers cumulatively went for over 10 an over, and England finished off the chase in a little over 100 deliveries. While they may have world-class spinners in Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi, cricket is a team sport, and Afghanistan’s pacers must step up if they are to go far in this tournament. Continue reading “Five Talking Points from England vs Afghanistan & Australia vs Sri Lanka- World Cup Warm-ups 2019”

Five Talking Points from India vs New Zealand & Australia vs England- World Cup Warm-ups 2019

The second set of World Cup warm-up fixtures saw India square off against New Zealand at the Oval and England take on Australia at the Rose Bowl. Both World Cup favourites fell to defeats, and here are our talking points from both games.

Swing and seam remains a potential weakness for Team India

When India toured New Zealand earlier this year, they won the ODI series 4-1, but one game stood out for fans and pundits, and that was in Hamilton, when Trent Boult wrecked the Indian top order in helpful conditions to register New Zealand’s solitary win.

Today’s game at the Oval felt like a throwback to that fixture, with Boult again making use of the overcast conditions to dismiss Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul cheaply.

Given how games in the recent past in England have been, fans were expecting flat decks and scores of 350+, but the four warm-ups so far have given only one score of over 300. Maybe the ICC is doing their best to ensure a better contest between bat and ball?

India have only one game at the Oval, and that’s against defending champions Australia. If the conditions are similar, the likes of Mitch Starc, Pat Cummins and Nathan Coulter-Nile could do damage similar to what Boult did. The Men in Blue will need to have a contingency plan for wickets that aid the opposition bowlers. Continue reading “Five Talking Points from India vs New Zealand & Australia vs England- World Cup Warm-ups 2019”

India Cricket World Cup 2019 Squad Announced- Talking Points & Analysis

India have today (April 15, 2019) officially announced their 15 member squad for the 2019 World Cup in England. They are the third side to do so after New Zealand and reigning champions Australia. Let’s take a look at the talking points from the squad announcement.

india wc squad 2019

Who are the big names to miss out on India’s CWC squad?

There are two that immediately come to mind- batsman Ambati Rayudu and wicket keeper Rishabh Pant. Rayudu has played at 4 for most of the last 12 months, but his poor form against quality bowling attacks seems to have gone against the 33 year old. Vijay Shankar wasn’t flashy but was most definitely efficient, and seemed to be more assured than Rayudu in India’s games Down Under. The Tamil Nadu star also offers the ability to bowl, which means Kohli has a greater variety to choose from for the fifth bowler’s role (essentially 10 overs between Shankar, Hardik Pandya and Kedar Jadhav). A left field option could be KL Rahul at 4, but he’s essentially touring as the reserve opener, and will probably not come into the XI unless Shankar or Jadhav have very poor tournaments with the bat.

Why did Rishabh Pant not got selected for the World Cup?

India’s selectors announced that Dinesh Karthik got the nod over Pant because of the former’s superior keeping skills. That’s an interesting statement given that Pant is the incumbent keeper in the test team. The 21 year old is also left handed- India have no southpaws in their middle order, and could’ve been an interesting option with his explosive hitting skills.

Karthik hasn’t been in the best of form in the IPL, but skipper Virat Kohli had said that IPL form would not count for the World Cup, and it appears the selectors have kept that in mind. Karthik’s superior finishing skills (the Nidahas Trophy final) also earned him the nod. However it’s unlikely he will get much playing time- he is effectively MS Dhoni’s backup at the tournament, and not a contender for a middle-order spot.

How many players from the 2015 World Cup squad have been selected in India’s 2019 WC squad?

Seven players from India’s CWC 2015 squad have made it to the 2019 edition- the trio of Kohli, Sharma and Dhawan, wicket-keeper Dhoni, the pace duo of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohd Shami and left arm spinner Ravi Jadeja. Continue reading “India Cricket World Cup 2019 Squad Announced- Talking Points & Analysis”