Talking Points & Fan Analysis- England vs India Cricket World Cup 2019

England wrested back fourth spot from Pakistan after a fine all-round display saw them beat India by 31 runs at Edgbaston. Here are our talking points from this fixture.

India suffer their first defeat of CWC 2019

India’s loss today at Edgbaston was their first of the tournament- it also means that every team at CWC 2019 has suffered at least one defeat.

England’s victory also paves the way for Australia to finish first- the defending champions will top the table if they beat South Africa in their final game.

India, for the first time in this tournament, also wore a special away kit today- will they wear it again if they meet England in the last four?

CWC 2019 Table after England vs INdia

Jason Roy’s return a timely one for England

We had noted that England’s defeats against Sri Lanka and Australia came with Jason Roy missing. The Durban born opener was back in action today, and it also ensured a return to form for his partner Jonny Bairstow. The duo put on 160 runs in 22 overs, and that fine opening stand allowed England the luxury of a few quiet overs in the middle before they unleashed a final overs blitzkrieg.

India will feel Shikhar Dhawan’s absence as they go further in the tournament

Shikhar Dhawan is an absolutely fantastic player, more so in ICC tournaments, and today was more evidence that India will sorely miss him in the latter stages of the tournament. His replacement, KL Rahul, made a nine ball duck in India’s chase of 338.

With Dhawan missing, India also opted to give young Rishabh Pant, another southpaw, a go in the middle order. Pant was decent in his 29 ball 32, and may have just done enough to earn another crack at the position. Continue reading “Talking Points & Fan Analysis- England vs India Cricket World Cup 2019”

Five Talking Points & Fan Analysis- India vs West Indies CWC 2019

India maintained their unbeaten start to the tournament as they comfortably saw off West Indies at Old Trafford. Chasing 269, the Windies, who had scored 286 at this very venue against New Zealand a few days ago, were only able to muster 143 in response. Here are our talking points from the fixture.

West Indies officially eliminated

The West Indies have been officially eliminated from the World Cup following this defeat- the third team after Afghanistan and South Africa. The men from the Carribbean had their chances- most notably against Australia and New Zealand, losing from winning positions in both fixtures, and will be left ruing what could’ve been.

The Windies though have been too inconsistent, and today was another prime example. It feels like a side of some very good individuals, but not really a team, and their position in the points table reflects that. They’re very good in the 20 over format, but the longer the game, the more their weaknesses come to the fore, which explains their relative lack of success in both the ODI and test formats in comparison to T20’s.

Shai Hope misses a golden opportunity to stump MS Dhoni

While Dhoni was just getting started, he advanced down the track to Fabian Allen and was beaten in the air. Wicket keeper Shai Hope had two bites at the cherry to get the Indian star stumped, but squandered both, and Dhoni survived. MSD’s late assault was perhaps the difference between West Indies chasing 240-250 and the 269 they eventually had to.

Oshane Thomas and Carlos Braithwaite expensive for the West Indies

The duo of Thomas and Braithwaite went for 96 runs in the 10 overs between them. The Windies had kept a check on the scoring through the middle overs, not allowing India to get away (the remaining 40 went for just 172, less than 4.5 an over). Sheldon Cottrell did his bit in the death overs, but Thomas and Braithwaite did not, and both were taken to the cleaners by Hardik Pandya and Dhoni. Continue reading “Five Talking Points & Fan Analysis- India vs West Indies CWC 2019”

Five Talking Points & Fan Analysis- India vs Pakistan World Cup 2019

India continued their dominance over Pakistan in World Cups, beating them for the seventh time in succession as they won comfortably by 89 runs at Old Trafford. Rain was expected to play spoil sport in Manchester, but fortunately didn’t have much of a role to play, with a result guaranteed by the time the heavens really opened up. Here are our five talking points from this game. Continue reading “Five Talking Points & Fan Analysis- India vs Pakistan World Cup 2019”

Five Talking Points & Fan Analysis- India vs Australia World Cup 2019

India continued their excellent start to the World Cup as they beat defending champions Australia by 36 runs at the Oval. It was the first time since 1999 that the Aussies had lost a World Cup game while chasing. Here are our talking points from the game.

A bad day at the office for David Warner

When Warner edged the first ball of Jasprit Bumrah’s spell onto his stumps, the bails (not for the first time in this tournament!) failed to be dislodged. At that time, Australia could be forgiven for thinking that it was their day- Warner, after all, was expected to play a prominent role in the chase. However it was a stroke of luck that actually worked out in India’s favour.

The 32 year old Warner made a painfully slow 56 in 84 balls- effectively taking up 14 of Australia’s 50 overs in a tough run chase. It was his slowest ever ODI fifty and the slowest one by an Australian opener since Mark Waugh in 1999. Given how the 50 over game has progressed in the last two decades, those are pretty damning numbers. Even worse, Warner ran out partner Aaron Finch, who looked in excellent nick, leading the latter to take out his frustration on the furniture in the dressing room- not the type of outburst we see often from the Victorian.

Scoreboard pressure tells on Australia

Australia had clinched a famous victory in Mohali only three months ago- chasing a mammoth 359 to inflict a stunning defeat on India. However they failed to pace their innings at the Oval, perhaps taking a little too long to press on the accelerator.

India had hit 116 runs in their last 10 overs and Australia sought to replicate their plan. At the end of the 40th over, they were actually marginally ahead of India, but scoreboard pressure often tells when you’re chasing, and that’s what precisely happened with the Aussies as they fell 36 runs short.

Australia's starting line up vs India-2019

Rohit Sharma & Shikhar Dhawan set up strong platform for India victory

This was India’s first victory over Australia in a league World Cup clash since 1987, and was largely down to the excellent work done by Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan. The duo, knowing that Mitch Starc and Pat Cummins were the key bowlers for Australia, saw them off and targetted the weaker bowlers.

Their opening stand of 127 laid the foundation for India’s 300 plus score and allowed the likes of Hardik Pandya, MS Dhoni and KL Rahul to hit from the word go. Sharma, who had scored a century in the win against South Africa, followed it up with a half century while Dhawan’s 125 means that he has three World Cup tons- only Sachin Tendulkar has more among Indian players.

The duo broke several records along the way- they became the most prolific opening pair against Australia, surpassing the legendary pair of Desmond Haynes and Gordon Greenidge. Sharma also reached the 2000 run landmark against Australia.

India's line up against Australia-2019

Did Australia miss a trick by not promoting Maxwell or Carey? Continue reading “Five Talking Points & Fan Analysis- India vs Australia World Cup 2019”

Five Talking Points & Fan Analysis- South Africa vs India World Cup 2019

India’s recent dominance over South Africa in ICC events continued as Virat Kohli’s men opened their World Cup campaign with a six wicket win at the Rose Bowl. Here are our talking points from the game.

Proteas fail to win the small moments

When you have only 228 to defend and your bowling ranks are depleted due to injury, you need to take EVERY chance that comes your way. Unfortunately for the Proteas, skipper Faf du Plessis dropped Rohit Sharma in the third over of the game when the Indian opener was just on 1. It wasn’t a straightforward catch, but not an entirely difficult one either. The drop went on to cost 121 runs as Sharma scored a fine century to take India home in a tough chase. There were a few other “what if moments” too- the ball dropping just in front of Amla at slip after Chris Morris had drawn an edge off Rohit, and David Miller dropping an absolute dolly in the 44th over.

Chris Morris delivers an inspired performance

On paper, Chris Morris has all the ingredients to be one of the world’s best all-rounders. Unfortunately for South Africa, that promise hasn’t quite translated into success on the pitch, with Morris guilty of being very inconsistent. Today though was one of his best ever performances in a Proteas jersey- top scoring with 42 (the only one to score at over a run a ball for South Africa), and then producing a fine 10-3-36-1 spell with the ball. Morris wasn’t in the selectors’ WC plans over the last year, but got into the squad as an injury replacement. If this version of Tipo turns up more frequently, he will have no problems holding down a first team spot.

South Africa’s spinners fail to have the same impact as India’s

Having lost both Dale Steyn and Lungi Ngidi to injury, South Africa opted to go with two spinners at the Rose Bowl in the form of Imran Tahir and Tabraiz Shamsi. Both failed to deliver- Tahir finished with 0/58 in his 10, while Shamsi was also wicketless, going for 54 in his 9. In a game where South Africa needed them to strangulate India in the middle overs after Rabada, Morris and Phehlukwayo had put the Men in Blue on the back foot in the opening stages, their performances were disappointing.

By comparison, India’s spinners took five wickets between them and consistently broke partnerships just as they were beginning to look dangerous, robbing the Proteas of much needed momentum. Yuzvendra Chahal for instance, broke both the Faf-Rassie and Miller-Phehlukwayo partnerships, and finished with four wickets.

South Africa Line up vs India-2019 Continue reading “Five Talking Points & Fan Analysis- South Africa vs India World Cup 2019”

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 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”

Australia’s Player Ratings vs India- ODI Series 2019

You can never write Australia off before a World Cup! Just months before the quadrennial event, the defending champions showed that they would not give up their crown without a fight by coming from 2-0 down to inflict a stunning 3-2 defeat on pre-WC favourites India. This was Indian skipper Virat Kohli’s first home series loss as captain. Australia’s last ODI series win came nearly two years ago, and with the likes of Steve Smith, David Warner, Mitch Starc and Josh Hazlewood all likely to be added to the squad, few will underestimate the Kangaroos at the World Cup.

Here’s how Australia’s players rated in the PayTM ODI series against India.

Aaron Finch (capt) 5/10

As a batsman, Finch had an ordinary series- only 157 runs in 5 matches at an average of 31.40 as his poor test form continued into the shorter formats. His 93 in Ranchi showed signs of him leaving his lean run behind, but on evidence of this series, his starting spot could be in serious jeopardy when Warner and Smith return.

He however led his team remarkably well, and has achieved something many visiting skippers have been unable to do- an ODI series win in India.

Usman Khawaja- 9.5/10

An absolutely fantastic series for Uzzy, with 383 runs in 5 matches at an average of 76.6. Was remarkably consistent as well- scored his maiden ton in Ranchi which set the tone for the visitors’ comeback, and followed it up with 91 and 100 in Chandigarh and Delhi respectively. Outscored Virat Kohli in a series where the latter scored two back to back centuries!

Rightly declared the Player of the Series.

Usman Khawaja

Shaun Marsh-1/10

29 runs in 3 matches at an average of 9.66

A horrendous series for SOS given his normally high standards in this format, and might have just kissed his World Cup hopes goodbye. Was axed for the decider in Delhi after being heralded as a potential saviour for the visitors’ batting on Indian pitches when he was brought into the squad- an indicator of how badly his stocks fell in this series. Continue reading “Australia’s Player Ratings vs India- ODI Series 2019”

India vs Australia Delhi Fifth ODI Match Report-2019

Usman Khawaja continued his superb form with the bat by scoring yet another 100, as Australia defeated India by 35 runs in the fifth and final one day international at Feroz Shah Kotla, New Delhi on Wednesday. Continue reading “India vs Australia Delhi Fifth ODI Match Report-2019”