World Cup 2019: Afghanistan vs Australia Match…

Gulbadin Naib and Aaron Finch

The fourth match of the ICC World Cup 2019 will be played on 1st June at 6 PM IST between Afghanistan and Australia at The Bristol County Ground, Bristol.

The strength of Afghanistan lies in their spin bowling with the likes of Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rahman. They would also be counting on Mohammed Nabi to deliver solid performance with both ball and bat.

On the other hand, Australia look strong after the return of David Warner and Steve Smith. Their only concern will be the poor form of skipper Aaron Finch.


Key Players

For Afghanistan, Rahmat Shah will be the key batsman. He is very good at rotating the strikes and keep the scoreboard ticking. He bats at No: 3 for them.

In their bowling department, the focus will be on Rashid Khan. It will be interesting to see whether Rashid can excel in the English conditions.

For Australia, David Warner and Steve Smith will be in the spotlight as they make their return after one year ban. Their return has definitely boosted the morale of the squad.

Mitchell Starc will be their key bowler. He was the Player of the tournament in 2015 World Cup with 22 wickets. He would be expected to replicate similar performance and take his team forward in the tournament.


Probable XI

Afghanistan

Rashid Khan

Samiullah Shinwari is likely to be benched. In the bowling department, either Aftab Alam or Hamid Hassan is likely to miss out.

Probable XI: Mohammad Shahzad (WK), Hazratullah Zazai, Rahmat Shah, Asghar Afghan, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Gulbadin Naib ©, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Dawlat Zadran, Aftab Alam/Hamid Hassan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman.

Australia

Adam Zampa

Australia will slot either Usman Khawaja or Shaun Marsh at No: 4. Recent performances give Khawaja an edge over Shaun Marsh.

In bowling, Kane Richardson is expected to be slotted ahead of Nathan Coulter-Nile and Jason Behrendorff, while Adam Zampa will be the only spinner.

Probable XI: Aaron Finch ©, David Warner, Usman Khawaja / Shaun Marsh, Steven Smith, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey (WK), Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Kane Richardson, Adam Zampa.


Squads

Afghanistan: Gulbadin Naib ©, Mohammad Shahzad (WK), Noor Ali Zadran, Hazratullah Zazai, Rahmat Shah, Asghar Afghan, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Najibullah Zadran, Samiullah Shinwari, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Dawlat Zadran, Aftab Alam, Hamid Hassan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman.

Australia: Aaron Finch ©, David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Steven Smith, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey (WK), Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Jason Behrendorff, Kane Richardson, Nathan Lyon, Adam Zampa.

World Cup 2019: New Zealand vs Sri Lanka – Key…

Kane Williamson

The third match of the ICC World Cup 2019 will be played on 1st June at 3 PM IST between New Zealand and Sri Lanka at the Sophia Gardens in Cardiff.

New Zealand have given solid performances in recent years, and they are one of the favourites for the semi-final spot. On the other hand, Sri Lanka have tried multiple captains and team combinations over the last couple of years, but are yet to find the right XI. They have a lot of issues to address in all departments of the game.

Ahead of their high-voltage clash, here’s a look at the important aspects of the match-up:


Key players

Ross Taylor is currently at the peak of his career, averaging 91.29 and 74.13 in 2018 and 2019 respectively. The Kiwis would expect him to continue his form and make big contributions in the middle order.

In the bowling department, Trent Boult is the player to watch out for. It will be tough for any batting line-up to handle him if he gets any sort of assistance from the pitch. Boult picked up eight wickets in two warm-up matches, and his team would expect him to do more wonders with the ball.

For Sri Lanka, captain Dimuth Karunaratne has played only 19 ODI matches but has a huge role to play in this tournament. He has performed well in both warm-up matches and will be keen to continue his good form in the top order.

Lasith Malinga, meanwhile, is playing his last World Cup. He has featured in two World Cup finals – 2007 and 2011 – and so certainly knows how to play on the big stage.

Over the years Malinga’s pace has slowed down, but his yorkers and slow balls are still dangerous. He had a good IPL season this year and would hope to perform even better to take the Lankans forward in this tournament.


Probable XI

New Zealand

Tom Blundell

If the Kiwis decide to go with only five bowling options, Colin de Grandhomme will miss out at the expense of Henry Nicholls. Either Tim Southee or Matt Henry is expected to miss out from the starting XI.

Until Tom Latham is declared fit to play, Tom Blundell will stand behind the stumps.

Probable XI: Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Kane Williamson ©, Ross Taylor, Tom Blundell (WK), Henry Nicholls / Colin de Grandhomme, Jimmy Neesham, Lockie Ferguson, Tim Southee / Matt Henry, Trent Boult, Ish Sodhi.

Sri Lanka

Thisara Perera

All-rounders Jeevan Mendis and Dhananjaya de Silva will be the spinners for Sri Lanka. They are expected to go with three pacers, and Thisara Perera will be their fourth seaming option.

In the batting, the middle order slots will be filled by Kusal Mendis, Kusal Perera and Angelo Mathews.

Probable XI: Dimuth Karunaratne ©, Lahiru Thirimanne, Kusal Mendis, Kusal Perera (WK), Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya de Silva, Jeevan Mendis, Thisara Perera, Lasith Malinga, Suranga Lakmal, Nuwan Pradeep.


Squads

New Zealand: Kane Williamson ©, Martin Guptill, Henry Nicholls, Ross Taylor, Tom Blundell (WK), Colin de Grandhomme, Jimmy Neesham, Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry, Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Tom Latham (WK), Colin Munro, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi.

Sri Lanka: Dimuth Karunaratne ©, Lahiru Thirimanne, Kusal Mendis, Kusal Perera (WK), Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya de Silva, Avishka Fernando, Thisara Perera, Lasith Malinga, Suranga Lakmal, Nuwan Pradeep, Isuru Udana, Jeffrey Vandersay, Jeevan Mendis, Milinda Siriwardana.

World Cup 2019: West Indies vs Pakistan – Key …

Jason Holder and Sarfaraz Ahmed

The second match of ICC World Cup 2019 will be played on 31st May at 3 PM IST between West Indies and Pakistan at Trent Bridge, Nottingham.

The performances of both these teams have not been too great in recent times. Pakistan lost their recent ODI series against England by a margin of 4-0 while West Indies lost to Bangladesh in the final of the tri-series that also included Ireland.

In warm-up matches, Pakistan lost their match against Afghanistan by 3 wickets while Windies defeated New Zealand by a margin of 91 runs. Both teams would be hoping to get their World Cup campaign off on the right track with a win in the first match.


Key Players

Shai Hope will be the key batsman for Windies. He has been the most consistent performer for them in recent years, averaging 67.31 and 65.00 in 2018 and 2019 respectively.

Hope will either open the batting along with Chris Gayle, or bat at No: 3.

Windies will also expect Andre Russell to contribute with both ball and bat, especially after his excellent performance in the recent IPL.

For Pakistan, Babar Azam is expected to be the key batsman in the lineup. The team’s journey in this World Cup will depend on how consistently Azam delivers with the bat.

In the bowling department, Pakistan will expect a solid performance from Wahab Riaz, who has made his comeback to the ODI team after almost two years.


Probable XI

West Indies

Shimron Hetmyer

Either Nicholas Pooran or Darren Bravo is likely to miss out from the playing XI. Shimron Hetmyer will bat at No: 4, while Ashley Nurse is expected to be the only spinner in the lineup.

Probable XI: Chris Gayle, Evin Lewis, Shai Hope (wk), Shimron Hetmyer, Nicholas Pooran / Darren Bravo, Andre Russell, Jason Holder ©, Kemar Roach, Shannon Gabriel, Sheldon Cottrell, Ashley Nurse.

Pakistan

Wahab Riaz

With his performance in the practice match, Wahab Riaz has all but booked his place in the playing XI. It will be interesting to see whether Pakistan will go with Shaheen Afridi’s raw talent or Mohammed Amir’s experience.

In the batting, Haris Sohail could get an edge over Shoaib Malik.

Probable XI: Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik / Haris Sohail, Mohammed Hafeez, Asif Ali, Sarfraz Ahmed (c & wk), Shadab Khan, Hassan Ali, Wahab Riaz, Shaheen Afridi / Mohammed Amir.


Squads

West Indies: Jason Holder ©, Shai Hope (wk), Chris Gayle, Evin Lewis, Darren Bravo, Shimron Hetmyer, Nicholas Pooran, Andre Russell, Carlos Brathwaite, Fabian Allen, Oshane Thomas, Kemar Roach, Shannon Gabriel, Sheldon Cottrell, Ashley Nurse.

Pakistan: Sarfraz Ahmed (c & wk), Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Mohammed Hafeez, Asif Ali, Haris Sohail, Shadab Khan, Imad Wasim, Mohammed Amir, Hassan Ali, Shaheen Afridi, Wahab Riaz, Mohammed Hasnain

World Cup 2019: England vs South Africa – Key …

Eoin Morgan and Faf du Plessis

The first match of the ICC World Cup 2019 will be played on 30th May at 3 PM IST between South Africa and hosts England at the Kia Oval, London.

England are clearly the hot favourites to win this World Cup. Their batting line-up is incredibly deep, and they have six to seven bowling options in the playing XI.

South Africa, on the other hand, are not in the favourites list this year, which is rare. They do have a solid team though, and their strength lies in the bowling – with the likes of Dale Steyn, Kagiso Rabada and Lungi Ngidi all being capable of destroying any lineup.


Key Players

Jos Buttler will be the key player in the English batting lineup. He is destructive with the bat and can hit a boundary off practically any ball. He bats at the No. 6 position, which gives him the license to attack from the word go.

In the bowling department, Jofra Archer is the player to watch out for. England will be happy with his performances so far at the international stage, and they expect him to be the X-factor of their attack. Archer will likely open the bowling for the team.

For South Africa, skipper Faf du Plessis is in good form with the bat. He is expected to continue in the same vein and make strong contributions in the middle order.

In the bowling department, Kagiso Rabada holds the key for Proteas. He can extract pace and bounce from any track, and South Africa would hope for him to do wonders with the ball.


Probable XI

England

Moeen Ali

Mark Wood has been declared fit for the first match. But if England decide to give him some more rest, Liam Plunkett is likely to slot into the lineup instead.

Moeen Ali and Ben Stokes will be their all-rounders, with the batting unit pretty much selecting itself.

Probable XI: Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan ©, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler (WK), Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Liam Plunkett / Mark Wood, Jofra Archer, Adil Rashid.

South Africa

Andile Phehlukwayo

Either Aiden Markram or Rassie van der Dussen is expected to miss out from the playing XI. Andile Phehlukwayo will likely fill the all-rounder slot, and his contributions would be vital to the team’s success.

It has also been confirmed that Dale Steyn will not play the first match, which means there’s an opportunity for Chris Morris.

Probable XI: Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock (WK), Aiden Markram / Rassie van der Dussen, Faf du Plessis ©, JP Duminy, David Miller, Andile Phehlukwayo, Chris Morris, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Imran Tahir.


Squads

England: Eoin Morgan ©, Jason Roy, Johny Bairstow, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler (WK), Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Liam Dawson, James Vince, Tom Curran, Liam Plunkett, Jofra Archer, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood.

South Africa: Faf du Plessis ©, Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock (WK), Aiden Markram, Rassie van der Dussen, JP Duminy, David Miller, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dale Steyn, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Tabraiz Shamsi, Dwaine Pretorius, Chris Morris, Imran Tahir.

CWC 2019: Predicting 3 World Cup batting recor…

Martin Guptill scored most runs in 2015 World Cup

The biggest cricket event, the ICC Cricket World Cup is set to begin on 30th May at the Oval, with the hosts England taking on South Africa. Pitch and conditions are generally expected to favour the batsmen, and this World Cup could be a nightmare for the bowlers.

Here we try to predict three World Cup batting records that could be broken this year. To make this prediction, we take into consideration the 2015 ICC World Cup and the recent ODI series that took place in England.

The recent ODI series in England were West Indies-Bangladesh-Ireland, England-Pakistan, Scotland-Sri Lanka and Ireland-England. From now on in this article, we will collectively call these series as ‘England series’.

Now let’s look at the batting record predictions for this World Cup.


World Cup with most centuries

Can Rohit Sharma hit a double century in World Cup?

ICC World Cup 2015 had 38 centuries from 48 matches which meant 0.79 centuries per match. The recently concluded England series saw 13 centuries from 14 matches which means 0.93 centuries per match. Considering a rate of 0.85 centuries per match, we predict a minimum of 41 centuries in this World Cup from the 48 matches.


World Cup with most half centuries

ICC World Cup 2015 saw 149 half-centuries at a rate of 3.10 half centuries per match. The recently concluded England series saw 43 half centuries at a rate of 3.07 half centuries per match. Taking into account the batting conditions this year, we consider a minimum rate of 3.2 fifties per match to predict a minimum of 154 half centuries in this World Cup.


Highest team total in a World Cup match

South Africa scored 400+ totals twice in 2015 World Cup

Australia currently holds the record of the highest team total in a World Cup match. They achieved this feat against Afghanistan in 2015, scoring 417/6 in 50 overs. In the recent England series, England successfully chased the target against Pakistan and scored 359 runs from 44.5 overs at the expense of just four wickets. This score equates to 403 in 50 overs, just 14 runs short of the highest World Cup team score. We predict three to four instances of 400+ team totals this time, of which at least one will break the current World Cup record of the highest team total.

ICC World Cup 2019: 4 batsmen to watch out for

Jos Buttler

The ICC World Cup 2019 is set to begin on 30th May with the hosts England taking on South Africa at the Kia Oval in London. All the teams will play against each other and the top four will make into the semifinals. The final will be played at Lord’s, London on 14th July.

The teams have time until the 23rd of May to make changes and announce their final squad for the tournament. Most of the players selected are certain to fly to England, and have started their preparations already.

If the recently concluded WI-Ire-Ban series and Eng-Pak series are any indication, the then this is going to be a batsmen’s World Cup. The pitches and conditions seem likely to favor the batsmen, with plenty of runs on offer.

Here’s a look at four batsmen to watch out for in this edition of the World Cup.


1. Virat Kohli – India

Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli is undoubtedly the best batsman in the modern era or cricket. He has scored 10843 runs from 227 matches at a staggering average of 59.57, with as many as 41 centuries.

Considering the weakness of India’s middle order against turn and bounce, Kohli has to deliver consistently to take India forward in the tournament. He bats at the No: 3 position.


2. Ross Taylor – New Zealand

Ross Taylor

Ross Taylor is one of the most experienced batsmen in New Zealand. He averages 48.34 with the bat and has scored 8026 runs from 218 matches.

Taylor is currently enjoying the most fruitful purple patch of his career, with an average of 74.13 in 2019 and 91.29 in 2018. He bats at No: 4 for New Zealand.


3. David Warner – Australia

David Warner

The return of David Warner after his one-year ban will be a big boost for Australia in this World Cup. Warner is currently in great form and won the Orange Cap in IPL 2019 by scoring 692 runs from just 12 matches.

The hard-hitting left-hander has scored 4343 runs from 106 ODI matches at an average of 43.42 while striking at 96.55. He will open the innings for Australia.


4. Jos Buttler- England

Jos Buttler

Jos Buttler is one of the most destructive batsmen in modern cricket. He has scored 3531 runs from 131 matches at an average 41.54 and a stupendous strike rate of 119.57.

Buttler is capable of batting at any position and at any stage of the game. He usually bats at No: 6 for England.

ICC World Cup 2019: Probable first choice XI f…

Aaron Finch

Australia are the most successful team in the history cricket World Cup. They have won the title five times, most by any team. Aaron Finch will lead them in this year’s World Cup, but the focus will be completely on David Warner and Steve Smith as they make their return to international cricket after serving the ban imposed on them due to ball-tampering incident.

The performance of the Australian side has not been great in the last year, especially with Smith and Warner not being in the squad. Their return will definitely boost the morale of the team.


Preliminary Squad

Aaron Finch ©, Alex Carey (WK), Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, David Warner, Jason Behrendorff, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pat Cummins, Usman Khawaja, Adam Zampa


Probable XI

David Warner

David Warner was in red-hot form in the recently-concluded IPL, and he will open the batting along with Aaron Finch. The skipper also found his form back and scored two centuries and two fifties in the ODI series against Pakistan.

Steve Smith will bat in his favourite no.3 position and will be followed by Shaun Marsh, who has very decent batting numbers in ODIs for Australia.

Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis will bat at no.5 and no.6 respectively. Both of them will also play the role of the fifth and the sixth bowler for Australia. Their wicketkeeper, Alex Carey, will bat at no.7.

They will stick with 3 fast bowlers – Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Nathan Coulter-Nile. The trio are also capable of scoring some quick runs in the lower order. Adam Zampa will be their only spinner.

Probable XI: David Warner, Aaron Finch ©, Steve Smith, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey (WK), Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Nathan Coulter-Nile and Adam Zampa.


Possible changes

If Shaun Marsh fails to find runs, Australia could try replacing him with Usman Khawaja, who has been in good form with the bat.

Another possible thing that Australia could do is rotate their fast bowlers. In that case, Jason Behrendorff and Kane Richardson could get some games. However, the chances are less for Nathan Lyon to get a game ahead of Adam Zampa.