WI vs IND 2019: SWOT analysis of the Indian sq…

India set to play 3-match ODI series against West Indies

After the hectic schedule at the ICC World Cup 2019, the Indian team is set to go on a Caribbean tour which constitutes of 3 T20Is, 3 50-over matches and 2 test matches. The Men in Blue are scheduled to play the first One Day International match in Guyana and the next two ODI matches in Trinidad. 

The likes of Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Khaleel Ahmed, and Navdeep Saini have got opportunities thanks to their consistent performances for India A and in the domestic circuit. Shubman Gill, who won the Man of the Series in recently concluded India A vs West Indies A ODI series, might feel unlucky to have missed out from the squad.

The Indian squad for the One Day series of three matches is – Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma (vice-captain), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kedar Jadhav, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed, Navdeep Saini. 

Here, we dissect and analyze the various facets of the selected squad.

#1 Strengths:

Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli

The top-three comprising of Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, and Virat Kohli has been the backbone of India’s batting line up since Champions Trophy 2013. Rohit Sharma, who was in the form of his life in the World Cup 2019, will hope to carry on the same way. His partner at the top of the order Shikhar Dhawan, who got injured after scoring a century against Australia in World Cup 2019, will wish to be back in the rhythm after a break.

Virat Kohli, the number one batsman in this format, failed to register any three-digit figure in the last eleven ODI matches despite crossing the 50-run mark five times. Kohli is arguably the best batsman of this generation and will wish to break this streak and hit his 8th hundred against the ‘Men in Maroon’. 

The spin trio consisting of Chahal, Kuldeep and Jadeja can also be considered as one of India’s strength thanks to their record against the same opposition specifically both the left-arm spinners. Jadeja, Kuldeep, and Chahal have 36, 18 and 7 scalps to their name in 23, 10 and 3 matches respectively.

#2 Weakness:

Mohammad Shami

West Indies who are currently placed at the ninth position in the ICC ODI rankings won a bilateral series against India for the last time back in 2006. India, though, being the second-best ODI side in the world can not afford to consider Jason Holder’s men as a weak side at their home. West Indies gave a very tough fight to England, the best ODI side and successfully drew the series by 2-2 at their home.

None of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammad Shami, or Khaleel Ahmed are reliable options in the slog overs. Navdeep Saini, the young speedster, was great for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League in the death overs. But, can he replicate that or even better it when he dons Blue jersey? Bhuvneshwar and Shami are pretty good with the new ball but they are also expensive in the death overs at times. With Hardik Pandya, the hard-hitting batsman being rested, Kohli’s army will also be worried about the finishing touch in the slog overs.

#3 Opportunities

Rishabh Pant

The inexperienced lads like Rishabh Pant, Shreyas Iyer and Khaleel Ahmed have appeared in less than ten One Day Internationals while Saini is yet to make his debut for the senior team. This series is an excellent opportunity for the above-mentioned players. Manish Pandey who has played only 23 ODIs so far has recieved another chance to cement his spot in the middle-order. 

The skipper of ‘India A’ Manish Pandey was the only batsman to achieve the three-digit figure in the recently concluded ODI series against West Indies A. The 29-year-old was also in good form in IPL 2019 in which he averaged exactly 43 with three half-centuries under his belt. Mumbai-born batsman Iyer too had a good time against ‘West Indies A’ accumulating 187 runs with an average of more than 62 in 4 matches. 

Topping the wicket charts in the same series were Khaleel and Saini. The young pacers picked up nine and eight wickets respectively.

#4 Threats:

Sheldon Cottrell

Since the World Cup 2015, India has dominated against West Indies with a win-loss ratio of exactly 4 in 12 One Day International matches. Also, India won 3-1 in a bilateral series when they last played against two-time World Champions away from home.

There are not many threats for the Indian team against West Indies even in the latter’s backyard. However, Shai Hope and Shimron Hetmyer stunned Kohli’s men with their performances in the last bilateral series between the two. Hope, Hetmyer and Pooran are good players of spin and can tackle India’s spin attack well, considering the fact that Chahal and Kuldeep have not been at their best recently. 

Whilst this series is a good opportunity for the middle order batsmen like Manish Pandey, Shreyas Iyer, and Rishabh Pant, India’s top order must play cautiously against Sheldon Cottrell. The left-arm pacer Sheldon Cottrell was excellent with the new ball in World Cup 2019 and can also trouble India’s top order. 

World Cup 2019: Three world-class players who …

Quinton de Kock

Every cricketer has a dream to do well for his country in the Cricket World Cup. So it is not a surprise that the players reserve their best game for cricket’s biggest stage. Some new heroes emerge in the tournament, while some big names fail to deliver according to their potential.

The whole world is watching the World Cup and if you are a known face, there are more eyeballs on you than on anyone else. This added attention increases the stakes and some great players even wilt under the pressure of expectations.

In the 2019 edition of the World Cup, there have been some world-class players who have failed to do well. There were a lot of expectations from them coming into the tournament, but they were not able to deliver on their promise. So let us look at some high-quality players who had a poor campaign according to their high standards.

#1 Martin Guptill (New Zealand)

Martin Guptill

Martin Guptill was the star of New Zealand’s World Cup campaign in 2015. The devastating opening batsman finished as the top-scorer of the tournament, scoring 547 runs as New Zealand qualified for the final for the first time.

The Kiwis would have hoped that their star opener could perform in the same way in the 2019 edition as he did in the last edition. Guptill seemed to start this World Cup from where he left in the 2015 as he scored 73 runs off 51 balls vs Sri Lanka in the first match.

However, since then, he has struggled for form as he has just scored 95 runs in the last eight innings. His poor form has put more pressure on the likes of Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor who had to do damage control in every other match. Although, Guptill will have one more innings to make amends, as New Zealand take on England in the final.

Also see – Dream 11 predictions

#2 Quinton de Kock (South Africa)

De Kock in action

Quinton de Kock had a brilliant campaign in the IPL as he lifted the trophy with Mumbai Indians and was in good touch with the bat too. The South African wicket-keeper batsman was high on confidence coming into the tournament so there were a lot of expectations from him.

The left-handed batsman started the tournament with brilliant innings of 68 against England. De Kock, who has 14 centuries in ODI cricket, got off to some decent starts but he was not able to convert those starts into big scores.

He was the third-highest scorer for South Africa in the tournament but a batsman of his ability should be able to score hundreds to guide his team to big scores. The 26-year-old failed to do that in this tournament and the Proteas struggled. South Africa managed to win just three matches in the tournament as they finished seventh, which is poor for a team of their quality.

Also see – Biggest world cup win

#3 Kagiso Rabada (South Africa)

Kagiso Rabada

South Africa has always been blessed with a quality pace bowling attack. This time around, their bowling was led by one of the best fast bowlers in the world in the form of Kagiso Rabada. The 24-year-old was brilliant for his country in 2018, as he won the CSA Cricketer of the Year, Test Cricketer of the Year, and ODI Cricketer of the Year awards.

Rabada was expected to do well in the English conditions which generally have some help for the fast bowlers. Surprisingly, he was not able to make his mark on the tournament as he struggled for rhythm, perhaps because of his incessant workload and recent injury.

Rabada was able to pick just 11 wickets in the tournament at an average of more than 36, which is poor for a bowler of his standard. He is still young and should be able to get more opportunities at cricket’s biggest stage to display his talent in the future.

Also see – World cup winners captains list

World Cup 2019: What happens if India vs New Z…

India set to play New Zealand at Manchester

Rain has played a major spoilsport in World Cup 2019 so far. The early part of the tournament was hampered by incessant rain. Three matches were abandoned without a ball being bowled, while one match failed to yield any result. But since then, rain gods have been merciful.

India will take on New Zealand for the first semi-final at Manchester on Tuesday (July 9). If the semifinal gets abandoned due to rain on Tuesday, ICC has a reserve day in store. However, a second washout will see India in the final, thanks to their position on the points table.

Thought the news about reserve day is encouraging for cricket fans, the weather forecast is not. There are more than 30% chances of rain in the afternoon but things are on the brighter side after that. So, we should be able to witness a result even if it is shortened.

In case the weather forecast is proved wrong and rain does not go away quickly, the match would be moved to the reserve day on 10th July. Unfortunately, the weather forecast for Wednesday is worse, as there is a high probability of rain throughout the day.

If the match is not completed even on the reserve day, then we are left with only one option. In that case, India will qualify for the World Cup final for the fourth time in their history.

According to the tournament rules, if the result is not achieved in a knockout match, the team which finished higher in league stage will go through to the next round. India topped the table in the league stage, while New Zealand finished fourth. Quite understandably, the Indians won’t be too upset about rain.

Also read – World cup all time records

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Cricket World Cup History: Ranking the top thr…

Grant Elliott was the hero of the 2015 World Cup

The 2019 World Cup is at its business end with just a couple of matches remaining before the knock-outs. Every team that has made it to the knockouts would be itching to put up their best performance to reach the final. From 1975 until now, every edition has seen some thrilling matches at this stage of the tournament.

In the first three editions, West Indies were the only side to have been unbeaten in the semi-finals, proving their dominance in that decade.On the other hand, Australia who were the champions in 1987 for the first time have qualified to semis on eight occasions, which is the highest by any team followed by India and New Zealand on seven occasions.

This also talks about the consistency in performance by these teams. From India, who were the ‘underdogs’ beating England in the semis of the 1983 World Cup to Kenya entering the last four in 2003, the game has provided the fans with the most unexpected results.

Here, we look back at the top three semi-final encounters in the history of the World Cup.

#3 Australia vs West Indies (1996 World Cup)

Australia vs West Indies

In the 1996 World Cup, the league stage had two groups of six teams each. The top four from each group made it to the quarter-finals. Australia qualified to the quarterfinals with three wins while West Indies just scraped through to the top 8 after a surprising defeat against Kenya.

However, they bounced back in the quarterfinals by putting up a clinical performance against the Proteas to set up the second semi-final against Australia. On a green pitch in Mohali, the Kangaroos batted first after winning the toss.

As expected, the West Indian fast bowlers wreaked havoc as Australia lost 4 wickets for just 15 runs. Michael Bevan joined forces with Stuart Law and put on a partnership of 138 runs for the 5th wicket. This made a huge impact as they reached 207 in 50 overs.

In reply, West Indies started well with contributions from the Shivanarine Chanderpaul and Brian Lara. Once Lara departed after making 45, the captain Richie Richardson came into the middle to steady the innings. They were comfortably placed until Chanderpaul, who was playing extremely well holed one to the mid-off fielder.

The collapse started against Shane Warne and within no time the tail was cleaned up by Daniel Fleming. Richardson, who was at the other end couldn’t do anything but watch his team lose the match by 5 runs. Since then, the West Indies have never made it to the semi-finals in the World Cup.

#2 South Africa vs New Zealand (2015)

South Africa vs New Zealand

In the 2015 World Cup that was played in Australia and New Zealand, the Kiwis topped the Pool A with six wins while the Proteas finished second in Pool B. New Zealand and South Africa advanced to the semi-finals by defeating West Indies and Sri Lanka respectively in the last eight.

They faced each other in the first semi-final at Auckland which turned out to be a high-voltage encounter. It was a matter of making it to the finals as neither of them had played a world cup final. It was a seesaw battle that went down to the wire. Batting first, South Africa put on 281 in 43 overs in a rain-affected affair, thanks to a late blitz by David Miller.

Chasing a revised target of 298 in 43 overs, the Kiwis got off to a terrific start, scoring 71 in just 6.1 overs. However, they kept losing their top order at regular intervals and with the score at 149 for 4, Grant Elliott stitched a 103-run partnership with Corey Anderson before the latter was dismissed. Elliot, who was the architect of this chase, kept going as Luke Ronchi too was dismissed soon.

With 12 needed off the last over, Vettori squeezed a boundary on to the off side. With five runs needed off two balls, Elliott finished off things with a huge six off Dale Steyn over the long-on boundary. Every South African player was devastated, with tears rolling down from AB de Villiers’ cheeks.

In what seemed like a top run for South Africa, their hopes of clinching a World Cup yet again came crashing down.

#1 Australia vs South Africa (1999)

Australia vs South Africa

This match definitely went down as one of the greatest ODI matches in cricket history. It all started in the Super-Six match between Australia and South Africa when Herschelle Gibbs dropped Steve Waugh at short mid-wicket, who went on to score a match-winning century that kept them alive in the tournament. This win enabled them to finish second in the Super-Six stage, setting up a semi-final clash against the same team. Having won the toss, South Africa opted to field first in bowling friendly conditions.

Australia could only manage 213 runs with contributions from Steve Waugh and Michael Bevan. Chasing this, South Africa were in deep trouble after losing four wickets with just 61 runs on the board. Jacques Kallis and Jonty Rhodes stitched a partnership that helped them recover.

With South Africa needing more than 40 runs, Kallis departed. Lance Klusener, who was in fine form, added valuable runs to the team with some big hitting. In the final over, they needed nine runs to win with just a wicket left. Klusener scored two consecutive fours in the first two balls that almost guaranteed them a win.

On the fourth delivery, Klusener steered one to the mid-off fielder and ran without looking at the non-striker. Allan Donald was in no position to run, lost his bat mid-way and got run out as the match was tied.

Australia qualified for the final in the most dramatic fashion on the basis of higher standing on the points table.

World Cup History: Three players who scored a …

Adam Gilchrist:

Scoring a century for your country is always a special experience. The innings becomes even more special when you score it in a World Cup match. There are players who signed off their World Cup career on a high by scoring a three-figure score in their last match on cricket’s biggest stage.

Some players announce their decision to retire before the start of the tournament so they know that it is going to be their last match. On the other hand, some suffer sudden elimination from the tournament and never get a chance to play in it again.

Some batsmen have left their mark on the tournament by playing a brilliant knock in their last match of the World Cup career. So let us look at the three batsmen who scored a century in their last match in cricket’s biggest event.

#3 Ricky Ponting: Quarter-final, 2011

Australia v India – 2011 ICC World Cup Quarter-Final

When India was drawn versus Australia in the quarterfinal of 2011 World Cup, memories of the 2003 World Cup was still fresh in the minds of fans. In the final of 2003 World Cup, Australian captain Ricky Ponting had played an unbeaten knock of 148 to win the match for his country.

The right-handed batsman rose to the occasion once again, as he scored yet another century. On a pitch that was on a slower side, the Australian star scored 104 runs off 118 balls. His innings helped the defending champions post a score of 260 on the board, which was challenging, considering the conditions.

Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir, and Yuvraj Singh scored half-centuries to help their team take revenge for defeat in the 2003 World Cup final. Australia failed in their quest to make it four World Cups in a row, and Ponting never played a World Cup match again.

#2 Adam Gilchrist: Final, 2007

Adam Gilchrist

When Australia took on Sri Lanka in the final of the 2007 World Cup, they had a chance to lift the World Cup for the third time in a row. In the finals of 2003 and 2007 World Cup, Adam Gilchrist had given a fantastic start to Australia by scoring quickfire half-centuries.

The start of the final in 2007 was delayed due to rain, so the match was reduced to 38 overs per side. The Australian wicket-keeper batsman got his team off to yet another good start, but this time he was not satisfied with a fifty.

Gilchrist compiled a brilliant hundred as he scored 149 runs off just 104 runs. The devastating knock of Gilchrist helped Aussies post a score of 281 in their quota of 38 overs. Australia won the final by 53 runs via D/L method, and Gilchrist deservedly got the Man of the Match award.

#1 Imran Nazir: Group Stage, 2007

Group D, Pakistan v Zimbabwe – Cricket World Cup 2007

The 2007 World Cup was a disastrous World Cup for Pakistan as they were knocked out of the tournament after defeats in the first two matches against West Indies and Ireland. The things turned worse, as Pakistan’s coach Bob Woolmer died under mysterious conditions.

Amidst the controversy, the Pakistani team had to play the match against Zimbabwe to fulfill their commitments. Imran Nazir gave his team something to cheer by scoring a brilliant century against the African nation. The opener hit eight sixes and 14 fours as he scored 160 off 121 balls to guide Pakistan to a huge score.

The rain interrupted play to make it a 20 over the game, as Zimbabwe was set a target of 193. While it was a chasable score, they didn’t help their cause by losing early wickets. Eventually, Pakistan won the match by 93 runs via D/L method, and Nazir won the Man of the Match award in what will most likely prove to be his last match in World Cup.

World Cup 2019: Five big stars who have disapp…

Martin Guptill and Chris Gayle

With just five games left in the group stage, the teams other than Australia and India who will qualify for the knock-outs are pretty obvious. Australia, India, England and New Zealand will be the four semi-finalists barring a spectacular series of events unfolding. Teams have struggled in this World Cup because of the poor run of their star players on the biggest stage. It is one of the reasons but not the only reason. Australia (already qualified) and New Zealand who have are almost certain to qualify also have issues in their batting department. In the following sides, we have discussed 5 star players who have not tasted enough success in the twelfth edition of the World Cup.

#5 Martin Guptill:

Martin Guptill

New Zealand, one of the most consistent teams in the World Cup with the second best win percentage would have hoped a lot from Martin Guptill. The attacking opener who is the second leading run-scorer for the Blackcaps in the World Cup has let down his team in the tournament so far.

The highest run-getter of World Cup 2015, Guptill has accumulated only 158 runs with an average of less than 27 and two golden ducks in 7 matches so far. He has always been a match-winner for his country and the fans expect Guptill to perform in the same way. The 32-year-old batsman has been so poor that James Neesham, their middle-order batsman has outscored him. Also, Guptill is just three runs ahead of Colin de Grandhome who plays as a finisher. The dashing opener has failed to solve the batting woes of the Kiwis as he has got out in Powerplay four out of seven times. 

New Zealand, the second worst batting team in this tournament are only better than Sri Lanka. They have been almost one-man army – Kane Williamson with the willow. The Blackcaps need the services of their star players like Guptill to do well moving ahead in the tournament.

#4 Andre Russell:

Andre Russell

West Indies, who entered the World Cup as dark horses, are already knocked out after blistering start in the tournament against Pakistan. The Jamaican all-rounder Russell had copious responsibility on his shoulders for the ‘Men in Maroon’. Russell, who was the ‘Most Valuable Player of the tournament’ in IPL 12, suffered from fitness issues in this World Cup and got ruled out due to a knee injury. ‘Dre Russ’ carried KKR’s batting unit in IPL 2019 but managed an aggregate of just 21 runs with a terrible average of 12 in the WC.

The right-handed batsman got out to Mitchell Starc when his team required 71 runs off 68 balls against Australia. The big man had an excellent opportunity to stitch a good partnership with Jason Holder and take his team home. Russell might have struggled with the bat, but he did have a decent time with the ball. Averaging less than 21, he bagged 5 wickets in 4 matches with an economy of less than 6. The unavailability of Dre Russ has obviously affected the team balance of the West Indies. The Men in Maroon would want to have a happy ending with victories in the remaining games.

#3 Hashim Amla:

Hashim Amla

The ever-reliant Hashim Amla has looked out of touch for the last couple of years. There were a lot of questions on his place in the first-choice playing eleven of his team before the World Cup 2019. Lack of reliable options at the top has forced the team management of South Africa to open with Amla. The 36-year-old veteran has managed to amass 203 runs with an extremely poor strike-rate of less than 65.

The most successful South African opener Hashim Amla boasts of only two half-centuries in this World Cup which he scored against Afghanistan and Sri Lanka. The Proteas, who are only placed above Afghanistan and West Indies in the points-table, have miserably failed with the bat. None of the South Africans have reached the three-digit figure with the highest individual score of 96 by the skipper Faf du Plessis. The Durban-born Amla has not helped the cause for his team and failed to play a big knock.

#2 Kagiso Rabada:

Kagiso Rabada

Kagiso Rabada is the second South African in the list which completely describes their campaign in the World Cup 2019. Kagiso Rabada, the premier pacer of South Africa stole the limelight in IPL 2019 as he was the second highest wicket-taker with just one wicket less than his teammate Imran Tahir. There was a lot of responsibility on Rabada to lead the bowling attack of the ‘Men in Green’. The injury to Dale Steyn and lack of support from other bowlers have not helped Rabada either.

Kagiso, who is the leading wicket-taker for South Africa since World Cup 2015, has only 8 scalps to his name in the mega event so far. His average (42.62) and strike-rate (51) are only better than those of Aiden Markram, a part-time bowler. The 24-year-old had bowled wicketless spells against Bangladesh and Pakistan and the Proteas lost both the matches.  

South Africa are already out of the race to qualify for the semi-finals and will lock the horns with the table-toppers Australia on 6 July at Manchester.

#1 Glenn Maxwell:

Glenn Maxwell

Glenn Maxwell, the star T20 player was in good form before the Cricket World Cup 2019 as he scored three half-centuries against Pakistan in a bilateral ODI series. The 30-year-old batting all-rounder plays the finishing role which is a tough and important job. The hard-hitting batsman has played small cameos against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka but he is yet to play a big knock in the tournament. This was the case even though the fearless batsman had enough time to play big knocks against West Indies, India, Pakistan, England and New Zealand. Maxwell failed to make the most of these golden opportunities.

The Victoria-born batsman has faced 25+ balls only one innings. Although he is striking at 190.67 with the willow, his average is less than 24. Despite bowling 39 overs so far, the off-break bowler has failed to pick any wicket and conceded runs with a poor economy of more than 6. 

Defending champions Australia have already qualified for the semi-finals but their middle-order looks fragile. Maxwell who is a match-winner should take the responsibility and step-up in the biggest cricket event.

World Cup 2019: Rohit Sharma breaks multiple r…

Rohit Sharma

Indian opener Rohit Sharma is in the form of his life. The lad from Mumbai scored his fourth century in this edition’s World Cup against Bangladesh on Tuesday (July 2) here at Edgbaston, Birmingham. Batting first, India put a mammoth total of 314. The foundation of the innings was laid by Sharma’s 92-ball 104.

With this ton, he has shattered many records. To start off, he is the only Indian to score four centuries in a single edition of the World Cup. Previously, Sourav Ganguly had scored three hundred in the 2003 World Cup. He has also become the second cricketer in the history of world cricket to score four centuries in a World Cup, the first one being Kumar Sangakkara.

He is now just one century away from equaling Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 6 World Cup centuries. Rohit is now the second Indian after master blaster to score 500 runs in a World Cup. The 32-year-old also registered his 24th ODI ton in his 128th innings, the fastest to do so as an opener.

The Indian opener has scored five centuries in 15 World Cup innings. Which is easily the fastest by anyone in tournament history. Only Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting, and Kumar Sangakkara have scored five or more centuries in World cup history.

He seems to have a liking for Bangladesh, as he scored centuries against the Bangla Tigers in the 2015 World Cup as well as the 2017 Champions Trophy. Sharma doesn’t only have the reputation of being a big hitter of the ball but his batting is more aesthetically pleasing, as it appears to be effortless.

He has also become the third Indian to score 500+ runs in an ODI series, after Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli. Since the start of 2017, he has scored 16 centuries which is most by any player in this period.