World Cup 2019, Semi-final 2, Australia vs Eng…

Australia v England

A new chapter will be added to the historic England-Australia rivalry when the arch-rivals face each other in the second semi-final of World Cup 2019. While Australia eased their way into the semi-final, England hustled till the last group game to seal a top-four finish.

The hosts were in hot water and needed to win both their last two games to make it to the semi-finals, which they did by defeating India and New Zealand. Even though they dominated their opponents completely in their last two games, the England team will know that they have an uphill task against an in-form Australian side.

Australia has beaten England twice in the past month and a half, once in the warm-up game and then in the group game, and will hold a psychological advantage over the hosts. However, the injuries in the Australian camp will force them to rejig the combination.

How crucial is the toss? 

Both the teams will want to bat first and put some runs on the board. Toss is likely to play a crucial role in the final outcome of the game.

If Australia bat first

A lot depends on the opening duo of Warner and Finch. If they can get off to a good start, 300+ is on the cards. If the openers fall cheaply, Australia might have to contend with a score of around 260 to 270.

If England bat first

Openers have been in sublime form in the last two games. If they can provide a good start, England have the firepower in the middle order to go past 300. Though Eoin Morgan scored a brilliant hundred in the tournament, his form has been patchy.

Who will win the match?

Even though Australia has been a better side in the tournament, England seems to have gained momentum at the right time and thus they might emerge victorious in this mouth-watering contest.

World Cup 2019, Semi-final 2, Aus vs Eng: Aust…

Starc took four wickets against England in the group game

The Australian team has done exceedingly well to reach the semi-finals. They will be up against arch-rivals England in the semi-final on Thursday. However, the Kangaroos have a couple of injury concerns ahead of the crucial encounter.

While Usman Khawaja is already ruled out of the remainder of the tournament, there are doubts over Marcus Stoinis’ participation. Matthew Wade and Mitchell Marsh have been called up as cover for Khawaja and Stoinis.

Here is Australia’s Predicted Playing XI.


Openers

Aaron Finch, David Warner

Aaron Finch and David Warner have been in tremendous form in the tournament. Finch and Warner have given Australia steady and quick starts and will look to continue their good run against England.

Middle-order

Steve Smith, Peter Handscomb

Steve Smith will move up in the order in the absence of Khawaja. Handscomb, who was in excellent form before the World Cup, is slated to replace Khawaja in the middle-order.

Wicket-keeper and All-rounders

Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Marsh, Alex Carey

Glenn Maxwell hasn’t had the best of tournaments so far but Australia will back the explosive all-rounder to come good when it matters the most. Alex Carey has been a revelation for Australia and become a crisis man for the team. Mitchell Marsh might come in as a replacement for Marcus Stoinis, who has struggled with bad form and injury.

Bowlers

Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Jason Behrendorff, Nathan Lyon

Mitchell Starc has been in terrific form with the ball and has bamboozled opposition batting line-ups with his aggressive bowling. Pat Cummins has bowled with good speed and accuracy too. Behrendorff has taken 9 wickets in 4 games and will look to provide early breakthroughs for Australia. Nathan Lyon has also contributed with tight lines in the middle phase of the innings.

Key players

Mitchell Starc

Mitchell Starc has by far been the pick of the Australian bowlers in World Cup 2019. Having said that, he will have the important task of negating the threat of the aggressive opening duo of Jonny Bairstow and Jason Roy.

Steve Smith

In the absence of Usman Khawaja, Steven Smith, who has averaged a below-par 32.66 in the tournament so far, will have to shoulder more responsibility. 

Australia’s Predicted Playing XI

Aaron Finch, David Warner, Steve Smith, Peter Handscomb, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Marsh, Alex Carey, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Jason Behrendorff, and Nathan Lyon.

World Cup 2019, Match 44: SL vs IND – India’s …

Will India rest Bumrah?

Team India secured a place in the semi-final with a 28-run win against Bangladesh. India’s defeat against England led to a couple of changes in the playing XI against Bangladesh. Now that the Indian team has already made it to the semi-finals of the World Cup, it will be interesting to see whether the team management will rest some key players or opt not to break the momentum and persist with the same line-up. 

Here is India’s predicted playing XI for the game against Sri Lanka.


Openers – Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul 

Rohit Sharma extended his scintillating form in the World Cup in the game against Bangladesh. Rohit’s opening partner, however, has been blowing hot and cold in the tournament so far. Rahul did score some runs against Bangladesh but hasn’t looked at his fluent best yet. 

Middle-order – Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant, Dinesh Karthik 

India’s middle order has been a point of concern for the Men in Blue. Vijay Shankar and Kedar Jadhav, who were initially considered as certainties in the playing XI, have lost their places to Rishabh Pant and Dinesh Karthik. Pant looked in good nick against Bangladesh and his performance will be crucial for Team India in the knockouts. India is also likely to persist with Dinesh Karthik. 

Wicket-keeper and All-rounder – MS Dhoni and Hardik Pandya 

Dhoni’s low strike-rate has been the biggest talking point in India’s World Cup campaign. Will he break free against Sri Lanka? Pandya, on the other hand, flattered to deceive with the bat in the last game but was excellent with the ball, thereby only solidifying the notion that he can contribute in multiple ways to this Indian side. 

Bowlers – Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal 

India is likely to continue with the strategy of playing with three front-line seamers. Yuzvendra Chahal will most likely be the team’s lone spinner. 


Key players

Rishabh Pant

Rishabh Pant 

After replacing the Vijay Shankar in the playing XI, Rishabh Pant has got starts in the two games that he has played. Pant can take the game away from the opposition in a few overs and a good outing against a not-so-confident Sri Lankan bowling-attack will do a world of good for Pant. 

Jasprit Bumrah 

Jasprit Bumrah has been simply spectacular for India. And even though the speedster has played all the seven league matches for India on the trot, the team management might decide against resting him as that might disrupt his rhythm. 


India’s predicted playing 11

Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant, MS Dhoni, Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah.

World Cup 2019: One change India should make f…

Jadeja took a stunner to dismiss Jason Roy

India’s unbeaten streak was broken, much to the delight of the home fans, by England. The hosts were in desperate need of a win and the team managed to get their World Cup campaign back on track with a confidence-boosting win against India. While this defeat does not really affect India’s chances of making it to the semi-finals, the Men in Blue will certainly know that they cannot afford such lapses in the knockouts. The Indian bowling looked ineffective as a majority of the Indian bowlers went for too many runs. And then in the pursuit of 338 runs, Team India scored too slowly in the first ten overs leaving too much to get in the last 20 overs.

India might rethink about it’s playing combination and make one change in the playing XI against Bangladesh.

Ravindra Jadeja in place of Kedar Jadhav

Kedar Jadhav hasn’t had many opportunities in the World Cup, but in the few that he has had, he has failed to impress. He scored a sluggish fifty against Afghanistan and was criticised for the lack of intent. Even though the asking rate was well above 13 at the time he walked in against England, Jadhav had given hopes and nudged the ball around for singles.

One of the major reasons for Jadhav’s inclusion in the team is his unorthodox bowling. But apart from a couple of occasions, his bowling hasn’t really been used so far. Even when Chahal and Kuldeep were proving to be expensive, Kohli did not introduce Jadhav which shows the lack of confidence that Kohli has in Jadhav’s bowling at the moment.

Ravindra Jadeja might replace Jadhav in the playing XI. Jadeja is known to bowl tight lines and provide India with an extra bowling option. The all-rounder is also a handy lower-order batsman and can tonk the ball big. Jadeja is a huge bonus on the field too as he is arguably currently the best fielder in World cricket. 

World Cup 2019, Match 38, India vs England Mat…

Kohli will look to hit his first ton of World Cup 2019

Two pre-tournament favourites will meet in one of the most anticipated matches of World Cup 2019. Team India has been in phenomenal form in the tournament so far. The Indian bowling unit has been in menacing form and will look to dominate the under-pressure batting line-up. The Indian top order has been providing strong foundations for the likes of MS Dhoni and Hardik Pandya to go big in the end overs. Except for the longstanding number 4 position problem, Team India looks to be a settled unit.

England, on the other hand, are on the opposite side of the spectrum. One of the biggest reasons for England’s poor run in the World Cup is the failure of its big players. The team has looked vulnerable in non-batting friendly conditions and the strong and dynamic England batting line-up has suddenly started looking fragile and unstable. The England players will have to play out of their skins to defeat the unconquerable looking Indian team. 

Players under the spotlight 

England 

Jason Roy 

Jason Roy’s untimely injury has hurt England badly as his replacement in the playing XI, James Vince, has looked completely out of sorts. After the match against Australia, Morgan stated that Roy is poised to make a return against India. 

Ben Stokes 

Ben Stokes has undoubtedly been England’s best player in the World Cup so far. Stokes has played a couple of fighting innings for his side without much support at the other end. Can he get England across the line against India? 

India 

KL Rahul 

KL Rahul has played some steady innings at the top of the order for Team India but he will be gutted with himself for not converting his starts into big ones. He will have another chance against an under-confident England bowling attack. 

Kuldeep Yadav 

Kuldeep Yadav troubled the English batsmen last time the two teams met on England soil. Even though Kuldeep hasn’t bowled badly at all, he would want to pick more wickets. 

Who will win today’s match?

Considering the current form of both the sides, India looks like the favourite to win this crucial encounter. England will need to do something extraordinary to get their World Cup campaign back on track. 

World Cup 2019: Match 38, India vs England – I…

Will we see Pant in action on Sunday?

India and England will face each other in a high-octane clash at Birmingham on Sunday.  While this match is more important for England for obvious reasons, India will look to extend it’s sensational run in the World Cup so far. The Indian team has been so strong that even injuries to key players like Shikhar Dhawan and Bhuvneshwar Kumar haven’t really affected the team’s performance.

Having said that, there are a couple of spots in the team that are a cause of worry for the team management. It will be interesting to see if Team India persists with the same team or makes changes. Here is India’s predicted playing XI for the game against England.


Openers

Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul

After getting dismissed in a controversial manner against West Indies, Rohit Sharma will look to score heavily against England.

On the other hand, KL Rahul will want to convert the start he is getting in every game, into a big innings.

Middle-order

Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant, Kedar Jadhav

Even though Virat Kohli has consistently played some crucial innings in the tournament so far, he will be desperate to get the big score that has eluded him so far in this World Cup.

Vijay Shankar has failed to impress in the three matches that he has played so far and is likely to be dropped. Rishabh Pant might be included in the playing XI considering the fact that England has two spinners in the side. Kedar Jadhav too needs to contribute more with the bat.

Wicket-keeper and all-rounder

MS Dhoni, Hardik Pandya

MS Dhoni and Hardik Pandya will have the responsibility of scoring quick runs at the end of the innings. Pandya has been in good form with the ball too, picking up wickets regularly. 

Bowlers

Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Shami

Indian bowlers have been exceptional in the tournament so far. Mohammad Shami’s phenomenal form might keep out the previously preferred Bhuvneshwar Kumar out for some more time, expect the spinners to do well on the spinning track of Edgbaston.


Key players 

MS Dhoni 

After receiving heavy criticism for “batting without intent,” MS Dhoni proved his worth once again scoring an important fifty against West Indies. Dhoni’s match awareness makes him a player to watch out for in high-pressure matches. 

Mohammad Shami 

Ever since coming in as a replacement to Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammad Shami has been spectacular for the Men in Blue. His ability to swing the old ball will be crucial against the likes of Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes in the middle order.  


Predicted Playing XI

Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant, MS Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Mohammad Shami, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah 

World Cup 2019, Match 37, New Zealand vs Austr…

 

New Zealand will have an in-form Starc to handle

The last time Australia and New Zealand faced each other in a World Cup match was in the final of the 2015 World Cup, a game in which New Zealand were beaten comprehensively by the Australian side.

A lot of things have changed since then. While Australia have had struggles on and off the field in the last year, New Zealand have slightly strayed away from the aggressive brand of cricket that they were known for under their dynamic skipper Brendon McCullum.

However, both the teams have played some impressive cricket in this World Cup. Buoyed by the return of David Warner, Steve Smith and Mitchell Starc in the ODI side, Team Australia has grown from strength to strength as the tournament has progressed.

After the victory against England, Australia became the first team to qualify for the semi-finals. On the other hand, even after a minor setback after the defeat against Pakistan, the Black Caps are just a win away from making it to their 4th consecutive World Cup semi-finals.

Areas in which New Zealand should improve 

Australia will definitely target New Zealand’s batting line-up that has been on shaky grounds. Apart from skipper Kane Williamson, none of the batsmen have been able to bat with conviction.

As a result of poor batting display by the top and middle order, too much is banking on the likes of Jimmy Neesham and Colin de Grandhomme. New Zealand might also make a couple of changes in the side bringing in Tim Southee and Henry Nicholls in place of Matt Henry and Colin Munro.

Areas in which Australia should improve

At the moment Australia seems to have covered every base. Jason Behrendorff’s fifer against England has put to rest, as of now, the debate regarding the third pacer’s place in the playing XI. Australia might just want a little more from Usman Khawaja and Marcus Stoinis with the bat in the middle-order.

Who will win today’s match?

Australia is the hot favorite to win the game against the traditional rivals New Zealand. The Kiwis have a lot to ponder on, especially their batting, and might find it difficult to beat the Aussies.