World Cup 2019: Five players who deserved more…

India will certainly regret not giving Ravindra Jadeja a longer run.

We’re a couple of days away from the finals of the biggest cricketing tournament in the world and for the first time since 1996, the world is going to witness a new World Cup winner. As hosts England gear up to take on New Zealand at the iconic Lord’s on 14th July, the tournament as a whole has been an entertaining watch for the fans except for a few rain-affected games.

There were many stunning shows with both bat and ball with Rohit Sharma, Mitchell Starc and Shakib Al Hasan dominating the charts while the captaincy of Kane Williamson or even the fight of David Warner needs to be applauded. Many opportunities presented themselves to players and while some took them, some didn’t.

On that note, let’s now take a look at five players who deserved more opportunities in their side and could have produced more impact had they got them.


#5 Haris Sohail (Pakistan)

Haris Sohail’s 89 set up the victory for Pakistan against the Proteas at the historic Lord’s

Pakistan’s World Cup was a mixed bag as their rampant bid to make it to the semis after a poor first half of the tournament was halted as they lost out to New Zealand by virtue of their poor NRR which took a hit in their first league game against West Indies when they were bundled out for 106.

Throughout the World Cup, this was their main issue. Barring Babar Azam and the occasional resistance from Imam-ul-Haq or Mohammad Hafeez, they lacked the presence of a player who could provide the counter-punch in the middle order.

However, Haris Sohail was the answer to that question, albeit coming late into the equation. After making just 8 runs in the opener against West Indies, he was dropped from the side. He then came back strongly and played two key knocks to ensure wins against South Africa and New Zealand to keep their hopes alive.

At the end of the tournament, Sohail had scored 189 runs from 5 innings averaging 39.60 with a good strike rate of 94.28. Had he been backed by the side for a longer time, he could have been the player who could have avoided the middle order collapses they had without him in the side.

#4 Kemar Roach (West Indies)

Kemar Roach deserved more chances at this World Cup.

Not many do remember how the West Indies performed at this World Cup because the Caribbean army sizzled at times but barring Sheldon Cottrell’s stunning bowling efforts and athletic fielding, there was not much to savor. After bouncing out Pakistan in their opener, the Windies realized that apart from Cottrell, there really was no one else who could get them the early wickets.

A player with the experience and prowess of Kemar Roach should have been brought into the side much earlier. Roach took 6 wickets in 3 completed games in this World Cup at an average of 18.5 and stunning economy rate of 3.70. Considering that his performances came against teams like India, New Zealand and Afghanistan, his accuracy and discipline was much needed for the side which was often erratic in their line and lengths.

The experienced quick deserved more chances and had he been in the side instead of someone like a Shannon Gabriel or Oshane Thomas, the results could have been much different than what they were.

#3 Ravindra Jadeja (India)

Jadeja directing his bat towards the commentary box after reaching his half-century.

Ravindra Jadeja has been the talk of town after his all-around effort versus New Zealand was a great rebuke to commentator Sanjay Manjrekar’s criticism towards him. Jadeja showed his batting skills as he smashed a 59-ball 77 under immense pressure which went in vain in the end.

Moreover, he was top notch with the ball as he rushed through his 10 overs conceding just 34 runs and picking up 1 wicket. He was his usual electric self on the field and has saved 41 runs, mostly as a substitute, and was clearly the best fielder in the entire tournament.

Such enigmatic presence is certainly desired by the Indian side and he could have been a valuable addition on slow wickets like the Rose Bowl and would have been a better alternative for players like Dinesh Karthik and Kedar Jadhav who often underperformed.

He picked up 2 wickets and scored 77 runs in 2 matches that he played and ‘Sir’ Jadeja certainly deserved more chances than he got.

#2 Avishka Fernando (Sri Lanka)

Avishka Fernando after scoring his maiden ODI and WC ton.

Sri Lanka had a rather dour World Cup campaign as they could muster only 3 wins from 9 games and were arguably lucky that 2 games were washed out as they were likely to be outplayed in them. Their batting was the main issue as barring Kusal Perera, no player could show enough aggression and players like Kusal Mendis and Angelo Mathews failed more often than not.

In a must-win game against England, the Lankans, tired of Lahiru Thirimanne’s failure at the No. 3 spot, brought in young Avishka Fernando to bat there. The young gun blasted a 32-ball 49 in a game which they somehow won due to a brilliant showing with the ball.

Fernando meanwhile was in no mood to waste his chance as he scored a hundred against the West Indies which powered them to a total in excess of 300 in their penultimate league stage match, showcasing his huge batting talent. In all, the right-hander made 204 runs from just 4 innings averaging 50.75 and scoring at a brilliant strike-rate of 105.72. Had he been given more chances, Sri Lanka could have definitely had a crack at making the semis.

#1 Mohammed Shami (India)

Shami celebrates after picking up his hat-trick against Afghanistan.

14 wickets from 4 matches at an average of 13.78 and economy of 5.48. You might think that this team might be unfortunate enough to lose this player due to an injury, but no, he was fully fit and available. Mohammed Shami, who has been much better than Bhuvneshwar Kumar over the last 6 months in ODI and T20 cricket, was used as a backup for Bhuvi and came into the side only when the former was injured.

However, he created such a huge impact that it was hard to neglect him, although India did so once Bhuvi returned. Shami held his nerve to seal a close win over Afghanistan in a low-scoring thriller, picking up a hat-trick in the last over. He rattled the hapless Caribbeans in the next match picking up 4 wickets for 16 runs and followed it up with a 5-fer against a top side like England. He did falter against Bangladesh but it wasn’t reason enough to drop him.

Despite boasting such fearsome stats, Shami was overlooked for Bhuvi underperformed at times in the World Cup. He deserved more chances and should be given a prolonged run in India’s ODI future.

World Cup 2019, Semi-Final 1, India vs New Zea…

Will India make it to their 4th WC final or will the Black Caps enter their 2nd?

After their group stage game was abandoned without a ball being bowled, India will take on New Zealand on Tuesday, July 9th at Old Trafford, Manchester in the first semi-final of the World Cup.

Both these sides have battled it out to make it to the top four and with a place in the World Cup finals on the stake, expect a cracking encounter.

Match Details

Date: 9th July(Tuesday)

Time: 3:00 PM(IST), 10:30 PM(New Zealand) and 10:30 AM(England)

Venue: Old Trafford, Manchester

Weather Report

This all-important clash could see some speed-breakers as there’s a forecast for rain in patches during the course of the game. In case the game isn’t completed, there is a reserve day for this match but incidentally, the forecast for the reserve day is even worse than the match day.

Pitch Report

Old Trafford is a pretty good surface to bat on with nice carry and pace. The ball will spin as there could be some sharp turn and bounce on offer from the spinners. The rather big boundaries will provide the spinners more confidence to bowl while the fast outfields will make the pacers hit the right lengths.

Head-To-Head Stats

Overall: India and New Zealand have played in 101 completed ODIs and India lead 55-45 with one game being tied.

In World Cup: The Black Caps lead 4-3 in 7 World Cup matches with the last meeting between these sides coming in the 2003 edition held in South Africa, Kenya and Zimbabwe.

In England: India have had a bad record playing against the Kiwis in England and lost all 3 games they played against them, the last of them being in the 1999 World Cup.

At Trent Bridge: The Black Caps prevailed in the solitary fixture these 2 teams played at the venue in 1999.


India

The impressive form of the openers will be the biggest positive for India.

Batting

Key Batsmen: Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni

India’s top order have been troubled by the Kiwi pacers in the past but with their rollicking form, it will be interesting to see if they can get on top of the likes of Trent Boult and Matt Henry. KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma must look to play proper cricketing shots and get runs but at the same time, protect their wickets. Skipper Virat Kohli will have to make a big one today while both Rishabh Pant and MS Dhoni can rack some runs against the Kiwis.

Bowling

Key Bowlers: Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Ravindra Jadeja

Jasprit Bumrah will be the key for India along with speedster Mohammed Shami as the duo have been India’s main wicket-takers in this tournament. Ravindra Jadeja bowled really well against Sri Lanka and his ability to go through his 10 overs very quickly will be used by skipper Virat Kohli.

It will be a toss-up between Chahal or Kuldeep for the second spinner’s slot while India have to take a tough call on the misfiring Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Hardik Pandya has also done a decent job with the ball hence India could decide to drop Bhuvi.

Predicted Playing XI

Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli©, Rishabh Pant, MS Dhoni(WK), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Yuzvendra Chahal and Jasprit Bumrah.


New Zealand

New Zealand have looked good so far.

Batting

Key Batsmen: Martin Guptill, Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor

The Kiwi batsmen haven’t been in good nick for the last couple of games and their star players need to come good for this all-important clash. Martin Guptill needs to take some time to settle and start attacking the Indian pacers who have been excellent with the new ball. Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor should anchor the innings while the likes of James Neesham and Colin De Grandhomme provide the firepower down the order. Colin Munro could make a return, thanks to Henry Nicholls’ poor show.

Bowling

Key Bowlers: Trent Boult, Lockie Ferguson and Matt Henry

New Zealand’s pacers have been their main wicket-takers and the trio of Trent Boult, Lockie Ferguson and Matt Henry have been excellent with the ball in hand. Boult will look to swing the ball into the pads of the right-handers and remove the in-form Indian openers and so will Matt Henry. Ferguson has usually come in from the start of PP 2 and his express pace and bounce will certainly produce a few wickets.

Mitchell Santner can use the turning surface to his advantage with his clever left-arm orthodox while both Neesham and De Grandhomme have provided good backup for the pacers. Skipper Kane Williamson can get some off-spinners in as well.

Predicted Playing XI

Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Kane Williamson©, Ross Taylor, Tom Latham(WK), James Neesham, Colin De Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Matt Henry, Lockie Ferguson and Trent Boult.

Also see – India vs New Zealand head to head stats

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World Cup 2019: Match 38, India v England – Pr…

Who will win this all-important clash?

The two pre-tournament favorites in India and England will rub shoulders against each other on Sunday, 30th June at Edgbaston, Birmingham for Match 38 of World Cup 2019.

India are unbeaten with 11 points from six games, while England are on eight points from seven matches. Their qualification chances will be at risk, should they lose this game. Without further ado, let’s look at everything you need to know ahead of the game.


Match Details

Date: 30 June (Sunday)

Time: 3:00 PM (IST) and 10:30 AM (local time)

Venue: Edgbaston, Birmingham


Weather Report

A pleasant weather can be expected at Edgbaston, with the temperature set to hover between 16-19 degrees with minimal rain chances. There will be a lot of wind during the afternoon and this will assist the fast bowlers.


Pitch Report

Edgbaston is a very good wicket to play on, with a pretty good wicket set to be on offer. There will surely be turn and grip for the spinners. However, the batsmen can trust the pace and bounce of the track as well.


Head-to-Head Stats

Overall: India and England have featured in 96 completed ODIs with India leading 53-41.

In World Cup: India and England have played in 7 World Cup games with both teams winning 3 games apiece, and one match ending in a draw.

In England: India and England have played in 39 completed ODIs in England with England leading 16-21 with one tie.

At Edgbaston: Both these sides have faced off at Edgbaston on 4 occasions with India leading 3-1.


India

India were clinical against the West Indies

Batting

Key Batsmen: Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Virat Kohli

All of India’s top three have to make runs against England if India want to have an advantage over the hosts in this match. All of them, especially Kohli and Sharma, have a great record against them.

Vijay Shankar’s failures with the bat might pave way for Rishabh Pant, but India are expected to persist with the all-rounder for one more game. MS Dhoni and Hardik Pandya can switch positions based on the situation, as both of them are in pretty good nick.

Bowling

Key Bowlers: Jasprit Bumrah, Kuldeep Yadav and Mohammed Shami

The Indian bowlers were excellent against the West Indies, with Mohammed Shami delivering another brilliant performance. Despite Bhuvneshwar Kumar fit enough to play, India will prefer to play the former for obvious reasons based on form. Jasprit Bumrah will once again be the X-Factor in India’s bowling while the spin twins in Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal will play a key role.

Hardik Pandya has stepped up well to perform the fifth bowler’s role. Vijay Shankar and Kedar Jadhav are handy options too.

Predicted Playing XI

Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli ©, Vijay Shankar, MS Dhoni (WK), Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal and Jasprit Bumrah.


England

England need to win this game to feel safe about their qualification status.

Batting

Key Batsmen: Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root and Eoin Morgan

England opener Jason Roy is set to make a return to the side after having sustained a hamstring injury. Joe Root will be looking to go big after having endured a failure against Australia, while skipper Eoin Morgan will have to score briskly during the middle period.

Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes and Moeen Ali cap off this brilliant batting order which has just hurried too much on a few occasions.

Bowling

Key Bowlers: Jofra Archer, Mark Wood and Adil Rashid

Jofra Archer will undoubtedly be the X-factor for England as his ability to pick up wickets at all stages of the game will be crucial. Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali have to exploit the spin-friendly conditions expected at Edgbaston.

Chris Woakes should bowl tight lines in his opening spells and look to snare one of the openers, while the pacy Mark Wood will come in after the power play. Ben Stokes too has been an impact bowler, and can be brought in if wickets are needed. Joe Root is handy with his off breaks too.

Predicted Playing XI

Jonny Bairstow, Jason Roy, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan ©, Jos Buttler (wk), Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Adil Rashid, Jofra Archer and Mark Wood.

World Cup 2019, Match 36, Pakistan vs Afghanis…

Who will win this battle of the Asian sides?

Match details

Date: 29th June (Saturday)

Time: 2:30 PM (Pakistan), 3:00 PM (Afghanistan), 10:30 (England), 3:00 PM (IST)

Venue: Headingley, Leeds

Weather report

A pretty sunny day with minimal rain will be on offer at Leeds. Pretty pleasant weather can be expected during the match duration with chances of a shower during the evening.

Pitch report

It’s usually a pretty even contest between bat and ball at Headingley and that’s what can be expected from the surface on Saturday. The ball will zip around for the fast bowlers with good carry while it’s a pretty good batting deck as well. Some turn will be offered in the later stages of the game.

Head-to-head stats

Overall: Pakistan have beaten Afghanistan on all the 3 times when these sides have met in ODIs.


Pakistan

Pakistan played brilliantly to beat New Zealand.

Batting

Key Batsmen: Imam Ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman and Babar Azam

Pakistan scripted a memorable win over New Zealand thanks to Babar Azam’s special ton and a beautiful fifty from Haris Sohail. The rest of the batting, however, especially the openers haven’t batted to their potential and need to gain some form against Afghanistan.

Imam Ul-Haq and Fakhar Zaman must be at their best and put on a huge opening stand while Mohammed Hafeez must do a bit better with bat and hand and make some big scores.

Bowling

Key Bowlers: Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz, and Shadab Khan

Pakistan’s bowling was brilliant against New Zealand with Shaheen Afridi ripping through the Kiwi batting order. He along with Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz will be the key against Afghanistan who have struggled while facing the quicker bowlers.

Meanwhile, Shadab Khan has bowled very tight lines and will help in applying pressure during the middle period along with Imad Wasim and Mohammad Hafeez.

Predicted Playing XI

Fakhar Zaman, Imam Ul-Haq, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Haris Sohail, Sarfaraz Ahmed (C and WK), Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Wahab Riaz, Shaheen Afridi, and Mohammad Amir.


Afghanistan

Afghanistan.

Batting

Key Batsmen: Gulbadin Naib, Rahmat Shah, and Hasmatullah Shahidi

Gulbadin Naib has stepped up well as an opener but the runs haven’t come from the rest of the batsmen and despite one player scoring in one game, combined efforts haven’t come from the other players. Rahmat Shah, Hasmatullah Shahidi, and Asghar Afghan all need to play mature and responsible knocks and try and win this game for their side.

Bowling

Key Bowlers: Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Dawlat Zadran and Rashid Khan

Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Mohammad Nabi were mighty impressive against Bangladesh with the ball and will have to continue in the same way against Pakistan. With Aftab Alam out of the reckoning, Dawlat Zadran and Gulbadin Naib will have to shoulder the responsibilities of pace bowling.

Meanwhile, the out of form Rashid Khan should play a pivotal role and look to finally come good in this tournament.

Predicted playing XI

Gulbadin Naib ©, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Asghar Afghan, Mohammad Nabi, Samiullah Shinwari, Imran Ali Khil (wk), Najibullah Zadran, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Rashid Khan and Dawlat Zadran

World Cup 2019, Match 35, South Africa vs Sri …

Can Du Plessis and De Kock get at least a consolation victory for their side?

South Africa, who have been knocked out of the tournament, will be playing for pride against Sri Lanka on Friday, 28th June at the Riverside Ground, Chester-Le-Street in match 35 of World Cup 2019. Sri Lanka does stand a chance of making it to the playoffs but they need to win all their remaining games, starting with this one.

Match Details

Date: 28th June (Friday)

Time: 12:30 PM (South Africa), 3:00 PM (Sri Lanka), 10:30 (England), 3:00 PM (IST)

Venue: Riverside Ground, Chester-Le-Street

Pitch Report

A flat deck suitable for batting is expected to be on show for this game. The large boundaries do help level the tie but with the conditions favoring the batsmen, expect a run fest here in Durham.

Weather Report

A bright sunny day can be expected at Chester-Le-Street with not much cloud cover or winds expected during the course of the game. Though it will be quite pleasant for the fans, the lack of swing might make it tough for the bowlers.

Head-to-Head Stats

Overall: Both these sides have met on 76 occasions and it’s the Proteas who have a lead 43-31 over the Lankans.

In World Cup: These sides have faced off on 5 occasions in World Cups with South Africa leading 3-1.

In England: In 3 meetings in England, South Africa hold a slender 2-1 lead over Sri Lanka.


South Africa

South Africa have been knocked out of the tournament.

Batting

Key Batsmen: Hashim Amla, Quinton De Kock and Faf Du Plessis

Hashim Amla’s continuous failures at the top have made it difficult for South Africa to get a positive start and he needs to make a big score against Sri Lanka. The duo of De Kock and Du Plessis need to convert their starts into big ones and not get out playing loose shots.

Bowling

Key Bowlers: Kagiso Rabada, Imran Tahir and Lungi Ngidi

South Africa’s bowling attack was toothless against Pakistan and Kagiso Rabada will be raring to go back to and rattle the opposition. Imran Tahir has been the key and will be looking to continue his good form while Lungi Ngidi will look for early wickets.

Predicted Playing XI

Quinton De Kock (wk), Hashim Amla, Faf Du Plessis ©, Aiden Markram, Rassie van der Dussen, David Miller, Andile Phehlukwayo, Chris Morris, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, and Imran Tahir.


Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka pulled an improbable victory over the hosts.

Batting

Key Batsmen: Dimuth Karunaratne, Kusal Perera and Kusal Mendis

While Angelo Mathews’ timely return to form is something to celebrate, Sri Lanka’s batting show against England left a lot to be desired. They clearly need to show more resistance to fiery pace attacks and skipper Dimuth Karunaratne and opener Kusal Perera must show attacking intent from the start.

Bowling

Key Bowlers: Lasith Malinga, Isuru Udana and Nuwan Pradeep

Lasith Malinga has delivered an astounding performance in this World Cup, single-handedly leading his side to victory against a top side like England. Isuru Udana, meanwhile, has bowled his cutters and slower ones with a lot of craft and will be the one to watch during the death overs. Nuwan Pradeep has handled the new ball well and has hit the right lengths.

Predicted Playing XI

Dimuth Karunaratne ©, Kusal Perera (wk), Avishka Fernando, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Matthews, Dhanjaya de Silva, Thisara Perera, Isuru Udana, Suranga Lakmal Lasith Malinga, and Nuwan Pradeep.

World Cup 2019, Match 34, India vs West Indies…

Can India maintain their unbeaten run in this World Cup 2019?

At the back of an unbeaten campaign so far in this World Cup 2019, India will take on West Indies in the 34th match of the tournament on Thursday, June 27th at Old Trafford, Manchester.

India have 9 points from five games while West Indies, after a painfully close loss to New Zealand are all but out of the tournament with just 3 points from six games.

A win for India will virtually seal a semifinal spot for them and the Virat Kohli-led side will be keen on maintaining their unbeaten run while West Indies will be gunning to create an upset on the day.

Match Details

Date: 27th June(Thursday)

Time: 5:30 AM(West Indies), 3:00 PM(IST) and 10:30 AM(England)

Venue: Old Trafford, Manchester

Weather Report

The fans can expect sunny skies, clear vision and a constant breeze, perfect conditions to enjoy a game of cricket at Old Trafford. The temperature is set to hover above 20 degree celsius for most of the match. No rain is expected.

Pitch Report

A dry, crusty surface can be expected at Old Trafford with decent amount of pace and bounce on the wicket. The wicket will however, be more conducive to the spinners with the ball set to turn a lot.

Head-to Head Stats

Overall: India and West Indies have faced off on 126 occasions with West Indies leading 59-62 apart from 2 tied encounters

In World Cup: Both these sides have met 8 times in the World Cup and India hold a 5-3 lead over the West Indies.

In England: India hold a slender 3-2 lead over the Windies with respect to games played in England.

At Old Trafford: India won the only encounter both these sides have played in at Old Trafford.


India

India need to up their game against West Indies.

Batting

Key Batsmen: Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Virat Kohli

The Indian batsmen failed to get going as the Afghan bowlers reigned supreme and they’ll be looking to make up for it with a strong performance against the West Indies who lack good spin bowling resources. KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma will be looking to make some runs like they did against Pakistan in this venue while skipper Virat Kohli will look to get his first hundred of this tournament.

India will also want skipper MS Dhoni to get back his scoring form and hope that Vijay Shankar settles well into his role as the No.4 batsman.

Bowling

Key Bowlers: Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Kuldeep Yadav

Bhuvneshwar Kumar is unlikely to make it in time for this game but Mohammed Shami has done a good job to justify his selection in the side. Jasprit Bumrah will as usual remain the key bowler for Virat Kohli while the spin twins, Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal will be dangerous on a turning wicket and will be used extensively by Kohli.

Hardik Pandya, Vijay Shankar and even Kedar Jadhav will be good all-round options to provide the remaining 10 overs.

Predicted Playing XI

Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli ©, Vijay Shankar, MS Dhoni (WK), Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Yuzvendra Chahal and Jasprit Bumrah.


West Indies

Brathwaite almost took his side home against New Zealand.

Batting

Key Batsmen: Chris Gayle, Shai Hope and Shimron Hetmyer

Evin Lewis’ hamstring injury adds to the worries of the Caribbean camp who have already been struck a huge blow due to the injury of Andre Russell which has ruled him out of the tournament. Chris Gayle and Shai Hope will have to assume the bulk of the scoring while Shimron Hetmyer might have to provide the blitz during the middle period alongside Nicholas Pooran.

Sunil Ambris, Russell’s replacement might find a place in the side if the need arises although Darren Bravo is the likely option to replace Lewis.

Bowling

Key Bowlers: Sheldon Cottrell, Oshane Thomas and Jason Holder

Sheldon Cottrell, who has been extremely impressive so far, will be the X-Factor for West Indies against India. He needs to strike early and remove the Indian openers who can otherwise wreck havoc.

The fiery Kemar Roach hasn’t picked up a wicket yet but has bowled with good energy and zing and will be a good option to share the new ball. Oshane Thomas and Jason Holder will be the other pace bowling options with Carlos Brathwaite, who is one of their best all-rounders.

Ashley Nurse and even Chris Gayle may have to bowl a few extended spells during the middle overs due to the turning nature of the wicket.

Predicted playing XI

Chris Gayle, Shai Hope (wk), Darren Bravo, Nicholas Pooran, Shimron Hetmyer, Jason Holder ©, Carlos Brathwaite, Ashley Nurse, Kemar Roach, Sheldon Cottrell and Oshane Thomas.

World Cup 2019, Match 33, New Zealand vs Pakis…

Can Pakistan carry on with the winning momentum?

Pakistan, full of hope after beating South Africa will take on the unbeaten Black Caps who have been clinical so far at Edgbaston on Wednesday, 26th June for match 33 of World Cup 2019.

Match Details

Date: 26th June (Wednesday)

Time: 2:30 PM (Pakistan), 9:30 PM (New Zealand), 10:30 AM and 3:00 PM (IST), (England)

Venue: Edgbaston, Birmingham

Weather Report

Fans will have a pleasant day with the temperature set to be hovering between 16 and 19 degree celsius. No rain is expected during the duration of the game although extended cloud cover will be present.

Pitch Report

Edgbaston always offers a promising cricket encounter with a balanced wicket that offers a lot of spin and bounce to the spinners. The ball comes on to the bat nicely and seamers will have a bit of zip off the wicket.

Head-to-Head Stats

Overall: Both these sides have met on numerous occasions and Pakistan lead 54-48 in 103 completed ODIs.

In World Cup: These sides have faced off 8 times in the World Cup and Pakistan lead 6-2.

In England: Pakistan lead on this count as well as they have a 3-1 lead over the Black Caps for games played in England.

At Edgbaston: New Zealand won the one and only game both these sides have played at Edgbaston.


New Zealand

The Kiwis were pretty lucky in getting a win after a late assault from Carlos Brathwaite.

Batting

Key Batsmen: Martin Guptill, Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor

The Kiwi batsmen have put up commendable individual performances but have still failed to click together as a batting unit as seen in recent games. Martin Guptill will be raring to go big after a couple of failures while the high-flying Kane Williamson will look to continue in the same vein. Ross Taylor too will have to play an important role.

The likes of Colin De Grandhomme and James Neesham have been good with their slog and they can boost them to a good total.

Bowling

Key Bowlers: Trent Boult, Lockie Ferguson and Matt Henry

The New Zealand pacers have been brilliant so far in the tournament and have bowled with real pace and venom and will look to remove the Pakistani top order with another convincing show.

Boult especially will look to move the ball away from the openers while Lockie will come steaming in and dole out balls at over 145 KPH at a consistent rate. The medium pacers in James Neesham and Colin De Grandhomme have also bowled very well and have ably supported the main trio.

On a turning Edgbaston wicket, Mitchell Santner too has to play a huge role.

Predicted Playing XI

Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Kane Williamson©, Ross Taylor, Tom Latham(WK), James Neesham, Colin De Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Matt Henry, Lockie Ferguson and Trent Boult.


Pakistan

Pakistan’s hopes have risen after a thumping win over the Proteas.

Batting

Key Batsmen: Fakhar Zaman, Imam Ul-Haq and Babar Azam

Pakistan need a good, cautious start against New Zealand because they become vulnerable if they aren’t able to pick up early wickets. The talented Pakistani openers haven’t really put up a commanding performance and not a single 100-run stand has come from them. They’ll look to shine in this fixture while the ever-consistent Babar Azam will look to match the prowess of Kane Williamson or Ross Taylor.

Mohammad Hafeez and skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed might have to play a key role as well.

Bowling

Key Bowlers: Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz and Shadab Khan

Mohammad Amir has been brilliant thus far and is well set to continue picking up wickets and his performance will be a major factor in deciding who wins this tie. Shadab Khan will certainly have some turn in the wicket and he may have to play a huge role in controlling the middle overs along with Imad Wasim.

Wahab Riaz, who has been the main wicket-taker during the death overs will be important as well while Hasan Ali is expected to come in due to Shaheen Afridi’s poor performance against Pakistan.

Predicted Playing XI

Fakhar Zaman, Imam Ul-Haq, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Haris Sohail, Sarfaraz Ahmed (C and WK), Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Hassan Ali, Wahab Riaz and Mohammad Amir.