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Tag Archives: Cricket World Cup 2019

England Confident About Winning World Cup?

For a country that invented the glorious sport, it’s fair to say that England have been sub-par at major ICC events; the World Cup in particular.

The last two World Cups, though, have been almost nightmarish for the Englishmen. One reason could be that in the past, the England Cricket Board has been criticised for not giving enough importance to the shorter formats of the game, by focusing majorly on Test cricket. Rest assured, that is not the case anymore.

eoin morgan englang cricket world cup 2019
Image Source: Fox Sports

With the ever growing glamour and popularity of T20 cricket, England have taken to the format and how. Inspired by Brendon McCullum’s dynamic captaincy, Eoin Morgan had shouldered the burden upon himself to change the outlook of England as a limited overs’ side.

Since then, England have flattened their pitches and selected box office players like Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow and Jason Roy to go hard from ball one. Evident of their success is the fact that no team has crossed the 300 run mark more often than England, since the 2015 World Cup.

Run rates, strike rates, averages, you name it; England have set the benchmark for all those numbers. Despite all of that, do England have what it takes to lift the World Cup?

Let’s have a look at their predicted playing XI of England World Cup Team;

  • Jason Roy
  • Jonny Bairstow
  • Joe Root (c)
  • Eoin Morgan
  • Ben Stokes
  • Jos Buttler (wk)
  • Moeen Ali
  • Chris Woakes
  • Jofra Archer
  • Liam Plunkett
  • Adil Rashid

In the period between 2015-2019, Bairstow and Roy as a pair have amassed 1763 runs at an aggregate of 56.87.

This has been a major piece in Eoin Morgan’s puzzle for the perfect World Cup team. If one of them doesn’t get you, the other will.

And if both happen to be in the zone, the fielding team remains a spectator. The fact that this World Cup is being played in England is why this pair will be feared by most. Had it been in the subcontinent, you could open with a spinner and expose them.

In England, there won’t be much of swing or spin and the batsmen have the luxury of playing through the line of the ball. Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan come close, but it’s difficult to see England’s opening combination being outclassed in the World Cup.

Expect captains to keep the pace bowlers out of the equation with Roy and Bairstow in the middle.

Jason Roy England Cricket World Cup 2019
Image Source: NewsHub

If Roy and Bairstow are butchers of the cricket ball, Root and Morgan are surgeons who pierce gaps by caressing the ball. That is an undying art in itself.

Both of them are excellent white ball cricketers because of their ability to rotate the strike in the middle overs.

The explosive openers are able to bat with such freedom because of the consistency of these two. Eoin Morgan averages 70 in ODI cricket this year, and has upped his power hitting game (with a strike rate 113 in 2019, in comparison to a career strike rate of 90).

Root’s role is very clear in this team; to bat through the innings. The anchoring role is something that he cherishes. Often, teams tend to underestimate his abilities in this format and as a result, pay the price.

In the ODI series against India in 2018, Root powered his way to 2 consecutive match winning hundreds to hand England a series win. Root and Morgan have been involved in some critical rebuilding partnerships for England (as a pair, they’ve been involved in 11 century partnerships and 7 half century partnerships).

Jos buttler World Cup England 2019
Image Source: India Today

Jos Buttler is cricket’s modern day AB De Villiers. With a ‘360-degree’ game, he is as destructive as it gets. Even the best of bowlers fall flat when this man is at his belligerent best.

In recent times, the brutal 50 ball 110* against Pakistan at Southampton should remind you of his credentials. What’s astonishing is his average of 41; to strike the ball in the high risk manner that he does with such consistency is a scary proposition for the opponents.

Taking the pace off against him seems to be the viable option. But with the flat wickets in England, high chances are that Buttler will shovel even the spinners into the stands. He’s one of the few players from the 2015 squad whom the team management kept their faith in. Safe to say that it is reaping rewards.

Ben Stokes is the kind of cricketer that will either make you want to tear your hair out, or will blow your mind away. There is no middle ground with him; the true successor to Andrew Flintoff, indeed.

Be it a breezy hundred against Australia at the 2017 Champions Trophy, or a painfully slow 64 ball 34 against Pakistan just 4 days later, Ben Stokes will take you through a rollercoaster of emotions. He’s quite an erratic bowler as well, with pitch conditions often dictating his performance.

Not to forget, as Eoin Morgan has labelled him, Stokes is the kind of personality that lifts the spirits of the entire team. He’s got the potential to win England games in either department and this World Cup could be the perfect hunting ground.

Image Source: Gulf News

Moeen Ali is coming off a very good IPL season, with bat and ball. England would be looking to feed off that form of his. In the middle overs, his job is to stem the flow of runs while Adil Rashid attacks. As a batsman, Moeen is a lot better than number 7.

Though, it’s difficult for him to be promoted higher up the order with the kind of power packed lineup that England possess. Perhaps on rank turners, Moeen’s expertise against spin could warrant a promotion. Ali is a lot like Raina; he’s someone that does whatever the team wants him to.

He’s batted at positions ranging from an opener all the way down to a finisher at number 7. Unlike Stokes, Moeen isn’t exactly what you would call an out and out match winner, but his role of keeping things tight in the middle overs and scoring quick-fire 20s and 30s at the back end of the innings cannot be understated.

Image Source: Hindustan Times

The pace attack consists of Chris Woakes, Jofra Archer and Liam Plunkett. Jofra Archer could be England’s ace at this World Cup. While he doesn’t have much of experience at the international level, Archer has played in high pressure leagues all around the world for the past couple of years.

Image Source: BBC

The England Cricket Board had the rules changed just to fast track Archer into the squad. Now, that should tell you just how good he is. His ability to generate pace in excess of 90 miles an hour was missing in this team.

A sharp yorker and a shrewd mix of variations are amongst his deadly arsenal of deliveries. On flat wickets, bowlers like Archer are a must. Woakes and Plunkett have been regulars in the side for a number of years. Both of them have very different roles. Plunkett has rejuvenated himself as a middle-overs’ bowler.

He’s cut down on pace and relies heavily on variations in order to get wickets, even if they come at the expense of a few extra runs. Generally, he goes at 6 to 6 and a half runs an over, but manages to scalp a couple of crucial wickets in the middle.

Woakes bowls primarily upfront with the new ball. When conditions are overcast, there are few bowlers in world cricket that can make the ball talk as much as Woakes. He is what you would call a typical English bowler.

Woakes’ game is more suited to the longer format, though with appearances in various T20 teams, he has improved as a death overs’ bowler. If the wicket is not offering any assistance, England would be tempted by the prospect of Mark Wood to add some pace.

Image Source: BBC

If you were wondering what has allowed England to get away with such flat wickets against some quality oppositions, the answer is Adil Rashid.

Skipper Morgan can rely on Rashid at any stage of the game to get a wicket. Since 2015, Rashid has got 130 wickets to his name. He possesses a very sharp googly that works because it is used very smartly. Rashid is an old school bowler in the sense that he steadily sets up batsmen. Mixed with sliders, flippers and leg breaks, Rashid has outfoxed so many with a googly that spits off the surface. It truly is some sight to watch him operate at peak performance.

Adil Rashid along with Jofra Archer are the players that need to have good tournaments for England to go all the way. The difference in high scoring games is minimal and the bowlers are the ones who make or break that difference. England are blessed with two genuine wicket takers in Rashid and Archer.

As a whole, this team is a well-oiled unit with a plethora of experience in these conditions. It’s not often that you think ahead, but surely, England are seeing themselves at the Lord’s balcony on the 14th of July. With such a squad, it won’t be a surprise if they go all the way.

The simultaneous pressure of being the favourites and playing at home is the only factor that could potentially come in the way of England and silverware.

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Will Team India Win this World Cup?

Team India World Cup Team
Image Source: Cricket Yahoo

ANOTHER HOMECOMING FOR THE BLUE BRIGADE?

The blue brigade walks into the World Cup as hot favorites to lift the title at the home of cricket, having done it once in the historic 1983 campaign. Being the second ranked ODI side in the world, India boast a plethora of batting as well as bowling talent.

With an enviable mix of youth and experience, India are one of the more balanced side in this World Cup, and already know what it takes to win the World Cup with stalwarts MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli the surviving members of the winning squad back in 2011 on home turf.

THE BATTING DEPARTMENT

msdhoni-virat kohli online fantasy cricket team

India’s batting has been one of reasons for their recent success, with the top three of Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli accounting for more than 18 150-plus stands in ODIs.

In comparison, the trio of Matthew Hayden, Adam Gilchrist, and Ricky Ponting managed only seven. This shows how dominant the top three of India has been. Of the three of them, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma stand first and second on the ICC cricket rankings respectively.

However, this top order dependence is also cause for concern as the top three have accounted for nearly 50% of the total runs scored by India.

The middle order is a cause for concern, but KL Rahul’s sublime hundred in the warm up game against Bangaldesh will be encouraging to Indian fans. He had a wonderful IPL, and he will most likely be the number 4 that India will look forward to solidify the middle order.

KL Rahul will of course be ably supported and mentored by MS Dhoni who will be the lynchpin holding the middle order together. He can rotate the strike with ease, and play the big shots. His record with finishing games is next to none.

Together, he and Virat Kohli have brought India over the line on many an occasion.

THE ALL-ROUND DEPARTMENT

kedar jadav and hardik pandya fantasy cricket world cup
Image source: scroll.in

The middle order is also bolstered by the inclusion of two very good all-rounders in Kedar Jadhav and Hardik Pandya, the latter coming off a fantastic IPL season. He will be burdened with scoring quick-fire runs in the last few overs of the game, and win the game for India, both while batting first or chasing.

Kedar Kadhav is a very handy player who can pose a few problems for batsmen with his bowling with his unorthodox bowling action. He is also fairly good with the bat, and has improved his craft under the leadership of MS Dhoni at Chennai Super Kings.

For backup, they have the energetic Ravindra Jadeja, who bowls a tight line, and is one of the finest fielders in world cricket. In case of injury scares or where team India feels like they need an extra bowler, Jadeja can slot right back into the playing eleven.

THE BOWLING LINE

Jasprit-Bumrah-Cricket-World-Cup-2019-Fantasy-Cricket-Online
Image Source: https://www.crictracker.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Jasprit-Bumrah.jpg

The pace bowling attack is led by the fearsome Jasprit Bumrah, who is the number one ranked bowler in the world. His partner in crime will be the resurgent Mohamed Shami or the calm Bhubaneswar Kumar. Either way, India’s pace attack is extremely strong.

Bumrah can bowl with the new ball as well as bowl at the death with his fast in-swinging yorkers. He has the unique knack to pick up wickets whenever his team wants him.

Image Source: https://images.indianexpress.com/2019/03/shami.jpg?w=759&h=422&imflag=true

Shami has risen like a phoenix in the last couple of years, and is only getting better and better. He looks strong, and fast, and he bowls with purpose, which can unsettle any batsman.

As regards the spin department, Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep yadav are the two spinners who will work in tandem in the middle overs. Among them they spin a web around the batting side, strangling them for runs.

Add to that the bowling of Hardik Pandya or Kedar Jadhav, and India certainly looks as though they have all sides covered, and are certainly a force to be reckoned with in this World Cup.

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Can the Underdogs “South Africa” make it to the final?

South Africa ICC Cricket World Cup Team.
Image Source: https://www.essentiallysports.com/wp-content/uploads/South-Africa-1.jpg

THE CHOKING FAVORITES: A LOOK INTO SOUTH AFRICA’S CHANCES AT CWC19

South Africa have always come into any tournament as hot favorites, the World Cup being no exception. Boasting of players such as Jacques Kallis, Lance Klusener, Shaun Pollock and AB De Villiers in the past, the closest South Africa have come to winning the Cup was in 1999, where they went out to Australia in the semi-finals.

“Cometh the moment, cometh the man” has not been applicable to the Proteas, as they have always to struggle on the big stage in the big games.

This time, however could be different as they are not coming into the World Cup as favorites. India and England bearing the weight of that tag, might just relieve South Africa of theirs.

THE ACHILLES HEEL

South Africa FAF Du Plessis Fantasy Cricket Online
Cricket – ICC Cricket World Cup – South Africa v Bangladesh – Kia Oval, London, Britain – June 2, 2019 South Africa’s Faf du Plessis in action Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs

The run for the Proteas at this World Cup will be anything but easy. Their batting has looked shaky with Hashim Amla struggling for runs.

An inexperienced Van Der Dussen and Aiden Markram have a huge role to play in the middle order if the openers fall early.

David Miller and JP Duminy have looked scratchy themselves, making uncertain the possibility of South Africa chasing down a total, or piling on the runs batting first in the last 10 overs.

The team is heavily reliant on captain FAF Du Plessis and opening batsman Quinton De Cock, who have scored the bulk of the runs since the Champions trophy in 2017.

STRENGTHS OF SOUTH AFRICA

lungi nigdi dale steyn south africa cricket team fantasty online
Lungi Nigdi & Dale Steyn of South Africa Team.
Image Source: https://a2.espncdn.com/combiner/i?img=%2Fi%2Fcricket%2Fcricinfo%2F1164033_1296x729.jpg

South Africa have a few good all-rounders in Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorious, ably supported by the experienced Chris Morris, who is coming off a good IPL season. The strength of this South African team is unquestionably their bowling.

Led by Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, and the experienced Dale Steyn, their pace attack is frightening.

In the spin department, they have Imran Tahir and Tabraiz Shamsi, the former the oldest player in this world cup, playing at 40 years old, but showing no signs of slowing down, having been the leading wicket taker in the recently concluded IPL.

TRUMP CARDS FOR THE PROTEAS

Trump Cards: Kagiso Rabada and Imran Tahir
Image Source: https://st3.cricketcountry.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Rabada-Tahir_Twitter-Cricket-South-Africa_ICC-1.jpg

Kagiso Rabada and Imran Tahir will certainly be the two trump cards in the bowling department. They might just be the reason South Africa creates an upset in this World Cup.

Rabada with his raw pace and his ability to swing the ball in the early overs and his ability to bowl at the death will be a massive weapon in the South Africa arsenal.

Coupled with Tahir’s spin and his ability to take wickets in the middle overs, South Africa could win games based on their bowling alone. Indeed that could be the reason, this South African side is such a bowling heavy side.

THE DARK HORSE

Aiden-Markram-South-Africa-ICC-Cricket-World-Cup-Fantasy-Online
DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – FEBRUARY 28: Captain of South Africa Aiden Markram talks to the media during a press conference ahead of the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2014 Final on February 28, 2014 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Francois Nel – IDI/IDI via Getty Images)

Aiden Markram is the dark horse in this side. A player with tremendous potential, his technique is solid and is a regular in the test side. Having captained the side at just 24 years of age, he can lead by example with his batting and fielding.

With his flawless technique and trademark composure, Markram has all the qualities to be an important player for South Africa in this World Cup.

PREDICTION

With the favorites tag finally off their shoulders, South Africa might just play freely without any pressure.

If they do, they might just break off their mental shackles and have a good World Cup. We predict them to reach the semi-finals in this World cup.

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