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Found 135 results

  1. Indian opener Rohit Sharma has now scored at least 50 runs in every match he has played in during the ongoing ICC World Cup 2019. In the match against Sarfaraz Ahmed's Team Pakistan, Sharma did it in only 34 deliveries while giving the Men in Blue the ideal start to one of the most important games marked on their calendar. What a start from Rohit Sharma! He's raced to his fifty! â¡ #CWC19 | #INDvPAK | #TeamIndia pic.twitter.com/Vy7r6cABaV — ICC (@ICC) June 16, 2019 During this feat, Sharma surpassed former Indian skipper and wicket keeping legend, Mahendra Singh Dhoni's record for smashing the most number of sixes in international cricket. While Dhoni has smashed the ball for a total of 355 maximums combining all formats of international cricket, Sharma's first six of the match against Pakistan got him to surpass this achievement of Dhoni's. After forming a brilliant 100-plus run partnership with KL Rahul, the 'Hitman' was able to score his second ton of the ICC World Cup 2019 in less than 90 balls, making this his fastest century among the 24 he has scored in ODIs till date. WHAT AN INNINGS! India opener Rohit Sharma brings up his century off just 85 balls. How many more can he add to his tally from here? #TeamIndia | #CWC19 pic.twitter.com/j1z8OSoCf4 — ICC (@ICC) June 16, 2019 What an innings!
  2. The twelfth edition of the ICC World Cup in England & Wales has already started to frustrate participating fans and teams - all because of persistent rain and poor weather conditions. While the quadrennial event has enthralled us with memorable moments this year, its rain-hit ties has equally left everyone annoyed. As many as four games have already been affected by rain wherein two have been abandoned, one led to no result and another was concluded via Duckworth-Lewis (D/L) method. But, it seems there's no stopping to rain disruptions in the ongoing World Cup anytime soon. In yet another frustrating day for both the teams and fans, persistent rain at Trent Bridge in Nottingham, first, delayed the start of India's much-anticipated clash against New Zealand and, then, forced it to abandoned. In a match that pitted two unbeaten sides in the tournament, India and New Zealand, despite their bid to secure two crucial points, had to eventually settle for one apiece. While the Kiwis remain at the top of the table with seven points, the Indian side climbed to the third, behind Australia (six points) with five points in their kitty. Reuters In a single-group format, akin to the 1992 edition, losing key points, due to rain, could have drastic implications on a title aspirations of the participating nations. And, while rain-hit ties can dent the chances for some of the strongest sides, it can equally prove to be a blessing in disguise for the weaker ones. For instance, take a look at Sri Lanka. Arguably one of the weakest sides in the tournament, the Lankans were humbled by the Kiwis comprehensively in their opening match. Having lost two points early on, the Lankans found themselves in a spot of bother after Afghanistan bowled them out for 201 runs. But, a rain disruption worked to their advantage and a revised target of 187 runs in 41 overs (D/L) proved a tad too difficult for the Afghans. After recording their first points in the tournament, the Lankans were surely not the favourites to come out on top against Pakistan. But, again, poor weather conditions came to their rescue and handed them a key point as the match got abandoned without a single ball being bowled. The story of their fourth match was pretty much the same against Bangladesh as heavy rainfall saw another game getting abandoned. Reuters Though some might argue that the Lankans could have defeated Bangladesh in their last match. But, the fact that the Tigers had earlier defeated the mighty South Africans should somewhat tilt tie in their favour, if not completely. So, in four matches so far, where the Lankans would've probably garnered two points (giving Bangladesh the benefit of doubt), rain disruptions have allowed them to secure four. Now, coming back to India's clash against New Zealand. Given the fact that the 'Men in Blue' have secured wins in as many matches, the rain washout shouldn't really have a major implication on their World Cup title dreams. They already have four points in their kitty and sharing a point with the Kiwis will now make it five with six games still to go. In the coming days, India will be seen locking horns with Pakistan (16th June), Afghanistan (22nd June), West Indies (27th June), England (30th June), Bangladesh (2nd July) and Sri Lanka (6th July). Out of their remaining six matches, India, given their form, probably need to just worry about England. Reuters While the likes of Pakistan and West Indies cannot be taken lightly, we reckon, the two teams will find Team India too hot to handle in their upcoming fixtures. In the other ties, India should easily see off the likes of Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Expecting them to lose to England (quite an ask for the hosts though), India should secure 10 points from their remaining six games - which should be good enough to propel them into the knockouts. On the other hand, the weather predictions for India's next six matches paint a different picture altogether. Their clash against Pakistan at Old Trafford in Manchester is expected to get disrupted by some showers. The weather prediction for their clash against Afghanistan at Rose Bowl, Southampton is cloudy, with some showers. Reuters Their tie against the Windies at Old Trafford, Manchester might see a rare afternoon shower. Thankfully, there are showers expected during India's much-anticipated match against England at Edgbaston, Birmingham as the weather predicted is sunny and a bit cloudy. The clash against Bangladesh might witness a shower or thunderstorm in the afternoon in an otherwise cloudy day. And, India's final group match against Sri Lanka at Headingley, Leeds is expected to be a bit cloudy, with some showers predicted later in the day. Well, we can all have our permutations and combinations, but what eventually will unfold in India's remaining group games cannot possibly be predicted - neither on the basis of weather predictions, nor in terms of anyone's past performances. Sadly, just like Virat Kohli & co, we all have to wait and watch while keeping our fingers crossed.
  3. Winning two matches in as many outings, the Indian cricket team is undoubtedly in scintillating form in the ongoing ICC World Cup. Giving South Africa a run for their money and then, getting the better of Australia, the 'Men in Blue' are surely living up the reputation as one of the top contenders for the coveted title this year. But, after a fairly successful start in the tournament, the Indian team was dealt with a major blow after it was announced that Shikhar Dhawan was ruled out for about two to three weeks owing to a hairline fracture on his left thumb. After some nervy starts, the Indian opener rediscovered his form on the back of a match-winning knock of 117 runs against Australia. And, his injury surely comes as a setback for both himself and his team. © Reuters In a bid to fill the void left by his injury, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has decided to fly in swashbuckling Rishabh Pant to England but it's still not clear if the youngster will actually get a chance to break into India's playing XI anytime soon. On the other hand, the BCCI is keeping close tabs on Dhawan, who has been given a week to prove his fitness. It all seems like a bad dream for the Delhi batsman who is one of the most successful batsmen for India (with six hundreds) in ICC tournaments, only behind Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly. He may be down, but surely not out (just yet) - something Dhawan highlighted in his recent post on social media. Kabhimehekkitarah hum gulon se udtehain... Kabhidhuyeinkitarah hum parbaton se udtehain... Ye kainchiyaanhumeinudne se khaakrokengi... Ke hum paron se nahinhoslon se udtehain...#DrRahatIndori Ji pic.twitter.com/h5wzU2Yl4H — ShikharDhawan (@SDhawan25) June 12, 2019 In an inspirational tweet, the 33-year-old shared a verse from Dr RahatIndori's poem, signalling his intentions. "Kabhi mehek ki tarah hum gulon se udte hain...Kabhi dhuyein ki tarah hum parbaton se udtehain...Ye kainchiyaan humein udne se khaak rokengi...Ke hum paron se nahin hoslon se udte hain...#DrRahatIndori Ji," Dhawan tweeted. While fans hope Dhawan recovers in time to lead the charge for his team, Virat Kohli-led India will be eager to continue their fine run when they lock horns with New Zealand at Trent Bridge on 13th June.
  4. ICC World Cup 2019 has not seen a lot of cricketing action in the past two days thanks to England's heavy rains, but the enthusiastic cricketing fans present at the venue have plenty to get amused. According to a video that surfaced after the Indian cricket team's match against Aaron Finch's Team Australia, an Englishman named Agnus Denoon was located in front of The Oval in London, selling 'Jhal Muri' to the lot that visited the stadium to experience the spectacle that the match was. To quote one of the Bengali writers here at MensXP, "Jhal Muri is a nostalgic delicacy that takes you down memory lane, back to the train rides you used to take as a child in Kolkata, while relishing the spicy delight." Denoon, who runs an Instagram account by the username '@jhalmuriexpress', decided to surprise the Indian fans of the game in front of the stadium on Sunday evening, as he set up his trolly and sold the dish that he has spent years perfecting in Kolkata. “The only dish that I felt confident to cook was Jhal muri because there is no cooking,” Angus Denoon said. Denoon is not only a fan of Indian snacks but also stays true to the street art that beautifully promotes them and attracts people from all over to helplessly give in to the flavours of the various dishes. View this post on Instagram Give festival - the red one the hot one A post shared by Angus Denoon (@jhalmuriexpress) on Jul 17, 2018 at 2:51am PDT With the Indian cricket team looking to register their third consecutive win this World Cup at Trent Bridge against Kane Williamson's New Zealand cricket team, the fans would most definitely be looking forward to meeting Denoon in Nottinghamshire on Thursday.
  5. The World Cup fever has gripped the entire planet at the moment, but ahead of the much-awaited India vs Pakistan match scheduled for 16th June, the fervour and craziness in the air is at its peak, because like always, this is a highly-anticipated match, which will be watched by everyone, irrespective of their loyalties. So, ahead of this match, a Pakistani TV commercial has been going viral for all the wrong reasons. The advertisement shows a look-alike of IAF pilot Abhinandan Varthaman, who was in Pakistani captivity , wearing the colors of the Indian team jersey. This is the our hero's personality, no one can remain untouched. But next time plz use some good actors. Btw #ShikharDhawan exclusion must be a relief for many competitors #CWC19 #abhinandan pic.twitter.com/mrBFLFLh2d — Megha Jainð®ð³ (@i_meghajain) June 11, 2019 While Indians have mocked fans across the border with the 'Mauka Mauka' ad, a lot of angry Indian fans feel this was below the belt and not in good taste at all. This is shameful. Please just let this be a cricket match. This is beyond just simple banter. #CWC19#INDvPAK https://t.co/shsUrYpCHl — Ritayan Basu | à¦à¦¤à¦¾à§à¦¨ বসৠ(@ritayanbasu) June 11, 2019 Abhinandan's Capture Mocked in Racist #Pakistani Ad For World Cup Clash Against #India. This is how #racism, #nationalism and #sports combines to produce toxic outcomes. Entirely unnecessary. #CWC2019 #crickethttps://t.co/7gcMx2CxjI — Swati Parashar (@swatipash) June 11, 2019 Some people from Pakistan are actually quite in support of this advertisement, and feel there is obviously nothing wrong with it. Abhinandan again ð¤£âï¸ That's an interesting idea about Pakistan-India match in @cricketworldcup being played on 16th June ð #PakvsIndia #Abhinandan #CWC19 #IndiavsPak pic.twitter.com/W3EzxJfYdn — Danyal Gilani (@DanyalGilani) June 11, 2019 However, someone was quick enough to state some facts to stomp all over this uncalled celebration of this mockery. The advertisement is an epic fail because Pak hasn't won a single match against us in the World Cup and the whole #Abhinandan incident was a win for us as well, seeing how he was returned to us safely. Think thoroughly before you try to start a banter, Pak. #EpicFail #CWC19 https://t.co/CHgsJOOFLz — Rahul Mishra (@RahulDKMishra) June 11, 2019 The main question is, how far can you go when it comes to national pride? Is dragging a national and a sensitive issue really important when it comes to making a point? These guys have their hearts filled with hate. #Pakistan stooping to a new low#abhinandan https://t.co/X1KpCfKeFO — SnehalRajani (@Snehal_Rajani) June 11, 2019 Our soldiers are way above a mere, crass advertisement and mockery of this kind not only belittles an individual, but is also a joke on the sacrifices made by the brave soldiers of a country.
  6. While the Indian cricket team is set to finally make their ICC World Cup 2019 debut against Faf du Plessis' Team South Africa at the Rose Bowl Cricket Ground in Hampshire the news of an alternate jersey for Virat Kohli's boys is making rounds in the cricketing world. "For televised ICC events all participating teams will be required to provide for two different coloured kits, except for the host country who has a preference in the choice of colour and may, if it chooses to do so, provide only one coloured kit to be worn in all matches throughout the event. In advance of the event the teams will be notified which coloured kit will be worn in each match," the ICC had said in a release. In essence, during the Cricket World Cup 2019, the hosts ie; Eoin Morgan's Team England have the luxury to play in their traditional 1992 World Cup throwback jersey which is light blue in colour. The Men in Blue, ironically enough, will be wearing their alternate jersey which is being speculated to be orange with dark blue designs all over. Abiding by this new rule made by the ICC, countries such as Bangladesh and South Africa have already released their second kit: Who else is excited about the World Cup ? :) pic.twitter.com/PyiBKPHRud — Tamim Iqbal Khan (@TamimOfficial28) May 25, 2019 Team India however have managed to maintain a sense of suspense about their new look. "The BCCI marketing team is still working on the design and the jersey will be unveiled very soon," a BCCI source told PTI. Having said that, IANS has released a tentative design for the new look that India might wear against their match against the World Cup hosts on 30th June 2019. Credit: IANS And while people are presuming this orange jersey to be Team India's 'away kit', IANS quoted a source saying: "There has been a lot of talks and speculation and people have been calling it an away jersey. But it isn't. It is an alternate jersey that the team will wear when they play England on June 30. As per the new rules, the hosts get to retain their jersey colour when they play an ICC event. Since India also have a blue jersey like England, there is a slight change in colour.” Ever since 1992, Team India has been known to don blue jerseys in the shorter formats of the game with slight modifications being made to the uniform every year ever since. Sure, blue is one of the more popular colours in the sporting fraternity but the Bleed Blue squad has established a sense of ownership to the colour with their brilliance on a cricketing field. Watching them play in a different shade will surely be an uncanny experience but hey, change is always good, right?
  7. Both Afghanistan and Sri Lanka are one game into the ICC Cricket World 2019, and they were both a part of convincing defeats from teams from the Australian continent. Yet, their fortunes and mindset seem poles apart and that will be put to the test in the first all-Asian encounter of the tournament. Afghanistan The true dark horses of the World Cup, Afghanistan really have nothing to lose during the course of this tournament. Having won 5 of their last 10 ODIs including a warm-up game against Pakistan, they are as unpredictable as they are encouraging. Their World Cup opener against Australia ended in defeat, after the Afghan batting line-up collapsed, majorly due to the fall of both of their openers for a combined score of 0 and were only able to post a first innings score of 207. The Australian top order was able to chase the score without much difficulty, remaining relatively unfazed by the Afghan bowling attack. Despite a below-average start to their World Cup campaign, Afghanistan will surely look to bounce back and take advantage of Sri Lanka's poor form and predicament, led by the highly-rated opening partnership of Mohammad Shehzad and Hazratullah Zazai; as well as their lethal spin attack. Squad: Gulbadin Naib(c), Mohammad Shahzad(wk), Noor Ali Zadran, Hazratullah Zazai, Rahmat Shah, Asghar Afghan, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Najibullah Zadran, Samiullah Shinwari, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Dawlat Zadran, Aftab Alam, Hamid Hassan and Mujeeb ur Rahman. © Facebook - Rashid Khan Sri Lanka There are very few positives to take for the Sri Lankan squad going into this game. If their underwhelming performances in the warm-up games against South Africa and Australia are not enough of an indicator about their current predicament, their World Cup opener against New Zealand was surely enough to establish them as the most disappointing team of the tournament in terms of both form and expectations. Their captain Dimith Karunaratne was able to register an unbeaten score of 54, but with virtually no support from any other player, they were bowled out for a measly 136 in under 30 overs. Adding insult to injury, New Zealand chased the total without the loss of a wicket within 17 overs. With an inconsistent batting order, a lack of confidence in the leadership and effectively no team spirit, the problems seem to be piling up for the Sri Lankan squad. © Reuters Squad: Dimith Karunaratne(c), Angelo Mathews, Thisara Perera, Kusal Perera(wk), Dhananjaya de Silva, Kusal Mendis(wk), Isuru Udana, Milinda Siriwardana, Avishka Fernando, Jeevan Mendis, Lahiru Thirimanne, Jeffrey Vandersay, Lasith Malinga, Nuwan Pradeep and Suranga Lakmal. Head-To-Head In ODI World Cup: Matches: 1 Sri Lanka Won: 1 Afghanistan Won: 0 Tied: 0 No Result: 0 MensXP Prediction: Afghanistan Win
  8. We are two days into the ICC World Cup 2019 and have already seen two every different kinds of matches until now. While the first match between England and South Africa showed the cricketing genius of the World Cup hosts, the second match between Pakistan and West Indies became the talk of the town for Pakistan's batting order that came crumbling down against Oshane Thomas-led Windies bowling attack. Moving on to yet another battle of a titan and a mortal, New Zealand vs Sri Lanka. New Zealand Credit: Reuters Led by the batting marvel, Kane WIlliamson, the New Zealand cricket team is one of the better rosters to take part in the Cricket World Cup 2019, although like England, the Kiwis have never had the honour of lifting the World Cup trophy. Having said that, their warm-up game win against the mighty Team India by restricting them to a mere 179-run total showed the potential in their bowling attack. On the other hand, their second warm-up game against the Windies which albeit ended in a loss, showed their ability to chase a big total. In order to begin their World Cup 2019 journey on a high, the skipper, WIlliamson would require his side to click as a unit against an underwhelming Sri Lankan team. Squad: Kane Williamson (c), Tom Blundell (wk), Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham (wk), Colin Munro, Jimmy Neesham, Henry Nicholls, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee and Ross Taylor. Sri Lanka Credit: Reuters Dysfunctional, lacking in team spirit and in the absence of a good leader, not a lot is expected out of the Sri Lankan cricket team this World Cup. The nation that once toppled the mighty Australia to win the 1996 world championship, has not been able to follow suit ever since. The Lankan brigade had some unfortunate warm-up games, going against two really good rosters in South Africa and Australia. Both the games showed flaws different aspects of Sri Lanka's game. Against South Africa, the team was unable to stop the bleeding of runs and ended up facing a score too big for them to chase. On the other hand, Australia was successful in capitalising on their lack of world class batsmen on the roster. Squad: Dimith Karunaratne(c), Angelo Mathews, Thisara Perera, Kusal Perera(wk), Dhananjaya de Silva, Kusal Mendis(wk), Isuru Udana, Milinda Siriwardana, Avishka Fernando, Jeevan Mendis, Lahiru Thirimanne, Jeffrey Vandersay, Lasith Malinga, Nuwan Pradeep and Suranga Lakmal. MensXP Prediction: New Zealand Win Also See: ICC World Cup 2019: Schedule, Stadiums, Teams & Players Of Cricket's Biggest Spectacle On Earth
  9. The 1992 World Cup champions, Pakistan, continue to remain an unpredictable brigade which is more than capable of crashing someone's party on their day. The ultimate underdogs at the ICC spectacle, Pakistan might have a fairly inexperienced squad going into the World Cup, but a mercurial side of their calibre still promises to go the distance. While the bowling has undoubtedly been their strong suit in recent times, it's Pakistan's fragile batting that was tipped as a major sign of worry going into the World Cup. And, in their opening encounter against West Indies, it was once again the irresponsible batting display by Sarfaraz Ahmed's men that got them in all sorts of trouble. Treading with caution early on, Pakistan were handed an early blow after Sheldon Cottrell dismissed opener Imam-ul-Haq (2) in the third over. Imam's opening partner Fakhar Zaman (22) looked good for a while but was eventually cleaned up by Andre Russell in the sixth over. Russell returned to haunt Pakistan again when he sent Haris Sohail (8) packing in the 10th over. © Reuters With their team reeling at 45/3, Pakistan desperately needed a partnership to get back on track and the likes of Babar Azam (22) and captain Sarfaraz (8) appeared like the perfect candidates to get them out of trouble. But, it wasn't meant to be. While Azam's lazy waft outside the off-stump led to his demise, Sarfaraz failed miserably in what would've been an easy tickle down to fine leg. With two of their batting mainstays back in the hut, Pakistan had no option but to seek stability from veteran batsman Mohammad Hafeez (16) who tried to hold fort at one end, but couldn't save the disaster at the other. As he stood helplessly at the non-striker's end, Pakistan lost three wickets - Imad Wasim (1), Shadab Khan (0) and Hasan Ali (1) - for a mere four runs. © Reuters Hafeez's resistance finally gave in when his efforts of thwarting Thomas's searing bouncer led to simple catch for Cottrell at fine leg in the 20th over. Wahab Riaz was the final nail in the coffin for Pakistan as Thomas picked his fourth wicket to put Pakistan out of their misery in the 22nd over. With Windies pace battery wreaking havoc - Thomas (4-27) and Holder (3-42), Pakistan were bowled out for a mere 105 runs - their second-lowest total in World Cup history. During the World Cup opener between England and South Africa, Matthew Hayden - who was commentating during that game - had predicted Pakistan to finish just above Afghanistan and Bangladesh in the ongoing tournament. While his fellow commentators including Dean Jones, questioned his decision to place Pakistan at such a lowly-spot, the dismal batting show by Sarfaraz's team has surely bolstered Hayden's claims. This is typical Pakistan ... They will no doubt go on an Win the World Cup ... !!! — Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) May 31, 2019 Afraid Pakistan are getting bullied by pace..... — Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) May 31, 2019 West Indies vs Pakistan ð#PAKvWI #CWC19pic.twitter.com/yds19i8PHd — The Cricketer (@TheCricketerMag) May 31, 2019 Pakistani ð¹ð¹ pic.twitter.com/k63nEH33kd — wellलॠð (@Wellutweet) May 31, 2019 Only hope left for Pakistan Cricket Team #CWC19 #WeHaveWeWill pic.twitter.com/qPjITjanvN — E (@eSHEIKH_) May 31, 2019 ð ð absolutely embarrassing this! — Hassam Rehman (@hassamr50) May 31, 2019 Very poor cricket by pakistan — Sadik (@sadik4) May 31, 2019 RIP Pakistan Cricket — Soh Ayl (@omi01324244) May 31, 2019
  10. After the ICC World Cup 2019 began with a bang with Eoin Morgan's Team England dominating over the South Africans, we are in a bit of a fix with the upcoming match between two of the most unpredictable teams to be playing in the quadrennial event this year, West Indies versus Pakistan. West Indies © Reuters Flooded with some of the scariest batsmen of the 21st century, the Windies can put up big numbers in a hurry, when they are in the form, that is. In the warm-up game against the Kiwis, who are considered to be one of the better teams of the tournament, the Caribbean stars performed exceptionally well. Despite Chris Gayle's below average opening innings, Evin Lewis, Andre Russell and Shai Hope rallied the team to a massive total of 421 which turned out to be too much for Kane Williamson's men to handle. Having said that, the Windies, who were once famous for their terrifying bowling attack, now struggle to restrict the opposition from scoring. The fact that the Kiwis were able to score 330 runs in the chase says a lot. West Indies Squad: Jason Holder(c), Evin Lewis, Darren Bravo, Chris Gayle, Andre Russell, Carlos Brathwaite, Nicholas Pooran, Oshane Thomas, Shai Hope(wk), Shimron Hetmyer, Fabien Allen, Sheldon Cottrell, Shannon Gabriel, Kemar Roach and Ashley Nurse. Pakistan © Reuters As mentioned earlier, the Pakistan cricket team is extremely unpredictable and absolutely impossible to judge according to their work in the past. Starting from the top of the team with skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed to Mohammad Hasnain, the entire team can suddenly get an excellent team chemistry and play well, or tank and fall apart just like that. Probably the only consistent person on the Pak roster is Babar Azam who can give his side a flying start during their batting innings. Despite some great hitters on the team, Pakistan has not been like themselves recently. They have lost every single ODI match that was held against Team England a month ago and having being thrashed out by a team as new as Afghanistan makes them not a very popular pick as the winner of today's match. Pakistan Squad: Sarfaraz Ahmed(c/wk), Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Abid Ali, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Hafeez, Haris Sohail, Shadab Khan, Imad Wasim, Hasan Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Junaid Khan and Mohammad Hasnain. MensXP Prediction: West Indies Win Also Check: ICC World Cup 2019: Schedule, Stadiums, Teams & Players Of Cricket's Biggest Spectacle On Earth
  11. Virat Kohli is without doubt once-a-generation player of the cricketing world who has taken over every fan of the game with his charisma, angry young man attitude and most importantly the perfection in batting that the cricketer has achieved having put years and years of practice into his craft. Now, as the captain of the most influential cricketing team in the world, Kohli is in pursuit of immortalising his name amongst the greatest men of the sport through the years as he looks to bring India it's third World Cup title. And it is safe to say that the 30-year-old's determination to become a legend has already paid off well as on Wednesday, the ever so famous wax museum Madame Tussauds of London unveiled his statue at Lord's Cricket Ground in the English capital, symbolising the inception of the ICC World Cup 2019. Credit: Madame Tussauds Starting Thursday, the Indian skipper's statue will be displayed at Madame Tussauds until July 15 or the day of the final of the quadrennial tournament. Steve Davies, General Manager at Madame Tussauds London, said: “Cricket fever is set to sweep the nation in the coming weeks so what better way to unveil our new figure of Virat Kohli than with the help of our neighbours at Lord's. “We hope that cricket fans will enjoy not only watching their hero on the pitch but taking to the crease with him here at Madame Tussauds London.” The effigy also boasts of the official kit of the Men in Blue, launched especially for the 2019 World Cup alongside pairs of gloves and shoes that were donated by the cricketer himself. Tarah Cunynghame, Head of Retail & Tours at Lord's Cricket Ground, said: “Lord's is the perfect backdrop to reveal this fantastic figure of Virat Kohli on the eve of the Cricket World Cup. The anticipation of the exciting summer of cricket has already started, with thousands of visitors coming to the Ground and enjoying a tour of Lord's and around the MCC Museum." “The figure of the famous batsman will delight any cricket fans visiting Madame Tussauds London.” A man who grew up watching his inspirations such Kapil Dev and Sachin Tendulkar achieve greatness on the field, now has a statue that will be placed next to theirs says a thousand words about how far the Delhi local has come. Credit: Madame Tussauds Virat Kohli and Team India are to begin their 2019 World Cup journey on 5th June 2019 against Faf du Plessis' South African team.
  12. If there is one thing that never fails to unite the entire Indian subcontinent, regardless of their many differences, it is the possibility of watching India and Pakistan butt heads on the cricket field. The excitement is buzzing at all times, the anticipation is almost palpable as the arch rivals get ready for the face-off, while the cheering can get bad enough to numb the ears. Literally. © Twitter People from both sides of the border wait with bated breath before every delivery, and after every shot that is played, let alone the times when the third umpire gets involved. There's no denying that both India and Pakistan feel very strongly about any and every cricket match between the two countries. © Twitter However, now with the ICC World Cup kick-starting in just a few hours, and with the Indo-Pak match scheduled for 16th June, the pheromones are only expected to get crazier with each passing day. But, what's crazier still is that so many people are willing to spend a fortune to catch the Indo-Pak clash LIVE in Manchester. © Twitter If you happen to be one of those who are considering (no matter how last minute it may seem now) to fly down to England in the new couple of days to catch the ICC World Cup LIVE, here is the cheapest way to get it done. Two-Way Air Ticket Expenses © Getty Images Managing the travel expenses will be the biggest concern while putting this trip together. The distance as well as the growing demands for tickets due to the World Cup might force you to shell out a good amount of money to reach your destination. The round-trip air fare for Economy tickets from Delhi to London and back, will cost you Rs 55,000 approximately. Two-Way Air Tickets Per Head (Approx.): Rs. 55,000 Lodging Expenses © Getty Images Since the Indo-Pak clash is scheduled to take place in Manchester, ideally one should look for a place that is as close to Old Trafford as possible. However, that means excessive expenditure because of the surging hotel fares. So we suggest opting for the cheapest AirBnB option instead. An AirBnB lodging in someplace like Failsworth will cost you approximately Rs 2,600 per night. Depending on how long you plan to stay after the Indo-Pak match (and how good or bad the result of the match is), you'd better do the required math for your lodging expenses. AirBnB Lodging Per Night (Approx.): Rs 2,600 © Twitter Those two would be the two of your major expenses apart from inter-city commutation, sightseeing and food expenditure which again depends on personal preferences and cannot be generalised. However, given that the value of the pound is touching the sky at Rs. 88 we presume that's also going to add bulk to your trip in a lot of ways. Estimated Total Travel & Lodging Expenses For 2 Night/3 Days (Inclusive of Food,Sightseeing,etc): ≤ Rs. 1.20 Lakhs That ain't cheap, but if it's last minute and you wish to make the most of the trip to London, it can't get cheaper than this.
  13. The greatest honour in the world of cricket, for which every aspiring cricketer lusts after ever since they first dreamed about playing for their country and their colours, the ICC World Cup trophy is designed to perfection and feels worthy of a championship winning team. Coming after the era of World Cups trophies which were named after the primary sponsors of the quadrennial tournament through the years, the current trophy is the sport's first ever permanent reward that first came into existence in 1999. But how is the silverware actually made? “To be involved with the Cricket World Cup, to help bring the piece to fruition, is a real privilege for a manufacturer, a British manufacturer as well,” Steven Ottewill, the Trophy Director said in an interview with the International Cricket Council. How do you actually make a trophy like the @cricketworldcup? Ahead of the #CWCTrophyTour, here's a peek into its manufacture! pic.twitter.com/M7QYWmrYm8 — ICC (@ICC) August 22, 2018 “The piece weighs about 11 kilos. Its height is 650mm tall. The base is a hardwood base – with any concept trophy, we have to render, draw to scale. We either draw freehand or pen work. That's the starting point.” Dimensions and calculations are taken extremely seriously while the trophy is designed. After all, it is not only about drawing a mere sketch on a piece of paper, now is it? “It's a lot of responsibility,” says Zoe Clarke, the Design Manager. “You need to be artistic, and try to produce a nice, organic looking design. But then you need to also have the math behind to work out how it's being made, and to the drawings.” The thickness of the three columns shaped as stumps and bails, the curvature of the two hollow semi-spheres that complete the large globe atop the cup and the small details present at the base of the trophy are very important to Ottewill. He does not settle for anything less than a shiny, scratchless, 100 per cent balanced cup. Ahead of the #CWCTrophyTour, we're learning about how the @cricketworldcup trophy was made. Meet David Bedford, the man who engraved the trophy. He talks us through an art that allows no room for error. pic.twitter.com/GODCqGygHN — ICC (@ICC) August 21, 2018 Probably the most essential feature of the cup has to be the detailed engravings on the central globe and Ottewill knows just the man to get that done. “It's been near on 50 years, it's been my life. And a passion too – my wife says, 'I don't think you'll ever retire fully',” says David Bedford, the Hand Engraver who got into this profession way back in 1965. “You must be able to draw. Anything we do, to be able to cut it, you have to be able to draw. It's all done free-hand first – drawn, then scribed, then cut. Drawing skills are essential,” Bedford says. “I've got a selection of cutters here that I use for different projects,” he says. “Some of these handles are probably 200 years old, maybe. You can pick a cutter up and it just will feel correct – it's in you, it's in your hands. Years and years of concentrating, you pick up a cutter and you can just do it.” What goes into the design of an iconic trophy like the ICC Cricket World Cup? Ahead of the #CWCTrophyTour, we asked the team who made it! â¶ï¸ https://t.co/RipOnE3pKG pic.twitter.com/2WwLdNaYcl — Cricket World Cup (@cricketworldcup) August 19, 2018 As far as tradition is concerned, the original trophy which is prepared every four years does not get out of the ICC head office in Dubai, ever. Its replica, however, goes home with the champions. These copies aren't exactly the same. While the original cup consists of the names of the previous champions and consists of the ICC logo, the replicas only have the current winner's name engraved along with the logo of that particular event. The craftsmen involved in the process of converting metal into such a masterpiece echo the emotions of millions of fans of the game when they laughingly say: “It has to be perfect,” as it truly is.
  14. India won the World Cup for the first time in 1983. It was a big moment for us and till date, Kapil Dev reminds us of the glorious days. Ranveer Singh's film '83 is based on the events surrounding the winning of the World Cup in 1983 and we couldn't be more excited. The unexpected victory in 1983 World Cup against West Indies was a major win for us back then. India hadn't hoped to bring the World Cup home this soon. Ranveer Singh with the '83 team are off to London for the film's shoot which is tentatively scheduled for three months. Ranveer takes special effort to get in the character for each film and for '83, he spent a couple of days at Kapil Dev's place to familiarise himself with the actual ongoings of 1983 World Cup. Directed by Kabir Khan, '83 will soon begin shooting. Keeping the team spirit alive, the cast reached the Mumbai airport on a team bus. Instagram is flooded with the reel team photos that makes us reminiscent of 1983 team. Take a look at the striking resemblance here. © Instagram 1. Look at the enthusiasm here. It's game time. ð #83SquadOnTheMove The journey begins. ð¥@RanveerOfficial @kabirkhankk #MadhuMantena #SajidNadiadwala @vishinduri @RelianceEnt @NGEMovies pic.twitter.com/4iulvt9AEx — '83 (@83thefilm) May 27, 2019 2. Look at Ranveer Singh looking like Kapil Dev here. View this post on Instagram About to embark on a remarkable cinematic journey ð #proud #blessed ðð½ @kabirkhankk @83thefilm A post shared by Ranveer Singh (@ranveersingh) on May 27, 2019 at 10:28pm PDT 3. The excitement is in the air. When you are playing the Lord of Lord's, you are always on your toes! Here's @adinathkothare's message before he embarks on this exciting journey. #83SquadOnTheMove @RanveerOfficial @kabirkhankk #MadhuMantena #SajidNadiadwala @vishinduri @RelianceEnt @NGEMovies pic.twitter.com/xyU3e3IYrv — '83 (@83thefilm) May 27, 2019 4. We honestly can't wait for '83. London chale hai, itihaas dohrane! â @Saqibsaleem aka Jimmy is all set with his red handkerchief! Watch this space for more updates. #83SquadOnTheMove @RanveerOfficial @kabirkhankk #MadhuMantena #SajidNadiadwala @vishinduri @RelianceEnt @NGEMovies pic.twitter.com/jkNBzlYnTK — '83 (@83thefilm) May 27, 2019 The film '83 is scheduled to hit the screens in April next year.
  15. The International Shooting Sport Federation's Shooting World Cup is currently in action in Munich, Germany and the Indian contingent is burning it up in Deutschland, ahead of the rest of the participating countries, including China, with three gold medals on the fourth day of the tournament. The first medal for Team India in the German city came at the hands of Apurvi Chandela, who outscored Chinese shooters Luyao Wang and Hong Xu in the women's 10m Air Rifle final with a 633.0 points in the qualifiers and 251.0 points in the final. .@apurvichandela, what game & what spirit! You have taken Indian shooting miles ahead by winning Gold in 10m air rifle at the ISSF Shooting World Cup. Congratulations on winning your second gold of the year! To many more! Keep making India proud.ð®ð³ pic.twitter.com/2XOybs2O5X — Rajyavardhan Rathore (@Ra_THORe) May 27, 2019 Despite the unfortunate elimination of the national favourite in Manu Bhaker after a double weapon malfunction in the seventh series, it was Rahi Sarnobat who held the fort for the Indian contingent on the third day and went on to score perfect 5s in the eighth and ninth series to end her run with a total of 37 points which got her the gold in the women's 25m pistol event. Rahi Sarnobat wins GOLDð¥ in #ISSFMunichWC in Women's 25m Pistol event. She earned a quota as well for India in #TokyoOlympics. Manu Bhaker will be devastated as her pistol malfunctioned at the wrong time when she was looking good for 2nd quota.@ISSF_Shooting @OfficialNRAI pic.twitter.com/0ihycNVdac — ð®ð³ Soumya Sarkar ð®ð³ (@SarkarSpeaking) May 27, 2019 Everyone present at the event however, was in awe of the 17-year-old Saurabh Chaudhary who in a brilliant performance of precision and focus won the gold in the men's 10m Pistol event while breaking both the junior and senior world records in the process. 17-yr-old Saurabh Chaudhary wins Goldð in 10m Air Pistol Event of Shooting World Cup (Munich). Broke his own world record with 246.3 points in the final (previous record 245 pts). Congrats champ. ðâð pic.twitter.com/V7sUXf9qcO — Sir Jadeja fan (@SirJadeja) May 27, 2019 Other than the fact that these young shooters are achieving success at the world level and dominating the shooting sports fraternity worldover, the reason why acknowledging their efforts is a lot more crucial that a lot of people think. While the final moment heroics of Rahi Sarnobat in the World Cup in Munich, got her a spot in the Indian contingent for Tokyo Olympics 2020, other shooters like Bhaker, Chaudhary and Chandela are also extremely likely to join her in the quest for bagging as many medals for their nation at the greatest spectacle on sports on earth. These sportspersons decided to do something different. In a country of cricket craving people, they decided to achieve greatness in something which is not that mainstream and have been doing it on a constant basis. Even though the ICC World Cup 2019 is just around the corner and the entire nation is rooting for the Men in Blue to win their third World Cup title, all we request for is a small amount of your appreciation for these athletes too.
  16. The Pakistan cricket team is probably the most unpredictable thing about the ICC World Cup 2019, which begins in a couple of days in England & Wales. While their loss to a team like Afghanistan in their warm-up games shows just how bad the team can be, they consist of a few extremely talented players who can take Pakistan cricket to a new high, maybe even get their first ever World Cup victory against the Indian cricket team. Here are the five key players of the team who can win it all for the cricket-crazy nation: 1. Babar Azam © Reuters Referred to as the “Virat Kohli of Pakistan”, Babar Azam plays like the Indian skipper too. At the age of 24, Azam easily dominated some of the deadliest of bowlers on the current time in Dale Steyn, Kagiso Rabada and Duanne Olivier at the Proteas' home ground in South Africa a couple of months ago and seems to never lose his form with the bat. In his career in adolescence, Azam has scored 2544 runs in just 62 ODIs which includes 8 tons and 11 half-centuries. In 2019, Azam has batted in 10 innings for his team and scored 472 runs with an average of 52.4 runs per innings. 2. Imam-ul-Haq © Reuters Being the nephew of Inzamam-ul-Haq, Imam faced a lot of pressure during his introduction to international cricket during the U-19 Asia Cup in 2012. A fighter that he is, Imam has brought his flamboyant stroke-play to every match that he has played ever since. His debut for the national team of Pakistan occurred in 2017 against Sri Lanka, in which he not only chased the total and won the match but also struck his first ODI hundred. Imam's ODI journey has seen him play in 27 games while scoring a total of 1381 runs including his career's best single-inning performance, a 151 against the World Cup 2019 hosts a couple of weeks ago. 3. Fakhar Zaman © Reuters Probably as unpredictable as the Pakistan team, Fakhar Zaman is the opening batsman who will either bring you runs in big bundles or will not bring them at all. The series against England was the perfect example of his uncertainty as a batsman. Having said that, when he does stick to the crease, there is no force in the cricketing world that could stop him from getting a half-ton for his side. In his career, Zaman has featured in 34 ODIs, putting up 1585 runs on the board with a decent strike rate of 97.83 through his career. He has batted in 10 ODI innings this year and scored 367 runs. 4. Hasan Ali © Reuters While the team, which was once feared for their bowling attack, is now in search for some good bowlers themselves, 24-year-old Hasan Ali is probably the best they have heading into the World Cup, who's reverse swing with a slightly-used ball has got him some important wickets throughout his career. Ever since his 2016 debut in the ODI format of the game, Ali has scalped 78 wickets in just 47 matches with an economy rate of 5.56. 2019 has been a little expensive for the bowler as he has given an average of six runs per over in the past five months while collecting only five wickets. 5. Asif Ali © Reuters Pakistan's bravest athlete, Asif Ali faced a tragic loss in his personal life when cancer took away his two-year-old daughter from him a week ago. Aware of his duties towards the team and his fans, Asif returned to England to join the squad yet again before they take on West Indies on 31st May 2019. Stepping onto the crease at the number seven spot, Ali is known for hitting it strong and long on command. Ali has mustered 342 runs in the 16 games that he has played in the ODI format with a fierce strike rate of 131.03. In 2019, two of the four ODIs that he was a part of saw him raising his bat in the air for half-tons scoring 142 in total this year.
  17. For a team that upstaged the mighty Australians in the final to win the 1996 World Cup, Sri Lanka has, sadly, failed to follow it up at the major ICC events. The Lankan brigade came mighty close to securing their second World title in 2011, only to suffer a brutal heartbreak at the hands of Team India in the final. Since then, a lot has changed, but, sadly for Sri Lanka, not for the greater good. With their decorated cricketers calling time on their respective careers, needless to mention the deep infighting and disharmony, the Lankans have struggled for experience, with the young guns in desperate need for guidance and experience. Having lost the ODI and T20I series against England in October 2018, the Lankans were forced to endure whitewash defeats in New Zealand (3-0) and South Africa (5-0) which pretty much sums up their sorry state of affairs. Going into the World Cup, the Lankan fans will have bare minimum hopes (on realistic grounds) as this squad looks far from Arjuna Ranatunga's champion side from the 1996 edition. While getting their players acclimatised to the English conditions will be the first of the many hurdles they'll face, Sri Lanka will surely need the following players to step up big time if they intend to challenge stronger teams at the World Cup: Lasith Malinga © Reuters For a man who has 322 wickets in 218 ODIs, Lasith Malinga needs no introduction to seam bowling. The 35-year-old has been one of the impactful players for Sri Lanka over the years. And, going into the World Cup this year, the Lankans will desperately need the veteran to once again deliver the goods to pin down the opposition. Age might be catching up with the right-arm bowler, but Malinga's searing inswinging yorkers from his peculiar round-arm action are as destructive and distinctive as they were in the past. His cunning variations and lengths are one of the reasons why he still holds the record for most wickets in consecutive deliveries at the World Cup - something he achieved against South Africa at the 2007 edition. Angelo Mathews © Reuters One of the highly-rated players in the Lankan squad, Angelo Mathews has had his share of ups and downs in the recent past. In 2018, he was stripped of his captaincy owing to Sri Lanka's disastrous campaign at the 2018 Asia Cup. Since then, Mathews has claimed that he was made a "scapegoat" for his side's dismal show and continues to have his differences with coach Chandika Hathurusingha. But, despite his troubles, Mathews remains a vital cog in the Lankan set-up, especially at the coveted World Cup. His presence in the squad not only provides the much-needed solidarity to the otherwise brittle middle-order but also bolsters their bowling attack. Given his recent rifts with the management, Mathews should use the World Cup as an opportunity to reaffirm his credentials as a vital player. Dimuth Karunaratne © Reuters With Malinga struggling to keep the team together and Mathews unable to strike a chord with the team management, the Sri Lankan selectors were left with no choice but to appoint a total outsider - DimuthKarunaratne (coach Hobson's preferred choice) - as the captain of their World Cup side. Returning to ODI cricket after four years, Karunaratne began his captaincy stint on a positive note. During their ODI match against Scotland earlier this month, the left-hander led from the front scoring 77 runs in Sri Lanka's 35-run triumph (D/L) - a victory after eight straight defeats. He might not have been around as much as one would've liked, but Lanka will surely need Karunaratne's leadership skills to bolster their chances at the ICC mega event. Thisara Perera © Reuters Another veteran in the Lankan brigade, Thisara Perera has rediscovered his form to become a key player in recent times. While bowling is ostensibly Perera's major skill, often deployed in the middle-order, he is also capable of delivering furious finishes to an innings. Perera will need to deliver the goods with both bat and ball as an inexperienced side like Sri Lanka could surely use his all-round abilities to stay afloat in the tournament. Kusal Perera © Reuters Making his debut in 2013, Kusal Perera was immediately likened to batting great Sanath Jayasuriya for his style of play. Forging his career with aggression and reliability in equal parts, the left-handed batsman established himself as one of Sri Lanka's go-to openers in limited-overs cricket. Battling injuries in the recent past has surely affected Perera's form, but the strokeplay, the range of shots and the power-hitting style that he possesses will surely be crucial for Sri Lanka in England &Wales. Opening the innings, the Lankan fans will hope Perera rediscovers his form quickly to get them off to flying starts in the tournament.
  18. Despite participating in the tournament since its advent in 1975, New Zealand are yet to lift the coveted trophy. But, under the leadership of Brendon McCullum, the Kiwis came mighty close to clinching the World Cup title in 2015, but a seven-wicket loss at the hands of Australia left them heartbroken. Irrespective of their previous failings, Kane Williamson-led New Zealand has been in good form and are still one of the top contenders for the World Cup title this year. Their 15-man squad is comprised of proven match-winners who are more than capable of powering them to the all-important final of the ICC spectacle. In Williamson and Ross Taylor, the Kiwis have enough experience which adds stability to their batting order. And, the likes of Tim Southee and Trent Boult are more than capable of running through the opposition's batting line-up. May the wicket provide some turn, their spin duo of Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodhi can also come in handy. On paper, New Zealand undoubtedly look solid and fit the profile of a top contender. But, if the Kiwis intend to script a successful campaign, the following five players must come to the party: Trent Boult © Reuters Owing to his ability to move the ball both ways even in unresponsive conditions, Trent Boult, over the years, has established his reputation as one of the most feared fast bowlers in international cricket. The left-arm seamer has been a force to be reckoned with in limited-overs cricket for New Zealand and going into the World Cup, he'll undoubtedly carry the baton for his side. His lightening quick speed and swing abilities given him an unpredictable nature with the new ball which he can execute to perfection in English conditions - something that was in full display during New Zealand's warm-up tie against India recently. Making full use of the conditions, Boult was at his menacing best as he claimed impressive figures of 4-33 to script a comprehensive six-wicket win for his side. Kane Williamson © Reuters Arguably one the of the best batsmen in the world, Kane Williamson has been carrying New Zealand, at times single-handedly, to victories over the years. A true leader and great batsman, Williamson has proved to be the decisive factor for his side in crunch matches. The top-order batsman exudes calm at the crease and frequently puts together stubborn knocks before meticulously organising his field and arranging his bowling attacks to successfully defend low totals. Going into the ICC spectacle, New Zealand will once again look up to their pragmatic captain for inspiration as they aim to clinch their maiden World Cup trophy this year. Ross Taylor © Reuters An aggressive top-order batsman who's capable of taking up the challenge to any bowling attack, Ross Taylor has been living up to the reputation of one of New Zealand's batting mainstays over the years. The right-handed batsman boasts of a vast experience and enough know-how of the game, making him a vital cog in New Zealand's batting line-up. For someone who can adapt to any situation, Taylor's temperament and skills were in full display during New Zealand's six-wicket win over tournament hot-shots India in the warm-up tie recently. With his methodical knock of 71 runs, Taylor anchored the chase for the Kiwis with captain Williamson who smashed 67 runs. His ability to stitch partnerships down in the middle is something that his team will rely upon should they find themselves in a crunch situation at the World Cup. Martin Guptill © Reuters Owing to his explosive batting at the top, Martin Guptill has established himself as one of the most efficient openers in limited-overs cricket. Capable of playing all the shots in the books, Guptill's short-arm pull on one leg is arguably the one that stands out. When it comes to the big events, Guptill thrives on challenges which makes him key to New Zealand's success in England & Wales this year. The 32-year-old finished as tournament's leading run-scorer in the 2015 edition where he scored 547 runs including the blistering double-hundred against West Indies that powered New Zealand into the semifinals. In the upcoming mega event, Guptill will once again be expected to put his best foot forward as the Kiwis aim to avenge their 2015 heartbreak. Mitchell Santner © Reuters An efficient spinner and a capable batsman, Mitchell Santner was labelled as New Zealand's next Daniel Vettori when he first surfaced on international circuit in 2015. Though he might have struggled to keep his place in the side, but there is little doubt over the left-arm spinner's capabilities. In 90 limited-overs matches, Santner has done his bit with a tally of 97 wickets to his name. His bowling expertise was in full display during his last match for Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the IPL where he registered impressive figures of 2-13 earlier this year. Apart from spin bowling, Santner is more than handy with the bat. In pressure situations, the 27-year-old can hold fort at one end and, if need be, can go hammer and tongs at the opposition bowlers.
  19. The Englishmen might have given us the sport that we've come to know as cricket, but the cricketing giants are yet to taste success at the ICC World Cup. In the decorated history of the tournament, England have bottled away three chances to lift the coveted trophy. They lost the 1979 final to West Indies before enduring successive heartbreaks in 1987 and 1992 to Australia and Pakistan respectively. But, that was a long time ago, and the upcoming World Cup promises England a chance to redemption, especially when they have the luxury to play in familiar conditions at home. However, that's not the only thing that makes them one of the top title contenders this year. Comprised of proven match-winners, England's 15-man squad looks solid on paper and their recent form is exactly why they've been tipped as one of the top contenders at the ICC spectacle this year. With star players like Joe Root, Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow and Jos Buttler bolstering their batting and the likes of Chris Woakes, Tom Curran, Liam Plunkett, Mark Wood and David Willey aiding the bowling department, England surely have a real chance of thriving at home. But, for the coveted World Cup trophy to be won at home, England will need their players to step up and make an impression in the tournament. Going into the World Cup, here are five key players who can help England establish world domination this year: Joe Root © Reuters For someone who was tipped as a future England captain at the age of 23, Joe Root has not only lived up to the billing, but has also successfully managed to rally his troops in the build-up to the World Cup at home. Rated amongst the top batsmen in the world, Root, on his day, is more than capable of running away with the game. At this year's World Cup, Root will surely be a key player, providing the much-needed stability to their batting line-up. If playing at home doesn't strengthen his case, the fact that Root has slammed 3,498 runs at an average of 58.30 in ODIs (since the 2015 World Cup) arguably makes him a vital cog in England's title aspirations this year. Eoin Morgan © Reuters One of the batting mainstays for England over the years, Eoin Morgan will once again be seen stabilising the innings for his side while plying his trade in the middle-order. The left-handed batsman has all the experience he needs to make this event his own and playing in familiar conditions further helps his cause. Predictions apart, according to the numbers, believe it or not, Morgan is placed fourth in the list of leading run-scorers in ODIs since the 2015 World Cup. The left-hander has scored 3,039 runs at an average of 46.75 - something that will surely bolster England's charge at the World Cup this year. Jos Buttler © Reuters A global T20 superstar, Jos Buttler needs no introduction to superlative batting. Owing to his wide array of strokeplay, the right-handed batsman has been a key contributor to England's cause in limited-overs cricket. Depending on the ever-changing match situations, the 28-year-old is more than capable of handling pressure and batting at any position to help his team. His batting might allows him to bat at the top and get his team off to a flyer, and, if need be, he can also bat down the order and unleash hell on the opposition bowlers to accelerate the innings in death overs. If that's not enough, Buttler's recent form further makes him a nightmare for the opposition. Coming off a brilliant run in the IPL this year, Buttler's skills were in full display during his unbeaten 110-run knock against Pakistan earlier this month. Jofra Archer © Reuters A towering Barbadian, similar to his fellow countryman Chris Jordan, Jofra Archer has been nothing short of being sensational in recent times. After much hue and cry, needless to mention careful deliberation by the selectors, the aggressive pacer was a late addition to England's 15-man squad for the World Cup. While the England team management and selectors took their own time to decide, Archer's inclusion comes as no surprise for the fans. After proving his mettle in the IPL, the 24-year-old also looked impressive against Pakistan in the ODI series earlier this month. The left-arm seamer's blistering speed and cunning variations saw him bagging five wickets including his personal best bowling spell of 1-6 in the recently-concluded series. Jonny Bairstow © Reuters Last, but definitely not the least. Jonny Bairstow has been one of the most consistent and impressive performers with the willow in recent times. His rediscovered form was key to Sunrisers Hyderabad's good show in the IPL earlier this year. The right-handed batsman scored 445 runs in just 10 games for Hyderabad before cutting short his IPL stint to join England's training camp for the World Cup. Expected to open the innings alongside Jason Roy, Bairstow will be expected to get England to a flying start in the World Cup. Batting in familiar conditions, with field restrictions early on, the 29-year-old can prove to be the difference for England. But, apart from smashing opposition bowlers all around the park, Bairstow is also capable of converting his starts into big individual scores - something that will surely come in handy for his team at the World Cup.
  20. The Indian cricket team is surely one of the leading contenders for the ICC World Cup 2019 with a great roster, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had a tough time limiting to a 15-man squad just because of the kind of talent that was available at their disposal. While the selectors had to drop great players like Rishabh Pant and Ambati Rayudu, who, any other team would give anything to have, here's a list of five key players who would lead to the success of the Men in Blue this World Cup: 1. Virat Kohli © Reuters Even if Virat Kohli was not the leader of the squad, he would have been India's most valuable asset. After having the greatest year cricket in 2018, the batsman in Kohli continues to stay atop ICC World rankings in Test and ODI formats of the game. Having featured in 227 ODIs in the Indian kit, the skipper has already scored 10,843 runs and has a batting average of 54 in England, where the World Cup will take place. 2019 has been kind to the cricketer who notched 3 centuries in 11 matches this year. 2. MS Dhoni © Reuters Considered as the incognito captain of the team, Dhoni's skills as a middle-order batsman and still, a top-notch wicket-keeper give Team India the edge they need to become the world champs. Having played under pressure in and World Cup final and winning the trophy with a bang only adds to his already impressive resume. In 341 ODI matches throughout his career, Dhoni has scored 10,500 runs till date. Despite a nagging back injury, Dhoni took his IPL franchise Chennai Super Kings to the final while scoring 314 runs in 10 matches. In 2019, Dhoni has played 8 innings in which he has put up a total of 327 runs. 3. Jasprit Bumrah © Reuters The bowling attack of Team India will be spearheaded by 25-year-old Jasprit Bumrah who has been in tremendous form for the whole of 2018 and 2019 which not only helped his side restrict their opponents to small totals but also provided the pacer with the top rank in ICC World rankings in ODIs. Bumrah has played in 49 ODI games in his professional cricketing career and collated 85 wickets, 28 of which came in 2018 alone, with an impressive economy rate of 4.51. 4. Hardik Pandya © Reuters Hardik Pandya is a classic example of hard work paying off. Ever since making his ODI debut against New Zealand in 2016, he has quickly become an integral part of the national cricket squad as a talented all-rounder and is extremely useful as a death over bowler and a middle order batsman. In 45 one-dayers played by the all-rounder in the Bleed Blue jersey, Pandya has scored 731 runs with a scary strike rate of 116.59 while also scalping 44 wickets at a 5.54 rate of economy. 5. Kuldeep Yadav © Reuters Kuldeep Yadav just had an abysmal season of the Indian Premier League with Kolkata Knight Riders and was benched midway through the month and a half long event for the same. Nonetheless, the Chinaman has enough tricks up his sleeves to stun opponents with the ball and might as well be that x-factor of the team. In 44 ODIs, Yadav has already dismissed 87 batsmen off the crease at the economy rate of 4.94, which is extraordinary for a spinner. In 2019, while the lefty has been a little more expensive than his career average, he has taken 20 wickets ahead of the World Cup.
  21. Having won two successive World Cups in 1975 and 1979, West Indies almost came close to securing their third, only to lose the final to India in 1983. Since that fateful day, the Windies have managed to enter the playoff stage only on three occasions - a semifinal entry in 1996 and a last-eight place in 2011 and 2015. Needless to mention, their ODI record, over the last five years, has been abysmal by any standards. But, despite their troubles in recent past, their 15-man squad is not the one to be underestimated. The power-packed entertainers like Chris Gayle and Andre Russell are more than capable of winning the matches for their side single-handedly. The two super stars will also have adequate backing from swashbuckling Shimron Hetmyer, Evin Lewis, Shai Hope and Darren Bravo. © Reuters The Windies also have the luxurious services of Jason Holder, Ashley Nurse and Carlos Brathwaite at their disposal. These men will not only provide depth to their batting, but are more than capable of giving the ball a fair tonk. The pace attack, that has been their weapon of mass destruction in the early years, looks intimidating and dangerous with the availability of Shannon Gabriel, Oshane Thomas, Kemar Roach and Sheldon Cottrell. On paper at least, the Windies do look like a side that can not only cause problems to the tournament favourites, but can also potentially reach the final. But, for that to happen, the following individuals must step up to the task: Chris Gayle © Reuters One of the most feared and a destructive opening batsman, Chris Gayle has undoubtedly lived up to his reputation as the 'Universe Boss'. The Jamaican marauder has been a force to reckon with in the limited-overs format, clearing the fence and tormenting the opposition bowlers at will. He might have struggled with his running between the wickets, but who cares about taking singles when you can send almost every ball in the stratosphere. A vital cog in the batting line-up for the Windies, the 39-year-old powerhouse has been in ominous form since his return to the ODI set-up after seven months in February this year. In his last five ODI innings, the left-hander has scored 424 runs including two hundreds and as many fifties. And, the fact that the Jamaican marauder is set to retire from ODIs after the World Cup further makes him a threat for the opposition. Andre Russell © Reuters While Gayle has reigned supreme at the top, Andre Russell has carved his own niche to become a key member in West Indies' middle-order. A sweet timer of the ball with enough experience to mould his innings, the 31-year-old's versatility to literally bat anywhere in the middle-order gives his team that extra cushion they'll need in crunch situations. But, that's not the only thing Russell is good at. Sprinting in to deliver his medium-paced deliveries, the right-arm bowler can also be more than handy with the ball. His cunning variations and testing lengths can give the Windies vital breakthroughs in dire situations. For the Windies to launch a stern title charge this year, Russell must carry on his fine form from the IPL to England & Wales. Shimron Hetmyer © Reuters One of the youngest members in the squad, Shimron Hetmyer might lack experience going into the World Cup, but make no mistake, this young gun is more than capable of running away with the game single-handedly. His brutal hitting abilities saw him rapidly gain a reputation as one of most destructive batsmen in recent times. Though the Windies batting line-up has numerous hard-hitting batsmen aiding their cause, but the presence of Hetmyer further bolsters what appears to be a solid middle-order. The youngster has already proven how devastating he can be against the quicks, but negating spin has proved to be a challenge for him in the recent past. With the Windies gunning for the title this year, Hetmyer will surely be expected to come to the party. Jason Holder © Reuters Tasked with the responsibility of leading the side at the age of just 23, Jason Holder might have taken his time, but he has surely emerged as the potent leader of the Windies brigade. A reliable lower middle-order batsman and a steady medium-pace bowler, Holder is also level-headed and mature - something that makes him a befitting captain. In this year's World Cup, Holder will not only be expected to deliver with ball (and bat, if required), but his decision-making abilities on the field and finding the right team balance will have on mark if the Windies intend to give their opponents a run for their money. Carlos Brathwaite © Reuters For someone who wrote himself in the history books by smashing Ben Stokes for four successive sixes to seal the World T20 title in 2016, Carlos Brathwaite has been relatively quiet in the recent years. But, the big Windies all-rounder remains key to his team's success in this year's World Cup. Owing to his explosive batting skills, Brathwaite is more than capable of providing the final flourish to West Indies in the death overs. His hitting abilities can help his team get that extra leeway over their opponents, while his innings can make all the difference in a crunch match. When it comes to bowling, Brathwaite might not be the West Indies' go-to wicket-taking option, but his medium-paced deliveries surely provide them an extra bowling option.
  22. The Indian cricket team, led by Virat Kohli left for England in pursuit of their third World Cup title a couple of days ago from the Mumbai International Airport. With a balanced blend of a talented batting order and a fierce bowling attack, the Men in Blue are going into the ICC World Cup 2019 as one of the favourites. The 25-year-old Hardik Pandya comes in as an important part of the roster with his abilities to bowl in the death overs and bat in the middle to lower order for Team India, a segment of the game, they usually suffer in. Ever since making his ODI debut against New Zealand in October 2016, Pandya has quickly climbed the success ladder with the national cricket squad and has seen successful in all formats of the game. So when Pandya shared this picture of his from 2011, it made us realise that time flies and how: From cheering and celebrating India's World Cup triumph in 2011 to representing #TeamIndia in World Cup 2019, it has been a dream come true ðð®ð³ #cwc19 pic.twitter.com/6fDyB29y5r — hardik pandya (@hardikpandya7) May 24, 2019 “From cheering and celebrating India's World Cup triumph in 2011 to representing #TeamIndia in World Cup 2019, it has been a dream come true #cwc19,” tweeted the Indian all-rounder. Honestly, it took us a moment to figure out who amongst the lot Hardik Pandya really was. Eight years ago, the Surat-born would have been 17 years old, cheering with his friends as the MS Dhoni-led Team India lifted that trophy at Wankhede Stadium, the home stadium to the winning side and to the aspiring cricketer. Twitter reacted in disbelief when they saw the younger avatar of Pandya and wished him and the rest of the Indian cricket team good luck for their 2019 World Cup journey: Its all due to your hardwork and struggle ! Success isn't an overnight achievement, it's a result of all the hard work , late nights , early morning and practice sessions , broken hands and injured legs ! Very well deserved. Can't wait for you to be the best. All the very best.â¤ï¸ — Mahima Parmar ð»ð» (@sarcasticmaniac) May 24, 2019 All the best, Pandya!!! Bring that trophy back to Indiaðð — Mohammed Ibrahim Farooqui (@iBM1105) May 24, 2019 I see u in this World Cup As next generation Kapil Dev ur going to get us that cup — Vinð³ðª (@vinodnair68) May 24, 2019 Best 8 yr challenge. — arun (@balu9932) May 24, 2019 Comeback with glory and cupððð — Suganthibala (@Suganthibala4) May 24, 2019 Hardik broo play well and keep rocking. World Cup and other records will come to our own way..... So leave all unwanted tensions and pressure... Just play the cricket — ANAND NAIR (@ANANDNA88924229) May 24, 2019 Pandya has played in a total of 45 ODIs in his career during which he has made 731 runs with a superb strike rate of 116.59. 2019 began roughly for the young cricketer due to a recurring lower back injury and a controversial episode of a talk show due to which he was banned from playing the sport for a month. As soon as Pandya returned to the field, he skills and talent took him to the top of his career and an extremely successful season of the Indian Premier League which ended with his team, Mumbai Indians winning their record fourth title, brought back the lost confidence. Here's hoping that Hardik Pandya and the Men in Blue bring home the trophy.
  23. The ICC World Cup 2019 begins in less than a week and fans from all over the world have begun to touch base on the English soil to watch some of their favourite cricketers take on each other in the quest for the greatest honour in the world of the sport, the World Cup trophy, which currently rests with Aaron Finch's Team Australia. In what has come to become more of a ritual than a rivalry between the neighbouring cricketing giants in India and Pakistan, the sledging between the fans from either countries has already begun. Chants of “Mauka Mauka” for example are on the rise yet again. Eagerly awaiting #MaukaMauka series during the #ICCWorldCup2019 @StarSportsIndia @cricketworldcup — Aditya Dharmadhikari (@AddyDharma) May 23, 2019 Having said that, there also exists a feeling of mutual respect and love amongst the people from both the countries for the players who albeit wear different jerseys, are considered the best in the business due to their superhuman efforts in the field through the years. One such fan from Pakistan, namely Shehzad Ul-Hassan, decided to show his affection for the former Indian skipper and veteran wicketkeeper-batsman Mahendra Singh Dhoni by engraving the athlete's name on a green Pakistani jersey. Thankyou @TPLUS for making my day... ðð@msdhoni pic.twitter.com/nsscagDLWw — Shehzad-Ul-Hassan (@shehzad441) May 23, 2019 Such gestures only suggest that regardless of whatever turmoils the two nations share on the political front, there is good in the common people like you and I, who rise above hate to appreciate greatness in the game that we love, regardless of the colours that the athletes wear on their uniform. As soon as Ul-Hassan uploaded this image online, MS Dhoni fans from both the countries took to Twitter to show their appreciation towards his stance: COUNTRY CHANGES BUT THE LOVE OF THALA DOESN'T CHANGE I LOVE YOU SO MUCH THALA — MOHAMMED IBRAHIM (@MOHAMME92244625) May 24, 2019 Cricket Has been beyond boundaries !!! MSD & Virat have a Huge Fans base in Pakistan !!! Great Sportsmans to grace the game of cricket !!! Peace N love always first !!! — à¤à¤¤à¤¿à¤« Aatif عاط٠(@meaatee) May 24, 2019 Countries knew no boundaries to love #MSD! #ForeverMSDian — B.Sharon (@BSharan1) May 24, 2019 MSD is a very unique person who rose up the ranks. That's the reason why we from CSK shower him so much of love to this cricketing living legend. Hats off to you bro for sporting dhoni jersey. — C R SHANKAR (@CRSHANKAR3) May 25, 2019 Bhai un logo kya pta hum pakistani Ms dhoni ko kitne chahte hain. #LovesFromPakistan ðµð° — Msd/Arijit/Muntashirâ (@itx_thakursahab) May 24, 2019 Although, the Men in Blue have had the upper hand against Team Pakistan when it comes to World Cup duels, as they have one every single game, the level of excitement throughout the stadium never seems to dim even a little whenever these titans clash. India and Pakistan are scheduled to lock horns on 16th June 2019.
  24. Ever since making their ICC World Cup debut in 1992, South Africa have struggled to justify their talent. The perennial underachievers of cricket, the Proteas have reached the semifinals on four occasions but just couldn't hold their nerve to go all the way. But, as their hunt for an elusive maiden title goes on, the current crop of players and the new-look South African squad offer great promise going into this year's World Cup. Led by Faf du Plessis, South Africa's 15-man squad is a healthy composition of youth and experience. From batting to bowling, the Proteas have a lot of options to choose from but the key will be to find the right team balance to launch a strong title charge in England & Wales. © Reuters The availability of Quinton de Kock, Hashim Amla, Aiden Markram, Du Plessis, David Miller, JP Duminy and Rassie van der Dussen in their squad allows the Proteas to forge a strong batting line-up. On the other hand, the likes of Dale Steyn, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, Imran Tahir and Tabraiz Shamsi should make up for a competitive bowling attack. When it comes to all-rounders, the expertise of Andile Phehlukwayo and Chris Morris will also come in handy for South Africa. On paper, the Proteas look solid but a lot will depend on their key players if the Du Plessis brigade aims to break the duck this year. Quinton de Kock © Reuters Arguably one of the most destructive openers in the world, Quinton de Kock needs no introduction to hitting the ball hard and long. The left-handed batsman has made the opening slot his own on the back of consistent performances for South Africa over the years. Going into the World Cup, he will surely be South Africa's first-choice for the opening slot, while Hashim Amla and Aiden Markram will be seen fighting to be his partner. Going by his form, De Kock is coming off a successful IPL campaign with Mumbai Indians (MI) who romped to their fourth title earlier this year. De Kock was key to their success while batting at the top and the Proteas will hope he carries his fine form into the World Cup. Given his batting might, De Kock will be bestowed with the responsibility of getting his team to a flying start and then build on his innings to propel South Africa to a big total (or chase down a target). Faf du Plessis © Reuters One of the most experienced candidates in the squad, Faf du Plessis will be seen leading the charge for South Africa in the World Cup. The 34-year-old has proved his credentials as a potent leader with favourable results for his side over the years. And, in England & Wales, the Pretoria-born cricketer will once again be expected to lead from the front to aid his team's cause. Apart from rallying his troops and making decisive calls on the field, Du Plessis has another key role in the South African side which is chasing the elusive title this year. Du Plessis' experience and craftsmanship with the bat will see him stabilising the middle-order. And, in case of a batting collapse, Du Plessis can surely come in handy to hold fort at one end. Chris Morris © Reuters Chris Morris might have been included in the South African squad as a last-minute replacement for injured Anrich Nortje, but that shouldn't overshadow his capabilities as a proven all-rounder. The 32-year-old possesses the pace and death-bowling skills that adds teeth to the Proteas' bowling attack, while his explosive batting provides the much-needed depth to their batting. Going into the World Cup, Morris will be seen providing adequate support to the likes of Rabada, Steyn and Ngidi in the middle overs. And, his role as a deadly finisher should also help the Proteas to accelerate the innings in the death overs. Kagiso Rabada © Reuters In recent years, no other fast bowler has managed to capture the imagination of fans the way Kagiso Rabada has. At the age of 23, Rabada has already established himself as one of the most consistent fast bowlers in the world. Tipped to be a South African great, Rabada has topped the ICC's bowler rankings in both Tests and ODIs, making him South Africa's key figures at this year's World Cup. Clocking speeds of 150kmph with a languid action, Rabada's ability to swing the ball both ways and delivering yorkers with pinpoint accuracy makes him Du Plessis' go-to man to get a breakthrough in dire situations. If that's not enough, Rabada's scintillating form (25 wickets in 12 IPL matches this year) further makes him a deadly weapon for the Proteas. Imran Tahir © Reuters Aged 40, Pakistan-born South African spinner Imran Tahir might seem old, but the age-factor takes a backseat every time you throw a ball at him. Known for his biggest weapon - the googly, Tahir has earned a reputation for being able to dictate the middle-periods of games while providing vital breakthroughs to his side. And, over the years, Tahir has proved to be a valuable weapon for the Proteas. A spinner whose celebratory run lasts longer than most fast-bowler's run-ups, Tahir has undeniably established himself as one of the best limited-overs leg-spinners of his time. Playing his last ODI tournament, Tahir carries his brilliant form from the IPL to the World Cup. Taking 26 wickets (most in IPL this season) and almost propelling Chennai Super Kings (CSK) to the title, Tahir could very well turn out to be the deciding factor for South Africa in the World Cup.
  25. Despite participating in the tournament since its advent in 1975, New Zealand are yet to lift the coveted trophy. But, under the leadership of Brendon McCullum, the Kiwis came mighty close to clinching the World Cup title in 2015, but a seven-wicket loss at the hands of Australia left them heartbroken. Irrespective of their previous failings, Kane Williamson-led New Zealand has been in good form and are still one of the top contenders for the World Cup title this year. Their 15-man squad is comprised of proven match-winners who are more than capable of powering them to the all-important final of the ICC spectacle. In Tim Southee and Trent Boult, the Kiwis have a deadly seam-bowling combination that is potent enough to trouble opposition batsmen on the seaming surfaces of England & Wales. The spin-bowling department is bolstered with the presence of Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodhi - a duo that has proved its mettle in the past. © Reuters When it comes to the batting line-up, Martin Guptill is an obvious choice for the opening slot, while the likes of Colin Munro and Tom Latham could be seen fighting for the other spot at the top. Captain Williamson is a preferred option at No. 3 and the availability of experienced Ross Taylor is likely to bring stability to their middle-order. The Kiwis have also included three all-rounders - Colin de Grandhomme, Jimmy Neesham and Munro - whose presence doesn't just bolster their batting, but also add teeth to the bowling department. In the last edition, Guptill was the leading run-getter for the Kiwis with 547 runs, including two hundreds and a fifty, in nine matches. On the other hand, Boult was their leading wicket-taker with 22 scalps and an impressive economy of under 5 in nine matches. Going into the mega event, Williamson will need to rally his troops and ensure they click as a unit when they begin their campaign against Sri Lanka on 1st June at the Sophia Gardens in Cardiff. Squad: Kane Williamson (c), Tom Blundell (wk), Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham (wk), Colin Munro, Jimmy Neesham, Henry Nicholls, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee and Ross Taylor.
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