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ZODIAC

Found 49 results

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Sony's upcoming next-generation console is not launching anytime soon. However, we already know a lot about it already, with more information pouring in every day. On the same lines, Sony's Vice President John Kodera has now confirmed that the new PlayStation 5, when it launches, will support backwards compatibility allowing you to play with PS4 players. According to Kodera, cross-generational play is very important to the company. He also noted that it's extremely important to keep the PlayStation community happy as it starts to migrate from PS4 to PS5. He didn't share a lot of details, but we're just happy to hear about the backwards compatibility support. It's great news for those who just bought a PS4 and were worried if Sony would just pull the plug. © Pexels Speaking of pulling the plug, it's also worth mentioning that Sony is also committed to supporting the PS4 for at least the next three years. Well, that makes a lot of sense considering the fact that there are millions of PS4 users in the world, and not all of them will be upgrading to the new console. It also goes to show how Sony isn't expecting a huge player to migrate to the new console in the first place. That being said, we already know enough about the upcoming console to tell you that it would be worth the upgrade. The next-generation PlayStation console is said to bring new things like a faster SSD, Ray-tracing support and more. The faster SSD, in particular, is what's said to make the most difference in terms of loading times, render times, etc. Obviously, there's still a lot that we don't necessarily know about Sony's next-generation console, but we do know that we have exciting times ahead. The new PlayStation 5 will definitely be worth the wait.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Ever since they made their World Cup debut in 1999, Bangladesh have managed to stick around the quadrennial event. Their best finish at a World Cup, however, came in the 2015 edition, during which they reached the quarterfinals whilst also defeating England once in the group stages. Their journey only came to an end, once they locked horns against neighbouring rivals, India in the quarterfinals. Heading into the ICC spectacle, the Tigers seem to be a well-balanced team and their fierce bowling attack might be their strong point. Here are the five key players of the Bangladeshi team the world needs to look out for: 1. Mashrafe Mortaza © Reuters Captain Mashrafe Mortaza has to be the most valuable cricketer in the Bangladeshi lineup. The amount of experience he has gathered in the past 18 years ever since he made his debut against Zimbabwe in 2001, will come to good use here. It is under his leadership that the talent-laden yet fragile team has done whatever good that they have in international cricket. The right-arm pacer has been a part of 209 ODI matches and has taken 265 wickets with a moderate economy of 4.82. While the fast bowler's numbers have become worse with time and he missed out on a couple of matches thanks to multiple knee injuries, his presence in the roster has to do a lot with his ability to guide the younger players. 2. Shakib Al Hasan © Reuters The ODI tri-series between Bangladesh, Ireland and the West Indies not only saw the team make a comeback to their form after being dominated by New Zealand in February but also saw the rise of Shakib Al Hasan to claim the top spot in the ICC ODI rankings for all-rounders. Having played in 198 ODIs throughout his career, Hasan has scored 5717 runs and has taken 249 wickets too. In 2019 so far, he has played three ODIs, hit 140 runs and has taken two wickets. 3. Rubel Hossain © Reuters The 29-year-old pacer is known for his ability to limit the batsmen from putting up big numbers, especially during batting power plays and death overs. The presence of Hossain in the team gives Bangladesh the high pace that they otherwise lack. Getting alongside Mustafizur Rahman, he can produce some great bowling spells late in the game. Ever since he debuted for his team as a teenager, a decade ago, Rubel has played in 97 ODI games and picked up 123 wickets in the process and is currently ranked at the 63rd spot in ICC Rankings for ODI bowlers. 4. Mahmudullah Riyad © Reuters After Shakib Al Hasan, Mahmudullah Riyad is expected to do wonders both as a batsman and with the ball. Due to the lack of good hitters in the sixth and the seventh spot in the Bangladeshi batting order, Riyad might feel a certain amount of pressure while heading towards the crease if the batsmen ahead of him fail to provide. He has played 175 ODIs till date in which he has made 3757 runs while also taking 76 wickets. IN 2019, Mahmudullah has only participated in six games, during which he has made 120 runs and scalped just one wicket. 5. Tamim Iqbal © Reuters Yet another veteran with World Cup experience in his pocket. After making his debut in 2007, Iqbal was called for the World Cup 2007 and then made a return for the 2015 World Cup. As a vital cog of the Tigers' batting order, Iqbal has spent more than a decade's worth of time on the crease. In 193 ODI games, Iqbal has scored a staggering 6636 runs and is having a great 2019 season during which he has scored 186 runs in just seven innings which includes two half-tons and an 80-run-performance.
  8. Ever since winning the 2015 World Cup, the Australian cricket team has found themselves amidst controversies, bad reputation and spiralling form. The suspension of two of their finest cricketers in Steve Smith and David Warner in the infamous sandpaper gate in South Africa last year, the resignation of Darren Lehmann after the news of a toxic environment in the dressing room broke out and Cricket Australia being reprimanded for forcing the athletes to “win at all costs”, are only some of the problems that shook the core of cricket Down Under in the past year or so. Nonetheless, Australia looked like their old self during their tour to India when after losing two ODIs, they made an unbelievable comeback to win the next three and the series too, and they achieved this feat without Warner and Smith. Now that they are here, they might just be able to give major teams like England and India a run for their money if they want to take away the title from the reigning champions. Here's a list of five Australian key players this World Cup: 1. David Warner © Reuters Let's not kid ourselves here. Despite being suspended for a year, David Warner is probably the best batsman on the Australian roster right now and has enough skills to single-handedly take Australia to a respectable finish this World Cup. Making appearances in 106 ODIs for his country, Warner has scored a total of 4343 runs. Being one of five players with prior World Cup experience, Warner starting the batting order with skipper Aaron Finch will help the team be better. 2. Aaron Finch © Reuters Being the captain of the reigning championship team brings added pressure on Aaron Finch's shoulders. However, keeping in mind his new found form in the ODI format against Pakistan surely gives him a sense of confidence in his leadership. Although Finch had a great opening partner in Usman Khawaja, Warner certainly is an upgrade and will allow Finch to settle in and play in a more composed manner. In his career, the skipper has played in 109 ODIs and scored 4052 runs and has had a great year till now, putting up 634 runs in 13 ODIs. 3. Pat Cummins © Reuters With Mitch Starc and Josh Hazlewood sitting out of the competition due to injuries, Pat Cummins will be leading the bowling attack with the new ball with which he has been absolutely deadly, bringing in variations in his speed, swing and seam. Having played in just six ODIs, Cummins' bowling performance has been exceptional as he has bagged 17 wickets while giving away a moderate 4.39 runs per over. His middle to lower order batting prowess also adds to the Australian batting muscle and could be useful if his side finds itself in wicket-trouble. 4. Glenn Maxwell © Reuters Be it T20s or ODIs, when the captain of the fielding side sees Glenn Maxwell walk up to the pitch and practice his big shots in the air, he ought to send a couple of his boys to the boundary. Such is the terror of this 30-year-old athlete. In the bowling department, Maxwell is ready to take the charge for the spinners alongside Adam Zampa. His strike rate during the previous World Cup was a scary 182 and has scored 2,700 in 100 matches that he has been a part of throughout his career. In 2019, Maxwell has scored 458 runs in 12 ODI matches. 5. Mitchell Starc © Reuters One of the scariest bowlers of the cricketing world, Mitchell Starc is bound to leave a mark in England and Wales this World Cup. Even though he played his previous ODI in November 2018, his ability to deliver the yorker along with enough skills to hold on to the crease as a lower-order batsman make him a perfect fit for the Australians. Starc has played 75 ODIs and picked 145 scalps including five mind-boggling 5-wicket hauls. He also happens to be the only Australian bowler to make the squad for both 2015 and 2019.
  9. Making their second appearance at the ICC World Cup this May, the Afghanistan cricket team is full of surprises with young talents taking the competition to another level altogether. Even though the Afghanistan Cricket Board shockingly sacked the experienced captain, Asghar Afghan less than a month before the tournament began, they still have a lot of talent in the squad. Here is a list of the five key players of the team who can make a difference during their World Cup journey: Mohammad Shahzad © Reuters The righty wicketkeeper-batsman, Mohammad Shahzad is an explosive batsman who can change the momentum of the game in a hurry. Having made his ODI debut a decade ago in a game against the Netherlands, Shahzad has scored a total of five centuries and 13 half-centuries. Opening the batting order to Afghanistan, a lot will be riding on Shahzad's shoulders with the hopes of providing his side with a flying start, especially under pressure against big teams like India and England. Rashid Khan © Facebook/Rashid Khan One of the top all-rounders of international cricket, Rashid Khan made a staggering start to his ODI career against Zimbabwe in 2015 and has never looked back since. Till date, Khan has played 57 ODIs and picked 123 wickets in his relatively young journey in international cricket with an amazing economy rate of just 3.90 runs per over. Mohammad Nabi © Reuters The most experienced player on the Afghan roster in ODI cricket, Nabi has participated in 111 matches and has scored a total of 2565 runs with the career best individual score of 116 runs. Coming in to bat in the middle of the batting order Nabi is accustomed to playing under pressure and leading his side to victory. In the bowling department, Nabi has bagged 118 scalps with a good economy rate of 4.25 runs per over. Alongside Rashid Khan, Nabi will be leading the Afghanistan bowling attack as well as act as a last resort on the crease, in case things go south for the team. Gulbadin Naib © Reuters Being promoted to the role of the captain of the Afghan side, Gulbadin Naib was put under the microscope. The selectors clearly feel that Naib's medium-fast bowling would fit perfectly with the conditions of the English pitches. Naib is also believed to be comfortable batting on any position across the order which is an added benefit of having him as the decision maker of the squad. Ever since his debut in 2011, Naib has scored 807 runs off 52 matches with a personal best of 82*. As far as his bowling is concerned, the skipper has 40 wickets under his name. Hazratullah Zazai © Twitter/Hazratullah Zazai Making his World Cup debut, the 21-year-old batsman, Hazratullah Zazai is famous for hitting big shots and has come to be known as “the Afghan Chris Gayle”. His the six one-dayers that he has played, Zazai has scored 155 runs with the career best of 67 and a strike rate of 106.89. Opening the Afghan innings alongside Mohammad Shahzad, Zazai may turn out to be that X factor that allows the team to create upsets by defeating at least a couple of top-tier teams.
  10. Well, we're pretty sure you're sick of all the unfortunate news surrounding PUBG Mobile during the course of the last few months. From people getting arrested to some of them even losing their lives, we've literally seen it all. As it turns out, even Tencent Games (developer of PUBG Mobile) is tired of all that bad press and has introduced a new feature to curb gaming addiction. Yes, the developers have introduced a new feature called 'Gameplay Management' that seeks to restrict how much young users are allowed to play the game. © PUBG With this new feature in place, the players who mark themselves as under 18 will receive an advisory when they start the game saying “those under 18 should avoid over-engaging”. In addition to that, the game will also send pop-up alerts at intervals telling them to put down their phones and take a break. Much needed, isn't it? In an official statement, Tencent Games manager Vincent Wang said, “Our team wants to ensure our community is equipped to make informed choices when it comes to 'PUBG Mobile. It's our proactive step in ensuring that hundreds of millions of players worldwide can continue to enjoy 'PUBG Mobile' in a sustainable manner." This new 'Gameplay Management' feature has already been deployed in countries like Indonesia, India, Nepal, the UAE, Kuwait, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt. We hope it arrives in other countries soon too. © PUBG We aren't seeing this feature for the first time, BTW. The Chinese version of PUBG Mobile already had a similar feature that restricted young players to spend too much time in the game. In fact, it's said that the Chinese government had even provided Tencent with limited access to the national citizen database so they can verify a particular person's age. Anyway, we really hope this new feature proves to be useful and the young players manage to take some time off the game.
  11. Following a heavy dosage of Twenty20 (T20) action in the recently-concluded Indian Premier League (IPL), the cricketing action now moves on to the One-Day Internationals (ODIs) in arguably the biggest spectacle - ICC World Cup - the sport has seen. Slated to begin from 30th May, the 12th edition of the ICC spectacle promises to be an exciting affair with the participating nations vying for cricket's biggest honour. One of the highly-anticipated sporting events in the world, the quadrennial cricket event garners public interest and captures the imagination of enthusiasts like no other. Four years after the first-ever ODI match was played, the organisers blessed the cricket fans with the maiden World Cup that was held in England in 1975. Comprised of eight teams - Australia, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan and West Indies (the six Test nations at the time), the first World Cup was won by the Windies who got the better of the Aussies in the final at Lord's. It was for the very first time the fans got a taste of exciting competition in cricket. And, since then, there has been no turning back for this massive event. © Reuters Unlike the 2015 tournament where 14 teams were seen participating via two groups, this year will witness only 10 teams who'll compete in a single group. As per this year's format, each team will be seen playing with the other nine sides once, and the top four at the end of the group stage will progress to the semifinals. Having dominated the tournament with a record five title wins, Australia will be eager to defend their crown when they begin their campaign this year. However, they'll have to fend off strong title contenders including the likes of India, hosts England and New Zealand. After 10 warm-up games, the coveted tournament will kickstart with England taking on South Africa at Kennington Oval in London. A total of 45 games will be played before the tournament ascertains its semifinalists, who'll square off in a bid to secure their berth for the all-important final on 14th July. Schedule Date Match Venue Time 30-May England vs South Africa Kennington Oval, London 3:00 PM 31-May Windies vs Pakistan Trent Bridge, Nottingham 3:00 PM 1-Jun New Zealand vs Sri Lanka Sophia Gardens, Cardiff 3:00 PM 1-Jun Afghanistan vs Australia County Ground, Bristol 6:00 PM 2-Jun South Africa vs Bangladesh Kennington Oval, London 3:00 PM 3-Jun England vs Pakistan Trent Bridge, Nottingham 3:00 PM 4-Jun Afghanistan vs Sri Lanka Sophia Gardens, Cardiff 3:00 PM 5-Jun South Africa vs India The Rose Bowl, Southampton 3:00 PM 5-Jun Bangladesh vs New Zealand Kennington Oval, London 6:00 PM 6-Jun Australia vs Windies Trent Bridge, Nottingham 3:00 PM 7-Jun Pakistan vs Sri Lanka County Ground, Bristol 3:00 PM 8-Jun England vs Bangladesh Sophia Gardens, Cardiff 3:00 PM 8-Jun Afghanistan vs New Zealand The Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton 6:00 PM 9-Jun India vs Australia Kennington Oval, London 3:00 PM 10-Jun South Africa vs Windies The Rose Bowl, Southampton 3:00 PM 11-Jun Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka County Ground, Bristol 3:00 PM 12-Jun Australia vs Pakistan The Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton 3:00 PM 13-Jun India vs New Zealand Trent Bridge, Nottingham 3:00 PM 14-Jun England vs Windies The Rose Bowl, Southampton 3:00 PM 15-Jun Sri Lanka vs Australia Kennington Oval, London 3:00 PM 15-Jun South Africa vs Afghanistan Sophia Gardens, Cardiff 6:00 PM 16-Jun India vs Pakistan Old Trafford, Manchester 3:00 PM 17-Jun Windies vs Bangladesh The Cooper Associates County Ground, Taunton 3:00 PM 18-Jun England vs Afghanistan Old Trafford, Manchester 3:00 PM 19-Jun New Zealand vs South Africa Edgbaston, Birmingham 3:00 PM 20-Jun Australia vs Bangladesh Trent Bridge, Nottingham 3:00 PM 21-Jun England vs Sri Lanka Headingley, Leeds 3:00 PM 22-Jun India vs Afghanistan The Rose Bowl, Southampton 3:00 PM 22-Jun Windies vs New Zealand Old Trafford, Manchester 6:00 PM 23-Jun Pakistan vs South Africa Lord's, London 3:00 PM 24-Jun Bangladesh vs Afghanistan The Rose Bowl, Southampton 3:00 PM 25-Jun England vs Australia Lord's, London 3:00 PM 26-Jun New Zealand vs Pakistan Edgbaston, Birmingham 3:00 PM 27-Jun Windies vs India Old Trafford, Manchester 3:00 PM 28-Jun Sri Lanka vs South Africa Riverside Ground, Chester-le-Street 3:00 PM 29-Jun Pakistan vs Afghanistan Headingley, Leeds 3:00 PM 29-Jun New Zealand vs Australia Lord's, London 6:00 PM 30-Jun England vs India Edgbaston, Birmingham 3:00 PM 1-Jul Sri Lanka vs Windies Riverside Ground, Chester-le-Street 3:00 PM 2-Jul Bangladesh vs India Edgbaston, Birmingham 3:00 PM 3-Jul England vs New Zealand Riverside Ground, Chester-le-Street 3:00 PM 4-Jul Afghanistan vs Windies Headingley, Leeds 3:00 PM 5-Jul Pakistan vs Bangladesh Lord's, London 3:00 PM 6-Jul Sri Lanka vs India Headingley, Leeds 3:00 PM 6-Jul Australia vs South Africa Old Trafford, Manchester 6:00 PM 9-Jul TBC vs TBC, 1st Semi-Final (1 v 4) Old Trafford, Manchester 3:00 PM 11-Jul TBC vs TBC, 2nd Semi-Final (2 v 3) Edgbaston, Birmingham 3:00 PM 14-Jul TBC vs TBC, Final Lord's, London 3:00 PM Participating Teams Afghanistan © Twitter/@ACBofficials For a team that, earlier this March, recorded their first Test victory in only their second game, Afghanistan seems to be making the most of the opportunities on the field. The young Test-playing nation is full of surprises and, on their day, they are more than capable of beating any team in the world. The Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) did turn a few heads when they sacked long-standing captain Asghar Afghan in April. The decision led to the appointment of three specialist captains across formats. Gulbadin Naib, Rashid Khan and Rahmat Shah will be seen in the leadership roles for ODIs, T20Is and Tests respectively. It'll be interesting to see how Naib fares as Afghanistan's captain when they start their World Cup campaign against Australia at the County Ground, Bristol on 1st June. 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. Australia © Twitter/@CricketAus They might have been leading the list of most title wins in the ICC World Cup, but the Aussies know it fairly well that their campaign in England & Wales is surely going to be an uphill battle. The defending champions lack confidence especially after the infamous 2018 ball-tampering saw two of their biggest stars getting suspended for a year. Since that episode, Australia have been trying to rediscover that winning mentality that successfully aided their predecessors over the years. The return of David Warner and Steve Smith following their suspensions is a major boost to the Aussies, but their absence from international cricket for a year could see them struggle early in the tournament. On the other hand, the bowling department could turn out to be an area of concern for Australia, especially in the absence of Josh Hazlewood. They'll kickstart their World Cup campaign against tricky Afghanistan at the County Ground, Bristol on 1st June. Squad: Aaron Finch(c), Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey(wk), Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pat Cummins, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, David Warner and Adam Zampa. Bangladesh © Twitter/@BCBtigers Ever since making their World Cup debut in 1999, Bangladesh have been a familiar face at the ICC spectacle. But, their best finish came in the last edition where they surprised everyone by reaching the quarterfinals stage. They won three games including the famous triumph over England in the group stage, but found their nemesis in India in the quarterfinals. Going into the tournament, Bangladesh looks like a balanced side. Mashrafe Mortaza has proved his worth as a potent leader in the past and Shakib Al Hasan has enough experience in international cricket to be his deputy. Mushfiqur Rahim is another experienced campaigner who's not only great behind the stumps, but his presence will also bolster his side's batting line-up. They'll need the senior players to step up when they face South Africa in their opening clash at the Kennington Oval, London on 2nd June. Squad: Mashrafe Mortaza(c), Tamim Iqbal, Liton Das, Soumya Sarkar, Mushfiqur Rahim(wk), Mahmudullah Riyad, Shakib Al Hasan, Mohammad Mithun (wk), Sabbir Rahman, Mosaddek Hossain, Mohammad Saifuddin, Mehidy Hasan, Rubel Hossain, Mustafizur Rahman and Abu Jayed. England © Twitter/@ECB_cricket The mighty 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, the upcoming edition could be their chance to redemption, especially when they have the luxury to play at home, in familiar conditions. Led by the experienced Eoin Morgan, the hosts pack a punch with a team that is comprised of potential match-winners. Though they'll have to fend off threats from the likes of India and Australia, the Englishmen might just prove a tad too difficult for the opposition to handle in the tournament. The 'Three Lions' will be seen in action when they lock horns with South Africa in the tournament opener at the Kennington Oval, London on 30th May. Squad: Eoin Morgan(c), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow(wk), Jos Buttler, Tom Curran, Joe Denly, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, David Willey, Chris Woakes and Mark Wood. India © Twitter/@BCCI The two-time World Cup champions are undoubtedly one of the biggest contenders to lift the coveted trophy this year. The team has enjoyed a brilliant run over the past year with favourable results in both home and overseas series. Led by the pragmatic Virat Kohli, Team India had a problem of plenty in the build-up to the ICC spectacle. The selectors had a tough time figuring out the 15-man squad, best suited for the English conditions to deliver the goods. After careful deliberation, the omission of in-form Rishabh Pant did spark some backlash which later saw him getting included in the list of stand-bys. From batting to bowling, the Indian team looks pretty solid on paper with a couple of all-rounders also in the fray. But, the long-standing No. 4 conundrum is still a chink in their armour. All the questions might get answered when they launch their title charge on 5th June against South Africa at the Rose Bowl, Southampton. Squad: Virat Kohli(c), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, MS Dhoni(wk), Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Vijay Shankar, Dinesh Karthik (wk), KL Rahul and Ravindra Jadeja. New Zealand © Twitter/@BLACKCAPS Despite participating in the tournament since its advent in 1975, New Zealand are yet to lift the coveted trophy. 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. Despite their previous failings, Kane Williamson-led New Zealand are still one of the top contenders for the World Cup title this year. The team is full of proven stars who are more than capable of turning the tide in New Zealand's favour. The likes of Tim Southee and Trent Boult will spearhead their pace attack, while Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodhi will add teeth to the spin department. The Kiwis have also included three all-rounders - Colin de Grandhomme, Colin Munro and Jimmy Neesham - who will play their part in the tournament. Williamson's men will begin their campaign when they take on Sri Lanka at the Sophia Gardens, Cardiff on 1st June. 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. Pakistan © Twitter/@TheRealPCB 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. The youthful pace duo of Mohammad Hasnain and Shaheen Afridi, who can clock 90mph at will, is expected to be a vital cog in Pakistan's impressive pace battery. But, the notable omission of Mohammad Amir, who has been sidelined due to suspected chickenpox, remains a big blow. The likes of skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shoaib Malik and Mohammad Hafeez will surely come in handy when it comes to guiding the youngsters in the side with their vast experience. Beginning their campaign on 31st May against West Indies in Nottingham, Pakistan will be eager to build on their spectacular 2017 ICC Champions Trophy win with a similar performance in England and Wales. 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. South Africa © Twitter/@OfficialCSA 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, the Proteas boast of three solid opening options in Quinton de Kock, Aiden Markram and Hashim Amla. Similarly, in the bowling department, the availability of Kagiso Rabada, Dale Steyn and Lungi Ngidi provide them with great options. But, it's going to be a problem of plenty for the Proteas and, right from facing England in the opening encounter on 30th May, they'll need to find their winning combination if they intend to get rid of the 'chokers' tag. Squad: Faf du Plessis(c), Quinton de Kock(wk), David Miller, JP Duminy, Hashim Amla, Aiden Markram, Rassie van der Dussen, Dwaine Pretorius, Andile Phehlukwayo, Kagiso Rabada, Dale Steyn, Lungi Ngidi, Chris Morris, Imran Tahir and Tabraiz Shamsi. Sri Lanka © Twitter/@OfficialSLC 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. With their decorated cricketers calling time on their respective careers, the Lankans have struggled for experience, with the young guns doing their best to settle in quickly. Going into this year's tournament, Sri Lanka will rely on the experience of their veteran stars Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal, Upul Tharanga, Chamara Kapugedera, Lasith Malinga and Thisara Perera to spearhead their challenge. They'll kickstart their campaign against New Zealand on 1st June at the Sophia Gardens, Cardiff. 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. West Indies © Twitter/@windiescricket 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 all that, no team in the tournament would like to take them for granted, especially when West Indies boast of proven match-winners. Led by Jason Holder, the Windies are going into the World Cup, full of firepower. The likes of Chris Gayle, Andre Russell, Shimron Hetmyer and Carlos Brathwaite are more than capable of single-handedly running away with the game. But, opening their campaign against Pakistan on 31st May, the Windies will need to find a way to click as a unit if they intend to go the distance this year. 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.
  12. After the epic conclusion of the twelfth season of the Indian Premier League, all eyes are on the ICC World Cup 2019 which will begin from 30th May 2019 with the first match between England and South Africa at the Oval, London, England. The 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup is the 12th edition of ODI Cricket World Cup, scheduled to take place in England and Wales between 30 May 2019 to 14 July 2019. The tournament will consist of a single group of 10 teams, with every team getting the opportunity to play against each of the other nine teams at least once. The top four at the end of the group stage will go on to compete against each other in the semi-finals. ICC World Cup 2019: Team India Schedule: DateVersusLocation 5/6/2019 South Africa Rose Bowl Cricket Ground, Hampshire, England 9/6/2019 Australia The Oval, London, England 13/06/2019 New Zealand Trent Bridge, West Bridgford, England 16/06/2019 Pakistan Old Trafford Cricket Ground, Stretford, England 22/06/2019 Afghanistan Rose Bowl Cricket Ground, Hampshire, England 27/06/2019 West Indies Old Trafford Cricket Ground, Stretford, England 30/06/2019 England Edgbaston, Birmingham, England 2/7/2019 Bangladesh Edgbaston, Birmingham, England 6/7/2019 Sri Lanka Headingley Carnegie, Leeds, England All the league matches will start at 3:00 pm IST. India's History At ICC World Cups: India got to lift the World Cup trophy for the very first time under the captaincy of the great Kapil Dev in 1983. The victory was not only a great achievement for the 14-man-squad of the time but also for the countless generations to come as it added immensely to the popularity of the game in the country with more and more people not only wanting to watch cricket but also trying to get selected in the national team. 2011 was the year when Mahendra Singh Dhoni led the Men in Blue to winning the ICC World Cup for the second time, this one being in our own home-ground. With Sachin Tendulkar nearing his retirement, Dhoni in his prime and Virat Kohli just beginning to show his talents as a batsman, the 2011 Indian roster consisted of three of the most successful cricketers to ever play in the country's jersey. Now, with Dhoni taking Tendulkar's place as the team veteran and Virat Kohli in his top form and the leader of the squad, Team India will once again try to bring home the greatest glory there is in the world of cricket. 15-Man-Squad, Team India: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma (vice-captain), Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Dinesh Karthik (reserve wicketkeeper), Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah, K. L. Rahul, Kedar Jadhav, Kuldeep Yadav, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wicketkeeper), Mohammed Shami, Ravindra Jadeja, Shikhar Dhawan, Vijay Shankar, Yuzvendra Chahal How can I watch Team India's World Cup matches? Star Sports Network have the rights to officially broadcast every match of the 2019 ICC World Cup. You can also catch the games like on the Hotstar website or mobile application.
  13. PUBG Mobile, as we all know, has grown to become one of the most popular games around the world. The popular online battle royale title is being played by everyone, including our very own Indian cricketers. That's right, even our busy cricket players take some time off their busy schedule to play the game. We've even seen the players playing PUBG on their smartphones and tablets before departing for Australia for the full-fledged series in November 2018. As we wait for the departure announcement from Mumbai, some of them are playing a very popular multiplayer game. #TeamIndia Any guesses? pic.twitter.com/Y1n8AdHxhn — BCCI (@BCCI) October 30, 2018 While interacting with ESPNCricinfo, Indian cricketer Kuldeep Yadav revealed the best PUBG players in the Indian cricket team. He named former skipper MS Dhoni, Manish Pandey, Yuzvendra Chahal, and Kedar Jadhav as the best players of the game in the Indian team. We haven't really seen the Indian cricket team players all play PUBG together, but maybe that will happen during the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. PUBG has been something of an issue in India, with multiple bans across schools, colleges and sometimes, even cities. From students committing suicide after being told to not play the game to people being run over by trains as they were too distracted while playing the game, PUBG has been swimming in controversy in India for a long, long time. Recently, we even heard news of a married couple filing for divorce over the game. A lot of people feel the game is disruptive and extremely distracting, especially when it comes to students. However, students are of the belief that the game is an outlet for healthy creativity and has massive potential when it comes to the Indian gaming industry. Source: ESPNCricinfo
  14. With the Indian Premier League (IPL) underway in full steam, we are bound to see many new-comers who will make a name for themselves and go on to earn laurels. Established youngsters such as Prithvi Shaw and Shubhman Gill, who are already in the limelight, can be the ones to replace the current Indian squad in the coming two to three years. These are the predicted top five youngsters who own the skills and determination to make it to the Indian team by the next World Cup, that is in 2023. 1. Prithvi Shaw (Delhi Capitals) © TOI The young Mumbai lad, Prithvi Shaw, is all set to make a comeback in the limelight of Indian Premier League under Delhi Capitals. Having a wonderful debut last year in the league, overshadowing Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant and many other stars, Shaw definitely made a name for himself and got retained by the side during the 2019 IPL auction. Giving some prolific performances for the Indian Test side and that too at the age of just 18 is another proof of why he is referred to as the 'Next Master Blaster' of Indian cricket. Despite his worth still to be proven in limited overs cricket, he remains our top contender to make it to the Indian squad in the coming years, especially for ICC World Cup 2023. 2. Shreyas Iyer (Delhi Capitals) © Instagram The captain of the domestic as well as the IPL team of Delhi, Shreyas Iyer, is known to be the man of focus as this IPL season kicks off. Replacing Gautam Gambhir's leadership of Delhi Capitals since last year, Iyer has flowered as a captain and a better player too. From scoring in IPL to playing some great knocks for India A, the 24-year-old Mumbai lad has been in a prime form which if continues, will provide him with the great opportunity to support Virat Kohli by the World Cup 2023. 3. Shubhman Gill (Kolkata Knight Riders) © Instagram Soon after the arrival of Shaw, Shubman Gill became the next big thing to be talked about in the Indian cricket circuit. The 19-year-old batsman from Punjab is completely determined to achieve big things in international cricket and has continued to deliver consistently whenever the opportunity is provided. Ever since his phenomenal performance in the ICC U-19 World Cup 2018 in New Zealand, Shubman has been knocking at the door of the senior team. After being declared as the 'Player of the Tournament' during the2018 U-19 World Cup, he has been hailed by the experts as a player to watch out for. Getting an early entry into the Indian team and sharing the dressing room with big shots like Sunil Narine, Chris Lynn and Andre Russell for the Kolkata Knight Riders, Gill will definitely gain more knowledge of how to become a mature player. In the next few years, we will be seeing some major transformations in the youngster and we hope he goes on to break many records and might get us the 2023 World Cup too. 4. Mayank Agarwal (Kings XI Punjab) © Instagram “International cricket has made me calmer” was a statement given by Mayank Agarwal in an interview to Hindustan Times on Sunday. Having scored 2141 runs for the domestic team of Karnataka in the 2017-18 season and 3472 runs in 70 India-A matches, Agarwal's long wait of getting into the Indian team ended in December last year. Called to Australia as a replacement for Rohit Sharma, the 28-year-old was finally selected for the Boxing Day Test at the MCG, where he responded with a brilliant 76, the highest score by an Indian debutant in Australia, and a 42 in the second innings. Now, making a comeback after his thumb injury for Kings XI Punjab, he seems all set to show the entire world what he is made of. Regardless of all the difficulties and drawbacks that he has had, we would still opt him as our favourite to showcase in World Cup 2023. 5. Mayank Markande (Mumbai Indians) © Instagram 21-year-old Mayank Markande, recently added an achievement to his resume as he received his maiden call-up for the India T20I squad against Australia. Playing for Mumbai Indians and sharing the dressing room with legends like Sachin Tendulkar and Mahela Jayawardene, will surely be helpful to the young leggie. Keeping World Cup 2023 in mind, it will be interesting to see how young Markande fills the shoes of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal.
  15. Arguably one of the most consistent teams in the history of the tournament, Mumbai Indians (MI) continues to remain a top contender going into the twelfth edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL). Being the most valuable IPL franchise with a brand value of $106 million, MI always made sure that it stands on the expectations of their fans. They registered their name in the history books as they became the first team to win the IPL title for a record third time. Having a knack of making a comeback and winning matches, MI will certainly look forward to break their title-tie with CSK and bag their record fourth trophy. For their road to glory, here are the top five players to look forward too: Jasprit Bumrah Credit: Instagram - Mumbai Indians IPL is all about spotting Indian talent and giving them the platform, and Jasprit Bumrah is yet another prodigy of IPL. John Wright not only did MI favour but to the Indian Cricket, by spotting spotted the young gun in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy before drafting him into the squad. With time Bumrah has shown continuous improvement on both domestic and international level and now has become best bowler in the world. Being the second highest wicket-taker for MI last season, Bumrah will be all geared up to show his extraordinary skills for his home side once again. Rohit Sharma Credit: Instagram - Mumbai Indians One of the most successful captain in the league, Rohit Sharma, has profoundly proven his worth time and again. Playing an important role in all the title victories and bringing the team back from downfalls, Rohit has been a great tactician in his teams glorious run. Leading his team from the front, the right-handed batsman has the third highest runs in the history of the league and stands on the same position in his scorings of last season. Entering this season with quite a young team, Sharma ji would be expected to give a tough time to their title counterpart, CSK. Yuvraj Singh Credit: Instagram - Mumbai Indians Not having quite a season for the past few years, Yuvraj Singh still manages to get his name in the in Mumbai's list. We know its a long shot but one thing we all would agree with is that once this man starts hitting, there is no coming back for any team. We saw that short stint with both Delhi Daredevils (Delhi Capitals) and Kings XI Punjab in the past season where he performed in a few matches. Hoping to see vintage Yuvraj Singh back is a dream worth living, which not only entertains us fans but will also help in rejuvenating his career. Mayank Markande Credit: Instagram - Mumbai Indians The young leg spinner from Punjab has proved to be a big asset to the Mumbai Indians squad. Dodging the batsman with his unorthodox bowling style, he has impressed one and all with his consistency and his success in the last season. Bagging 15 wickets in 14 matches, Markande has more or less fixed his place in the playing XI. And the thing with leg spinners is that if they strike, they can take down the whole opposition within minutes, and we hope Markande does the same for MI. Hardik Pandya Credit: Instagram - Mumbai Indians The most stylish player in the MI dugout is known to be Hardik Pandya, but the most impressive thing about him is that he made sure that he never let his style affect his game and he even proved the same in the last season. Scoring a decent total of 260 in his 14 matches, he took everyone by surprise by taking 18 wickets and that too with the likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Mitchell Mclenegan and Mustafizur Rehman being in the team.
  16. Rajasthan Royal is the most balanced side you will find in this season of Indian Premier League. From great batsman to some hard-hitting all-rounders and some world class bowlers, they have made sure that they excel in every department, on paper. Now the real task would be to pan out the action plan on the field. RR did taste the success once when the won the inaugural season of IPL in 2008 under the captaincy of Shane Warne. Since then the team has been a part of many controversies, but despite that, they made a good start in last year's IPL, securing the fourth spot by the end of the season. With a perfectly balanced team, it will be interesting to see how Rahane and his boys complete their puzzled combination of players. Here are the top five players who can play a crucial role for RR: Steve Smith Credit: Instagram - Rajasthan Royals One of the finest Australian batsman in the modern day cricket, Steve Smith, is all set to make a comeback to the IPL after the ball-tampering scandal. Being barred from international cricket and IPL for a year has surely given him some personal space to reconnect with himself. And now being back in the RR, he will definitely want to make his presence count by showing his form, and especially when the World Cup is right over the head. Ajinkya Rahane Credit: Instagram - Rajasthan Royals One of the most dependable batsman in the Rajasthan side, Ajinkya Rahane (Jinx) seems all set to take charge of the team. Jinks will once again look forward to entertaining the crowd with his silken touch in the shortest format of the game. Known for being calm, patient and determined on the field, Rahane has now been the backbone of the RR side for many years. Scoring the third highest runs in his team last season, Rahane will be in full swing to guide from the front. Ben Stokes Credit: Instagram - Rajasthan Royals One of the most consistent all rounders in the league, Ben Stokes has worked as two players in one for RR. Filling the shoes of a full-time bowler and adding to the cavalry of the team, Stokes would be a perfect pick for any team. Now playing his second season with the RR, Stoke will be all set to prove his worth and shut his critics. Jaydev Unadkat Credit: Instagram - Rajasthan Royals Once again the costliest buy of the season, Jaydev Unadkat, is bought by the same team who bought him last year, Rajasthan Royals, but this time for a little less than before, Rs. 8.4 crores. He did perform well last season and took 11 wickets for the team but everyone expected more from such a humongous buy. We hope this time Unadkat can stand tall above all and prove his metal. Jofra Archer Credit: Instagram - Rajasthan Royals Jofra Archer was one of the most exciting picks in the VIVO IPL Player Auction 2018. Fetching a cool INR 7.20 crore, Archer proved to be a complete package for RR. Possessing the strength to whack the ball clean and hard, he can also bowl at flashing speed of 150 kph. Being the highest wicket-taker for his side last season(15), Archer will be expected to once again play a crucial role in this season.
  17. For a team that is never short on glamour and style quotient - thanks to its co-owner Preity Zinta, Kings XI Punjab (KXIP), sadly, has not been able to live to the hype on the cricket field in the Indian Premier League (IPL). Despite boasting of some of the biggest names in the sport, KXIP's dream of clinching the IPL title continues to elude them. They came mighty close to realising that dream in 2014 as they went one opponent past another to win 11 matches alongside just three defeats that season. They were tipped as favourites to win the trophy after their spectacular win over a consistent Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the second qualifier. But, a their three-wicket loss in the final against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) broke their hearts. After failing to secure a top-four finish in the last four editions, the Mohali-based franchise underwent a major overhaul as they spent a staggering Rs 32.50 crore at the 2019 IPL Auctions. And, the result is quite obvious. Punjab is now well-equipped with some of the most feared batsmen, proven bowlers and valuable all-rounders. Going into the twelfth edition of the IPL, here are the five key players from Punjab who can change the fortunes for their side this season: KL Rahul Instagram/@kxipofficial Arguably one of the highly-rated upcoming talents in India, KL Rahul, time and again, has proved his mettle with some blistering knocks in dire situations. He might have struggled a bit in the Indian colours lately, but Rahul, in the Punjab jersey, is a batsman who is more than capable of taking the game away from the opposition. Boasting of a wide array of strokes, the right-handed batsman took the IPL by storm last season. He was the leading run-getter for Punjab last year, scoring 659 runs in 14 games at a strike-rate of 158.41. And, the fact that out of the 659 runs he scored, 364 runs came in the first six overs at a strike-rate of over 157, shows how deadly he can be in the powerplay. Chris Gayle Instagram/@kxipofficial If Rahul adds teeth to Punjab's opening line-up, Chris Gayle ensures there is no shortage of fireworks early on. One of the most feared batsmen in limited-overs cricket, Gayle needs no introduction when it comes to sending the ball into the stratosphere. He might struggle in running between the wickets, but the 'Universe Boss' can easily make up for it by flexing his big muscles to send the ball over the fence at will. Released by Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in 2018, Gayle sent a stark reminder to his previous employers by shining bright in the Punjab jersey last season. Though he played just 11 games last season, Gayle amassed 368 runs at a strike-rate of over 146. With a highest score of an unbeaten 104, Gayle also slammed three fifties alongside 30 fours and 27 sixes. If Punjab intend to challenge for the title this year, they'd surely need Gayle's firepower at the top. Andrew Tye Instagram/@kxipofficial Owing to his success in Australian domestic cricket and later in Big Bash League (BBL), Andrew Tye was roped in by Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in 2015, only to warm the bench throughout the season. In 2017, signed by now-defunct Gujarat Lions, Tye made a sensational IPL debut, taking five wickets including a hat-trick. His bowling figures of 5-17 were the best by a bowler on IPL debut. But, with the Gujarat franchise completing its two-year term and bidding adieu to IPL in 2018, Tye found suitors in Punjab who were heavily benefited by his addition. Taking 24 wickets in 14 games, Tye emerged as the leading wicket-taker of the tournament last season. Punjab will once again count on the last year's 'Purple Cap' holder to work his magic for them this season. Varun Chakravarthy Instagram/@kxipofficial Karnataka-born Varun Chakravarthy was quietly sitting with his parents at home when he saw his life turn upside down. The 29-year-old Tamil Nadu Premier League (TNPL) sensation saw Delhi Capitals, Rajasthan Royals, Punjab, Kolkata Knight Riders and Chennai Super Kings bid furiously for him. And, then came the big moment: Punjab securing his services for Rs 8.4 crore (42 times his base price of Rs 20 lakh). C V Varun spun a web in TNPL 2018. Will the batters be able to decode his magic in #IPL2019? pic.twitter.com/ha2aCjicdt — TNPL (@TNPremierLeague) 19 December 2018 So, what's so special about this leg-spinner, you'd ask? Well, the mystery spinner has seven different variations and, going by his hefty paycheck, they now officially cost more than Rs 1 crore each. For someone who spun Siechem Madurai Panthers to their maiden TNPL title last season, Varun will surely be expected to carry the baton for his new employers Punjab in latest edition of the IPL. Mayank Agarwal Instagram/@kxipofficial For someone who has been patiently waiting for a national call-up in limited-overs cricket, Mayank Agarwal has done pretty much everything a batsman can do to strengthen his case. The prolific right-hander has been busy scoring runs in domestic cricket over the past couple of years. He also looked in ominous touch on Test debut against Australia where he scored two clinical fifties for India. While he struggled to carry on his domestic form into the IPL last season, this could very well be his year. His unbeaten 85-run knock powered Karnataka to the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy title earlier this year. And, with both Gayle and Rahul (World Cup prospects) expected to be used in limited capacity this season, Mayank can surely make the opportunity count with crucial knocks for Punjab.
  18. SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) were one of the best teams to be a part of last year's Indian Premier League (IPL), maybe even better than the current champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and if it wasn't for Shane Watson's heroic 117-run innings in the final, the men in orange and black could have even won their second title. Known for their exceptional bowling lineup, SunRisers came to be known as the 'guardians of low totals' because of their bowlers being able to not only hold their opponents to a low score but also take wickets in the process. Here are the key players for SunRisers Hyderabad, who will play a major part in the squad's attempt to bring home the trophy: 1. Rashid Khan View this post on Instagram ð¶ Woke up in the morning feeling fine, got @rashid.khan19 's magic spell on my mind ð¶ Hattrick hero. First player to take 4 wickets in 4 balls in a T20I. 11 wickets in the series. WHAT. A. PLAYER. 𤩠#OrangeArmy #RashidRush A post shared by SunRisers Hyderabad (@sunrisershyd) on Feb 24, 2019 at 8:55pm PST This 20-year-old bowler from Afghanistan is somewhat of the main man for the franchise. His variations with the ball has made him his opponents' worst nightmare and also provided him with the top position in ICC's T20 rankings for bowlers as he's bagged 75 wickets in 38 T20Is with a staggering economy of just 6.02 throughout his career. SunRisers clearly are in awe of this young star as they paid more than double of what they did last year to make sure Khan doesn't go anywhere else. Opening their season against Kolkata Knight Riders on Sunday, the team will depend heavily on his wrist-spin bowling to bring them success. 2. David Warner Nothing much, just a fully focused @davidwarner31... ð¤·‍âï¸#OrangeArmy 𧡠pic.twitter.com/LEkRH6XsiX — SunRisers Hyderabad (@SunRisers) March 19, 2019 For any sportsperson, his integrity and respect in the eyes of his fans are very important, maybe even bigger than the championship, itself. After stepping down from captaincy and later being disbarred from playing in the league altogether last year, the 2019 season has to mean a lot more to David Warner than any of his teammates. Warner is one of those players who are a perfect fit for wherever they play. Being under contract with the team since the 2014 IPL auction, he holds the records for scoring the most runs by an overseas player (4,014), most half-centuries (35) and the highest individual score by a captain (126) in the league. 3. Kane Williamson View this post on Instagram 'When he's on song, Kane Williamson is the most attractive batsman to watch in world cricket' - Virat Kohli #TeamIndia skipper @imVkohli has heaped praise on his Kiwi counterpart's batting prowess ð #OrangeArmy, what do you make of #KingKohli's assessment of @kane_s_w? ð¤ A post shared by SunRisers Hyderabad (@sunrisershyd) on Jan 25, 2019 at 1:34am PST Known for his cool temper as a skipper but an absolute beast with the bat, Kane Williamson proved his worth to Hyderabad in the 2017 season when he amassed 256 runs with a strike rate of 151.47 in just seven matches and was promoted as the leader of the squad. In the 2018 season, the Kiwi outdid himself as he became the top scorer of the league (735), won the Orange Cap and took his side to the final. If the team wants to make it big this season yet again, Williamson has to play on a similar level. 4. Bhuvneshwar Kumar View this post on Instagram With figures of 2â£/4â£6⣠including a maiden, Bhuvi contributed in #TeamIndia's 7-wicket victory over New Zealand that sealed the series at Bay Oval ð #NZvIND A post shared by SunRisers Hyderabad (@sunrisershyd) on Jan 28, 2019 at 1:35am PST Having a bad run with injuries, one of the finest bowlers of the Indian cricket team, Bhuvneshwar Kumar had a below-average IPL season last year when he was able to scalp just nine wickets in 12 matches. However, it seems Bhuvi is back to his ideal fitness conditions and his decent performance in the series Down Under and New Zealand have to have a positive impact on the pacer's confidence and that of the SRH team managers. 5. Manish Pandey View this post on Instagram #SyedMushtaqAliTrophy 2019 Champion ð . Congratulations to our Riser @manishpandeyinsta for leading Karnataka throughout the tournament! ð #OrangeArmy 𧡠. . . #SunRisersHyderabad #Hyderabad #Cricket #Champion #Karnataka A post shared by SunRisers Hyderabad (@sunrisershyd) on Mar 14, 2019 at 8:24am PDT Raw, brute force is what comes to mind when you try to define Manish Pandey's cricketing style and it seems to resonate with the owners of the team who literally invested a fortune behind his success. Keeping aside the retained players, Pandey was Hyderabad's biggest buy at Rs. 11 crore. Playing in 15 matches for SunRisers, the right-handed batsman scored a total of 284 runs at a 25.81 batting average which is not that great, especially for the mammoth deal with franchise. However, Pandey has shown significant improvement in his stint with the India A roster and during the latest Ranji Trophy season with Karnataka.
  19. Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) are entering the twelfth season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in the first game of the year against the three-time champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on Saturday, 23rd March 2019. However, the burden on their shoulders is a lot heavier as compared to their opponent. Having never won the title ever since the team's inception in 2008, the expectations and hopes of the people of Bangalore with regards to hosting the prestigious IPL trophy one day, are brutally crushing the team owners and the star-studded player line-up. Despite probably having the best coaching staff in the league and being captained by some of the greatest cricketers in the past, RCB have failed to seal the deal and their supporters are losing their cool. Having said that, after spending an amount as big as Rs. 16.35 crores at the 2018 IPL auction and retaining their best lot, the roster looks amazing. Here are the five key RCB players whom people should watch out for this IPL season: 1. Virat Kohli View this post on Instagram A post shared by Royal Challengers Bangalore (@royalchallengersbangalore) on Feb 15, 2019 at 6:43am PST Let's not spend too much time on the obvious. Virat Kohli, who is the captain of RCB and that of the Indian national cricket team, has to have an impact during this IPL season if he wishes to continue with the team as its skipper. Even though 2018 was his year and he won all the major individual awards put up by the International Cricket Council (ICC), Kohli has earned a bad reputation for himself as the captain of an IPL team. Having said that, Kohli is the second highest run-scorer in the entire league just behind CSK's Suresh Raina and became the first batsman to score 4000+ runs in the league during RCB's most successful season in 2016. As talented and gifted as Kohli is, he can manage to get runs even in his sleep. What is to be yet seen is how the King uses the supporting cast around him to take his team to the top. 2. AB de Villiers View this post on Instagram #TB to when @abdevilliers17's brilliance propelled us to a victory against Delhi Daredevils! #ThrowBackThursday #TBT #PlayBold #Repost @royalchallengersbangalore • • • • • If not for the roof, this would have landed in Cubbon Park. #PlayBold A post shared by Royal Challengers Bangalore (@royalchallengersbangalore) on Mar 14, 2019 at 2:35am PDT De Villiers was RCB's main man before Virat Kohli took the throne. The South African's furious batting style combined with years and years of experience as the captain of one of the leading teams of the cricketing world, made him an ideal piece of the puzzle that the team's road to title victory really is. Even though Mr. 360° is not the dynamic hitter he once used to be, he still possesses a lot of command over his bat and is very much capable of bringing home wins against many of the franchises from this season's matchups. 3. Yuzvendra Chahal View this post on Instagram Your focus determines your reality! ðð@yuzi_chahal23 #MondayMotivation #PlayBold A post shared by Royal Challengers Bangalore (@royalchallengersbangalore) on Mar 10, 2019 at 9:51pm PDT Yuzi Chahal has grown as a cricketer by leaps and bounds in the past couple of years. Putting in hours of practice in his craft has earned him a high chair in the Indian cricket team as he looks to represent his nation in the upcoming World Cup. Being Bangalore's leading wicket-taker, Chahal has earned immense respect and trust in the eyes of the team management that retained the leggy for his sixth season in red and gold. While bowlers like Mohammed Siraj and Washington Sundar will be at Kohli's disposal, the captain will turn to Chahal in the hour of need and demand of him the ability to break partnerships. 4. Marcus Stoinis Skipper @imVkohli with our new joinee, @MStoinis. Maybe he wants him to save his best for the upcoming VIVO IPL when he dons the red and black at #Chinnaswamy! #PlayBold #AUSvIND https://t.co/VQXFLo3JxV — Royal Challengers (@RCBTweets) November 22, 2018 Aussie Marcus Stoinis is probably one of those rare cricketers who are on the list of every fantasy cricket club owner. Having being named Australia's men's One-day International Player of the Year, the allrounder was a gem to look at as he hit big runs and scalped many wickets. A reliable player in general with the capacity to score runs on cue, Stoinis will be expected to go out there and perform on the same level as he does for his national cricket team. 5. Shimron Hetmyer Shimron Hetmyer is BOLD. We acquire him at INR 4.20 Cr!#PlayBold #BidForBold #IPLAuction — Royal Challengers (@RCBTweets) December 18, 2018 Getting paid for absolutely dismantling the Men in Blue during the Windies' visit to India in October 2018, Hetmyer was signed up by the RCB for Rs. 4.20 crores as they outbid literally every other team present in that ballroom during the IPL auctions. Known as a run-machine, this 22-year-old plays the sport like there is no tomorrow. Boasting a scary strike rate of 142.42, the lefty has scored 517 runs in the 21 T20 matches he has played so far. If Hettie brings even a fraction of his game to RCB, his presence in the team will be a huge boost for Virat Kohli and the rest of the squad.
  20. One of the original eight franchises of the Indian Premier League (IPL), Delhi Capitals recently changed their name from 'Delhi Daredevils' after a rather forgettable season. According to Co-Owner and Chairman of the team, Parth Jindal, the reason behind changing the name was that Delhi is the power centre of the country and also the capital, hence the name 'Delhi Capitals'. Classic. Having never been able to make it to the Indian Premier League final, the last time Delhi Capitals made it to the Playoffs was all the way back in 2012 when the former Indian opener, Virender Sehwag stepped down from the position of the captain of the team following one of the worst seasons in the history of IPL in 2011. Having made significant changes to the team's name and roster ahead of the 2019 IPL season, the ownership hopes to bring success to the city and these five players will be crucial in doing so: 1. Shikhar Dhawan Bina Gabbar ke Holi bhi koi Holi hai? #HappyHoli #ThisIsNewDelhi #DelhiCapitals pic.twitter.com/EewQPoc51G — Delhi Capitals (@DelhiCapitals) March 21, 2019 Making his return to the team with which he made his IPL debut in 2008, Shikhar Dhawan has wreaked havoc against his opponents in the league. Although he has been struggling with the bat for the Indian cricket team for quite some time now, Delhi Capitals has sent a lot of talent including the rising allrounder Vijay Shankar, spinner Shahbaz Nadeem and the young Abhishek Sharma to SunRisers Hyderabad in the trade to bring back Dhawan. We look forward to seeing the veteran use his experience along with the young batting line-up consisting of Rishabh Pant and Prithvi Shaw to bring back the glory days to the city. 2. Rishabh Pant When @RishabPant777 hits it, it stays hit Describe kijiye inki batting ek word mein... #ThisIsNewDelhi #DelhiCapitals #QilaKotla pic.twitter.com/HdcuT9BCLh — Delhi Capitals (@DelhiCapitals) March 20, 2019 After getting accused of being one of the major reasons for India's ODI series loss against Australia, the 21-year-old athlete will be on a mission to redeem his worth and prove his abilities not only as a batsman but behind the wicket as well. This will be Pant's fourth season with his hometown team ever since he made his debut in 2016 and the franchise clearly has high hopes from him as he was one of the first stars to be retained by the owners. Although Ravi Shastri has made it clear that the IPL will have zero effect on the decision-making for squad selection for the upcoming ICC World Cup, the 2019 IPL may be Pant's final opportunity to convince the selectors of why he should be on the roster. 3. Prithvi Shaw SHER hai tu SHER Roarrrrrrrrrrrrr pic.twitter.com/HJm3uRtQTn — Prithvi Shaw (@PrithviShaw) March 21, 2019 The 19-year-old powerhouse that Prithvi Shaw is, he is certain to go for big hits throughout the tournament while it is highly likely for him to open the Delhi batting-lineup with the veteran Shikhar Dhawan on the other end. After being out of action for nearly three months suffering an ankle injury during India's tour of Australia, Shaw returned to the game in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy but failed to do well with the exception of a 71-run innings against Goa. Ever since Shaw came into the limelight, he has been referred to as a talent as good as any. Being great at such a young age has earned him comparisons to Sachin Tendulkar and if there is even the smallest truth in that, people better watch out for him. 4. Amit Mishra 3⣠hat-tricks. 1⣠and only Mishi bhai. Sunday se aayega mazaa Mumbai mein kitne wickets lenge hamare DC legend?@MishiAmit#ThisIsNewDelhi #DelhiCapitals pic.twitter.com/lo8xIHO1oe — Delhi Capitals (@DelhiCapitals) March 21, 2019 One of the cornerstones of the Delhi team since the last four years, Mishra was retained by the team for the 2019 season. He has been consistent in collecting wickets and also boasts the record of becoming the first player to take three hat-tricks in IPL. He has been the most successful bowler in the history of Delhi Daredevils/Capitals history bagging 132 wickets for his side in the past four seasons. His ability to stick to the crease in dire situations makes him an essential player too. 5. Trent Boult Boult's name on the roster cost DC approximately Rs. 2.8 crores at the time of the 2018 auction which justifies his number two position on ICC ODI rankings for bowlers. In the recent ODI and T20 series against the visiting Indian cricket team, Boult's 12 wickets in five matches were crucial for the Kiwis, even though their side lost the series 4-1.
  21. Chennai Super Kings is literally the 'king' of this league as they have won three titles out of the ten seasons they have played. Despite being off the tournament for two years, CSK made an epic comeback by winning the last season with some prolific performances. Keeping their core team intact, CSK has been one of the most lethal sides in the Indian Premier League. A fact to back our statement is that CSK has made to the playoffs in all the ten seasons they have played. The MS Dhoni-led side has been cool as ever and is renowned for making some dramatic comeback with players like Bravo and Watson who can snatch the game away from you anytime they want. Despite the star-studded squad CSK have, here are our top five key players who can help them lift the title for record 4th time: 1. MS Dhoni © Instagram The most beloved player of the CSK squad, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, topping our list would come as no surprise because we all know the importance this man holds in the team. He is the most calm and clever captain you'll find on the cricket ground. His insane tactics and game-changing abilities make him the most threatening player in the squad. Equipped with his helicopter shot, MSD has every knowledge of when to strike and when to become an anchor for the team. Having the core team he requires, Captain Cool will surely give it all to win his fourth title. 2. Suresh Raina © Instagram Making a comeback in the big scene, Suresh Raina is definitely a player to look out for in this year's IPL. The leading run scorer in the IPL, Raina had a pretty decent season last year where he scored 445 runs (including four 50+ scores) in 15 innings with a strike rate of 132.44 Since then, he has been out of international cricket, firstly because of injury and later because of poor form. But he still is one of the most dangerous batsmen if he starts firing. Looking forward to rebooting his career with the IPL glory, Raina will do anything asked for to prove his worth. 3. Shane Watson © BCCI The most reliable overseas player in the CSK side would be none other than Shane Watson. Brilliant with the bat and handy with the ball, Watson ticks two crucial boxes in the team's side. Scoring massive 555 runs in 15 innings, the Aussie star has proved his worth time and again. Apart from his batting prowess, Watto will also provide an extra bowling option to Chennai in crunch situations. Adding to it, his precision with the medium bowling not only gives them an extra option but will also provide them helps them to cover the quota of four overs but also to get a crucial breakthrough at times. With that, he brings experience to the side which is certainly a boost for the younger players' confidence. 4. Imran Tahir © Instagram Another star performer of the CSK side is their South African leggie, Imran Tahir. Getting to bowl all the four overs in every match, Tahir plays an important role in CSK's win counts. One of the most experienced bowlers in the side, Tahir surely instils a whole lot of confidence in the team, both on and off the field. Though he got to play just six matches last season, we hope we get to see him in action more often so that he can prove his metal to the world. 5. Ambati Rayudu © Instagram The top run scorer in IPL 2018 journey for CSK, Ambati Rayudu is all set to own the yellow jersey once again. Having a mammoth total of 602 runs (comprising of a century) in 16 innings, Rayudu has already proven why he should be retained. Another important task for Rayudu would be to cement his place in the World Cup squad by performing well in the season. Having a robust last season, a whole lot will be dependent on him as the season passes through.
  22. Kolkata Knight Riders, being a side associated with huge celebrity status, have made sure that they don't let the stardom affect their performance. After displaying a poor form in the first few seasons of the Indian Premier League, they made sure they bounced back strong and have been in prime form ever since. Winning the trophy twice, once in 2012 and 2015, both by defeating Chennai Super Kings in the finals, they have made sure that they made the qualifiers every single time after that. With the 12th edition of the IPL right over their heads, KKR will be looking forward to opening their innings on a good note. The top five players who could become the knights in shining armour for KKR in this season are: 1. Dinesh Karthik © KKR Facebook Dinesh Karthik, the captain of the KKR for the second season in a row, will play a key role in guiding the team to glory. Leading the team from the front, DK was the top run scorer of the squad with 498 runs in 16 innings including two fifties. Having a good tactful mind, Karthik will be looking forward to at least make it to the playoffs and on the individual front, he would give his best shot so that he can make a place for himself in the final World Cup squad. 2. Sunil Narine © BCCI Arguably the most mysteriously successful bowler in the history of the game, Sunil Narine deserves to be the key player of the side. Beginning with his off-break bowling and ruling the 'purple cap,' he later stunned everyone with opening the innings and thrashing the ball in all directions. Usually, we expect him to be the leading wicket-taker but after his beating to all the faster bowlers and the pacers, he took his name among the top and the leading run scorer in the team with his 357 runs in 16 innings, comprising of two 50+ scores. 3. Andre Russell © KKR Facebook Another hard-hitter that KKR possesses is the Carribean star, Andre Russell. The Right-arm fast bowler is capable of snatching the match from the lion's mouth if once unleashed, both with the bat and the ball. An example of it would be his humongous knock of 88 in mere 36 balls (consisting of 11 sixes), which almost stole the show from Chennai Super Kings but they managed somehow. Another advantage Russell provides is his ability to bowl in debt overs and that too with precision. 4. Kuldeep Yadav © KKR Instagram Having a world-class bowler in the squad is always a perk and Kuldeep Yadav has proven to be the same for KKR. Having a wonderful season last year with 17 wickets in the bag, Yadav has been a go-to bowler for DK. The number of variations he owns and his ability to read the batsman's mind is counted to be his most lethal weapon, which eventually proves to be an asset for the team. 5. Chris Lynn © KKR Instagram The Australian blessing in the KKR squad, Chris Lynn, is another deadly weapon in the team's arsenal. The right-handed batsman has been a consistent scorer for the side and went on to score 491 runs, the second highest in the team. An opening partnership of Lynn and Narine proved to be a breathtaking combination in the last few seasons and we hope it continues to go their way.
  23. Indian Premier League(IPL), one of the most entertaining tournaments in the world, has been on a roll since its arrival in 2008. Not only has it improved the level of cricket but has also been instrumental in discovering new talent from around the world. Players such as Hardik Pandya, Sarfraz Khan and currently the no.1 ranked bowler in the world, Jasprit Bumrah, are few of the many stars who showcased their flair in IPL and later went on to become International heroes. The recent IPL promo follows the mantra of 'Name Chhod, Game Dikha,' meaning putting the game forward will ensure that the name would follow itself. Even this year, there are some immense talents who are just waiting for an opportunity to show the world their powers. Here are some of the new players who got their name on the IPL teams because of their prolific performances in the domestic season: 1. Prabhsimran Singh © Instagram Prabhsimran Singh, a wicket-keeper batsman from Punjab has turned out be a big talking point in this years IPL auction. Being bought for a hefty amount of Rs.4.8 crores by Kings XI Punjab, Prabhsimran is a lump of coal expected to turn into a shiny diamond as the season progresses. Talking of his achievements, the Patiala boy has given quite a performance in the Indian Under-19 because of which he has reached this stage. Inspired by his idol Adam Gilchrist, it would have been surreal for him to represent the same team that of the former Aussie skipper. 2. Prayas Ray Barman © RCB Website Royal Challenger Banglore has always had a knack of entrusting young guns, earlier it was Sarfraz Khan and now its the 16-year-old, Prayas Ray Barman, who they bought for Rs.1.8 crores. The Bengali leggie is all set to make a name for himself in this year's IPL. Making his debut for the senior side this year in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, the teenager has already made a mark in the domestic circuit by picking 11 wickets in 9 games at an economy rate of 4.45. To beat that, another mind-boggling stat of his came on his debut game against Jammu and Kashmir, where he bagged 4 wickets for 20 runs to star in his team's convincing win. 3. Himmat Singh © BCCI Another Delhi boy, Himmat Singh, joins Virat Kohli in the RCB squad. The 22-year old right-handed batsman has been bought for Rs.65 Lakh by the Challengers. Singh is currently one of the most promising batting talents in the country. Coming through the ranks of Delhi's age-group cricket, he has been a leading star for Under-16 and Under-19 teams and is renowned for producing his best during the knockout stages. Currently a part of India's Under-23 side and a regular member of Delhi's senior team, the Delhi lad would be all geared up to take yet another challenge with the likes of Kohli and Ab de Villiers. 4. Shivam Dube © RCB Website Shivam Dube, a well-known name in the Mumbai circuit, is a medium pace all-rounder. Bought for Rs. 5 crores by RCB, Dube somehow seems to be a carbon copy of Sourav Ganguly in terms of style, turning out to be a right-arm bowler but a left-handed batsman. Gaining an edge over his fellow teammates, he gave his reputation a massive uplift in the last one year with some big hitting in the Mumbai T20 League. He has given some outstanding performances in the recent domestic season. One of them was when he hit Pravin Tambe for 5 sixes in an over in the Mumbai T20 league and soon after recreated the moment in a Ranji Trophy match against Baroda's Swapnil Singh, just a day before the auction. 5. Varun Chakravarthy © Facebook Another mysterious spinner from Tamil Nadu, Varun Chakravarthy, has been bagged by Kings XI Punjab for a sum of Rs.8.4 crores. Being an architect-engineer by profession, Varun sets to be a perfect example of a person following his passion no matter at what age. He has almost fulfilled every role on a cricket field, starting off as a wicket-keeper batsman in school, to be a pacer after reconnecting to cricket post his job (which didn't go well as his play was halted by a knee injury), to being a mystery spinner who could bowl over 7 variations. Already being tested and proven at club level, Chakravarthy would surely be one of the top stars in the upcoming IPL season. With all these budding stars on a roll, let's see “Kaun apni game se apna name banata hai”
  24. PUBG Mobile is undoubtedly one of the most popular titles which you can play on both Android and iOS devices. Millions of players are showing up on PUBG's servers to play the game on a daily basis. Despite the staggering success, the game's developer and publisher Tencent Games is currently dealing with a lot of criticism, thanks to the reports which claim that the game is highly addictive and is affecting the mental health of the players. © Tencent Mobile Following the serious backlash, Tencent Games has now decided to impose a digital lock that will lock out players under the age of 13. Tencent Games is said to have imposed the restriction to support the Chinese government's crackdown on gaming addiction, and players below 13 years of age will need a parent or guardian's permission to play. Tencent is said to be using technologies like facial recognition and player ID checks to ascertain the age and identities of the players. They are using similar technology to ban players in 'Honour of Kings', which is yet another popular Tencent Games title. In addition to the digital lock, Tencent has already imposed limits on how long players can play the game, streaming restriction, and more. © PUBG Corporation As of now, only the Chinese version of the game seems to have the digital lock. The ban has been imposed in 12 Chinese cities including Beijing, Chengdu, and Changchun. But considering how Indian parents have been complaining about the game's addictive nature, we think it's only a matter of time until we see a similar digital lock being imposed on the Indian version of the game as well. In a statement released following the backlash, Tencent said, "To foster a healthy and balanced in-game environment, we are developing numerous new features and enhancements which enables us to provide an environment for players to enjoy PUBG Mobile in a rewarding and responsible manner. We are honoured to have a passionate community of PUBG Mobile players in India and globally and continue to welcome their feedback to make PUBG Mobile the best game ever!" Source: Xinhuanet
  25. 'Apex Legends' has been on the news ever since its surprise launch in February. Thanks to its explosive launch, it took 'Apex Legends' just eight hours to attract 1 million unique players, and just 24 hours to reach 2.5 million players. And now, in just a week, that number hit 25 million, and now the game's developer Respawn Entertainment has confirmed that Apex Legends' player count total has crossed 50 million players. © Apex Legends - Electronic Arts A 50 million player count is just insane, considering the fact that the game was launched not too long ago. In fact, 'Apex Legends' was launched just four weeks ago, and it's growing at a much quicker pace than, say, 'Fortnite Battle Royale'. To put things into perspective, it took 'Fortnite Battle Royale' several months to hit the 45 million mark. Of course, 'Fortnite Battle Royale' was one of the pioneers of the Battle Royale genre, so it's not fair to compare something like Apex Legends, which in comparison, had enough time to polish the game and get almost everything right. However, there's no denying that 'Apex Legends' is onto something here, and the numbers are only going to grow from here. © Apex Legends-Respawn Entertainment That being said, let's not forget that 'Fortnite' is still one of the most successful Battle Royale titles of all time. Epic games just launched the 8th season, complete with new maps locations, skins and more. It's hard not to acknowledge the fact that millions of players are still enjoying 'Fortnite', and it remains to be seen if 'Apex Legends' will manage to amass the same level of popularity.
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