World Cup Central: ‘We are a team that bounces back’ – Phehlukwayo


June 3

South Africa’s World Cup hasn’t gotten off to a very good begin, with losses to England within the match opener and one other to Bangladesh of their second sport. Subsequent up are India, one of many favourites, and it guarantees to be one other robust outing.

Quick-bowling allrounder Andile Phehlukwayo known as the 29-run defeat to Bangladesh “a kind of days”, however promised a grand South African turnaround.

“There have been some dangerous days in my profession. I’ve realized, and the staff has realized, that it isn’t the top of the world,” he was quoted as saying by the ICC. “We will all the time bounce again, we’re a staff that bounces again, from conditions and we will certainly do it once more.

“We’ve not had a very good begin however it is a huge match and anybody can beat anybody on any given day. In case you are good and scientific and also you execute, you may win. We have been lacking that however it’s coming. The coach has talked about profitable small battles, breaking partnerships and taking wickets. It is not far-off.”

West Indies can play one-dimensional at instances – Waugh

Former Australia captain Steve Waugh, who led the facet to victory within the 1999 World Cup, believes the upcoming match between West Indies and Australia will enable each groups to gauge the place they stand within the competitors, after snug opening wins. West Indies beat Pakistan by seven wickets, whereas Australia brushed Afghanistan apart with the identical margin.

Jason Holder has amusing as Andre Russell and Darren Bravo have some enjoyable AFP

Waugh mentioned that West Indies’ win, once they bowled out Pakistan for 105, had vindicated the facet’s fast-bowling depth, however instructed their vulnerabilities in opposition to high-quality bowling and lack of mobility within the subject had been areas Australia may exploit.

“They [West Indies] are probably the most watchable staff within the match with a batting line-up that may kidnap any bowling assault with brute power,” Waugh informed the ICC web site. “No floor is large enough when this behemoth of a batting order clicks into overdrive however in addition they have a vulnerability in opposition to high-quality bowling as they have a tendency to play one-dimensional at instances.

“For the primary time in a protracted whereas, they’ve fast-bowling depth, vindicated by Friday’s win in opposition to Pakistan with out their best in Kemar Roach and Shannon Gabriel. Their Achilles heel, nonetheless, shall be their lack of mobility within the subject and that is the place Australia can affect the result.”

Waugh, nonetheless, cautioned that West Indies “may win all of it” just like the 2016 World T20, in the event that they get on a roll and construct momentum because the match progresses. The groups will play one another on June 6 in Nottingham.

When Virat Kohli tried to bowl like James Anderson

India’s captain and batting ace Virat Kohli also bowls medium pace. He has sent down 950 balls in international cricket. He has eight wickets to show for it. Understandably, he has not had a bowl in internationals since December 2017, when he bowled one over in a Test match against Sri Lanka. There was a time though, when he had greater hopes for his bowling.

“I used to follow James Anderson’s action when I was at the academy [as a young cricketer in Delhi],” Kohli told Star Sports. “Later, when I got to play alongside him, I told him about that story. We both had a good laugh over it.”

Kohli’s India team-mates, too, might have a laugh or two over his bowling. An amused Kohli said: “It was the during the ODI series in Sri Lanka [in August 2017, the last time Kohli bowled in ODIs till date], where we had almost won everything, I asked MS [Dhoni] if I could bowl. Just when I was getting ready to roll my arm over, [Jasprit] Bumrah shouted from the boundary and said, ‘no joking around, this is an international game’.”

Munro was expecting to be carrying drinks

Colin Munro took the chance to re-establish his claims to the opening role in New Zealand’s one-day side having arrived at the World Cup expecting to be carrying the drinks.

Munro was dropped during the New Zealand season having passed fifty once in 17 innings and, having failed against India in the warm-up and not played against West Indies, he was set to be sidelined before Henry Nicholls was ruled of the Sri Lanka match with injury.

He took his opportunity with an unbeaten 58 off 47 balls in an unbroken opening stand of 137 in 16.1 overs with Martin Guptill.

“I probably came over here as the spare batsman, unfortunately [Henry] was injured and I got an opportunity,” Munro said. “Luke Ronchi and the batting coaches just told me to play my natural game, watch each ball as well as I can and I came off on the right side. It was very pleasing to be not out at the end, to get through the Powerplay – there have been so many games in the New Zealand summer where I’ve got out in the first few overs and battled away, more of a mental battle, so to get over that was very pleasing.”

June 2

Dhoni, Akhtar, Botham in All Blacks all-time cricket XV

World Cup fever has crossed platforms. There was Harry Kane sneaking into India’s coaching periods to satisfy Virat Kohli. And now there’s the All Blacks choosing a rugby XV made up of previous and current cricketers.

And so they’ve received some fairly cool causes for choosing some fairly cool gamers.

Curtly Ambrose: If anybody needs to argue with this choice then take it up with Sir Curtly himself. We dare you.

MS Dhoni: The Richie McCaw of Cricket. Sufficient mentioned.

Dwayne Leverock: Well-known for his one-handed catch on the 2003 World Cup, the 130kg Bermudian would absolutely make simply as huge a splash on the rugby subject.

Jofra Archer runs in to bowl Getty Photographs

June 1

Archer the quickest bowler I’ve ever confronted – Moeen

Jofra Archer’s World Cup debut went like a dream, as he bowled with pace, accuracy and no little hostility to return 3 for 27 against South Africa.

“Jofra is amazing. He just makes good batters do different things, that pace he has is incredible. He is the fastest I have ever faced,” Moeen Ali, who has had to take on Archer in the nets a fair bit in the lead-up to the World Cup, said. “It is unbelievable. He gives us that something else, he can win you games even if he goes for a few runs.

“Knowing you have him in your side makes a big difference.”

England won that game, the tournament opener, by 104 runs with Archer and Ben Stokes putting in match-winning performances. They next go up against Pakistan on Monday at Trent Bridge.

‘Competitive, my a***’

The fact that only ten teams are playing this World Cup – the lowest since 1992 – has divided opinion like few things have in the cricket world in recent times. Now, with Pakistan rolling over for 105 against West Indies, Harry Balbirnie, Ireland cricketer Andy’s brother, has hit out at the ICC, referencing the 135 the batsman made against West Indies in an ODI last month to make a not-too-polite point.

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Top-order thief nabs Virat Kohli’s gift to Rashid Khan

Apart from his world-class legspin, Rashid Khan also brings to Afghanistan a more-than-useful ability to his sixes down the order. In 44 ODI innings, he’s cleared the ropes 24 times.

Rashid’s two most recent sixes, however, weren’t even meant to go that far. They came against Ireland’s Kevin O’Brien in Belfast, in the course of a 9-ball 16 in a losing cause. Both times, according to the man himself, Rashid was only trying to hit the ball for four.

“When I was batting with that bat against Ireland … I wanted to hit a boundary (four) and it went for six,” Rashid told “I was like, ‘What happened? That went for six?’

“I was trying to hit (another) one over mid-off for a boundary and it went for six. I was like, ‘there is something in the bat’. I loved the bat.

“It was like every ball I hit went for six. There was something special in that bat.”

‘I got one from Virat, I got one from Davey [Warner], I got one from KL Rahul’ Associated Press

It was a special bat, gifted to him by a special player, Virat Kohli.

“When you are (learning) the skills of batting, you need to have a good bat,” Rashid said. “I got a few from (other) players. I got one from Virat, I got one from Davey [Warner], I got one from KL Rahul. Those are special bats. That will help me to make some more runs in the World Cup.”

Sadly, Rashid might not be able to put the magic Kohli bat to use at the World Cup. After his innings against Ireland, a prominent member of the Afghanistan batting line-up decided to make the bat his own.

“As soon as I came to pavilion, our previous captain Asghar Afghan, he was like, ‘give me that bat’, and I was like, ‘oh no’. I was unable to reject him because I was unable to say no to him. So I said, ‘okay, it’s up to you’.

“He’d already taken it out from my bag and put it in his own bag. That was a special bat, from a special player as well.

“He took that bat and I hope he doesn’t do well with that and gives it back.”

How to get the match ball to the captains

Well, very unlikely they let so many people paw a ball the game is actually going to be played with, but it was fun all right … across in Cardiff, where 542 fielders got a ball to travel 8851 metres before depositing it in Kane Williamson’s – and Dimuth Karunaratne’s – hands.

Clive Lloyd needs to see how West Indies go batting first

Calling the West Indies efficiency in opposition to Pakistan of their opening World Cup sport “scientific”, Clive Lloyd, who led the staff to glory in 1975 and 1979, mentioned that the boys from the Caribbean “now must preserve issues going and ought to be trying now to attempt to qualify (for the semi-finals).

“I am positive they’ll upset just a few of the massive boys in the event that they play like that. This sport has confirmed that we’ve some firepower and meaning we are able to match anyone on this competitors,” Lloyd wrote in a column for the ICC. “We have now to attempt to take a look at out our batting now, that is the true take a look at going ahead. We have now to see how they do once they must bat first and attempt to publish a very good complete.

“I need to see how we get on if we’ve to defend a complete, however it’s shaping up rather well in the meanwhile they usually could not have requested for a greater begin to the match.”

Oshane Thomas’ efficiency with the ball – four for 27 – was notably pleasing for Lloyd, who mentioned of the 22-year-old paceman: “Oshane Thomas received 4 wickets and he was fairly aggressive. I feel the strain he dropped at bear paid off and he regarded superb although he did not have the brand new ball.”

Might 31

Oshane Thomas celebrates Babar Azam’s wicket Getty Photographs

Pakistan had been ‘backing away’ when Russell was bowling – Oshane Thomas

Oshane Thomas believes West Indies have the most hostile fast bowling attack in the World Cup, adding Pakistan were “backing away” from the venomous short balls delivered by Andre Russell in a searing three-over spell that netted figures of 2 for 4.

“When Russell was bowling to them they were backing away,” Thomas said. “They didn’t like it. I saw Russell was bowling so aggressive so he bumped me to come out and express myself. We’ll take that into the games to come.”

It was an impressive World Cup debut for Thomas. The West Indies quick also delivered some searing bouncers and claimed four wickets in his side’s seven-wicket demolition of Pakistan. But he indicated there may be a different plan for Australia’s batsmen who are more accustomed to pace and bounce.

“It depends on the battle on the day,” he said. “If we are bowling short balls on the day and not picking up wickets then we’ll have to try something else.”

While Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc are both capable of bowling at above 90 miles per hour, Thomas believes the West Indies have the most hostile attack of all the teams competing in the tournament.

“I would say yes. Shannon [Gabriel] is still on the bench, a 90 miles per hour bowler; we didn’t play Kemar Roach [against Pakistan].”

Hetmyer would love ‘idol’ Gayle to continue

Shimron Hetmyer believes Chris Gayle is in the form of his life and could continue his international career beyond the World Cup.

Hetmyer, who is playing in his first World Cup, lauded Gayle as one his idols and is keen to learn as much from him as he can. Gayle hammered 424 runs in four innings in the one-day series against England earlier this year.

“I’ve learned so much just being around Chris,” he said. “I watched him when I was young, playing on TV and he was one of my idols and he’s still my idol right now. I just want to learn as much as possible from him as he comes to the end of his career, he’s one of the greatest cricketers to play for the West Indies.

“It’s sad to see him go, he will be dearly missed. He is someone you can always lean on in different situations and pick his brain. I think he is probably in the best form of his life, coming round to the end of his career. We are wonder why he is actually retiring but it’s down to how he feels. I’d love him to continue, it would be fantastic for world cricket.”

May 30

Latham confident of taking the gloves

Tom Latham has been recovering from a finger injury IDI

New Zealand wicketkeeper Tom Latham is expecting to be fit for Saturday’s clash with Sri Lanka after a pain-free training session on Thursday.

Latham suffered a cracked and displaced left middle finger in a practice match against Australia in Brisbane on May 10 prior to the New Zealand team arriving the UK.

Tom Blundell kept in both of New Zealand’s warm-up games, including making 106 off 89 balls against West Indies. But Latham looks likely to take the gloves in first match of the World Cup in Cardiff after getting through training unscathed.

“We still have to wait till tomorrow to see how it pulls up and have a hit against our bowlers,” Latham said. “The ball was going into the gloves nicely and I didn’t manage to take one on the finger. Things are feeling really well. We’re taking it step by step and hopefully the fracture has healed by now and it’s more a maintenance thing. We’ve got all the protection around it and hopefully, fingers crossed, we cannot take a ball on there.”

New Zealand coach Gary Stead confirmed Latham would be New Zealand’s wicketkeeper if he was passed fit despite Blundell’s good lead up form.

KP and Kallis back West Indies for semi-finals

Who are your World Cup semifinalists? Most people have England, India and Australia in the mix. Kevin Pietersen does too, but the identity of his fourth semifinalist might be a surprise: West Indies.

KP’s got his reasoning down pat though. “Normally Pakistan are the unpredictable team, but this West Indies team is so unpredictable. The way they beat New Zealand was some, some cricket. They’ve picked Andre Russell, he’s in form.

“Gayle is solidifying the top order, and they have some great youngsters. I just like this West Indies outfit. Will they win? Probably not, but that’s my top four.

“India and England are probably the favourites, the dark horses are Australia and the unpredictables are West Indies.”

West Indies have, in fact, gathered some heavyweight backing to match their heavyweight hitting. Here’s Jacques Kallis: “They are definitely going to have a say. Andre Russell has taken his game to a new level – he is the all-rounder I would keep an eye on in this World Cup.”

Kallis, of course, kept a close eye on Russell in the months leading up to the World Cup as the Kolkata Knight Riders coach, so it’s no mystery he’s picking him as a player to watch. The only mystery that remains is why Kallis and co kept batting Russell so low, but we’re not venturing there till IPL 2020 rolls around.

Trent Boult feels turning the ’17- or 18-run overs into 12-run overs’ should do the trick Getty Images

May 29

Trent Boult returned with 4 for 50 in 9.2 overs against West Indies in a warm-up fixture on Tuesday, and New Zealand still ended up facing a target of 422. They were bowled out for 330 in the chase.

It’s one of the fears – or expectations – at the upcoming World Cup, where people are talking about a team (West Indies and England seem the top picks ) even going on to score 500 in an innings. It can’t be easy being a bowler in these circumstances as New Zealand saw in Bristol, being clubbed for 41 fours and 18 sixes.

“The way T20 cricket goes, it can come down to six or 12 runs at the end of it, and ODI cricket is becoming an extended version of T20 cricket in my opinion,” Boult said on the ICC website. “If you can make those big 17- or 18-run overs into 12-run overs, that can make a big difference in the end. If we’re clear on that, we can go a fair way in this tournament.”

Carlos Brathwaite wants West Indies to ‘show up and show off’

Carlos Brathwaite, hero of West Indies’ 2016 World T20 final win, feels the 2019 World Cup represents one of his team’s better chances to repeat the performances of 1975 and 1979.

Carlos Brathwaite is one of an assembly line of power-hitters in the West Indies team Getty Images

“If we can win, we can be looked upon in the way that the team of ’75 and ’79 was looked upon, as heroes of sorts,” he was quoted as saying by the ICC. “Once we do the things we’re supposed to do, often we should go far enough in the tournament.

“It’s one of our better chances in the last 40 years or so to win the World Cup, so it’s time for us to show up and show off. On our day, in semi-finals and finals we have some guys who can win it on their own.”

One of those guys is Chris Gayle, the iconic figure at the top of the batting order playing his last World Cup, and one of the others is young Shai Hope, who has been scoring big runs of late.

“Obviously, Chris has done that in the Test and ODI format, and then he is ‘Universe Boss’ in T20s as well,” Brathwaite said. “The young guys like Shai Hope are aspiring to reach the heights that Chris has reached.”

‘Quite relieved seeing Mustafiz bowl at his old pace’ – Mashrafe

Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza has picked Mustafizur Rahman’s opening spell as one of the most heartening takeaways from the team’s 95-run defeat to India in the warm-up fixture in Cardiff on Tuesday.

Mustafizur Rahman is congratulated after he struck early Associated Press

Mustafizur has not had a consistent run since the Asia Cup last September when he took 10 wickets in Bangaldesh’s runners-up finish. He picked up a four-wicket haul against West Indies, during the tri-series earlier this month, but has otherwise been expensive with both the new and old ball of late.

“I am quite relieved seeing Mustafiz bowl at his old pace,” Mashrafe said about the the 23-year-old left-armer, who took 1 for 19 from his first five overs, bowling more accurately than he has done since the New Zealand ODI series in February. “He bowled well too, and picked up his pace around 140kph at times. If he can bowl like he usually does, our bowling becomes a very different unit. I also got a lot out of Rubel [Hossain] and [Mohammad] Saifuddin. We expected to do better with the new ball after not having done well in Ireland.”

Bangladesh used their last opportunity before the tournament proper to test several things, including pushing bowlers out of their comfort zones. India piled up 359 for 7 in 50 overs as Mashrafe rotated nine bowlers in different segments of the innings. He underscored that despite being at the receiving end of such big hitting, Bangladesh remained confident about their spinners.

“Shakib [Al Hasan] had an off day but he has the experience to come back in a great way,” Mashrafe said. “I think he will do something big in this World Cup. [Medidy Hasan] Miraz, too, has been bowling well recently. In this game, we tried to give all our spinners difficult situations to bowl at, so that in the tournament proper they become mentally equipped to deal with a storm of big hitting.”

Mashrafe, however, added that set batsmen at the crease would be expected to convert their starts into hundreds, and that they cannot afford to lose wickets in quick succession if they are to chase big totals.

“Mushfiq[ur Rahim] remains consistent, which is important,” Mashrafe said. “Liton [Das] is doing his job. It would have been better had they both scored centuries. We would have reached 300 had [Mahmudullah] Riyad been there for a little bit longer. I think playing India’s high-quality attack in the practice match is going to help us [in the tournament proper]. But we can’t lose wickets in pairs. It makes chasing 350-plus very difficult. Liton and Mushfiq got out just when they were becoming aggressive, while Shakib and [Mohammad] Mithun got out first ball, although to good deliveries.”

Rashid Khan will be Afghanistan’s key man with the ball AFP

Rashid Khan can leave you ‘shaking your head’ – Maxwell

Glenn Maxwell has admitted that Rashid Khan is a bowler who can leave a batsman “shaking your head” with his variations as he prepares to potentially face the legspinner in Australia’s opening World Cup match against Afghanistan.

Although Maxwell said he can pick Rashid “at times” and doesn’t usually feel like he’ll get out to him – in six T20 matches the pair of faced in each other, Rashid has never removed Maxwell – he conceded that scoring against him is mighty tough work but hopes that experience of facing him in the Big Bash will help.

“He’s very difficult,” Maxwell said. “He is probably one of the more difficult ones I’ve played against. He and Narine are probably the two you go through stages where you think you are going to hold them and then they bowl a ball that beats you. And you sit there shaking your head. I think for me I feel like I don’t think I’m going to get out to him but I don’t feel like I’m going to score much off him.

“It’s about targeting other blokes and making sure I’m putting pressure on him to change his lengths and I felt like I did that against him during the Big Bash at different times. I will be drawing on that experience a little bit. We’ve got a bit of footage to watch but it’s a different kettle of fish when you’re actually facing him.”

Maxwell said it was a balancing act between trying to be aggressive against Rashid – to force Afghanistan into a change of tactics – and the risk of giving him wickets.

“I probably try and pick my spinners I go hard against,” he said. “Whether it’s history against them or I have confidence against them, or I’ve got a good game plan against certain players. But I think for him because he is such a dangerous player for them – they rely and him and Nabi a lot to stop and get wickets just after the Powerplay – I think just putting pressure on them to bring back the medium pace and faster bowlers might be the way we go, I’m not really sure. But once we have that batting meeting during the week guys will come out with certain plans. Guys might target him, I don’t know.”

May 28

Shai Hope backs West Indies in race to 500

Shai Hope acknowledges the crowd after making a century Getty Images

One of the big questions ahead of the World Cup is whether it will be the moment the 500-mark is breached in ODIs. It is certainly in range with England holding the current record of 481 for 6 against Australia last year and they are a team fancied to push it further, but Shai Hope is backing West Indies to be the team break the magical mark.

There is certainly no lack of power in West Indies’ line-up as they reminded everyone by piling up 421 against New Zealand in Bristol. Hope’s contribution was a skillful 101 off 86 balls with the early onslaught provided by Chris Gayle (36 off 22) and later Andre Russell (54 off 25 balls). The only players to strike below 100 were Evin Lewis – who still managed 50 off 54 balls – and No. 11 Kemar Roach.

“It is definitely a goal we can try to achieve at some point,” Hope said. “Definitely it would be great to be the first team to cross that 500 mark and I am sure we have the batting firepower to do it.”

One thing in West Indies’ favour in the quest for 500 is that two of their matches are at Trent Bridge – the venue where England flayed the record and its predecessor, 444 for 3 against Pakistan in 2016.

While the top order is packed with strokemakers – with Hope providing a classy and in-from anchor at No. 3 – it is Russell who could be the trump card when it comes to massive totals.

“He is just incredible – a freak of nature really,” Hope said. “I don’t really know what to say about Russ, he just hits it and once he hits it, it goes for six. He is a pleasure to be on the same team as him, I can tell you that. If you are on the field you are not sure what you are going to bowl at him. It is just nice to enjoy from the inside.”

We have that belief we didn’t have a few years ago – Adil Rashid

Adil Rashid has consistently been England’s main threat with the ball Associated Press

The pressure keeps mounting on the favourites and hosts England, but legspinner Adil Rashid believes that the side is well-equipped to deal with it. Rashid also felt that this level of confidence among group was something the side did not have a few years ago.

ALSO READ – The importance of Rashid and Moeen to England’s World Cup dreams

England didn’t make the knockouts in the 2015 World Cup, but following a revamp in their batting approach, they climbed to No. 1. They’ve won 16 of the 23 ODI series they’ve played since the last World Cup, and Rashid took pride in their recent success.

“It’s an exciting feeling being in this team as you have world-class players all around you and the opposition might get 370, but there’s a belief in the dressing room we can chase it down,” Rashid told ICC. “There is no hesitation or someone going, ‘I don’t know about this’, we all have that belief and confidence we can do it. If the openers don’t [don’t do the job], number three, four, five six will instead. “It’s the same all the way down the order, we have that belief that a few years ago we may not have had. Now we’ve got that regardless or the score, 400 or whatever.”

Rashid ‘s legspin has been central to England’s rise, but he also explained the value of the other bowlers in the side.

“I’ll try my best and if I don’t take the wickets, a seamer will do the job, we’ve got another spinner in Moeen Ali who can take the wickets, we’ve got Tom Curran or Jofra Archer,” he said. “It’s obviously exciting, but I’ll still just focus on bowling to my strengths. I will continue to go through my processes, I can’t let that get to me and think about that. I’ve got to think about working hard, getting my variations in and enjoying the game.”

Malinga teaches Stoinis his bag of tricks

It is only a few days until teams will be going hammer and tongs against each other to win the World Cup, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t time for passing on advice between opposition players.

After Australia had wrapped up a comfortable win against Sri Lanka in Southampton, Marcus Stoinis spent time on the outfield with Lasith Malinga picking his brains about how to bowl the slower ball that has caused so many batsmen problems over the years – most recently to clinch the IPL final in the final-ball thriller.

Even though they will face each other during the tournament – the two teams play at The Oval on June 15 – Malinga was happy to hand down plenty of advice.

“Stoinis requested me one thing about how I bowl the slower ball…variation is essential within the quick format sport,” Malinga mentioned. “I need to give all the guidelines as a result of I need to assist whoever needs to know. I will give the tips about how you can bowl the slower ball and which conditions to make use of them. I am actually completely satisfied to work with him.”

So will we see Stoinis bowling like Malinga over the following few weeks? “Not round-arm, however I anticipate him to bowl the dipping slower ball,” Malinga mentioned.

Pat Cummins and Glenn Maxwell have a good time AFP

The Maxwell issue

A lot earlier than ‘3D’ grew to become a buzzword in cricket, Glenn Maxwell had embodied the phrase for several seasons. And for the 2019 World Cup, Maxwell’s multi-utility skills could well be the key factor to getting Australia a sixth World Cup trophy. That’s if vice-captain Pat Cummins’ words are anything to to by.

“I think the way he has turned games around for us in the last couple of months has been impressive with the bat, and then he is also an option to bowl ten overs,” Cummins said.

In the lead-up to the tournament, Maxwell smashed three half-centuries in Australia’s 5-0 series win in the UAE. He then plied his trade on the county circuit, playing seven List A games. He returns with the bat were modest – a top score of 35 – but he struck regularly with the ball, taking eight wickets in all and going wicketless in a match only once.

In Australia’s final warm-up match, against Sri Lanka, Maxwell hit a run-a-ball 36 and took 1 for 14 in five overs – further evidence of good all-round form. Throw in his athletic prowess on the field and he is the complete package.

“He is also able to get run-outs and take catches,” Cummins said. “You get all three facets out of him and he is always there in tough situations. He is probably our sixth bowler but on a good day he can get through all ten. He’s in good form.”

May 27

Vijay Shankar and Kedar Jadhav return to training

VIjay Shankar returned to training after being cleared of serious injury Associated Press

Vijay Shankar and Kedar Jadhav were both back at the nets ahead of India’s second warm-up fixture against Bangladesh in Cardiff on Tuesday. Vijay hurt his wrist in India’s first training session upon landing in England and underwent scans that cleared him of a fracture. Jadhav, meanwhile, is recuperating from a shoulder injury that forced him out of the last stages of the IPL. This was Jadhav’s first proper hit at the nets in England this summer, while Vijay too seemed quite comfortable facing up to the bowlers. Both players did not take part in India’s first warm-up fixture against New Zealand at The Oval.

Latham making encouraging progress

Tom Latham has returned to training following the fractured finger he picked up during the warm-up series against Australia in Brisbane earlier this month. However, it remains uncertain whether he will be able to take the gloves for New Zealand’s opening against Sri Lanka in Cardiff on Saturday.

Tom Blundell, who is uncapped in ODIs, kept wicket in the warm-up match against India and is set to continue in the role against West Indies.

“It’s good to see him hitting and catching again,” Blundell said of Latham. “It’s going to be good for our team and hopefully he can get back as soon as possible.”

Blundell earned a late call into New Zealand’s World Cup plans after being preferred to Tim Seifert in the 15-man squad. He made 77 in the first match against the Australians at Allan Border Field.

Sri Lanka’s ocean-plastic colours

Sri Lanka’s World Cup kit is made from recycled ocean-waste plastic materials. According to Lasith Malinga, the eco-friendly kit feels very similar to those made of other materials and is both comfortable and allows the skin to ‘breathe’. The jerseys, which have a satin-like feel, have a secondary purpose; to promote awareness of ocean pollution.

“With all the beaches in Sri Lanka, and the plastic around the sea, people have realised they can clean the beach and make the shirts for us in this World Cup,” said Malinga. “It’s a good thing for Sri Lanka, and we are very happy to support them.”

Sabbir wants to be Bangladesh’s enforcer

In a World Cup that is expected to be high-scoring, Bangladesh will look to the senior trio of Tamim Iqbal, Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim to provide the steel to their innings, but the onus of quick scoring at the death will fall on Sabbir Rahman and it’s a role he is prepared for.

“My role is to play No. 6, 7 or 8,” he was quoted as saying by the ICC website. “I like to score quickly and I will try to make sure we can put runs on the board as a team in the later overs. I think I want to bring some momentum to our innings.

“We expect Tamim to bat for 40 overs and if there’s a good wicket, I can make it a bigger score.”

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Bangladesh, who have hit only six scores of over 300 since the last World Cup, will be eyeing stronger finishes. They will also be looking to improve their strike rate in the last ten overs – among the ten teams in the current edition, only Sri Lanka have a poorer run rate in the last ten overs (6.63), compared to Bangladesh’s 6.66.

With their first warm-up against Pakistan washed out, Bangladesh have only one practice match – against India on Tuesday – before they open their campaign against South Africa on June 2 in London.

Australia ‘have turned a corner’ – Allan Border

For a change, Australia are not the runaway favourites at the World Cup, but Allan Border, who led them to the first of their five titles back in 1987, feels “things have turned around for our team after some really good performances in India and against Pakistan in the UAE; I just think they’ve turned a corner”.

Allan Border feels good spinners are going to be like gold dust at the World Cup Getty Images

Writing on the ICC website, Border said that the return of Steve Smith, David Warner and Mitchell Starc have made a big difference to the team, to go with the winning run in India and the UAE.

“The key will be having a mix between pace and spin, but legspinners are going to play a big role in this World Cup. Good spinners are going to be like gold dust, and how you bowl is going to win or lose you games,” Border wrote, while picking Adam Zampa as a potential game changer.

That said, like many others, Border picked England as the most formidable outfit out there as “they have changed the game”. “There’s no score that they couldn’t get or target they couldn’t achieve. The rest of us are playing catch-up to a certain degree,” Border said, adding that up to six of the ten teams in the fray are capable of winning the tournament.

May 26

Smith boos ‘add to the game’ – Carey

Steven Smith brushed off the boos he received during the warm-up match against England as “water off a duck’s back” and team-mate Alex Carey said the atmosphere “adds to the game”.

Alex Carey cuts loose Getty Images

Australia were well aware of the reception they were likely to get in Southampton so the reaction of the crowd came as little surprise with Smith and Warner facing England for the first time since their ball-tampering bans. Smith made a statement, however, with 116 off 102 balls as Australia secured a 12-run win.

“We knew it was going to happen, it’s one way to answer it – and Davey got 40-odd as well,” Carey said. “I think it’s a great atmosphere and adds to the game. The guys handled it really well.”

Carey batted alongside Smith and dominated a sixth-wicket stand of 42 which gave Australia late impetus after the innings had threatened to stall. Carey, not one of Australia’s big hitters, struck 30 off 14 deliveries with some excellent placement to show it is not always about how far you can strike the ball that matters.

“Something I’ve been working on is that if I’m not clearing the pickets with the biggest hits then I’m finding the gaps, it’s something I’ll build on. It was nice to go out there with Steve and put on a little partnership at the end. He’s fantastic to bat with.”

‘The dream for me started that day’ – Karunaratne on SL’s 1996 World Cup win

Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne was only eight years old, and Angelo Mathews was nine when Arjuna Ranatunga led Sri Lanka to the World Cup title in 1996.

For Karunaratne, Sri Lanka’s victory was an inspiration for him to play cricket. “I remember the game and watching with all our family and friends,” Karunaratne told the ICC. “I recall we had a very, very small television, so I had a pocket radio with me so I could listen to all the commentary and not miss anything.

“It was a very special time for Sri Lanka as a country, I just remember how excited all my friends were and how it inspired me to play cricket. The dream for me started that day.

“Those players are still an inspiration to everyone in Sri Lanka and the lesson we take now is how they played as a team and worked for each other.”

Mathews though doesn’t remember the details of Sri Lanka’s winning campaign but said that the success changed the cricketing scene in the island nation.

“We are very grateful to that team and we are who we are today because of them,” he said. “I was a bit too young to remember the match in too much detail, I just remember how proud everyone was, who would have thought Sri Lanka could become world champions.

“That team made such an impact to the sport in our country. It changed the entire set-up overnight, every kid wanted to be a cricketer. People were always talking about cricket after that.”

Mathews, who warmed up with 64 against South Africa on Friday, said the current tournament format posed a different challenge though.

“We know it’s going to be challenging but we’re looking forward to it. The new format where you play everyone is great but it means you can’t get lucky. To win this World Cup you need to beat all the best and be consistent – that is how it should be.”

Ruth and Andrew Strauss at Buckingham Palace Getty Images

England players turn out to support Ruth Strauss Foundation fun run

England put their World Cup preparation – and its last-minute concerns – aside on Sunday as the entire squad turned out for the Ruth Strauss Foundation Family Mile in central London.

Wearing bright red t-shirts emblazoned with the foundation’s logo, the England players were photographed at the event behind a banner which read “Run With Ruth” as part of the 2019 Vitality Westminster Mile. Participants could run, jog or walk from The Mall to Buckingham Palace and several players – including skipper Eoin Morgan, Joe Root, Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow – wore race numbers, taking part in the event alongside former England captain Andrew Strauss.

England head of team communications Danny Reuben posted the photos on Twitter, saying: “Fantastic turnout for the @RuthStraussFdn at the #WestminsterMile – all the squad in attendance.” Several players, including Morgan, Stokes and Chris Woakes, publicised the event on their own Twitter accounts and called for donations.

Ruth Strauss, Andrew’s spouse, died in December aged 46 after battling a uncommon type of lung most cancers. The muse goals to boost consciousness and funds for analysis into the illness and help providers for victims and their households. Strauss mentioned: “Ruth cherished households spending time collectively and it will likely be great to see so many households come collectively on Sunday Might 26 to have a good time her life.”

The staff’s participation got here a day after their 12-run loss to Australia in a World Cup warm-up match in Southampton, throughout which quick bowlers Mark Wooden and Jofra Archer and spin-bowling allrounder Liam Dawson had been injured. Wooden’s drawback was of most concern as he awaited the outcomes of scans on his left foot. Morgan missed the match with a finger fracture and Root was a late inclusion instead whereas mourning the loss of life of a grandparent.

Ross Taylor performs a scoop Getty Photographs

Gayle ‘an inspiration’ as Taylor seems to be in direction of 2023

Ross Taylor comes into the World Cup at his absolute peak as an ODI batsman. For the reason that begin of 2017, he averages 70.96 within the format, and solely Virat Kohli has executed higher amongst batsmen with a minimal of 1000 runs on this interval.

For the way lengthy can Taylor preserve going, although? The New Zealand batsman is 35 now, and he admits 2019 might be his final World Cup, however he is not ruling out one other one 4 years down the road. He counts Chris Gayle, who’s as previous now as Taylor shall be in 2023, as an inspiration.

“My method to the World Cup isn’t essentially a mindset of going on the market simply to get pleasure from it,” Taylor informed ICC. “You all the time put a whole lot of strain on your self in huge tournaments – strain comes with it whether or not you consider it or not, so it is about managing these moments.

“I am 35 however you by no means actually know what’s to return. Chris Gayle might be an inspiration – he is 39 on this World Cup and I am 39 on the subsequent, so it isn’t a easy matter. You by no means know, it will in all probability be my final World Cup but when these hamstrings and calves maintain collectively then perhaps I could be again in just a few years.”

Taylor had a comparatively quiet time on the 2015 World Cup, scoring 221 runs at a mean of 31.57, whilst his staff made the ultimate for the primary time. New Zealand performed all however considered one of their matches – the ultimate – at residence 4 years in the past; now Taylor feels it will likely be a harder job to get that far or higher that efficiency.

“I feel it’s important to tempo your self in a match like this, it is a very long time and the best way our schedule is, there are a whole lot of video games at the beginning and a little bit of a break within the center,” Taylor mentioned. “The way in which you relaxation and practice between video games goes to be essential.

“In the case of a warm-up you simply deal with it as that after which get out of the sport what you need to get out of it. For us, we’ve not performed as a staff for 2 or three months, so it was about going on the market and testing our expertise out in opposition to the most effective.

“It is going to be so much harder, making the ultimate 4 years in the past we performed a whole lot of video games at residence and we knew our circumstances very effectively. For those who get off to a very good begin and get onto a roll, you will get into these semi-finals and all of the sudden you are solely two wins away from profitable it.”

An elated Mashrafe Mortaza sports activities a smile with the tri-nation collection trophy in hand AFP / Getty Photographs

The opposite facet of Mashrafe

Within the 5 months as a member of parliament from his native Narail, Mashrafe Mortaza has already created a stir together with his simple method. His shock go to to a neighborhood hospital led him to find that the medical doctors weren’t current, and the message from Mashrafe was clear: wrongdoing will not be tolerated. He additionally directed Narail’s native administrator to purchase paddy instantly from the farmers after a lot of them in different components of the nation protested not getting a good value for his or her produce. This angle has struck a chord with the native folks.

Now, nonetheless, Mashrafe’s focus is fully on the World Cup. “I’m simply concentrating on cricket,” he informed ESPNcricinfo. “My involvement in politics is not at that degree but. I haven’t got to present it a whole lot of time, aside from explicit points. I’m nonetheless very snug to recognise myself as a cricketer. Politics isn’t full-time in the meanwhile.”

Bangladesh play their first sport of the World Cup in opposition to South Africa on the Oval on June 2.

“The youthful gamers, a few of whom have performed within the earlier World Cup, are giving us confidence,” Mashrafe mentioned. “If all of them proceed of their good kind, we are able to anticipate to have a very good match [against South Africa]. The likes of Shakib, Tamim, Mahmudullah, Mushfiq and Mustafiz have delivered below strain.”

Shamsur Rahman was bowled by Kemar Roach WICB Media/Randy Brooks

‘If we begin getting on a roll, nobody will relish going through us’ – Kemar Roach

West Indies won’t be on many individuals’s checklist of favourites for the World Cup 2019, however their quick bowler Kemar Roach is least bothered about that. In truth, he feels the facet performs higher when the main target isn’t on them.

“We love being underdogs, going below the radar and shocking folks, that’s our sport plan,” Roach informed the ICC. “We like not having to take care of the hype. The format is right, whoever wins this World Cup will not have gotten fortunate – they’re going to have needed to play everybody. If we begin getting on a roll, nobody will relish going through us.”

Previous to the 2019 version, England have hosted the World Cup 4 instances, and on three of these events, West Indies made it to the finals. They gained the primary two editions, in 1975 and 1979, and had been the runner-ups within the subsequent in 1983. Whereas the present West Indies staff is probably not of the identical pedigree, Roach mentioned they had been up for the problem to make historical past of their very own.

“It is an excellent feeling to observe these guys that gained right here all these years in the past,” Roach mentioned. “We all know the historical past we’ve on this match when England host it and that is inspiring to us all. What these guys did means we nonetheless get superb help on this nation, we all know the followers right here love the West Indies and we need to placed on that present they anticipate.

“Nonetheless, we additionally know we’ve to make our personal historical past, that is our problem and the blokes are prepared for it.”

Carlos Brathwaite celebrates dismissing Alex Hales Getty Photographs

‘Versatility makes me an asset’ – Brathwaite

You ‘keep in mind the title’, after all you do. And the 4 consecutive sixes that gained West Indies the T20 World Cup. Now Carlos Brathwaite is ready to play his first ODI World Cup, and the allrounder warmed up by hitting 60 in a sport in opposition to Australia. Brathwaite is assured his versatility will assist West Indies make a deep run within the match.

“When chosen, my skill-set fits bowling very tight within the center, providing some help on the loss of life after which with the bat choosing up the slack,” Brathwaite mentioned on Saturday. “If I would like to return within the final three or 4 overs to present us a lift to the full then nice… or the odd sport the place I can are available and play an extended knock, so I feel it is about engaged on all sides of my sport so my versatility makes me an asset that may be chosen at any level through the match.

“It is one other problem and no matter scenario presents itself is for me to make use of that versatility once more and to adapt to it. We may have one other knock like in opposition to Australia or we may have a knock the place they solely have three overs and I am supporting one of many batters that’s in, so it is one other good problem for the staff and places us one step nearer to the last word aim which is profitable the match.”

Might 25

Trent Boult tumbles over in his observe via Getty Photographs

Fairly loopy to see 350 being chased down – Boult

Trent Boult has performed just one World Cup, however he left a deep impression. Boult took 22 wickets in 2015, the joint highest alongside Mitchell Starc, as New Zealand marched to their first ever closing.

Nonetheless, Boult is aware of that in 2019, bowlers are prone to have a harder time than they did in 2015, given the prodigious scoring seen in England in latest instances. “With the ball we need to be as aggressive as we are able to. We all know that taking wickets can stump that run fee,” Boult mentioned forward of recent Zealand’s first warm-up match, in opposition to India. “With out freely giving our gameplan, I feel it is apparent that every one groups try to take early wickets and put the strain on the batting staff. To see these 300-350, 400 even being touched, after which being chased down is fairly loopy for my part.”

New Zealand’s tempo assault has Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry, James Neesham and Tim Southee in addition to Boult, and he acknowledged that with little or no assist from the circumstances, discovering new methods to take wickets can be a problem.

“Not only for me, however the assault we possess, we’re all form of new-ball bowlers,” Boult mentioned. “We’re swing bowlers. If the circumstances go well with, then clearly we have the talents to place the opposition to the take a look at there, however the balls have not actually been swinging so we’re probably not coming right here and anticipating it to be round prefer it did 4 years in the past. The take a look at of the bowling group is that there is different methods to search out wickets and I feel that is going to be the problem over the following couple of weeks – to attempt to discover wickets when the pitches are flat. It is not swinging they usually’re form of batsmen-friendly circumstances, however we’re trying ahead to the problem.”

Might 24

Dinesh Karthik comes down the observe to flick Related Press

The ‘nonetheless related’ Dinesh Karthik

‘Love him or hate him, you’ll be able to’t ignore him.’

That is not fairly what Dinesh Karthik mentioned, however he pointed if folks had been nonetheless speaking about him – both for or in opposition to – he had managed to remain ‘related’.

Regardless of being ignored for India’s closing ODI collection – in opposition to Australia at residence – earlier than the World Cup, Karthik pipped Rishabh Pant to the back-up wicketkeeper spot for the worldwide match. It divided opinion, however Karthik felt he was glad so long as he remained within the dialog.

ALSO READ: Stressed rookie to calm finisher: Karthik’s evolution

“I would not nonetheless be enjoying if it weren’t for the blessings of my family and friends,” Karthik informed PTI earlier than leaving for England. “Good or dangerous, if folks nonetheless speak about you it means that you’ve got managed to remain related. This can be very satisfying that I’ve managed to remain related all these years and nonetheless making an attempt exhausting to be a part of the staff.”

Karthik, nonetheless, additionally admitted that he was stunned at his exclusion from India’s ODI squad for the Australia collection, however felt that his successes over a protracted interval contributed to his choice.

“I used to be a bit shocked (on lacking out), however I had religion that you realize whether it is meant to be, it’s meant to be,” Karthik mentioned. “In the long run, I used to be picked for my performances during the last two years.

“I’ve batted in varied positions (during the last 24 months) and I’ve had respectable success in these positions. However the bottom line is not for me to look again on the final two years, the best match goes to occur and I now have the chance to play there.”

‘Asghar Afghan continues to be my captain’

Gulbadin Naib is thrilled to take a wicket AFP

Asghar Afghan’s removing as Afghanistan’s ODI captain lower than two months earlier than the World Cup had garnered criticism from among the staff’s senior gamers, however his alternative Gulbadin Naib quelled any murmurs of disharmony inside the staff, saying he nonetheless thought-about Asghar as his captain.

“Asghar Afghan continues to be my captain,” Naib informed ICC. “We performed our previous couple of video games in opposition to Eire and Scotland, and he helped me so much. He guided me. He is not simply one other participant for me, he is nonetheless my captain proper now.

“I need help from him. Not simply him, however [Mohammad] Nabi, Rashid [Khan] and all the blokes who’ve a whole lot of expertise. All of us have one aim: we need to play for Afghanistan and play as a staff, whoever the captain is.”

Afghanistan have warm-up video games scheduled in opposition to Pakistan and England earlier than they open their marketing campaign on June 1 in opposition to Australia.


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