World Cup 2019: Australia announces squad that includes Smith and Warner

World Cup 2019: Australia announces squad that includes Smith and Warner but leaves out big names

As the Cricket Australia board were to announce the 15-man squad for the World Cup mix it was certain that the bench strength of the previously reduced squad will be more of a bane than a boon for the management. 

The Australian think tank had to choose between taking back ex-captain Steve Smith and David Warner and leaving one of them out to squeeze another option in. The ICC Cricket World Cup will commence on May 30 and the defending Champions will begin their campaign on June 1 when they take on Afghanistan.

New Zealand, the finalists of the 2015 World Cup, were the first to announce their World Cup squad earlier this month. On April 15, India and Australia unveiled their 15-man brigade for the ICC event. While the other two squads included a reserve wicket-keeper, the Australian management has acted against it. Taking Alex Carey as their first choice for a wicketkeeper, the Aussies left out the talented glovesman Peter Handscomb. He averages 43.54 with the bat in the year 2019 and also played a key role in Australia’s victory in India last month. His 117 in Mohali paved the way for Australia’s highest successful ODI chase ever.

Also Read: India’s World Cup Squad

But the think tank thought that top-order batting, with Usman Khawaja and Aaron Finch who are in the form of their lives, and with the David Warner-Steve Smith duo returning after a year-long absence, Handscomb’s inclusion was no go. Handscomb wasn’t just the one to be left out from the list of players who had steered Australia’s away series victory over India. Even Ashton Turner missed out on a World Cup spot. Meanwhile, Alex Carey and Jason Behrendorff made the cut.

Veteran bowler Josh Hazlewood was also left out as he is seen as more of a Test Cricket specialist. However, the CA board has attested that in the case of any injury to any of the five fast bowlers, Hazlewood will positively be called in as a replacement. 

World Cup squad: David Warner, Aaron Finch (c), Usman Khawaja, Steve Smith, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Alex Carey (vc), Pat Cummins, Jhye Richardson, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Jason Behrendorff, Adam Zampa, Nathan Lyon.

India World Cup squad announced; Dinesh Karthik, Vijay Shankar included

India World Cup squad announced; Dinesh Karthik, Vijay Shankar included

The 15-member India squad have been announced today for the upcoming ICC World Cup which is scheduled to be started from May 30. 

Today, the selector MSK Prasad announced the names of the players. Rishabh Pant and Ambati Rayudu couldn’t find their places in the squad while Dinesh Karthik was the notable inclusion. Ravindra Jadeja, KL Rahul, and Vijay Shankar also have been selected.

Everyone was expecting the youngster Rishabh Pant will get a call but Dinesh Karthik earned the recall. However, the selector shared that Karthik was chosen because of his experience and their performances in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) didn’t affect the selection. The 33-year old Karthik showcased that he can finish the game with his 8-ball 29 in the Nidahas Trophy final.

“We debated at length whether to pick Pant or DK (Dinesh Karthik). We felt that either of them would only come into the XI if Mahi (Dhoni) is injured. We felt that if it is a big game like semifinal or final, keeping ability also matters. Pant was almost there,” MSK Prasad said after the selection meeting in Mumbai on Monday.

“We also discussed in a crunch match who is best suited to handle pressure. Under pressure we have seen DK finishing games,” he further added.

The selector further added that they didn’t consider the other youngsters like Shreyas Iyer and Shubman Gill.

“This squad was very close to the side we picked against Australia. We didn’t consider IPL form. The likes of Iyer and Shubman Gill are doing well but they were not considered,” Prasad said.

Also Read: Australia Squad for ICC World Cup 2019

On the other hand, there was a debate between Vijay Shankar and Ambati Rayudu, who would get selected. However, Vijay Shankar has been selected over Rayudu as he has an all-rounder.

“After the 2017 Champions Trophy, we tried a lot of middle-order batsmen which included the likes of Shreyas Iyer and Manish Pandey. Vijay offered us three dimensions — he might bowl a bit and is fantastic fielder. He is a batman who might bowl a bit. We are looking at him for the No. 4 position. Nothing went against Rayudu but lot of things went in favour of Shankar,” MSK Prasad added that.

“Yes, we are looking at Shankar in that position while Jadhav is another option. Rahul is also there which can look at one of the top order option. But for now, we have picked Rahul as the back-up opener,” he further expressed while talking about the no. 4 place in the squad.

However, the selectors also recalled left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja who has an average 29.92 with the bat from 151 ODIs and 35.89 with the ball with 174 wickets. He has been in a great form in the ongoing IPL.

“Over the last couple of years, Chahal and Kuldeep (Yadav) have won us a lot of games. Jadeja brings in variety among the spinner. The wickets might get drier as the tournament goes on and that’s why we have picked Jadeja,” Prasad said about their thought behind picking up Jadeja.

“Apart from the three pacers, Pandya can bowl, so can Shankar and Jadhav. So we have 7 bowling options. Khaleel (Ahmed) and Navdeep (Saini) were discussed. If need arises, one of them will be picked in the squad,” Prasad expressed while talking about the bowlers.

However, The International Cricket Council (ICC) gives the permission to all countries that they can change the option of this 15-member squad till seven days prior to the start of the mega event. But the chief selector said that this 15-member squad will not be going to be changed unless there is an injury.


Virat Kohli (Captain), Rohit Sharma (Vice-Captain), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Vijay Shankar, MS Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja and Mohammed Shami.

Matthew Hayden backs Ambati Rayudu at no. 4 spot

Matthew Hayden backs Ambati Rayudu at no. 4 spot

Former Australia player Matthew Hayden has backed Ambati Rayudu at the no. 4 position in the Indian batting line up. 

India has been in search of a stable no. 4 batsman for quite some time now. Moreover, captain Virat Kohli too said that they are more or less sure about the team apart from one spot. He didn’t mention clearly which spot he was talking about but it’s an open secret now that India doesn’t have a stable batsman for the position. Moreover, coach Ravi Shastri also hinted that captain himself could be pushed to the fourth slot.

“As a side, combination wise, we are pretty sorted. Maximum one change, you’ll get to see in the World Cup. As a side, we’re balanced. Hardik Pandya will come back to the team. With him, there’s batting depth, and bowling option opens up. We know where we have to go as a combination. The XI is clear in our head. We just have to take better decisions in pressure situations to go far in the World Cup,” said captain Virat Kohli.

Over the years, India has tried many batsmen in that position. Ambati Rayudu, however, is the best choice among them. He has batted at the place in 14 innings and has scored a century and two fifties but didn’t get the chance to play in the last two ODIs against Australia.

Virat Kohli came in at four in the fourth ODI against Australia in Mohali while Rishabh Pant was promoted to that slot in the decider at Kotla but both the times’ result was not impressive.

While speaking to IANS, Mathew Hayden said that for him, Rayudu was the best choice for the slot.

“Rayudu is my man. I can’t believe India is even questioning that. For so long, he has been so good. I don’t know why they are questioning, maybe because you need to speak about something before the World Cup. I don’t see Rahul taking that slot as much as I admire him. His time will come and if anything he is more of a stand-by opener for me as opposed to the number four slot,” he explained.

Also Read: 3 areas of concern for India 

World Cup 2019 : India Boycotting Pakistan Can Be A Threat For CWC

World Cup 2019 : India Boycotting Pakistan Can Be A Threat For CWC

With World Cup 2019 beginning in less than two months time, border tensions between India and Pakistan seem to have a threat over the highly anticipated clash between the arch-rivals in England.

The Story

Following Pulwama attack, there have been calls for India to boycott their World Cup match against Pakistan on June 16. The attack in South Kashmir was claimed by a militant group based in Pakistan in which 40 Indian troops died.

A lot happened after that in terms of border conflicts. The situation seemed to ease when Pakistan returned an Indian Air Force pilot who was shot down and captured. But the doubts remain over the fate of the match. Vinod Rai, a senior official of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) informed that they had asked for high security from the International Cricket Council (ICC) at the World Cup 2019.

In the letter to the ICC, the BCCI urged “the cricketing community to sever ties with countries from which terrorism emanates”.

Rai confirmed a boycott decision would be made only after consulting the Governments.

Threats Over World Cup 2019 

Although a lot of ex-cricketers came forward regarding the issue and agreed to abide by the Government, Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli echoed the same. But ICC haven’t said anything clearly yet. senior editor Sharda Ugra told AFP, 

“I think they won’t be able to get the ICC to take on any stand on it and I don’t think the BCCI will say that we are not playing there,”.

World Cup 2019 will begin on and from May 30. If India Pakistan match gets canceled it will be a major loss for the organizers. Whereas the ball is in the court of the Indian politicians, it will be interesting to see how ICC deals with it. 

Also Read: India must resolve these issues before World Cup 

World Cup 2019: How England shape up

World Cup 2019: How England shape up

July 24th, 2019. It is the date when the inventors of the game of cricket will host the coveted World Cup Final at the most hallowed ground of the game, Lords. 

Currently ranked number 1 in ODIs, the English team have age, expertise, and rankings on their side. But how will the side fare in the World Cup 2019?

Home Advantage

World Cup 2019: How England shape up
Image Source – The Independent

One of the biggest advantages that English teams have enjoyed over the years is that they are constantly encouraged to overlook past failures, and only focus on what is to come. The English cricket team is young and bursting with energy, and this will be a huge plus point for them. The summer of 2005 when the Ashes was staged proved that cricket can truly hypnotize the nation. Organizers are expected that with widespread and clever advertising techniques, revenue will be at an all-time high. In addition to this, playing at home in front of a well-educated crowd will always work in their favor, and England will be expected to cash in on it in the World Cup 2019.

Opening Partnership

Image Source – ABC

With openers Jason Roy and Bairstow, England have nothing to worry about. They form the perfect team, complementing each other successfully while playing long innings. The pair has been responsible for handing the English team with many match-winning opening stands, including a double hundred together. Due to their pairing, the English team has changed their playing tactic. From a policy of holding back and playing calmly, England now follows the route of controlled aggression, which was on full display against West Indies recently, when they chased down 360.

The Captain

Image Source – The Independent

Eoin Morgan buckled under the pressures of the previous management, but Andrew Strauss’ decision to retain him for World Cup 2019 was probably the best ideas in a long time. His team respects his decisions, and he understands which bowler to play, depending on the field conditions. However, the only source of worry for the team is Morgan’s own form. Averaging at 25 the past year, playing at number 4, his future seems shaky. However, he is still more than capable of an attack if England starts strongly. Though inconsistency is an issue with him, Morgan rises to the occasion when need be, like he did against Windies in the first ODI.

The Attack

Image Source – The Independent

Liam Plunkett will be tucking up the bowlers in the middle overs, assisted by Mark Wood and Chris Woakes. England has an ace up their sleeve in the form of Adil Rashid, who can easily be used to null runs and snatch up wickets in the midst of the tournament. However, what England desperately lacks is a bowler like Sunil Narine, who can keep the opposition on their toes at all times. The bowling attack is their biggest worry though, with the pacers often going for a lot of runs throughout the innings. With no variety in the attack and with small grounds, England have struggled to curb runs and have easily allowed opponents to score 300+ runs, which will be a major worry in the tourney.

Also Read: India will not play Pakistan in World Cup 2019 if the Government Feels So

The Batting

Image Source –

England has two very mature players in their team, in the form of Jos Buttler and Joe Root. These players have proven, time and again, that they can be depended on to salvage the lower order. Buttler has learned on how to play on more than one way, modeling his on-field mannerisms on MS Dhoni, possibly the coolest player of the game. Furthermore, Alex Hales can mold himself into any batting situation as well, and it is safe to say that the batting unit is one of the most settled ones among all teams that will play the World Cup.

England has a strong team this year, with players who understand the game, who do not stick to their conventional methods of gameplay, and who can model themselves to play on any surface. These requisites are of utmost importance, especially for a home team looking to redeem themselves and clinch the World Cup 2019, and make themselves a team to reckon with, yet again. England does suffer on slow pitches, but if recent matches are anything to go by, England is slowly becoming a master and they would hope to clinch their maiden title this year.

World Cup 2019: India will not play Pakistan if the Government feels so – BCCI Official

India will not play Pakistan in World Cup if the Government feels so - BCCI Official

Pulwama terror attack has started showing its effect on the 22yards as well. A top official of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Wednesday informed that the World Cup match between India and Pakistan will be canceled if the Indian government is against it.

The Backstory

Around 40 soldiers were martyred followed by a terror attack on February 14 in South Kashmir’s Pulwama district. A CRPF convoy moving from Jammu to Srinagar was attacked by a suicide bomber which resulted in this massive tragedy. Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) claimed responsibility for the attack. Expectedly supports for soldiers are pouring from each corner of the country. Even the cricket circuit isn’t far behind. India and Pakistan are already famous arch rivals of world cricket. Now the situation has become serious followed by the horrifying incident.

With the World Cup scheduled in a few months time, BCCI official has come forward to announce that the organization will give preference to the Government decision. Indian cricket team will not face Pakistan in the mega tournament if the Government says so. This means Pakistan will get the points without even participating in the match.

BCCI Official On World Cup Match

For BCCI in the current situation, the country comes first. The official, further clarified by the official that the Indian board has not approached the International Cricket Council (ICC) in the matter yet.

“The situation with regard to the World Cup can only become clear after some time that is a little closer to the World Cup. ICC has nothing to do with it. If the government, at that point of time, feels that we should not play then we should not play. It is obvious that we won’t play but the result for that would be that Pakistan will get the points for the match and if it is the final match then without playing, Pakistan will win the cup,” the BCCI official told ANI. “As of now we have not approached the ICC in this regard,” the official mentioned.

Meanwhile, ICC will hold a meeting in Dubai from February 27. Chances are that this matter related to India-Pakistan world cup clash will be discussed on the sidelines. BCCI chief executive officer Rahul Johri and secretary Amitabh Chaudhry are expected to represent the Indian board in the meeting.

ICC Chief On India-Pakistan

ICC chief executive officer David Richardson has already informed that ICC is monitoring the situation between the two cricket boards. Furthermore, he clarified that the council has not received any indication of the World Cup matches not being played between India and Pakistan.

“Our thoughts are with the people that were impacted by the incident. And we are monitoring the situation with our members including the BCCI and PCB (Pakistan Cricket Board). Certainly, there are no indications any of the matches, including the Pakistan-India match, will not be played as planned at the World Cup. But as I say we will continue to monitor the situation,” David told ESPNcricinfo.

David Richardson although he believes cricket can work in a better way in this situation.

“Sport, and cricket, in particular, is perfectly placed – it has the wonderful ability to bring people together to unite communities. And hopefully, cricket can be used in this fashion rather than a way of [dividing] people.”

Also Read: DC step up to help the martyr’s families

World Cup 2019 – 3 areas of concern for Team India

With the ICC World Cup 2019 just three and a half months away, teams have started prepping their squads in full swing. While some teams still have areas of concern, others are fairly settled, sans the odd questions that crop up when a team underperforms in a match. 

The Indian Team too look mighty strong on paper and is one of the favorites to win the World Cup 2019 but will need to sort out problem areas before the biennial event gets underway.

The inconsistent middle order

World Cup 2019 - 3 areas of concern for Team India
Image Source – The Indian Express

The Indian Cricket Team has been buoyed by a top-heavy batting unit, with Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and Shikhar Dhawan rising to the occasion more often than not. However, the concerns arise once the trio is back in the pavilion, with India’s middle-order looking unsettled and inconsistent.

Nine cricketers have been tried at the number 4 spot since January 2018, with Ambati Rayudu playing the maximum games in that position – 6. However, with a high score of only 40 and with his issues against pace no secret, the unstable number 4 can often undo all the good work that the top sets.

India’s numbers 5 to 7 have fared no better, with as many as 12 cricketers being given a go in the middle order in the last 13 months. The players in these spots have managed to score runs at only a strike-rate of 81.47, which is in contrast to the strike-rate of 94.80 that the top three batters have batted within this interim. Hence, once the top-order has been dismissed, the job of the bowlers is relatively easy, and with MS Dhoni no longer in ominous form, the struggles in the death overs while batting seems to have no immediate answer.

Also Read: Dhoni should bat at no. 4

The absence of a potent third seamer

World Cup 2019 - 3 areas of concern for Team India
Image Source – India TV

The performance of the duo of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal has managed to take the limelight away from the under-performance of the quicks in the ODI set-up. With no seamer except for Jasprit Bumrah putting his hand up, India remains crippled without a genuine quick who can create troubles up front.

Bumrah has managed to take the most wickets since January in 2019 – 22 wickets in 13 games – while the next best bowler, Bhuvneshwar Kumar has picked up 26 wickets but in 22 matches. The inability of the swing bowler to maintain his line and length match-after-match too remains a worry, and with Mohammad Shami and Khaleel Ahmed going for runs too, the problem is only highlighted further.

The former had been unable to step up till the series in New Zealand, while the latter has hardly done anything noteworthy in his short international career. With Umesh Yadav and Siddarth Kaul not in the fray, it is likely that Bumrah, Bhuvi, Shaami, and Khaleel will board the flight to England. However, they will have to raise their game, just like the bowling department had done in the World Cup in Australia four years ago.

The lack of a back-up bowler

World Cup 2019 - 3 areas of concern for Team India
Image Source – Bcci

Team India have finally found a bowling all-rounder in Hardik Pandya, who did reasonably well in the ODIs against New Zealand. However, he is prone to inconsistency and can be dreadfully wayward on his day. This is where India will need a sixth-bowling option. Kedar Jadhav has been donning the role for a while now, but with the tracks in England hardly assisting spinners, and with Jadhav being viewed as a ‘lucky bowler who somehow gets wickets’, it will be foolish to count on him match-after-match.

So who does Team India rely on in this case? With none of the top-order batters bowling – Rohit and Kohli no longer pitch in with the cherry – the responsibility will be on the fifth and sixth bowlers to be consistent and disciplined.

Rishabh Pant definitely part of 2019 World Cup plans: MSK Prasad

MSK Prasad: Rishabh Pant definitely part of 2019 World Cup plans

MSK Prasad, the Chairman of Selectors of BCCI, has said that wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant will definitely be a part of India’s 2019 World Cup plans. Though he is not a part of the ODI squads for the upcoming series against Australia and New Zealand. 

The 21-year-old wicketkeeper-batter Pant has played only three ODIs and scored 41 runs so far. Though he has been regular in the longest format of the game, he has two more competitors in the limited overs game and dropped out from the squad for the upcoming tours against Australia and New Zealand.

Dinesh Karthik has been included in the squad as the second keeper while veteran MS Dhoni will continue to do the job behind the stumps. Though Pant is not going to play in the ODIs, BCCI’s Chairman of Selectors, Prasad expressed that Pant is “definitely part of our World Cup plans.”

“There is absolutely no doubt that (Pant) is among one of those wicketkeepers (for the World Cup). All the three shortlisted keepers are doing well. He is definitely part of our World Cup plans. It’s a part of the workload management we are following,” Prasad said to India Today.

Rishabh Pant has been in a great form throughout the last year. He was the second highest run-getter in the recently concluded Test series against Australia; where he amassed 350 runs including 159*. He will now be going to be a part of India A squad which will face England Lions for the five one-day series.

Also Read: The Records made in the Test Series

“He is the only wicketkeeper to score hundred in England and Australia. We have given him some targets. We have set him he has to finish the matches and come. This Sydney Test match (where he scored a 189-ball 159) will be a turning point in his career,” Prasad added.

Moreover, Prasad said that Pant has been carrying few niggles from the four-match Test series; for which he needs rest to be fully fit.

“You have seen how many players we are resting these days. This kid has played the T20s and the four high-intensity Tests. Body also takes a wear and tear. He is having a few niggles, he needs to recover. I am sure he will come back much stronger.”

India will face Australia for a three-match ODI series which starts on January 12 in Sydney. Later they will play five ODIs in New Zealand.

India’s three-match ODI Squad against Australia: Virat Kohli(c), Rohit Sharma, Lokesh Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, Dinesh Karthik, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni, Hardik Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Siraj, K Khaleel Ahmed, Mohammed Shami