World Cup 2019: India set eyes on 3rd Trophy

Representative purpose only. Photo: ICC

As the cricket carnival begins in England and Wales, all eyes will be on India, the 2-time champions, who will be looking forward to adding another World Cup trophy in their cabinet as Kohli and Co., enter the 10-team tourney as joint-favourites for the ultimate prize in World Cricket, alongside the host, England. Will Virat do a Kapil Dev by lifting the trophy in the Lord’s balcony on 14th July? What are the strengths and weaknesses of the men in blue? Which players ameliorate chances of tasting success at the ICC World Cup 2019? Let us have a look at all the factors.

World Cup Record
Tournament appearances: 11,
Matches: 75, Won: 46, Lost: 27, NR (No result): 1, Tied: 1
Best Finish: Champions (1983, 2011)
Previous Edition: Semi-Finalists in 2015

Strengths
The biggest strength for India, is the consistent performances of top 3 players Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli who have dominated almost every bowling attack in the world. The trio can single-handedly take the team over the line on the back of big, match-winning hundreds.

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India’s top 3 players Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma. Photo: PTI

The bowling unit of Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal and Jasprit Bumrah have derailed the opposition’s batting unit over past 2 years.

Overall, India played 19 ODI of which they won 14 matches when Bumrah, Chahal & Kuldeep were in the team.

India conceded runs at 5.1 RPO
Average total conceded- 216
Average first innings total- 219

According to Cricrohit, only once India conceded 300+ out of 19 matches, when Australia chased down 359 at Mohali earlier this year. Also, it will be interesting to see whether Kohli and the team management will opt for Bhuveshwar Kumar’s swing bowling skills or Mohammad Shami who has been in lethal form in 2019.

Weaknesses
India’s strength of the top 3 who won majority of the games is also their biggest weakness. The trio has scored more than of the team’s runs, since the last World Cup and that has meant that the middle order is fragile.

With the tournament spanning over 45 days, most of the players are coming off a hectic IPL season and there is a possibility that the players are tired at the business end of the mega event. The onus will be on the supporting staff to keep the key players fit.

Warm-up games
Though KL Rahul and MS Dhoni scored scintillating hundreds in the warm-up game against Bangladesh, the entire batting after Kohli has to be more consistent. The top order failed in both the warm-up games and while the middle order made sure India gets to a good score against Bangladesh, even then, the team failed miserably in the 1st warm-up against New Zealand. Kuldeep and Chahal picked 3 wickets each in the warm-up against Bangladesh.

Players must watch out for Hardik Pandya
One player that everyone will be looking forward during the World Cup 2019, especially after a successful IPL is Hardik Pandya.

The all-rounder provides excellent balance to the side and can provide 10 overs on a good day. He is one of the best finishers in the game and currently, can push the total by 30 runs with hard hitting in the death overs. With 350 expected to be a par total in games, Pandya will be more important for the Indian side’s prospects.

Lucky Stat
MS Dhoni scored a hundred in the second warm-up match of the CWC 2011 and India went on to win the trophy. The legendary batsman scored a vintage century against Bangladesh in the warm-up game. Can he lead India to their second title in 3 editions?

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

Schedule
June 05: vs South Africa at the Rose Bowl, Southampton [D]
June 09: vs Australia at Kennington Oval, London [D]
June 13: vs New Zealand at Trent Bridge, Nottingham [D]
June 16: vs Pakistan at Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester [D]
June 22: vs Afghanistan at the Rose Bowl, Southampton [D]
June 27: vs West Indies at Emirates Old Trafford, Manchester [D]
June 30: vs England at Edgbaston, Birmingham [D]
July 02: vs Bangladesh at Edgbaston, Birmingham [D]
July 06: vs Sri Lanka at Headingley, Leeds [D]

Also read: ‘The myth of the most challenging World Cup and its many victims’

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