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2019 ICC Cricket World Cup: Team Preview Part-1


Let’s first have a look at the Afghanistan team who are set to appear in their second World Cup. For a team that relies heavily on spin bowling, the English conditions might not be in favour of the lowest-ranked side in the tournament. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup: Team Preview Part-1

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2019 ICC Cricket World Cup Team Preview Part-1
Afghanistan (ICC ODI Ranking 10) Captain
Gulbadin Naib (BOW-AR) Coach Phil Simmons Key
Player Rashid Khan WC Best Finish Group Stage
(2015) First Match Australia,1 June, 6 p.m. IST
at Bristol Lets first have a look at the
Afghanistan team who are set to appear in their
second World Cup. For a team that relies heavily
on spin bowling, the English conditions might not
be in favour of the lowest-ranked side in the
tournament. The spin trio consisting of ICC 1
all-rounder Rashid Khan, Mohammed Nabi and Mujeeb
Ur Rahman will have their work cut out for them.
On the flat English wickets posting a formidable
total will inarguably be the biggest challenge
for the Afghans. Strangely, just a month before
the World Cup, the Afghanistan Cricket Board
(ACB) decided to replace their eponymous captain,
Asghar Afghan A veteran of 56 ODIs, 46 T20Is
and two Tests with Gulbadin Naib. The 28-year-old
pacer had never been able to cement a place in
the national side since the age of 18. Putting
such a huge responsibility on his shoulders was
questioned by team veterans Nabi and Rashid
initially, but the ACB believe this sudden
decision would be beneficial to the side.
Sri Lanka (ICC ODI Ranking 9) Captain Dimuth
Karunaratne (BAT) Coach Chandika
Hathurusingha Key Player Angelo Mathews WC Best
Finish Champions (1996) First Match New
Zealand, 1 June, 3 p.m. IST at Cardiff The past
few years havent been the best for Sri Lankan
cricket. Going by form, the Lankan Tigers have
not won a single bilateral limited-overs series
since 2016. The 2018 Asia Cup saw them finish at
the bottom with the likes of Bangladesh and
Afghanistan. This was followed up by a series
defeat to England and two consecutive whitewashes
in New Zealand and South Africa respectively.
Its safe to say their prospects heading into the
World Cup do not look good at all. But their
problems do not stop there. Looking at the squad,
the decision to drop Dinesh Chandimal, Akila
Dananjaya and Niroshan Dickwella is perplexing to
say the least. Stripping captaincy from the
mightily experienced Mathews and handing it to
Karunaratne, whose ODI record isnt the most
acclaimed, is also a puzzling move. But Sri
Lankan fans do have one glimmer of hope track
record. The Asian side has a knack of punching
above their weight in ICC competitions. Right
from the landmark victory in the 1996 edition to
reaching consecutive finals in 2007 and 2011, the
element of surprise is keenly in their favour.
West Indies (ICC ODI Ranking 8) Captain Jason
Holder (BOW-AR) Coach Floyd Reifer Key Player
Chris Gayle (BAT) WC Best Finish Champions
(1975, 1979) First Match Pakistan, 31 May, 3
p.m. IST at Nottingham For a team that hasnt
won an ODI series since 2014, the West Indies are
the dark horses of the 2019 ICC World Cup. The
Windies triumphs in the shortest format of the
game (2012 T20 WC and 2016 T20 WC) are evidence
of the development that is occurring behind the
scenes. Their recent series stalemate with
England brought to light the immeasurable young
talent the Caribbean side possesses. Powerful
displays from Shimron Hetmyer and Shai Hope ahead
of the tournament will strengthen their resolve.
Interestingly, it is this team that boasts the
biggest X-factor among all other sides The
Universe Boss Chris Gayle. Two centuries in the
series against England reminded the world that
the big-hitter still has quite a lot left in the
tank. In what will be Gayles final World Cup
before he bows out, the team will look to him as
a source of inspiration to reach the long-end of
the competition.
Bangladesh (ICC ODI Ranking 7) Captain Mashrafe
Mortaza (BOW) Coach Steve Rhodes Key Player
Shakib Al Hassan WC Best Finish Quarter-finals
(2015) First Match South Africa, June 2, 3p.m.
IST at London Bangladesh has a solid blend of
experience and youth in their ranks. Led by
35-year-old skipper Mortaza, the Asian side have
proved time and time again that theyre capable
of trouncing any team that challenges them. An
encouraging performance in the recently concluded
tri-series in Ireland with the Windies means form
is on their side as well. The 2015 World Cup
quarterfinalists rely on strong starts. With
Shakib being promoted to 3 and the superbly
experienced Tamim Iqbal opening the innings,
Bangladesh would be banking on being steady till
the 35th over, before cutting loose in the death
overs. The only frailty is the lack of an all-out
hitter in the lower-middle order, which puts
extra pressure on Mahmudullah to consistently
deliver. The side also has a knack of restricting
opponents to below 300 totals. Pacers Mustafizur
and Rubel Hossain have the ability to limit
scoring in the death overs. With how rapidly the
side has improved in recent years, taking out the
big names in the competition would no longer be
dubbed an upset.
Pakistan (ICC ODI Ranking 6) Captain Sarfaraz
Ahmed (BAT-WK) Coach Mickey Arthur Key Player
Babar Azam WC Best Finish Champions (1992) First
Match West Indies, 31 May, 3 p.m. IST at
Nottingham Though Pakistan is seated comfortably
at the 1 spot in the ICC T20I rankings, their
ODIs form in recent times is a complete
antithesis of their T20 prowess. Ten consecutive
ODIs losses should be a worrying statistic ahead
of the World Cup but fans could argue that the
management never fielded a full-strength line-up.
The biggest plus in the series defeats against
Australia and England has been the emergence of
Babar Azam as a force with the bat. The batsman
averages 52.44 this year and has expertly
combated fearsome bowlers like Steyn and Rabada
in the past. With Imam ul-Haq and Fakhar Zaman to
accompany him in the top order, and an
experienced middle-order boasting the likes of
Shoaib Malik, Mohammed Hafeez and Sarfaraz Ahmed,
not to mention talented left-hander Haris Sohail
as well, Pakistan has a powerful batting unit at
their disposal.
The worry lies in the misfiring bowling line-up,
which comes as a surprise considering the side
has traditionally been renowned for their
bowling. The bowlers were smashed all over the
park in the recently concluded England tour,
shockingly conceding 300 totals in four
consecutive ODIs. Though veteran Wahab Riaz makes
a comeback after two years, Pakistan would be
praying their bowlers click in the World Cup.
Besides bowling, their poor fitness and
lacklustre fielding, as evidenced from their
England tour, will likely plague their World Cup
campaign. Stay tuned for Part 2 as we analyse
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