Team India ready to give everything at the biggest cricket show on earth


In the past 13 years, the host nation has lifted the World Cup and it all started in 2011 when the Indian team led by MS Dhoni bagged the decorated accolade in style

Our Bureau

Indian skipper Rohit Sharma has asserted that the ‘Men in Blue,’ who are riding high on confidence and are one of the favourites, will give their everything in the World Cup. Even though the Indian team is entering on the back of a hot run in the ODI format, being the host will likely bring the much-needed luck factor to them as well.

In the past 13 years, the host nation has lifted the World Cup and it all started in 2011 when the Indian team led by MS Dhoni bagged the decorated accolade in style. “Not thinking too much about on that stuff but yeah in last 3 editions hosting teams won the World Cups and we will give our everything in this World Cup and enjoy the tournament,” Rohit said in the World Cup 2023 Captain’s Day event.

“People are going to love this tournament. The stadiums will be jam-packed. Indians love their cricket. It is going to be a great tournament,” Rohit added

He went on to talk about India’s lack of preparation time due to both warm-up games being washed out without a single bowl being bowled. However, Rohit said they are aware of their current position since they have played a decent amount of ODI cricket before the tournament.

“Not really. We were happy to get those days off. Looking at heat, and stuff like that. We have been playing a lot of cricket of late. We played 4 games in the Asia Cup and 3 against Australia. We know where we are at. I would’ve loved to play those two games. But can’t do too much when the weather is like that apart from one part of India to the other part. Overall, happy about how we are coming into the tournament and the guys are looking pretty good,” Rohit added.

The experienced skipper also talked about what it means to be a leader and the responsibilities that come along with the title and said, “I had to work on a lot of things. To be a leader, you need to understand your teammates, their strengths and weaknesses and give them the freedom to go out and play. Our job is to make sure we lay that platform for them and then it’s their job to go and do what they do best.”

India will open their World Cup campaign against Australia at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai on Sunday.

Pakistan open campaign in style with victory over Netherlands

Pakistan on Friday kicked off their World Cup campaign in a dominant fashion at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium here with a victory over the Netherlands.

Pakistan have never tasted defeat while defending a total of 275 or more in the ODI format. This was their 14th consecutive victory while defending a target of 275 runs or more. Put to bat first, Pakistan posted 286 on the board and Haris Rauf-led pace attack registered an 81-run victory.

Halfway through the chase in the second innings, Netherlands looked comfortable in the chase maintaining a run rate of just over 5 and still holding seven wickets in their hand.

Vikramjit Singh and Bas de Leede dominated Pakistan bowlers during this phase but Shadab Khan’s arrival in the attack changed the complexion of the entire game.

He broke the 70-run partnership by dismissing Vikramjit for 52 and on the other end Haris Rauf sent Teja Nidamanuru and skipper Scott Edwards for scores of 5 and 0 respectively.

Mohammad Nawaz sent Bas de Leede back to the dugout for 67 which allowed Pakistan to take control over the game.

Pakistan’s captain Babar Azam and Netherlands’ Paul van Meekeren greet eachother after their match in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023, at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad on Friday (ANI)

After Leede’s wicket Pakistan’s victory was just a matter of time as their collective bowling effort guided them to a comfortable 81-run victory by restricting Netherlands to 205.

Earlier in the innings, After Pakistan’s top order which included skipper Babar Azam failed to give the ‘Men in Green’ an ideal start, Mohammad Rizwan and Saud Shakeel prevented their innings from falling apart with scores of 68 each.

Mohammad Nawaz and Shadab Khan’s cameos in the final 10 overs took Pakistan to a competitive total of 286.

Rahul Dravid drops major update on Shubman Gill

India’s men’s cricket team head coach Rahul Dravid provided a major update on Shubman Gill who has been suffering from dengue fever according to sources.

Shubman Gill, who has shown immense potential, established himself as India’s opening batter during the Asia Cup, where he ended as the top scorer with 302 runs at an average of 75.50. However, it was reported that he was unwell and had dengue fever.

But earlier on Friday it was reported that Shubman was unwell and suffering from dengue fever. Rahul Dravid provided an update on his current situation and said the medical team has not ruled him out of their World Cup opener against Australia on Sunday.

“He’s feeling better today than he was yesterday so that is a positive and the medical team is monitoring on a day-to-day basis. We will see whatever decision the medical team takes and we’ll see how he feels the day after tomorrow. The medical team hadn’t ruled him out yet,” Dravid said in the pre-match press conference.

If Shubman misses out on the opener Ishan Kishan will be the ideal choice to replace Gill and start the innings with skipper Rohit Sharma.

Kishan was initially a part of the middle-order set-up but with him possibly shifting to the opening order, the in-form batter Suryakumar Yadav will enter the discussion of making his place in the playing XI.

Morgan on England’s batting against NZ

England’s World Cup 2019 winning skipper Eoin Morgan said that the Three Lions batters got starts but it felt they did not hit enough blows throughout the innings. He also added that there is still “complete faith” in him that England will lift the trophy once again.

Defending champions England slipped to a crushing nine wicket loss in the tournament opener against New Zealand in Ahmedabad on Thursday. England made 282/9 powered by knocks from Joe Root (77) and skipper Jos Buttler (43). But centuries from Devon Conway (152*) and Rachin Ravindra (123*) completely demolished England’s three pronged pace and spin attacks to clinch a superb win.

“I do not think anyone could have foreseen the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 opener playing out quite like that,” said Morgan in his exclusive column as quoted by ICC.

Morgan pointed out that even if England manahed to score 30 more runs to get to a par score, they still did not bowl well enough to defend it. The former skipper also opined that the batters threw their wickets away.

“Enough England batters got starts but it never felt like they struck many blows throughout the innings. In many ways, New Zealand didn’t get them out, they got themselves out. But credit has to go to Devon Conway and Rachin Ravindra played. Conway put England under pressure from the very first ball and for Ravindra to play like that on his World Cup debut was exceptional. He was pure class,” added Morgan.

Morgan said that fans have come to expect an attacking approach from Buttler-led English side but that approach was not visible in a strong way. Now this defeat he said, emphasises the way England needs to play further in the tournament.

“Their strongest suit going forward is to be more aggressive and I think that will be Jos’ message – ‘we need to go harder’,” he said.

“Cool to have Indian roots….”: NZ’s Rachin Ravindra
Rachin Ravindra, a 23-year-old all-rounder for New Zealand cricket, emerged as a new star for his side, lighting up the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad during the opening match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 against England.

While on a junior cricket tour of India four years ago, Ravindra was hooked to a TV, watching his nation suffer the narrowest of losses to England in the ICC Cricket World Cup final. Kiwis had lost the trophy on boundary count after the match and super over ended in a tie.

Four years later, Ravindra made his World Cup debut in India and the up-and-coming all-rounder stole the show, thrashing England with an incredible century, which is the fastest by a Kiwi batter in the tournament’s history.

It was a special moment for Rachin, born to Indian parents, to announce himself on the world stage on a platform as big as a 50-over World Cup and avenge the loss that he saw live on TV.

“I think a hundred is always special, but I guess in terms of being able to perform in India, it is cool to have the Indian roots. It was nice to have my parents there watching – they flew over from New Zealand,” Ravindra said as quoted by ICC.

“It is cool to have that moment and obviously it is always nice coming to India. I have a sense of family connection whenever I am in Bangalore, being able to see my grandparents and stuff, it is pretty cool,” he added.

The all-rounder’s first name is really familiar to cricket lovers across the world, especially the large mass of India fans as he was named by his cricket-loving parents after two Indian batting legends, Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar.

“I think those two (Dravid and Tendulkar) are pretty special cricketers. I have heard a lot of stories and watched a lot of footage and I guess the influence from my parents and my dad and the old-school Indian cricketers was pretty cool,” Ravindra said.

“Obviously, I idolised Sachin Tendulkar. I think a lot of people did. I think the way he batted and his technique was beautiful to watch. I guess being a lefty, there are guys you look at: I love Lara, I love Sangakkara, just the usual gun left-handers; but Tendulkar was definitely the idol,” added the all-rounder.

Ravindra’s explosive 123* came from just 96 deliveries, consisting of five sixes and 11 fours, and broke the back and spirit of England’s struggling bowling attack. It was also the first time he played in top order in a full ODI for Kiwis, after impressing as a stand-in opener in warm-up matches. He batted at number three.

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