Cricket Today – 13 July 2019

(Jacob Rumans) #1


he Indian cricket
team suffered a
stunning exit from
the ICC World
Cup 2019 after
succumbing to a
defeat against New Zealand in the
semi-finals at Old Trafford in
Manchester. India were terrific in
the entire tournament, but this blip
came perhaps in the most crucial
time of their campaign. In the end,
all the form and confidence counted
to nothing in this
knockout phase. One
should take the oppor-
tunity to praise New
Zealand for their efforts
on the given day.
India’s middle order
was a doubt through-
out. There were too
many changes in terms
of personnel and bat-
ting order. The side
didn’t look assured. MS
Dhoni played well, but
was unfairly criticized.
Hardik Pandya showed
his improvement. But
the rest of the order
looked short. Unfortunately, that
turned out to be the Achilles heel in
the main game against New Zealand,
where someone like a Rishabh Pant
threw his wicket away after getting
set. There has been much specula-
tion made about Mahendra Singh
Dhoni’s retirement decision follow-
ing his below par performances thus
far in the ICC Cricket World Cup

  1. Even as Dhoni has reportedly
    denied knowing when he himself
    wants to hang up his boots, not just
    his critics but also, the International
    Cricket Council (ICC) has thrown
    shade on the subject. The fact that

Dhoni has suddenly slowed down his
game significantly, unable to push
gears for a second match, has raised
eyebrows and rightly so. Dhoni has
remained the team’s no.1 wicket-
keeper-batsman, to the point where
the young, rambunctious Rishabh
Pant could not even find a place in
the original fifteen member squad.
Dhoni is in the team for a specific
reason and if he is unable to perform
his duties for whatever reasons,
there is reason to be concerned. The
2019 World Cup has
been filled with some
spectacular moments
be it with individual or
team affairs. Several
players upped the ante
either with bat or ball.
Some of the fielding
efforts witnessed were
magnificent. Then there
were some spectacular
team moments, besides
players providing an
edge with levels of
consistency and
momentum through-
out the tourney.
Mitchell Starc is one
of the best bowlers in world cricket
and he has already etched his name
in World Cup folklore with 48 wick-
ets to his name across two editions
so far, has two five-wicket hauls
under his belt. In both cases, he
helped Australia seal the deal after
striking in pivotal moments of the
match. His first one came against
West Indies (5/46). He then saved
another special outing against New
Zealand (5/26). Not just that. Starc
has also bowled the ‘ball of the tour-
nament’ to England’s Ben Stokes.
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In the end, all the form
and confidence counted to


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