Assessing the conditions. Devising a plan. Setting the perfect template for batting. Creating a perfect field for bowling. Executing this plan to perfection. Challenging the opposition- This is India’s recipe to success. This is India’s reminder as to why they are one of the favorites to lift World Cup 2019 trophy.
This site was displayed at ‘The Oval stadium’ where Team India outsmarted the Australian team as they won the toss and elected to bat. It’s not easy to take down the immensely talented ‘Baggy Greens’, but the ‘Men in Blue’ made it look effortless. Fully acknowledging the threats, Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc, (as Starc had taken a five wickets in their last match against the Windies while Cummins has a decent success against India along with every other team over the time), the openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan started cautiously. And got a chance of gaining a good movement within the first hour of the showdown and putting up a decent score on board. The perks of having the world’s best batting line up and a stable start was putting an total of 354 at the loss of 6 wickets against opponents like Australia.
Personally for me, it all came down to choosing to bat. As the Oval is a place known for scoring runs in the first innings, the streak was kept alive by tremendous bowling and fielding on the slow pitch, as India defeated team Australia by 36 runs. The former lead the scoreboard by being in the third position and the latter being on the fourth position. This time the scores would be decided by run rates.
High spirits. Heavy rain.
Shaheens, the characteristics of this name fits Team Pakistan perfectly. As the birds fly every stride, the Men in Green present the same variety. From losing their first match, to snatching victory from the hands of the ‘Favorites’, with the help of heavy showers in Bristol, the third match to be played between Team Sri Lanka and Team Pakistan got cancelled and both ended up gaining a point with which Pakistan stand at the fifth position. Even though Rainfall and cricket matches are loved by masses, these as a couple are no less than Romeo Juliet, no one wants them to be together. Rain in Bristol was successful in not only cancelling the match, but also drowning people hopes of Team Pakistan keeping the never losing streak from the Lions alive.
Men in Green vs Baggy Greens.
The stage is set. The captains taking up their position toss the coin and make the call which decides their fate in this tournament. It’s grand. Its Australia vs Pakistan as both the teams are ready for some action in this showdown in the Cricket World Cup 2019. Australia fully charged to bounce back from the defeat they faced o the weekend at the hands of Team India…
Wishing to hear the above lines, but as per the current situation, according to the weather reports, rain showers are once more in forecast on June 12th, with rain expected all over the city throughout the week. With a 70% chance of rain on the day on which the match has been scheduled, it might end up affecting the venue of the battle between Pakistan- Australia as it is feared that the match might be a washout unless the rain relents.
With the team being in high spirits and unfazed, reached the venue ahead of the game to have a proper net session and prepare to face their opponents as they’re equally dangerous.
Baggy Green to look out for:
Glen Maxwell, a destructive middle order batsman who masters the art of batting aggressively. Being a main threat to the bowling line-up, he plays spin bowling very well which is the main strategy of many teams attacking in the middle overs. When he plays well, he wins the match for his team, with an impressive strike rate of 122.1. Maxwell is a power hitter who can swing shots all around the ground. His sweeps, reverse sweep comes in handy against the spinners. He is a superb fielder and with the ball in hand he chips in with wickets every now and then. All in all, Maxwell is a complete cricketer but not consistent. A dangerous batsman who can turn around the match with some brutal hits.
David Warner, with his ability to play spin very well, makes him more effective against teams relying on spin like India or Pakistan. He is an aggressive opening batsman who looks to take on the opposition from the first ball itself. After his comeback, Warner has been in an exceptional form and has already made a mark in the World Cup 2019 with an 89 not-out in the very first match against Team Afghanistan. He batted patiently and chased down the low total easily given by the opponents.
Steve Smith, one of the best and prominent batsmen in world of cricket at the moment. With a constant comparison between him and Indian skipper Virat Kohli, both the players like to perform at their best whenever they face each other. Like Warner, Smith has also been showcasing exceptional form after facing a yearlong ban from international cricket. He couldn’t do much in his first match of the World Cup 2019 but in the second match against West Indies, he shows his class and where he stands. Australia was down and out at 79 for 5 in the previous match against the Windies. But as soon as Smith stepped on the field, the game turned about greatly. After batting brilliantly and literally rescuing his team, he helped reach the total of 288 which proved to be a winning one. He batted sensibly, making 73 off 103 balls.
Shaheens set for their stride:
Hasan Ali, currently the best fast bowler in the team. Known for ripping through batting lineups and partnerships, in the match defining phases, the middle over. Finishing as the Champions trophy leading wicket-taker with 13 at an average of 14.69, while only conceding 4.29 an over, Hassan Ali declared himself as being an instrumental weapon the Men in green possess. Hasan Ali’s ability to strike in the regular middle overs blows is a key factor that can help Team Pakistan. Given the perfect pitch conditions to play in, Hassan Ali is more than lethal and is key factor in Pakistan’s performance in the World Cup 2019.
Shaheen Afridi is one exciting emerging pacers of the Pakistani cricket team. Showcaing raw pace, brilliant line and length, along with excellent positioning for the wrist, he has everything to become a legend for Pakistan. His ability to blow regular strikes in early overs have given the Men in green a head start in early stages of a game. After a series of decent performances in PSL 2018, West Indies tour to Pakistan, Shaheen featured in ODIs regularly for Pakistan and has been a consistent player in Pakistan’s ODI team. With a record of 19 wickets in 10 ODI matches, an impressive average of 19.36 and a decent strike rate 24.2, He can be the X Factor that Pakistan awaits while going into World Cup 2019.
Babar Azam, plays the role of an anchor at number 3, perfectly for the team and is undoubtedly the backbone of Pakistan’s batting lineup. The maturity and calmness he possesses on the field are one of the reasons that he is the next big thing in Pakistan cricket. Since cracking three consecutive centuries against West Indies in 2016, Babar now ranks at number fifth in ODI rankings. Constantly compared to the world’s best batsman Virat Kohli of India, Babar’s stupendous start in international cricket hints that he has the potential to match the Indian star, if not overtake him. As per record, Babar Azam has scored 1,000 and 2,000 ODI runs faster than Kohli. And as the last four year, he has matured his game and as one of the top batsman in limited-overs cricket. Pitches in England suit batsman and his role at number 3 and he will play a pivotal role for the shaheens to get big scores in this match and the tournament.
Pitch perfection and predictions.
Taking into account the conditions of the pitch, it is expected to aid the pacers in the initial overs as the pitch could contain some moisture as a result of the wet weather conditions prior to the match day and the week that follows. Any captain would be eager for his seamers to strike the opposing team. Thus, an early movement for the pacers will also be put to test the team batting first. Nonetheless, the overall surface of the pitch is expected to aid the batsmen as the game progresses.
With ample of help the teams could take from the match played between Afghanistan and New Zealand on the same pitch, if Pakistan wins the toss, they should opt for bowling first and playing Mohammad Amir and Hassan Ali to their strengths. While the all-rounder, Mohammad Hafeez a.k.a professor, riding in high spirits is set to take up on the opponents along with Shaheen Afridi awaits his turn.
So two days prior to the event, the Australian team stands strong with a 69% win prediction in their favor, leaving 31% for the Shaheens.
It’s time for the Men in Green to tighten their pads and helmets, whereas their nation should join in on supporting them and praying for our boys.