Cricket World Cup 2019: Finger injury scare for Kohli, uncertainty over Kedar ahead of India v South Africa

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Virat Kohli.

India were dealt an injury scare ahead of their opening 2019 World Cup clash against South Africa with skipper Virat Kohli hurting his right thumb during practice.

Kohli took the hit during training at the Ageas Bowl and was later seen with his hand dipped in a bucket of ice late on Saturday. But news from the Indian camp was that the injury is not too serious and the skipper should be up and running by Wednesday.

The Press Trust of India quoted a member of the Indian team as saying: “He is doing fine. There is nothing to worry.”

The bigger concern, however, is the fitness of Kedar Jadhav who is yet to reach 100 per cent after the shoulder injury he picked up during the IPL.

Jadhav missed India’s warm-up matches against New Zealand and Bangladesh. He has taken part in the net sessions but the fact that he has just started bowling and is slowly working his way towards batting without any discomfort means the management might want to wait for some more time before fielding him. The all-rounder also has a long-standing hamstring issue, which needs careful management.

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Cricket World Cup 2019: Tendulkar backs Archer and Rashid to be the standout bowlers

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Tendulkar is backing Archer to light up the 2019 World Cup.

India legend Sachin Tendulkar has picked England’s Jofra Archer and Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan as his two bowlers to watch out for in the 2019 ICC World Cup.

Tendulkar, who lifted the World Cup with India in 2011, is making his commentary debut in the ongoing edition in England.

Speaking during his commentary stint on Star Sports, the Master Blaster said, “I am looking forward to Jofra Archer bowling for England because I know in the crunch moments, they are going to look at Jofra Archer to bowl those tight overs.”

“If you need a breakthrough, you need Archer to come and give you that breakthrough. Other than him, someone I’m really looking forward to is Rashid Khan from Afghanistan.

“I think he’s going to be instrumental in creating those upsets for the opposition in this tournament.”

Both Rashid and Archer had contrasting displays in their respective World Cup 2019 campaign openers. While Archer was sensational for England in their win over South Africa with figures of 3-27, Rashid had a difficult time in Afghanistan’s loss to Australia.

The Afghan leg-spin sensation picked up one wicket but was taken for 52 runs from his eight overs in his side’s seven-wicket loss to the defending champions.

Tendulkar, who has played in six World Cups, has advised Rashid to take a Test match approach to bowling in the competition.

“If I have to tell him something, I would tell him, ‘Feed this like a test match,’ because even in the T20 format, he was able to pick wickets because batters could not read what he had done to his wrist,” said Tendulkar.

“Do that and have an attacking field and challenge batters to hit over mid-on, mid-off and deep wicket. In today’s format, I would say challenge the batters and don’t disappoint Afghanistan fans.”

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Cricket World Cup 2019: Bhuvneshwar Kumar dreaming of Lord's final glory with India

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Bhuvneshwar is aiming to make the Lord's final with India.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar is hoping to make further history at Lord’s with team India when the 2019 ICC World Cup final is held at the iconic venue on July 14.

The India seamer has fond memories at the historic cricket ground in London having led India to a famous Test victory over England at the venue in 2014.

The 29-year-old became only the 12th Indian bowler to get his name on the Lord’s honours board in 2014 when he returned with figures of 6-82 in the first-innings against England in 2014. He also chipped in with a valuable 52 with the bat in the match which MS Dhoni and his men would famously go on to win by 95 runs.

Now, the seamer is hoping to create a different kind of history at the venue for Virat Kohli and his men in the ongoing World Cup.

“I’ve been here two or three times but I always like coming back to play in England,” Bhuvneshwar was quoted as saying by AFP.

Bhuvneshar led India to victory in the Lord's Test in 2014.

Bhuvneshwar led India to victory in the Lord’s Test in 2014.

“It would mean a lot to get to go back to Lord’s for the final of the World Cup.

“Lord’s is always a special place, not just for me but for any cricketer. I have very good memories there, so if we reach the final it will be a very big moment for not just me but for the whole team,” he added.

Bhuvneshwar and India are set to open their World Cup campaign on June 5 at Southampton when they take on South Africa. Kohli’s men are being branded as one of the favourites for the trophy along with hosts England and Bhuvneshwar feels the team is on the right track after its comprehensive warm-up win over Bangladesh.

“We got everything we wanted out of the match; when it comes to batting, bowling and fielding,” he remarked.

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