India don’t have any player in the top five run-getters or wicket-takers list in the 2019 World Cup. In fact, India’s top run getter and highest wicket takers are nowhere near the top. Rohit Sharma (338 runs from five matches) is well behind the leader David Warner (500 from seven matches), while Yuzvendra Chahal’s 10 wickets from five games are not even close to Mitchell Starc’s 19 scalps from seven games.
But India are the only unbeaten team in the tournament with five wins and a washout, they also rose to the No1 ODI rankings after their thumping victory over West Indies in Manchester.
Skipper Virat Kohli said India have been playing like the No1 team for some time. Don’t forget India are the top-ranked team in Tests as well.
“We have just become the number one side in the world and we have been playing like that for a while now,” said Kohli after the Windies win.
And the simple reason behind that is a collective effort by the entire team. In all games, a majority of the team has chipped in with critical contributions to put the team on the path to victory.
Kohli has now hit four successive fifties. MS Dhoni hit a crucial fifty against the Windies, while Kedar Jadhav’s fifty was important in a closer than expected win over Afghanistan. KL Rahul has had three sizeable contributions at the top, which has made up for two quiet games for Rohit.
In the bowling department, Jasprit Bumrah has been pretty much unplayable, his nine wickets from five games coming at 4.45 runs an over. Mohammed Shami has come in and blasted his way to eight wickets in two games while Chahal has been impeccable in all games, with good support from Hardik Pandya’s seamers.
The men in blue have caught a lot more than they have dropped and have reveled in conditions that are more Delhi than London. This is why India have enjoyed a lot more success than Bangladesh, who have the third-highest run-getter in Shakib Al Hasan – or England, who have two in the top five wicket-takers list.
The one weak link that India have at the moment is the No4 position where Vijay Shankar has been a passenger. Luckily for them, their bowling is so strong that they have restricted teams to totals of 227, 213 and 143 in completed innings.
This proves that cricket indeed is a team game and that a strong bowling attack filled with wicket-takers can make up for any shortcoming in the batting department.
Sri Lanka’s stunning win over England had opened up the 2019 World Cup completely and has reignited the dimming hopes of many teams in the tournament, including the Sri Lankans themselves who take on South Africa on Friday.
The match at Chester-le-Street has huge ramifications. Win and Sri Lanka will stay alive in the tournament. Lose and South Africa will see the hasty end of a few illustrious careers in the team and management with their semi-final qualification hopes already dead and buried.
Who will prevail in this enticing contest? Catch the live updates below.
India extended their unbeaten run at the World Cup following a 125-run win over the West Indies at Old Trafford on Thursday. The defeat ended any hope the West Indies had of reaching the World Cup semi-finals as captain Virat Kohli, with 72 from 82 balls, and MS Dhoni, with an unbeaten 56, posted half centuries for India as they claimed their fifth win of the tournament.
On a slow pitch, India’s bowlers gave nothing away to register a comprehensive win. After the match, West Indies pacer Kemar Roach said Kohli made batting look easy on a tough pitch.
“Virat is class. The world knows that. It’s always tough coming up against him. He’s a fighter. It looked like a slow pitch for us. I think we bowled pretty well as a bowling group today to restrict India for 260. As I said, Virat is a quality player and it’s always tough coming up against him,” Roach said