India opener Rohit Sharma's recent ODI stats as good as Virat Kohli after fourth CWC 2019 ton

Ajit Vijaykumar 19:41 02/07/2019
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Rohit Sharma scored his fourth century of the 2019 World Cup.

Rohit Sharma spanked his fourth century of the 2019 World Cup as his 104 off 92 balls helped India post a challenging 314-9 against Bangladesh in Birmingham on Tuesday.

The opening batsman is in the form of his life at this World Cup, making the most of yet another early dropped chance to reach three figures, even as skipper Virat Kohli has gone about his job more efficiently – hitting five successive fifties in the tournament.

While the focus has generally been on Kohli when it comes to India’s batting, Rohit has been as good as the skipper at the top of the order.

Not only is Rohit now the leading run-getter in the ongoing edition with 544 runs in seven outings, his numbers compare favourably to that of Kohli.

In the last years, Kohli has the most runs in ODIs – 5,617 in 100 innings at an average of a shade under 70. Kohli has cracked 22 centuries in the process, the most in the world.

Right next to him is Rohit with 5,127 runs from 90 innings at an average of 64.8. He too has 22 centuries under his belt.

While Kohli has rightfully earned the crown of the king of ODI cricket, Rohit is not too far behind. And moreover, Rohit has what Kohli doesn’t – three ODI double tons.

The next best when it comes to centurions in the last five years is Hashim Amla with 15 tons, followed by Joe Root on 15 and David Warner on 14.

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CWC 2019: Eoin Morgan looks at England's 2015 wounds for inspiration in must-win New Zealand match

Rory Dollard 18:00 02/07/2019
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Eoin Morgan.

England take on New Zealand with a World Cup semi-final place up for grabs but Eoin Morgan’s motivation goes all the way back to 2015 and a “rock bottom” defeat in Wellington.

The Black Caps dealt out a brutal beating in the previous edition of the tournament, skittling England for 123 then reeling off the runs in a humiliating 12.2 overs.

The experience seared itself on the mind of Morgan, whose rookie captaincy might have ended in the aftermath of their dismal group-stage exit, but instead he used it as the catalyst for his team’s rise to prominence.

Morgan and company go into Wednesday’s game at Chester-le-Street knowing victory would guarantee them a place in the semi-finals, with defeat leaving them in danger of another gut-wrenching exit.

Reflecting on the chastening experience four years ago, the England skipper said: “It was as close to rock-bottom as I’ve been. Certainly as a captain and as a player.

“Being beaten off the park like that was humiliating. New Zealand proved a point that you can actually be really good humans and grow the game and play cricket in your own way and win at the same time, which is incredibly eye-opening for a lot of countries around the world.

“I thought that rubbed off on everybody in the World Cup.”

It certainly had the effect on England, who picked pieces from that blueprint and set them off on a journey that would take them from also-rans in 50-over cricket to number one in the world.

They surrendered that hard-won honour after back-to-back defeats but are back on track after beating India, the side who replaced them at the summit, by 31 runs last time out.

Opening batsman Jason Roy helped pave the way for that result, making 66 on his return after three games out with a torn hamstring. Morgan admitted prior to that match that it was a risk to recall the Surrey man at Edgbaston but appeared more confident this time.

“He’s good, he’s going to be fit for tomorrow’s game,” said the Dubliner.

“He’s in fantastic form, him and Jonny Bairstow at the top of the order. In the India game it really did set the tone for our innings on a wicket we feel wasn’t that good to bat on.”

There was an equally optimistic outlook on Jofra Archer, the side’s leading wicket-taker who has been managing a left side problem for several games now.

“He’s pulled up really well and should be fit to play,” said Morgan.

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CWC 2019: Jofra Archer v Trent Boult and other key-clash as England take on New Zealand

Sooraj Kamath - Writer 17:02 02/07/2019
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Archer has been England's best bowler in the tournament.

The endgame of the league phase of the 2019 Cricket World Cup is upon us and a bunch of tasty fixtures are in store as teams look to book their slot in the semis.

England take on New Zealand at Durham on Wednesday with both teams are yet to seal a semis berth. The Kiwis enter the fixture with consecutive defeats against Australia and Pakistan whereas England are fresh from a convincing win over India.

If England defeat the Kiwis, they will jump to 12 points and qualify for the semi-finals in what is the final fixture of the league phase for both teams. If the Kiwis triumph, they will qualify and leave the Englishmen stranded on 10 points, giving Pakistan – on nine points – a sniff in their last game against Bangladesh.

We take a look at some of the talking points ahead of the big tie.

Under-performing New Zealand openers need to peak

guptill

New Zealand failed to translate a strong opening to their World Cup campaign to a top-spot finish after hiccups on the way against Australia and Pakistan. The Kiwis were unbeaten in their first six games in which they didn’t face any team among the current top-four.

Despite the wins, Kiwis failed to establish themselves as a force to be reckoned with due to over-reliance on captain Kane Williamson.

The openers have failed to impress in the tournament and that is a serious flaws in their campaign. Martin Guptill has failed to fire and has already lost partner Colin Munro to poor form. The new pairing of Guptill and Henry Nicholls need to step up.

England favourites

roy (2)

Strong favourites to lift the cup, hosts England had to endure a bumpy ride with defeats to Pakistan, Australia and Sri Lanka.

But Eoin Morgan’s men bounced back with a spectacular win to end India’s unbeaten streak and ensure that their fate still rests in their hand. The batting has always delivered for England, with Jason Roy and Ben Stokes proving to be the most consistent.

With a sensational ton against the Men in Blue, Jonny Bairstow has also joined the act and will be geared up in what could be a do-or-die affair.

With the momentum in their favour and the tremendous home support, England start as favourites.

Jofra Archer v Trent Boult

TrentBoultNZSA2 (1)

Jofra Archer has been England’s best bowler in the campaign. The pacer has picked up 16 wickets so far and has maintained top pace throughout. Archer has been unplayable at times and could play a key role in dismantling New Zealand’s top-order.

Trent Boult has been unusually quiet so far but even in silence, he has claimed 13 wickets. On his day, the pacer can easily rattle any opposition. The Kiwis now encounter a strong batting line-up and could use a Boult master-class.

Two extremely competent pacers go head to head in with a spot in the semis on the line. Can’t ask for anything more.

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