Thursday, June 6, 2019

World Cup 2019: Opening Salvos

Finally, everyone has got a game in the World Cup. Even India! Fans were worried for a while that Team India might not have been a part of tournament. But worry not we are still there! 

So what can we take away from the opening salvos of the tournament? 
  • India let everyone have a go before turning up and showing they are in the game. For the first time in history, have a more exciting bowling option than the batting ones. 
  • New Zealand have been resilient and winning. They are still very likable but also getting a tad boring. 
  • Pakistan have shown they are the unpredictable (how predictable is that statement). Blown away against the West Indies and then smashing almost 350 against England 
  • England have settled on the formula that they perfected over the last 4 years. Keep smashing the ball. Strong batting with a not so strong bowling. Can deliver most games but you can’t account for the maverick factor, that is Pakistan. 
  • Afghanistan have fighting spirit but it doesn’t seem to last for longer periods. 
  • Sri Lanka were smashed one day and got lucky the next to hang in there. 
  • Bangladesh are a much improved ODI side and with some luck could have been the first to 2 wins. 
  • West Indies have a fast bowling arsenal and capable batsman and a surprisingly untied team. Can be the surprise element of the tournament. 
  • Australia clinically dispatched Afghanistan. The Warner-Smith reintegration seems to be working. 
  • South Africa is the one definitely in trouble, having lost all 3 games and ravaged by injuries. And have an off-field headache in form of news that AB de Villiers had made himself available for selection for the World Cup just a day before the final squad selection. An offer rejected by the team management (IMHO a very reasonable stand by the management. Also diluting AB’s stature in the game). 
Good to see the variety of pitches on offer for the tournament. The fears that the English pitches would produce bat-a-thons have been unfounded so far. But its still early days and a long way to go for everyone. 

Interestingly, saw Duckworth-Lewis return a lower target score for the first time in the Afghanistan- Sri Lanka game. It’s a different matter that Afghanistan couldn’t make most of this generosity. 

For the highlights reel 
  • Prince Harry declaring the Mens ODI World Cup open. Just a matter of an extra word there but with huge implications for the game. 
  • Ben Stokes catching Andile Phelukwayo 
  • 3 Sri Lankans diving over a well-defended ball as Afghanistan get a boundary. 
Interesting first week, just enough to whet the appetite but lots still to go.

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