Cricket World Cup 2019: The Sportsrush presents you 4 reasons why India can win the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup this year in UK.
The ICC Cricket World Cup- World Cricket’s biggest showpiece event is back, and is ready to kick-off from May 24 with its set of Practice matches. Each team will warm themselves up, playing two games each ahead of the main tournament which begins on May 30, 2019, featuring England and South Africa first-up in Southampton.
After yet another scintillating season of the Indian Premier League this year, the Cricket fans, especially the ones in India would again swear fealty of the ‘Men in Blue’, after clashing against each other in support of their respective franchises in the lucrative IPL.
Two-time champions India, will lock horns against the mighty South Africans in their first encounter on June 5 at the Rose Bowl in Southampton.
With most of the Indian players, who are part of the 15-member squad (announced last month), experiencing a good IPL season this year, the fans would expect them to carry on with their forms till the month of July.
The chances of it are highly likely to happen, unless the Indian Team goes completely haywire while executing their plans, or a really bad omen strikes their campaign!
With our fingers crossed and adding two more ounces of optimism within ourselves, we at TSR try to analyse the 4 reasons why India can win the ICC World Cup 2019.
The ‘Kulcha’ (Kuldeep and Chahal) combination
The deadly combination of India’s go-to men in the Spin department- Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal have done wonders for India since they have become a regular feature in the side, since the ICC Champions Trophy in 2017.
Strengths: 1) Reads the batsman very well
2) Can play well even in non-spin conditions
3) Has decent amount of variarions
Weaknesses: Nothing much really.
How well does he play pressure: 6.5/10
— Hitman Fan (@Rohit_legend45) May 13, 2019
India have played 44 One-Day Internationals since the ICC Champions Trophy, 2017. Kuldeep and Chahal have featured in 23 matches (off the 44 ODIs), while we have seen them in action in only 18 ODIs, where they have played without the services of the third spinner.
Off the 18 ODIs without the third spinner, the deadly duo have picked up 75 wickets at an impressive strike rate of 26.17 and a below 5 economy rate. The strike rate of 26.17 is the best for any combination that India have ever tried.
Moreover, considering that the scores of 350 are being scored relatively easily (both while batting first or second) in the English pitches (more so off-late) the middle-overs by ‘Kulcha’ can come in really handy to not only contain the flow of runs, but also pick up wickets. With both being attacking bowlers, skipper Kohli won’t mind even if they leak a few runs as long as they are picking up wickets for him.
The Top 3 batsmen
India’s Top 3- Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli have been a regular feature in the Indian Top order for quite some time now, courtesy their brilliant consistent performances at the top.
The fact that India have emerged as one of the best chasing teams in the recent past, has been possible only because the ‘Top 3’, consisting of the aforementioned players have regularly fired.
In the year 2019 itself, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, and Shikhar Dhawan have scored 611, 556, and 420 runs at a strike rate of 55.54, 42.76, and 35.00 respectively. While both Rohit and Shikhar have scored these many runs in 13 innings, Virat has scored them in mere 11 innings.
Having scored 3 centuries and 1 half-century this year, Kohli is at the third spot at the moment in the list of highest runs scorers in 2019, despite playing 2 matches less than the top two- Usman Khawaja and Aaron Finch- both from Australia.
On the other hand, Rohit and Shikhar have scored a hundred each this year, while striking 4 fifties and 2 fifties respectively in the 13 innings this year.
India would thus be expecting their Top 3 to deliver yet again, as the batting conditions would be best suited for them in England, to play as they have done this year so far.
In Form Hardik Pandya
India lays real high hopes on Hardik Pandya’s all-rounder skills in their pursuit towards clinching the World Cup this year. The good news for the fans is that, Pandya has been in red-hot form, especially with the bat off-late.
Although there’s world lot of difference in the 20 and the 50-over format, Hardik’s form in the IPL would certainly act as a major boost for the Indian team, courtesy the role he would play for India in the team.
As per what we expect, he will play the role of a pinch-hitter lower down the order (most likely at no.7) where the team would expect him to finish off the games batting second, or lend them the extra boost of 15-20 or even more runs while batting first.
Moreover, considering MS Dhoni’s role in the side, who has shown the propensity of taking some time in the initial phase of the innings, it will be Hardik,who’ll play the role of the finisher, providing Dhoni the support at the other end.
He scored 402 runs in 16 matches in the IPL, with 6 not outs, and with a stupendous average of 44.66. Moreover, he would also play as the 5th bowling option for India if the pair of Kuldeep and Chahal play together, the chances of which are likely high.
As a bowling option, Pandya will have to step up as he has the tendency of leaking runs in the middle overs. Moreover, he has taken a total of only 9 wickets in the last 10 ODIs he’s played for India, at an average economy of 5.6 runs per over- which is quite expensive, especially when the ‘Kulcha’ duo would be bowling an attacking line in the middle overs.
It would therefore be necessary for Hardik to contain those extra runs in the middle overs, if not take wickets, in order to ease off the pressure from Chahal and Kuldeep.
Jasprit Bumrah’s form
‘Man of the Match’ in the final of the IPL this year, and India’s go-to man in the bowling department, Jasprit Bumrah’s form will perhaps be the decisive factor for India’s chances in this World Cup.
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) May 12, 2019
He has been in consistent prime form throughout the past couple years or so, whether playing for his franchise team (Mumbai Indians in the IPL) or in Indian colours.
In the Indian colours, Bumrah has picked up 16 wickets in the last 10 ODI matches at an average economy of only 4.11 runs per over. Touted as the best death bowler in the world currently in all the formats, Bumrah’s services, especially in the death, in the batting friendly wickets of England can act as a luxury for Kohli and India in the ICC World Cup 2019.