ICC World Cup ICC Cricket World Cup 2019: India’s Oval collapse against New Zealand raises questions

first_img New Delhi: In the build-up to the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, there is plenty of debate on the nature of the pitches in England. The England vs Pakistan series saw the hosts put up totals in excess of 350 with remarkable ease. In the last five years, ever since the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup debacle, England has notched up scores of over 300+ 30 times. The broad consensus heading into the World Cup for teams was that pitches in England were absolutely flat and batsmen would have a field day. In the warm-up game between India and New Zealand at The Oval, it was expected that a high-scoring encounter was on the cards considering the flat nature of the Oval deck.However, contrary to the script, Virat Kohli’s Indian cricket team were on the receiving end of a masterclass from Trent Boult. He snapped Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul in a sensational burst of new ball bowling and India were reduced to 39/4. New Zealand seized the momentum and India were tottering at 115/8. Had it not been for Ravindra Jadeja’s attacking 54, India would not even have reached 150. Kohli’s side was bundled out for 179 and New Zealand won by six wickets with Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor smashing fifties. This loss came in a warm-up match. The stats and numbers are not counted in the player’s tally. It is not even an official match. Jasprit Bumrah bowled just four overs and picked up one wicket for two runs. Yes, too much should not be read into a warm-up game. However, the loss does raise some questions.Rewind to Hamilton 2019. On a pitch that offered a hint of swing. Repeat, just a hint of swing. India was razed out for 92 with Boult taking 5/21. Just a hint of movement in the right areas is enough to trouble India’s batsmen. Rohit Sharma’s dismissal is a classic case in point. Boult pitched it up on a length and it swung back in, Rohit played down the wrong line and was trapped in front. In England, Kohli has always been troubled by deliveries that have swung just outside the off stump. Kohli played with a slightly angled bat and dragged a delivery from Colin de Grandhomme which nipped back in onto the stumps.The inability of the Indian batsmen to counter slight movement could be a worry when they head into the main tournament. The fact that swing undid them at The Oval should give them a wake-up call. In the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy final against Pakistan, Rohit, Dhawan and Kohli were all undone by the pace and bounce of Mohammad Amir as Pakistan won the game by 180 runs.From the Oval to Hamilton and back again at the same venue in the space of two years, India’s top order when confronted with a little swing tend to develop cold feet. In these two years, whenever the top order has failed, the middle order has struggled to get going. The Delhi ODI loss to Australia was a classic case when the top order failed and the middle order could not get the momentum.To reiterate, this is a warm-up that has no bearing in the overall cricket statistics. But, it is the right time to iron out certain flaws in the batting with India’s game less than 10 days away at the same venue against South Africa. New Zealand bowled out India for 92 in an ODI in Hamilton in February 2019.Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan fell cheaply.India will open their 2019 World Cup campaign against South Africa at The Oval. highlights For all the Latest Sports News News, ICC World Cup News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.last_img read more

Pili wins Pac-12 Freshman of the Year

first_img“It was exciting,” Pili said of hearing the news. “It was definitely a big accomplishment. Just knowing that I’m making so many people proud, it just makes me happy.”  “That’s huge,” Pili said. “They’re some legendary players and just knowing that I’m on that path too is crazy.” Forward Alissa Pili capped off her incredible regular season by winning Pac-12 Freshman of the Year Tuesday. (Ling Luo / Daily Trojan) USC women’s basketball forward Alissa Pili was named Pac-12 Freshman of the Year Tuesday, becoming the fifth Trojan in program history to receive the honor and the first since guard Briana Gilbreath in 2009.  Going into the Pac-12 Tournament, Pili is currently on a 14 game double-digit points streak, including performances against top opponents like No. 3 Oregon and No. 7 Stanford. She also has 11 double-doubles this season, the fourth most in the conference.  “We thought she might not even start [in the] beginning of the year, so she earned it,” head coach Mark Trakh said. “And she came in and she did everything she needed to do and turned out to be a pretty good player … so we’re very proud of what she did.” Pili has had an explosive first season for USC. Recruited as a three-time Gatorade Player of the Year from Anchorage, Alaska, Pili has been in the starting lineup since the season opener and has consistently delivered on both ends of the floor. Pili was honored as Pac-12 Freshman of the Week a staggering four times, the most in program history for the Trojans. Pili is averaging 50.9% from the field, which stands as the fifth best clip in the Pac-12. She has posted a 79.2% free-throw percentage and an 82.4% mark in conference play. Overall, she leads the entire Pac-12 freshman class in scoring, rebounding and free throw percentage. center_img Pili isn’t just one of the best players in the conference, though, as she’s emerged as one of the nation’s most productive players across the board. Pili finds herself in the top 100 in scoring, rebounding, free throws made, field goals made and field-goal percentage as well as the top 50 in double-doubles. Pili has placed her name alongside Trojan greats like Lisa Leslie and Tina Thompson with the Freshman of the Year honor. Pili, who obviously also earned a spot on the Pac-12 All-Freshman team, is joined by teammate senior forward Kayla Overbeck in the Pac-12 honors, with Overbeck receiving a Pac-12 All-Defensive Honorable Mention after averaging 1.7 steals in conference play and 5.8 rebounds per game overall. The true freshman averaged 16.2 points and 8.1 rebounds per game this season, as well as an even better 19.4 points per game in Pac-12 competition — the second most in the conference. She earned herself a spot on the All-Pac-12 Team as one of the top 10 players in one of the NCAA’s most competitive conferences for women’s basketball.  “That’s another big accomplishment,” Pili said. “Because this is one of — the toughest conference in the country, so just seeing myself up there with all these big time players too is cool.” Both players will begin postseason action Thursday at 6 p.m. in Las Vegas, Nev., where the No. 7-seeded Trojans will take on No. 10-seeded Colorado in the first round of the Pac-12 Tournament.last_img read more