World Cup 2019: How the teams prepared in the warm-up games

first_imgWith the World Cup set to begin in just a day, we have gotten a fair idea of where the teams stand after seeing their best combinations tried out in the warm-up games. World Champions Australia showed they are prepared to defend their title while England looked set to win the cup for the first time.Here is a look at how the 10 teams performed in their Warm-up games.AustraliaAfter a disastrous 2017-18 season, Australia have sent a firm warning to all the World Cup teams of their formidable return as they are the only team to fetch a 100 percent result in the preparatory World Cup games.In the first warm-up game, the 5-time world champions Australia had set a 297-run target riding on the back of a phenomenal century from Steve Smith and the bowlers followed it up well to defend the target. Jason Behrendorff and Kane Richardson chipped in with 2 wickets apeice.Australia then thrashed Sri Lanka as they achieved the 240-run target with 31 balls remaining as Usman Khawaja starred in with his 89 runs.EnglandGoing into the World Cup as the favourites, hosts England stumbled against a tough Australiam side in the first warm-up game but came back stronger to brutually thrash Afghanistan in the next game.Liam Plunkett enjoyed a four-wicket haul against Australia while Jos Buttler continued his rich form as England fell short of just 12 runs of a win. Jofra Archer, a recent addition to the England side, and Joe Root restricted Afghanistan to just 160 in the other game as Jason Roy remained unbeaten at 89 to win the game in just 17 overs.advertisementIndiaAfter a batting collapse against New Zealand, India crushed Bangladesh in the second game . Beating Bangladesh by 95 runs might not be that huge a good news for India but the match defnitely gave them something they were in search for since last couple of years-their number 4. After a series of trials and errors, KL Rahul ended the No. 4 spot debate with his classy century. Another best thing that happened for India was the return of their out-of-form spinner Kuldeep Yadav as he put up a heartening performance with the ball, claiming 3 for 47. However, the form of opening pair of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan still remains a worry for India.South AfricaOpening batsman Hashim Amla provided a relief to the side as he got his form back just the right time with 61-ball 65 in their only chance to prepare for the World Cup.Faf du Plessis shone with his 88 runs before Andile Phehlukwayo scalped 4 wickets to bundle out Sri Lanka at 251 and hand South Africa an 87-run win. In the absence of their star bowler Dale Steyn, the South Africa side looked stable with the likes of Kagiso Rabada and Imran Tahir along with Phehlukwayo.New ZealandAfter some spectacular bowling by Trent Boult and James Neesham, New Zealand packed off mighty India for 179 in just 39.2 overs but couldn’t come up with any answers against West Indies’ batting fireworks. Tent Boult once again picked 4 wickets but wasn’t offered any support from the spinners stop West Indies from setting on a mammoth 421-run target.Tom Bundell went on to score a century against West Indies and staked a claim for New Zealand’s first game against Sri Lanka. Kane Williamson enjoyed half-centuries in both the warm-up games while opener Martin Guptill looked to struggle a bit.PakistanAfter going down against Afghanistan in the first game, Pakistan didn’t get a chance to try out their combinations again, as rain washed out their second warm-up game against Bangladesh. Pakistan’s fast-bowling, which used to be their strength in the past years, failed to defend 262 runs that were amassed on the back off Babar Azam’s hundred.Shaheen Shah Afridi has failed to impress lately as he went wicketless in the warm-up, along with experienced Mohammad Amir. Pakistan’s fast bowlers have to get back in the groove if they want to see themselves going far in the tournament.BangladeshAfter a washed out first game, Bangladesh lost the second one to India. After winning the Tri-series against West Indies recently, Bangladesh look to be an improved side going in the World Cup but will be needing a consistent performace from their bowling unit to stand strong against the stronger teams.In the absence of their regular opener Tamim Iqbal, Liton Das impressed with 73 runs while Mushfiqur Rahim (90) stood upright against a strong Indian bowling unit.Afghanistan After coming into the international cricketing arena quite late, Afghanistan have sprung up surprises on every other occasions. They edged out Pakistan in the first warm-up game before being beaten by a powerful England in the second. With world’s best bowlers like Rashid Khan and Mohammad Nabi in the side, Afghanistan could be a difficult side to score runs against in the World Cup.advertisementSri LankaAfter losing both their warm-up games against South Africa and Asutralia, Sri Lanka have a lot of things to reflect upon before starting their World Cup campaign.Lahiru Thirimanne, Dimuth Karunaratne and Angelo Mathews took the batting onus one them on of the occassions but the there wasn’t much to be seen from the bowlers. Venteran Lasith Malinga didn’t show up in the warm-up games but will play a crucial roel to guide the inexperienced bowling unit in the World Cup.West IndiesThe West Indian side boast of a very strong batting line-up as was seen massive in the warm-up game against New Zealand. Shai Hope once again showed his phenomenal show with bat as his side piled up 421 runs. They have power-hitters like Andre Russell, Chris Gaylea nd Evin Lewis to leave any side clueless in search of bowling options.Kemar Roach would be the West Indies’ favoured bowler to defend big totals while Carlos Brathwaite could also pick wickets in intervals. Without a doubt, West Indies are going into the World Cup as a threat to the other 9 teams.Also Read | World Cup 2019: Batting with MS Dhoni is a dream, says KL RahulAlso Read | Virat Kohli has amazingly matured as captain: Kapil DevAlso Seelast_img

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