Skipper Holder says 'misfiring' Gayle 'perfectly primed' to fire at WC

Jason Holder

Johannesburg, Feb 24 - West Indies skipper Jason Holder has backed out-of-form Chris Gayle to regain form during their World Cup tie against Zimbabwe on Tuesday at Canberra.

The swashbuckling batsman scored an unimpressive 36 runs off 65 balls in the opening loss to Ireland and got out for mere four runs in Saturday's big win over Pakistan.

Backing Gayle to regain form, Holder said that Chris was awake, claiming that he was awake from the beginning of the tournament, Sport24 reported.

The right-arm medium fast bowler said that every time he sees Chris Gayle, he expect to see a positive Chris Gayle, adding that although he hadn't been getting runs, they still had a lot of confidence in him, who could take it as deep as possible for them. (ANI)

South Africa fined for slow over-rate against India

South Africa fined for slow over-rate against India

Melbourne - As if not enough with their embarrassing 130-run loss to India, South Africa were on Monday fined for maintaining a slow over-rate during their World Cup group match against Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his men at the MCG here.

ICC Match referee Jeff Crowe found the South Africans fell one over short after time allowances were taken into consideration in the Group B clash yesterday and docked captain AB de Villiers 20 percent of his match fee and 10 percent for each of the remaining players of the team.

31-year-old de Villiers now runs the risk of being suspended from one match during the World Cup if South Africa are fined a second time before the final.

Windies rout 'feeble' Pak to clinch 150-run win in CWC tie

Andre Russell

Wellington, Feb 21 - It sure was a battle of the unpredictables as West Indies left Pakistan humiliated after reducing the Misbah-ul Haq-led side to splinters to clinch a massive 150-run win in their World Cup Pool B clash at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch.

Put in to bat first, West Indies put up a respectable total of 310-6 in their allotted 50 overs, thanks to Denesh Ramdin (51) and Lendl Simmons' (50) half-centuries and all-rounder Andre Russell 's brisk 42 off just 13 deliveries.

After getting off to a stuttering start with opener Darren Smith and big-hitting batsman Chris Gayle going off for their individual 23 and four runs respectively, Darren Bravo steadied the ship for the West Indies with his 49-run knock before a hamstring injury forced him to retire from the match.

Virat Kohli 2nd most followed Indian sportsperson on FB, crosses 20m

Virat Kohli 2nd most followed Indian sportsperson on FB, crosses 20m

New Delhi: Star batsman Virat Kohli on Friday became the second most followed Indian sportsperson on 'Facebook' behind iconic Sachin Tendulkar as he crossed the 20-million mark, the social networking site said.

26-year-old Kohli, the first Indian batsman to score a century against arch-rivals Pakistan in a World Cup match in the 76-run victory on February 15, currently has 20,002,000 followers on Facebook. He is the second Indian sportsperson to cross 20 million benchmark behind Tendulkar who currently has 24,775,138 followers.

Globally, Kohli is listed at 20th position, while Tendulkar occupies 13th spot in the list of sportspersons who have maximum followers on Facebook.

ICC World Cup 2015: Jonty Rhodes predicts South African win against India

ICC World Cup 2015: Jonty Rhodes predicts South African win against India

New Delhi: India might have begun their World Cup campaign with a morale-boosting win over Pakistan but former Protea batsman Jonty Rhodes feels that South Africa are a better all-round side and tipped them to win their high-profile clash against the defending champions in Melbourne on Sunday.

Jonty said despite a strong performance by India in their comprehensive win over arch-rivals Pakistan, South Africa's strong batting, lethal bowling attack and all-round fielding capabilities would give the Proteas the edge.

Clarke set to return for Oz's WC tie against Bangladesh

Michael Clarke

London, Feb 19 - Australia cricket team coach Darren Lehmann has confirmed that skipper Michael Clarke will be returning for Saturday's World Cup group stage game against Bangladesh in Brisbane.

Following his recovery from hamstring injury, Clarke made a solid return by smacking 64 runs against United Arab Emirates in a warm-up game last week.

Reflecting on Clarke's chances, Lehmann said that yes, he is playing.

Commenting on his fitness, Clarke said that they had a good conversation (with selectors) last week and thought it was in the team's best interests to not play against England and give him another week, Sport24 reported.

The returning skipper, who is likely to replace stand-in skipper George Bailey, was satisfied with his progress after a good practice session.

ICC Cricket World Cup 2015: Bhuvneshwar Kumar's fitness still under cloud

ICC Cricket World Cup 2015: Bhuvneshwar Kumar's fitness still under cloud

Melbourne: The doubts over Bhuvneshwar Kumar's fitness continue to be a concern for the Indian cricket team ahead of its second World Cup pool game against South Africa as the seamer looked far from convincing during a net session here on Wednesday.

Bhuvneshwar, who had suffered an ankle injury before the start of the Test series against Australia and only played the last Test in Sydney where he bowled way below his best, looked out of sorts and unfit at the Junction Oval ground of St Kilda Cricket Club here.

With Dhawal Kulkarni being kept as an additional member of the side, it seems that Bhuvneshwar's gingerly demeanour has kept the team management worried.

'Shunned' Akram eager to help salvage Pak's WC campaign post debacle against India

Wasim Akram

Johannesburg, Feb 18 - Former Pakistan pace spearhead Wasim Akram has expressed his willingness to help Misbah-ul-Haq's side rescue their World Cup campaign after the team's defeat against India in Adelaide.

India extended their unbeaten streak against Pakistan in World Cup to 6-0 after Mahendra Singh Dhoni's men claimed a 76-run win over neighbors.

Speaking on a local news channel, Akram said that neither the Pakistan cricket authorities nor anyone in the team had approached him to help or advise them, Sport24 reported.

Expressing his willingness to help Pakistan team, Akram said that he was there in the World Cup and he wanted to go and help their players adjust and do well in the tournament in those conditions, but he couldn't do that without an invitation, the report added.

IPL 8: Happy to be playing under Gary Kirsten, says Yuvraj Singh

IPL 8: Happy to be playing under Gary Kirsten, says Yuvraj Singh

Bangalore/New Delhi: All-rounder Yuvraj Singh, who on Monday became Indian Premier League's costliest ever buy by going for a whopping Rs 16 crore to Delhi Daredevils, said that he was happy to be playing again under former India coach Gary Kirsten.

"I was sleeping when the auction was going on. I came to know of this only when some guests came to my house and told me about the good news. The best part is, I am going to play under Kirsten. I had my best years under him and hopefully I can repeat that with Delhi," Yuvraj said after he was bought for the record sum at the IPL 8 player auction in Bangalore.

Kirsten, who was present at the auction along with top team officials, said that his franchise had come prepared to go all out bidding for Yuvraj.

Sourav Ganguly awarded honorary life membership by Lord's based MCC

Sourav Ganguly awarded honorary life membership by Lord's based MCC

Johannesburg, Feb 16 : The celebrated Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) awarded former India cricket team captain Sourav Ganguly on Sunday with an honorary life membership to the club.

Following Ganguly's Test debut in 1996 he played a combined 424 Test and ODI matches for India, averaging over 40 with the bat and taking 132 wickets.

Ganguly, who captained India 195 times, claimed that he has got some fantastic memories of playing at Lord's that he carries with him forever, from the hundred on his debut to the amazing NatWest Trophy Final in 2002, Sport24 reported.

Dhoni claims India can still 'improve' post 76-run win over Pak in CWC opener

Mahendra Singh Dhoni

Wellington, Feb 16 - India cricket team captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni feels that his side can still improve, despite claiming that their win against Pakistan was to quite extent a very complete game for all of them.

India beat Pakistan by 76 runs at the Adelaide Oval on Sunday to start their World Cup campaign on a winning note. Since arriving in Australia in November, India had only won one match, a practise game against Afghanistan, and they were under pressure.

And skipper Dhoni knew that it was important for India to avoid losing to Pakistan in their opening World Cup match. After the victory, Dhoni said that he felt the guys did really well because a World Cup opening game against Pakistan is a high-stake game, Stuff. co. nz reported.

Ex-Pak bowling coach Foster believes 'quality spin' will play decisive role in CWC

Daryl Foster

Karachi, Feb 15 - Former Pakistan bowling coach and leading biomechanics expert Daryl Foster has claimed that he would have certainly picked Saeed Ajmal after Mohammad Hafeez had to withdraw due to injury, as he believes that quality spin would play a decisive role in Australia and New Zealand.

Although there is a popular notion that wickets in Australia are conductive to pace bowling alone, Foster believes otherwise and claims that good quality spin bowling would be key in the World Cup.

Foster, who worked with Pakistan in three stints between 2001 and 2004, said that the perception among visiting teams of fast and bouncy pitches was true to some extent but often captains made the mistake of packing too many pacemen in the side, The Dawn reported.

Anderson backs 'world-class' Morgan post Boycott's criticism

James Anderson

London, Feb 14 - England pace spearhead James Anderson has backed out-of-form skipper Eoin Morgan to regain form, describing him as a world-class and destructive player ahead of the World Cup.

Earlier in the week, former England batsman Geoffrey Boycott had slammed misfiring skipper, calling him as a player who lacks cleverness while facing top-class bowlers of the World.

Boycott said that Morgan was not as good as he thinks.

In response, Anderson said that it was rich coming from him, adding that Morgan was a world-class player and had been for however many games he had played, the Mirror reported.

The right-arm pace bowler further said that they were just hopeful he could get some form as they had seen how destructive he could be when he was in form.

Indian team lacks genuine all-rounders: Mohinder Amarnath

Mohinder Amarnath

New Delhi - Having taken India to World Cup glory in 1983 by his all-round performance, Mohinder Amarnath feels the current side lacks "genuine" all-rounders and the bowlers are trying to bowl too quick instead of focussing on line and length.

"In one-day cricket all-rounders make a lot of Difference. And in this team I don't see any genuine all-rounders. See when we play in India or the sub-continent then the conditions are to our liking, so probably anybody can bat, so it doesn't mean you become a genuine all-rounder," Amarnath told PTI in an exclusive interview on the sidelines of a 'Royal Stag Barrel Select Perfect Strokes' event, here.

Afridi among 8 partying Pak players fined for violating team's WC curfew

Shahid Afridi

Karachi, Feb 13 - Pakistan flamboyant all-rounder Shahid Afridi, along with seven other teammates have been fined for violating a team curfew ahead of their much-anticipated World Cup opener against arch-rivals India on Sunday.

According to the Dawn, eight of the Pakistan players, which also included former captain Shahid Afridi and opener Ahmed Shehzad, were fined 300 Australian dollars after they came late to their Sydney hotel.

Headed by former military officer Naveed Cheema, Pakistan team management claimed that players went with their friends for dinner but came back late.

Moreover, a warning has also been issued for players as a repeat offense would pave their way for an early exit from the sport's pinnacle tournament.

Ponting believes Clarke should renounce ODI captaincy post CWC

Ricky Ponting

Sydney, Feb 12 - Former Australian skipper Ricky Ponting believes that Michael Clarke should step down from one-day captaincy, and hand over the premier role to Steve Smith after the conclusion of the World Cup.

The two-time World Cup winning captain said that the right time for Michael to hand over the one-day captaincy to Steven will be after the conclusion of this World Cup, adding that retiring from one-day games would also allow Michael's body regular rest and recovery periods, News. com. au reported.

Admitting that Clarke is perfect to lead Australia during World Cup, Ponting said that it would be a good time for Steven to take over the one-day job and Michael to remain as Test captain after the conclusion of World Cup.

Indian batting legend Sachin Tendulkar voted in Greatest ODI XI of all time

Indian batting legend Sachin Tendulkar voted in Greatest ODI XI of all time

London, Feb 10 : Indian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar has been voted in the greatest ODI XI of all time, along with Adam Gilchrist, Chris Gayle and Wasim Akram.

The BBC revealed the greatest ODI XI of all time after voters cast their votes over the last week and Tendulkar has been voted as one of the best opening batsman in the greatest one-day team ever.

People voted over the last week for the different components of the team from a list of players nominated by the Test Match Special team, the BBC reported.

The only criterion set was that the players must have appeared in an ODI, with World Cup performances carrying no extra weight.

I wouldn't write India off: Gary Kirsten

I wouldn't write India off: Gary Kirsten

Mumbai - India's World Cup-winning coach Gary Kirsten feels it would be premature to write off the defending champions and said the holders have a good chance of retaining the title with skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni at the helm.

"They are a quality outfit and I wouldn't write them off.

They have got one of the most successful captains ever and in terms of closing off the events, let's not discount the Dhoni factor. A lot of things have changed and shifted in his life at the moment but when it comes to these events, he steps up and he is at his best," Kirsten told reporters here.

De Villiers claims Proteas will try to shun 'losers' tag and win 2015 CWC

AB De Villiers

Johannesburg, Feb 08 - South Africa cricket team captain AB De Villiers has claimed that being told not to return home as 'losers' by their country's sports minister merely reflects the passionate desire of all the people in their nation for a maiden Cricket World Cup triumph.

South Africa's Sports Minister Fikile Mbalula created a stir earlier this week when he said at the team's official departure that they did not want them to be at the World Cup to add numbers and just become a bunch of losers.

De Villiers said that their country of South Africa expects a lot from their sports people, and added that they are expected to come there and win the tournament, Sport24 reported.

Pressure is on Pakistan as they haven't won against us: Rohit Sharma

Pressure is on Pakistan as they haven't won against us: Rohit Sharma

Adelaide: Star opener Rohit Sharma feels that arch-rivals Pakistan who will be "under pressure" going into the opening match of the ICC Cricket World Cup as they have never won against India at the mega event.

"The pressure will be on them rather than us. They are the ones, who have not won a game against us in the World Cup.

We will try and use it to our advantage," Rohit told the mediapersons at India's Open Session, here on Saturday.

Not denying that Pakistan match will be a huge affair, Rohit wants that fans go back with happy memories and they will prepare to the best of their abilities to win the game.

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