Islamabad: IT seems that realism is slowly creeping into Pakistan cricket and the team management and selectors have come to peace with the fact that the national side’s batting line-up cannot be relied on — at least for the leading role — with the World Cup fast approaching.
That role will be taken up by the bowlers while the batsmen will ensure they play the supporting role perfectly if Pakistan are to win the most prestigious trophy in world cricket for the second time.
“I’m comfortable with the batting we have in place and it is going to do one hell of a job for us but if we have to be brutally honest, our bowlers are going to be the ones who [can] set up a win for Pakistan at the World Cup,” Pakistan head coach Mickey Arthur told Dawn in an exclusive chat at the National Stadium in Karachi.
“Our bowling is going to win us the World Cup while our batsmen are going to support the bowlers in this campaign,” added the South African.
Pakistan’s struggles with the bat have been consistent since more than a decade now and the problems seem to have become a stigma now which is hard to get rid of. With the World Cup set to be held in England this year, the conditions, once again pose a challenge to stroke-making.
Arthur, however, is approaching the situation realistically and taking away a significant amount of pressure from his batsmen, who are constantly targeted with criticism.
“We have got to be aggressive with the way we go, we have got to look to strike, look to take wickets and with that our batting will [gradually] grow,” he continued.
However, Arthur is still looking to strengthen the batting line-up. The Pakistan gaffer has recalled explosive-yet controversial batsman Umar Akmal to the national squad for the upcoming One-day International series against Australia.
Umar, who has not played for Pakistan since being sent back from England before the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy due to a failed fitness Test, makes his comeback on the basis of consistent performances for Quetta Gladiators in the ongoing Pakistan Super League (PSL).
The right-hander has accumulated 228 runs in nine outings for the Sarfraz Ahmed-led outfit and is averaging a healthy 38 with an impressive strike-rate of almost 137.
His flamboyant hitting in the UAE leg of the PSL must have been hard to ignore for Arthur, who said he talked to Umar about what it takes to consolidate a place in the Pakistan side.
“I had a meeting with Umar Akmal and discussed exactly where I thought he was. We are looking at the skillset that he brings to the Pakistan team. Obviously, he is a very intelligent player but he knows that he has to conform,” said Arthur.
“He knows that he has got to pass the fitness standards that are required of him. If he does all that he becomes available for selection which he has done.”
Dhoni could be ‘exposed’ by Yuvraj’s dad after World Cup
Mumbai: Father of recently retired former Indian all-rounder Yuvraj Singh, Yograj has struck again, and all the signs point toward former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
While the cricketer is busy preparing for India’s next clash against Pakistan on Sunday after rain played spoilsport on the much-hyped India-New Zealand clash, a recent video of Yograj has surfaced where he speaks about an ‘un-named’ player who is responsible for the ‘dirty politics’ in the Indian cricket team.
Yograj further goes on to state that this player is the reason that many players like Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, VVS Laxman, and his own son Yuvraj Singh were not included in the Indian team at crucial points in time.
While Yograj didn’t reveal much about the player he talks about, he did mention that he’d make the complete revelations after the currently ongoing 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup. Based on earlier allegations by Yograj, who was also a former pace bowler, towards then Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, It seems pretty evident that he is speaking of ‘Captain Cool’.
“I don’t want to take his name but he has been playing these dirty politics from the last 15 years. He has made lives difficult for Indian cricketers. I will make this revelation after the World Cup gets over. He will remember this for life that someone said something about him,” said Yograj.
“I don’t want to speak about him at this point in time because I don’t want the team to get affected during the World Cup,” he added.
FIFA Rankings: India unmoved at 101
London: The Indian national team remain unmoved in the June 2019 edition of the FIFA Rankings released.
Following India’s exit from the 2019 AFC (Asian Football Confederation) Asian Cup, India have had a change in coach with Igor Stimac replacing Stephen Constantine.
Under Stimac, India recently participated in the King’s Cup 2019 in Thailand where a 3-1 defeat against Curacao (79) was backed by a 1-0 win over hosts Thailand (116) in the third-place play-off.
GFX India FIFA Rankings June 2019
The Blue Tigers are set to face Tajikistan (120), DPR Korea (122) and Syria (85) in the upcoming Intercontinental Cup 2019 next. India enter the tournament as defending champions.
Meanwhile, in the global standings, Belgium continue to lead at the top having bettered their advantage over second-placed France who also stay put in their position, the same as Brazil and England at third and fourth spots respectively.
2019 UEFA Nations League champions Portugal have displaced Croatia to stand fifth while Spain (7) has gained two places. Germany (11 – tied with Argentina), Italy and Netherlands (both at 14) have also moved two places up.
Coutinho brace helps Brazil forget Neymar in winning Copa start
Sao Paulo: A brace from Philippe Coutinho handed hosts Brazil a winning start to the Copa America in a 3-0 victory over Bolivia as the absence of superstar Neymar was quickly forgotten.
Barcelona’s Coutinho scored from the penalty spot early in the second half and added a close-range header three minutes later.
Substitute Everton netted a sensational third five minutes from time to clinch a Group A victory for coach Tite’s tournament favorites in Sao Paul.
The build-up to the competition had been dominated by Neymar’s woes, firstly when he was accused of rape by a Brazilian model, and then when he damaged ankle ligaments in a friendly last week, forcing him out of the Copa.
If Brazil’s first-half performance was anything to go by, the Paris Saint-Germain star was sorely missed, but Coutinho’s brace at least silenced the jeers that met the team at half-time.
“Whistles are part of the game, the fans want us to win and play well, so that’s why they jeer,” said the match-winner, whose goals papered over the cracks of an at times disjointed performance.
“We always want their support but we’re focused on the objective, which is the match,” Coutinho told Brazil’s SportTV.
“Whistles or cheers, the important thing is to stay focused and get the win.” Brazil made a bright start and predictably dominated the early possession and chances
But surprisingly their greatest threat came from set-pieces with Coutinho’s corner delivery causing panic in the Bolivian backline.
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