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‘Favourites’ England wary of New Zealand might in World Cup final

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Englad and New Zealand are eyeing their maiden World Cup title.

New Delhi: Playing in front of home crowd and familiarity with the conditions make England the favourites to win the World Cup for the first time when they take on New Zealand at the Lord’s on Sunday.

However, the hosts cannot afford to be complacent, as the spirited Kiwis will go out all guns blazing to lay their hands on the coveted title for the first since the inception of the showpiece event in 1975.

On the eve of the final, a look at both the teams as the world waits with baited breath to usher in a first time winner.

New Zealand

Strength: The Kiwis will once again look up to their in-form skipper Kane Williamson to do the bulwark with the bat. With 548 runs in 8 innings, Williamson is the fifth highest run-getter in the ongoing World Cup and will surely look to build on his consistent form.

New Zealand’s biggest strength is their fiery pace bowling line-up led by Lockie Ferguson and Trent Boult, who have picked up 18 and 17 wickets, respectively, in the tournament so far.

Weakness: New Zealand’s batting is their weakness. Besides Williamson, none of the other batsmen have scored consistently. They also have a habit of choking under pressure.

Opportunity: Riding on their pace bowling battery and Williamson’s imperious batting repertoire, New Zealand can dream of winning their first World Cup provided the others join the party.

Threat: Kiwis’ ability to handle pressure at the biggest stage in world cricket will be tested. Also, the team lacks experience as it comprises many players who are playing in the World Cup for the first time.

England

Strength: England’s opening pair of Jonny Bairstow and Jason Roy have wreaked havoc and they can take the game away from the opposition in a matter of 20 overs.

England’s bowling with the effervescent Jofra Archer, Chris Woakes and Mark Wood also seem potent. Ben Stokes has been brilliant so far and the all-rounder will look to bring his best to the table in the crucial clash.

Weakness: England have failed to gun down big totals and their defeats in the group stages are testimony to that. They have shown signs of crumbling under pressure.

Opportunity: This is England’s best chance to win the World Cup and that too, at home. They have a dream team and blossom in almost every department.

Threat: The burden of expectations can lead to their downfall. Keeping a cool head and not getting carried away will be a challenge.

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BCCI begins hunt for new coach, incumbent Shastri eligible as auto entry

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Ravi Shastri and Co. have been given an extension of 45 days beyond the World Cup.

New Delhi: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Tuesday invited applications for the positions of head coach, batting coach, bowling coach, fielding coach, physio, strength and conditioning coach and administrative manager for the Indian team. Current head coach Ravi Shastri and his team will get an automatic entry into the recruitment process.

The release from the BCCI said: “The interested candidates have to send in their application(s) on or before July 30, 2019, by 5 p.m. at recruitment@bcci.tv.

“Pertinent to note, that the decision of the BCCI for the said position, will remain final and binding.”

It will be interesting to note that the last time, the deadline had to be extended as final choice — Shastri — had not applied for the position till the deadline got over. In fact, it was believed that former India opener Virender Sehwag was among the most eligible candidates from the new set of applicants apart from then coach Anil Kumble. Like Shastri this time, Kumble had an auto entry into the process.

Speaking to , a BCCI functionary confirmed the same. “Yeah, we did extend the deadline last time due to certain reasons. Hopefully the same won”t be required this time.”

The current coaching staff were handed a 45-day extension after their tenure ended with the World Cup. Assistant coach Sanjay Bangar is under the scanner after India”s exit in the World Cup and the inability to find a number four batsmen over the last two seasons.

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No one lost, yet there was a winner in World Cup final: Williamson

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Kane Williammson has been named the player of the tournament.

London: Coming to terms with the heart-wrenching defeat against England in the World Cup title clash, New Zealand captain Kane Williamson said that “no one lost the final but there was a crowned winner”.

On Sunday, Black Caps missed an opportunity to win their first World Cup after losing on boundary count to England in the finals as the match as well as the Super Over ended in ties.

England scored 26 boundaries in total in the entire duration of the match as compared to 17 by the Black Caps and were thus crowned as champions.

“At the end of the day nothing separated us, no one lost the final, but there was a crowned winner and there it is,” Williamson told Newstalk ZB on Tuesday.

He said the World Cup final was “pretty tough to get your head around – I think it will take time to reflect with a rational mind”.

He said that it was a real good effort from his team to get to the knockout stage. New Zealand, who were cruising at one stage, lost their last three round-robin games and it was on superior net run-rate that they managed to book a place in the semifinals.

They then went on defeat India in the semifinals to set up a title date with England.

“It was a really good effort to get knockout stages,” he said.

“We were forced to play a style of game because of the conditions and adopted that really well. We thought it took us all the way but it was not to be.

“The rules are the rules and we all try and play by them as did England who also had a very good campaign,” the Black Caps skipper added.

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ICC should consider ‘sharing’ World Cup, says New Zealand coach

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Englnd beat New Zealand on boundary count after the match was tied after the Super Over.

London: New Zealand head coach Gary Stead believes the possibility of sharing the World Cup is something that “should be considered” by the International Cricket Council (ICC) after the Black Caps lost to England in the finals of the 2019 World Cup at Lord”s.

On Sunday, two dramatic run-outs in the final over of England”s innings took the game into a Super Over with the scores tied on 241 after the end of 50 overs against New Zealand. However, with the Super Over also ending in a tie, the winner of the showpiece event was decided by the number of boundaries scored.

England scored 26 boundaries in total in the entire duration of the match as compared to 17 by the Black Caps and were thus crowned as champions.

Asked during a media interaction at the team hotel whether he would have preferred New Zealand being declared joint winners, Stead was open to the suggestion.

“Perhaps when you play over a seven-week period and can’t be separated on the final day, that is something should be considered as well,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Stead as saying.

“But again that’s one consideration over a whole lot of things that went on over the World Cup. Everything will be reviewed, and I think that it”s a good time to do it now. But probably just let the dust settle for a while.”

However, Craig McMillan, New Zealand’s batting coach believed that sharing the trophy would have been the “right thing” to do.

“It is not going to change yesterday’s result. But what is probably fair to say at the end of seven weeks in a big tournament like this, when you have two teams can’t be separated after a 50-over match and then a Super Over and neither team did actually lose in many ways in terms of runs scored,” said McMillan.

“Then perhaps sharing the trophy would be the right thing to do. It wasn’t to be yesterday, which we all are disappointed with. But it is sport and those were the rules.”

Earlier, many former cricketers like Gautam Gambhir, Dean Jones, Brett Lee, Yuvraj Singh and others criticised the ICC for the boundary rule.

Both Stead and McMillan were confident the ICC would review whether the Super Over was indeed the best way to deal with the scenario like a tie in a World Cup final.

“Small margin this, isn’t it? I don”t know that rule to be perfectly honest. I have played a lot of games of cricket, watched a lot of cricket — overthrows have just been added to what has been run as opposed to the point of the throw coming in. So, again, it will be something that will be something debated, discussed, but again it doesn’t change the result,” said McMillan.

Speaking after the match, New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson had also said that it was a “real shame” that the final of the showpiece event was decided in such a way.

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