Millennium Post

Holders enter WC in 2nd spot

Holders enter WC in 2nd spot
After failing to win a single game in the recently concluded tri-series, the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led side trail Australia by six points in the ODI rankings, according to an ICC release issued on Monday.

Australia, who won the tri-series after humbling England in the final, are comfortably placed at the top with 120 ranking points followed by India (114) and South Africa (113). With just a few more international matches left to go before the the 50-over showpiece event kickstarts on February 14 in Australia and New Zealand, the 14 competing teams are gearing up for the warm-up matches slated between 8-13 of this month.

Meanwhile in the player rankings, India’s Virat Kohli is at the number three spot in the batsman’s chart with South Africa’s AB de Villers and Hashim  Amla at the No.1 and 2 positions, respectively. Other Indians in the top-10 of the batting table include Shikhar Dhawan (7), whose lack of form in the tri-series came under intense criticism by one and all, and Dhoni at number eight.

The bowling, which is a major cause of worry for the Men in Blue before the World Cup, also disappoints with no Indian in the top-10 of the bowling chart. Medium-pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar (13) and Ravindra Jadeja (14) are the only Indian bowlers in the top-20 list headed by Pakistan’s Saeed Ajmal.

In what promises to be an exciting World Cup, a total of 42 matches will be played throughout the group stage of the tournament. The top four teams from each pool will qualify for the quarterfinals.

Ishant, Rohit, Bhuvi, Jadeja to undergo fitness test
The fate of India’s injured World Cup quartet of Rohit Sharma, Ishant Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja and Bhuvneshwar Kumar will be decided on February 7 when they undergo a rigorous fitness test ahead of the team’s first warm-up game against Australia the very next day.

“There will be a two-part fitness test of these four players. They will undergo a fitness test on February 7 and those who pass the test will then be examined in match situation against Australia the very next day. After that the team management will take a call. As of now, no one is going back home,” said a top source in the team management, currently in Adelaide.

He said that as of now it’s Rohit Sharma, who has really recovered well from his hamstring injury and is looking to be fit by the time the first warm-up game starts. “Rohit has recovered around 80 presidentbut same can’t be said about the others. Ishant has a knee injury while Bhuvneshwar is recuperating from ankle injury while Ravindra Jadeja is coming back from shoulder injury,” the source added.

The source also said that there were some wrong reports in the media about the team spending time at a five-star resort in the outskirts of Adelaide. “The entire squad is staying at the Inter-Continental Hotel in Adelaide. Any information regarding spending time at a resort is baseless to the best of my knowledge. Inter-continental is the team hotel and the squad stayed here during the Adelaide Test match also,” the source added.

India will reach world cup semifinal: virender Sehwag

Out-of-favour India batsman Virender Sehwag on Monday exuded confidence about India making it to the semifinals of the upcoming ICC World Cup, saying recent results would have little impact on the team’s performance during the quadrennial extravaganza.

“I am sure India will make it to the semifinals and after that it would depend on how they play on a particular day,” said Sehwag. Asked which other teams according to him could make the last-four stage apart from India, Sehwag was prompt in his reply. “Besides India, I think Australia, South Africa and New Zealand would make the semis,” he said.

One of the most destructive opening batsmen refused to believe that India’s lackluster show in their recent tour Down Under would have any influence on the upcoming World Cup. “I don’t think the team will be much affected with their recent performances. Everyone will give their 100 per cent effort during the World Cup and recent results may not have any influence,” Sehwag insisted. India lost the four-Test series 0-2 against Australia and then could not win a single ODI in the tri-series also involving England.
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