WORLD CUP – ASIA THWARTED: India’s fear of failure ends Asian challenge in the Cricket World Cup

Source: @BCCI

By A Special Correspondent in Manchester

India promised much in the 2019 Cricket World Cup, yet it was the ‘Fear of Failure’ that led to the fancied team’s shock defeat in the semi-final against New Zealand, who advanced to their second successive title encounter with an 18-run victory.

New Zealand, losing finalists of the 2015 World Cup that they co-hosted with Australia, rode on top scorer Ross Taylor’s 74 and captain Kane Williamson’s fine 67 to post 239 for eight wickets in 50 overs of the rain-disrupted semi-finals that spread to two days.

It was not the target that played on India’s mind, but they were undone by the loss of three top-order batsmen with just five runs on the board. Pacemen Matt Henry (three for 37) and Trent Boult (two for 42) had India reeling after openers Rohit Sharma, K.L. Rahul and skipper Virat Kohli were back in the pavilion in the initial 19 balls of the Indian innings.

India managed to fight back through a century partnership for the seventh wicket between all-rounder Ravinder Jadeja (77) and former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (50) but could not make up for the early slump and were all out for 221 in 49.3 overs .

Complimenting New Zealand for their victory, captain Kohli said 45 minutes of poor cricket had led to India’s dramatic ouster from the semi-finals.

As a fancied contemporary limited-over cricket team, India wre expected to have a crack at their third World Cup title triumph this summer. It was the faltering chase of a modest total that caused the end of a decent show in the World Cup, where the second-last semi-final line-up was finalised only after poor performers South Africa decimated the challenge of defending champions Australia.

The loss to South Africa was the second defeat Australia had suffered in their nine preliminary league outings, after a loss to India in what was the tournament’s showpiece game where batsmen displayed their stroke-play in the high-scoring contest.

Before they faltered against New Zealand, India were the standout performers from amongst the five Asian teams that featured in this World Cup. India had topped the standings in the preliminary round-robin league where all 10 teams played each other. This format was adopted for the first time since the 1992 edition was staged in Australia and New Zealand.

Pakistan’s nightmare of performance in the opening outing against the West Indies – when they were outplayed in quick time – stayed with them till the end. The disadvantage of the low run-rate stayed with them until the end. Pakistan’s team attracted ridicule after their big loss to arch sub-continental rivals India, but they recovered to stay in the hunt for a place in the semi-finals. Ending the World Cup with five victories and a rained off game from nine outings, Pakistan took a lot of credit for the manner of their victories over hosts England, South Africa, and New Zealand. But they barely scraped past rank outsiders Afghanistan – which underscored the combative spirit of the Afghanistan side that could have also pulled off a surprise win against India.

Bangladesh brought a unique flavor to the World Cup and was in the contest for a semi-final spot until they lost the last two outings to India and Pakistan. With a little bit of luck, they could have even started India, particularly if some of their belligerent shots against Indian bowlers had come off.

Former champions Sri Lanka’s best moment of the World Cup came from their combative victory over England, which pushed the hosts to the verge of elimination until they got their act together with a century opening partnership against India that revived their campaign.

Coming to the business end of the World Cup, an Asia team will be missing for the second successive World Cup.

Photos/graphics: @BCCI

There are valuable lessons to take into next match against Pakistan: Aaron Finch (Hear audio report)

By SAT News Desk

MELBOURNE, 9 June: Australian has lost their first match of the World Cup after going down to India by 36 runs at The Oval.

A century to Shikhar Dhawan (117) and 82 to Virat Kohli helped India to 5/352 off their fifty overs, a total which proved enough to hold off Australia.

Steve Smith (69), David Warner (56) and Alex Carey (55 not-out) did their best to chase down the total but three wickets each to Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah ended Australia’s innings on 316. Full Scorecard:


Speaking after the match Captain, Aaron Finch, said there are valuable lessons to take into Australia’s next match against Pakistan.


Australia play Pakistan at the County Ground Taunton on Wednesday.

#CmonAussie #CWC19

Australian Men’s World Cup Squad:
Aaron Finch (c) (Victoria)
Usman Khawaja (Queensland)
David Warner (New South Wales)
Steve Smith (New South Wales)
Shaun Marsh (Western Australia)
Glenn Maxwell (Victoria)
Marcus Stoinis (Western Australia)
Alex Carey (vc) (South Australia)
Pat Cummins (vc) (New South Wales)
Mitchell Starc (New South Wales)
Kane Richardson (South Australia)
Nathan Coulter-Nile (Western Australia)
Jason Behrendorff (Western Australia)
Nathan Lyon (New South Wales)
Adam Zampa (South Australia)

Australia’s World Cup Fixture:
Match 1 – June 1
Afghanistan v Australia
Bristol Country Ground, Bristol
1:30pm (Local Time)

Match 2 – June 6
Australia v West Indies
Trent Bridge, Nottingham
10:30am (Local Time)

Match 3 – June 9
India v Australia
The Oval, London
10:30am (Local Time)

Match 4 – June 12
Australia v Pakistan
County Ground Taunton, Taunton
10:30am (Local Time)

Match 5 – June 15
Sri Lanka v Australia
The Oval, London
10:30am (Local Time)

Match 6 – June 20
Australia v Bangladesh
Trent Bridge, Nottingham
10:30am (Local Time)

Match 7 – June 25
England v Australia
Lord’s, London
10:30am (Local Time)

Match 8 – June 29
New Zealand v Australia
Lord’s, London
1:30pm (Local Time)

Match 9 – July 6
Australia v South Africa
Old Trafford, Manchester
1:30pm (Local Time)

Semi Finals – July 9 and 11

World Cup Final – July 14

Photo: Cricket Australia

Usman Khawaja century seals Australia’s series victory over India in Delhi


By SAT Sports Desk

DELHI, 14 March: It’s the first time an Australian side has come from 2-0 down in an ODI series and won, it also sealed Australia’s first ODI series win in India in a decade.

Usman Khawaja’s (100) second century of the series helped secure Australia victory, it also earned him player of the series after he amassed 383 runs from his five innings.

Khawaja’s ton, a half century to Peter Handscmb (52) and a late blast from Jhye Richardson (29) helped Australia set India 273 for victory.

An all round contribution from Australia’s bowling attack saw India dismissed for 237. Adam Zampa was the pick of the bowlers, finishing with figures of 3/46. Pat Cummins, Jhye Richardson, and Marcus Stoinis claimed two wickets each.

The ODI series win caps off a successful Qantas Tour of India, with Australia also securing the T20I series over India 2-0.

Shane Warne calls Australian squad for Gillette ODIs against India as ‘ridiculous’


By SAT Sports Desk

MELBOURNE, January 4: Former Australian cricketer Shane Warne has expressed his unhappiness at the Australian ODIs squad against India announced today by the Cricket Australia in a Tweet as “These ridiculous selections must stop in all forms of Australian cricket – end of !”
In a Tweet earlier he said, ” Just saw the Aust ODI squad that was announced & was absolutely staggered at some of the players that were left out & some of the inclusions – they don’t make any sense whatsoever. I was asked by @foxcricket to give my team – so here it is ! Thoughts ? Agree ?”

In a media release, the Cricket Australia’s National Selection Panel announced the following 14-man squad for the Gillette ODI Series v India starting in Sydney at the SCG on January 12:

Aaron Finch (c) (Victoria)
Usman Khawaja (Queensland)
Shaun Marsh (Western Australia)
Peter Handscomb (Victoria)
Glenn Maxwell (Victoria)
Marcus Stoinis (Western Australia)
Mitch Marsh (vc) (Western Australia)
Alex Carey (vc) (South Australia)
Jhye Richardson (Western Australia)
Billy Stanlake (Queensland)
Jason Behrendorff (Western Australia)
Peter Siddle (Victoria)
Nathan Lyon (New South Wales)
Adam Zampa (South Australia)

National selector, Trevor Hohns, said: “After a disappointing period in ODI cricket, the National Selection Panel along with team coaches have reviewed our performances across this format and we’ve identified a number of key areas that we feel we need to improve in order to help put this team in the best possible position to turn this period around.”

“With this in mind and the World Cup looming, we’ve selected players we feel provide us with the flexibility to play a variety of roles at different stages of a match.”

“The upcoming three-match series against India and the ODI tours of India and the UAE are important windows to put this into practice and to build a squad to help defend our World Cup title.

“After a hefty workload in the Indian series to date, it has been decided not to select Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood in this squad to allow them to freshen up for the Test series against Sri Lanka.”

“Jhye Richardson, Jason Behrendorff, Peter Siddle and Billy Stanlake fill the fast bowling spots in this squad.”

“It’s wonderful to have Peter back in the squad for the first time since 2010. His white ball cricket has improved considerably the older he has got, and his selection is great reward for his professionalism and strong leadership qualities.”

“We have rewarded both Jhye and Jason as they continue to put up strong performances with the white ball. Jason provides us with a left arm option in the absence of Mitchell Starc and is very capable of taking wickets early in the innings.”

“Nathan Lyon comes back into the squad and will join Adam Zampa as our spin options. Nathan is the best off-spin bowler in the world and we’ve noted how successful teams around the world have been using a two pronged spin attack in the right conditions in white ball cricket, something we are very mindful of heading to the World Cup.”

“With a focus on improving our ability to post competitive totals we’ve recalled Usman Khawaja, Peter Handscomb and Mitch Marsh to the squad.”

“Usman is a batsman we know can put vital runs on the board at the top of the order, and Peter is not only a fine player of spin bowling, he’s also a batsman we know can hold an innings together while keeping the scoreboard ticking over. Mitch gives us another all-round option with his ability with both bat and ball.”

“Travis Head, Darcy Short and Chris Lynn have been unlucky to miss out. All three have had opportunities to cement their spots, but unfortunately, they have not been as productive as we would have liked in recent times when playing ODI cricket for Australia.”

“Unfortunately for Ashton Agar the return of Nathan Lyon as one of our specialist spinners means there wasn’t a place available in the squad for him.”

“Nathan Coulter-Nile recently experienced some lower back soreness, and on the advice of our medical staff we weren’t prepared to risk selecting Nathan in the side given the demands of the upcoming ODI series.”

“As has been our message throughout the summer, with such a big schedule ahead, both home and away, opportunities may well present themselves for players not selected in this squad.”

Gillette ODI Series Fixture:

First Gillette ODI – January 12
Australia v India
SCG, Sydney
1:20pm (Local Time)

Second Gillette ODI – January 15
Australia v India
Adelaide Oval, Adelaide
1:50pm (Local Time)

Third Gillette ODI – January 19
Australia v India
MCG, Melbourne
1:20pm (Local Time)

Scott Morrison : Australia-India Cricket passion to strengthen ties

By SAT Sports Desk

MELBOURNE, 1 January: Prime Minister Scott Morrison today hosted a New Year’s Day Reception at Kirribilli House for the Australian and Indian Test Cricket Teams and their families.

PM & Mrs Morrisson welcome Indian cricket team
PM & Mrs. Morrisson welcome the Indian Cricket team.

The Prime Minister was presented with framed cricket bats by the Australian Captain, Tim Paine, and Indian Captain, Virat Kohli.

PM Morrison Cricket bat presentation

The Reception was held in conjunction with The McGrath Foundation and guests were encouraged to wear something pink. The McGrath Foundation’s mission is to raise money to place Breast Care Nurses in communities across Australia as well as to increase awareness in young people.

PM 3

PM’s address at the reception:

Well thank you very much Bridget, welcome everyone. It’s wonderful to have you here at Kirribilli House. Can I particularly extend a very warm welcome to His Excellency the Governor-General who is here with us today. He is my neighbour, he has popped across. I was going for a swim yesterday afternoon and he said, “You got all those cricketers coming over tomorrow?” He was standing up on the balcony. I said, “Yeah.” He said, “Do you mind if I pop over?” I said, “Sure, that’s what neighbours do at this time of year when you have people around. So Your Excellency, it’s great to have you. High Commissioner, it’s wonderful to have you here. Consul-General, to Michael and Catherine, Deputy Prime Minister, thank you for being here today. Michael is an absolute cricket tragic, he is the one who you know keeps that spirit alive in our Government in particular and it’s great to have you both here, just come down from Queensland this morning. To Bridget and David, of course, to Marise Payne and Stuart Ayres – there’s fewer people more passionate about sport in New South Wales than Stuart Ayres, also the Sports Minister here in NSW – great to have you here with Marise. David and Dotte Coleman, the Minister for Immigration, thank you so much for coming.


PM 5

Can I also particularly acknowledge all of the teams that are here today, both of them, and they will I think want to welcome a couple of legends of the game who are with us today. That’s of course Greg Chappell who is here, who I grew up watching, and Ravi Shastri of course, the coach of the Indian team. And there are few better than ‘Ooh Aah’, Glenn McGrath. Here he is. Glenn, it is wonderful to have you here today because you are not just here because you’re one of the greatest to ever play for Australia but you’re here because you have shown, I think, Australians that when you’ve achieved something remarkable in sport how you can translate that to an enormous gift to the Australian people that you have been able to do with the McGrath Foundation. So to Sara and to Glenn, we really appreciate having you here, and Holly as well who is head of the McGrath Foundation. Over 100 breast cancer nurses now right across the country. It is one of the organisations that I often refer to when I’m talking to people coming from overseas and they want to know about various organisations in the country. And it’s not just because he was born in the Shire but it is more to than that, it says so much about how in Australia we are able to link sport, the community of sport and to able to convert that into something, giving back to a community and to people who really need it. And Glenn is someone who have never forgotten where he is from, and to understand the challenges faced by women facing breast cancer in rural and regional areas, that’s something he knows about. In fact, when I was with Michael and we went up to Quilpie not long after I became Prime Minister, the family we met, the Tullys, they had had their own battle with breast cancer when we were there and they were very well aware of the McGrath Foundation and the work they do. So Glenn, it is wonderful to have you here.

I won’t go on too much today other than to say that this is a great tradition, having both of the teams, the Indian team and the Australian national team here together at Kirribilli House. It was something that was initiated by the first Prime Minister to make this his residence, John Howard, many years ago. And he was truly Australia’s greatest cricket tragic. And remains so to this day and he sends his apologies today. He was invited along today but he is away on holiday. But he wanted me to pass on his best wishes, and also from Jeanette. It’s also a great tradition of the Pink Test. The Pink Test has been completely embraced by Australians, particularly by Sydneysiders. And it’s going to be tremendous for those players who haven’t experienced it before who are visiting or even in our national team, you will be able to take part in something truly that is part of Australia’s both sporting calendar but also I think our cultural and community calendar. It’s a tremendous day that everyone gets involved in, we all don the pink as many of us have today and I think that’ll be tremendous.

It was Alfred Deakin, our second Prime Minister, who first talked about the relationship between Australia and India. He visited and he came back and he said that the distance will be diminished year by year between Australia and India. And that is no more true than where we are today. There is some – as David Coleman knows – there is some 700,000 people living in Australia today of Indian descent, and there is 87,000 Indian students here in Australia. Which explains all those cheers you can hear down at the G or anywhere else. There is a pretty big following when it comes to the Indian national team coming and playing here. And so it is a very strong people to people relationship. But the great thing about the relationship is it is built on shared values. We believe the same things. We have the same passions. And there is no greater example of that than our shared passion for cricket, our national game in both of our countries. And this particular exchange we have seen between our two teams over this Test Series has been enthralling. This is about the only time of the year I get to sit in front of the box and watch a bit of it, signing Christmas cards and doing those sorts of things as I enjoy doing over recent days and recent weeks. This series, despite the Australians loss in the Boxing Day Test, but to pick up the win in Perth and the first Test over in Adelaide, it has been an enthralling series. And I’ve got to tell you – particularly the Australia boys – when I was over in Iraq, visiting our troops, that was one of the first things that they wanted to know about. They wanted to know all about the Test and how that was going and what was going on back home when it came to the cricket. And the Border-Gavaskar Trophy has got a great history. Now, there is a lot to play for in this Test. There is a lot to play for. If the Indians can secure this Test Series, it’ll be their first win on Australian soil. So no pressure, no pressure.

Source of text & photos: Australian PM’s Media Office.