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HindustanTimes Sat,19 Apr 2014

We belong! Zimbabwe out to prove to the world

Zimbabwe head coach Alan Butcher's comments were repeatedly muted at the press conference in the MA Chidambaram Stadium here on Thursday as he inadvertently kept switching off the microphone. However, the former England Test player will hope the performances of his players come through loud and clear at the World Cup. Nikhilesh Bhattacharya reports.

Odd ones out...

Their lack of firepower will not deter the weakest teams from dreaming big when they face international cricket's top guns. HT takes a look at the rank outsiders, and what they bring to the table. Read more

SA look to asses fitness in warm-up tie against Zimbabwe

One of the title favourites, South Africa start their World Cup sojourn with a warm-up match against Zimbabwe here tomorrow, a match which is expected to help both teams assess their fitness and acclimatise to the conditions ahead of the big one.

India and SA are the standout teams: Ponting

Australian captain Ricky Ponting does not believe that there are any favourites to win the World Cup, but indicated that India and South Africa would be the teams to watch out for in the quadrennial extravaganza starting February 19.

Destructive Sehwag eyeing 50-over stay in World Cup

At his destructive best, Indian opener Virender Sehwag can turn a match on its head with just a short stint at the crease but come this World Cup, he plans to prolong the agony for his rivals by being there for the entire 50 overs -- a feat he has not achieved before.

Pace-heavy Proteas may use spinners as their main weapon

When an out-an-out fast bowler starts talking about the importance of spinners, you get a fair indication of what the team's bowling strategy will be. Or at least, what the team wants the world to think.

Of fickle fans and burden of expectations

A world-view, induced by commercial interests, that treats human resource like a robotic instrument, would want us to believe that India is already a champion team and the World Cup is just a formality to be gone through to confirm that fact. Pradeep Magazine writes.

Favourites or not, we don't care: Ponting

Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown. Unusual that this has to be said in reference to a person who has led Australia to two World Cup triumphs, but post Ashes, Ricky Ponting has to face a few uncomfortable questions.

Wright pushes NZ to get it right

Even before the New Zealand cricketers took the field for their first practice session in India for the World Cup, their coach John Wright was busy chatting with the ground staff and net bowlers, collecting inputs.

Erratic but lethal

They may have been up and down but write Pakistan and West Indies off at your own peril. Read more

Team India winds up preparations, Bhajji visits temple

Off-spinner Harbhajan Singh on Saturday visited a temple and pace spearhead Zaheer Khan took the day off as the Indian team wound up its four-day preparatory camp for the World Cup beginning on February 19.

It's good-Morne for SA in warm-up

South Africa fast bowler Morne Morkel showed he has learnt from his experience on Indian wickets and will be a handful during the World Cup as his team thrashed Zimbabwe by eight wickets in a warm-up match on Saturday.

Family first: KP to quit ODIs soon

Top England batsman Kevin Pietersen has decided to quit one-day cricket after the World Cup starting in the subcontinent next week to prolong his Test and Twenty20 career, a report said on Sunday.

Afridi warns teams not to take Pakistan lightly

Pakistan cricket captain Shahid Afridi today issued a warning to the other World Cup teams, saying that none should underestimate his side as his players were "focussed and united" under his leadership.

Guptill's century helps Kiwis trounce Ireland

The opening position in the New Zealand one-day side had become a game of musical chairs with the team using four different players in the last 13 games to start the proceedings at the top of the order.
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