Kohli eyes World Cup glory


PORT ELIZABETH — India’s first ever One-Day International series victory in South Africa has laid a strong platform for the country’s hopes of a successful 2019 World Cup campaign, captain Virat Kohli said.

“We are a team that always wants to think of ways we can improve and after this tour we will look be to even stronger with the 2019 World Cup in mind,” he said after India took a 4-1 lead in the six-match series Tuesday.

“It’s a wonderful feeling to have created some history. The guys really got stuck in, with the bat and the ball and in the field as well,” he added after the Port Elizabeth triumph.

Success in the series has lifted India above South Africa in the International Cricket Council’s one-day rankings and it retained its No. 1 status in Tests as well despite losing 2-1 to the South Africans last month.

“For now, 4-1 feels amazing. Obviously the players put up some really good cricket to be in this position,” Kohli added.

The last match of the ODI series is in Pretoria Friday.

“We want to win 5-1 but there might be a scenario to give a few (other) guys a chance.” Kohli said with the series won using only 12 of India’s 17-man squad.

The 2019 World Cup is being hosted by England and Wales, where India won their first global title in 1983 before adding a second on home soil in 2011.

Rabada earns fine, another demerit point from ICC

South African pace bowler Kagiso Rabada has been fined after a demonstrative send off for one of his victims in Tuesday’s One-Day International loss to India in Port Elizabeth, the International Cricket Council said Wednesday.

The fast bowler was fined 15 percent of his match fee and received one demerit point for his behavior, when he waved at departing batsman Shikhar Darwan, pointing his way back to the change room and seeming to swear after the Indian opener was caught in the deep off Rabada’s bowling.

He was charged by the match officials for using language and gestures that could have provoked an aggressive reaction from the batsman.

Rabada now has five demerit points on his disciplinary record. He was suspended last year when he reached four points and was barred from playing in the second Test on the tour of England.

If he reaches the next threshold of eight points within the next two years, he will be suspended again but this time for two tests, or one test and two ODIs, or four ODIs and T20s, depending on which comes first.

The ICC said Rabada admitted the offense and accepted the sanction at the end of Tuesday’s match, which India won by 73 runs at St George’s Park.

India took an unassailable 4-1 lead in the six-match series after Tuesday’s victory. — Agencies