Friday, 18 February 2011

India; World Cup 2011 Winners?

People in fourteen countries will be united in praying for and supporting those 11 men who will be carrying the hopes and pride of their respective nations. As I start to write this blog, there is only a day, nine hours and four minutes left for the greatest spectacle in cricket to begin; the Cricket World Cup. Returning to the subcontinent after 15 years, the 10th edition of this cricketing extravaganza is sure to be the biggest and the best till date.

The Indian team apart from the carrying the huge expectations of a billion people at home will also be carrying the tag of favourites as they enter the World Cup. It is maybe for the first time since the World Cups began, that India is being considered as strong contenders to win. It is hardly surprising considering India is ranked first and second in tests and ODIs respectively. They also go to the World Cup on the back of a strong season where they hardly lost any series home or away.

The closest rivals this time will be the South Africans and the Sri Lankans, but with one of them still battling the tag of ‘chokers’, the only real competitor to India will be the Sri Lankans. The champions Australia are on a decline like the West Indies of the 80's and are a mere shadow of their real selves. Though England had a brilliant Ashes victory and Pakistan are on a revival, they are highly inconsistent. New Zealand are resilient but are still trying to find a right combination for their team and while West Indies and Bangladesh can spring the occasional surprise, they are hardly what we call challenges. Though it is a bit harsh, but the rest of the teams will be more like spectators than competitors.

Captain Cool
Certainly under the leadership of Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the Indian team has shrugged off all its stereotypical problems like bad fielding and poor form away from home and have become a force to be reckoned with. Under his leadership the team has constantly evolved until now, when they have finally found a winning combination.

On the batting front, with openers like Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir who complement each other so well, more often than not the team gets off to a flying start. Sehwag goes on a rampage from ball one, while Gambhir holds the fort on the other side, slowly building an inning. They are followed by the legendary Sachin Tendulkar who in his last World Cup looks anything but old. Looking at his performances over the last season or so, it won’t be far from the truth if it is said that he is in his best form ever.

The top order is followed by a very formidable middle order comprising of the young and versatile Virat Kohli, who has been a revelation be it when he is batting or on the field stopping a ball. Then there is the swashbuckling southpaw Yuvraj Singh, who on his day can destroy any kind of bowling attack on any kind of pitch. He is followed by another southpaw Suresh Raina who is a very valuable asset to have in the middle order. The captain comes in next and according to what the situation demands; he can either play a blistering innings like the one he played against the Kiwis in the warm-up match or hold the fort with a constructive innings. Last in the middle order is the hard-hitting Yusuf Pathan who can hit the ball out of any stadium in the world.

The lower order batsmen though never known for their batting prowess, have shown time and again that they too can contribute valuable runs whenever given a chance. Harbhajan Singh and Zaheer Khan have contributed a lot of runs very low down the order and have won a couple of matches for India too. Ashish Nehra, Munaf Patel, Piyush Chawla and Ravi Ashwin too can be handy on their day.

to win again?
On the bowling front Zaheer and Nehra have spearheaded the attack and even on good batting surfaces have given some very decent performances. Munaf with his very tight line and length can slow the rate of scoring at any given point of the match. But the real strength of this Indian bowling line up is spin with Harbhajan Singh leading the attack and a choice of Ashwin and Chawla to follow him. The spin attack also consists of part-time bowlers like Yuvraj Singh, Yusuf Pathan who do a very decent job in the middle overs.

Under the captaincy of the cool headed Dhoni, the amount of resources at his disposal, the home advantage for most of the games and the tremendous fan support wherever they play, India has a strong chance of bringing home this World Cup. I wish the team Good Luck and only wish that I was back home so I could have gone to the Wankhede Stadium to the see the finals. Go India!!!!


  1. I myself find difficult to write about sports events. On very few occasions I write on the subject. My experience is, sports is an interesting area to describe but unfortunately very few people write it in the way it should thrill the reader. As a matter of fact, I read the sports column with less interest as it do not appeal to me.

    I have not expected U to give so much vibrant colour and sweet smell to the subject. I like it. Perhaps there is good scope for U to specialize in reporting sports events. This is the pre-world cup report of urs.I have interest to see the post world cup report of urs.

    I will be also interested to see ur reporting on cultural events like drama, films and like events.

    Go on. Best Wishes.

  2. loved it
    amazing sporty language.. a very interesting read.

  3. this is the first blog dat i read of urs.....:)
    i relli liked it...gud
    keep it up!!