Sunday, April 3, 2011

2011 to 2015

First of all, congratulations to team India for their achievement in the finals and I am also struggling to find words to describe the feeling. This victory has injected a lot of energy to 50 over format. As Dhoni was repeatedly saying “Peaking at the right time”,  he peaked at the right time and stole the show completely. I am particularly happy for the middle order performance when the openers choked, unlike in the previous instances.

There were lot of predictions like 1983 and 2011 having same calendars, names of the captain with “S” were defeated – Strauss, Smith, Sammy, Shahid and Sangakkara (Ricky is exception but R is preceding S).

While we celebrate the victory, I would like to put my thoughts on this world cup and some activities so that we can have a more competitive and entertaining tournament in 2015. I am not counting IPL and CL into cricket tournaments, as it is more of money and entertainment and less of cricket. To begin with, the pessimist in me is asking the following questions over this victory:

1. It would have been a great victory had it been achieved during 1999, 2003 and 2007 – in English pitches rather than subcontinent.
2. Everyone is praising Dhoni and forgot Kapil Dev, who won the cup in truly English pitch and in 60 overs format – no technology, no UDRS period. Even Sachin has not referred his name in his post-match interview.
3. Dhoni is very lucky – everything clicks for him.
4. Did they fix this match since India is playing finals in home ground?

Now the optimist answers:
1. We lost to SL in 1996 at home itself and they took the cup. It is truly an achievement because we brought back Seetha (cup) after 15 years of vanvaas from Lanka to India.
2. It is foolish to compare people of different generations and period. Everyone is the best captain for India during their period – be it Kapil, Saurav or Dhoni. Since Kapil went against BCCI, players might be told not to refer his name. After all, they are staff of BCCI only.
3. So what if Dhoni is lucky? Hard work needs luck so that it can be converted into success. Tendulkar was hard working but unlucky and Dhoni joined him and we tasted the success today. Another example is South Africa who are unlucky for the last 20 years.
4. Post the match fixing allegations, every match seems to be fixed to Indian audience. So better ignore and enjoy the game.

Some memorable performance by the developing teams (I hate calling them minnows) which I liked in this cup: ·
Kevin’s century against England.
Canada scoring 55-0 in first 5 overs against Australia.
Kenya almost chased Australia’s 300+ score · Kenyan bowler who took the wicket of Cameron White of Australia - the ball turned almost 90deg and White must still be thinking about it.
Canada bundling Pakistan to 180.
Seelar of Netherlands taking 3 crucial wickets of India during the league match.
The positive attitude of Kenya during their last league match against Zimbabwe - as if they are playing their first match and rejoicing over each wicket taken.
Price of Zimbabwe forced Pakistan to work hard.

This World Cup victory has boosted my expectations towards India’s tour of England and Australia later this year. Since England and Australia were fared poorly in this tournament, they would revitalize their teams and would be looking forward to beat India to take revenge.

Some suggestions for major teams (we always fond of advising others): · NZ and WI are badly in need of match winners / consistent performers. Otherwise they can’t survive. A good captain for South Africa – it is because of Smith, they lost to ENG and NZ. England players need to be a little more versatile, as they get choked when the going is tough · OZ will rejuvenate themselves, so no advise for them – but they need good bowlers · SL will definitely bounce back but absence of Murali is going to hit them, as there is no strong alternate.

Though every team is suffering from the injury factor, the situation with the Indian players is a bit worrying. There is more talent in the team and if you are physically unfit, you are out. A look at the choices we have and where we need to focus from now on:
Openers: Sehwag, Sachin, Gambir.
All rounders (based on their capability and not performance): Yuvi, Yusuf, Raina, Kohli.
Seamers: Zaheer, Munaf, Ashish, Sreesanth, Praveen Kumar.
Spinners: Harbhajan, Ashwin, Chawla, Ojha
Wicket Keeper: Only MSD
We were fortunate that Dhoni didn’t succumb to any injury otherwise things would have been different. I am sure Dhoni might have noticed this and working on the same.

And finally, I am happy for my strong belief in Indian team lifting the cup and we did it in style, though thoughts of match fixing distracted here and there for a while. We worked hard, we need to party harder guys!!!

Delhi, India

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