Archive for ‘World Cup’

April 6, 2011

After effects of India winning World Cup

April 4, 2011

Quotable Quotes

Gambhir: “All credit goes to Sachin Tendulkar. We played for him. Beating Australia and Pakistan and now this, its a dream come true.”

Harbhajan singh: ” It means the world to me. I have been part of the three world-cups. This is for the nation. Thank you very much, we love you. This cup is for the people. Love you India!”

Virat Kohli: “This goes out to all the people of India. THis is my first world cup; I can’t ask for more. Tendulkar has carried the burden of nation for 21 years; It was time we carried him. Chak de India!”

Tendulkar: “Couldn’t have asked for anything more than this. Winning the world cup is the proudest moment of my life. Thanks to my team-mates. Without them, nothing would have happened. I couldn’t control my tears of joy. Thanks to the support staff. Thanks to Mike Horn, who has helped with the expectations and pressure. The team stuck together in the rough phases and proved people wrong who doubted our ability. Self belief has been always there but in the last two years, we have been very consistent. It’s been great honour to be part of this team. Thanks to Gary and Paddy Upton.

Zaheer: “I can’t explain this feeling. It’s for this special man (tendulkar).”

Sangakkara: “Very proud of everyone, especially Mahela who rose up to the occasion and put up a great hundred. When you look at this Indian team anything less than 350 looks less! They deserved this title, the way they played in front of a great crowd. Both Sri Lanka and India will be proud with the way they have played. Thanks to Sri Lankan fans. Congrats India, you were the better side today. The only way to stop India is to get atleast 7 wickets. Gautam was outstanding and Dhoni stepped up and performed.”

Yuvraj Singh: “This is unbelievable. Under-19 World cup, then Twenty20 but this is the most special. For Sachin, for everyone else. I want to dedicate this to my guru ji, for my mother and my friends. Last time we were in World-cup final, we made lots of mistakes. Batting second is lot of pressure but Gauti and MS played outstandingly. They played like it was a normal game. We batted like champions. We don;t have a proper left-arm spinner and so it was my job to do it. Narendra Hirwani has been helping me and I have been working hard. Tonight is going to be good night! Thank you India!”

Dhoni: “I took a quite few decisions tonight, if we hadn’t won I would have been asked quite a few questions: Why no Ashwin, Why sreesanth. Why no Yuvraj, Why did I bat ahead?! That pushed me and motivated to do well.The pressure had got to me in the previous games. In this game, I wanted to bat up the order and Gary backed me and by the senior players. I had a point to prove to myself. Virat and Gautam batted brillantly; lots of singles. Then with the help of bit of dew , we put pressure on the spinners. I would have liked Gautam to go on and get that big hundred.”

April 3, 2011

India vs Srilanka–World Cup Finals

April 2nd, 2011 the day which will be remembered forever by all the Indians. It’s the day when the whole nation came together to celebrate the winning moment. It is the day when the only missing glory in Sachin “THE GOD” Tendulkar’s illustrious career of 21 years has been added as yet another star to his achievements. It is the day when India recaptured the crown which was first lifted by Kapil Devils 28 years back.

Pre-Match

This has been the second most hyped match (second only to India vs Pakistan match in Semis) of the whole tournament. So many theories and analysis have come up before the match. Some of them are:

– All the teams whose captains name started with letter “S” have lost and hence Sangakarra would not win the cup.

– The calendar of 1983 has read exactly same as 2011 calendar and hence India has all the chances to win.

– In its last three matches, India defeated the West Indies, Australia, Pakistan in the same order of their world cup victories (1979,1987,1992) and next is Srilanka’s turn(1996).

The match is also important for 2 champions of cricket. Muralidharan who is playing his last ODI and Sachin who is raring to get his 100th ton and maiden World Cup final victory.

Form

Srilanka WWWWTWLW
India      WWWLWWTW

Cup

Both the teams have been in great form in this world cup. There has been 3 batsmen from each from both teams in the top 10 batsmen in this world cup. With respect to the bowling India had slight edge over Sri Lanka in the performances in this world cup. Zaheer & Yuvi have done excellent job for India. Fielding has been strength of Srilanka and India is doing good these days because of the youngsters.

Toss

As I have said previously I am not comfortable with day and night matches in the important games as the result is almost decided and hence I was waiting for the toss to be won by India.

Ravi Shastri came out with the captains and the referee Jeff Crowe for the toss. Jeff Crowe’s presence in World Cup finals as match referee continues to cause unusual incidents. After 2007 debacle, this final also had a false start.

Toss

Mahendra Singh Dhoni tossed the specially minted coin into the air and it was heads. Ravi announced that Dhoni won the toss. Oops wait, there is a confusion. No one heard what Sangakarra called. He claimed he called correctly while Dhoni did not accept. Then in a rather unusual decision, Crowe asked Dhoni to toss the coin again. This time, Sanga called head and got it right and elected to Bat first.

Jeff Goof up

I was shocked with the way toss went. What was he doing? His job was simple. Just listen to the call, see the coin and announce who won the toss. If the crowd is too noisy and couldn’t hear the call, then step in ASAP. If coin is about to hit the ground and couldn’t heard the call yet,  then best thing would be to immediately should out “dead toss.” Pick-up the coin and have the captains do it again.

First Power Play

Zaheer Khan started off with a maiden and went on to bowl three consecutive maidens. Sreesanth who was a surprise pick by Dhoni did a decent job in containing runs while the likes of Dilshan and Tharanga were batting. Zaheer’s fourth over started off in style by picking up his first wicket of the match and 20th wicket of the tournament. It was a Good start for India. Sreesanth was extremely nervous, but was successful in keeping his emotions in control.

Middle Overs

Dilshan, the most devastating batsman for Srilanka just threw his wicket for a very poor ball down the leg-side. The partnership between Dilshan and Sangakarra looked good and India got the breakthrough at the right moment.

Dilshan

Jayawardene came to the crease determined and started off playing shots very fluently right from ball one. He and Sangakarra started scoring at good rate and the runs were coming easily. If this partnership went on further then it would have been quite hard for India to come back into the game.

Indian team was successful in getting wicket of Sangakarra and a successful review against Samaraweera and a cheap wicket of Kapudegara. India seemed in a good position at the end of 40 where the scorecard read 183/5 which was much less than 5 run rate.

Last 10 overs

We all thought that two quick wickets have kept India on top and Srilanka can be restricted to 230. But Kulasekara who came ahead of Parera joined hands with Jayawardene and hit 63 runs in the batting power play. After Kulasekara did his job sacrificed his wicket Parera pitched in and scored the last useful runs.

Jayawardene

Jayawardene who played very well right from start went on to finish his third century in world cups. Srilanka made a very very competitive score of 274 for the loss of 6 wickets. Zaheer Khan who gave just 17 runs in first 7 overs went ended up as 10-3-60-2.

India Innings

275 is never an easy target in a World Cup final and its  a Huge challenge up for India. With the last 63 runs in the batting power play it was a massive momentum shift Sri Lanka’s way. India should open positively and Sehwag and Sachin in the top order has to fire.

0.2 overs, 0/1

There was lot of talk in commentary box focused mainly on the importance of Sehwag’s cameo up front. Everyone was expecting at least a quick 50 of 30 or 40 balls. The whole stadium fell silent when Malinga sent Sehwag back to dressing room in the second ball of the innings with out any score on the board. That means India has to start fresh with out Sehwag and 9 wickets in hand. A dream start for Sri Lanka.

Sehwag

Sehwag being an important wicket asked for review with no success. He was not sure neither was Sachin that it was not out but just because he was an important player and it was Key for him to fire at the top, he took the liberty and wasted the review without even consulting Sachin who was watching from the other end.

Sachin Finishes 2nd highest runscorer

sachinout

Now the whole nation looks at Sachin to score something big and save India. Sachin looked very confident and fans cheered him a lot for each run he has scored. The confidence with which he was playing, I thought he was determined to reach his century. On the other side Gambhir also looked confident. 7th over first ball, Malinga picks up his second and its none other than Sachin.

Village

A nation falls silent. I am pretty sure that not only stadium but people watching the match around the world fell silent at this moment.

Malinga

Young guns

There was a time when Indians used to switch off their TVs once Sachin is out. Today was a bit similar situation as India lost the opening pair cheaply. Infact I and my friends wanted to leave but just had a small faith on the new young guns of India.

It was time for Gambhir and Kohli to play responsible innings and guide India to a decent score and out of the pressure situation that they are in right now. Throughout the series both have not done any extra ordinary job and this was time for them to prove the point.

Gauti

Both played really well taking singles and hitting the loose balls for boundaries. They gave their 100% to the game.They were able to take off the pressure that India had after looking the first two wickets. It was in 22nd over that Dilshan has taken a splendid catch (May be one of the best catches of the world cup) to dismiss Kohli. No complains on Kohli as he was out for a good ball and a great catch. But there was one point to be noted here that Sangakarra might have made a mistake in not bringing Malinga or Murali while this partnership was building.

(null)

Dhoni – The Super Cool

With three batsman still to come, India almost has the game back at level-pegging now as the scorecard showed 115/3 in 22 overs.

Everyone was waiting for Yuvi the consistent performer of the world cup to come and show some heroics to take the game home from here. But to everyone’s surprise Dhoni comes in ahead of Yuvraj. This was unexpected but a brave decision from Dhoni. He has not performed even in a single match in this tournament and hence everyone were skeptic with this move. I thought if he performs well and takes India to victory then he would be a lucky bastard yet again to perform at the right time and get the required attention and applause from everyone.

Important Partnership

Gambhir and Dhoni player very sensibly making no mistakes and building the partnership. They both have hit the half centuries and got a 110 run partnership. Gambhir was about to get his 100 in the world cup final and on 97 he tried a needless shot and threw his wicket. Dhoni did a great job in guiding his team to understand the situation of the game and play accordingly. Now on the pitch Dhoni have been warning Gambhir for his careless and needless shots. But at the end its on the individual to have that control. Gambhir misses his century.

Dhonigauti

Dhoni & Yuvi takes us home

Now India was in a very strong position with needing just 52 runs from 52 balls and having wickets of Dhoni, Yuvi & Raina. The situation for India was very comfortable and everyone were confident that they would win unless if we see some stupidity like Gambhir. But nothing happened like that. Dhoni & Yuvi carried on their innings till the end.

Well maybe fairy-tale endings do happen in real life. Dhoni finishes the tournament in style with his second six of the innings. It’s hard to script it better. A captain’s knock when it was needed most.

dhoni

Indians in the whole world erupt in joy. India has won the World cup after 28 long years and Sachin has been part of it. What else can any Indian cricket fan ask for.

Greatest Captain for India

Dhoni has now become the greatest captain for India by taking the team to pinnacle in all formats of the game. He won the T20 World Cup & ODI World Cup in first attempt. He has taken the side to No. 1 in test and ODI rankings. Not to forget he is currently the holder of both the IPL and the Champions Trophy. Today I have become a big fan of Dhoni.

Emotional Scenes around

As the six came of Dhoni’s bat the whole dressing room started off jumping and running on to the field. The whole team was in tears of joy. Everyone in the team were congratulating & hugging each other. Indians all around the world were congratulating each other. It was the moment which will be written in the history books and remain in the hearts for ever.

emotionl

Sachin was then carried for a victory run by the youngsters. It was an emotional scene to watch as the youngsters were fighting to get a chance to carry the GOD on their shoulders. My eyes were moist after seeing this. After the victory it was great to hear that all the players were showing the respect to the GOD by announcing that they have won this cup for him.

Victory lap

Indian teams victory would not have been possible with out Gary. Players know that and hence showed their respect to the coach by taking a victory lap carrying him.

Presentation ceremony

Medals to all the officials.

Medals to the losing team. Nice speech from the loosing captain.

Losing Team

Man of the match award to Dhoni

Man of the series award to Yuvraj Singh.

Medals to all the Indian players.

Champions

BCCI announced 1 crore to each player of Indian team.

News

Indian team everywhere in the news.

Sonia

Celebrations everywhere

President

Lunch with the President and Dhoni with a new super cool look.

Just like the India vs Pakistan match, even this match had the dignitaries from different fields come together to cheer team India. Below are some of them whom I was able to spot.

Actors like
Ranbir Kapoor
Saif Ali Khan
Aamir Khan with his wife Kiron
Kunal Khemu
Soha Ali Khan
Preity Zinta
Shahid Kapoor
Vinod Khanna
Rajnikanth
Aftab Sivadasini
Sangeetha Bijalani
Sridevi
Suneel Shetty
Isha Sharvani
Venkatesh

Ex-Cricketers like
Kumble
Vengsarkar
Gilchrist
Merv Hughes
Jadeja

And India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani

April 2, 2011

India – Winner of World Cup 2011

March 31, 2011

India vs Pakistan World Cup Semis – Thrills & Spills

The match between India & Pakistan last night has been the most hyped matches in cricketing history. India has come victorious in a nail-biting match. The teams has lived up to the expectations and have given a wonderful show of cricket and entertained more than a billion people.

Pre-Match
The match was much-anticipated and both the teams were roaring to win this match than the finale for world cup. Indian team who started as favorites and Pakistan who has come hard playing well all through the tournament were both under great pressure. This has been called as mother of all games. Manmohan Singh invited Gilani (Prime Minister of Pakistan) and other Pakistani dignitaries to watch the match.

Unprecedented security arrangements have been made for this high-voltage match. Around 2,000 police personnel would be deployed in and around the PCA Stadium. A bomb disposal team, four Quick Response Teams, six teargas squads and six Vajra vans and 20 night-vision devices have been part of the security paraphernalia. A large number of portable explosive detectors, which can detect explosives from a long distance were also set up around the stadium. 24 mounted police personnel patrolled the area around the stadium. Police kept a close vigil on hotels, guest houses, paying guest accommodation, gurdwaras, temples, bus stands, railway stations and other public places, besides vehicles coming from other states.

Indian government has allowed Pakistani fans to enter India through the Wagah border to enjoy the match. Even though the security was very tight, India did not stop or trouble Pakistani fans from entering the country.


Toss
Personally I don’t like these day and night matches while it is an important match as the result would be predictable and unfair due to the conditions. Similarly toss was so important for the match and all the hearts for beating fast in anticipation as who would win the toss. At last the time has come and Dhoni tosses and Afridi calls Heads. Ravi Shastri at the toss sees the toss and announces its a tail. The whole stadium roared and all the Indians were happy to see India bat first.

After the toss the National anthems of both the countries have been played and a sense of pride could be seen in the faces of all the team members and the audience of both the countries along with the prime ministers. After the toss both the Prime Ministers came on to the field to wish good luck for both the teams. It was a great moment for both the rival countries to have their best teams on the field and being wished by the prime ministers.

Sehwag’s Fiery start
As expected, Sehwag who has a good record against Pakistan started off slow in the first 2 overs but took charge and hit 5 boundaries in Umar Gul’s second over. He then went on to hit 2 more fours in Gul’s 3rd over. The run rate at this stage was almost 9 and half. Youngster Wahab comes into attack and picks up his first wicket of the match. Sehwag is gone LBW for a very good ball from Wahab and a review wasted.

Ajmal’s over
It was 4th ball in Saeed Ajmal’s second over where the whole stadium fell silent when  Sachin was given out by Gould. Sachin then asks Gambhir to confirm if he can go for the review. Sachin goes for the review and to the delight of the India it’s NOT OUT. The immediate next ball Sachin lunged forward to play the ball and was beaten by the doosra outside off stump. Akmal whipped off the bails in a flash. Umpire goes for the third umpire. Stadium again roars once the giant screen showed NOT OUT.

Tense Moments, Drop Catches & Wahab’s Brilliance
First ball of Shahid’s second over Tendulkar hit firmly towards mid wicket where Misbah drops an easy catch which paved a way to series of drop catches. There was an edge from Sachin in Ajmal’s over which would have been out if there was a slip. Again in Afridi’s 5th over Sachin drives gives a straight forward catch to Younis which he drops. Again in Afridi’s 7th over Sachin tried defending the leg break and gave a thick edge to Kamran Akmal which he dropped. In 35th over Sachin yet again got a life when Umar Akmal dropped the fourth catch of Sachin in Hafeez bowling. Shahid Afridi is totally disappointed with his fielding side.

Amidst so many drop catches and edges, one person was determined to deliver. Wahab bowled a splendid spell and got the crucial wickets of Virat Kohli and Yuvraj Singh in consecutive overs. He not only troubled youngsters but also Sachin. He was too good for India even though the pitch and the fellow bowlers did not support him much.

Afridi
Other than Wahab it was Afridi who was good at what he was supposed to do. He did a great job in bowling tidy overs and not giving away easy runs. He finally kept his word and took a good catch of Sachin of Ajmal’s bowling and finally Sachin got out after an unimpressive innings from him. Afridi also rotated bowlers very well according to the situation and batsmen.

Raina’s crucial Runs
At the end Raina did a great job by hitting those crucial 33 runs while on the other side India was losing the wickets. Zaheer & Nehra should learn to bat and rotate the strike when people like Raina are around with them. He couldn’t play much in the last over as Zaheer & Nehra tried to show some charm and got out cheaply without scoring runs. India finally ended up scoring 260.

Target 261
Akmal & Hafeez started off confidently chasing just above 5 run rate. They got those regular boundaries in the first power play. Yet again Zaheer showed his charm and took Akmal’s wicket. Hafeez started looking good along with other youngster Shafiq. India got yet another breakthrough of Hafeez in 16th over bowled by Munaf. Asad Shafiq gave looking promising but gave away his wicket to Yuvraj and Younis was gone in the next over of Yuvraj. India had no problems getting those crucial wickets at regular intervals at the right time.

Umar Akmal kept his cool and hit targeted Yuvraj for boundaries. He hit 2 sixes and a boundary in 2 overs of Yuvraj. Dhoni took a right decision and did a change to the bowling where Harbhajan got into attack. Say its luck or intelligence of Dhoni but Umar Akmal was out the first ball Harbhajan bowled him. From there on wickets of the experienced Younis & Afridi were gone cheaply and they did not look like playing like champions.

While all this drama was going on one side of the wicket, there was Misbah who was just taking his time and building the required rate. Everyone one were eager about what his strategy could be in playing so slow. Because of him Umar & Afridi tried pacing the innings and got out trying to hit all the balls. Misbah realised very late in the last power play and tried hitting only fours and sixes without taking singles. This was definitely not enough against disciplined Indian bowling side.

3 Extras
Pakistan has bowled as many as 18 extras out of which 9 were wides and 2 were nobes. India did not bowl even a single extra until 35th over. Overall India bowled just 3 extras. Nehra whose inclusion has raised quite a few eyebrows has fared well and bowled a very stingy spell. Harbhajan has done an excellent job of troubling batsmen with his off spin and doosras. Munaf also troubled batsmen with his accurate line and length. Indian Bowlers have done excellently and troubled Pakistani batsmen consistently and took the wickets at regular intervals and did not allow to build a partnership. Last but not the least fielding has been excellent and India have stopped many runs.

Last Over
Pakistan needed 30 runs from 6 balls. Misbah tried hitting it over the fence and wasted all the first four balls with out even taking a single. Finally in the 5th ball the whole stadium stood up and started celebrating once Kohli took a flier off Zaheer Khan bowling.

Winning Moment
Once Kohli took the catch the whole stadium was on to their feet and everyone were jumping in joy. It was also nice to see Sachin jumping with joy as if it was his first ever win. Dhoni was showing his composure and trying to act cool while all other players were ecstatic.

VIPs
In the audience there were many politicians, industrialists, film actors and soap stars. Below are some of them whom I was able to see while the match was going on

– Indian Prime Minister Manmohan SinghManmohan Singh
– Pakistan Prime Minister Yusuf Raza GilaniRaza Gilani
– Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi
– Mukesh Ambani and Nita Ambani
– Vijay Mallya and Sidharth Mallya
– Gautam Singhania of Raymonds
– Pawan Munjal of Hero Honda
– Rajan Bharti Mittal of Bharthi enterprises
– Malvinder Singh and Shivinder Singh of Ranbaxy
– Ness Wadia
– Preity Zinta
– Amir Khan along with his wife Kiron
– Vivek Oberoi along with his wife
– Venkatesh
– Sunil Shetty
– Sayali Bhagat

Teams & Audience

It is always treat to watch India vs Pakistan and see all those tense and emotional scenes around the ground. All other matches till now in world cup has some or other mockery of each other. In 1992 it was Miandad, In 1996 it was Aamir Sohail, 2003 it was Shoaib Akhtar and I was just waiting what would happen this time. But to my surprise everyone behaved so well and the game looked very friends with many lighter moments on the pitch.

APRIL 2nd 2011 –  The Big Day

Two more days to go and India will face Sri Lanka in Mumbai for the finals of 2011 Cricket World Cup. It will a cracker of a game as both the teams are having a very very strong and inform batting line up.

I would be happy if India would win this match and Sachin completing his 100th hundred and winning the 10th MOM in wth world cups.

Note: All the pics were taken from Cricinfo other than the last one which was taken from mycricketvideos.com

March 29, 2011

Best Captain Ever Resigned

The big man has finally stepped down as captain after a lot of buzz in the  media and cricket circuit. Ponting being the most successful captain in ODIs & Tests has resigned as the captain of Australian cricket team in all forms of cricket.


15 years back when Ponting played his first ODI in 1995 and scored just 1 run, who would have thought that this young man would become a cricketing legend. He became one of the greatest batsmen to play this game. He has many individual records to his name in batting. If it was not Sachin, then I am sure he would have been the greatest batsmen ever. The number of runs & centuries he scored is just next to Sachin.

His success as a captain started with a bang. He lost the Ashes in England in 2005 but came back hard with a 5-0 white wash in the Ashes in Australia the next year. From there he went on to win 48 tests out of 77 and lost only 16. This is the best ever for any captain. He showed the same temperament in ODIs and went on to win 164 ODIs out of the 228 and lost only 50. This is also best for any captain. He is the also the only player to win ICC player of the year twice. He has won the most individual awards available in cricketing circuit than any other player.


Since 2007 world cup as many of the senior players have left the team, Ponting was left with a young and inexperienced but talented team. But he could not get the team together and started to smell defeats at regular intervals. In his captaincy Australia lost 3 Ashes series that were played in England. Due to these defeats overshadowing the successes that he has brought to the country, his removal from captaincy was obvious. After the defeat in World Cup 2011 quarters against India, he took the right decision and resigned from captaincy.

I hope to see him back in form and hit more runs and entertain us.

March 24, 2011

Battle of the flawed heavyweights

I have seen some interesting comparison in Cricinfo before the match begins between the two heavy weights of cricket.

This match can be seen through several prisms:

Champions of the World vs Pre-Tournament favourites

Misfiring Middle Order vs Misfiring Middle Order

Pace-reliant attack vs Spin-heavy attack

Athletic fielders vs Incompetent fielder

Ponting vs Sachin

Source

Australia against India has been a much hyped match in recent times after India vs Pakistan. Today’s clash between these two teams is something which cannot be guessed or anticipated before hand. They both are currently struggling with many obvious imperfections.

I wish Indian bowlers fire well and take the crucial wickets early and give a great kick start to the innings. In batting the top order has been doing good for India, and I wish the middle and lower middle order would also do well this time to get those extra 20 or 30 runs that we have been missing right from first match in the world cup. I also wish that Sachin hit a century and reach his 18000 runs and India win.

What ever it is, the loser goes home while the winner heads to Mohali, to play Pakistan on March 30.

February 8, 2011

Cricket World Cup 2011 coverage

You may all be aware that the 10th world cup cricket starting on the 19th Feb would only be telecast on Singtel’s Mio TV on the STAR Cricket Channel (CH123). Those of you who’d be interested in subscribing to Mio TV, the following is the break up of cost you’d incur.

Singtel home phone line – SGD 29.99 per quarter (SGD 10 per month) – MIO TV works only through a home phone line
Cricket Package – SGD 19.99 per month (for an yearly contract) or SGD 39.99 per month (for a monthly contract)
Installation charges(One time) – SGD 50
Activation charges – Waived
Freebies – Set-top box, some basic free channels.

Bottom Line
If you go for a yearly contract on the cricket package your MIO TV bill would be on an average SGD 30 per month. (SGD 30 quarterly for home line and SGD 19.99 for cricket channels monthly)

Tips
Re-contract(if not under contract already and would want to hold on to) your existing Starhub cable TV(for 2 years) and your internet plan(for 1 year) and enjoy discount upto SGD 15 per month to partially offset your new bill on Mio TV

Link to the tournament itinerary http://www.cricbuzz.com/cricket-schedule/series/228/icc-world-cup-2011

Another option for those who are already under starhub contract : Take Singtel for only 2 months. NO contract with Singtel.

This is how it works out:

Initial installation charges including home phone line: $80
Charge for cricket package : $40 per month (Two months = $80)

Total for two months= $ 160. Though this is on higher side, but still an option.

January 17, 2011

World Cup 2011 Team announced

Kris Srikanth led team has finally selected the 15 member squad who will be playing the 2011 world cup to be played in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. Below is the squad:

Squad: MS Dhoni (capt & wk), Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Virat Kohli, Yusuf Pathan, Harbhajan Singh, Praveen Kumar, Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra, Munaf Patel, Piyush Chawla, R Ashwin

After looking at this squad and their performances in the last one or two years, this seems to be one of the best teams that would be representing India and also this would be our best chance ever to win the cup. Looking at Australia’s form and Hussey being doubtful for the world cup, its just England and South Africa who are tough contenders for India. But we also have the home advantage over England and South Africa.

Even though we are in a tougher group with both England and SA being in our group, we have to hope that all the players perform well.

If we talk about the team then who else can we start with other than Sachin. Even though he have played just 4 one day internationals in last 14 months and there is just one mammoth innings to talk about, I do not have any doubts on him or his capabilities with respect to World cup performances. I am sure he would be giving his best as this is his 6th and final chance to be in the winning squad of world cup.

Coming to the top 4 batsmen, Sehwag, Gambhir, Kohli and Raina have performed well in the recent years and I am sure they are in great form. Even though they are not performing well in the ongoing series with SA, they will definitely have the home ground and crowd advantage. If these 4 batsmen can deliver their goods as expected then I am pretty sure that World Cup will be won by India.

Dhoni has always looked fit, confident and cool. That made selectors think that there is no necessary for a reserve keeper. He is a good middle order batsmen and sure is one of the best captains in the cricketing world in recent years. He has always inspired the team and the team under him has pulled off some improbable wins all around the world. We cannot depend on Yousuf Pathan, but when he plays he is very explosive.

India’s bowling has been the weak link in the team. There was one surprising selection (Piyush Chawla), other than that the rest of the bowlers were the same as expected. Sreesanth who has performed well in the ongoing series and seems to be in form would definitely be missed in the 15 but he would be waiting for his chance to play in case of any injury. Munaf has shown that he is back in the form with his recent performance. Ashish Nehra who has been unpredictable with his form is also in the squad. I am hoping that he bowls to his strength. Harbhajan will be key in the home ground where pitches favor spinners. Praveen Kumar has been performing well in the limited overs matches and hope he will continue his form. Ashwin has always captivated his chances and proved his mettle. He should be in the playing 11.

Finally I would like to say that this is the best ever chance that we have and we won’t get a better chance for a long time now to win the world cup.