Writing is like T20 batting. If you block, you might as well retire to the pavilion! -- Pete Langman
Expat in Germany

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Ten days to go!

Just play three matches well and you could be the world champion. Probably this is what the Indian cricket team is thinking while the other teams are really busy honing their talents. The world cup format is in that way. The quarter finalists are predictable. From there on, it is just a matter of three games. If Dhawan is dropped from the team for these three matches, that is it. We sail smoothly. The 1999 and 2003 world cup formats of super six is really interesting and nice to follow, unlike the 2007 one. But the 2011 and the present formats are little annoying. It is easy, that is bad!


While the home team sentiment makes me support India for laying hands on the world cup, apart from India, I have the two finalists on my mind. Hosts New Zealand and South Africa. It is not only because they have talented players. It is because these two seem like a "team." Very sportive, encouraging captains and talent, talent everywhere is what defines them. More than this, they are entering the stage with a killer instinct unlike many other countries including India.

The other possibilites, West Indies, forget it right away, they did not select two of their best all rounders for the world cup and their best bowler opted out. The once reigning champion, I don't understand why West Indies cricket should be in shambles though they are better off than many other cricketing nations. That past glory is missing and West Indian cricket is now suitable only for twenty twenty cricket.
Sri Lanka. With no Malinga, they can only hope to not play at places like Hobart, where Kohli murdered a nice bowler like Lasith himself. The only motivation for them would be to get the trophy for two of the all time greats who ever played cricket who are playing in their last world cup.
England. Does Eon Morgan have enough strategies and targets against teams in particular? Does Moen Ali play against any other team than India?? Poor leadership.
Pakistan. Seriously? Who will win the world cup for Pakistan? Sarfraz? Shehzad? Forget the hopes of semifinals even.
Finally, India. Sure, India would have won had they had a little change in the squad. No, I am not saying that Yuvraj or Gambhir or Zaheer should be included, they are not playing well. All I am saying is, only if Shikar Dhawan was not selected for the team, I would have placed some of my bets on India.

To the team...Proteas!!

That aside, the South African and New Zealand teams are like "teams." With a goal and zeal to win. Talent, yes. Be it ABD, Faf, Amla, McCullum, Williamson or Quinton, they are all in big form. But, thing is the South African team reminds me of the 2003 world cup team. They were even better players than this team but lost it out. No wonder, "the chokers." They always have great players and I would not be surprised to see Keiron Adams play for South Africa ten years down the line. It is again the same with New Zealand also. They some how always makes it to the semi finals but lose it from there on. I love the 1999 and 2003 world cup formats, the best so far and this world cup, I do not like the format. It does not bring out talent. Anyway, though deep in my heart I would appreciate it if India won, I would really love to see a South Africa- New Zealand final.

P.S: I have not written anything about Australia because they are definitely going to make it to the semi final and have many advantages like good players and home crowd support. Let's see!