WHY india can win
Ever since Kapil Dev held aloft the glittering World Cup trophy in 1983, the nation, now of a billion-plus, has been praying for an encore. The prayers are rising to a crescendo as February 19, the day when the 2011 campaign begins, comes closer. The Tribune sports correspondents, who weigh the strengths and weaknesses of various teams in the following pages of this special pullout, are optimistic that Team India does have the firepower to make a serious effort and present this coveted gift to all Indians, especially Sachin Tendulkar, for whom this might well be the last World Cup. Here, we present a rundown on the teams, batsmen and bowlers to watch out for, the preview to a tournament that promises the world to us. It could be a three-horse race, with India, Sri Lanka and England being touted as potential champions. However, in cricket, always expect the unexpected. Many of the sides that had been written off, are now beginning to find their feet again. Come April 2, and one team will be ecstatic. Let the best side win!
A COMPLETE GUIDE TO THE TEAMS, PLAYERS AND THE ITINERARY
(Lto R): Darren Sammy (West Indies),
Shahid Afridi (Pakistan), Graeme Smith (South Africa),
M S Dhoni (India), Ricky Ponting (Australia),
Andrew Strauss (England) and
Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka)
As the cricketing world waits for the action to begin,
Jaideep Ghosh takes a look at the teams that are vying to script history
It does not get bigger than
...when it comes to cricket,
and when it is played here, at home, it becomes gigantic. The Indian
subcontinent is what makes cricket the huge sport that it is and with
the top event promising to capture the attention and imagination of
all concerned, this one promises to make history.
25, 1983, was indeed a very special day for India. On this day, Kapil
Dev lifted the Prudential World Cup at the Lord’s. The odds against
India winning the Cup before the tournament started were 1 to 66.
Run-up to victory
nine editions of World Cup Cricket championship, the host of first
three editions England — despite ending runners-up thrice — have
not been able to become the champions so far.
A strong batting and bowling line-up has raised hopes of India’s performance,
World Cup win in 1983 is the benchmark. It has always been. Ever since
Kapil Dev lifted the trophy at the Lord’s 28 years ago, the image
has remained etched in the memory of most Indians.
course, it is difficult to believe but even Sachin Tendulkar has still
not achieved a couple of things in cricket. For instance, he has never
been part of the World Cup winning team (Also, he has never scored a
triple hundred in Tests).
selectors have made sensible moves, some late in the day, to put
together a side of interesting mixes,
them or hate them, you cannot ignore them. Australia are a side who
have, over the years, been at the receiving end of a lot of spite, but
most of it originated from envy, since on the field they had been
practically unbeatable for a long time, indeed.
The immensely talented South
Africans have it in them to beat any team, provided they can conquer
their own mental fallibilities, says Jaideep
South Africa is easy — if you are South Africa, that is. Few teams
have played more famous, or shall we say notorious, matches in the
World Cup. The immensely talented side has almost always fallen victim
to one scourge — their own mental fallibility.
roar of the Lankans
With talent, history and subcontinent tracks on their side, Lanka are billed
among the top three favourite teams,
reports Vaibhav Sharma
1996? That was the last time the ODI World Cup was played in the
Indian subcontinent. Every World Cup is remembered for its eventual
winners, but this one was different. This time, the winners were not
just worth remembering because they lifted the silverware, but also
because they taught their more-established counterparts a lesson or
two on the way.
The uncertainty that surrounds Pakistan means that they can turn the game at any point of time. They have the
aura that a World Cup winning side should have, says Vaibhav Sharma
person who said cricket is a game of uncertainties was probably
watching Pakistan play. Since the time they started playing the
gentleman’s game, the immensely talented subcontinent giants have
built and reinforced their reputation for turning a game on its head,
and it doesn’t always turn in their favour.
England need to adapt
England have played most of their recent cricket in Australia. It will all boil down to how quickly they can adjust to the conditions in the subcontinent, writes
Broad is no longer the same raw bowler who was spanked for six sixes
in an over by Yuvraj Singh on a cold September evening in Durban in
2007. He has matured. That game of the inaugural T20 World Cup is now
a distant, faraway memory.
New Zealand is the dark horse
After recent defeats against Bangladesh, India and Pakistan, the Kiwis are virtually scraping the bottom. But this unpredictable team has a record in the cricket World Cup, which is not something to be trifled with, writes
M. S. Unnikrishnan
New Zealand boast of a long history in cricket, they have never really
been a big force in the game. But they, sure, are an unpredictable
team who cannot be wished away by any team. The Black Caps, as the
Kiwi cricket team is known, have a record in the cricket World Cup,
which is not something to be trifled with.
pages as they were printed
Compiled by: Jaideep Ghosh, Sunil Narula, M. S. Unnikrishnan and Vaibhav Sharma
Edited by: Amar Chandel, Yajan Kashyap, Chetna Keer Banerjee, Renu Manish Sinha and Seema Sachdeva
Cover design by: Vishal Prashar
Layout: Ashwani Narang, Gaurav Sood and Vishal Prashar
guns may fire big
the seven big teams in the fray, we now come to the second bunch of
another seven teams. After what India achieved in 1983, it can be
quite absurd to term any team as minnows in this unpredictable format
but surely this next cluster of seven teams appear to be on a level
slightly below the top seven.
Fall of the mighty
Just for the numbers
Way off the mark
Chance for the
United Nations of cricket
Dubious distance runners
Stout, but not serious contenders