Tuesday, March 1, 2011

World Cup 2011 - India vs England Verdict

India has the strongest batting line-up in these conditions, yet they will not win. Their unit is not dissimilar to The Incredible Hulk. Brute force with no discipline and control. Like the apple waiting to fall, there will come a day when their muscular batting will fail, for one reason or the other, and then what?

Zaheer can only bowl ten overs. © Getty Images

The Match
This was an extraordinary match, great for the fifty over game in terms of a spectacle. Its not perfect given how easily runs are scored in these conditions, but that is just a minor gripe. The atmosphere was equal to that of Premadasa, but with one crucial difference. They cheered for cricket, the Chinnaswamy cheered for India. Any Indian wicket and the entire Strauss innings was greeted by graveyard silence. I am all for being supportive, but I also believe in giving credit where it was due.

The Warning
Chasing what should be an unchaseable 338, Strauss and Bell bossed the Indian bowling line-up like it was a net session. Take note of the following:
  • We are talking of the full strength Indian attack.
  • In a nation famous for spinners, in spinning conditions.
  • This is Strauss and Bell, not Gilchrist and Hayden.
The two batting performances were of equal score, but of stark contrast nonetheless. England drove and cut elegantly, finding the gaps and playing safe, quality cricket shots. India relied on slogging over the top to get their runs, and strange to say in a total of 338, looked fairly uncomfortable otherwise.

Only Zaheer Khan has the ability take wickets, the rest hardly even have the ability to contain. Their fielding is equally woeful, England's (and even Zimbabwe's) energy and ability easily eclipses this lethargic, overweight bunch. It is as if their game plan is set 350, and chill out for the next game.

Lets quote a gem from MS Dhoni:
"I don't think we can improve the fielding very much because we have got quite a few slow fielders in the side .... you need to realise your strengths and definitely fielding is not a big part of it."

So he admits they don't field well, and they choose to do nothing about it. Nothing but arrogance.

Flukes don't count as fielding. © AFP

The Prediction
They will most likely top the pool standings, but get ready for a shock during one of the playoff matches, I predict a big loss. If they do win the world cup against my word, it will be a bad advertisement for cricket. Having only one third of the required skills should not make a winning team.

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