India - handling the local expectations to repeat 1983

India - handling the local expectations to repeat 1983

Ahmedabad, 22nd March 2011

India are favourites to beat a struggling Aussie team in the quarter final. In expected spin friendly conditions, the Indian strategy will be bat first to post a substantial score and then apply the pressure on the Australians. A key question is will Virendra Sehwag be fit for the contest? Sachin Tendulkar and Yuvraj Singh have been outstanding for the Indian's in the group stages, but the rest of the batting has been patchy.

An inform Zaheer Khan leads an otherwise weak Indian attack, but there have been promising signs in the spin department as Harbhajan, Chawla and Aswin have started to show some form - with the surprise packet being the flat darts bowled by Yuvraj getting wickets at crucial moments. Skipper MS Dhoni will be inclined to play 2 specialist spinners again.

 

Bangalore, 21st March 2011

India secured second spot in the fiercely fought out Group B by defeating the Windies by 80 runs. The win was far from impressive as only a late collapse from the Windies delivered the win for India. Yuvraj Singh was the star of the show with an sparkling century that held India together. A worrying aspect for India was that the middle order and tail succumbed again to hand over the advantage when a 300+ score looked most likely.

Mumbai, 13th Mar 2011

South Africa came roaring back to life with a hard fought 3 wicket win over India. Tendulkar was sublime with yet another ton - his 99th in international cricket, but his wicket triggered a middle order collapse as India went from 267-1 to 296 all out. The Proteas were in control of the required rate but a typical middle order collapse caused concern and they laboured to a 3 wicket win with 2 balls to spare.

Earlier, India had easy wins over the Dutch by 5 wickets and Ireland also by 5 wickets. Both wins asked more questions than answered them as India ran hot and cold against these associate nations.

Chennai, 1st Mar 2011

Skipper MS Dhoni was furious with the ICC over the UDRS ruling that states that if a batsman is beyond 2.5 metres down the wicket, then its the on-the field umpires that make the ruling - not Hawke Eye. This decision cost them Ian Bell's wicket at a crucial moment in their tie against England.

 

Bangalore, 28th Feb 2011

Sachin Tendulkar smashed a brilliant hundred but it was not enough as Andrew Strauss countered with an equally brilliant ton that tied the match. England were 282-2 at one stage with the run rate under control, but Zaheer Khan bowled an inspiring spell to even out the contest that kept on fluctuating both ways until the very last ball when 2 were needed.

 

Dhaka, 19th Feb 2011

Virendra Sehwag smashed 175 in 140 balls as India won the world cup opener as they trounced Bangladesh by 87 runs.

 

Chennai, 17th Feb 2011

Skipper Mahendra Dhoni scored a superb unbeaten century (108 not out in 64 balls) as India recorded a 117-run win over New Zealand in their last warm-up match. Earlier, the Indian spinners cut through the Australian batting to romp home with an equally impressive win in their first warm up game.

Preview of India

Mumbai, 12 Feb 2011

Predicted win odds: 75%

India have a lot of expectation to live upto from their fanatical local supporters who have been waiting for a repeat of their best World Cup performance in 1983 when they won the crown. Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni is calm amongst a sea of excitement that surrounds the Indian team where ever they play. Gary Kirsten (South Africa) has also been a calming influence as coach.

India were bundled out in Round 1 in 2007 and is looking to improve on their World Cup win-loss record of 32-25, with 1 No Result. Sachin Tendulkar will be looking to farewell cricket with the one missing piece of glory of a world cup win.

Strengths: The form of Sachin Tendulkar on his home pitches. Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh and Dhoni add batting firepower. Yusuf Pathan can deliver a knockout blow. Harbhajan Singh and Piyush Chawla can be devastating on turning tracks.

Weaknesses: Pressure which comes from India’s local fans can backfire. Injuries to key players such as Zaheer Khan can derail a cohesive Indian performance. Shanthakumaran Sreesanth and Ishant Sharma lift with Zaheer leading the attack. The fielding is at times erratic.

India World Cup squad: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain), Virender Sehwag (vice-captain), Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Munaf Patel, Praveen Kumar, Ashish Nehra, Ravichandran Ashwin, Yusuf Pathan, Piyush Chawla

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