Tuesday, March 8, 2011

India Don't Look Tournament Favorites

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

The Mahendra Singh Dhoni led Team India started as the favorites in the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup. But if the performance is anything to go by the team has seriously hurt its brand value. Drawing a match after scoring 330 plus runs  against England showed the weakness of the Indian bowling attach. In the match that followed versus Ireland the bowling has looked anything but impressive with Yuvraj Singh the most unlikely of bowlers getting five of the ten Irish men.

The lack of bowling resources at his disposal has made Dhoni looked clueless at times. Especially in the match against England there was not a single bowler who was stopping the singles and the boundaries when Andrew Strauss and Ian Bell were milking the bowling. Even if the Indian fans think cricket to be a game of sixes and fours flowing out of Sachin Tendulkar's bat it is not. If such fans needed one example the match versus England was one. A poor bowling attack never makes a team world champions.

A lot of doubt has been raised about the performance of Piyush Chawla. His selection had raised a few eyebrows but we all know that he is being backed by his captain. But Dhoni seems to be on a mission to prove that Chawla's selection was worth the deal. The only problem is the fact that in doing so he might have to throw a few matches here and there. A good captain should realise his mistake and not repeat them instead of persisting with his ego.

Till now the only two teams which have looked like favorites are the defending world champions Australia and maverick Pakistan under a maverick captain. Shahid Afridi seems to have discovered a master spinner in himself who seems to be causing a havoc among batsmen in this tournament. As far as the kangaroos are concerned no one should write this team off as they have held this trophy for the last 12 years and inmost of the times deservingly. India will have to overhaul itself in fielding and bowling to get over these giants. 


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