Monday, March 12, 2007

This World Cup...go BLUE

A week has gone by with a series of warm up matches. No doubt Caribbean right now is the most sought after place to be. Spectators from almost all parts of the world are pouring in. With as many has 20 million dollars spent on inauguration ceremony of the World Cup yesterday, no doubts the economy of this group of islands will flourish by leaps n bounds.

In the past week, all the teams got their chances to showcase what they have in store for this biggest event. The warm up matches were very logically organized. While first two days saw stronger (top 8 teams) stretching some muscles against the weaker ones, the third day belongs to minnows settling their scores with whom-they-can-compete-with teams. And the silver lining came on the last day when we saw some meaningful clashes between the prospective contenders of this cup. India, Australia came out the invincible winners against WI n Eng respectively. The only upset saw NZ going down against Bangladesh. Besides that other result were more like competitive-on-their-day ones as NZ downs SL & Pak overcame over SAF.

These developments have done nothing but made the tournament wide open for us. While Aussies showcasing that they can still defend the title sans Lee, Symonds; there are equal chances for the team that will pounce over the unidentified/unconquerable opportunities which we haven't yet seen in full fledged manner provided that we have new grounds, different conditions, different audience (this is the first major tournament in Caribbean), different diet chart and above all its time people want a new champion. The next 47 days will tell us how older players used their experience, or how young guns got accustomed to the foreign conditions.

With most being said about India in this tournament in various pro grammes, more because of money involved in them than the real heart of an Indians fans. No doubt India has got themselves ready in time with a flavor of all: experience, young legs, pinch hitters, slow bowlers; which spurs spirits has high as they can be. All my heart n wishes for them.

Pakistan n Sri Lankans are the other two Asian teams for whom opposition has to put all their stakes on the field to take them down. As the latter is the most +ve set of players guided by inspirational Jayawardene n Tom Moody, the former has given a glimpse of their frame of minds n capabilities despite injured Asif, Akhtar n Razzaq featuring in the tournament.

Other prospective contenders being Eng n NZ, that have most no. of players featuring in their first WC. The other day, I found out that in the current England team, only 2 players have played 100+ matches, with as many as 8 players accounting to not even 50 ODIs together, I will be nothing but curious to see how these two sides will cope up with the relentless pressure their opposition have in store for them.

I know, this is a bit unpatriotic, but if India is destined to go down in the WC, I want them to go down again Proteas, whom my mind has called Favorites but my heart as Second-Favorites. Let this be the year, when they earn what they have deserved all these years, but if they are to go down, lets pray their bad performance takes over their bad luck in their defeat.

So, thats it. All teams covered. Oh wait on! wait on!, did i miss them, or i didn't see them. Where the hell they come from. Oh yeah, they are the hosts. The black devils/hooters of the game. Yeah!, thats the impression that once unconquerable West Indian has upon us in this last decade. 1996 saw them going down against Kenya, then there were some clean sweeps against dominating Aussies, Proteas, but they followed it up with a Champions Trophy win over unbeatable-in-2004 England. And last year saw them nearly defending their title against Aussies in the final. Brian Lara boys this year must have got some plans worth celebrating to bid farewell to their captain. Provided they are host, we can't wait to see Lara's bag of tricks that he will use in such a unlimited way for he may never get a chance to use them again.

So, don't u miss out while one of them crossed 500 run mark, or we have a new record while chasing. Other than that, this being the last WC that will have the likes of Sachin, Lara, Jayasuriya, Kallis, Fleming, Ganguly, Dravid, Inzy, Hayden, Gilchrist, Vaas, Kumble, Pollock and many others. So get yourself a couch n a tv in front of it, as we get started on first encounter tomorrow at 5 pm on Set Max, between West Indies n Pakistan.

Game on...........

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1 comment:

nitesh said...

Team india's total experience in ODI's is about 2160 matches
far higher then any team
I will again reiterate the last cup mantra it's now or never

but yaar i checked the schedule india's matches wills start at 00.00 hrs...... i will be able to watch only few overs , sleeeeeeeeppp

waiting for the match of the 1st round Aus ve SA
my money on SA for obvious reasons