Monday, March 14, 2011

CRicket World Cup 2011 and India

Well, the India-South Africa match a classic for a neutral, but for an Indian fan it was a horrible memory which needs to be erased with a good performance against WI.

One of the best things about the match from the Indian perspective was the message from the skipper to his team at the post-match conference. He said it twice.

We should play for the country and not for the crowds

Which is why Dhoni's 12 off 21 balls may have received a lot of flak from a lot of crowd, but that was what was required at the time. To not bat 50 overs was criminal. And had India won the game from there, it would have put paper on lot of cracks. So, even though there is a slight chance of India being knocked out before the qrtrs, I think this is a good kick on the backside of this Indian team and I am hopeful they will revive their performance against the West Indies.

1) One HUGE question is when the batting powerplay needs to be taken? and more importantly how we approach it?
a) Take it from overs 16-20, especially in the situation that we were in the SA match. Sehwag and Sachin were butchering the SA attack. So why not
b) Second option is take it from overs 46-50. So even if we commit hara-kiri like the SA match it would not ahve as drastic as effect as it did when we took at around the 38 over mark.

But most importantly, its not when you take it, but how you bat in the PP.
It does not matter when you take it, 5 overs 29 for 4 is not something we can afford in any 5-over period of a 50 over game.

2) 2nd seamer and 3rd bowler
India would be better off preparing spin-friendly pitches and going in with 2 seamer + 2 spinner combo. (Nehra + Munaf) is a very weak combination. We cannot play both in the same match. Both are decent bowlers, who have performed reasonably well over the last few months. But both are ordinary fielders a can barely hold the bat. We do not have the bowling attack which can restrict batsmen on featherbeds like the one in Nagpur. So why dont we take the home advantage? Lets prepare 250-260 wickets and get our spinners into action.

The WIndies are loaded with lefties (Gayle, Devon Smith, Chanderpaul and the "Lara-clone" Dwayne Bravo). I am almost certain that Aswhin will play this game, which would mean either Nehra or Munaf will make way.

While India are top of the pool and almost assured of a place in the qrters, there is still a chance that they can go out.

These are the games that remain in our pool:

1) West Indies vs England
2) Ire VS SA
3) Ban vs SA
4) India vs West Indies

Ind are on 7 points from 5 games (1 to play)
WI are on 6 points from 4 games (2 to play)
SA are on 6 points from 4 games (2 to play)
Ban are on 6 points from 5 games(1 to play)
Eng are on 5 points from 54 games(1 to play)

For India to go out, the following has to happen

WI loses to Eng
SA beats Ireland (which is a given)
Ban beats SA
India loses to WI

Point to note is that when SA plays Ban they would have already qualified (assuming they would have beaten Ireland by then). So there is a good chance they will give the likes of Kallis and Steyn a break. That gives Ban all the more opportunity to cause an upset with the crowd behind them.

By the time, India plays WI, all the other matches would have been played.
Either way, they must have all bases covered, "Be Men" and "Do the right things"!!