Harsha Unplugged:Cricket Mania
After 14 long years India get to host the cricket world cup along with other associate nations like Srilanka and Bangladesh(Pakistan missed out due to security reasons).Hosting the world cup in the subcontinent
especially in cricket frenzy India is good for the future of sport(due to lack of interest for longer versions of cricket with the advent of 20-20).
In India, people follow cricket religiously. Cricketers(apart from Bollywood actors) are worshipped like any other God.Such is the enthusiasm and passion for the game that people throng to get a sight of their favourite cricketers in action,there are dedicated temples and worship places for players,people conduct special pujas praying for India’s win.However people In India are very emotional,just like they worship their cricketers when they entertain,the same people pelt stones at player’s possessions when they flop at critical games. However our cricketers are used to playing under such pressures at big stage.
Winning Cricket world cup in 1983(highly unexpected in era of West Indian domination)under inspirational leadership of Kapil paaji changed the whole facet of cricket in India. After 20 long years India went close enough to win another one(which was hugely expected the way we were playing) until our bowlers chose world cup final as their off day to set a huge target for our batsman to chase. Dreams Of Sourav Ganguly (arguably the best captain India has ever had) holding the world cup were shattered. Then came the 2007 WC which was by far India’s worst performance to get knocked out(after barely 2 weeks at WC) at group stages considering the fact that we were one of the favourites.
So 2011 WC holds lot of significance for India to win the championship. One, It is played on our own backyard allowing our players well-equipped and assimilated to the conditions than any other overseas player. Two,it is the last world cup of architect of many Indian wins-Sachin Tendulkar. Even Indian cap. MSD went on to say tat a world cup win would be ideal gift to batting maestro for all that he has done over the years. Carrying a billion people expectations on his shoulders over the span of 21 years and winning matches is no mean task and for the fact that Sachin has done it with great gusto with his never ending passion for the game is an inspiration.
Winning a world cup with Sachin leading from the front will be huge and there’s no reason why one cannot believe on such lines because Tendulkar has delivered in most of the occasions.Its said that the whole nation comes to a standstill when Sachin is nearing his century.Name any batting record he has it, whether its highest number of runs, centuries, individual score etc the list goes on(During my school days, etc was what I used quite often to convince the examiner that i know more than what is required).But some people dare to differ that Sachin plays only for records considering every other batting record under his name. Given his longevity and consistent performance over the years(Just when critics starts to question his place in the team he shuts them off with a brilliant hundred) if records come in way while piling runs for the team its not his fault. And as far as runs are concerned his dil maange more. So the stage is all set for India to win and win handsomely to bring smiles to billion people supporters.
As far as team is considered it looks settled. The weakest link one can think of will be in bowling department given that we have best batting line-up compared to any other team. Zaheer Khan(Zak) leading the attack to bring all his experience into play would do whole lot of good given the way he has been bowling for past 1-1.5 years. His form with the ball would be vital for India’s chances supported by our other pacers Munaf Patel(coming from a great SA tour), Ashish Nehra (His 6/23 against England in WC 2003 is still best bowling performance from an Indian in WCs) and Sreesanth (aggressive and genuine wicket taker). As far as spin is concerned it largely depends on the turbanator Bhajji’s form given that he will play almost all matches.Also he is very handy with the bat as well.He is backed up with some more spin from R.Ashwin(smart spinner-impressed his bowling skills in IPL)and Piyush Chawla( a surprise pick in final 15 as he is a lone leg spinner). Not to forget that our part timers Yuvi, Pathan,Raina who have been doing well consistently to contain runs and grab wickets.Likes of Yuvi, Kohli,Raina will bring some energy in the field to back the bowlers.Brilliant catches here and there or a crucial run out can change the course of the game very quickly.
As far as batting goes God save the opposition because the batting line up looks ominous at least on paper. Lead from the batting legend himself Sachin(already lots have been said about him)paired with most aggressive batsman in modern era Virendar Sehwag (Viru as he is fondly called). Most destructive opening pair one can ever think of. Followed by the likes of Gambhir, Yuvi, Kohli,Raina,Yusuf and not to forget our Cap.MSD. So here is the trade-off given that Yusuf is playing,you play either Kohli (in the form of his life) or Raina (genuine match-winner). The way Kohli is batting consistently (looks like the records will be up for grabs, not to forget he is the fastest Indian to complete first 1000 runs in ODI) has a slight edge over Raina (too good a player to miss).Last but not the least the man who invented the Helicopter shot- Mahendra Singh Dhoni our captain. The man who works as per his intuition by which his moves click most often. I get livid when people attribute success of Indian team due to MSD’s good luck. I feel its just due to his gut feeling about his moves backed up with support which plays an important part. As Tendulkar who was more of a aggressive player in his early days,MSD has become more of a composed batsman(guess that comes up with responsibility) than his early days where he used to hit the ball with disdain.However he has unique ability to play a cricketing(this adjective is v.imp) shot with a great power(drinking milk helps) and can up the ante at his own will when the situation demands. Overall batting looks v.good with some technically solid batsman and couple of hard hitters,so as per the start we can fiddle with player’s position keeping in mind the remaining overs,power-plays etc.Overall it looks a v.good team to take on any opposition.
But playing in front of the home crowd will have its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Crowd backing you every time is ok but when the chips are down the pressure can play on your mind,But as I said our team is used to all this and I am pretty confident we will have a positive result this time around.
Go India Go! We want you to bring back the cup this time.
P.S: So here I go, I am done with my first post. Blogging was in my mind for a long time. Finally content,that I pulled it off somehow.Could not find a better way to start blogging when the cricket fever was on. Loving the telecast on Star Cricket with every bit of cricketing action and when India does well it will be a icing on the cake. Also loving Pepsi’s Change the Game ad campaign…
Thanks & Regards