ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 – Dr. Nilesh D. Mehta

ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 – Dr. Nilesh D. Mehta

Playing in the Indian sub-continent as opposed to bouncy tracks in Australia is like experiencing a rough winter day in Delhi compared to a similar Mumbai day. While one can bundle up for a treacherous winter day and get some protection, Indian batsmen seem to have lost their covers.

 

Prior to the Indian team leaving for Australia, a lot was expected from Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s devils. But poor performance in Australia has been a big let down and it particularly hurt more because the Carlton Mid Tri-Series featuring England, Australia and India was supposed to set a positive tone for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015. If at all, it proved a reality check for India which should help the team once the tournament starts.

 

Cricket’s marquee event will be held from February 14 to March 29, 2015 in Australia and New Zealand. The semi-finals will be held in Auckland and Sydney while the majestic Melbourne Cricket Ground will host the final of this edition of the world cup.

 

With 14 teams and 49 matches, the stage is set for this huge event. The tournament will have a few firsts. Drop in pitches for some of the knockout matches and two new balls at each end meant to restore the balance between the batsmen and the bowlers. It would not be easy for the batsmen to go after the bowlers even if it makes things difficult for the spinners in this tournament.

 

Ireland and Afghanistan earned their participation through the qualifying race and hope to cause some upsets in the tournament. Scotland and UAE will gain much experience during their matches in the league stage. Australia have won the World Cup four times and were on a tremendous streak with 25 successive wins between 1999-2011. India, of course, won the World Cup at home in 2011 with a tremendous combination that was led by Dhoni, who fittingly sealed the win with a six in the final against Sri Lankan.

 

India is matched up against three good teams in Pakistan, South Africa, and West Indies. One would expect India to perform well against Ireland, UAE, and Zimbabwe. However, the memories of the 2007 World Cup held in West Indies would still be fresh and no team at this level can be taken lightly.  West Indies will miss two of their stalwarts in Pollard and Bravo and they are being led by a new skipper Jason Holder with no experience but then they have Chris Gayle, who can swing the match on his own.

 

On a given day, the mighty South African team would comfortably take on any opposition. Pakistan will certainly miss their wily spinner Saeed Ajmal, who has been cleared by ICC and can join the Pakistan team only as a replacement for an injury to another player.

 

Despite some mediocre performances by the India team in recent times, they still enjoy the reputation of being the world champions. It is a matter of one good win and things can fall in place. India needs to play the knockout matches well. We know it can. Play the last three matches at your best and win the hearts of millions of fans across the world yet again.

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