Will April 2 give India the country of 1.2billion 11 new faces? Faces who will replace those who have reined the headlines every four years since 1983 when cricket world cup is around.
Will the cricket crazy nation get 11 men who will withstand pressure of playing equal opponents for 100 overs ensuring that the billion hopes come true?
The billion rupee question will be answered in matter of hours.
As the India team takes on Sri Lanka at the Wankhade stadium in Mumbai riding on the crest of two testing victories, last against arch rivals Pakistan most people are celebrating as if the cup has already been won.
Taking nothing away from the fans it’s their obsessive passion for the game that lends superstar status to the men in blue.
It’s not limited to India, in London the euphoria and anticipation are in equal fervour. When the men in blue with take on those in darker shade of blue, billions of hopes will be at stake.
But on the field the two teams are equally matched, for the swashbuckling Sachin and Sehwag that give India an edge when it come to openers, Jayawardene and Sangakara make the no.3/4 spot for Sri Lanka stronger. For Zaheer there is Malinga and so is the spin section balances.
What makes this spectacle a match to watch out for is that batting maestro Sachin will like to sign off adding the elusive world cup medal to his innumerable honours while spin whiz Murlidharan will like to double his tally of WC medallions.
It’s the contest between the two stalwarts of the game and the roles they will play for their respective teams is something that makes this contest special.
Though India were in WC finals in 2003, this time they can feel they stand a realistic chance for the simple fact that the last time around the finalist were unmatched in terms of experience, talent and class.
While India then had seven of the eleven playing their first WC final, Australians had six players in their squad who had earlier lifted the cup.
This time around the setting is even, teams are balanced and their forms are impeccable. It’s a matter of nerves.
The stage is set and may the best team win. Hope the best team is India.