Tag Archives: World Cup

Will India get 11 new champion faces?

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.


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Australian era of invincibility ends

Australia won’t be playing in the finals of cricket World Cup 2011.

The second consecutive defeat in the World cup after 34 straight wins brings the invincible Aussie era in the world cup to an end.

A five wicket defeat at the hands of India packs the four-time World champions home, but they went down fighting in a typical Aussie style.

A team sans its usual superstars, Punter and Co. went about the business in typical Australian fashion and made the match out of it.

While reams of print will be consumed celebrating Indian victory and lambasting the Australians, especially Ponting writing them off, former players, journos, commentators should give it a thought that this team has held the coveted trophy more than anyone else.

Ponting is the proud recipient of three world cup medals, a feat which many other greats and so-called greats can only dream of.

On Thursday, OZ were outplayed, sometime had to happen and it happened, ironic for Ponting it happened when he earned the infamous tag of being the only second captain to lose the Ashes thrice.

This tag of being the captain, under whom Australia failed to reach a semi final since 1996, is going to add another unwanted tag to Ponting who made the most runs in the match.

Though on a losing side his century after 13 months ensured he lives to the reputation of big match performer.

As they take the flight home and Cricket Australia think tank ponders over the issues, its time they give their domestic cricket serious thinking.

Former Australian cricket Dean Jones pointed out on NDTV that the standards of domestic cricket have fallen for the international players no more play in the Sheffield Trophy. “When I was playing we would play four to five games for our state, which would allow local players to have a go at us and give selectors a chance to spot talent, this is not the case anymore,” says Jones.

At the moment the once reliable Australian middle order is vulnerable, the firepower and variety in their bowling is missing, they still field well but despite all odds the it’s the Aussie attitude of never say die that holds the team.

As the world of cricket gears to welcome new champions, the early break gives the ex champions time to get back to winning ways.

With Ponting not throwing his towel, they have it all to rise from the Ashes.

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England misses the chance to host WC

Russia will host the 2018 FIFA World cup and Qatar the 2022.

Woooo..was the first reaction as I followed the developments since morning, all the hype around England and its chances were rocked in a second.

While I was disappointed for the English fans, what struck me the most were two things the low profile kept by Russian leaders and media and the speech of FIFA president Sepp Blatter.

While the British media has been going gaga over the FAB THREE and the chances they have and what they can offer, it was absolute contrast to what the BBC correspondent in Russia mentioned. World cup bid was mere news brief across Russia.

The Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin decided to stay away, which was interpreted by some section in British media as a boost to the home country’s chances.

The guest on BBC from Russia minutes before the decision said that his country deserves the chance to host the spectacle and that he was confident they can put all things in place by 2018.

This for me was something that would have done the trick.

Secondly the speech though was short but was remarkable. Blatter said Football was a school of life and you learn to lose and the losers should not ‘say what a pity’. Very strong message put across as precisely as he could have.

Another surprise was 2022 host Qatar, the small country will host the biggest sporting extravaganza will be a stepping stone for the country.  Amazing was the reaction of the commentator and I echoed. Their message was ‘expect amazing’ and they did exactly the same.

Kudos to the winners and will look forward to the coverage to follow.

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