World Cup cricket tournament for a cricket aficionado like me is a big event and definitely merits more than one blog. Of course, I have reserved the best for the day India lifts the coveted cup for third time and brings Virat at par with his illustrious predecessors Kapil and Dhoni. However, the fact also remains that India has already achieved a few mini victories – it convincingly defeated arch rival Pakistan (the team, especially their skipper Sarfaraz, came under lot of fire for their spineless display from home fans) and team India finished at the top of the league table by winning all its matches except loss to England and sharing of points with New Zealand for the match abandoned due to rain. We must celebrate each occasion of happiness and each moment of pride that comes our way!
Of course, there have also been great personal feats. Rohit broke Sangakkara’s record of 4 centuries in a single World Cup and also finished at the top of the league table as the highest run getter. Looking to his current form and possibility of India playing 2 more games, more records from this inform man could be in the offing. Shami’s hat trick against Afghanistan and Kuldeep’s beauty of a delivery that clean bowled Babar Azam (it’s being hailed as the delivery of the tournament being equated with all time classic delivery by Shane Warne that bowled Mike Gatting round his legs) have all added sheen to India’s campaign so far.
While all Indians pray and hope for the great show by Team India in the remaining critical fixtures that are going to decide the World champion, let’s also take a dispassionate look at the things India would like to fix before playing semis:
(1) Law of averages did not work for Shakib Al Hasan and it need not work for Rohit, who can continue his blistering display for 2 more matches (in fact Rohit has already failed twice being out on low scores).
(2) We will need 5 bowlers, not only to assist Hardik in finishing his 10 overs, but also to provide for one of the main line bowlers having an off day ( we saw both Shami and Bhuvi having off days).
(3) Middle order, line up after Virat – Rishabh, Dhoni, Hardik, Jadeja- must play responsibly and avoid collapse.
(4) We have taken some brilliant catches but missed some sitters. We must hold on to whatever that comes our way.
As catchline of a commercial goes, “phir ek baar…” that aptly sums up the desire of all Indians. Under Virat, we have built a formidable contingent that’s currently looking the best outfit! They can do it; they just have to do it!