Team India for ICC World Cup 2011
Former World Cup champions, India are in with a great chance of winning the 2011 Cricket World Cup. The team has shown great form over the years and the depth and genius to their batting is simply unparalleled. Spotlight would be on Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar who is set to star in the last World Cup of his lifetime; thus, he would be expected to be among the runs and get his team through similar to what he has doing in the previous world cups that he played. India might not have the services of veterans like VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid but the team is fortunate to have enough young and exciting talent to provide the driving force in their batting. India as hosts of the grand tournament this time round would be expected to have the upper hand as they know the conditions well so adaptability and application should not be a problem with the Indian side. Each and every Indian fan now looks up to Indian skipper, Mahendra Singh Dhoni to close up with something similar to what former skipper, Kapil Dev did in the World Cup 1983: bag gold and make the nation proud. India have pleasantly surprised crowds with their recent form against New Zealand and Australia has been somewhat delightful, if not perfect. Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina have been two great youngsters filled with energy and excitement who have kept India afloat with their flourishing form and fitness. While India remain a batting powerhouse, it is their pace bowling that needs a bit of a tweak to make for a perfect combination for the side. There are quite a few combinations that the captain may try and it may not prove to be too much of a problem as long as the team is performing at their full potential.
A number of former cricketers have expressed their views on India’s chances in the upcoming World Cup. Former skipper and the 1983 hero, Kapil Dev said, The Players are in lot of pressure in this World Cup. So we hope our team will do best in this mega event of World Cup 2011. Tendulkar is playing his 6th and final World Cup so we have lot of expectation from him too, added Kapil Dev. We want to win for Sachin. We want to win for Sachin.’ It’s the media which is saying again and again. We all want to win. Of course Sachin wants to win. But if you keep on asking everybody if Sachin’s dream will come true what will they say? Everybody’s dream is same,” said Kapil while addressing an event, Power Play, which was also attended by former cricket legends Sourav Ganguly, Vivian Richards and Steve Waugh. Kapil was also of the view that collectiveness and calmness would get the Indian side through and if they are to win this world cup, the Indian side needs to contribute together and not depend on individual efforts.
Virender Sehwag was very clear in his opinions about the ‘revenge’ game that India are set to play come the first match of the World Cup. He said, “We’re playing the opening game against Bangladesh in Bangladesh. So Bangladeshi people are expecting Bangladesh to beatIndia again. But this time we have to prepare well so hopefully we will beat Bangladesh in Bangladesh so you can say it’s a revenge game for us and we won’t take the game lightly. We will give our best shot and we will come hard on Bangladesh.”
Bishen Singh Bedi doesn’t expect too much from India’s bowling department and he made it clear that “One spinner is too many (in the conditions). I don’t think this kid Piyush Chawla will get to play. And look at the fast bowling…they are not outstanding bowlers. Ashish Nehra is not the bowler he was in 2003. Zaheer and Praveen are struggling. Bowling is definitely a weak link,” Bedi said. “I would have picked Sreesanth in place of Nehra since he is a very fit youngster. And India’s fielding is poorer. The batsmen will have to do a hell lot of job to make up for the average bowling and poor fielding,” he felt.
Former skipper, Saurav Ganguly thinks otherwise and is hopeful of India’s chances and strongly thinks that India would put up a good challenge come this World Cup. Come what may, India will surely be giving it their best and if they can rally carry the sort of form they are in India might not be too far from the ICC World Cup 2011 trophy.
India are playing two star performers in the opening slot in Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar. Interestingly, both the players have proven their abilities in the previous World tournaments and have been among the runs when the team needed them most. Gautum Gambhir is dropped to the no. 3 spot but that does not do him any injustice; in fact, the step favors his style of batting and allows Tendulkar to score his runs freely at the top of the order. Virat Kohli and Yuvraj Singh complement the middle order. Skipper, Mahendra Singh Dhoni then follows up with Yusaf Pathan to add to the firepower at the death. Next, Harbhajan Singh can also prove deadly with the bat as much as he can with his superb off-spin bowling. Leg spinner Piyush Chawla is his partner in the act and can spin the batsmen around with his deceptive bowling. Last but not least, Sreesanth and Zaheer Khan would make for a lethal pace bowling combination with some good spells of fiery yorkers and bouncers to rip through batting attacks.
India 15-man Squad
Virender Sehwag (vice-captain)
Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain/wicket-keeper)