Day 2 Hamilton and Adelaide. February 15, 2015.
A day when defending champion had belied expectations of cricket sages with a thumping win as if to signal it was in with a big chance for MCG final in spite of fluctuating fortunes so far with nothing left for celebration. MS Dhoni had entered the field with so much against his name and so much to prove and he was not without company; in Kohli – a promising batsman with numbers, in Rohit – a batsman unable to detect his limitations, Shikhar – dynamic stroke maker waiting for chances at big stage, and a bowling line up perceived as minnow. Imagine what would have happened had all of them lived up to their reputation when it mattered. And they all fired up. Shikhar made a stupendous comeback with a 70 plus, and Kohli batted with plain sense which he lacked in previous outings as batsman for a decent hundred while Raina got his Motera quarterfinal touch back, and finally, bowlers from Shami to Umesh Yadav to Ashwin to Jadeja took the opposition too seriously as the captain cool had the last laugh much to the delight of scintillating pigeons seen across river Torrens flying back and forth. In another match held at Hamilton, South Africa’s dream of taking Zimbabweans for a ride boomeranged as they suffered moral loss at the hands of a nation in apathy. Neil Johnson in 1999 made mockery of Hansie and co. and this time it was collective effort but not quite in winning cause.
Day 1 Christchurch and Melbourne. February 14, 2015.
Australia and Newzealand make headway on the first day of the competition with little resistance from opposition camps. While Kiwis had the 1996 champions and two time finalists under the mat at Hagley Oval with 98 run comfortable victory, Australia had snatched six English wickets by this time with disciplined performance. At once stage, England were reeling at 99 for 6 in 23 plus overs. Back in 1992, Australia and Newzealand fought with each other when Martin Crowe inspired participant teams with his innovative spin bowling opening option and a powerful century for man of the match award. England had beaten India at Perth in the first world cup match played under artificial lighting system. Australia, at the moment from its current and recent form, appears mostly the team to beat for any one to crown title. South Africa is the only team which can confidently look straight into the Australian confidence if the past is even taken for granted! India will take on Pakistan from Group B tomorrow at the Adelaide Oval. Can’t wait till tomorrow!
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Here comes the first bite from Indian cricket board as they announced a team of 15 members leaving Player of World Cup 2011 for the sake of Ravindra Jadeja.
23 January, 2015. 0434 IST. Okay, here we are in the World Cup month. 1975 and ’79 had seen world order totally in control of West Indies’ pace men under whom whole batting world swagged. We still can’t get hold of the imagination of what the fate of King Richards would have been had he played for different team. 1983 had Haryana Hurricane Kapil Dev Nikhanj hold his head and his country’s sporting image high. 1987 and 1992 revealed how tactics play crucial role on the field itself, thanks to Allan Border, Steve Waugh, Imran Khan, Wasim Akram, Javed Miandad, and Inzimam-Ul-Haq. Martin Crowe experimented with spinner Deepak Patel against Australia in the opening match of the first ever World Cup in colour and dreamy lighting facility for night games. India and England played first Day and Night game at the bouncy WACA under lights and thus became part of innovation history.
After a gap of 28 years in 2011 India under Mahendra Singh Dhoni mauled Srilanka. Though 2011 was no match to 1983, the way India showed discipline to counter Lasit Malinga and Muralidharan in the final at The Wankhede was a sight to watch with inspired efforts from Sachin Tendulkar (throughout the tournament) and Yuvraj Singh carrying the momentum. Zaheer Khan sent 19 balls (3.1 overs) without conceding a single run and removed opener on that Saturday sunny afternoon much to the delight of swing bowling wizards McGrath and Wasim Akram. Though many would still continue to fail to notice the fact of Zaheer’s three maidens at the start pumping Indian fielders the oxygen ScoopLense remembers Khan’s effort up front, besides trying to analyse how much difference Wasim Akram on that Friday night of 1992 at MCG had brought to the Pakistan’s winning moment and McGrath’s sensational figures 9-3-13-2 had brought Tugga his Cup of joy!
23 January, 2015. 2359 IST. Let’s see what makes a world cup competition intriguing. Winner of the contest doesn’t do anything off the beat, but they make things differently, just as we expect a winner to do. What is that something that separates them for standing apart? All the three important departments on the field have to be consistently in tandem with plans off the field, notable among them being spreading or interpolating the field, bowling changes at key junctures of opposition’s batting depth, maintaining over rate by going through code of conduct, having plan B and C and thereafter just in case, adjusting to conditions of weather, boundary sizes, etc, Obviously, these are just a few. Remaining intact and maintaining composure in all situations of strength and weakness, and more so when they are exposed to opposition and millions watching them, besides sticking to game plan become influential in making an ordinary team world champs.
We shall go to previous world cups to figure out which factors did some teams in and which teams did the others in.
January 24, 2015. 1740 IST. As part of the exercise which may be insufficient to demonstrate how cricket has transformed over ages from world cup to world cup, we bring you some of the fascinating contests. We now take a look at games involving Australia and India. Barring encounters at Centurion and Johannesburg, incidentally both in 2003 World Cup, and a slight mismatch at The Oval in 1999, all were outstanding and in a sense reflected battle for repositioning of cricket dominance.
India Australia, Ahmedabad. Second Quarterfinal on March 24, 2011. Thursday.
The match that would define the fate of Sachin Tendulkar’s world cup title dream
Moist in the evenings at the Motera, body dehydrating sweat prevailing the quarterfinal countdown, discouraging record against Australia couldn’t prevent India from registering their most memorable game changing win to break the jinx. The Australian captain and the brilliant man who many perceived as the one who halted between India and the honours at The Wanderers responded with a classic ODI knock weathering extreme heat and frenzied crowd, who turned up for a fitting finale waiting anxiously for India’s response. Ashwin provided initial breakthrough at the edge of 10th over by cleaning up Shane Watson who was waiting for a sweep over mid wicket to clear fence. Mahendra Singh Dhoni once again showed how his faith would always get desired response from his team mates. Suresh Raina and Yuvraj Singh batted with power. So did Gambhir. Kohli and Sehwag made some mark. Tendulkar was unlucky to have got out in the fashion he got out. It could well have been master piece on the lines of Steve Waugh’s 120 against South Africa at Trentbridge in the epic super six clash braving Hansie Cronje and men.
India Australia, Johannesburg 2003
India Australia, Centurion 2003
India Australia, The Oval 1999
India Australia, Bombay 1996
India Australia, Brisbane 1992
India Australia, Madras 1987