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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

World Cup 2011 - India's chances

Though I had myself predicted that India have good chance of winning the World Cup, the fact is that there is no one whom one can proclaim as the overwhelming favorites to win the tournament.

Rob Steen talks about the home-advantage in the cricketing showcase and how it has been more a bane than a boon. Sachin Tendulkar and his last World Cup will have a fairy-tale finish if the Indians finish on the podium but there are a lot of hurdles before.

All of them will start from the Quarter-final match at Ahmedabad (ICC having confirmed that India will play at home) - who will be paired with the Indians is to be seen. As per ICC Rule-book, the quarter-finals will happen between A1 and B4, A2 and B3, A3 and B2, A4 and B1 (A(n) being the nth placed team in Group A and B(n) similarly from Group B).

Based on the group that India is, one can say safely that India will be either B1 or B2. This means facing A4 or A3. This can be either NewZealand or Pakistan. Will there be a repeat of the Bangalore Quarter-final in 1996 then? Interesting.

If India gets past this hurdle, it will move to Mohali where they will face most probably Sri Lanka or Australia (depending on who tops the group A).Once again, a repeat of 1996 meeting Sri Lanka in the semi-finals? Time to make amends then.

Whoever it meets, the Indian team needs to be on the top of its game to reach the finals. Once there, the crowd support in Mumbai is sure to pressurize and paralyze the opponent. 

Steen similarly talks about the winning run that Australia has been having so far. The last two teams that have defeated Australia in a World Cup are both in the same group this year. Let us hope that they dont upset the Oz in the earlier stages - the law of averages should catch up with the Australian team later in the tournament since the impact will be more in a knock-out scenario. Only then, the Indian team has a higher percentage of winning the tournament.

Yes, all this is being said from an Indian fan's perspective - Oz fans, apologies.  
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