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Monday, February 23, 2015

2015 World Cup - India thump South Africa at MCG

It took four matches for India to beat South Africa in World Cup. But, when it happened, it was a thumping win for the defending champions who must have felt that they were playing the match at Mumbai, not MCG.

Shikhar Dhawan could not score a run during the Australian Tri-Series but after two matches he is the top-scorer of the ongoing World Cup. What a difference the break after the tri-series has done? The support provided by his captain and team management, his own slight tinkering with his mind (more than technique) has helped Dhawan in the tournament. He seems to have a clear vision and is determined to do well in the company of the other top-order batsmen. While Kohli did not have the same success as the previous match, Rahane continued the great work once again.
Image Courtesy: Cricinfo site
Rahane is probably the most elegant slogger in the tournament - never for a moment does he seem to lose his composure while scoring runs at a rate greater than 120! Rahane is also the most technical of all batsmen in the top order who can not only withstand the pace and guile of opposition bowlers but also score runs briskly. Dhoni showed glimpses with his bat but could not continue as last match. The same problem as last match occurred again - the last five overs were not as productive as what the first 45 overs showed.

The Indian bowlers were disciplined but the fielders were keen to make a mark. What else can explain run-out's of AB De Viliers and David Miller. The bowlers tightened the screws with their wicket-to-wicket bowling but the fielders were also positioned well by the captain not to give any easy runs. The end result was that the South Africans were gasping for breath. The lineup that can drive fear into any bowling attack was not able to score even 200 while chasing. The world saw the current South Africa team in a different light. Were they real favorites for the tournament? The much-maligned Indian bowling had done extremely well to throttle the batting as well as take all ten wickets. Mohit and Shami along with Ashwin with their repeated strikes are wreaking havoc on opposition plans.

The Indians are the favorites to top the group, thanks to their performance in the first two matches. Will they sustain this level for the next seven (four matches at group stage and three at knock-out level)? Definitely possible.
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