Tryst with destinyc
The stage is all set for the commencement of cricket’s most popular event, the ICC World Cup-2015, that begins Down Under on Saturday amid renewed hopes that it will give further fillip to the sport.
The stage is all set for the commencement of cricket’s most popular event, the ICC World Cup-2015, that begins Down Under on Saturday amid renewed hopes that it will give further fillip to the sport. Even as the cricketing world gears up for presenting the best ever edition in its history, there is a tinge of disappointment all around because the event has not had the sort of blitzkrieg that one has got accustomed to in the mother of all One-Day Internationals (ODIs). Blame it on the IPL frenzy that grips the world every year. Even the bookies seem to have gone underground giving an impression that this would be a ‘clean’ edition particularly considering that New Zealand has made match-fixing a seriously punishable crime. The International Cricket Council (ICC) has also taken a serious note of the menace. One should welcome the tough talking done by ICC Chief Executive Dave Richardson who cautioned against attempts by match-fixers to influence the outcome of any match, which would be thwarted and seriously dealt with. However, the ICC should not ignore the other dastardly feature of Australian cricket-sledging, which could bring disrepute to the gentleman’s game, particularly considering that the stakes will be extraordinarily high. And so would be the intensity of the players. An indication that the co-host gives a damn to such ICC warnings has come from Australian coach, Darren Lehmann, who maintains that outbursts and antagonistic showdowns were part and parcel of professional cricket. Coming to the possible turn of events, one should deem that Australia is in the best of form. Along with South Africa and most surprisingly, New Zealand, it could perhaps make it to the semifinals. And that leaves the ever important question of where India stands. There is no room for doubt that Indians may have been in an awfully abysmal form Down Under but in an event of the magnitude of the World Cup, the Men in Blue can transform themselves and pull-off stunners. Of course, there is noticeable unease in the dressing room. These bad vibes could get reflected on the field to pathetic levels.
This is where the likes of Ravi Shastri should try to bring about a cohesive atmosphere if India nurtures any hopes of retaining the Cup. The dark horses could be Sri Lanka and Pakistan in that order. India begins its title defence on a psychological high. It has never lost to the arch-rival in five World Cup meetings till date.
The Men in Blues should not get complacent or over-ambitious if they have to retain the trust of millions of fans back home, who would not seriously mind if the Cup does not come as long Indians do not lose to Pakistan. And that should bother the Indian team more than anything else on Sunday.