The team in blue is buoyant this time around in the Caribbean with two series win under its belt at home against the Lankans and the Windies. The batsmen are in good nick and those injured are back in the squad. The team’s batting would revolve around its trio- Sachin, Dravid and Sourav who would lay the foundation of success in the Caribbean. The bowlers too are finding the rhythm and there is a certain variety in the spin duo of Kumble and Harbhajan with some part time options in Sehwag. Sehwag though has still not proven his form and has one more chance to redeem his ‘sword edge’ aggression in the practive game against the hosts on Friday. Led by the positive captain Rahul ‘ Wall’ Dravid, the team looks in good shape in this tournament.
Strengths– Solid experainced batsmen, good finishers, mixed pace and an loaded spin attack!
Weakness– Slow movers on the field,
The captain leads from the front when the team stares at adversity and that is what earns him the respect of the team. makes him a positive leader! A formidable player, he has a batting technique which is ‘text book’ in nature and most correct amongst today’s batsman. A versatile player, he can adapt to any situation with ease depending upon the circumstances. A true ‘TEAM’ man, he can bat anywhere in the batting order although he generally comes in the middle order lending solidity to it. Shouldering the responsibility of the entire team and representing a cricket crazy nation, he is one batsman to watch out for in this tournament.
The highest run getter in One Day Cricket, he is the ‘game’ by himself. One of the great batsman of all times, his sheer presence is a big morale booster for the team. Though injuries have taken some wind out of this great, he is back in the side with a renewed enthusiasm to boost the team’s campaign in Caribbean. A fine aggressive batsman up the order, he can also bat in the midlle order with relative ease. Apart from a gifted and talented batsman, he can also bowl with equal felicity and to be true, I have not seen a Indian spinner turn the ball as much as Tendulkar in both versions of the game. The hopes of a billion people are pinned on this master batsman who could be playing his last World Cup in Caribbean this time.
Ganguly aka Dada, he is back in the Indian team with a bang after being in wilderness for an year. A fine left handed batsman, Ganguly is the second highest run getter after Tendulkar in One Day cricket. An aggressive opener, he has reinvented himself in this one year by developing his leg side game too. He is a delight to watch when it comes to his off side shots which he plays through precise timing and thumpin arrogance. A useful bowler, Dada can be useful on seaming tracks and is said to have a golden arm!
A fantastic left handed batsman, he has proved himself as a finisher in the one day format of the game. A fabulous stroke maker, he has the gift of finding the gaps with precision, ease and power. Also an electric fielder in the infield, Yuvi has taken many memorable catches in the past.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni
This stockily built youth from Ranchi has an appetite for hitting boundaries and particularly sixes. A wicket keeper, he can be devastating down the order with his hard hitting shots. His presence lends depth to the side and also imparts balance.
Zaheer looks a bowler with a purpose after his comeback into the Indian side. Plagued with injuries, he was out of the side for quite a while but has made a strong comeback as a fitter and stronger bowler.
The turbanator has been silent for a while and would be rearing to make an impression in this tournament. The tracks have shown signs of favoring the slow and spin bowlers and in this light, Harbhajan could be really effective. His turn and bounce have troubled batsmen all over the world and they would be vary of the Turbanator for sure!
Anil ‘Jumbo’ Kumble is playing his last World Cup and is all set to exit from One day cricket. So, all the more reasons for him to be hungry for success! His forte his is discipline, line and length bowling which gives very little opportunities for the batsmen to score. A fantastic temperament, he is a spinner with the mindset of a fast bowler which makes him doubly effective!
The Indian team looks in good touch with Munaf Patel adding teeth to the pace battery along with the spinners. The batsmen have shown promise and to deliver in the matches ahead they need to gel as a unit. To win the championship, the team would have to do the basics correctly i.e, field, bat and bowl well!
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