Sat. Jun 15th, 2024

Cricket World Cup 2023 IND vs ENG | India sitting pretty with all departments working in sync

By Sampad Oct29,2023
Indian captain Rohit Sharma, coach Rahul Dravid and R. Ashwin during a practice session ahead of the match against England.

Indian captain Rohit Sharma, coach Rahul Dravid and R. Ashwin during a practice session ahead of the match against England.
| Photo Credit: DEEPAK KR

The word party-poopers is usually used for teams that are not very experienced but has some players who, with their individual brilliance, can lead their team to upset more experienced and fancied teams. Who would have thought at the beginning of this World Cup that the defending champions England would be reduced to being called possible party spoilers.

Their party has not just taken off with New Zealand beating them handsomely in the first game of the tournament and then Afghanistan and Sri Lanka also pouring cold water on their dreams of advancing to the knockouts.

Of course, technically they can still do that, but right now they can only be party spoilers for the teams they are due to play in their remaining matches.

The hosts India are having a terrific time in this World Cup with both the batting and bowling looking good. Their fielding too has been top class with the standard set in their first match of the tournament by Kohli’s acrobatic diving catch to his left to dismiss Mitchell Marsh.

Kohli has batted superbly from the first game itself with the ball hitting the middle of the bat sweetly. Rohit Sharma, the skipper, has shown the way by getting after the bowling straightaway and thus putting pressure on the opposition. Shubman Gill and Shreyas Iyer have spent good time out in the middle and hopefully have kept the big scores for crucial times.

Rahul has been the other lynchpin of the batting, and his calm, cool approach to the task immediately eases any nerves there may be in the dugout.

The bowling too has multiple heroes with Bumrah, the spearhead, with his two strikers Siraj and Shami. The spinners Kuldeep and Jadeja have been speed bumps in the middle of the opposition innings by taking wickets and bowling economically.

The teams that are struggling are those that haven’t got off to a good start and England are one such team. If they get off to a good start, then with the depth that they have in their batting, they should be posting over 300 runs regularly. Their bowling looks a bit unsuited to Indian pitches and if the seamers don’t get the early wickets then Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali’s roles become crucial.

Lucknow is famous for its “after you” culture. We will see whether the hosts extend that courtesy or will throw England out of the tournament.

(Professional Management Group)

By Sampad

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