The most anticipated 2015 World Cup is round the corner and almost all the teams have begun their preparations for the tournament long back. The same applies to the defending Champions who began their preparations during the ODI series in England but went off track in the ongoing tri-series which has been a warning call for the Men in Blue. Still the MS Dhoni led team go into the World Cup as favourites and it won’t be a surprise if they go all the way and defend the cup. Here are five reasons why India can defend the World Cup on March 29 in Melbourne.
What else? MS Dhoni is here
Skipper MS Dhoni is key to India’s chances in the World Cup
One of the first and foremost reason why India can go all the way and defend the World Cup is because of MS Dhoni leading the team. Dhoni knows what it takes to bring the best from his players and his cool and composed mentality makes him stand-out among the other captains. He won’t let the pressure to mount on his players and tune them to perfection in the crunch situations. Dhoni is also India’s most successful captain as he had led India to victory in 2007 World T20, 2011 ICC World Cup and the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy. Apart from his captaincy, he is also a great finisher who could take his side home while chasing in high some huge totals. Having retired from Test Matches, MS Dhoni will have a point to prove in the World Cup and come home with the cup for all the criticisms he had when he announced his Test retirement.
Three Good Days needed to defend the Cup
The format of the World Cup is criticized by everyone
India are clubbed along with South Africa, West Indies and Pakistan apart from the minnows Ireland, Zimbabwe and United Arab Emirates. So, India are guaranteed a place in the Quarter-Finals courtesy the tournament’s format. If India manages to get the better of West Indies, Pakistan and sneak in to a narrow win against South Africa at Melbourne, India can top their group which will see the defending champions get an easier opponent in the team that finished last in the other group. If India manages to do well in the Quarters, Semis and Finals, India will be crowned as the Champions. All the teams crossing the group stage have this advantage. At the end, it all comes down to those three match days and a couple of match-winning performance by players for each match will seal the title for India in the World Cup.
Getting used to Alien Territory
India should not be strangers to the conditions
India are in Australia since the third week of November and played a four match Test series against the hosts followed by a triangular series against the hosts and England. So the team has spent over two months in Australia, who are the co-hosts for the ICC World Cup along with World Cup. Their long stay down under should have helped India to get familiar to those conditions which was hailed as aliens to Indian cricket Team. So unlike other teams, India don’t have issues in getting used to the conditions during the World Cup.
Known to win Big Matches
Indians always manages to do well in big matches
The core of this team has been India’s preferred line-up in ODIs since 2013 and they had done exceedingly well since then. This team sans the so-called seniors managed to win the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy in England, one of the venues which was not said as India’s cup of tea. Since then India are performing well in the limited overs format which includes series wins in West Indies and England. India also had some disastrous series in South Africa and New Zealand and are going into the World Cup without any confidence at the back of them following a 2-0 loss in the Test series and a disastrous ODI series where India will face England in a do-or-die match at Perth to qualify for the Finals. But, this won’t hamper the team’s performances in the World Cup as the current team knows how to deliver in big tournaments and the presence of Indian team’s director Ravi Shastri in the dressing room will provide India a positive atmosphere and much needed confidence throughout the tournament.
India’s Batting Might
Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli key to India’s chances
Even though the batsmen are not performing to their potential in the ongoing tri-series, but once they get their eyes in, any target will be achievable for the current set of batsmen. If the Indian openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan sets the right tone, the opposition is set for a nightmare on the field. Dhawan is currently the World number 6 in ODIs and his fellow opener Rohit Sharma is the only batsman in the World to have two double hundreds in ODIs which includes a 250+ score. India also has one of modern day’s genius batsman Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina and ever reliable MS Dhoni. Adding to these players, the likes of Ajinkya Rahane, Ambati Rayudu, Ravindra Jadeja will chip in with some crucial knocks. The only headache for the team management is the form of Shikhar Dhawan who is going through a pale patch ever since the tour started. Dhawan finding form will be a blessing in disguise for the Indian team going into the World Cup.