Posts Tagged ‘WORLD CUP’

The Champion Team - INDIA..

Winning the World Cup that not only every Indian player had seen, in fact it was the dream that every Indian had seen, and it is not a dream anymore but reality. Yes, India is now the World Champions. They defeated Sri Lanka by 6 wickets to win the final and the tournament.

What an effort this was, simply amazing. India in their last four matches beat every other world champion. They beat 2 time champion West Indies in their last league game, then 4 time champion Australia in the quarters, 92 winners Pakistan in the semis, and then the 96 winners in the finals. This world cup belonged to the subcontinent teams, as three teams finished in the top four, and two of them made it to the finals. This is the first time this has happened. In fact except for 1987, a subcontinent team has been in the world cup final since 1983.

Everyone before the tournament said that they wanted to win the cup for the special Sachin Tendulkar, and this was evident when after winning the players took Sachin on their shoulders for a victory lap. Everyone was emotional, right from Sachin to Sehwag to Harbhajan to Yuraj to Sreesanth as the tears of joy dripped from their eyes. But that was the moment these players, and even every Indian will never forget for their lives. On one side dreams were fulfilled, on the other side dreams broken. Muralidharan quit cricket on not that high as he would have loved to, and Jayawardhane’s century went in vain. This is the first time when a World Cup final centurion has ended on the losing side. 

With this win now MS Dhoni has become the only caption to have won almost every major tournament. He has taken India top of the ICC rankings in test matches, won the T20 world cup, the IPL, the champion’s league, and now the WORLD CUP.

Coming back to the match, it started with Sri Lanka batting first. The start that Indians got was fabulous, with Zaheer Khan bowling 3 maiden overs on the trot. But later Mahela Jayawardhane played an extra ordinary innings scoring a century and taking the total to a formidable 274. Yuvraj was once again the best bowler picking up 2 wickets. Zaheer bowled beautifully and picked up 2 wickets, but his figures were damaged in the last three overs when he gave 44 runs. Harbhajan Singh dismissed the dangerous Dilshan. Munaf was very economical, but the only disappointment in bowling was Sreesanth. Once again, he leaked runs in heaps. I really don’t know why he was included in the playing XI ahead of Ashwin. Overall the bowling was decent, but they way they leaked runs towards the end was horrifying. 275 looked a very tough target, especially when the pressure of chasing in the World Cup final. The best part of the day was the fielding of the team. They fielded like tigers, and stopped numerous runs. They way Yuvraj and Raina fielded was something beyond belief. Had it not been that standard of fielding and the opening spell of Zaheer the target to chase could have been way more than 300.

Nevertheless, India had to chase 275 to win, and all eyes were set on the explosive Sehwag and legend Sachin. And both disappointed, by getting out early as the score read 31 runs for the loss of 2 wickets. Really, I must say I had lost hope at that time. But it was then for, to step up and Gambhir played one of the finest innings under pressure. He eventually got out for 97, and missed on a very well deserved century. Kohli played a good knock of 35 runs. But it was Dhoni who played another great knock under pressure scoring an unbeaten 91 and Yuvraj finished the proceedings with an unbeaten 21. Must say, Dhoni was criticized all month long for his batting, and what a time he chose to rise to the occasion and silence all the critics. He won the man of the match for the effort, though I feel it should have been given to Gambhir. Yuvraj won the man of the tournament award, and then India picked up the trophy, to be crowned world champions.

But yes I would also like to mention the contribution of Indian coach Gary Kiersten here. He has been an inspiration, and has changed the belief of the side completely. Under him, the team has taken the no.1 spot in test matches, and now the World Cup. With this his tenure as a coach also ends, hopefully he will be back later to take the team to new heights.

This is probably the last world cup for Sachin Tendulkar, but I hope that the he plays in the next one as well (just being optimistic). Now with his biggest dream in his kitty, I hope he does not quit the game. The urge to win the World Cup made him perform better and better, I hope that after the win he should not quit and continue his game as his is in a dream form right now. I think he should not look to retire for at least the next two years if not till the next World Cup.

In the end all I can say is well done India and congratulations for the victory. Keep on going this way, 2015 is not far away.


India beat arch rivals Pakistan yesterday, to get into the final match of the biggest tournament in cricket. Now they will face Sri Lanka in the World Cup final on Saturday.

I wanted to write this post immediately after the match ended yesterday, but probably as the match ended being an Indian cricket fanatic, I was on cloud nine. And it has taken me almost half a day to get back to normal and write the post. I went to have ice cream late night after the match with my family. And that is time I realized that I am not the only cricket crazy person over here. There are many more cricket crazy people around. There were hundreds of bike riders, riding away to glory, carrying Indian flags, and chanting “India..India”. My grandmother was really amazed seeing such type of behavior and enthusiasm all around. I guess this is what an India-Pakistan match does to the country. When the match started the country had got to a halt, and then as the match ended everyone burst out of their homes in a joyful mood. I later too joined my friends late after midnight to celebrate the Indian victory. Probably this is the day I will not forget for a long time. In fact now I have planned for a bigger celebration if India wins the world cup final.

Now coming back to the match, I won’t say it was a one sided affair. But yes India did manage to win it convincingly in the end defeating Pakistan by a comfortable 29 runs. Though Pakistan had their moments and built up the enthusiasm right till the end. It started great for India as Sehwag got away to a flier, but once he left, it was probably more of a struggle to score runs. Sachin got as many as 6 lives in the match (he was dropped 4 times, a stumping was missed and an LBW decision was turned over by the review system). I don’t think that Sachin would have got these many chances in his complete career as well. However, this opportunity also did not help him scoring his 100th international hundred. But definitely his 85 run knock was the crucial point in India’s win. Gambhir did start well, but I guess he got flown away in emotions and almost threw his wicket. And then Kohli was scratchy, and got out at what can be called as a crucial stage, especially because the very next ball Yuvraj was dismissed to an almost unplayable delivery. Dhoni again was not at his best, but did try hard to help India recover from the two quick jolts. On the other hand Raina played well towards the end, which again raises a question to my mind as why wasn’t he played in the earlier matches of the tournament. Anyways India managed to score 260 runs, though which was too less compared to what everyone felt especially after the start the team had got. The scores dipped from a probable 330 to 300 to 280 and finally ended 260.

Then started the second session where India had to restrict Pakistan to less than 260. It looked a herculean task, because Pakistan bat very deep in the order, and India’s bowling has been a problem in the world cup. But since the last two matches India’s bowling and fielding has been improving by the rate of knots.

And once again when the fans were feeling low, Indian team picked themselves to just another level. Every bowler raised his game to the occasion. Though Zaheer was the most expensive of the lot, but he bowled in the situations of the match when the Pakistani players were trying to score hard, and his two crucial wickets were very important. Same is the case with Nehra and Munaf. Well everyone was shocked with their inclusion in the game, but they justified it very well. Both of them bowled their skins out and probably this has been their best effort in the tournament, I one must say what a time to get this. Harbhajan Singh has been a disappointment in the tournament especially since he has not been able to pick up wickets that were expected of him, but in this match he almost turned the game in India’s favor by picking two wickets of the most dangerous batsman and at crucial times. And now the recent batsman turned all-rounder Yuvraj, played his part as well. He was a little expensive but picked two important top order wickets which allowed every other bowler to build the pressure.

With this win, India have kept their World Cup unbeaten record against Pakistan intact. I guess everyone was confident, rather over confident of India’s win seeing the past history. But now I have understood why everyone felt that. Though as Shahid Afridi had said before the match that Pakistan would not allow Sachin to get to the magic figure, and yes they succeeded in that, but the 85 runs that Sachin did score proved a little too costly for the Pakistan team.

ll in all this was a great team effort. But the job is not over yet, India will face Sri Lanka in the finals. Sri Lankan batsmen have been on fire especially their top order, and their bowling is nowhere close to being a weak one. So this match is not going to be a close one.

Well the stage is set for the grand finale. And everything is falling into place. The match is in Sachin’s home, Mumbai. And what a time this will be for him to get to his 100th international hundred. World Cup finals, in India, and to top it all in Mumbai, in front of home crowd on home ground. What else can anybody dream of? If this hundred can lead to the World Cup win, I guess that moment Sachin will remember all his life.

But the task is not easy. Sri Lanka is team because of whom India had to see the end of their World Cup campaigns in 1996 and 2007. I guess this is right to avenge those losses. The team has been doing well, but I somehow still believe that Pathan should come into the side, in place of Kohli. Though I was unhappy that Ashwin was dropped for the side, but Nehra’s and Munaf’s will only add to the selection headache. But that is a nice thing to have I believe.
In the end I would like to congratulate India for this memorable victory, and also wish them all the best for the big match on Saturday.

It is now going to be a dream Wednesday next. An India Pakistan semi final in a tournament like world cup, how much more can any cricket fan ask for. And that too followed by an India Australia quarter finals. Amazing….

Finally India has shown why it is a top contender to pick up the trophy this time. The beat the last 3 time world champions Australia comprehensively. I do not think anyone expected India to pick up their game to such a high level today. I knew that it was very much possible for India to defeat Australia, but they had to play their best cricket for that. And India did exactly that!
Suddenly, the Indian team has risen up to every ones expectations, and almost has silenced all the criticism that the team was receiving in the last couple of weeks.

R Ashwin- bowled very well...

Today the bowling was good, disciplined, except Munaf Patel. And yes Harbhajan Singh was good but disappointing because he expected to pick up wickets and probably dismiss the top middle order for India. But again he has gone wicket less which has been disappointing. Zaheer was very good again, as usual. Ashwin was brilliant too, now this really confuses me why wasn’t he played earlier. And not to forget Yuvraj, the all rounder was amazing. He was very good with the ball again picking up 2 crucial wickets.

He crossed 18000 run mark

Now with the bat, I must say India played really well chasing. Both Sachin and Sehwag gave a decent start. Though I expected Sehwag to score a few more, and more quickly. Sachin was brilliant till he was dismissed. He scored a very important 50, also surprising the 18000 run mark in one day internationals. Gautam Gambhir played a very good knock, scored a 50 but then could not continue.  Then came Virat Kohli who got decent start but just threw it away and then MS Dhoni also got out leaving India 5 wickets down with over 70 runs to get. And then when everyone was losing hope Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina scripted a victory that Indians will remember for a very long time to run. Both these players played as if there was no tomorrow. To play Raina today was a masterstroke I must say. He played very sensibly and got India home at the end. India has lost wickets in heaps earlier, and today I realized the difference. It was Suresh Raina. The team needed a player like him, as been has been a finisher for the team over the past few years.

And now a talk on Yuvraj Singh. He has been brilliant in the series so far. He has emerged as the all rounder that the team has needed. Today also he played a match winning knock. And the form that he has shown, especially when his place in the playing XI before the start of the tournament was also on doubt is something explicable.  And yes let me acknowledge the team for the last part as well, the fielding department. Today India fielded very well, something one does not see every day.

And yes in the end I would like to point out the effort of Australian captain Ricky Ponting. he played an amzing innings under pressure, but lost to the young Indian exuberance. And suddenly the team that had not lost a single match in the last 2 World Cups, has lost 2 consecutive matches and is out of the tournament. It must have heart breaking for Ponting as this edition could have made him the first captain to win 3 consecutive World Cups. 

Now the world will look forward to the high profile match on Wednesday, 30th March 2011. The game between arch rivals India and Pakistan. Surprisingly Pakistan has been very good in the tournament so far and defeating them will not be easy for India. Though if I look at the World Cup history I would be very relaxed, because Pakistan has never been able to defeat India in World Cups.  But will this record remain intact after next week, I hope that happens. But one can never say anything as cricket is very unpredictable and is know that records break every now and then. And if Pakistan manage their first ever win against India, it will be the ideal situation to do so.

Suresh Raina - India's masterstroke in the game..

Now coming to India’s strategy for the next match. I believe they should drop Munaf Patel, he has been given an extended run. Maybe Sreesanth can come back in his place. That would get some fire back into the opening attack. The other change can be getting Yusuf back in place of Virat Kohli. Now that can be very harsh on Virat, but with Yuvraj in top form he can come in at no. 4 followed by Dhoni. Then I do not believe Virat is of any use at no. 6 or 7. That is the place where Pathan can come handy and can be very dangerous towards the end of the innings. And yes Pathan can be handy with the ball as well, though I am not really sure if that would help against Pakistan who play spin bowling well. But anyways these decisions are to be taken by the management.

Hopefully India will play some great cricket in the next match and move into the finals very easily. And yes not to forget 2 matches (semi-final and finals) left, the stage is set for Sachin to score his 100th international hundred, and then score his 50th one day hundred in the finals. Amazing way for Sachin to fulfil the dream of picking up the World Cup trophy.

In the end I would wish India all the best for the next match. Hopefully India will win!

The first stage of the event is over, and the second stage will start in 2 days from now. Unlike the previous three editions, this time the tournament is going the tournament is going to have three knock stages, which are the quarters, semis and lastly the grand finale. The schedule for the quarterfinals is as below: 

1 March 23, 2011 Pakistan v West Indies Dhaka
2 March 24, 2011 Australiav India Ahmedabad
3 March 25, 2011 South Africa v New Zealand Dhaka
4 March 26, 2011 Sri Lankav England Colombo

There are no surprises in the final eight teams that have come through. Although, Bangladesh did fight very hard to squeeze through, but could not make it in the end. Surprisingly, Australia has not topped its group; in fact it has ended the first stage at third position. And again surprisingly Pakistan has topped the group. No surprises on the other two teams in the group A to qualify. I had expected Sri Lanka to end second in the group, and New Zealand fourth or probably third, once they had defeated Pakistan, but it has not turned out that way in the end.

In group B, the matches have been very different than expected. However, there are no unexpected results there. The ranking I had thought initially has eventually happened, but the surprising thing is how it has happened. South Africa topped the group, India second, England third, followed by West Indies. However, I had given a chance to Bangladesh to make the cut; but unfortunately, they lost out on the net run rate.

Now if India can defeat Australia, it can well probably be an India-Pakistan, high profile semi-final clash. But India will have to defeat Australia; it looks very difficult, but possible. Hopefully that will happen.

In the end I would wish India all the best for the tournament ahead.

India defeat West Indies convincingly, and move through to the quarters. Though this is India’s first win against a big team in the group, but one has to also know that they have lost only one game in the tournament. Still why are questions being raised on the team?

Well the answer to this would be the fashion in which the wins have come. Against Bangladesh, India scored a mammoth 370 but still leaked over 280 runs. Next in line against England, India scored 338 runs, but still could not win the game; luckily they did not lose it. In the game against Ireland the bowlers again failed, except the part timer Yuvraj Singh, who saved the grace with his 5 wicket haul. Again while chasing India lost the top 4 wickets for less than 100 runs on the board. In the game against Netherlands finally the bowling did come good, but the top order batsman failed but yes the team managed to win. In the match against the South Africans, the top order fired, but the middle order failed, and the bowling also leaked runs, and lost the game in the last over. The worst part was India looks to reach 400 at one stage in that match, but failed to score 300 as well. In the match also the top order played well, while the middle and lower failed again. But the bowling was convincing today, and the team managed to win.

The weakness of the team cannot be really determined. Let me just summarize it over here:
Matches: 6
Won: 4
Lost: 1

  • Top order played well: 4/6 games
  • Middle and lower order played well: 2/6 games
  • Bowling was good: 2.5/6 games (0.5 because the bowling was not good against Ireland, but Yuvraj managed to save the grace)
  • India has batted first in 4 games, and has been all out in 3 of them, without completing the full quota. However, in each of these games there has at least been 1 centurion.
  • The worst part is in these three games, against England India have lost 7 wickets in the last 5 overs for just 33 runs. Against South Africa India lost 9 wickets in the last 11 overs for just 29 runs. And today India lost 7 wickets in the last 9 overs for just 50 runs. This is the worst part when the middle order has not only failed to capitalize on the start given by the top order, but has also thrown away many good chances.

But the main and the final thing is that India has made it to the top 8, and from here it will be a knock out stage. So they have to play really very well, if they want to have a chance of winning the world cup. And the kind of form India has shown so far, I definitely feel, India needs to buck up, if they want to win and go ahead.

In the end I would like to wish India all the best for its future matches. Hopefully they will not disappoint anymore.

Bangladesh defeat England with two wickets. What an amazing result, and this opens up the group B completely. Now England is in deep trouble. But I must say, I was expecting this result, in fact I had expected Bangladesh to defeat West Indies as well, but I was shocked to see them lose in such a one sided manner.

But it is really good to see them lift themselves up after a pathetic performance, and come up good. Though I must say that they had somewhat lost the plot in between, and it looked like it is going to be another Bangladesh middle order collapse, but their lower proved too good in these circumstances and brought them a well deserved victory.

On the other hand England has had 5 very, very close games. They won the first, probably because of the inexperience of Netherland team. The second was a tie against India, thanks to the late brilliance of Zaheer Khan. The third they lost to the spirited Ireland, and in the fourth they managed to snatch victory from South Africa’s mouth thanks to South Africa’s middle order collapse. And now against Bangladesh the lose again a close match, especially if one sees that they had Bangladesh 8 wickets down with still over 60 runs to get. Now they have their last match against West Indies which they have to win, or they will probably be out of the tournament. But if they look back at their tournament so far, they would realize that they have been consistently inconsistent. They have played out all close games, maybe only a difference f one over could have them at 5 losses or 5 wins, instead of their current 2 losses, 2 wins, and 1 tie.

I also wanted to mention about Ireland team here. Today again, they lost against West Indies fighting. They had their chances but just could not grab them due to their inexperience. That is why; I am feeling very sad for them, as they are probably out of the tournament now, only probably. But I must salute them for their courage and fighting spirit. They really have played well in the tournament. Now I feel had they been in group A, probably they could have made it to the next stage. After seeing their effort, I would like to request ICC to promote Ireland cricket more, they definitely need encouragement.

At the end, this result makes me happy because it somewhat consolidates the position of the Indian team at the top for some time. As it is known that higher you finish in the group the better it is and easier it might be in the quarter final stage.

Woh this was breath taking stuff.. The match between India and England ends in a tie. This is only the fourth ever tie in World Cup History. No winner, no looser amazing. Which team will be more disappointed in not winning the match? I guess both, but if you actually see, India has just thrown it away, by not winning this one.

It started of very well for India; they scored 338 which was a target that would have taken something to be chased down. But i am not sure if actually India would be happy with the score. India was past 300 in the 45th over with 7 wickets in hand, but still they managed only 338, losing 7 wickets in the last 25 balls. Though it must be said Sachin batted beautifully, getting up his 5th World Cup hundred, his 47th ODI, and his 98th International hundred. He was well supported by Gambhir and Yuvraj who scored half centuries each. But what cost India the win is that they did not play the complete quota of overs, got out with a ball to spare. And to top it when Zaheer got run out in as the last wicket trying to get a double, the run was called a short run, which meant a run wasted and so a wicket. I guess that run cost India the victory.

In the second half England started off well. I must say Strauss played one of the finest world cup innings to almost get his team home.  His knock of 158 will be regarded as one of the greatest in the history of world cup cricket. Just when they were cruising with 61 required of 54 balls to win, it was Zaheer’s spell which turned things around, he picked up 3 quick wickets, leaving India ahead. With 29 required of the last two over 3 wickets in hand, it looked as if India were to reach home finally. But they just threw it away and gave away 28 in 12 balls, to end this match in a tie. Now, should we call this as an escape for India, or should we call it a chance thrown away is something that I am confused of.

Another big concern is that the batsmen have played really well so far, but have the bowlers done that. Today the bowling was tested, and it almost failed. When the opposition is set a target of 339 to win, one expects a big victory, not a tie or a loss. I think India needs to pull their socks in this department or a world cup win will only be a dream. How long can one just rely on Sehwag and Sachin to fire? How many times will they be able to score 300 plus runs? And even if they do that what is the guarantee that the bowlers will bowl well. I really think India needs to reassess. They definitely have the strongest batting line up, but also one of the weakest bowling line ups. Today also except from that exceptional 3 over spell from Zaheer, the Indian bowling was nowhere close to a decent one, leave aside a good one. If it wasn’t that spell Zaheer, india would have lost the match badly. India really needs to work up this or they would be exploited badly in the later stages of the games. Do not forget that this time there are three knock out stages, and I am not really sure if the Indian bowlers are up for it.

In the end I hope that Indian team would definitely think about it, and also I would like to wish the team all the best for the coming matches. Also I would like to wish Sachin for another gem of an innings and how luckily it is not gone in vain. Hope they do not play any lack lustre cricket and come up victorious.

2011 Cricket World Cup Schedule

Posted: January 23, 2011 by Shishir Gupta in Cricket, India, WORLD CUP
Tags: , , ,

The stage has been set for the battle for the biggest title in cricket. The opportunity that comes only in four years, THE CRICKET WORLD CUP. As we near the start of the tournament, with just about  27 days to go, I thought of putting down the schedule of the tournament here on the blog, for everyones reference. The matches are going to be played in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, with the most prestigous match, the finals to be played in Mumbai, in India. The two groups are as follows:

Group A:
New Zealand
Sri Lanka

Group B:
South Africa
West Indies

The schedule of the tournament is as follows:


1 February 19, 2011 India v Bangladesh Dhaka
2 February 20, 2011 New Zealand v Kenya Chennai
3 February 21, 2011 Australia v Zimbabwe Ahmedabad
4 February 20, 2011 Sri Lanka v Canada Hambantota
5 February 22, 2011 England v The Netherlands Nagpur
6 February 23, 2011 Pakistan v Kenya Hambantota
7 February 24, 2011 South Africa v West Indies New Delhi
8 February 25, 2011 Bangladesh v Ireland Dhaka
9 February 25, 2011 Australia v New Zealand Nagpur
10 February 26, 2011 Pakistan v Sri Lanka Colombo
11 February 27, 2011 India v England Kolkata
12 February 28, 2011 Zimbabwe v Canada Nagpur
13 February 28, 2011 West Indies v The Netherlands New Delhi
14 March 1, 2011 Sri Lanka v Kenya Colombo
15 March 2, 2011 England v Ireland Bengaluru
16 March 3, 2011 South Africa v The Netherlands Mohali
17 March 3, 2011 Pakistan v Canada Colombo
18 March 4, 2011 Bangladesh v West Indies Dhaka
19 March 4, 2011 New Zealand v Zimbabwe Ahmedabad
20 March 5, 2011 Australia v Sri Lanka Colombo
21 March 6, 2011 South Africa v England Chennai
22 March 6, 2011 India v Ireland Bengaluru
23 March 7, 2011 Canada v Kenya New Delhi
24 March 8, 2011 Pakistan v New Zealand Kandy
25 March 9, 2011 India v The Netherlands New Delhi
26 March 10, 2011 Sri Lanka v Zimbabwe Kandy
27 March 11, 2011 West Indies v Ireland Mohali
28 March 11, 2011 Bangladesh v England Chittagong
29 March 12, 2011 India v South Africa Nagpur
30 March 13, 2011 New Zealand v Canada Mumbai
31 March 13, 2011 Australia v Kenya Bengaluru
32 March 14, 2011 Bangladesh v The Netherlands Chittagong
33 March 14, 2011 Pakistan v Zimbabwe Kandy
34 March 15, 2011 South Africa v Ireland Kolkata
35 March 16, 2011 Australia v Canada Bengaluru
36 March 17, 2011 England v West Indies Chennai
37 March 18, 2011 The Netherlands v Ireland Kolkata
38 March 18, 2011 New Zealand v Sri Lanka Mumbai
39 March 19, 2011 Bangladesh v South Africa Dhaka
40 March 19, 2011 Australia v Pakistan Colombo
41 March 20, 2011 Zimbabwe v Kenya Kolkata
42 March 20, 2011 India v West Indies Chennai
43 March 23, 2011 Quarter Final 1: A1 v B4 Dhaka
44 March 24, 2011 Quarter Final 2: A2 v B3 Ahmedabad
45 March 25, 2011 Quarter Final 3: A3 v B2 Dhaka
46 March 26, 2011 Quarter Final 4: A4 v B1 Colombo
47 March 29, 2011 Semi Final 1: QF 1 winner v QF 3 winner Colombo
48 March 30, 2011 Semi Final 2: QF 2 winner v QF 4 winner Mohali
49 April 2, 2011 Finals Mumbai

In the end I would like to wish the Indian Cricket team the best for the tournament, and hopefully the team will be able to reapeat what it had done 28 years ago, and make everyone proud. ALL THE BEST!

The T20 World Cup has ended and I must say England deserved to lift the trophy. They have never won a major trophy as yet, and so this victory will be something very special for them. Although one should spare a thought for Australia as they were undefeated in the tournament until the final, and not only undefeated they had played some great cricket till the final. The feeling of the only defeat coming in the tournament was in the final must have been a heart breaking one for them. They were completely outplayed by England on that day.

Australia entered the finals as an undefeated side. Though England did get a scare in the initial group stage when they came close to elimination, as they lost their first match to West Indies and drew the second match thanks to the rain (well they had not scored much in the first innings and could have easily lost the match to Ireland had it not been the rain). Though they also lost the first match due to the rain. They then won all there three super 8 matches to reach the semi-final stage.

They had a good team and it clicked together when they needed to do it the most. Pietersen has been their star player in the semi-finals and the finals. I must say it again that they really deserved to lift the trophy, something that has eluded them since they started to play cricket.

India did disappoint in the tournament but honestly I knew somewhere at the back of the heart that they could not win this. But having seen Pakistan make it to semis and India also were in a similar situation, I feel India had a chance if they had played a little better as they lost all the super eight matches, the last two being close finishes. India won only against Afghanistan and South Africa.

One good thing that happened this time around was that all the major teams made it to the next round, something that had not happened in the last two seasons.

The Final standings of the tournament are:
1. England – champions
2. Australia – runners up
3. Sri Lanka
4. Pakistan
5. New Zealand
6. South Africa
7. West Indies
8. India
9. Bangladesh
10. Zimbabwe
11. Afghanistan
12. Ireland

Coming towards the end I would like to congratulate the England team from my side for the great moment of glory. I hope the Indian team will rise to the occasion next time around. Although they might get a tough draw next time maybe grouped with champions England and Bangladesh, but I hope they will prove why they where the champions in the first edition. Also this time there is going to be the 50 over World Cup before the next T20 world Cup. Hopefully India will do much better there.

Well after the dream start the Indian team had in this tournament by winning the first game very comprehensively, India were defeated by Australia in their very next game with a 5-2 scoreline. The game started with great attacking tactics from the Australian side. They looked as if they were out on a mission here.

The Indian team started on a sad note with the forward Shivendra who had opened the account for the team in the last game getting banned for 3 matches on the charges of physical assault. For India Vikram Pillay scored the goal just before the end of the first half, but it was a bit too late as the Australians already had scored three goals by then. In fact within the fisrt seven minutes of the game the Austarlian team had struck twice. The first half ended at the score of 3-1 in the favour of the Australian team.

In the second half the Indian team tried to counter attack, but ended up giving away two more goals within the first 9 minutes of the second half as well. At the 43rd minute in the match the score read 5-1 in the favour of Australia. By then almost everyone had started to realize who the eventual winner is going to be in the match. The Indian captain scored the second goal for the team to somewhat reduce the goal difference but could not save the match and the match ended at the score of 5-2. This loss also means that now India slip down to the fourth place in the table, and with only top two teams to qualify for the next round it looks a very tough road ahead for the team now.

Few disappointments in the game were that India just gave away their only television referral in the 7th minute of the match. Also Sandeep Singh got 2 chances to score in a penalty corner but could not score in either of them. Well all this happens in the game, I and hope that the Indian team will a learn a lot from this match and come out much better prepared for the next encounter when they face Spain on 4th of March, two days from now.

In the end I hope that India will give their best performance in the upcoming matches and make the country proud. I end with wishing them all the luck for the coming matches in the tournament.


Team              Pts Pld W D L GF GA GD
 England              6      2   1  0 0   9    6     3
 Australia             3      2   1  0 1   7    5     2
 Spain                  3      2   1  0 1   5    4     1
 India                   3      2   1  0 1   6    6    0
 Pakistan              3      2   1  0 1   3    5   -1
 South Africa         0      2   0  0 2   6   10  -2

India started the World Cup with a bang, defeating arch rivals Pakistan 4-1 in the opener. India went on the atack from the word go. It was a great team work, and it looked like that the team was out there to prove to everyone and make them realize what the countries national game is.

For India Shivendra scored the first goal from a deflection on a penalty corner in the 27th minute. Sandeep Singh then extended the lead with his drag flick in a penalty corner in the 35th minute, to end the first half 2-0. Later just a couple of minutes into the second half Prabhjot scored the third goal in the 37th minute. Then again the champion drag flicker  Sandeep Singh was in action again scoring in a penalty corner in the 56th minute. A couple of minutes later Pakistan drag flicker Sohail decreased the lead by scoring the first goal for his team in the 59th minute. Last ten minutes did not see any goal and the match ended at 4-1 in favour of India.

Earlier in the day Spain defeated South Africa 4-2 and England defeated Australia 3-2. I would just say, way to go India. I always believed we had a very good hockey team, whatever be the olympics fiasco, and finally they have proved it by convincingly winning over Pakistan. Although these are just early days, I wish the team best of luck for the tournament.


Team              Pts Pld W D L GF GA GD
 India                   3      1   1  0 0   4    1    3
 Spain                  3      1   1  0 0   4    2     2
 England              3      1   1  0 0   3    2     1
 Australia             0      1   0  0 1   2    3   -1
 South Africa         0      1   0  0 1   2    4   -2
 Pakistan              0      1   0  0 1   1    4   -3