With a smashing 109 run win against Bangladesh, India have extended their winning run in the World Cup 2015 to 7 matches. The probability of facing arch rivals Pakistan looms large in the semifinals which could be a repeat of the 2011 World Cup. India as a team are looking like a force in themselves, with both the bowling and the batting units making their presence felt.
In this post, we look at 5 reasons why India are the hot favourites to lift the World Cup 2015:
1. Openers in form
The key to setting big scores or chasing is a solid start provided by the openers. The credit to India’s rise as a cricketing power on the field can be shared by its openers it has had over the ages. Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir have been responsible for being India’s batting mainstay for almost a decade and now with Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma coming to the party, India’s first roll of the dice looks to be a strong one.
2. Bowlers taking 10 wickets
India have set a record of sorts by bowling out the opposition for a 7th consecutive time. The Indian fast bowlers are now actually ‘feared’ by the opposing batsmen, which has been the biggest revelation. Pace and bounce are two things that people usually do not associate with Indian bowling and come this World Cup they are getting exactly that. Mohammed Shami till date is the highest wicket taker in the tournament with 17 wickets.
3. Key players raising their hands
The only weak link in the team till now was that of Ravindra Jadeja. After the Bangladesh match the man showed up with the bat and ball scoring a crucial 23* and he has a total of 9 wickets in the mega event. On the other hand, Ravichandran Ashwin has been responsible for keeping the run rate under check and is also the spinner with the maximum wickets in the tournament. The role of such players is very crucial to the team’s fortune and so far the fortunes have been shining.
Without any shadow of doubt the Indian skipper has been the stand out captain the World Cup 2015. Leaving aside his moves on the field, MS Dhoni has been responsible for the morale within the team ranks. It is quite evident from the players celebrating and backing each other in the field that all is in fact well in the Indian dressing room. To be successful in a lengthy tournament such as the World Cup where there are bound to be ups and downs, team spirit and morale are the two most vital factors.
5. Suresh Raina
Before the World Cup 2015 started Suresh Raina said that he would want to play the kind of role that Yuvraj Singh played in the 2011 edition. With crucial knocks against Pakistan, Zimbabwe and Bangladesh he has proved he can be the match winner that India was looking for. Not to forget that MS Dhoni has also relied on him to roll his arm over, which essentially fulfills the role of a batting all-rounder that India had in Yuvraj Singh.
The semi-finals beckon and irrespective of who India face, one just hopes that the Indian juggernaut continues.
By Ashirbad Hazarika