A Guide Of What To Expect This World Cup




World Cup 2011

World Cup 2011

It seems like only yesterday that the 100 day countdown to the World Cup began! Whether it is a brand of potato chips coming out with different flavors for different countries, magazines coming out with special World Cup editions or Dhoni coloured in body paint on billboards, the World Cup is upon us before we even realized it.

The World Cup returns to the sub-continent, its biggest fan base, after fifteen years and it promises to be one gala event. It will be the first World Cup that will be played after T20 exploded onto the international scene and after the goof-up in 2007, the success/failure of the World Cup 2011 will play a crucial role in deciding the survival/death of ODI Cricket.

Here’s a sneak peek at what to expect from the 49 matches to be played over the next 43 days spread across 13 venues.

1. Big Scores, Big targets:

With flat tracks, quick outfields and Powerplays of all kinds (mandatory, batting and bowling), the World Cup 2011 promises to be a batsman’s World Cup. Don’t be surprised to see a couple of scores above 400 and expect scores of over 300 to be chased down comfortably.

2. Even Bigger Sixes:

While the grounds have grown smaller over the years, the batsmen and their willows in particular have grown broader. Afridi, Gayle, Pathan and the like will be looking to be the biggest contributors to the ‘Boundaries for Books campaign’ to which Reliance Life Insurance which will contribute Rs.25,000 for every six hit during the tournament. This donation will be utilized for building libraries and donating books to the underprivileged children across India.

3. Part-Timers And Pinch Hitters:

With the batsmen seeking gold on the dead pitches, expect the Suresh Rainas and JP Duminys to pick up crucial wickets at regular intervals and be the game changers. Also with team trying to accelerate during the batting and bowling Powerplays, this World Cup may see the rebirth of the pinch-hitters. Incidentally the pinch-hitters were first used during the last World Cup held in the sub-continent in 1996.

4. Controversies:

A World Cup is never complete without a controversy. Whether it is the Duckworth Lewis rule in 1992, England and New Zealand refusing to travel to Zimbabwe and Kenya during 2003, or playing in pitch black darkness in 07’, the mega event has seen it all. With matches being played in Sri Lanka, where a storm is only a whistle away, and the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) being introduced for the first time in a World Cup, expect a controversy to be only a shower or appeal away.

Hosts India, along with the Proteas enter the tournament as firm favourites while Australia, who haven’t lost a World Cup game since 1999, carry the unfamiliar tag of ‘outsiders.’  England come into the event with half of their battalion nursing injuries while West Indies will be looking to regain some of their past glory. Pakistan’s habit of scripting dramatic comebacks cannot be discounted while Bangladesh will look to play party-poopers once again. The fact that I haven’t yet mentioned New Zealand, the semifinalists from four of the last five editions, shows how open the World Cup is going to be.

My personal picks for the four semifinalists would be India, Australia, Sri Lanka and – wait, hold your breath – Bangladesh. And if that were to happen, remember, you first read it here!

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Monish Menon

Author:

Hi, I am Monish Menon from Hyderabad and currently working at Franklin Templeton Investments as a Compliance Business Analyst. Sport has always been my passion since I was a kid and I invest all my non-existent free time by watching, playing, writing and analyzing various sporting events across the world. Apart from being a diehard Manchester United fan and a Ferrari supporter, I believe that Roger Federer is still the best tennis player and Sachin Tendulkar is God. I play club cricket and I also am a part of my organization’s cricket and football squad. Being such a sports fanatic, writing about it is something that came naturally to me and I am glad that I got an opportunity through thesportsmirror.com to share my thoughts with the rest of the world. For other articles written by me, you can visit my blog at www.monishmenon.wordpress.com

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