After India’s disappointing loss to South Africa in their group B match at Nagpur on March 12, questions have started rising whether India really has in it to win the World Cup 2011. Before the start of the WC 2011, the cricket fanatics in India and a section of the media undoubtedly labeled India as the biggest favorites to win the cup. In fact, there was a common assumption that only Dhoni’s men can win the cup.
But after India’s performance in the ongoing world cup and a shocking statistic which it gives rise to, one can conclude that India needs nothing short than a miracle to lift the cup. The shocking statistic is that India hasn’t beaten a single test-playing team (except Bangladesh) in a World Cup match since eight years! In other words, India hasn’t defeated a strong team in their last 10 WC matches! So can they still be called even near favorites to win the cup?
India’s last 10 performances in WC matches are as follows: -
- India v/s Kenya (2003 WC Semi Final at Durban) – India beat Kenya by 91 runs
- India v/s Australia (2003 WC Final at Johannesburg) – Australia beat India by 125 runs
- India v/s Bangladesh (2007 WC Group B match at Trinidad) – Bangladesh beat India by 5 wickets
- India v/s Bermuda (2007 WC Group B match at Trinidad) – India beat Bermuda by 257 runs
- India v/s Sri Lanka (2007 WC Group B match at Trinidad) – Sri Lanka beat India by 69 runs
- India v/s Bangladesh (2011 WC Group B match at Dhaka) – India beat Bangladesh by 87 runs
- India v/s England (2011 WC Group B match at Bangalore) – Match tied
- India v/s Ireland (2011 WC Group B match at Bangalore) – India beat Ireland by 5 wickets
- India v/s Netherlands (2011 WC Group B match at Delhi) – India beat Netherlands by 5 wickets
- India v/s South Africa (2011 WC Group B match at Nagpur) – South Africa beat India by 3 wickets
We can also say that in India’s last 6 games against test playing teams (including Bangladesh); India has managed to win just once and that too against Bangladesh! It was against New Zealand in the Super Six stage of 2003 WC that India last beat a strong team in a WC and that was on March 14, 2003 (exactly 8 years ago).
So, forget winning the World Cup, India first needs to beat a strong test playing team. And to win the cup, India needs to beat 4 strong teams in a row. But it looks like our captain cool Dhoni isn’t aware of this as he looks satisfied beating minnows. When it was pointed out to Dhoni that India struggled to beat a team like Netherlands, he said, “Look at the scorecard. It says India won by 5 wickets.” Such a huge achievement to beat Netherlands, Dhoni?
Will we be able to win the World Cup if we are just satisfied beating teams like Netherlands? Considering India hasn’t beaten a single strong team in their last 10 WC outings, will they be able to beat 4 in a row? It looks tougher than climbing Mount Everest especially with our bowling attack. Of course, being a strong Indian supporter, I will be highly glad if I am proved wrong by Dhoni’s men.