The Common Man Speaks


Hardik Pandya comments: We are channelizing our anger in the wrong direction

Let me get this straight. The motto of this article is not to defend Hardik Pandya or the comments made by him on Koffee With Karan. I personally found them not only disgusting but also worrying; thinking how many more people would be out there with such cheap mindset towards women.

But there are few things that I find too weird, which hardly have been pointed out ever since the controversy erupted.

1. K L Rahul is needlessly punished for no fault of his. It was Pandya who made all the misogynistic comments on the show. Rahul is no way responsible for what his partner on the show said. On a lighter note, he has become the Fardeen Khan of No Entry (2005).

2. If it is bad to make such comments, it should also be equally offensive to laugh and enjoy them. This is exactly what Karan Johar did as a host. But nobody is lashing out against him. How enjoying such comments is not offensive but just being a co-guest is?

3. Most importantly, some of our politicians and people from the government have openly verbally attacked women through the most disgusting statements you can come across. However, they are spared of such 24/7 hatred and innumerable articles.

Hardik Pandya on Koffee With Karan episode

Actually, they should receive more backslash since they have been given the responsibility to govern and protect us. How people don’t get so offended or worried when an elected representative makes such statements is beyond me.

Have a look at the following statements and decide for yourself:

“I am also a goonda. I will shoot you guys if a Trinamool Congress worker is ever attacked. If you have the guts, then stop me. If you insult the mothers and daughters of Trinamool workers, I won't spare you. I will let loose my boys in your homes and they will commit rape.” – TMC leader Tapas Pal slamming the CPI.

“If they (girls) want freedom, why don’t they just roam around naked?” – Haryana Chief Minister from BJP Manohar Lal Khattar

“Boys are boys. Mistakes happen.” – Samajwadi Party Chief Mulayam Singh Yadav on increasing number of rapes

“She is 100% ‘tunch maal.’” – Congress leader Digvijay Singh on a female party member

“Have you ever seen a girlfriend worth Rs 50 crore?”- India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi while describing the late Sunanda Pushkar

“These days it has become a fashion to have a girlfriend or boyfriend. A girl should go out only with her brother or husband.” – Samajwadi Party leader Abu Azmi  

Ask yourself, was there even 20% of outrage for any of these comments like it has been for Pandya’s? Are a cricketer's comments more worrying or the ones made by people who are responsible for women safety?

By: Keyur Seta


Sachin Tendulkar the bowler: 8 best bowling performances

Sachin Tendulkar, as we all know, is the greatest batsmen of our times. So, obviously, there have been innumerable articles written on his great performances with the bat. However, the Master Blaster’s contribution to the Indian team isn’t limited to his batting. He has a list of good bowling performances, about which nothing much is spoken.

Sachin Tendulkar bowling

Tendulkar has had two 5 wicket and two 4 wicket hauls along with a number of other useful spells. He has 46 test and 154 ODI wickets to his credit (along with one T20 wicket). To achieve this while consistently performing with the bat is a huge achievement. In fact, I seriously feel he was grossly underbowled in his career.

As Tendulkar’s 45th birthday is almost here, let’s have a look at some of his finest bowling performances (listed chronologically).

4 for 34 vs West Indies at Sharjah in 1991

This was Tendulkar’s first triumph with the ball which is his least known bowling achievement. India fielded first and Mohammad Azharuddin brought him first change, even ahead of full-fledged bowlers like Anil Kumble and Venkatapathy Raju. The gamble paid huge dividends as Tendulkar singlehandedly broke the morale of West Indies batsmen. They were all out for just 145 and India won comprehensively. (No video of this match is available)

Final over in the Hero Cup Semi Final at Kolkata in 1993

Tendulkar didn't take any wickets in this match and bowled only one over. Yet this match is still known for his bowling performance. He showed immense courage to ask for the ball when South Africa needed 6 runs off 6 balls and won the match for India. This one over turned out to be one of most memorable moments in India's cricket history.

3 for 36 vs West Indies at Chennai in 1994

Tendulkar repeated what he did to the West Indies in 1991. They were going all guns blazing with Brian Lara and Carl Hooper putting in more than 100 runs for the third wicket. Once again Azaharuddin threw the ball to Tendulkar and he responded yet again by getting the great Lara out. He then got Jimmy Adams and Sherwin Campbell too. After being 176 for 2, the West Indians were bowled out for 221. India won by four wickets. (No video of this match is available)

5 for 32 vs Australia in 1998

It is rare to see a legendary batsman taking a 5 wicket haul and that too against a strong opposition. Tendulkar didn't do much with the bat in this match. But he more than made up for it by making some fine Australian batsmen victims of his quality leg spin and googlies. The turn he got to dismiss Tom Moody was exemplary. It was after this match that people started taking him seriously as a bowler.

4 for 38 vs Australia at Dhaka in 1998

Surprisingly, not much is spoken about Tendulkar's huge contribution in this knock out match in the first edition of ICC Champions Trophy (also known as Mini World Cup then). Once again, Australians looked set to achieve a big score set by India when the Master Blaster unsettled them with 4 important wickets.

Tendulkar also scored a quality 100 in the match and rescued India when they were in trouble at 8 for 2. This was one of the finest all round performances in ODIs.

3 for 10 vs South Africa at Mumbai in 2000

This is yet another bowling achievement by Tendulkar which hardly received fame. In this test match, South Africans were cruising towards India’s score of 225 as they were 90 for 0. As all frontline bowlers weren’t able to take a wicket, captain Sachin brought himself on and he got three quick wickets for just 10 runs. He had also scored 97 with the bat. India lost the match but they were back in the game because of Sachin’s spell.

3 for 31 vs Australia at Kolkata in 2001

This match is famous for V V S Laxman and Rahul Dravid's out-of-the-world batting display. They brought India back when an innings defeat looked imminent. But Tendulkar's 3 quick wickets at the end played a big role in ensuring India's win. His googly to get the legendary leg spinner Shane Warne out deserves special mention.

5 for 50 vs Pakistan in 2005

This was yet another match where Tendulkar couldn’t do much with the bat but still emerged victorious by taking another five wicket haul. Interestingly, this was another fifer at the same Kochi ground. He destroyed the Pakistani middle order with his leg spinners and occasional medium pace and ensured an easy victory for India. However, we have to admit that he was helped by some bad shots by the batsmen.

Honorary mentions: Tendulkar’s googly to get out Moin Khan in the 2004 Multan Test and his medium fast to clean bowl Brian Lara in the Hero Cup Final in 1993.

By: Keyur Seta


South Africa won this world series but hardly anyone remembers

(This is the 2nd episode in my 'Forgotten Cricket Moments' series. For the 1st episode, click HERE.)

In the ongoing ICC Champions Trophy, India comprehensively defeated South Africa today in a do-or-die encounter at the Oval, London. It can also be said that South Africans once again lived up to their nickname – chokers.

The team has been consistently falling apart in crunch games in world series since 1996 Quarterfinal loss against West Indies (I don’t blame them for the 1992 World Cup Semi-Final defeat). Following this, three or four generations have continued the tradition of succumbing in big games in ICC tournaments.

With today’s loss, South Africa has failed to reach another final of a world series. At least, this is the general belief.

Now, what if I tell you that South Africa has not only been in the final of a world series but also won the trophy? No, I am not talking about the triumph of its Under 19 or Under 15 team, but the proper men’s team.

South Africa’s first achievement in that series was that it reached its first final by defeating Sri Lanka in the Semi Final by 92 runs (Duckworth-Lewis [D/L] method).

South Africa cricket logoThe final between SA and West Indies was truly exciting. Batting first, West Indies were all out for 245 with three balls to spare. At one point, they were on their way to go past 300. They were helped by Philo Wallace’s 103 off just 102 balls with 11 fours and five sixes. But Jacques Kallis had other plans with the ball. He finished with outstanding figures of 5 for 30.

The South African openers started off well with a 54 run stand. But the team kept losing wickets and were 137 for 5 when Jonty Rhodes was sent packing. It seemed they are all set to succumb once again. But this is when the late Hansie Cronje, their captain, took matters in his own hands.

He had two crucial partnerships with Dale Benkenstein and Derek Crookes. South Africa was eventually home by six wickets and three overs to spare. Cronje was unbeaten with a responsible and brave 61, which had four fours. But it was Kallis who was declared the Man of The Match as well as the Man of The Series.

The ICC Champions Trophy started out in 1998 as ICC Knockout and the series was called Wills International Cup. As per the name, it was a knockout series participated by all test playing nations; nine at that time.

This was the world series that South Africa won. But, unfortunately, very few of us remember.

Of course, there is no denying that it is weird to see South Africa faltering so very often in crunch games in world series. But it is certainly wrong to say that they have never won any.

See the scorecard of the match HERE.

By: Keyur Seta


Review: Sachin – A Billion Dreams

Documentaries are considered boring by the masses, at least in India. But Brahmanand S Siingh’s Pancham Unmixed, a documentary on the legendary music composer R D Burman, proved that even documentaries can be entertaining. Sachin – A Billion Dreams is the latest film in the genre to make us think this way.

Directed by James Erskine, the film tells the journey of India’s legendary cricketer, Sachin Tendulkar. Not many would know that he was a mischievous kid. But there was this purity and passion in him that stood out. Sachin was 10 years old when India won the 1983 World Cup. This was the incident that made him realize his dream of winning the World Cup for India.

Sachin took cricket seriously at the age of 11 when he started learning under coach Ramakant Acharekar. It was his elder brother Ajit who saw the potential in him and took him to Acharekar. His international career starts off as a 16-year-old youngster in November 1989 and ends 24 years later in November 2013. He retires with the satisfaction of having won the World Cup for India in 2011.

It is refreshing to see a documentary giving high importance to storytelling. The writers (Erskine and Sivakumar Ananth) have followed a feature film-like technique when it comes to adding drama and emotions. Some important events from Sachin’s life have stood out well. The incidents like his debut match, father’s demise, 2011 World Cup victory and the retirement speech deserve special mention. These moments don’t make us feel as if we are watching a documentary.

However, having witnessed Sachin’s career from close quarters, it is puzzling why these important milestones were kept away:

- The first test century holds a high place for any batsman. But Sachin’s first test hundred against England at Manchester in 1990 (also the first of his life) is not celebrated in the film like his other achievements. It was a heroic effort by the then 17-year-old to save the match for his team and remain unbeaten at 119.

- His first one-day international century (110 against Australia at Colombo, Sri Lanka in 1994) also finds no place. Sachin is known the most for his centuries in ODIs. So, what was the reason for not including his first hundred in this format?

- One of the most celebrated moments in Sachin’s career was when he won the match against South Africa in the Hero Cup as a bowler. The opposition team needed just six runs from the last over. Sachin surprised everyone by volunteering to bowl and saw India home in one of the most incredible victories at the Eden Gardens.

But the biggest downfall of Sachin – A Billion Dreams is that it hardly shows things that are not known to his fans. Those who have been following him since his early days would already know almost everything that the film features. And in today’s digital age, you can find hundreds of his interviews on the internet where he has spoken about his life.

I also wonder why Sachin and it makers have refrained from mentioning that the film is a documentary in the various promotional events. They have always maintained that it's either a film or movie.

Overall: Sachin – A Billion Dreams is an entertaining celebration of the Master Blaster. However, it is meant only for his die-hard fans.

Rating: 3/5

Review by: Keyur Seta

Director: James Erskine

Producers: 200 Not Out Productions and Carnival Motion Pictures

Writers: James Erskine and Sivakumar Ananth


IPL v/s Humanity: Which side are you on? Question goes out to Sachin Tendulkar as well

By: Keyur Seta

There is a huge amount of buzz around the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL), but for the wrong reasons. When the state of Maharashtra is reeling under extreme drought, the chaps running the IPL are eager to spend lakhs of liters of water in the three venues in the state – Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur – for the celebrated cricket tournament.

There have been debates and arguments regarding the same on TV news shows and among the general public. However, I feel the fact that we have debates around this is in itself an unfortunate situation. As far as I am concerned, the matter is simple – you don’t even need to be semi-intelligent or semi-literate to understand that spending such unthinkable amount of water when lakhs in the state have no water for utterly basic use is madness, to say the least.



I have a simple question for those who are taking a shocking stand of supporting IPL matches in Maharashtra – Can you live without water even for a day without using it even for your very basic needs? Well, people from Marathwada, Vidharbha and other regions have been doing that since months.

To support spending lakhs of liters of water for enjoyment in such a scenario, you either need to be utterly dumb or inhuman; maybe both.

The Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Devendra Fadnavis, too has disappointed as far as this issue is concerned. Being the most powerful person in the state, one would at least expect him to take a tough stand and stop the madness. However, this doesn’t come as a surprise. Last year, Maharashtra Government released (read wasted) thousands of liters of water during Nashik’s Maha Kumbh for shahi snaan when people just some distance away were reeling under drought.

The entire situation also brings to light the double standards and fearlessness of the legendary ex-cricketer, Sachin Tendulkar. Few years back, he used to appear in BMC’s Save Water campaign urging people to save water. The ad also showed him stopping a waiter from filling his glass of water to the brim because he needed just half. Sachin has also been supporting rain water harvesting since, as he had said, he is concerned about the issue.

Well, so where is your concern and support when the state needs it the most? You are literally worshipped by the people of India (including Maharashtra). So, when they are facing such enormous crisis, the least you could do is offer some verbal support. But leave alone that, Sachin has not even tweeted about the issue.

On the other hand, he has all the time in the world to wish Geeta Basra (Harbhajan Singh’s then girlfriend and now wife) on Twitter for her B-grade film, Second Hand Husband.

If you are in favour of IPL being played in the three venues across Maharashtra, it automatically means you are against humanity.


Prediction: Who will win the World T20 2016?

By: Keyur Seta

The most interesting feature about the ongoing World T20 2016 or the T20 World Cup is that it is extremely difficult to predict a winner. Especially after New Zealand’s victory over India and Australia and England’s near-miracle chase of 230 against South Africa, it looks like anybody’s tournament.

However, I would still like to go ahead and offer a prediction. I strongly feel that South Africa is the strong favorite to win this World Cup. I know some of you might give daily soap reactions to this after their defeat against England, not-so-convincing win against Afghanistan and their history of being ‘chokers’. Some ultra-nationalists might even label me ‘anti-national’.

But do have a look at the reasons below:-

Picture: Wikipedia

Picture: Wikipedia

Batting line-up: South Africa might have lost yesterday’s match but we can’t ignore the fact that they scored as many as 229 runs in 20 overs. This was possible due to their long and dangerous batting line-up that fired in a key match. When you have Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock, AB De Villiers, Faf du Plessis and David Miller as your top five and that too in good form, the opposition is set to experience a nightmare. Although ABD didn’t score well yesterday, his greatness needs no proof.

Bowling line-up: Things can go terribly wrong in a high-scoring T20 match on a flat wicket and I feel that is exactly what happened with South Africa against England and, to some extent, Afghanistan. I don’t expect an impressive bowling line-up of Dale Steyn, Kagiso Rabada and Kyle Abott to falter regularly. But the trump card for the Proteas, especially on Indian pitches, is Imran Tahir. The leg-spinner’s outstanding bowling figures of 4-0-28-1 went unnoticed with the focus being on England’s victory. Plus, they have the likes of Duminy as well who can be more than useful in Indian conditions.

Experience in India: This is a big reason for me considering SA as the favorite. Players with experience in Indian conditions and on Indian pitches always have an upper hand in such world tournaments. In the case of the Proteas, almost every player from their team has played regularly in India, either during tours or the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Venue Factor: We shouldn’t forget that SA has played both its matches on a super flat Wankhede wicket, which is not going to be the case with the rest of their matches. If there is some assistance for either pacers or spinners, this team will look dangerous. This might well be case of them striking when it matters the most.


Other favorites:

New Zealand: The Kiwis have proved in their first two matches that they are strong contenders to win the World T20. Beating teams like India and Australia is a mammoth achievement indeed. But when it comes to winning big crunch matches, they have mostly faltered in the past; not to forget their abysmal performance in the 2015 World Cup Final.

Australia: Despite losing their very first match in the World T20, the Aussies, in my opinion, are still the top three favorites to lift the trophy. Their team is full of T20 specialists, who can turn the match on their day. It’s just that their recent lack of form (losing 3-0 against India in their backyard) that can keep them away from final glory. Just today, they had a tough time even against Bangladesh. But if they do manage to reach the semi-finals, it would be difficult to stop them from laying their hands on the coveted trophy.


What about India?

The top three favorites (as mentioned above) can prove to be too much for Team India. Although they have made amends for their humiliating defeat against New Zealand by beating Pakistan handsomely, I still don’t feel they are good enough to be the world champions. Their chances depend a lot on how they perform against Australia on March 27 at Mohali.

P.S:– Needless to say, I would love to be proved wrong.


Forgotten Cricket Moments: When Zim sent Pak into panic mode

(This is the 1st episode of the section ‘Forgotten Cricket Moments’. As per the name, FCM will feature interesting cricket moments that are forgotten over the years.)

By: Keyur Seta

Sharjah hosted the most number of One-Day Cricket series in the 80s and 90s. The venue has seen some exciting moments. Two most memorable ones include Javed Miandad’s 6 off the last ball of Chetan Sharma in the 1986 Austral-Asia Cup Final and Sachin Tendulkar’s birthday special innings in 1998 against Australia in the Coca-Cola Cup final.

Like many other triangular series at this venue, there was one between Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Zimbabwe in 1997 called Singer-Akai Cup. This post features a round robin league match from the series between Pakistan and Zimbabwe. It was a match where Zimbabwe scared the daylights out of Pakistan in a manner no one could have imagined; not even Zimbabwean players.

Moin Khan (Picture:

Moin Khan (Picture:

With the likes of Wasim Akram, Inzamam-Ul-Haq, Saleem Malik, Ijaz Ahmed, Saqlain Mushtaq, Shahid Afridi, Waqar Younis and Mushtaq Ahmed in their team, the match pretty much looked like a ‘no contest’. But it wasn’t to be. That’s the beauty of the game and this venue. By the way, there were no floodlights in Sharjah then and all day matches were played in white clothes.

Pakistan won the toss, chose to bat and immediately started losing wickets. After losing 2 wickets at the score of 34, the veteran Saleem Malik was sent packing for a duck! Then Inzi succumbed to a run-out, one of his favorite methods of returning back to the pavilion. But even at this stage, it didn’t look so bad for Pakistan. A lot of times teams had managed to fight back against Zimbabwe after a poor start. Plus, Pakistan had a long batting line-up.

Unfortunately for them, this didn’t turn out to be a routine bad start against Zimbabwe. Wickets kept tumbling and the scoreboard soon read 51 for 7!!! Nobody was able to believe their eyes. I remember even the commentators, who weren’t expecting much from the match, were at a loss of words. Since it was an unimportant match, very few people, including my cricket-crazy friends, had tuned in. They missed a lot.

So, what was in store for Pakistan after being 51 for 7 and that too inside 20 overs? Batting out the 50 overs looked impossible from now on. But they managed to do something that looked like more than impossible at this stage. What if I told you they not only batted the full 50 overs but also managed to win the match in such a situation? Yes, that’s what eventually happened.

It all happened due to the wicket-keeper batsman Moin Khan. As they say, Cometh the hour, cometh the man. As per his fond habit, he bailed out his team from the deepest hole possible. He batted sensibly and fortunately found some great support from Saqlain at the other hand. Moin scored a heroic 61 off 97 balls with just one four and one six. It was sheer hard work. Saqlain, on the other hand, faced 81 balls for his 20. This is very slow even by the test cricket standards today!

Pakistan went on to score 151 for 9; a score that looked like almost a miracle after being 51 for 7. But one still expected the Zimbabwean team of that era to chase down the score. Sadly, they never looked like doing so. Pakistan’s deadly bowling attack was too much for them. They kept losing wickets in such a way that only four batsmen managed to reach double score. They were eventually bowled out for just 119 in 40.1 overs.

In this way, an inconsequential match turned out to be super interesting. Pakistan was expected to win but I am sure nobody would have predicted such turn out events.

See the full scorecard of the match HERE.

Sharjah Cricket Stadium. (Picture:

Sharjah Cricket Stadium. (Picture:


World Cup Final 2015: Will New Zealand thump Australia?

By: Keyur Seta

There is high excitement for tomorrow’s World Cup 2015 Final between Australia and New Zealand at Melbourne. From reading various social media posts, we can ascertain that the scenes are similar all over the world; in India too despite their team being knocked out of the competition in the Semi-Final. The reason for such eager anticipation is not limited to the fact that it is the final match of World Cup.

What has caught cricket lovers’ frenzy is that it will be played between two completely evenly matched sides. Of course, if you look at the overall record of both the teams, Australia has had the upper hand over New Zealand. But it is the current form that matters the most in such big matches and going by that, there is really not much to choose between both the sides.

Martin Guptill (Picture:

Martin Guptill (Picture:

One can argue that New Zealand has the upper hand as they haven’t lost a single match in the WC and Australia having lost one and that too against them. New Zealand did win the match but it lost 9 wickets in the process of scoring just 153 runs. On the other hand, although Australia lost the match, it managed to almost win. Hence, both sides are terribly evenly matched!

With these two teams entering the finals, it has also become one of the rare cases where two most deserving sides are playing for the title. There have been quite a few cases in the previous World Cups where teams not doing too well managed to reach the final while the ones deserving failed to do so by faltering in the knockout match.

For example, Australia and Pakistan in 1999 and Pakistan in 1992 didn’t have close to a flawless run but still managed to reach the final. Similarly, South Africa in 1996 won all their league stage matches and looked to be the strongest team but it lost against the West Indies in the Quarter Final.

But having said all this, I personally feel Australia has the edge over New Zealand due to a number of reasons. Firstly, this is Australia’s seventh final. Although none of their players have played a WC final before, they have been through the feeling of their country playing for the highest honor. On the other hand, this is New Zealand’s first one.

But more than this, what can affect NZ is that they have played all their 2015 WC matches at home. So, they are playing for the first time away from home and that too in the all-important WC final.

These are, however, not major issues for NZ. If they make sure they are not affected by the huge occasion mentally, we might have a cracker of a game that goes right down to the wire (excuse me for the Shastrism). If that happens, it might be the closest World Cup Final ever.

But as far as India is concerned, the country is BLEEDING BLACK this time!


India v/s Australia World Cup 2015 Semi Final: History in the making?

By: Keyur Seta

India is all set to clash against Australia in the Semi-Final of the 2015 World Cup at Sydney on March 26. This will be India’s toughest match not just in this World Cup but also one of the toughest matches it has ever played. This has more to do with the kind of opposition they are pitted against instead of the fact that it is a Knock Out match.

One might argue that India is unbeaten in this World Cup while Australia has been beaten once in the league stage by New Zealand. But it is the current situation that determines the chances of any team. No doubt India has played tremendously well in the series but one mustn’t forget how the Aussies have peaked to some super form right when it matters the most.



Going by the way they have played in the latter half of the tournament, they are going all guns blazing and look unstoppable. Off late, their long batting line up is proving to be lethal and the same can be said about their bowling. Meanwhile, India hasn’t faced such a side in the series so far. Hence, my prediction is that Australia will beat India and reach the World Cup 2015 Final.

But not many people are aware that apart from a place in the Final, Australia will achieve something historic if it beats India in this match. This is how it is – Under the captaincy of Mahendra Singh Dhoni, India has never ever lost a single knockout match in any of the 50-over ICC tournaments.

Here is a list of those matches:-

  • India beat Australia in the Quarter Final of the 2011 World Cup
  • India beat Pakistan in the Semi Final of the 2011 World Cup
  • India beat Sri Lanka in the Final of the 2011 World Cup
  • India beat Sri Lanka in the Semi Final of the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy
  • India beat England in the Final of the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy
  • India beat Bangladesh in the Quarter Final of the 2015 World Cup

In this way, Dhoni’s leadership has made India victorious in all six out of six 50-over knockout matches. But this is not all. Dhoni also has an unbeatable record against Australia in knock out matches of all ICC tournaments. Apart from the above match, India, under Dhoni, also won the Semi Final of the 2007 Twenty20 World Cup against Australia.

A win by either team will be remembered for a long, long time. Either Dhoni’s unbeatable run in 50-over knockout games will get a huge shot in the arm or Australia will achieve something historical!

The stage is set!


WC 2015: Five reasons why Indian fans need to stay grounded?

By: Keyur Seta

Mumbai’s weather can be completely unpredictable at times. In the midst of a sunny day, sudden emergence of dark clouds from nowhere can fox anybody. The same analogy can be used for Indian cricket team fans. Till February 14, they had no hopes from the team in the ongoing 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup due to their terrible recent form. Some even felt that India would struggle to reach the quarter finals and would face challenges to beat associate teams.

However, a day later (February 15), a new lease of hope emerged after India defeated Pakistan in their first match of the World Cup. Now, India’s cricket enthusiasts (I am not referring to Gurunath Meiyappan) were hopeful of at least a semi-final berth. But come February 22 when India humbled South Africa and the fans started dreaming of the team retaining the trophy by winning the 2015 World Cup.

This is how the expectation graph of Indian cricket fans changes so drastically. Absolutely 0 expectations transformed into World Cup winning dreams, all in a span of just eight days! There is no doubt that the team needs all the accolades for their wins against Pakistan and South Africa. It is also normal to have expectations from the team after such convincing victories against two strong opponents in pressure games.



However, it is extremely early and amateurish to start dreaming about winning the World Cup 2015. As well all know, it takes one bad loss (God forbid) for the expectation graph to come down severely.

But more than this, there are other sensible and realistic points to take into account before fantasizing the ultimate glory. They are as follows:-

1 Pressure of Chasing: There is no denying that India’s batting order has fired in both the matches. But we shouldn’t forget that India batted first on both occasions. So the team has still not experienced the pressure of chasing a score of 250 or 300 against a strong opposition. Plus, batting under lights can also be a bit of a challenge.

2 Pitch: The pitch for both the matches was batsman-friendly. Apart from the odd ball bouncing, there wasn’t any problem for our batsmen. Hence, batting on a not-so-friendly batting wicket or a pitch favoring fast bowlers will be a different challenge altogether.

3 Bowling Pressure: Nobody can take away the credit from Indian bowlers, who bowled well with a plan in pressure situations in both games. But in both crunch games our batsmen had put together a formidable score to defend. So the real test of our bowling will be defending a total under 250 and that too in a pressure game against a strong team.

4 Opening Woes: India’s opening partnership hasn’t amounted to much in both the games. This is purely because of Rohit Sharma’s failure. Thankfully, on both occasions, the team was saved by the middle order. But to become favorites to win the cup, your opening stand needs to be rock solid.

5 Facing Other Teams: Beating South Africa isn’t the ultimate achievement. The biggest challenge is to beat Australia. Apart from the fact that it is the home team, what makes them all the more lethal is their current form. Plus, it is also time to consider New Zealand as one of the strongest teams in the world.