reality check

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 04 Feb 2019 12:15:21

WHILE former captain Rahul Dravid predicts India to be favourites to win the forthcoming World Cup in England, stand-in captain Rohit Sharma says the humiliating loss to the New Zealand in the fourth One-Day International (ODI) was a reality check. It was a reality check for Indian team because the now world famous batting line-up was humiliatingly shot out for one of its lowest scores in ODI. At the score of 90 runs no team could have expected to achieve the miracle of winning. Rohit was honest in admitting that the swinging ball did them in and that is the area that must worry the team when they prepare for the World Cup a in few months’ time. Even on Sunday, in the fifth and the last ODI, the team appeared to be tottering and precariously placed but for some fine exhibition of batsmanship by Ambati Raidu and in the closing stages Hardik Pandya, the team could give itself a fighting chance of ending the tour on a winning note. But it is important to look at the prediction that Rahul Dravid, the mentor of the under-19 team, in spite of these small hiccups every now and then. These occasional set-backs of course serve a good purpose of keeping the team alert against probable mishaps, which the last two ODIs against New Zealand must have served.


As rightly said by Rahul Dravid, the Indian team has indeed been playing top class cricket and has won series against South Africa, Australia and New Zealand on their home grounds. These are the probable competitors for India in the World Cup and on the current reckoning the Indian team appears to be a notch ahead of the competitors with a strong batting line-up and an enviable battery of pace and spin bowlers. The fielding side too is of top order. Besides, the team has also very strong bench strength which the team management has tested during the Australian as well as New Zealand tours to good effect.


It is for this reason that even international commentators and experts are unanimous in saying that India has great chance of winning the World Cup in England. Dravid predicts the forthcoming ODI World Cup to be a high scoring tournament because according him lot of changes have taken place in the English conditions as well and that should suit the Indian batsmen and bowlers as well.


While all this looks very rosy on current showing, as rightly said by Rohit Sharma the Indian batsmen should be circumspect in their occasional vulnerability which was exposed in the last two games in New Zealand. In international cricket there is no scope for an off-day. Every day is a new day and always calls for a fresh guard.