Teams Gears up for Second Leg of the Tournamentby Opinion Express July 4, 2019 0 comments
Indians have kept their fans, young, old and the very old happy but this tournament is far from over
You have to feel sorry for Bangladesh; they are not the pushover team they were a decade ago and in Shakib al-Hasan have one of the best players in the sport. But they are returning without making the knock-out stages of a world tournament. Indeed, had it not been for some unlucky moments for Bangladesh, such as dropping Rohit Sharma early in his innings, India could have been in a spot of bother. Bangladesh are a serious team and will consistently win games and possibly a few championships in the future. But we should be glad that it was not their day in Birmingham, allowing our boys in blue to proceed to the semi-finals of the Cricket World Cup, making us breathe a sigh of relief.
But this edition of the tournament has been very exciting. Many feared that the second half of the league phase would be a damp squib, in line with the wet start to the tournament. But as the weather in England heated up as a heatwave swept across Europe, so did the matches, setting up the contest perfectly for the knock-out stages. For India, it has been a strange summer, with some controversy over team selection. There have also been persistent injuries and two players have already returned home. India’s much vaunted batting line-up, with the exception of Rohit Sharma, who is having an astounding outing, has not been firing on all cylinders. India’s finishing towards the ends of innings has been poor and while the dimensions of the grounds have been puzzling to players and fans alike, everyone is hoping that when crunch time starts, the sixes come raining down in the stands like the monsoon. This lack of performance is worrying because it appears that teams, particularly Australia — who despite the issues that have plagued them have once again found their mojo — might pose problems to India going forward. There are some clear problems with the decision review system (DRS) with close leg-before calls as well as regarding the scheduling of games. India has faced a very backloaded series of games. But every tournament throws up issues and we are sure that the International Cricket Council (ICC) will deal with them before the next edition. This World Cup has also shown the joy that is there in international competition, and while we live in a world of franchise and club tournaments, nothing gets fans as excited as games between nations do.
Writer & Courtesy: The Pioneer