From the publishers of THE HINDU
VOL.34 :: NO.08 :: Feb. 24, 2011
Can India do it? Can Tendulkar? That is the delight of sport. Any question can be asked. None can be answered, says Peter Roebuck as he previews the 2011 cricket World Cup.
Bowling is the strong point
On paper, Australia appears to be the best equipped to retain the crown it has been wearing since the 1999 World Cup. By Vijay Lokapally.
Batting looks formidable
Batting is India's strength and the middle-order buzzes with players who can assume centre-stage. By S. Dinakar.
TEAM ANALYSIS/SRI LANKA
Seeking to recapture the aura of 1996
Sri Lanka, grouped with Australia, Pakistan and New Zealand, is not short of match-winners. Will the side combine effectively as a winning unit, asks S. Dinakar.
TEAM ANALYSIS/SOUTH AFRICA
In perfect frame of mind
South Africa has a packed batting line-up and the most dangerous fast bowler in the game, but 11 members of its 15-strong squad have never played in a World Cup. By Kunal Diwan.
Weary England's World Cup woes
Despite being riddled with injuries Andrew Strauss and his dour lot still claim to be in the reckoning for the prize that's eluded nine English parties since 1975. But considering that teams from the Isles never quite approach any degree of comfort in the sub-continent, this one's going to take some getting. Over to Kunal Diwan.
Looking for redemption
Batting is Pakistan's forte with the immensely experienced all-rounder Abdul Razzaq (254 ODIs) listed at No. 8. Its depth, in batting and bowling, makes Pakistan the team to watch out for, writes Vijay Lokapally.
TEAM ANALYSIS/WEST INDIES
Tough task ahead
West Indies has been in quite dire form coming into the World Cup, winning just seven (six of which have come against Zimbabwe, Canada and Ireland) of 34 games over two years. To make matters complicated, West Indies will have to outdo one of India, South Africa, England or Bangladesh, all of whom are ranked above it in the ICC ODI ratings, to proceed to the next stage, writes Raakesh Natraj.
TEAM ANALYSIS/NEW ZEALAND
Low in confidence
The Kiwis are in the midst of a horror run, winning just two of their last 16 matches, and are lacking in star presence, but progress to the quarterfinals should still be on the cards. By Raakesh Natraj.
Others in World Cup
THE KEY MEN
Call them match-winners, game-changers or whatever, but they are, without doubt, players capable of making the ICC World Cup 2011 their own. They are the key members of their team, all immensely gifted. They have the propensity to turn a match on its head, change the course of a game in a matter of a few deliveries or a single spell. Sportstar takes a look at these stars.
PLAYERS WHO SPARKLED
Super cat's superb innings
The World Cup has produced some brilliant individual performances. K. C. Vijaya Kumar takes a look at some of them.
When the Proteas choked
The 1999 semifinal between Australia and South Africa was an epic and the after-effects of that clash are felt even now as the tag ‘chokers' continues to linger with the Proteas. K. C. Vijaya Kumar picks five best matches of the World Cup.
Charged up ‘Church'
Adam Gilchrist hammered thirteen 4s and eight 6s, leaving the opposition dazed in the 2007 World Cup final at Barbados. It was savagery of the most lyrical variety. Kumar Sangakkara best summed up his team's sentiments when he said: “It was just heartbreaking to watch, but glorious at the same time”. Over to Arun Venugopal.
Akram the battering ram
Right from its inception in 1975, the World Cup has been witness to some inspired bowling performances. Raakesh Natraj takes stock.
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