This is going to be a different ICC Cricket World Cup 2011. And team India are only too aware of it as they head into this edition as the firm favourites with the arsenal to change the home jinx that revolves around the ICC Cricket World Cups.
There is always a buzz about home teams ahead of such big events, but perhaps this time the Indian cricket fans, former cricketers and even current cricketers feel that this could be India’s trophy time again because their expectations rest on more than merely hope.
Team India is not only aware of the aspirations on the teams but also, seem quietly confident themselves and backing themselves in self belief, given their stupendous run in the last couple of years. With the Indian cricket team currently the no.1 Test team in the world, it is only natural that it is expected of them to raise the bar and level their mark, given that they are playing to full strength and in familiar home conditions where over crowded stadiums and screaming fans are something they are only too accustomed to.
The Indian cricket team’s aspirations are backed by the fact that the Indian captain happens to be Mahendra Singh Dhoni, considered one of the coolest customers in contemporary cricket. With his own prowess and his combined skills, Dhoni is precious weight. To add to that, there are two batsmen who are waiting to unleash in Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir. Add to that heady concoction, Sachin Tendulkar, and the batting line up just got more foreboding.
With the likes of Yuvraj Singh, Yusuf Pathan, Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina hanging around in the middle, one would fancy India would be a tough team on home turf where batsmen feed on flat tracks. With the spin department covered and the fast bowler almost all in place with Harbhajan Singh and Zaheer Khan playing pivotal roles, India have their best shot.
With winning becoming imperative, self assurance more evident than ever and a cool coach, Gary Kirsten, masterminding operations behind the scenes, there is a real harmony about the team, unlike what was witnessed in the last edition. With real talent and prospect, India seem a safe bet to easily top the list of favourites going into the edition, irrespective the strength and history of the other competing teams.
The fact that no team has ever won a home ICC Cricket World Cup before is not deterring the Indian cricket team. On the contrary, the team and the Indian cricketers are individually and collectively considering it an amusing challenge and one they certainly do not feel overwhelmed by, or are certainly showing they are doing a good job of hiding it.
Is it any wonder then that the maximum buzz about the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 is not about the hosting but about India’s chances of picking up the trophy in two months’ time?