Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Predicting the finalists has become easy

Well ask anybody out there regarding who would make it to the finals of the world cup and you would get obvious answers that India from the first semi-finals against Pakistan and Sri Lanka from the second will be the ones who would make it to Mumbai. The game between India and Pakistan can be considered to be in a toss if one side of the coin is given a close look at while the other side of the coin suggests a different story. This is the second time India is playing Pakistan at home when they first did it in 1996.

If history has to repeat itself then, in world cups, India has been beating Pakistan ever since the arch-rivals first met in 1992 which was Sachin Tendulkar's debut world cup and luckily was adjudged the man of the match for his 54. That was the last time greats like Kapil Dev, Ravi Shastri, Dilip Vengsarkar and krishnamachari Shrikanth made their appearance on the international scene with just one Indo-Pak encounter in a world cup paving way for Mohammed Azharuddin, Sachin Tendulkar, Javagal Srinath and Anil Kumble to lead the team. From then onwards it was the Indians who dictated the Pakistanis.

But, history may not repeat itself like New Zealand beat Pakistan this time which was their win over Pakistan in a world cup since 1979. This time, if the league stage performance of both the teams are considered, India doesn't have a notable win and Pakistan can boast of beating Sri Lanka and Australia keeping their hopes high. By the way, it is India who'd be hosting the tie which means that, in case Pakistan tries to show off too much, then they might be greeted with water bottles and paper rockets. Though this can hardly happen, the fear will always be alive in the Pakistanis.

But, with someone like Sachin Tendulkar, Yuvraj Singh and Dhoni in full bloom along with part time scorers like Virat Kohli and Sehwag, heat will definitely be on Pakistan who is led by an uninspiring Shahid Afridi. The next match between New Zealand and Sri Lanka need not be discussed at all with Sri Lanka having already dreamed of a final berth. They have beaten New Zealand earlier in the tournament and this time unfortunately, New Zealand has to face Muralitharan and co on their home ground in Colombo. Whatever, there will be a sub-continent team this time as well in the final.

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