In four years, the Indian World Cup Team has gone through some big changes. The squad that shoulders the responsibility of defending the title of ‘ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 Champions’ is one of the youngest squads that India has ever fielded. Be it the ‘God of Cricket’ Sachin Tendulkar, The Nawab of Najafgarh Virender Sehwag or the Delhi skipper, Gautam Gambhir, almost every top-order batsman of the Indian squad from ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 is missing from this squad.
Indian Cricket Team In 2015
This time, the Indian Cricket team relies heavily on the batting strength of its middle order. Captain Cool MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli will have to lead by example. Dhoni has had some average outings recently and has come under heavy criticism but that match winning six against Sri-Lanka from the final of 2011 has not been forgotten yet. He has to keep the youngsters inspired and motivated especially in high profile matches like the India vs Pakistan tie.
Most of the players on this team have never before played at a stage as big as the ICC Cricket World Cup. 12 members on the 16 member squad are playing the World Cup for the first time. MS Dhoni’s toughest challenge will be to keep the team composed and in control during pressure situations.
The biggest problem of this squad is in the bowling department.On the hard and bouncy wickets in Australia, the opposition might dispatch Indian bowlers at will.
Indian bowlers have traditionally been medium pacers but the Indian Cricket Team in 2015 will miss the reverse swing of Zaheer Khan. That was a weapon that could surprise batsmen in any part of the world, and Graeme Smith knows that all too well!
Indian World Cup Team, Circa 2011
The Indian Cricket Team in 2011 had the legendary duo of Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag opening the innings. Following them were Gautam Gambhir and Virat Kohli. The team spread fear in the opposition camp thanks to its batting strength.
Zaheer Khan spearheaded the bowling attack in 2011 and was backed up by an equally experienced Ashish Nehra. Sreesanth and Munaf Patel were also in the thick of things back then.
The one factor that was most crucial in Indian Cricket Team‘s World Cup Victory in 2011 was the role played by Yuvraj Singh as the trusted all rounder of the team. Yuvraj’s strategic role had helped Dhoni in a number of crunch situations during the tournament. Yuvi ended up becoming the Man of the Tournament for Cricket World Cup 20111. His absence is sure to be felt this time!
In 2011, India had relied heavily on its batting strengths. A similar situation exists in 2015 too. The difference is that the batting was way stronger in 2011. If the squads were to be rated, the 2011 Indian Cricket Team was a 7 out of 10 and the team now is somewhere around 6.
It is not just the team strength however, and other outside factors are playing a big role in that rating. In 2011, India played in the subcontinent. This time around, India has to make do with Australian and New Zealand conditions which are drastically different from that of the Indian sub-continent.