India walked out on the field on a sunny Tuesday morning with only one goal in mind. India’s aim was to continue their winning streak in the 2015 edition of the World Cup and thus maintain its position at the helm of its group. Indian team toiled hard and sweated it out on the lush green ground and when the dust was settled, it emerged victorious. What was even more satisfying was the fact that how comprehensive the Indian win was. To say that India completely dominated and mauled its opponents will not be an understatement.
Ireland was a highly motivated unit as it came out to face the defending champions. A win against the men in blue would have boosted their confidence significantly along with increasing their chances of making it to the knockout stage. But the unpredictable Ireland failed in rising up to the occasion and lost the match without troubling Indians even a tiny bit. N’ O Brien’s 75, W Porterfield’s 67 and S Thompson’s 2 for 45 were the only highlights for the listless Ireland. But to give credit where it’s due, Ireland started well, taking Umesh Yadav and Mohit Sharma to the cleaners. But the fight didn’t last long.
India’s captain MS Dhoni spun a web of spin along with able support from Shami to force Ireland on the back foot. Ashwin, Shami and Raina bowled a tight line and length to put the brakes back on and scalped 6 important wickets between them. Tight bowling and aggressive fielding enabled India to restrict Ireland to a chaseable 259. The run chase was expected to feel like a walk in the park of the men in blue and it proved to be exactly that.
Indian openers came out all guns blazing and decimated the medium pace attack of Ireland. Rohit Sharma scored a much important half century before falling at 64 from 66 balls. He has been silent thus far in the tournament and India will count on him to fire during the do or die knockout stage. The man of the moment, Shikhar Dhawan scored another lighting fast ton and ensured an Indian victory. Dhawan was adjudged man of the match and rightly so. India will hope that Dhawan continues his good streak with the bat and see India through to a successful title defense. After Dhawan got out at 100, Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane took India comfortably home. The Indian juggernaut crushed its humble opponents, extending its world cup winning spree to a record high.
India’s last group game is against the minnows Zimbabwe and India is once again expected to cruise home and make it 6 in 6. If India manages to beat Zimbabwe on Saturday then India will in all likeliness face Bangladesh in the Quarterfinals. With its current form India can beat any given team but it will fancy its chances more against Bangladesh. India’s shocking exit from the 2007 edition after losing to Bangladesh still haunts them. Thus India can’t afford to take Bangladesh lightly. But for now India should focus all its energy on posting a comprehensive win against Zimbabwe over the weekend and remain undefeated in the tournament.
The Indian Barrage seems hard to stop at the moment and a successful title defense is definitely on the cards.