After the disastrous tour down under, nobody expected the Men in Blue to be at the top of the charts close to 2 weeks in the highly competitive tournament. But the tables have turned and India annihilated its arch rivals Pakistan and tournaments favourite South Africa in its first two games. Both the games turned out to be one sided affairs with India performing exceptionally well in all three departments. But the tournament has just kicked off and there is still a long way to go if India wants to defend its world cup glory.
Now after some well deserved and much needed rest, the men in blue move to Perth for its next two games. On 28th of February 2015 India square off with minnows UAE and in its fourth game it collides with a rejuvenated West Indies.
India is expected to register an easy win against UAE but at the grandest stage of them all, India cannot afford to take any team lightly. UAE had a good outing against the giant killers Ireland and almost pulled out a massive upset out of its kitty, but India is in a different league altogether, especially after its first two victories. UAE will have to play its heart out if it wants to register a win against the defending champions but a favourable outcome seems highly unlikely, unless they do everything right and India commits a blunder of epic proportions.
India is peaking at the right moment. It has successfully managed to forget the cataclysmic tour that matters and even the warm up game against Australia, and come out with all guns blazing. The level of its fielding has certainly gone up a notch. The two run outs India was able to accomplish proved to be the game changers against the mighty Proteas. The men in blue have also successfully managed to save a lot of runs in the outfield.
Shikhar Dhawan’s much awaited return to form along with consistent batting performances from Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina and Ajinkya Rahane, helped the team in accumulating runs in excess of 300 on both the occasions. If only Rohit Sharma, MS Dhoni and R Jadeja start firing with the bat, the Indian juggernaut will be impossible to stop. Also, Indian bowlers who have been under consistent scrutiny for the past few months, successfully managed to bowl out its opponents in both the games. All seems hunky dory for the Indian side at the moment and it is rightly expected to register a comprehensive win against UAE on Saturday.
But what would be interesting to see is whether the Indian team will play the same winning combination or will it test its bench strength. The likes of Ambati Rayadu and Stuart Binny might get a game or two to prove their metal.
India’s next match against the resurrected West Indies side is also expected to be close encounter. Plans to get the Godzilla of cricket, Chris Gayle, out early are already under way. India will treat its match or mismatch against UAE as practice for its clash against West Indies. All eyes are set, so let the drama unfold on Saturday and then on 6th of March. Let the games begin.