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India favourite to retain World Cup

In the ongoing Cricket world cup, the Indian fast bowlers have pitched the balls at an accurate length following an off-middle stump line at a very good and consistent pace. If India also fields well, it will not be surprising if this team retains the World Cup. If they keep two slips and pitch the ball where they are doing now, the Australians can be beaten with the added support of R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja. Mahendra Singh Dhoni is a calm captain but Jadeja is a very cool cricketer.

There was a time when Ramakant Desai used to be our main pace bowler. Thereafter, came Kapil Dev, Manoj Prabhakar, Madan Lal and Bishen Singh Bedi who deceived Gordon Greenidge, perhaps the best batsman at that time. Sir Richard Hadlee has also praised the Indian fast bowlers. India will only need to watch Australia and New Zealand who are playing good cricket right now. A former Pakistani player rightly said on television that South Africa are playing with two teams, one that bats first and excels and the other that chases and fails. Their performance has not been consistent but may spring a surprise.

New Zealand is a beautiful country with good fields and very healthy people. You just need to sit at the city square at Auckland and enjoy the game and later visit a pub to enjoy good chilled beer and camaraderie. Earlier, you could bring a friend on board but the ISPS has imposed a restriction on it. Littleton is also a beautiful port. They have a Phillipino bar near the gate. I had relieved all my boys to go there, one young fitter was on board. This boy was looking at the bar very eagerly as I asked him, will you like to go? He then went to the bar after getting a nod from me. I cannot forget his face. Littleton also has a good hospice shop from where we picked up good wear by paying one dollar a piece.

Lot of Koreans have migrated to New Zealand and opened shops in Auckland. Our batting has also become very strong. Earlier our openers Pankaj Roy and Nari Contractor used to get out very soon followed by the stylish M. L. Jaisimha. Of course, the fast bowling by Wes Hall and his teammates used to be very lethal. This time, Chris Gayle had spoilt the chances of West India due to his carelessness. Except perhaps for Naren Tamhane, all our wicket keepers have been good batsmen. Why I am predicting Team India’s victory is because earlier players were simply playing but now they are enjoying the game too.

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