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ICC Cricket World Cup 2015
ICC World Cup: Team India, now it's high time to stay focused
Well, in the ongoing ICC World Cup, Team India has already fortified their position as they have secured berth in the quarter finals. As correctly projected by many of the writers, Team India will be taking up Bangladesh in the quarter finals.

Team India, after having lost a Test series and ODIs just before entering in the World Cup, recovered quickly and registered a much needed victory over Pakistan which enhanced their morale. This further helped India sustain their spirit, as a result of which Team India has landed in a situation where everyone foresees Team India playing finals either with Australia or New Zealand.

This self esteem and enhanced confidence is surely a result of both, a quality batting performance by Team India closely followed by some brilliant bowling by our pacers especially Umesh Yadav and Shami Ahmed. Also, robust fielding contributed in landing Team India in the forefront. Most importantly, the performance of Team India as an integrated unit - wherein batsmen complimented bowlers - yielded the desired results.

But sadly, despite having a secured and stress free equation, the Team India somehow failed to display their best cricketing skills during the match against a comparatively weaker team, Zimbabwe. No doubt that our bowlers were able to get 10 wickets but at the cost of 287 runs, that too against Zimbabwe.

It is a matter of great concern as such level of bowling against the batsmen of South Africa or Australia can prove fatal for Team India. Shami, Yadav and Mohit Sharma got three wickets each but barring Umesh Yadav, whose economy remained at a reasonable 4.37, all others could not sustain their economy at a satisfactory level, as is evident from the economy of R Ashwin(7.50), Jadeja ( 7.10) Shammi (5.33) and Mohit Sharma (4.80)

Likewise, the much glorified batting line of Team India could not spread magic on the field. Rohit Sharma has got temperament and a particular flair on any given day and his rhythm and form was seen missing in the match against Zimbabwe. Even during the early overs he was not focused.

Shikhar Dhawan, by virtue of his classy recent performances, has earned a reputation where his occasional loss of wicket does not become a cause of concern. But it has become imperative that our openers must ensure that they stay on the wicket for a given duration and do not throw away their wickets cheaply. Ajinkya Rahane was unlucky to have got run out at a very crucial stage but more than his fault, it was a perfect throw that killed a precious batsman for Team India.

But most important turn around in favor of Zimbabwe happened to be the fall of otherwise important wicket of Virat Kohli. It appeared that Kohli was not able to concentrate on his natural classy stroke play and before he could get his rhythm, he was bowled out in the similar fashion like Dhawan, that is totally failing to judge the ball.

So the obvious point at issue becomes the fact that when our top and middle order talented batsmen could not deliver against team like Zimbabwe, how could we expect that they will be able to face the deadly bowling of Steyn, Morkel or Johnson or Starc.

Although, as usual captain MS Dhoni came out to rescue of the team and with the help of Suresh Raina (with his brilliant ton) he was successful to bail out Team India in 49th over with 8 balls to spare. But we must acknowledge the fact that had Zimbabwe not dropped few important catches and narrowly missed run outs, the story would have changed in favor of Zimbabwe.

In case Team India does not improvise materialistically and instantly, it is the psychological edge that will be tilting towards the other prominent contenders like South Africa, New Zealand or Australia. Also when we lose our sheen, the teams like Sri Lanka, who are almost unpredictable, can pose a threat for Team India. Consistency is the key word for Team India.

The most challenging issue requires to be taken care of is the fact that from now onwards, it will be an eliminating round where there remains no chance of any kind of complacency or slackness.

The name of the game is still the same - a performing bowling line-up of Shami, Mohit, Yadav and most importantly R Ashwin. Honestly, contrary to the expectations of millions, on a personal note, I simply rate the chances of Team India as just 50 per cent, because once we start shattering, we hardly facilitate any magical turn around. There is no dearth of talent but the missing link is called the killing instinct. Hope you agree!

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