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ICC Cricket World Cup 2015
With victories against Pakistan and S. Africa, India tightens its grip over World Cup title it won in 2011
It's like Deja vu moment for team India. Everybody knows that Pakistan has always crumbled against India in World Cup. The historic jinx has continued in the World Cup 2015 also. The margin of defeat was although big, but still all were skeptical about India-South Africa match.

Legendary batsmen Sachin Tendulkar too said that it would be a difficult game for India as South Africa is a formidable team and one of the potential claimants of the coveted World Cup. Many others also stressed too much on the jinx that India had never defeated South Africa in a World Cup match and is mentally ready to accept a defeat on 22nd February 2015.

A team which was not performing in Australia since last three months, a team whose most of the players going are going through a bad form, fitness issues and whose bowling line-up is not upto the mark was never expected to perform well in World Cup. Apart from this captain Dhoni was off-color in his captainship and also many feel that he is running out of ideas. Various experts had opined that India can make maximum to knock-out round but never expected the team to go beyond quarterfinals.

Then came India vs Pakistan match, where the batting side performed well and the credit went to Virat Kohli, who got a century. The performance of Raina and Shikhar Dhawan was considered as result of Kohli's influence. While defending the score the victory was mostly credited to Pakistan's collapse under pressure although Dhoni's captainship appeared to be sharp and innovative.

South Africa has one of the best batting, bowling and fielding side. Interestingly India not only batted better than South Africa but also bowled and fielded better than the opponents! Umesh Yadav, Md. Shami and Mohit Sharma matched the pace of Del Steyn, Morkel and Parnel. In fact Indian speedsters bowled better than the Protea's fast bowlers in discipline and with a plan. Indian bowlers successfully used short pitch deliveries to get wickets.

South African fielders dropped couple of catches; where as Indian fielders displayed much better fielding than South Africans. India is now one of the greatest fielding sides at the moment.

There is a sharp contrast in captainship also. Dhoni made some very innovative field placings, bowling changes and took important decisions followed by a plan, where as De Villiers was defensive from the beginning. This captainship difference also is one of the reasons how South Africa was crushed by a huge margin of 130 runs.

Even after India's win against Pakistan, I was of the opinion that India can't go beyond quarter-finals. But in its second match India proved that it's no more the team that was before World Cup. It's a team fully united, supporting each other, works through a plan and has mission to deliver the expectations.

This hunger for success now brings many admirers. Zahir Abbas, the Pakistani legendary cricketer said after this performance that India is not going to handover the title it won in 2011. There are some grey areas like the last five over batting collapse, but if such performance continues I believe Zahir Abbas is right. The others have to wait till 2019 to claim their stake over World Cup title.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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