Cricket World Cup - Mid Term Review

The ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 is in progress in the Indian Sub Continent for the last three weeks. And as the time is progressing, the frenzy is building up.

Here's a low down on a few things which have caught my eye in this World Cup. Being played in my time zone, I have managed to catch a few of the matches.

Starting with the teams first.

India were considered to be hot favorites. But only time will tell on whether they will manage to live upto their reputation. If their on field antics are to be considered, then they have hardly done justice to their favorite tag. 

They have managed to score three wins - all against the minnows - Bangladesh, Ireland and the Netherlands. And against the two top teams, all they have managed is tie against England and a loss against South Africa.

England have been more fickle - having lost against Bangladesh and Irish. South Africa have been swinging between being chokers, losing in a low scoring match against England while keeping their cool in a humdinger against India. 

West Indies, who came lower than Bangladesh in the ODI rankings have been more balanced. And Bangladesh with their decent performances seem to be knocking on the doors of the Quarter Finals.

While this has been the story in Group B, Group A has been equally unpredictable.

New Zealand seem to be going strength to strength - winning four of the five matches they have played. Pakistan too have been playing nicely.

Australia have been going about their tasks quietly, doing what they do best - win. And Sri Lanka is facing the heat, struggling to win the matches.

The other nations in this group - Zimbabwe, Canada and Kenya - haven't been able to do much apart from being "also rans".

Among the players, Sachin has caught the attention. He is fine form, scoring nicely, to be the second highest scorer in the tournament. Shahid Afridi's leadership has been inspiring for Pakistan. 

Virender Sehwag's confidence and calm has been noticeable. Of course, you also have had Kevin O'Brien scoring the fastest century in World Cup Cricket, in 50 balls.

Frankly, no other player comes to my mind - whose performance I would rate as inspiring or great. I strongly hope that we have better and more electric performances in the coming matches.

Coming on to the systems. 

One thing that has caught my attention is the Decision Review System - which allows the batting as well as the bowling sides to appeal against the Leg Before Wicket (LBW) decisions handed down by the on-field umpires.

It has seen some wrong decisions being turned over in the favor of bowling side. And you have had cases where a batsmen had been ruled as out, only for the decision to have been reversed after a review. All in all, it has bought in more stability and uniformity in the decisions.

Another thing which has been troubling  my mind is the lack of a good anthem for the Cricket World Cup. The song - which is said to be the official song - is simply not upto the mark. 

First of all, it is in Hindi. That makes it difficult for teams and spectators of all nations to relate to it. Secondly, it does not have the kind of spark  required to ignite the passions at the World Cup. 

The Football World Cup 2010 had a great anthem. I'm sure that India does not have any dearth of talent to produce an anthem which is comparable as this one, if not better. Hopefully, we will see an better one next time.

All in all, it has been a good World Cup. In group A, the top 4 teams - Australia, Pakistan, New Zealand, and Sri Lanka - seem to be on the way to the Quarter Finals. Group B is more wide open, with India, West Indies, South Africa, England and Bangladesh being in contention.

Hope the best and the strongest teams make it to the knock out stages.  This will help us have sparkling games in the coming days.
Cricket World Cup - Mid Term Review Cricket World Cup - Mid Term Review Reviewed by Vyankatesh on Tuesday, March 15, 2011 Rating: 5

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