Defending champions and former hosts India are one of the favorites to lift the cup this year once again. With the likes of Harbhajan, Sehwag and Yuvraj missing the bus this time out, the next generation have shouldered the responsibility. The onus will be on them to perform under the wily leadership of MS Dhoni and they certainly seem excited at the prospect of retrieving what is rightfully theirs.
Strengths– India possesses an enviable line up with world class performers amongst their ranks. The bating department looks impeccable with Rohit, kohli and Rahane all hitting purple patch. They also have the ‘finisher’ in the calm and composed MS Dhoni and a side that bats deep unlike most teams. Axar Patel and Jadeja are able all rounders adding to India’s versatility. They will miss the experience of their predecessors no doubt, but the next gen seems to have all the bases covered.
Weakness – India won the world cup largely owing to the spin friendly pitches in the sub continent. This time however, the scenario changes for the worse. On conditions that give you ample pace and bounce, India’s fast bowlers are hardly able to utilize the facilities. They struggled in the recent series against Australia owing to some ordinary bowling and it may come back to haunt them again. Their lack of quality ‘pace bowlers’ and ‘over dependence’ on spinners might just make it easy for batting sides to flourish against their feeble attack.
Trump Card – Virat Kohli is truly a modern great and he will be India’s man to watch. The Delhi batsman has been the sole bright spot in India’s recent outings and he will need to provide the foundation for the men in blue to surge ahead. He is a ‘master class’ batsmen and will take advantage of the bounce in the tracks to go on the offensive.
Squad: MS Dhoni (captain & wicketkeeper), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Akshar Patel, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Stuart Binny.