The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) recently announced the final 15-man squad for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, compositely co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand. Mahendra Singh Dhoni has been named the Captain as India have won the 2011 World Cup at home under his leadership and he is expected to once again lead the team despite the recent patter over his sudden retirement from Test cricket. Virat Kohli will be the vice-Captain of the side, after being handed over the Test captainacy recently. Shockingly, Yuvraj Singh, who was the hero of the 2011 World Cup’s hero has not made the cut, despite his brilliant performance in the domestic circuit.
The Indian 15 for World Cup ’15
MS Dhoni (C), Virat Kohli (VC), Ajinkya Rahane, Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Stuart Binny, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Ambati Rayudu, Axar Patel, R Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Md. Shami, Umesh Yadav, Ishant Sharma.
Currently, the Indian team is playing a pre World Cup tri series with arguably two of the strongest contenders of the World Cup, called the Carlton Mid Triangular Series at Australia.
The Carlton Mid Triangular Series 2015
The series is a challenge between the World Cup’s 3 top contenders i.e India, Australia and England. It is a perfect practice before the World Cup for the teams. The series began on 16th Jan 2015 and it is scheduled till 01 feb 2015. Most of matches have been played and we can contemplate about the performances of the teams.
I am sure about that you must have checked the results by now. Indian and English fans seem disappointed a little disappointed, and justifiably so. Both the teams couldn’t make their way to victory against the Aussies.
There seems to be no end to England’s woes. They lost three successive ODI series and were out of depth in Sydney. The inconsistency at the top is a major source of worry.
The Australian team has a plus point, that is home advantage. They have used this to the fullest and have made a statement with their victory with a bonus point against England. The hosts have always been a tough proposition at home and their showing this in the first match itself secured this reputation. Australia have enjoyed the perfect tune-up so far in the series.
How it has panned out so far:
Match 1: Australia vs England, Sydney, 16th January
Australia opened the tri-series with a three wicket victory over England, winning with 10.1 overs to spare. Two magnificent hundreds were scored in this match, by Eoin Morgan and David Warner. So unevenly was the batting distributed, that no other batsmen passed the 40-run mark. The difference between the Australian and English line up was that Warner’s 127 at the top of the order set the tone for the hosts, whereas Morgan’s 121 served merely to add a pretense of respectability to the tourists’ tally after their top order had been perforated by the day’s other major performer. David Warner’s 127 led his team to an emphatic win over England in the opening one-day international of the triangular series at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Match 2: Australia vs India, Melbourne, 18th January
After achieving the first victory in the ODI Series, Australia was now ready for their next challenger. Aggressive openers? Check. Solid middle-order? Check. Excellent finishers? Check. The Indian batting ticked all the boxes. The Men in Blue started off pretty well. Rohit Sharma was the top scorer with 138 runs off 139. However his efforts weren’t quite enough to get his side over the line. Australia went on to win this match as well, the second on the trot, establishing themselves further in the tri-series.
Match 3: England vs India, Brisbane, 20th January
The Indian batsmen failed to apply themselves on a tricky Brisbane pitch and succumbed to a low total of 153 all out against the fiery English bowling attack. Steven Finn took 5/33 in 8 overs to ensure the quick exit of the Indian batsmen. With this, England too, opened their account and got some points on the board. The struggling Indians, still to register a win.
Match 4: Australia vs England, Hobart, 23rd January
Ian Bell’s brilliant 141 set up the England total, and his efforts appeared to be enough for most of the game. His performance throughout the series has been commendable. Although proud of his performance, he was gutted by the result of the match. Steven Smith, enabled Australia to chase down England’s imposing total of 303. His incredible summer continued as he produced an unbeaten century on captaincy debut to guide Australia to a three-wicket victory over England.
Match 5: Australia vs India, Sydney, 26th January
This match was washed out (perhaps a blessing in disguise for the Indians). The washout kept India afloat in the Tri-series. India now have 2 points (courtesy the rain gods), England has 5 and Australia 15. Australia have already qualified for the final in Perth on Sunday. The Indian hopes, somehow, still alive.
Source for images: Google images
TO BE PLAYED: Match 6: India vs England, Perth, 30th January
The India-England match is now a virtual semi-final to be played in Perth on this Friday. The calculations are simple: the winner advances to the final to face Australia. So manage your time. Set your watches. Cancel all your appointments because this match promises to be a thriller!
Match starts at 8:50 am, Indian Standard Time.
By Nikhil Gautam