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Saturday, 23 January 2016

Fantastico India and Cricket

Fantastico India, I called out when India won their first world cup cricket in 1983. During that time, India was not billed very high and stalwarts were England, West Indies and Australia. It was great to see India and Zimbabwe scoring victories (do we call upset) over stalwarts of the time like West Indies and Australia.  England, Pakistan, India and West Indies qualified for the semis. India beat West Indies in the finals by 43 runs at Lords in a low scoring match. Kapil Dev encouraged the team with his quote, "Team if this is not a winning total it is definitely a fighting total". India bowled economically, took their wickets, to get the opposition out for a paltry 140 runs. Srikkanth and Amarnath with the bat and Amarnath and Madan Lal with the ball contributed extensively to this victory. Kapil Dev captained India in this World cup.

There was always many ups and downs and India couldn't repeat that Fantastico performance for a long time until 2011. India won their second world cup title beating Srilanka at Wankhede stadium in Mumbai. It was a high scoring match with Srilanka posting 274 on the board in their 50 over for the loss of 6 wickets. However India bettered their score in 48.2 overs with 6 wickets and 10 balls to spare. Dhoni lead India and Kumar Sangakkara led Sri Lanka. The series had its own fair share of the controversies including redoing the toss since Umpire could not hear Sangakkara's call due to the loud noise from the crowd.

Unlike 1983, India was in good form and went as a favorite and defending champion into the 2015 world cup co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand. Though some of the stalwarts of 2011 victory were not part of the team, still the team had strong batting and bowling lineup. However they did not play to the expectation and it became Australia - New Zealand final which was won by Australia. Australia was out of form since 2011 but peaked at the right time.

India has been less than fantastico in many world cup as well. India has been knocked out in the group stage in 1975, 1979, 1992 and 2007 and came last in the super six stage in 1999.

India produced many fantastico world class players, of the likes of Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar, the flashy and unpredictable Virendra Schewag, Mahindra Singh Dhoni and now more recently Virat Kohli. I might have been partial in favor of the batsmen but thats how it is in the world of cricket. Bowlers too contribute for every team to win but it is not that visible except in low scoring matches. Dhoni's cool approach was a turning point for his team in the ending overs. However Dhoni has become a fading force more recently.

#TataZicaMarathon

This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.

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