Group results that would be good for Team India

A few basics on the tournament points-rules first. Let us remind ourselves that:

  • The World Cup 2007 has 4 Groups (A, B, C, D and E) of 4 teams each.
  • The top two teams from each group (A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2, D1, D2) will advance to the Super8 stage.
  • In the Super8 stage A1 will not play A2, B1 will not play B2, C1 will not play C2 and D1 will not play D2.
  • So, Super8 teams will only play 6 games each in the Super8 part of the tournament.
  • Any points that teams may have earned against the other qualifier from their own Group will be carried through.
  • At the end of the Super8 stage, the top four teams will go through to the semi-finals.

Let us also remind ourselves that the Groups are:

    [Group-A]: Australia, Scotland, Netherlands, South Africa
    [Group-B]: Bermuda, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India
    [Group-C]: Canada, Kenya, England, New Zealand
    [Group-D]: West Indies, Pakistan, Ireland, Zimbabwe

Like most cricket fans and pundits, the expectation is that Australia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, India, England, New Zealand, West Indies and Pakistan will make the Super8.

Let us further assume that we do not have rain, game-abandons and ties.

Given that most of us on this Blog would want Team India to maximise its chances of entering the semi-final stage, I feel that the following results in the Group stages of the World Cup 2007 will be good for India’s chances.

  • India wins all its 3 Group-B games — against Sri Lanka, Bermuda and Bangladesh.
  • Australia thrashes the living daylight out of South Africa in its Group-A!
  • England manage to win only one of their Group-C games and that is against New Zealand. England then proceed to lose to Canada and Kenya and bomb out of the tournament. This is not a pipe dream, but a regular England thing when it comes to World Cups in any sport! But more seriously, it would be good if England were to beat the Kiwis.
  • West Indies beats Pakistan.

Reasoning? I think a team would need 3-4 wins out of the six Super8 games plus one from its Group-game to be a safe shoe-in to the semi-finals stage. I believe that of the Super8 teams, India can beat England, West Indies and New Zealand. If we add to that a Group-game win against Sri Lanka, that would then be the games that India needs. Unless India plays some exceptional cricket, I expect the team to lose to Australia and South Africa. Even though India has never lost to Pakistan in her World Cup outings, the India V Pakistan game is always a lottery. So, a win there would be a bonus.

India’s semi-final contenders are, in my view, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand and Pakistan. Despite the recent chest-beats from Barry Richards and Sunil Gavaskar, I still feel that there is daylight between Australia and the rest of the teams and they must be a dead-cert for the Semi finals. So, the best results in the Group stage would be those that disadvantage South Africa, New Zealand and Pakistan. Hence the results-suggestions above.


— Mohan

14 responses to “Group results that would be good for Team India

  1. India wont make it past the Super 8’s.

  2. Pithy comment. The basis for your comment is?

  3. Plenty of reasons really –

    1. Adaptability
    2. Leadership
    3. Sustaining Momentum
    4. Situational awareness among the players
    5. Match conditions
    6. Effect of breaks on the team.
    7. Weather
    8. Team Composition
    9. Tugs and pulls within the team
    10. Reaction under pressure
    11. Nature of the wickets in the Carib

  4. I actually agree with you on almost all of the above in your list!

    I don’t understand what a few of them actually mean! For example, [5] and [6] make me go “huh?”

    The most telling reasons would be [1], [3], [4], [9] and [10].

    I actually think that [2] will carry them through. Of the teams in WC07, New Zealand, Australia, West Indies, South Africa and India (in that order) have good leadership that will carry them through.

    I think that [11] actually benefits India!

    And [7] affects everyone.

    That leaves [8]. Would love to hear more on that before commenting.

    — Mohan

  5. Forget all rational reasoning. We will beat Pakistan, Sri Lanka, England & NZ in the Super 8 stage. Of the matches with Aus, SA & WI, we may lose to the Windies. But I think we will beat SA and get them eliminated. My personal line up for the semis will be Aus, India, NZ and WI. I will have SL as a drak horse just in case the Aussies continue with their current form.

  6. Breaks -The Indian team has had a pretty ordinary record coming back from a break following international cricket. They take a while to warm up and get into the groove.

    match conditions – different islands – different wickets+ possible rains = start stop nature of the game. India not too flash when this happens.

    Leadership – Rahuls captaincy is suspect ( in the ODI arena at least)

    11 wont benefit India – Look at all the matches won since the Pakistan tour. Look at the nature of the wickets.. whenever India have been presented with anything other than a flat “plonk your front foot forward and swing thru the line” type of wickets – the team is out of its depth. the bowlers have saved the day more often than not, but the batting implodes every single time.

    8- If both Pathan and Sehwag have to accommodated, then there is the issue of balance. If Uthappa plays on form, then where does Sehwag fit in? Does Dravid play at 3 or 5? If Sehwag comes in at 6, we are way too bottom heavy.
    And if the wickets are low and slow, then the ball wont come onto the bat. Which wont help the stroke makers.
    Plus all games are day games. batting second will become progressively harder as the tourney progresses.
    too many stroke makers or a a few more grafter? 4 bowlers or 5?
    it will be interesting to see the team composition and also to find out how many of the XV are passengers 🙂

  7. Breaks: The Indian team will not be on a “Break” from International cricket! They will play their first warm-up match barely 3 weeks after their last ODI against Sri Lanka. Indeed, in the 2003 World Cup they had a larger “break” and reached the Finals. So there goes that theory of yours!

    Match-conditions: Start-stop affects all teams. Not just India. Apart from Australia, who are an all-weather-all-conditions (awac) team, I can’t say any of the other teams as awac. So there goes that reason.

    Leadership: Dravid is, indeed, India’s most successful ODI captain. So there goes that! This would make Chappell the most successful ODI coach! But that’s another story. Check out:

    [8] I read your piece and said, “Wow! Options! What I’d give to have that many options in a team. It gives the team flexibility. The point is that one has to turn an apparent disadvantage into an advantage. Chappell has the guts to do it. Whether Dravid has or not… time will tell.

    Grafters: A year ago, Dravid’s problem was that he was too much of a “grafter”. Not anymore? In his current role, Tendulkar is a “grafter”. That’s enough, imvho.

    — Mohan

  8. Pingback: India’s schedule for the World cup? « i3j3Cricket :: A blog for fans of Indian cricket…

  9. Interesting reasons, Homer…

    I think the same reasons will apply to most teams in the cup and India are better placed than some of the others to make it to the top 4.

  10. fair point blogesh.
    IMHO, I think these factors have a greater impact on the Indian team than the others. However, the proof of the pudding will lie once the WC gets underway 🙂

  11. As with mohankaus, I do not understand/agree the listed reasons. However, I think for the Indian team, it will be tougher now.

    1. Top Guns of India have to click big time. They have the talent and they can click. I am not thinking for a quick 40 runs here and there. Almost Ponting like innings – almost a century whenever he steps in to bat.

    2. Indian bowling is weak to fill in the 5th bowler spot. Even among the other 4 bowlers, one guy will have a bad day for sure. So, you have to back fill 15 – 16 overs.

    3. Indian fielding ….

    Please do not underestimate Srilanka in a neutral venue. That guy Kumara Sangakarra is something. I am impressed especially after his century against NZ in NZ, against Shane Bond.

    England – Flintoff & Co, is a talented side. They beat the Aussies. If Simon Jones plays, England will be a strong team.

  12. Simon Jones is not even in the England team gnbmdr! Their team is: Vaughan, Flintoff, James Anderson, Ian Bell, Ravi Bopara, Collingwood, Dalrymple, Ed Joyce, Jo Lewis, Sajid Mahmood, Paul Nixon, Monty Panesar, Pietersen, Plunkett and Strauss.

  13. How about this scenario in the group matches?

    South Africa loose to Australia.
    South Africa, Scotland match washed out.
    Australia, Scotland match washed out too.

    Australia beat Netherlands and end up with 5 points.
    Scotland beat Netherlands and end up with 4 points.
    South Africa beat Netherlands and end up with 3 points

    So, the top ranking team, South Africa is eliminated :). Won’t be the first time the rain gods have eliminated them from the World Cup.

    I can come up with more convoluted scenarios, but I wonder if a farce like this could actually happen…

  14. Very interesting conversation…First time that I have gone thru all the comments with bit of interest…

    It is true that India takes time to warm up in foriegn conditions and I think that India will have a uneven form at the start of the tornament. However, I do not have any doubt in my mind that we are going to peak at the right time. We will gather momemtum as the WC progresses.
    BTW…I am very, very unsure of Australia for the first time in my life. Mark my words….I think Australia is the 5th best team at the moment and my bet would be on S.A, India, W.I and Sri Lanka in that particular order….
    You should keep in mind that one day cricket is all about “that one day”…the form, the luck, the toss, the conditions, the pitch, the spectators, the umpire decisions – all these play a significant role in outcome of matches. I have already put my money (in reality) on S.A and India..Lets hope I make some money.
    Here are the popular odds for winning the World cup 2007

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