With the tournament heading towards the pointy sticky end, it’s time to look at how the big teams can win this.
How India can win
India has the perfect template to win this tournament in the one-man clichemeister Ravi Shastri. When Shastri was replaced by the Shastribot a few years back, everyone sighed. But it is the Shastribot that can help India win this world cup. All they need to do is look at what he says, study it, and then do the opposite.
The man is now so full of pointless positive cliches that he’s actually a Chance the Gardner type.
Ignore the the batting side will be look for more runs while the bowlers will be looking for wickets, and listen to what he says about India. It’s pure genius, if you reverse it.
When Ravi says that Sachin inspires his teammates, think the opposite. It’s far more likely that Sachin Tendulkar making runs, and Sehwag, stops the rest of the team from putting in. It’s a common theme amongst teams with really strong top orders, once you see them take over, the rest of the batsmen relax, although against South Africa they didn’t so much relax as drift into a rohypnol coma. If India can rectify this, they may not need to fix their fielding or bowling to win this world cup.
When Ravi says Yuvi/Raina never usually miss catches/fumble like that, look at all the back footage to see just how often they actually do make mistakes and start fixing the problem. Perhaps even encourage Yuvi to bend over. Make him watch Legally Blonde for the bend and snap seen, I’m sure he’d like it enough that it might rub off on him.
When Ravi says with Bhajji and Zaheer India have a top class bowling attack, someone should check who the next three bowlers are. Also, any praise for how well Yuvraj is bowling is a sign that things are going horribly wrong.
I say all this because if all 7 batsmen put in, the fielding gets better and they find at least four frontline bowlers, India win this with a leg in the air and Ravi Shastri won’t have to go trawling through feces to find the positives.
What India must do
Find four bowlers or drastically improve their fielding to the point of competency.
How India can be beaten
You’ve got to milk Bhajji, don’t let him get a wicket and pretend he is big and tough. The man likes to win, and gets pissy when he can’t make an impact. Zaheer should be kept out when the ball is reversing, scoring off him at that stage is not that important. And then take the rest down as much as you can. If India wins this world cup, they’ll do it because Yuvraj and Yusuf have managed to steal through a few overs.
Push their fielders around. Take them on, mock them, these are the most feted cricketers on the planet, why not abuse them when your stroking a cover drive on a lifeless pitch. Every fumble should be mentioned. Sacrifice a nymph at the feet of Satan to ask for at least one collapse when they bat.
What not to do against India
Let Bhajji take wickets.