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ICC World Cup: India's Great Expectations and Challenges



  Oct 05, 2023

All Vie for the Cup: Indias World Cup Challenge


As cricket's grandest spectacle, the ICC World Cup, prepares for launch at Ahmedabad's Narendra Modi Stadium, India, the host nation, shoulders great expectations. The defending champions, England, and the 2019 runners-up, New Zealand, will clash in the inaugural fixture. The 13th edition of the World Cup promises frenetic action across diverse venues in India, concluding with the final in Ahmedabad on November 19.
 
Mumbai and Kolkata, traditional cricketing powerhouses, now play second fiddle to Ahmedabad, reflecting India's evolving cricket landscape, a blend of commercial influence and political prominence. Unlike previous co-hosted tournaments, India stands alone, with venues as diverse as Chennai and Dharamshala sharing the World Cup spirit.
 
In the world of cricket, where Test matches and T20 leagues dominate, ODIs have often taken a backseat. However, the World Cup rejuvenates ODI cricket every four years, providing context and excitement. The latest edition is no exception, offering the promise of thrilling encounters.
 
Cricket folklore shattered the myth that hosts never win the coveted World Cup. M.S. Dhoni's iconic six at Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium in 2011 ended that jinx. Australia in 2015 and England in 2019 followed suit, proving that hosting the tournament doesn't deter the host from claiming victory.
 
Now, Rohit Sharma's team must uphold this trend. Despite the return of key players from injuries and a strong batting lineup led by Rohit, Shubman Gill, and Virat Kohli, India must also rely on its formidable bowlers, including Jasprit Bumrah and the Mohammeds (Shami and Siraj). The addition of R. Ashwin and Kuldeep Yadav bolsters the spin department. However, strong teams like England, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, and Pakistan could pose challenges and disrupt India's well-laid plans.


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