Matters that don't augur well for India


By Sunny Sandilya


With India’s tour of South Africa ending just 26 days before the game’s biggest event – the 2011 World Cup – one wonders whether the amount of cricket Team India have played would be counter-productive to Team India’s preparations for the big-ticket event.


In terms of the sheer volume of cricket being played every year, India have already played huge amount of cricket, surpassing, as they do almost every year, every other team competing in the 2011 World Cup.


Some critics have long claimed that there is too much cricket being played, while other experts maintain that cricketers should be fit enough, and teams ought to be smart enough with the exercise of rotating its players in order to cope with the rigours of international cricket.


But arguments aside, did the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) put its key players at risk of injury by scheduling such an arduous tour of South Africa just two months ahead of the World Cup? Post the tour, which consists of 3 Tests, 5 ODIs and a T20 game, the players would have just under a month to recuperate and brace up for the World Cup.


And by the end of the tour, the team could potentially – though, I dearly hope not – face a host of injuries to important players leaving the side short on quality to take on the world at their own backyard.


Already, injuries have forced Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir to pull out of India’s last ODI series before the World Cup. India’s pace-attack spearhead Zaheer Khan is reported to have aggravated his old injury in South Africa while recent news reports suggest that Shantakumaran Sreesanth coped with an injury scare ahead of the first Test against  South Africa. All these developments don’t augur well for India ahead of the showpiece event.


India, winners of the World Cup in 1983, is touted as favourites, along with England and South Africa in the 2011 World Cup. But the fact that the World Cup is being played in the sub-continent gives India an edge that they should look to capitalise on.


(Sunny Sandilya is a 20-year-old cricket freak from Bihar)