Team India showed a lot of character, which has recently become an unique characteristic of India s performance, as they forged a brilliant fightback to win the Durban Test by 87 runs after being condemned to an innings defeat in the opening Centurion Test © Getty Images
Team India showed a lot of character, which has recently become an unique characteristic of India s performance, as they forged a brilliant fightback to win the Durban Test by 87 runs after being condemned to an innings defeat in the opening Centurion Test © Getty Images

 

By Gurpreet Singh Mata

 

Talking of the current scenario in world cricket, one feels that India are not going to lose grip over the No.1 spot in Test cricket anytime soon, following its strong performance in the recently-concluded Test series in South Africa.

 

Team India showed a lot of character, which has recently become an unique characteristic of India’s performance, as they forged a brilliant fightback to win the Durban Test by 87 runs after being condemned to an innings defeat in the opening Centurion Test.

 

The 1-1 drawn series result with South Africa means that the Indians also have a chance to enhance their Test rankings and actually strengthening their position at the top. With the World Cup coming up in a month from now in the sub-continent, Team India has a distinct advantage because they know the conditions by the back of their hand. And India’s recent record at home also suggests that they would be a tough team to beat at home. Having said that, they would be under fair amount of pressure because of the home crowd but I would say that the advantage of conditions would be more than the pressure, and Indian team would be looking forward for a great performance in World Cup under the leadership of Mahendra Singh Dhoni. And their build-up can be an ideal one if they can beat South Africa in the ODI series and improve their current No.2 ODI ranking.

 

It would be interesting to see other sub-continent team’s performance in the upcoming World Cup. More interestingly, it would be great to see the performance of the Australian team because the world knows the reasons why they won it three times in a row and now with big guns like Glenn McGrath, Shane Warne, Matthew Hayden, Adam Gilchrist not in the team, and Ricky Ponting also doubtful because of his finger surgery, things may not be all rosy this time.

 

The other teams who have lot more to prove are South Africa and England, who had till now poorly performed in the mega ICC event except England winning the T20 world cup in 2009. It would be interesting to see how England performs in upcoming event which gears in month of February. Another team to watch out for will be Sri Lanka who has benefit of familiar conditions under their belt, and a very handsome past performance which would make this event even more thrilling.

 

Getting to the India-South Africa one-day series, I would say that India would fare well because they hold the advantage after the great comeback in the 2nd Test. Billion fans in India would be hoping that India wins its 1st ever ODI series in SA and show that the it’s just a myth that India can’t win outside India. So, looking forward to that and guys, keep an eye on Indian team as there will be lot more happening out there in South Africa.

 

(New Delhi-based Gurpreet Singh Mata is a cricket fan who is pursuing his dream of becoming an IAS officer)