Where India stands in its WC group...

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Published: Thursday, January 27, 2011, 9:03 [IST]
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Where India stands in its WC group...

As India gear up for One Day Cricket's biggest global event, they can take solace in the fact that they hold the edge over four of six of the teams in their World Cup 2011 group insofar as more wins than losses against the respective outfits - Sri Lanka, West Indies, England, South Africa, Bangladesh and Netherlands (with Ireland being the only country it is yet to face in a one-day engagement). However, India's record in the quadrennial tournament against these teams is not as impressive with a cumulative of 9 wins to 12 losses. Let's see how the odds stack up for India against each of these outfits.

Among all of its group members in the upcoming World Cup, India has faced Sri Lanka in the most number of one-day fixtures to date at 128, out of which they have won 67 matches against the Sinhalese and lost 50 with 11 no result matches. In World Cups, India doesn't fair as well against the Lankans, playing 7 matches in all, winning just 2 and losing 4 times with 1 no result. However, since the last World Cup, India has played Sri Lanka 33 times, winning 18 of those encounters with 13 losses and 2 no results.

The next group member which India has played the most one-day matches against till now is the West Indies at 95, out of which India has claimed victory only 38 times and lost on 54 occasions with 1 tie and 2 no results. In World Cups, India and the West Indies are tied at 3 wins a piece. And since May 2007, India has faced the Windies 5 times, winning 3 of those engagements and losing just 1 with 1 no result.

India had faced off with England in the One Day arena a total of 70 times, winning 38 of those matches and losing 30 with 2 two encounters ending up as NR. As is the case with the West Indies, India is tied with England in World Cup play-offs at 3 wins each. But since the 2007 World Cup, India has won 8 out of 12 encounters against England, clearly emerging as the more consistently successful team of the two.

South Africa has played India in hitherto 65 one-day matches, with the latter ending up winners on only 24 occasions and losing a total of 39 times with 2 no result matches. In the big global tournament, India lost to South Africa in their one match which was in England in 1999. However , since May 2007, India has a win-loss record against the Proteas of 6:5 and gave the opposition a real run for their money in the recently-concluded one-day series in the Rainbow Nation.

India has won 20 of their 22 matches against Bangladesh but have lost their only encounter in World Cups, and that too going down in a shock 5 wicket loss which just about sealed India's fate in the 2007 event. However, the minnows have not been able to get past the Indians since then, losing a succession of 7 matches to their neighbours.

India has played the Netherlands all of once in a one-day match which happened to be part of its 2003 World Cup itinerary. India didn't annihilate their opponents as one would have imagined. Instead, they made a modest 204 all out in 48.5 overs (with Sachin Tendulkar top-scoring with 52 and Dutch seamer Tim de Leede taking 4/35) and won by a relatively low margin of 68 runs (with leg-spinner Anil Kumble taking 4/32 and paceman Javagal Srinath, 4/30).

Among all its previous World Cup matches against it Group B members in the 2011 WC, India's low point was its very first encounter in the inaugural global event in 1979 when it went down to England by a mammoth 202 runs. That was the infamous match in which Sunil Gavaskar made 36 not out from an unheard of 174 balls! England had compiled 334/4 in its 60 overs while India managed just 132/3 in the same amount of time.

On the other hand, India's most emphatic win in World Cups was in the 2003 edition when they posted 292/6 from their 50 overs, with Tendulkar top-scoring with 97 off 120 balls, before they bundled out the Lankans for 109 in 23 overs, with Ashish Nehra and Javagal Srinath taking 4 wickets each, thus winning the match for India by a massive 183 runs.

So, the statistics weigh heavily in India's favour, especially if you look at the last 4 years. India should therefore go on to have a fruitful World Cup 2011 and playing in home conditions, on delightful batsmen-friendly pitches and amidst hundreds of millions of cheering fans, there's no reason why they shouldn't.


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