It’s all about Cricket World Cup 2019 in the air and there can’t be an any better topic to discuss. India first won the World Cup in the year 1983 and after that, only after 28 years in 2011, we had won the Cup. Though we have just two World Cups in eleven editions, if we look at the trend, our performance has shown drastic improvement from 2011 onward. What is the reason for this? Is IPL a factor? Let’s first look at the performance of India in the last 11 World Cups.
First, let’s look back at the India’s performance in previous World Cups
Things become much clearer and believable with data, we can see from the above stats that India was inconsistent in the tournament. After winning in 1983 and reaching semi-finals in 1987, India has seen a see-saw performance. While it got out of the tournament in the Round Robin Stage finishing 7th in 1992, India reached semi-finals in 1996. Again in 1999, India finished 6th position. We know in 2003 we reached the finals, 2007 was the biggest disaster in the history of Indian Cricket.
After the humiliating loss in 2007, it was time for India to celebrate and welcome an unexpected change in Indian Cricket. Most importantly India won the 2007 T20 World Cup, which actually made way to Indian Premier League in 2008. This brought an unbelievable change to the Indian Cricket Team.
After this came the 2011 World Cup Triumph on Indian Soil. India under the captaincy of MS Dhoni, India’s best ODI captain has won it for the country and made many things possible. Not just that India won the World Cup but in next few years Indian went on to become no 1 ranked team in Test Cricket as well. In 2013 India went on to win Champions Trophy on English Soil. India found new heroes in youngsters, thanks to IPL. India’s brilliant display of Cricket continued even in the 2015 World Cup in Australia, India went to the semi-finals without losing a single match in the league stage. Never before we have put up such a splendid performance, especially overseas.
If not for one bad day against Aussies in Semis, India would’ve won the Semis and won the Tournament as New Zealand is weaker opponent than Aussies. Come 2017, India reached Champions Trophy Finals again without losing a single match but once again one bad day on the final day made India runner ups for the tournament.
In the ongoing World Cup 2019 also India has been undefeated in 4 matches, 3 wins and 1 No Result. More importantly, India is 7-0 up against Pakistan in the World Cup.
There are two major reasons according to me:
- Indian Premier League: IPL has been a big blessing to Indian Cricket. It has not just brought so much of young talent to the international arena but also made them play in the situations which are not to be seen in Domestic levels. This increased the confidence levels, innovation and ability to take on the world-class talents.
- Captaincy: Captaincy is a crucial factor in Team’s growth. It was all started by Sourav Ganguly and carried for a long time by MSD. Better than both of them has been Virat Kohli, yes Kohli himself many times confessed how much Dhoni helps him. But the aggression and the passion to go for that extra run was something that India learnt under Kohli.
At this rate, India is in a strong position to keep Indian Cricket at the top for a long time. Let’s see if the same is picked up by other sports and bring much-needed development in other sports.