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Thu Dec 25 - Mon Dec 29
23:30 GMT
Dec 26 10:30 local
Australia vs India
India - Australia Series, 3rd Test
Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne
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India ICC World Cup 2011 Profile

Are they ready ready to capture the tropy this time?
Are they ready ready to capture the tropy this time?

Strength

India's biggest strength is their batting; how else can one describe the fact that more than six months after Sachin Tendulkar scored the first double century of this format of the game ever, he has yet to play in another match. Even in his absence, the Indian team has done well and that goes to show the potency of the others in the line-up. The likes of Suresh Raina, Virender Sehwag and captain MS Dhoni himself have all plundered the opposition bowling at will and should be India's biggest strength.

 

Weakness

Where India has often struggled is bowling in the slog overs. The Indian bowlers may start reasonably well and then have the spinners throttling the opposition in the middle overs. However, it is towards the end of the innings that they have shown a propensity to go for runs. Lack of capability when it comes to bowling yorkers at will coupled with the use of batting powerplays by teams in the slog overs have made life difficult for the Indian bowlers.

Opportunity

The biggest chance for the Indians is that they will be playing in the sub-continent – and all but one of their games will be played in India. They will know the tracks like the back of their hand and will look to get their bearings right for them. On two previous occasions when the World Cup was played in the Indian sub-continent, India had got to the semi-finals rather easily but were shocked in the last four round. This time, they will look to play to their potential and get at least one better.

Threat

Home advantage has slowly begun to recede in this day and age when the Indian Premier League and other such tournaments have allowed the foreign players to ply their ware in the country as well. Most of the other sides, like Australia, South Africa and West Indies have had good number of outings in the country and could not be too bothered about the conditions - unless of course the tracks produced are rank turners.

Previous Record

India has won the World Cup once - in 1983. However, apart from that, they have reached the final of one edition in 2003 and lost in the semi-finals of two of them. The two semi-final losses came in 1987 and 1996, and both were played in India. 1975, 1979, 1992 and 2007 saw the Indians being knocked out in the first round itself while they had got to the Super Six round in 1999 in England.

Expected Captain

MS Dhoni will lead the side for the Indians, much like how he has done for more than three years now. He has won India 50 out of the 88 games that they have played in, which is one of the better records amongst his contemporaries.

Players to look out for

This will be the last World Cup for the Indian maestro, Tendulkar and the world will watch him with bated breath. The bowling of Zaheer Khan will be one that the Indians will look to get some early wickets as well as reverse swing later in the game.