When Did India Win Its First Cricket World Cup ICC World Cup 2011 Quarter-Final: Losing The Toss At Ahmedabad Could Help India

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ICC World Cup 2011 Quarter-Final: Losing The Toss At Ahmedabad Could Help India

Indian skipper Dhoni is not known for winning tosses. That said, he had mixed luck in the league stage of the 2011 ICC World Cup, winning and losing three tosses each.

We often say before a game that the toss is crucial; what we really mean is that the team batting first will have an inherent advantage. In other words, we expect the captain who wins the toss to choose to bat. This assumption should probably make it easier for my readers to understand the title of this article. Especially when you consider that Ponting belongs to the ‘bats first’ school of captains who win a host of awards.

I definitely recommend that India bowl first in Ahmedabad. And I’m not sure if Dhoni would choose to bowl if he won the toss in the quarter-final against Australia. The ghost of 2003 – when Ganguly chose to play in the world cup final – continues to haunt the Indian team.

The circumstances are now completely different. Australia’s batting is not as strong as it was in 2003, or even 2007, when Gilchrist and Hayden were at the top of the order. While Watson is capable of blistering innings, he doesn’t have Hayden’s innings-building capacity, and he doesn’t convert his starts as often as his team would like. Also, with India likely to open with a spinner, you are likely to see a more tentative start to the Australian innings, than if two seamers were operating together.

Ponting was the hero of India’s defeat in 2003, and his woeful lack of form should give Dhoni the clue he needs as to what to do if he wins the toss. Another factor that could help Dhoni make up his mind is the failure of the Aussie lower middle order, with Cameron White in disappointing form, and Smith not doing much beyond a cameo or two, in his ODI career. The situation could change however if Australia chose David Hussey instead of either man.

As Pat Symcox pointed out after South Africa successfully chased down their target against India, the majority of wickets in this world cup have gone the distance, as opposed to the past when it was a case of ‘winning the throw and win the game’, especially in day-night games, where chasing under the lights was best avoided.

So India’s best option is to put the Aussies in and bowl them out for a manageable total, which is extremely possible, as the Pakistanis showed us, the other day.

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