India can defend its crown in Australia and New Zealand

  • Rahul Bhojwani
  • Updated: Feb 18, 2015 15:11 IST

The main focus in the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup will be on defending champions India. The last couple of years have been a bit of a rollercoaster ride for the world number 2 team.

From the likes of Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma cementing their place at the top, to the retirement of Sachin Tendulkar and MS Dhoni (from Tests), India has seen it all.

Now the big question that comes up: Can India defend its crown? Can they repeat the heroics of 2011?

I believe they can. It will not be an easy task though; India's record in Australia and New Zealand hasn't been great in recent times. But the fact that the team has been in Australia for quite a while now gives them an edge over other teams.

They should be used to playing in these conditions. So the players not adapting to the conditions shouldn't be a problem.

The fact that they have finishers like Dhoni in their ranks makes them one of the favourites to win this competition. Players like him and Kohli add to the strong batting line up that India already possess.

India will depend on their batting since their bowling has always been a major concern.

Australian pitches will offer a lot to the faster bowlers and if Mohd Shami and Umesh Yadav get their line and length right, they will be very effective with their pace.

Also, the format of the World Cup can help India.

Like always, the usual suspects are expected to qualify for the quarter-finals, and India need just three good days after that to lift the World Cup.

Let's hope India can win the big matches, and with the experience of the captain cool, can certainly emerge victorious again.

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