File image of Indian cricket team(AP)
File image of Indian cricket team(AP)

ICC World Cup 2019: Why Virat Kohli’s India is on the right track to emulate MS Dhoni’s 2011 World Cup winning side - Stats reveal

The bowling numbers in this World Cup is very similar to India’s bowling numbers when they clinched the World Cup back in 2011.
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By HT Correspondent
UPDATED ON JUN 22, 2019 11:50 AM IST

The Indian team led by Virat Kohli is on a rampant march - they have ticked all the boxes so far and could not have asked for a better match in the middle of their campaign. For all their flair and poetry, Afghanistan have struggled to hit their straps this World Cup and this could be India’s chance to further drill home their dominance. (Complete coverage of ICC Cricket World Cup 2019)

For a nation which absolutely adores batting, India’s rise and now dominance in world cricket is primarily because of the rise in bowling stocks. The fact that Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri manage to walk around with vigour and sound confident is all due to the bowling attack the skipper has up his sleeves and like they say, batsmen win you matches, bowlers win you tournaments.

So, now is the perfect time to pause and look back - to the victorious 2011 World Cup campaign, when India had Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh along with a young Virat Kohli. Runs were scored, batsmen were consistent and yet the side stuttered on few occasions. This is where the bowlers stood up, the seamers led by Zaheer Khan led the way, the spinners led by Harbhajan Singh controlled the mid-innings and they both combined in the death overs.

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We take a look at the numbers and scratch the surface here in 2019, and they are eerily similar.

We now take a look at the next similarity: Bowlers’ wickets/match ratio:

While the 2011 World Cup was played on home soil, where the spinners were expected to dominate proceedings, this particular edition has seen the resurgence of wrist-spinners, which is the reason behind these numbers which follow:

And now, finally the pace contingent. Zaheer Khan was the go-to man for MS Dhoni back in 2011. He invariably picked up wickets with the new ball, and was given the ball when it started to reverse in the back end of the innings, and kept shutting out the opposition batting orders.

Similarly, for Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah is his X-factor, a bowler who controls proceedings with the new ball and then dominates batsmen with the older ball. Kohli also has Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Hardik Pandya and Vijay Shankar, all of whom have chipped away at the wickets.

Numbers do paint a picture, there is a trend on offer and once again, in a very quiet unassuming way, the Indian bowlers are charting India’s dominance. While the batsmen saunter out and smack runs, these bowlers toil hard to earn the victory. It is what one calls, a complete team game!

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