Cricket–not just a sport but a religion in India. An extravaganza full of emotions. The World Cup is its finest tournament where all the nations come together to play this extra ordinary game. The first cricket World Cup in 1975 was not even called the World Cup; it was called the Prudential Cup. Cricket’s World Cup 2015 is very different from that first edition. Starting on Valentine’s Day with 42 matches over 43 days, 14 teams and an estimated global TV audience of over 1 billion generating significant business, much of it in India. With Amitabh Bachchan in the commentary box for the India-Pakistan game and commentary also in regional languages, it also promises to be a different viewing experience, reflective as much of India’s madness for the game as that madness shaping it.
Talking about the performances, indeed the performances of players have lifted like anything. Earlier scoring 300 runs in an inning was a tedious job, now it is being done quite easily by many teams and also the scores are chased like anything. Remember the South Africa vs. Australia game where SA crushed Australia’s massive 434 like peanuts. Also the players have become more fitness conscious than earlier because of the competition within the players in the same team and same dressing room for that matter.
Right from the personal scores to the total team score all have raised like anything. 3 out of 4 ODI Batsman who scored 200+ in an inning are Indians, and the fourth one that of the destructive play of Chris Gayle this World Cup. Now days, teams are not afraid of chasing any given target. This shows how the players are keeping their temperament while chasing. Then there is a man who has proved himself in every format of the game being played, South Africa’s ODI skipper AB DeVilliers. He is considered as the magician when he comes to bat. The precise back strokes, pull, reverse sweeps worth watching. He has raised the standard of death over batting in ODI vs. West Indies this World Cup.
Today if anyone wants to enter the National team, it’s needless to say that he should know every aspect of the game right from bowling, batting and fielding. Earlier, out of the playing 11, hardly 3-4 players used to be good fielders and the Tail Enders could not bat throughout the whole inning if the top order collapsed. This is certainly not the case now, players are not afraid to dive to stop a ball racing away to the boundary. Also the bowlers now these days dive to stop the ball, which is rarely seen.
There is also exceptional pressure on the players to perform each and every time. There are also lots of criticizing faced by the players because of their performance. But these days players are taking this quite sportingly and answering their critics with their performances which is indeed an exceptional thing. Handling such pressuring and performing is not a cake walk. There are many factors because of which the performances are touching sky high. Every team today has a dedicated team of psychologists and physiologist with them which help the players to concentrate on their job rather than that of their injuries and mental stress. These sessions are quite helpful to raise the bar of their performances. And yes of course the performances of the players are lifted by a large margin since last few years. Hope these performances continue for the players.
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