Sreesanth's luckier than Sachin!

Last Updated: Tue, Apr 05, 2011 05:14 hrs

There's talent. There's hard work. There's resilience. But nothing beats sheer luck. Sachin Tendulkar had to wait for 21 years and 32,000 international runs for his first and probably last world cup win.

What of Mr Shanthakumaran Sreesanth? He's been erratic. He's been in and out of the Test, ODI and T20 teams, not even playing a 100 matches in all formats combined. And he's been around for just five years.

Despite all that, he has already been involved in two world cup final wins, taking a winning catch in the first one. What a resume!

Dhoni is the best captain I played under: Tendulkar

He's just 28 years old and with this kind of luck, he might even become part of a third victorious world cup campaign! Howzzat?

It can't get more satisfying than this!

While nothing beats winning a world cup, India probably accomplished all that it wanted to in this particular edition.

First, it beat all its cricketing neighbours with whom it shares a love-hate relationship: Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh. More satisfying was the fact that Pakistan was beaten in front of its Prime Minister Yousaf Gillani. That's one Indian attack the Pak PM had to applaud!

Immediately after that, Sri Lanka was beaten in front of their president Mahinda Rajapaksa. The Indian Tigers roared and Rajapaksa could do nothing but admire their fighting spirit.

Second, all the former world champions were beaten in four consecutive matches in a space of two weeks: West Indies, Australia, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Strangely that's the exact order that the above countries first became champions in the first place! (1975, 1987, 1992 and 1996)

If that wasn't a divine script then there was Sachin's world cup win in his hometown in his very last tournament.

Even the last ball ended up being a winning six!

10 World Cup magic moments

Someone up there sure likes India right now!

It smells like team spirit...

Virender Sehwag will cherish his 175 against Bangladesh, a personal best and the highest by an Indian in a world cup. Sachin will happily take his 85 in the semi-final which got him his first and only man of the match in a WC knock-out match.

Virat Kohli will cherish his key partnerships throughout the tournament. Yuvraj Singh was man of the series. Suresh Raina's two cameos in the quarters and semis will give him great memories.

Zaheer Khan ruled the bowling with 21 wickets. Harbhajan Singh took vital wickets in the knockouts. Munaf Patel will be immensely happy with his 11 wickets. Ashish Nehra confounded all critics and proved his mettle again in the semis.

MS Dhoni's sterling 91 got him the man of the match in the final and silenced all his critics.

One simply struggles to think of a greater all-round performance by Team India!

Nightmare to dream in 4 years

23 March 2007 was probably the blackest day in Indian cricket. We failed to make it to the last 8 of the ODI WC.

We had failed to make it to the Top 2 of either the Test or ODI rankings despite the professionalism and success of the Ganguly-Wright era. We were not even Asia Cup champions.

World Cup 2011

The future looked very very bleak.

But in a span of just four years, we have captured the T20 and ODI WCs along with the Test Championship crown. We even came out with the IPL, the most successful tournament outside of regular international cricket!

Talk of the brightest morning after the darkest night!

A turbo-charged IPL

The 2010 IPL ended on April 25. The T20 WC began a mere five days later. India performed disastrously and fingers were pointed at IPL and "fatigue" became a big controversy.

No such problems this time. The roles have been reversed. The WC ended on April 2 and the IPL begins on April 8. Talk about cashing in on a great success!

Since India is the world champion, there will be absolutely no fatigue of any kind and the people will be wanting more all the time.

IPL4 will be 50 days of extended partying! TV ratings will soar and this edition will be a success no matter what the result!

But how will the crowds react to Deccan Chargers and Kochi Tuskers Kerala, who have the Sri Lankans from the losing WC final: Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawerdene?

Of course, Delhi Daredevils, Mumbai Indians, Pune Warriors India, Kolkata Knight Riders, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Chennai Superkings will be ecstatic, having captains from the winning Indian team.  

Adam Gilchrist and Shane Warne are the other captains.

So 8 captains have won a world cup and the other two have been runners-up twice.

Talk of a top-notch leadership!

The author is a Bangalore-based journalist and blogger.